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2020 and 2021 NTFs and CATE winners celebrate Teaching Excellence Awards

28 Mar 2022 | Advance HE National Teaching Fellows and CATE winners celebrate 2020 and 2021 awards in combined ceremony.

One hundred and eleven National Teaching Fellows and 29 winning teams of the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 and 2021 celebrated their achievements at the first in-person awards ceremony since 2019, held at Aerospace Bristol on 24 March.

The National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) Scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education. The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning, and highlights the key role of teamwork in higher education. 

Dining beneath Concorde

Tracy Bell-Reeves, Director of Programmes and Events, Advance HE

Tracy Bell-Reeves, Director of Programmes and Events at Advance HE, welcomed the combined cohorts of 2020 and 2021 to the awards ceremony calling them the “standard-bearers of outstanding practice”. She said, “It is with enormous pride that we run the NTF and CATE awards for the sector. It’s the sector’s opportunity to recognise excellence in teaching and specifically to say ‘well done and thank you’ to all of the awardees”.

Tracy expressed her thanks to the Fellowship team for running the awards process and the Events team for organising the first-ever combined ceremony. She also thanked Professor Becky Huxley-Binns and all advisory panel members, including Ben Calvert Vice-Chancellor at University of South Wales for their time, commitment and expertise in supporting the awards and ensuring that the review process for these highly competitive awards is rigorous and fair to all nominees.

Addressing the winners directly, Tracy said, “The challenges of offering an outstanding teaching experience for students over the past two years have been very demanding, but I believe the sector has risen to the challenge. Many of those challenges remain as we emerge – understandably cautiously – from the pandemic. But we should do so with confidence, knowing that we learned a great deal and that we have outstanding practitioners, such as yourselves. Colleagues will look to you as National Teaching Fellows and CATE winners for inspiration. Students too, will be the beneficiaries, directly or indirectly, of your innovation and good practice as they continue to grapple with their disrupted learning experience. They have been through especially challenging times and this disruption has of course affected generations who will follow those currently in higher education.

“So these awards, while celebratory are genuinely important in sign-posting colleagues across the sector to evidence-based good practice”.

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, University of Hull

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, University of Hull, and Chair, UK Teaching Excellence Awards Advisory Panel thanked the previous Chair, Professor Stephen May, who oversaw the process for the 2020 and 2021 awards.

In her speech she spoke of making new happy memories, which she admitted was not always easy over the past two years. “Whatever the media says, universities didn't close during the pandemic. The extent to which we were on campus may depend on our role or our discipline but nobody had a normal experience.”

However, she said the pandemic brought about opportunities to do things differently at work, and importantly for her “to think differently about what we do”.

She encouraged all the 2020 and 2021 winners to make the ceremony a “happy memory”, and to take “a moment to drink in the celebration of you and what you have achieved”.

She said, “Whenever I reflect on memories of teaching, I go to those teachers who inspired me. The ones who see something in you that you didn't see in yourself; the ones who developed your self-belief, influenced your confidence, self-perception or motivation.

“I want to make you think about the happy memories that you are in other people's minds. There is no one in this room winning an award who isn't a memory to someone else”.

2020 and 2021NTFS and CATE winners

Find out more about the Teaching Excellence Awards and access a full list of winners here. Nominations for 2023 will open in October 2022.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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