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Dr Jenny Lawrence

Jenny is Director of the Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development at Oxford Brookes University. Her research interests include the intersection of staff and student wellbeing and educational leadership, with specific focus on programme leadership.
Job Title
Director of the Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development

As an academic developer Jenny has transformed the HE institutions she has worked with to be more inclusive to staff and students from groups under-represented in HE. Informed by feminist philosophy and critical pedagogy she has developed an effective, transformative praxis.

Jenny prioritises the experience and knowledge of the learning community, balancing this with her expertise to broker collaboration for transformative action. The award of Principal Fellow in 2017 recognised her sustained positive impact and reach, impressive given she has worked part-time since 2006.

Jenny enhances the student experience by developing confident, capable and energised HE teachers. She takes a strategic approach to supporting wellbeing in HE and strives to create a context where the learning community can thrive. She has led the strategic alignment of educational practices, academic and professional development, and opportunity to excel for members of the learning communities she has worked with in university and college HE settings, bringing together students, academics, scholarly, teaching and learning support staff, employers, student sponsors and senior leaders. She has successfully transformed the HE experience of those she has worked with enhancing student retention, learning gain and overall satisfaction.

She studied as a mature student at the University of Hull, her hometown university. She discovered she is dyslexic in her final year of study, and graduated in Philosophy and Gender Studies in 1997. She completed her PhD in 2002. She returned to the University of Hull in 2018 and was promoted to Head of the Teaching Excellence Academy in 2019. She has successfully transformed academic development practices and significantly increased engagement with professional learning across the University. The Academy was integral to the 26 place uplift in the 2019 Times HE University rankings, 17 place uplift in the Complete University Guide 2020, and enhanced NSS results 2020.

By leading development activities and publishing academic development resources she has enhanced support for Programme Leaders internationally. In 2017 she completed a part-time M.Ed in Teaching and Learning in HE at the University of Sheffield. Her scholarly interests lie in the interrelationship of staff and student wellbeing and educational and academic leadership, with a particular focus on Programme Leadership and College HE.

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.