Top National Award for Keele Academic

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Posted on 28 July 2011

A Keele University academic has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Dr Patricia Black is one of just 55 lecturers and learning support staff to be awarded National Teaching Fellowships, the most prestigious awards for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning. The award winners were chosen from over 200 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.  Each will receive an award of £10,000 which may be used for Fellows’ professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.

Dr Black, Director of Postgraduate Studies and Postgraduate Courses Development Manager in the School of Pharmacy at Keele, has overall responsibility for a portfolio of postgraduate Master’s courses for health professionals working in or with the NHS, principally pharmacists practising in the key areas of the profession.

An internationally renowned pharmacy practice academic has described Pat as, “… in the top three leading edge developmental academics within the world of pharmacy education.” 

During her career at Keele, Pat has built a rare combination of skills around knowledge of health care, pedagogical issues and experience of constructing courses via distance education.  She has a record of leadership and innovation for her work, reflected in achievements both within the Faculty of Health and in national and international indicators of esteem. She demonstrates vision and leading-edge thinking in her practice, particularly in relation to open, distance and flexible learning, and the use of structured reflective learning portfolios that have received critical acclaim nationally and internationally. Her research publications demonstrate the positive transformational effect her work has had on learners.

Pat founded and subsequently developed a highly successful postgraduate unit and team that deliver successful and relevant courses to qualified healthcare professionals at a distance, meeting a strongly expressed need for learning within the workplace.  Pat has achieved this by maximising the use of new technologies and learning tools as they become available.  The innovative portfolio of CPD Plus+ and CPD Plus+ Open Learn courses that she conceptualised and developed, to allow health professionals a multitude of options and flexible pathways to meet their personal learning and professional development goals, has been upheld as a model of excellence and provided a lead and guide for others.     

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA said: “The dedication of the 55 new Fellows announced today is to be applauded and provides further evidence of the high quality innovative practices that students paying fees will increasingly expect to experience in higher education.”

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is part of an overall HEA programme to inspire and celebrate teacher excellence.  It is funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England (HEFCE) and Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI).

Along with the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme, the HEA’s work in teacher excellence includes the accreditation of institution's professional development programmes and individual recognition for staff who meet the criteria of the UK Professional Standards Framework.  

The new National Teaching Fellows will officially receive their awards at a ceremony which will take place in London on Wednesday 5 October 2011.

Profiles of all the 2011 National Teaching Fellows can be found here: