University tutor awarded National Teaching Fellowship


Date: 30th Aug 2018

Bucks New University’s Barbara Nicolls was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) today (30 August) in recognition of her ‘outstanding’ impact on student learning and outcomes.Barbara Nicolls

The Learning Development Tutor, based at the Uxbridge Campus, is one of 54 people across the UK to receive the accolade this year.

The NTF recognises, rewards and celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student learning and the teaching profession.

Barbara works in the University’s Learning Development Unit (LDU) which provides students with tailored academic support to help them succeed in their studies, including workshops on academic integrity and planning for successful assessment outcomes.

The LDU also offers one-to-one tutorials for students with disabilities and learning difficulties, especially those whom are typically under-represented in higher education and, as such, are the focus of the University’s widening participation efforts.

Working with colleagues across the University, Barbara has pioneered the use of ePortfolios, electronic compilations of students’ academic and practice experience, to help them reflect, evaluate and improve their learning.

Barbara Nicolls, who joined the University in 1999, said: “I was delighted to receive the honour of becoming a National Teaching Fellow and am humbled by the supporting comments given by students and colleagues to support my nomination.

“Technology has a key role in to play in enhancing our students’ learning, and is fundamental to our innovative approach to teaching at Bucks. Creating ePortfolios provides students with a lasting archive of their learning, providing future employers with a more accurate picture of their skills and abilities than exams alone.”

“I enjoy the challenge of supporting our students to succeed across the wide range of employment-focused and skills-based courses we offer at Bucks. I need to know how professionals from aviation to nursing expect their students to think, and then custom the support that will enable students to be successful in their chosen careers.”

Professor Nick Braisby, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bucks New University, said: "We are very proud of Barbara’s achievement, and the highly-deserved recognition of her hard work to inspire and help our students to persevere and succeed in their studies.

“We’re committed to providing a learning community, backed by excellent academic support, which ensures all students at Bucks reach their full potential and go on to realise their ambitions.”

Alison Johns, Advance HE’s chief executive, said, “The award of a National Teaching Fellowship is an outstanding achievement. A key part of our role in this programme is to work with NTF winners to show-case their work so that others can learn and benefit from their success.”

Advance HE was formed in March 2018, following the merger of the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Its purpose is to advance the professional practice of higher education to improve outcomes for the benefit of students, staff and society. It is jointly owned by GuildHE and Universities UK.


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