Keele Professor shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative Teacher’

Keele University’s Professor Zoe Robinson has been shortlisted for ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ at the national Times Higher Education Awards 2019. 

Professor Robinson - who is Director of Education for Sustainability at Keele University - is a unique educator, researcher and practitioner in sustainability, pioneering impactful teaching innovations at every level - benefiting students, colleagues, businesses, the education sector and wider society.

Professor Robinson has catalysed a culture change in sustainability education at Keele, integrating sustainability into all aspects of the curriculum and wider student experience.  

Professor Robinson commented: 

"I feel really honoured to be shortlisted for this award, and to be recognised for my passion in working with students and staff to embed sustainability into all that we do at Keele. I want to ensure that our students leave university ready to make sustainable decisions in their personal and professional lives, having had the opportunity to explore sustainability through their courses and wider university experiences. I hope that this nomination will help highlight the essential role of education in building a more sustainable future.”  

Professor Robinson also leads the training, mentoring and support of staff to embed sustainability in their own work at Keele, and map their curriculum to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - with sustainability now embedded in at least 96% of all undergraduate programmes. 

In the past year, Professor Robinson has been recognised internationally for her sustainability vision, as part of the winning ‘Outstanding Leadership Team of the Year’ at the Green Gown Awards 2018, and her work was also instrumental in Keele being in the Top 30 in Europe in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2019, mapped against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor at Keele University, commented:

“We are really proud of Zoe’s continued efforts and achievements in sustainability education, and her innovative approaches to teaching, which benefit so many. She has been instrumental in driving forward our sustainability vision, and aligning our activities to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

"Keele University was originally founded 70 years ago with an exciting new approach to  higher education, and its important to us that we continue to innovate so that our students get maximum benefit from their time at Keele. Sustainability is one of our core strategic aims and our key message to all staff and students is to embed sustainability in everything we do

"I’m delighted that Zoe’s work is being recognised in our 70th year of making a difference regionally, nationally and internationally, as we continue to support the development of our world in a sustainable way through our excellence in research and education and our external engagement.”

Times Higher Education (THE) editor John Gill commented:

"The THE Awards hold a place in the hearts of many in UK higher education and have now been a fixture in the HE calendar for well over a decade. This year we decided to incorporate the complementary strengths of our THE Leadership and Management Awards, so that the range of categories better reflects the reality of how universities operate today, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do. This will be the biggest celebration of higher education that we have ever hosted. 

"I am delighted to say that the ‘Oscars of higher education’ go from strength to strength. With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation."

Read more about Professor Robinson’s shortlisting on the THE Awards website.