Leeds Beckett announced as finalist in prestigious teaching awards
13 July 2017 - Mark Dorey
Leeds Beckett University has been announced as a finalist in a new global teaching award.
The Global Teaching Excellence Awards, run by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), recognise universities with strong institution-wide approaches to teaching excellence. Leeds Beckett is one of 27 institutions from across the world shortlisted for the award by an international panel of judges. Sixteen universities from the UK are on the shortlist, with five from Australia, as well as others from the Netherlands, Norway, Hong Kong, South Africa and Switzerland. The overall winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on Monday 4 September.
Leeds Beckett’s entry was judged via a two-stage process; first being considered by external peer reviewers, then being assessed by an independent judging panel of distinguished global experts. The awards focus on the assessment of the ‘preconditions for excellence’ - excellence in the leadership of teaching and learning, excellence in teaching and excellence in student support.
Speaking about the news, Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett, said: “I am very pleased that the teaching here at Leeds Beckett University is rated as among the very best in the world, and very proud of the supportive culture we have developed to ensure we can offer our students a world class education.
“Following the silver award we achieved in the Teaching Excellence Framework last month, being shortlisted for these awards helps to underline our growing reputation nationally and internationally as we continue to strive to deliver an excellent professional education for all of our students.”
Svava Bjarnason, chair of the GTEA judging panel and a former member of the World Bank Education Sector Board, added: “There were some fantastic entries for GTEA. Our panel was looking for robust evidence of excellence in three areas: leadership, teaching and in student support.
“We found a great deal of outstanding practice in these submissions, and I believe this presents a superb opportunity for others to consider these lessons for their own institutional teaching strategies. I congratulate all the finalists. And I’d also like to thank all the institutions that entered; there were some difficult decisions in selecting the final 27.”
Professor Stephanie Marshall, HEA Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted by the response to the inaugural GTEA and I add my congratulations to all the finalists. I thank the judges for their detailed work.
“The HEA’s mission is about improving learning outcomes by raising the status and quality of teaching in higher education, and these awards help do that by highlighting outstanding practice wherever it is happening in the world.”
John Gill, Times Higher Education (THE) editor and a member of the judging panel, added: “Teaching is top of the agenda for universities across the world, with increasing acknowledgement that there is work to be done if higher education is to deliver on its fundamental mission to transform the lives of students whatever their background.
“That’s why this award is so important, and why THE is delighted to support it. It is only by understanding what the best are doing that standards can be driven up across the spectrum of higher education institutions globally, and that’s what the GTEA aims to do.”
In June, Leeds Beckett was awarded ‘silver’ status in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This is a nationally-recognised mark of quality for the education offered to current students and applicants to the University.
The nationwide Teaching Excellence Framework was introduced by the government to evaluate the quality of the undergraduate student experience, recognising excellent learning and teaching in universities. TEF awards institutions either a gold, silver or bronze ranking. There is also a fourth ranking of ‘a provisional award’ which identifies those organisations working towards a TEF ranking. The award of silver to Leeds Beckett recognises ‘the excellent outcomes for the University’s majority mode full-time students with regard to retention and progression to employment and further study’.