HEFi Teaching & Learning Awards

HEFi Teaching & Learning Awards celebrate teaching excellence in the context of our contemporary, research-intensive university. The HEFi Awards are peer-nominated, and the aim is to recognise academic and professional services colleagues who design, deliver and/or support exceptional student learning. 

HEFi Awards Group

In addition to the HEFi Awards this year we are inviting colleagues across the University to recognise and evidence the hard work, commitment, and compassion of those who have supported our University community to meet the challenges we have faced in 2020 and 2021. Alongside the more formal awards we are also inviting you to showcase a colleague who has made a difference to you as you have tackled the challenges of Covid 19 through our HEFi thank you scheme.

Nominations for 2020/21 are open from now until Monday 24th May 2021. All staff, academic and professional, are eligible for nomination. 


Up to five individuals (or small teams) are shortlisted in each category. Winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony during the HEFi Festival.

Learn more about the HEFi Awards categories for 2020/21, which are: 

The Award for Digital Learning

Two awards will be made (one individual and one team) to staff who have demonstrated innovation in online teaching and support that has had a positive impact on student learning over the last 12 months. The judges will be looking for innovation that has had a transformative effect on teaching during the pandemic and that has the potential to be both sustainable and transferable into other contexts.

The Award for Inclusive Education

Two awards (one individual and one team) will recognise a commitment to developing an inclusive learning environment, whether face-to-face or online, in which all students feel they belong, are respected, and can learn optimally. The judges will be looking for best practice in inclusive learning design and evidence of strategies for inclusive education that could be transferable into other contexts.

The Award for Educational Leadership

The award recognises the full range of educational leadership that exists in the University of Birmingham and the many ways in which leadership has been demonstrated in our response to the pandemic. Two awards will be made this year, to individuals who have used their leadership skills to promote a commitment to compassionate, inclusive, innovative approaches to teaching and supporting learning.  The judges will be looking for individuals who, in their own immediate context and beyond, have supported, guided and/or influenced others to adapt to new ways of working and have a positive impact on student learning. 

The Award for Outstanding Support for Student Education

Two awards (one individual and one team) will recognise those who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to supporting students to learn and preparing them for their futures against the backdrop of the pandemic.  The judges will be looking for evidence of student-centred practice that has fostered a sense of community and has supported students to develop the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful on graduation. Note: Nominations that relate to personal academic tutoring should be made through the Personal Academic Tutor of the Year category.

The Award for Personal Academic Tutor of the Year

Two awards will recognise the vital role that a personal academic tutor has played in supporting and developing their students in an uncertain, changing and challenging environment. The judges will be looking for individuals who have supported students and enhanced the student learning experience through personal tutoring in a bi-modal learning environment. They will have demonstrated an effective approach to academic support and enabled an environment where staff and students can work together on developing students’ academic skills, personal and employability through the use of innovative tutoring techniques.  

The Award for HEFi Teacher of the Year

This award celebrates the achievements of an outstanding colleague who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the provision of education at the University of Birmingham. The award winner will have a passion and drive for education that is recognised and respected by their peers and (where appropriate) students. The judges will be looking for evidence of teaching and leadership informed by engagement with research, impact on student learning, a commitment to reflection, collaboration and continuing professional development, and extensive influence that makes a notable difference to the provision of teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

 Please contact hefi@contacts.bham.ac.uk if you require any further information about these awards