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Senior Fellowship key part of continuous professional development at Coventry University

30 Mar 2021 | Advance HE As our Senior Fellow Month celebrations draw to a close, staff from Coventry University give us their thoughts on the impact of Senior Fellowship, both on individuals and the institution.

Adeboya Dada, Lecturer in Business Management

I applied for Senior Fellowship through a Coventry University CPD Scheme and achieved the recognition in November 2020. I applied for Senior Fellowship as I have led, and continue to demonstrate leadership competencies, in teaching and learning which relate to Descriptor 3 of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

My reflection provides a succinct account of my leadership experience with specific focus on actions that have inspired others’ vision, learning, and to do more. I have been privileged to lead HE programmes, influencing colleagues through innovative initiatives in course designing; developing and managing Business and Management curricula within and outside the UK since 2005.

Even though I only recently achieved Senior Fellowship status, one great benefit so far surrounds the continuous consolidation of my personal development. This realisation has enhanced my confidence while influencing other colleagues’ professional practice within the University community which has resulted in being trusted more, and recognised for, upholding professional standards.

Similarly, the status offered more leadership prospects in the area of teaching and learning as well as leading on programmes that enrich student experience. Specifically, prosperous employers have identified the post-nominals and used these as a condition of appointment for management and leadership positions.

adeboya dada coventry
From our own evaluation of the University’s direct route to fellowship we are aware of the impact engaging with the scheme can have on staff confidence and self-esteem and with that a willingness to share ideas and expertise with their peers. Over 75% of staff engaging with our scheme identified greater confidence as a key impact and over 70% indicated it led to them supporting their colleagues.

Drawing on that confidence and willingness to share, staff gaining Senior Fellowship, who have therefore demonstrated academic leadership as well as joining our assessor pool, are invited to play an active role in the institutions course development process. As reviewers in the development process they engage with colleagues from across the University. As well as drawing on their experience it therefore continues to provide them with developmental opportunities."

Martin Jenkins, Head of Academic Development

Heather Bibbings, Course Director and Lecturer in Architectural Technology

As course director and lecturer in Architectural Technology, I have a busy daily workload from curriculum planning to teaching, managing staff and mentoring students as well as marking for all year groups, recruiting new students and promoting the course and profession. I liaise with external practices and professionals to deliver the best experience and learning possible for the students as well as external examining and keeping my professional knowledge current and relevant.

I achieved Senior Fellowship status in November 2020 through the written accreditation process. I found that it was immensely helpful to reflect on exactly how much I had achieved whilst in my current position, which is sometimes difficult to spend the time doing when completing everyday tasks and teaching full time. It really helped me to realise my own value, together with that which I have been giving to the students and other staff. The headings were also extremely useful to consider the impact of my work upon external institutions and really helped to give a rounded view of the impact of my work both within Coventry University and the wider education system.

The benefit from being a Senior Fellow has been immense personal pride in gaining the award which demonstrates that I have been working at this level, and should assist with both future promotions internally within the institution and to external professional body accreditations. I have been subsequently asked to be a panel assessor which is a huge honour and further helps me to connect with colleagues within the institution and to gain an insight into how other faculties and levels of staff work, helping me to feel connected as a staff member with others which is useful at this unusual time of remote working.

The Senior Fellow process has really helped me to enhance my teaching and learning and to continue to use the methods that are giving positive outcomes for students, whilst also keeping my own passion for learning throughout this busy time!

heather bibbings coventry

Dr Jason Jordan, Deputy Head of School for Energy, Construction and Environment

I am an Associate Professor in Physical Geography whose research and teaching interests lie in past present and future climate change, global sea level change and tsunami hazard. I have worked at Coventry since 2006 and have previously been a Course Director and Associate Head of Student Experience. I was awarded Senior Fellowship in 2018.

As an assessor for the Coventry submissions to the various Fellowship levels of Advance HE I have had the privilege of reading some exceptional applications that demonstrate to me the high level of engagement that we hold dear in order to provide the very best student experience. As an institution we aim to be the best and the level of staff development and support that we encourage and see on a daily basis from our staff at every level across the University is exceptional. Staff supporting each other, staff supporting students and indeed the move towards mentoring and student led peer to peer support is fantastic to see.

The more complex our group becomes and the move towards blended and online delivery has meant that rapid changes have had to be embraced by all of our teaching staff and this is evident in the applications to Advance HE. Staff are using new methods to encourage engagement and feedback and feedforward in all aspects of course design and implementation that I find incredibly encouraging. We have students at the very heart of what we do, and this is always evident in the applications for Fellowship.

jason jordan coventry

In celebration of Senior Fellow Month, we will be sharing stories from Senior Fellows and applicants over the course of March. 

Are you an individual able to provide evidence of a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning, incorporating for example, the organisation, leadership and/or management of specific aspects of teaching and learning provision? Then Senior Fellowship may be for you.

For further information, resources and and guidance on applying, visit our dedicated Senior Fellowship page.


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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