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My Fellowship journey

19 Apr 2022 | Professor Saad Znad Darwish Professor Saad Darwish, Professor-Head of Community Engagement and Continuing Education, Kingdom University, Bahrain, recently achieved Principal Fellowship. He describes the strategic aspects of Principal Fellowship and highlights the impact of Fellowship on the student experience.

I have served in many strategic positions that supported the development of higher education institutions. From 1987 to the present day, I served as a Dean, Vice President, and advisor for several universities. I have always focused on developing excellent professional strategic leadership levels and maintained an attitude of excellence.

My professional career has allowed me to collaborate with a broad set of excellent students and colleagues at institutions of higher learning in Iraq, Jordan, and Bahrain. From 1987 to the present day, I have been a college dean, vice president, advisor to the university president and then a Professor of Business Administration at Kingdom University Bahrain. Fellowship and Senior Fellowship have been awarded to me during my career. Through these experiences and working with professional standards, I have come to see my development requirements as pragmatic and strategic, often with the support of mentors and coaches who have encouraged me to grow and critically reflect on what I do.

Fellowship Application Builder: 12 September 2022

A short online, self-directed course of six units designed to enable participants to use their experience of their teaching and supporting learning practice in higher education to develop an application for Fellowship. Find out more

Being an active researcher, helped my path to Principal Fellowship as this has taken me through every aspect of my professional life. My career's progressive approach requires constant planning and response to professional advancement and looking at possible future job criteria. I began looking at the D4 descriptors to realise that I was already working inside some of those characteristics. As a result, I realised that what had been a long-term goal was quickly becoming a reality.

As a result, I took a long hard look at my prior posts and duties with my current responsibilities. Understanding what I was doing in that job and how I might build up evidence over time was critical to my D4 application. Because of my position as an experienced scholar for national and international collaborative provision, some of that evidence and experience flowed easily. Catching the strategic role in academia and reflecting on the implications was a focal point in my thinking and preparation stage.

At the universities where I worked, I was in charge of implementing strategic plans. Having the chance to take the lead on significant challenges in education and learning and some fantastic support from executive teams that listened to my visionary ideas and let me take the initiative were other signs of success. When I began my path to Principal Fellowship, I focused on the practical aspects of professional advancement. Every dialogue provided a chance to evaluate my approach from a variety of perspectives critically, and the process was probably as significant as the final product. Before becoming a Principal Fellow, I challenged myself and posed hard questions to encourage me to develop institutional pieces of evidence and for strategic roles.

It is imperative to explain why Principal Fellow is important? Having my work acknowledged nationally and worldwide allowed me as a scholar to showcase my successes. We must remember that being a Principal Fellow is a chance to interact critically and effectively with the UKPSF, as it is with other levels of fellowship.

At Kingdom University, I was the institution's second Principal Fellow. My most outstanding achievement was when I had the chance to lead a project of helping colleagues get involved in getting their Fellowship. The total of our faculty is 35, and the outcome of my leadership in this project is the success achieved by having 35 of our colleagues who attained FHEA, three attained SHEA, five AFHEA, and the KU President attained PFHEA, and still more to go. Besides, student surveys showed an extensive shift in their feedback on faculty performance regarding teaching techniques and classroom management.

I needed more time to collect evidence of the effect of tactics and policies.  By obtaining PFHEA, I've seen the world in a new light and I have an excellent feeling of confidence in my abilities at a strategic level.

Since then, I have been actively engaging in strategic discussions around PF with colleagues inside and outside of my institution. Principal Fellows community offers their knowledge, compassion, rigorousness, and insight. That is an excellent incentive to start working for and attaining PF.

Professor Saad Darwish completed his Ph.D. in Business Administration in Risk Management from the University of Westminster in the UK, and his Master of Insurance Management from the University of Baghdad.  He attained his B.Sc. in BA at Al-Hikmah American University in Baghdad. He has written nearly seventy research papers both in English and Arabic and author of eight books in Business and Management.

Principal Fellow Record of Educational Impact 

Colleagues who are in the process of completing their direct Principal Fellow application and looking for more guidance on the Record of Educational Impact (REI) element of their submission can book Principal Fellow Record of Educational Impact Support Session at Advance HE. Participants will be asked to complete a template on which to collate their strategic interventions, and will receive constructive feedback in a convenient, virtual, one-to-one session with an experienced Advance HE reviewer. Find out more.

Professional Standards Framework Review 2022

The Professional Standards Framework (PSF) has become a globally-recognised framework for benchmarking success within HE teaching and learning. Since it was last updated in 2011, the learning and teaching landscape within HE has changed considerably making a review necessary to ensure the framework continues to be relevant to higher education now and in the future. As custodians of the PSF, we committed to this review on behalf of the sector in our Strategy 2021-24. Find out more


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