Teaching & Learning


Number of UCL staff gaining teaching qualifications rises steadily

16 May 2018

Academic career framework encourages applications for Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowships through UCL Arena.

Participants in discussion during at workshop at the UCL Education Conference 2018

246 UCL staff gained nationally recognised teaching qualifications in 2016-17, with a similar number expected this session.

Through UCL Arena, our professional development scheme for staff who teach and support teaching, colleagues make applications for nationally recognised Fellowships accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). UCL Arena has supported the successful award of more than 900 HEA Fellowships in total.

Fellowships are now embedded in the new UCL Academic Career Framework

The new UCL academic promotion criteria reflect the high priority of institutional goals for the enhancement of education and the student experience at UCL.

The appropriate HEA Fellowship is listed as an indicator of educational impact when making a case for promotion and this has generated interest in gaining Fellowships among categories of staff who were previously less likely to engage with developing teaching and the support of learning.

The importance attached to teaching is evident in the creation of a new Grade 10 role, Professorial Teaching Fellow.


Fellowship achievements in 2016/17

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

Two pathways of the Arena scheme, Arena One (for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants PGTAs) and Arena Open (for applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds), enabled 106 participants to gain Associate Fellow.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

110 participants gained Fellowship through Arena Two (for new lecturers and teaching fellows who participate as a condition of passing probation) and Arena Open.

Senior (SFHEA) and Principal Fellows (PFHEA) of the Higher Education Academy

27 Senior Fellowships were gained through Arena Open and three colleagues became Principal Fellows – Dr Rosalind Duhs of the Arena Centre, Carl Gombrich, Programme Director of the Arts and Sciences BASc, and Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) Professor Anthony Smith bringing the total number of Principal Fellowships to nine, including UCL President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur.


Patrick Baughan, Director of the UCL Arena Programme, said:

"We are pleased with the numbers gaining HEA Fellowships through the Arena pathways. Feedback shows they find the experience valuable and enriching. We are especially keen to encourage more colleagues to apply for Senior Fellowships and have launched a new Arena Senior Fellowship pathway to support this. We look forward to celebrating the achievement of all our HEA Fellows at the UCL Education Awards in June."

More support available for applicants

There were more than 3,000 attendances at Arena events in 2016-17, with high levels of engagement of PGTAs (Postgraduate Teaching Assistants), postdocs and professional services staff at Associate Fellow level.

The Arena Two pathway for new lecturers and teaching fellows has been reviewed and updated to address UCL strategic priorities and target weaker areas of Fellowship applications, focussing on methods for evaluating effectiveness of teaching, quality assurance and quality enhancement, and the implications on professional practice of the wider context in which HE operates.

Arena has increased developmental provision for postdoctoral researchers, now offering two Introduction to Teaching workshops per term and one microteaching session per term towards gaining Associate Fellowship through Arena Open.

Arena offers dedicated provision for Professional Services staff, with an option for Teaching Administrators and others in learning support roles to prepare to apply for Associate Fellowship.

  • Find out how you can gain accreditation for your teaching and teaching support on the UCL Arena webpages.

View a video where UCL staff from the Joint Faculty talk about their experiences applying for Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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