Kent celebrates outstanding teachers and teaching excellence

Gary Hughes

The University's annual celebration of teaching excellence and outstanding teachers took place at its Canterbury campus on Wednesday 5 October.

The event was attended by Faculty Deans, academic staff and Kent Union representatives.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow offered her congratulations to the winners and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education Professor April McMahon presented the Faculty Teaching Prizes to:

1st prizeDr Henrik Schoenefeldt (Kent School of Architecture) for two initiatives, one introducing new practices of sustainable environmental design into architectural education, and the second exploring the pedagogical potential of involving students in collaborative research;
2nd prize – Lawrence Jackson, (School of Arts) for his innovative practice-based module ‘Microbudget Filmmaking: Fiction’;
3rd prize – Dr Lavinia Brydon (School of Arts) for her innovative work in developing the module ‘Beyond Cinema’;

1st Prize – Dr Chris Shepherd (School of Physical Sciences) for his excellent work on a project-based module offering students the chance to pursue their own research interests and develop their employability in science and forensic fields;
2nd Prize – Professor John Batchelor, Dr Richard Guest and Dr Kostas Sirlantzis (School of Engineering and Digital Arts) for their work on a redesigned robotics module involving problem-based learning and international collaboration;

Social Sciences
1st Prize – Dr Caroline Chatwin, Dr Marian Duggan, Professor Roger Matthews and Dr Camille Stengel (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research) for the outstanding ‘Inside Out prison exchange programme’, an experiential learning initiative which brings undergraduates and prison inmates together to engage in joint study of criminological topics;
Joint 2nd Prize – Dr Ian Bride (School of Anthropology and Conservation) for his creative work in developing the campus as a learning resource for conservation, and Dr Harmonie Toros (School of Politics and International Relations) for her innovative and original work on the module ‘Humans at War’.

Professor McMahon also presented the Barbara Morris Prize for Learning Support to:

1st Prize – Jacqui Double, Ben Watson, Will Wollen, Dr Sophie Quirk, Dr Freya Vass-Rhee and Dr Helen Brooks (School of Arts) for their groundbeaking collaborative work developing inclusive provision for visually-impaired students in Drama;
Joint 2nd Prize – Dr Vinita Joseph (School of English) for her innovative work developing a coaching scheme for PhD students in English and Law; Dr Kirsty Horsey, Ben Watson, Callum Borg, Katia Neofytou and Jonjo Brady (Kent Law School Skills Hub); Jude O’Connor, Jo Harvey, Hattie Peacocke and Dr Paul Hubert (Kent Law School Student Advice Office) for the high standard of their comprehensive student support provision in the KLS Student Advice Office.

Kent has an outstanding reputation for teaching excellence. During the summer it was ranked fifth out of 120 UK universities in a mock Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise modelled by Times Higher Education (THE), and in September it was shortlisted for a THE research and teaching excellence award 2016.

Teaching quality has also contributed to the University’s high league table positions, including its 16th place in the Guardian University Guide 2016 and its 23rd place in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

In the National Student Survey 2016, feedback from final year students at Kent resulted in the University being ranked above the national average for teaching. Kent also achieved the fourth highest score for overall satisfaction* in the NSS 2016, up one place from 2015.

Since the Faculty Teaching Prizes were launched in 2003, there have been 144 individual winners, with several colleagues having won on multiple occasions.

Professor April McMahon with 2016 Faculty Teaching Prize winners

Professor April McMahon with 2016 Faculty Teaching Prize winners

* Out of all publicly funded, multi-faculty (i.e. not single-subject/specialist institutions) universities.