A new collaboration between Advance HE and the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) has led to the first military officer, Col Lorna Swinyard, achieving Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Col Swinyard achieved Principal Fellowship status through a trial HEA Fellowship cohort delivered by Advance HE within the UK Defence Academy, as recognition of her sustained record of effective, strategic leadership in academic practice as a key contribution to high quality student learning in higher education.
The Defence Academy is part of the Ministry of Defence, and delivers courses leadership, strategy, science and technology, and business skills for armed forces personnel from the UK and around the world.
The collaboration follows discussions between Air Vice-Marshal Luck, Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) and his staff, and Professor Sally Bradley, Academic Lead – Professional Learning and Development, Advance HE, about the reward and recognition of staff leading and delivering teaching within the Defence Academy.
By entering a partnership with Advance HE, the Commandant stated his intentions to: offer staff the opportunity to be rewarded and recognised for their teaching while in service, and beyond, through HEA Fellowship; provide an avenue for reflecting on teaching practice and continuous professional development; and to highlight institutional and individual commitment to best practice in leading and delivering outstanding teaching.
In the pilot scheme, Professor Bradley is providing workshops and support for two groups of staff to achieve Fellowship, with up to five staff in strategic roles relating to learning and teaching applying for Principal Fellowship, and the opportunity for up to 20 DS to apply for HEA Fellowship, Associate (AFHEA) or Fellow (FHEA).
Professor Bradley said: “It has been a privilege working with such a committed group of educators at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. Col Swinyard’s Principal Fellowship is a culmination of her achievement in her career as a Ministry of Defence educator and her leadership of learning and teaching within the Defence Academy.”
Commenting on achieving PFHEA, Col Swinyard said: “I was thrilled and surprised to receive my award for Principal Fellowship. The opportunity to reflect on what I have achieved to enhance student learning, promote quality teaching and develop staff has been very valuable. Advance HE accreditation helps to prove education in defence is amongst the best and I’m now focused on spreading the word about the value of Fellowship both internally and externally.”
Advance HE CEO Alison Johns said: “HEA Fellowship demonstrates commitment to learning and teaching and the student experience, as well as allowing teaching staff to reflect on their own professional practice. We are delighted to be working with the Defence Academy and look forward to welcoming many more Fellows through this partnership.”