Dr Alison Nimmo awarded Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

19 November 2014

Dr Alison Nimmo awarded Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Dr Nimmo is GCU's first staff member to be awarded a Principal Fellowship of the HEA

Dr Alison Nimmo, Head of Accelerate CPD Learning and Teaching in GCU LEAD, has become Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) first member of staff to be awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

A Principal Fellowship is the highest level of recognition granted by the HEA and is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a sustained and effective record of impact at strategic level and a wider commitment to academic practice and leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience. There are currently 20 Principal Fellows in Scotland and 200 in the UK.

Commenting on her achievement, Dr Nimmo said: “I feel very proud to be GCU’s first Principal Fellow of the HEA. This is a tremendous recognition of the University’s respect for teaching and supporting student learning. For many years, the University has supported teaching staff and those with a student learning support role to enhance their practice and gain professional teacher recognition.”

Currently, over 270 GCU staff members have received professional recognition from the HEA, through an Associate Fellowship, Fellowship or Senior Fellowship. Many of these staff have been supported by Dr Nimmo and the GCU LEAD team through the University’s Accelerate accredited learning and teaching programmes and e-portfolio routes to support professional development and recognition.

Professional development plays a major role in the implementation of the University’s Strategy for Learning (2013-2020) and underpins the high-quality learning experience for GCU students. 

Dr Nimmo continued: “My own experience of applying to the HEA will help me to enhance how I support colleagues to present themselves for professional recognition. It’s been a busy year achieving this fellowship in September and gaining my PhD this spring but it has given me an authentic insight into the importance of a high-quality learning experience in motivating and maintaining student engagement.

“At GCU, we have a thriving and collegiate learning and teaching community which stimulates and maintains teacher engagement, as well as student engagement. It’s a good feeling to know that this is a collective agenda.”