90% of academic staff at Walailak University are now recognised as Fellows, after working with Advance HE for a number of years on professional development for teaching and learning. To mark the achievement, Walailak University hosted an online event celebrating the impact of Fellowship on its staff body and the institution.
The celebration event took place online on 16 November and was opened by speeches from Professor Dr Wichit Srisa-an, Chairman of Walailak University and the first Principal Fellow in Thailand, and Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, President of Walailak University. Both speeches highlighted the importance of teaching to the institution. As Professor Wichit noted:
“Great teachers are the beginning of a university’s development.”
The session was attended by Fellows across Walailak University and a team from Advance HE, including Kathy Wright (Assistant Director of Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery), Andy Hudson (Advance HE Teaching and Learning Associate) and Ian Hall (Head of Membership, International).
Walailak University have been working with Advance HE since 2018 and have supported several cohorts of staff to participate in the Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE) programme. The programme is aligned to the Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in HE (PSF) and staff are encouraged to apply for Fellowship upon completion of the programme. This has led to over 90% of their academic staff being awarded one of the four categories of Fellowship, including one Principal Fellow and 56 Senior Fellows.
The impact of Fellowship on the institution was outlined in 2020, when it was revealed that the drop out rate among first year students had decreased from close to 30% to less than 2% since they began taking part in the CLTHE. Recognising the impact of the programme, Walailak University’s Vice President for Global Engagement and Faculty Development, Associate Professor Dr. Surin Maisrikrod, said at the time: “There is now a culture of teaching at Walailak University. Before this work, staff did not talk about teaching, whereas now you can hear them discussing their teaching in everyday conversations. Student learning is at the heart of all our work.”
Kathryn Harrison-Graves, Director of Membership and Accreditation at Advance HE said: “The work that Walailak University have done to support the development of teaching over the past three years has been nothing short of fantastic, and is reflective of their strategic commitment to the learning experience of their students. We are delighted to be working with them and are equally delighted at the huge impact that the CLTHE programme and the Fellowship scheme has had on their teaching faculty.
“Supporting the enhancement of teaching and learning is core to the work of Advance HE and the Fellowship scheme is a big part of that. We are very proud that we have recently awarded the 150,000th Fellowship and it is both inspiring and uplifting to see growing global engagement with this important recognition scheme. Walailak University are a valued member and we send our congratulations to both the university on reaching a wonderful milestone, and to the individuals who have been awarded their Fellowship.”
Taking place on 2 December 2021, this free-to-attend webinar will provide an introduction to the PSF and Fellowship with speakers from Advance HE, partner institutions and fellows. It will explore the benefits Fellowship provides institutions and individuals with a specific focus on examples from Central Asia.