HEFi Awards 2022

Teaching Excellence was celebrated through HEFi's 2022 awards at a ceremony in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens 

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Details of winners are below:

Personal Academic Tutor of the Year 

This year, for the first time, we invited students to nominate staff for the Award for Personal Academic Tutor of the Year and ran this award in partnership with the Guild of Students. We had a fantastic response from students to our call for nominations with many staff nominated in a very competitive category.

 Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Lisa Hill   -MDS
  • Sarah Hall - CoSS 
  • Phil Jones - LES
  • Claire CrawfordCoSS

Firstly, we wanted to highly commend Sarah Hall. Sarah’s nominations emphasised her commitment to her students, her passion for learning, and her endless support and care. She is best summed up by one of the nominations which said “Sarah Hall has been the best tutor anyone could ask for!”

The winner in this category was someone who is described as adding positivity and support to everything they do for students. Someone that students say they always feel comfortable talking to, that actively supports their personal and academic development and always offers support to help them achieve their future career. Described by one student as someone who is a role model and who has inspired them to work exceptionally hard in order to get where they want to in their career. The winner is Lisa Hill.

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Award for Inclusive Education

There were two awards in this category – one individual and one team. This award recognised a commitment to developing an inclusive learning environment in which all students feel they belong, are respected, and can learn optimally. 

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Eleanor Cull - LES
  • Jacqui Chetty - EPS
  • Ash Stokoe - CoSS
  • Claudia Favero - EPS
  • The foundation year team - EPS

Our first winner volunteered to support staff in their school on how they could bring areas particularly associated with inclusivity, but also around accessibility to online material. Their nomination explains that they have been providing 5 - 10 min introductions to specific topics in the area with practical guidance on how it can be implemented during staff meetings - this ensures that ideas are shared and helps staff to understand the importance placed on the topic by the University and School. The winner was Claudia Favero from EPS.


Our second winner was a team that, recognising  that the pandemic would disproportionately impact upon disadvantaged students, and keen to provide as much support as possible, redesigned their induction process and developed additional ways to support students to better foster a sense of belonging, develop study skills and model effective peer-working in order to improve students’ participation, reduce the risk of drop-out and narrow the awarding gap. Our second winner was the EPS Foundation Year Team



Award for Support for Student Education

There were two awards in this category – one individual and one team. This award recognised staff and teams who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to supporting students to learn and preparing them for their futures.  

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Jenny Mullins-White – Careers Network
  • Ayoub Bouguettaya LES
  • Laura Jones - MDS
  • Louise Jackson MDS
  • Olivia Goncalves - LES
  • Chemistry Directors / Senior Tutor Team  - EPS
  • Physician Associate Teaching Team - MDS
  • Simulated Practice Placement: Child Development – MDS

Firstly, the judges wanted to highly commend Louise Jackson. Her nomination described how, during Covid, Louise organised socially distanced picnics and walks in Winterbourne for new students, noticing when students became isolated and ensuring support. She is held in high esteem by her colleagues and her students and we would like to congratulate her for her work.

The first award winner has worked tirelessly in the re-design of their module to engage students. From adding contemporary research to including jokes and memes that students said helped them to recall key concepts. The winner’s nomination told of how they have fostered a sense of community through their second year tutor role and have volunteered with the Birmingham Project, leading their team to victory! The winner was Ayoub Bouguettaya.

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Our second winner was a team who have held weekly year group meetings to guide students through the ever-changing teaching & learning environment, into, through and out of lockdown. These meetings have been used to update students on the latest changes to teaching practices, guide them in key tasks for the coming weeks and gather feedback from the student cohort to address concerns in a timely fashion. These meetings have been effective in keeping students informed, explaining the reasons behind decisions, allowing students to raise concerns and issues while also seeing those issues addressed – all of which contributed to NSS success last year. The winning team was: Chemistry Directors / Senior Tutor Team in EPS.


Award for Digital Learning Innovation

This award recognised an individual or team that has demonstrated innovation in digital education and support that has had a positive impact on student learning over the last 12 months.

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • The MDS / HEFi Digital Team
  • The EPS / LES Collaborative Teaching Laboratory Team

The judges wanted to commend the EPS / LES CTL team for a continuation of their work to provide an enhanced, personalised learning experience through the innovative use of Educational Technology. The team continue to lead the way in providing an all-round learning experience enhanced by Educational Technology.

The winners were the MDS / HEFi Digital Team, who have replaced a paper-based system with a digitised clinical skills accreditation for undergraduate medical students at Birmingham. By September 2022 there will be 1400 undergraduate medical students and 100 postgraduate Physician’s Associate students using the electronic clinical skills passport through the Pebblepocket app, to capture observed practice sign-off across all placement trusts associated with Birmingham Medical School. This is a big transformation from the paper process of previous years. 

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The Award for Educational Leadership

This award recognised the full range of educational leadership that exists in the University of Birmingham and the many ways in which leadership is demonstrated. 

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Clare Ray - MDS
  • Teresa  Thomas - MDS
  • Jonathan Mueller - MDS
  • Derek Ward - MDS

 The winner has supported MDS to progress from recruiting less than 1% of students from widening participation backgrounds onto its undergraduate medicine programme to 20%. They have led the development of a programme of peer mentoring and personal and professional development, “MDS Pathways”, for all students who enter the College of Medical and Dental Sciences via WP programmes, positively impacting students’ transition to university and their sense of belonging.  They have provided academic leadership for the development and implementation of the University’s Access and Participation Plan (APP) directly contributing to the University’s APP targets being met ahead of schedule and the narrowing of access, success and progression gaps. The winner of the award for educational leadership was Clare Ray.

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HEFi Teacher of the Year

Our final award of the evening was the Award for Teacher of the Year. This award celebrated the achievements of an outstanding colleague who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the provision of education at the University of Birmingham.

Two academics were shortlisted in this category.

The first is Shailen Popat. Described as outstanding, innovative and inclusive Shailen is a teacher who has inspired both his students and his colleagues, influencing teaching across his School. His nominations speak to how he has reinvigorated teaching and contributed to a student-focussed approach to education. His teaching style is accessible, he has a focus on authentic approaches to teaching and assessment, and he designs learning opportunities that take into account the diversity of his students.

The second wass Caroline Chapain. Described as an inspirational colleague and educator, Caroline is dedicated to the development and sharing of good practice in education - not just in her own teaching, but across her department and the wider Business School. Caroline is highly committed to the promotion of equality, diversity, and inclusion in and through her teaching. She supports  others in the School and Department by putting on workshops for academic colleagues focussed on decolonising the curriculum, and in her leadership of a research project exploring educator attitudes towards this.

And the winner was Shailen Popat

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More photo's can be found below:
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