Two members of staff at the University of Birmingham have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). 

Dr Ruth Whittle, Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Birmingham’s Department of Modern Languages, and Michael Grove, Director of the University of Birmingham’s STEM Education Centre are to receive a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) for excellence in higher education teaching.

The successful NTFs, chosen from over 180 nominations submitted by higher education institutions from across England, Northern Ireland and Wales, each receive an award of £10,000 to be used to support their professional development. The academics have shown evidence of three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence.

Dr Ruth Whittle has been a lecturer in German at the University of Birmingham for 20 years. She has widely researched and published in the areas of language study and internationalisation, women in German literature and their role in literary history.

Dr Whittle said: “The NTF will afford me some much-valued freedom to further pursue my teaching research and innovative work with colleagues in the areas of transition and internationalisation; I receive recognition for it from the University, and I have significant opportunities to progress my research with the support of the community of NTFs”.

Michael Grove leads the University of Birmingham’s Mathematics Support Centre which was established to ensure undergraduate students have access to prompt support to aid their learning.  His teaching interests include supporting students at the transition to university, particularly in relation to non-specialist learning of mathematics, the teaching of mechanics, enhancing modelling and problem-solving skills. 

Michael Grove said: “I am delighted to be chosen to receive a prestigious NTF. While the award recognises individual contributions to enhancing the student experience, it is also a fitting recognition for the University of Birmingham and its strong commitment to teaching and learning which has allowed me to undertake these activities both institutionally and nationally. The National Teaching Fellowship will provide a great platform upon which to continue my work.”

Professor Jeff Bale, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Birmingham said: “The National Teaching Fellowships recognise excellence, innovation and leadership in teaching and learning. We are delighted with the award of these prestigious Fellowships to Ruth and Michael.”

  • The NTFs scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.


  • For further information about the HEA, please visit their website.


  • For further information please contact Faye Jackson at the University of Birmingham Press Office on +44 (0)121 414 6029 for out of hours enquiries please email the press office or call +44 (0)7789921165