The first cohort of Birmingham Teaching Fellows will be talented teaching stars at Lecturer or Senior Lecturer level. We looked for outstanding scholars across a range of disciplines who demonstrated teaching excellence and innovation and proved that they could act as educational catalysts.
The Birmingham Teaching Fellows will provide scholarly leadership of our teaching and learning agenda and will be part of the Birmingham Fellows cohort. Fellows will receive support for continuous professional development, an academic mentor and will have access to a University-wide network of additional support and mentoring.
We have a strong commitment to enhancing our teaching and learning, and expect that our new Birmingham Fellows will play a key role in developing this bold and ambitious strategy. The Fellows will play a key role in developing our new Teaching Academy, a first for a Russell Group institution.
The Birmingham Fellows -Teaching is not a stand-alone initiative, but will be supported by the creation of a Teaching Academy and the implementation of a Curriculum Review.
The Teaching Academy will encourage excellence, innovation, scholarship and leadership in teaching and implement an evidence-based approach to teaching practices and enhancement. It will be a forum for staff involved in teaching to take part in activities designed to identify, promote and share good practice and will encourage the development of a scholarly community in teaching across the University. The Academy will promote the recognition and reward for excellent teaching, scholarship and leadership, raising the profile of teaching around the University and seek to develop policy at national and international level.
The University has undertaken a major review of its undergraduate curriculum across all areas of academic engagement with our students. The multiple themes of the review can be effectively summarised under four overarching principles. The Birmingham curriculum:
Offers breadth, stretch, challenge and opportunity (Birmingham Project and 'Widening Horizon' modules in the post-examination period, 'Personal Development' module, flexible structure of Joint Honours degrees, International experience opportunity for all students, access to a range of 'Language modules)
Is personalised and supportive ('Transition Review' for all first year students, enhanced personal tutoring system, emphasis on small group teaching, new 'Academic Skills Centre' to support mathematics and academic writing, major investment in 'employability')
Engages students in their learning experience (student-led educational enhancement projects, University-wide review of assessment policy, diversifying modes of teaching delivery; piloting 'Grade Point Average' to record student achievement, 'Enhanced Transcript' at graduation)
Promotes and values excellence in teaching (new Teaching Academy, the Birmingham Fellows, and introduction of a journal for teaching and learning - Education in Practice))
The University of Birmingham identified 14 priority areas for recruitment from across the five Colleges in 2014.