Education news

Ulster University celebrates outstanding academic impact with three National Teaching Fellowships

Dr Liz Doherty, Dr Malachy Ó Néill and Professor Colin Turner

THREE of Ulster University's teaching staff have been celebrated for their outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession.

Dr Liz Doherty from the School of Arts and Humanities, Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of the Magee campus, and Professor Colin Turner from the School of Engineering, join a distinguished group of academics.

The three have been recognised by the National Teaching Fellowship scheme.

Institutions can nominate three people each year and for the first time, all three UU nominees have been successful.

Fellows play a continuing role in enhancing teaching and learning within their institution, the higher education sector and further afield.

Dr Doherty is an internationally renowned performer with extensive experience in guiding national policy in traditional music. Since her appointment in 2007, she has used her sectoral leadership to spearhead the teaching of traditional music at UU. She has led the development of a community of learning in traditional music, extending the student learning experience beyond the classroom.

Dr Ó Néill is an eminent academic in Irish language and literature and Provost of the Magee campus in Derry. He is respected for his contribution to building academic communities across disciplines and faculties and his passion for the understanding of language in general and Irish in particular. His activities span education sectors, from primary school through to higher education.

Prof Turner is described as "a truly student-centred educator". His vision for an Engineering Society, confidence in his students while head of school and mentoring of the Ulster Society of Student Engineers brought to life a true staff-student partnership. He is president of the Engineering Professors' Council, through which he will champion the role of engineering in higher education.

UU Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said the fellowships were deserved recognition of the talent of UU's academic community and importance it must continue to place on teaching and the student learning experience.

"As one of only three UK universities to receive the maximum of three fellowships awarded, this is an outstanding performance from Ulster academics on the national stage," Prof Nixon said.

"It is rewarding to reflect on the very many young people, external partners and communities that have been inspired, supported and encouraged by Liz, Malachy and Colin and by teaching staff right across our university."

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Paul Bartholomew added that the fellowships were richly deserved.

"Our latest National Teaching Fellows are representative of a committed body of teaching colleagues who continue to deliver academic excellence in spite of the challenges presented by a constrained operating environment for HE locally," he said.

"This personal and institutional success reflects the importance of fostering a staff culture that encourages new thinking, innovative practices, collaborative working, external networks, and with our students as partners at the heart of teaching and learning."

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