Professor Ruth Pickford
About Professor Ruth Pickford
Professor Pickford is Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching and leads development of academic practice. She is an international award-winning project manager, researcher and teacher, and a respected speaker and writer on higher education.
Ruth is a computer scientist by professional background and in her former career as a business analyst specialised in designing award-winning systems to support multinational mergers. Since moving into higher education, Ruth has written bids, led and provided oversight for research projects totalling £7 million. Her books on teaching and learning in higher education have been translated into several languages, and Ruth’s teaching and leadership of teaching have been recognised through a University Teacher Fellowship, an Enterprise Fellowship, Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, The Chancellor’s Award, a UK National Teaching Fellowship, and The International Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology.
Extensive international consultancy work in universities including NUI Galway, Aalborg and Griffith has given her a broader perspective on higher education and she has been invited to deliver addresses at international conferences in Adelaide, Atlanta, Brisbane, Dublin, Jacksonville and Washington D.C. She has directed over 20 conferences and presented more than 50 conference papers.
Ruth is a strong advocate of Continuous Professional Development. Having served as editor-in-chief of the Assessment, Learning and Teaching Journal, Ruth now sits on the Advisory Board of the International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education and the Journal of Student Success. She works closely with national bodies to develop academic practice and leadership in the sector. A founding member of the Association of National Teaching Fellows, and the executive of UK HEDG, in 2016 Ruth was invited by the Higher Education Academy to be a member of their Assessment and Feedback Advisory Group. She is currently a member of the facilitation team for the HEA’s Deans’ Development Programme.
She has gained useful insight into academic leadership and governance through successfully completing programmes such as the ILM level 7 in Strategic Leadership and the HEA’s Executive Development Programme, and through serving both as a college governor and as the elected Academic Board representative on our Board of Governors.
Ruth’s research interests include learning and teaching strategy, the National Student Survey, student transition and progression, and student engagement.