The National Teaching Fellowships award celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in Higher Education.

Dr Celia Jenkins, Principal Lecturer in Sociology and Tony Burke, Principal Lecturer in Construction at the University of Westminster, were among the fifty-four winners of the National Teaching Fellowship award, run and announced by Advance HE on Thursday 30 August.

The scheme was open to members of staff from all Higher Education providers across the UK. The award, which has been running since 2000, now counts up to 815 National Teaching Fellows with up to 55 individuals receiving the award each year. On gaining the award, fellows play an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within their institution, the Higher Education section and further afield.

Dr Celia Jenkins, who has been teaching Sociology at the University of Westminster for nearly 30 years, is a Feminist Sociologist specialising in Education, Religion, Migration and Research Methods. She helped to establish cutting-edge interdisciplinary MAs in Women’s Studies, Globalisation and Higher Education. Her leadership roles are associated with student support, including Faculty Senior Tutor and Disability Tutor and participating in university committees on learning, teaching and student experience, about which she cares deeply.

As course leader for Sociology, she successfully steered the course to a 100 per cent satisfaction score in the National Student Survey in 2014 and 2015 as well as second place in London in the 2016 Guardian league tables. Her teaching philosophy includes an inclusive curriculum and a commitment to social justice, providing her mostly ‘non-traditional’ students with the critical knowledge, skills and abilities to exercise their pedagogic rights to personal enhancement, inclusion and political participation.

On receiving the award, Dr Jenkins said: “I am thrilled to receive this award. It means a lot to me to teach Sociology at the University of Westminster, to be able to inspire and support our students through their degrees and to see them grow in confidence and ability. It is a privilege and pleasure to work with my academic colleagues and support services at the University who are also passionate about providing a socially-just pedagogy with and for our students.”

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Tony Burke
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Tony Burke, who is a Principal Lecturer in Construction, has been at the University of Westminster since 1998, and also holds university-wide responsibilities within the University’s Centre for Teaching Innovation. Tony was recognised for his extensive involvement in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in construction and surveying. For ten years, he led the Construction Studies Undergraduate Programme at the University of Westminster, comprising five professionally accredited honours degree pathways with over 500 students, around 50 per cent of whom are part-time.

His academic practice focuses on supporting students in a holistic way by designing a framework within which learning can take place, integrating learning resources, harnessing the power of digital technologies, and promoting collaboration. His contribution to teaching and supporting learning, and innovative uses of technology have been recognised by the University, his colleagues and students. He received a University Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2009, and a University Teaching Fellowship in 2014. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Commenting on this great achievement, Tony said: “I am naturally delighted to have received this award and I would like to acknowledge colleagues and students in Construction Studies for the opportunities to develop construction education. I would also like to thank the Centre for Teaching Innovation for giving me the chance to promote teaching and learning across the University.”

Find out more about the National Teaching Fellowship award and this year’s winners.

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