“This metric is going to be really important”. Academics perceptions of the HEA fellowships as a mean to drive teaching excellence

Van der Sluis, Hendrik ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2543-6279 (2019) “This metric is going to be really important”. Academics perceptions of the HEA fellowships as a mean to drive teaching excellence. In: “Measuring Excellence” in Higher Education: Approaches and their Impact, 11-13 September 2019, University of Wolverhampton. (Unpublished)

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The United Kingdom (UK) Professional Standard Framework (PSF) is a national framework overseen by Advance HE, which aims to enhance and raise the status of learning and teaching (L&T) in higher education (HE) (HEA, 2018). Most higher education institutions (HEI) in the UK have their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) frameworks accredited by Advance HE to support academic staff in obtaining a HEA Fellowship. Increasingly adopted internationally, within the UK, institutional attention to the HEA Fellowships need to be understood against the volatile HE policy landscape. Policies such as the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which emphasises metrics related to the student experience, such as the national student survey (NSS), have become to determine institutional reputations.

As a result HEIs consider and consolidate their policies and activities, including the HEA Fellowships, to ensure a favourable presentation in the TEF related metrics in the future (Pilkington, 2018). For instance many HEIs are ‘aiming towards 100% of their staff’ or at least their academic staff ‘gaining a HEA Fellowship (HEA PR, 2015, npn), and have revised their policies for probation and promotion to stimulate engagement. Obtaining FHEA is often a requirement for probation, and SFHEA as an expectation for further promotions. Moreover, many HEI’s are diversifying academic career pathways, allowing academics to progress by advancing L&T over disciplinary research or professional practice (Pilkington, 2018).

Studies have started to explore institutional implementations of accredited CPD frameworks, and the influence of the HEA Fellowships for L&T (c.f. Shaw, 2017; Spowart et al., 2015; van der Sluis et al., 2017; Thornton, 2014). This paper will share the findings of an interpretive and comparative study which explored academics perceptions of the HEA Fellowships as a mean to raise the status and recognition of L&T. Using agency and structure as a conceptual framework, the analysis of in-depth interviews with academics who obtained SFHEA, at a post-1992 (TEF bronze) and a research intensive university (TEF Silver), reveals that academics engagement with, and perception of the HEA Fellowships needs to be understood against the institutional setting, in particular the institutional mechanisms and policies that stimulate engagement.

The exploration of the individual and institutional circumstances that influence academics perceptions aims to be of relevance for academic leaders and policy makers involved in the HEA Fellowships.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Education > Academic identity
Education > Higher education
Education > Teaching and learning
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Hendrik Van der Sluis
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 14:17
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:11
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6382

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