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From left: John Curnow, Jane James, Graham Timmins, Sarah King and Jonathan Green collect the Spotlight award.

The University of Birmingham has won a Spotlight Award in the Global Teaching Excellence Award (GTEA) 2018 – recognising its ‘exemplary vision for achieving teaching excellence across the whole institution’.

The award commends the University for its drive to give students a challenging and stimulating learning experience, whilst placing research at the heart of teaching.

Birmingham was described as providing “an excellent example of how teaching excellence can be achieved in a large, comprehensive and multicultural higher education environment”.

Run by Advance HE, GTEA is now in its second year and recognises outstanding institution-wide approaches to teaching. The award is open to all universities and higher education providers world-wide.

Making the award, judges noted that the University “shows outstanding vision for achieving excellence in teaching with clear KPIs, targets, process, and evidence. The institution provides impressive evidence regarding challenges that stretch students’ learning experiences and embed research within the curricula.”

Of the 17 finalists, five institutions – including Birmingham - were particularly commended by the international panel of judges. 

Professor Kathleen Armour, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Birmingham, said: "The University of Birmingham is delighted to receive this award. To achieve teaching excellence we are ensuring that all of our staff have access to career-long professional development in learning and teaching.

“We are committed to sharing best practice across the University, engaging with, and learning from, good practice nationally and internationally. To this end we have set up our new Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi) to support staff in delivering effective and innovative teaching throughout their careers.

“The University has long recognised the importance of research-intensive teaching, independent study and peer-to-peer learning, which are central to our philosophy. 

“Our graduates are among the most highly sought after in the world, which is testament to the quality of our teaching and extracurricular provision. Research-intensive universities such as Birmingham deliver an outstanding student experience in which excellent teaching is enhanced by world-class research and facilities. We put students at the heart of what we do and I am pleased that this has been recognised once again.” 

GTEA 2018 finalists include Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Universidad de Deusto (Spain), University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and University of Wollongong (Australia).

Alison Johns, Advance HE chief executive, said, “The quality of submissions this year is truly outstanding. The geographic spread and diversity of institution type among our 2018 finalists underlines that teaching excellence and institutional commitment to its achievement is evident around the world. Congratulations to all our finalists and the Spotlight winners.”

Svava Bjarnason, chair of the GTEA judging panel and a former member of the World Bank Education Sector Board, said, “Once again, the GTEA awards have highlighted the key role of leadership and institution-wide approaches to learning and teaching. I would add my congratulations to all of the winners and I would encourage other institutions to enter these awards because they provide a great framework to reflect on the delivery of excellent teaching and an enhanced student academic experience.”

For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312 . Out-of-hours +44 (0)7789 921165.

William Syms, HEA Head of Communication & Partnership Manager on +44 (0)1904 717647 or +44 (0)7714 773210 or +44 (0) 7500 063320. 

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • Details about the GTEA 2019 will be available in autumn 2018.