HEFi Awards 2023

Teaching Excellence was celebrated through HEFi's 2023 awards at a ceremony at the Edgbaston Park Hotel. 

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Details of winners are below:

Personal Academic Tutor of the Year 

For the second year, 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:

  • Craig Blunt   - CAL
  • Apurav Bhatiya - CoSS
  • Mohamed Haffar – Dubai

The winner in this category received nominations which emphasised a combination of academic support (developing critical thinking, linking theory to practice), skills support (time management, learning on / off-line, effective use of feedback) and personal support (particularly through Covid).

The winner was Mohamed Haffar.



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:

  • Scott White - LES
  • Marjorie Collaco - HEFi (MDS)
  • HEFi CAL Digital Team
  • LLM Energy and Environmental Law Team - CAL

The first award winner has championed the use of new, innovative technology including 3D printing, image-creation and photogrammetry to engage students in a range of topics using 3D modelling, showing an innovative and collaborative approach to using his skills and knowledge to ensure as wide a cohort of students as possible can benefit from these methods.  The winner was Dr Scott White.

Scott White Winner

Our second winner was a team who run a highly innovative online LLM Programme. Rooted in the research expertise of colleagues in Birmingham Law School delivering the programme, it enables students to experience world leading research led teaching. The LLM contains new modules designed to reflect the cutting-edge modes of delivery- digital access with a global reach.  The winners were The LLM Energy and Environmental Law team

LLM winners

The review panel wanted to also give special mention to the other colleagues nominated in this category:  Marjorie Collaco (MDS) and the HEFi Digital Team (CAL).  The work that these colleagues are doing showcases not only the facilities and equipment available to students but also the use of innovative digital tools in their education. Their collaborative work is bringing new dimensions to College portfolios and supporting student learning across the University.


Award for Inclusive Education

Those shortlisted for this award are teams that have demonstrated 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.

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Academic Services EDI Team
  • CEPLER Team in the Birmingham Law School - CAL

The winner in the category are a team which provides extra-curricular opportunities for our law students to provide pro bono legal advice, assistance and public legal education. Over the past few years CEPLER has undertaken a proactive and positive equality, diversity and inclusive review of all its activities and, as a result, CEPLER colleagues have introduced a range of new events/activities. One example is placements with a focus on WP students with support from third party charities and through the School to ensure students have the right clothing to attend law firms and courts.  The winner was CEPLER.

CEPLER Winners


Award for Outstanding Educational Support

This award recognises an individual and team that have demonstrated a sustained and exceptional commitment to supporting their students towards academic success and preparing students for their futures.

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Hannah Heath - LES
  • Pilar Rojas-Gaviria - CoSS
  • Dylan Williams, Laura Hancock, Natalie Rowley, John Wilkie - EPS
  • MPH Dubai Team - MDS
  • NZT Team - EPS

The first winner in the category received nominations which highlighted the revolutionary changes to the support that personal tutors have in their roles. For the first time all the resources tutors need are available in one place and this saves a huge amount of time. This nominee was praised for always goes the extra mile with students and for being especially caring and diligent in following up students that are struggling or have fallen away from the usual pastoral support structures.  The winner was Hannah Heath.

Hannah Heath Winner

The Second winners were nominated because they have developed, implemented and evaluated a new skills curriculum in  degree programmes. Existing skills lectures were replaced with PBL projects co-authored with academic and industrial partners and graduates. Projects and assessments were designed to support the development of a strong sense of community. When surveyed over 80% of respondents agreed that the activity improved their confidence of working in teams, that the activity improved their awareness of EDI in the subject and that the project was an effective way of facilitating EDI conversations with peers.  The winners were the Chemistry Integrated Skills Curriculum Team (Dylan Williams, Laura Hancock, Natalie Rowley, John Wilkie). 

Chemistry winners


The Award for Educational Leadership

This award recognises the full range of educational leadership that exists in the University of Birmingham and the many ways in which leadership is demonstrated. The award will be made to a member of staff who has used their leadership skills to promote a commitment to inclusive, innovative approaches to teaching and supporting learning. 

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Dan Cottle - CoSS/EPS
  • Eike Ritter - EPS
  • Dan Moore - CAL
  • Andrew Quinn - EPS

The winner was chosen because their leadership has been characterised by a strong commitment to inclusive education and creative innovation. Their abilities have been illustrated by the development of new programmes and modules that support recruitment in a difficult time for the College.   The winner was Dan Moore.

Dan moore winner


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.

Those shortlisted in this category were:

  • Pablo Pakula - CAL
  • Ash Stokoe - CoSS
  • Darrelle Villa - LES

And the winner was Darrelle Villa

Darrelle Winners

Darrelle demonstrates exceptional initiative and commitment in the development and continuous improvement of our most popular final year module, LH Psychological Therapies: CBT and Beyond. Students uniformly praise the quality of the module, and Darrelle’s commitment to their learning. Several students (including international) have indicated that this is the first time they have felt a part of a module and been able to speak in front of other students. As testament to the quality of the teaching experience, each week Darrelle has a 5-6pm lecture, which consistently draws approx 200 students (I have never seen so many students in a lecture theatre in that late time slot).

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