National recognition for Newcastle University’s teaching excellence

For the second year in a row, three Newcastle academics have been elected as National Teaching Fellows. 

Awarded by Advance HE, the fellowships recognise excellence in enhancing and transforming student outcomes and teaching. Newcastle University’s Dr Clare Guilding, Professor Simon Tate and Dr Iain Keenan are among this year’s 56 new National Teaching Fellows.  

In 2017, Dr Guilding took up the position of Dean of Academic Affairs in Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), leading the development and implementation of Newcastle’s new MBBS curriculum there. She also played a key role in developing the British Pharmacological Society’s (BPS) new undergraduate pharmacology curriculum, now used to develop pharmacology curricula nationally and internationally.  

Clare Guilding

Dr Guilding said:

 “I am honoured to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, which has been achieved through collaborations with wonderful colleagues within and outwith the University. I chose to work at Newcastle University because of its forward-thinking approach to education. I’m grateful for the support and encouragement in developing new initiatives from the academic and professional services teams in the School of Medical Education and at NUMed Malaysia.   

“My role at NUMed has provided me the opportunity to work in an international capacity and engage more widely with the medical education and pharmacology communities worldwide. I am also thankful for the opportunities for engagement with the wider pharmacology community that have arisen through collaborations with the British Pharmacological Society and the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.  

“I am delighted to join the NTF community and look forward to the ideas and projects that this will inspire.”  

Simon Tate is a Professor of Pedagogy in Higher Education and Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching (DELT) at the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. As a former schoolteacher, he is interested in researching and improving the social and academic transition to university for undergraduate students. In recognition of his work, in 2018 he won Newcastle University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Award.   

Simon Tate
Simon Tate. Newcastle University. Photo: John Millard.

Professor Tate said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. As a former geography teacher, I am passionate about improving the transition to university for all geography students, particularly those from a widening participation background. For me, this award recognises the impact I have had in this area through outreach work with local schools, academic outputs and national policy development.  

“At Newcastle University I feel lucky to be part of a civic university that values the development of excellent teaching and scholarship, and which is committed to providing an inclusive educational experience for all students. As a National Teaching Fellow, I feel incredibly privileged to be joining another community of outstanding educators that will enable me to pursue this work further.”  

Dr Iain Keenan is a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at the School of Medical Education. He was recognised for achieving highly successful outcomes through constructing effective educational frameworks, developing student partnerships and through creative open-access communication of his innovative evidence-based learning approaches.  

Iain Keenan

Dr Keenan said:

“I’m delighted to have received a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of my wide-ranging contributions to anatomical and medical education. It is an honour to be acknowledged for my work in creating successful student-partnerships, evidence-based learning frameworks and global open-access communication strategies.   

“I’m very much looking forward to the many opportunities that my National Teaching Fellowship will provide. For example, I aim to develop effective learning approaches for supporting students in their understanding of challenging concepts through sharing my ideas and working with the wider NTF community. This will enable us to enhance the educational experience of not only individual learners, but also for wider student populations.”  

The three awards bring the total of NTFs awarded to Newcastle University educators to 18.   

As well as this success, the University’s achievements in learning and teaching have also been recognised recently with a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence and Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education said 

 “It’s an extraordinary achievement by all – it’s rare to have three successful NTFS nominations in one year, and even more so two in consecutive years, but to be recognised with CATE as well is exceptional and a ringing endorsement of my colleagues who’ve been recognised, and Newcastle University’s long tradition of excellence in teaching and supporting colleagues to develop and demonstrate their expertise in education.”  

Alison Johns, Advance HE CEO, said:

“I am sure I am joined by the entire sector in congratulating the 2020 NTFS and CATE awardees. All of the winners should be extremely proud of their achievement of what are prestigious, national teaching awards. Their work epitomises the outstanding commitment to teaching in the UK higher education sector, which this year has been more demanding than ever before. Well done to each and every one of them.”  

This is the latest recognition of the high-quality teaching and learning at Newcastle University.  

Newcastle achieved the best possible outcome – a Gold Award – in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), reflecting the quality of teaching, learning and outcomes the University delivers for its students.  

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