Dr Steve Gaskin, Professor Roger Eston and Psychology's Professor Alex Haslam

Professor Alex Haslam wins national award

Three lecturers at the University of Exeter have been honoured with prestigious national awards for their outstanding contribution to student learning experiences.

Professor Roger Eston, Dr Steve Gaskin, and Professor Alex Haslam have all received National Teaching Fellowships from the Higher Education Academy. It is very unusual for one University to achieve three Fellowships in one year.

They are among 50 winners chosen from nominations by higher education institutions across England and Northern Ireland. Each winner will receive an award of £10,000 to be used for professional development in teaching.

Professor Haslam works in the School of Psychology and is part of a team of internationally renowned researchers who carry out research on a range of social and organisational topics. This includes leadership and motivation, stereotyping and prejudice, group conflict and tyranny, stress and well-being.

He said: "It’s great to get this award — primarily as a vindication of the strategy for engaging with students that I and my close collaborator, Steve Reicher, have pursued over the last eight years.  In the process of seeking to get the message of our research out to a broad range of students, we’ve had to rethink many of our ideas about both teaching and science, but it has also been enormously rewarding. This is very much the icing on the cake.”

Professor Eston has headed up the University’s School of Sport and Health Sciences for the past five years. His leadership, combined with his drive and enthusiasm, have been key to establishing the quality of the student learning experience in the School among the top three in the UK (National Student Survey 2007-09, The Guardian and The Times University Guides 2009-11).

He said: “It’s wonderful to receive this award. The support of my past and present students, as well as the colleagues who I’ve worked with over the last 28 years is so much appreciated. I enjoy creating novel learning experiences, seeing my students publish their work and bringing out the best in those who rely on me for advice, tuition or supervision.”

Dr Gaskin is the University’s Head of Skills in Education Enhancement, a role which sees him helping to improve many aspects of students’ personal and professional development. He has shared his expertise in this field by running workshops at leading universities, and he has worked with institutions around the world.

He said: “I believe university life can literally transform people – intellectually, culturally and socially. Enabling our students to get the best academic experience at Exeter is at the very heart of what I do. This national award means a lot to me. The University, including my own team, has been instrumental in enabling me to make an individual but significant contribution in this crucial part of the Exeter experience.”

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is part of an overall Academy programme to raise the status of learning and teaching in higher education. The awards aim to raise the profile of learning and teaching, recognise and celebrate individuals who make an outstanding impact on the student learning experience, and provide a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.

Awards will be presented to Fellows at a celebration event in London on Wednesday 29 September 2010.

Date: 24 June 2010

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