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Celebrating our National Teaching Fellows: AdvanceHE Teaching Excellence Awards

31 Mar 2022

Following the first in-person ceremony since 2019, Professor Judy Williams reflects on the inspiring event and the outstanding work of our award winners

Teaching Excellence Awards

From left to right: Judy, Jackie, Bhuvana and Raj

This year, it was perhaps more poignant as the first in-person National Teaching Fellows and Collaborative Awards celebration event post-pandemic and boy was it special. I was delighted to be able to celebrate and recognise the exceptional achievements of our 2020/21 National Teaching Fellows in the stunning surroundings of the Aerospace Museum in Bristol. If you are unfamiliar with our winners’ work and their incredible achievements, I have briefly summarised them below:

Professor Raj Ariyaratnam is an internationally renowned teacher with special interests in developing innovative curriculum, student-led course models, exploring service learning based pedagogies to integrate social responsibility in mainstream teaching and learning, and globalising the innovations.

Professor Jackie Carter passionately believes that we learn skills through practising them, and that applied social research can be undertaken by undergraduates, given the opportunity. As an undergraduate, Jackie read Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Today she empowers her own students to become critical data consumers and well-informed citizens.

Dr Bhuvaneswari Krishnamoorthy works to transform the education and training of surgical care practitioners and trainee surgeons, and has had a huge impact nationally on cardio-thoracic surgical care. Patients are now being cared for by teams with much improved inter-professional values, increased skill levels, an improved knowledge base and much more practice in virtual surgical learning.

It was underneath the wings of Concorde that we welcomed all of the 2020 and 2021 NTF and CATE winners. It was a night of joy, inspiration and connections. Hearing people talk with passion about the difference they are making to enhance the learning and experiences of students across the country, there were a range of inspirational projects that demonstrated the reach, value and impact their work has on students. It was great to see colleagues that have moved on from Manchester picking up awards for the work they are driving forward in their new roles: indeed it was a night of reconnecting with old friends and also making new ones.

The ceremony reminded me of the passion and enthusiasm that so many of us share for teaching and learning which can be hard to replicate over Zoom. It also meant that we were required to dress smartly (including shoes, which was a challenge by the end of the evening – do we need to consider an “it’s ok to wear slippers” policy for next year?). We know that we have many more colleagues who are bringing their exceptional practice to students and colleagues which is having a real impact across the University and beyond. We look forward to supporting them to gain this international recognition of their success and excellence in teaching and learning in the near future.

I’d like to end this update by saying a big congratulations to Raj, Jackie and Bhuvana – three exceptional teachers who are making a real difference.

Judy Williams

Associate Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students  

Director of the Institute of Teaching and Learning   

  • If you are interested in working towards a National Teaching Fellowship or Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), please do join us on our pipeline programme – you can find out more details and how to apply on the ITL website.