New Teaching Excellence Institute launches

The University is investing £3.5m in an institute to inspire new ideas and practices in teaching and learning.


With creative initiatives to bring together new and existing pockets of teaching excellence, the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence aims to support a pioneering, international community for research and debate.  

Building on the success of Leeds’ current community of 21 National Teaching Fellows, it will also attract visiting fellows from across the world.

Distinctively, the Institute is offering time as well as funding to university staff to encourage excellent pedagogic research, through its new Teaching Enhancement Projects (TEPs).

Staff will be seconded from their current teaching roles, dedicating a day a week to the Institute, to develop their ideas and to carry out research in support of student education and pedagogical scholarship.

The TEPs will complement the Institute’s prestigious Excellence and Innovation Fellowship Scheme, which offers year-long secondments and one visiting fellowship.

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “This is an exciting time for student education at Leeds. Since arriving here earlier this year, I have been delighted by the many innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the Institute gives us a vehicle to bring this all together.

“Leeds has consistently led the way in student education and in particular in how to exploit the digital environment to further enhance the learning experience, especially among research-intensive universities. We have ambitious plans for the Institute, which include  establishing the University as an international leader in pedagogic research and debate.

“As well as shaping teaching and learning policy here at Leeds, and more widely across the sector, one of the Institute’s main goals is to host the University’s first international student education conference, in 2018.

“At a practical level, too, I want to be sure that Leeds is able to contribute rigorous research evidence and thinking to help shape the development of the Teaching Excellence Framework. The Institute’s research will give rigour to our aspirations in relation to the TEF.”

Leeds’ teaching excellence is being driven through talented teaching fellows, with Leeds being home to the highest number of National Teaching Fellows of any university.

Professor Ward added: “As well as our National Teaching Fellowships record, few in our peer group can match our performance in the National Student Survey. This year, the University ranked second out of the 24 Russell Group institutions for ‘overall satisfaction’ and joint third in the Russell Group for the ‘teaching on my course’ category, behind Oxford and Cambridge.

“This was a key element in being named The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year. This particularly commended our approach to our education, our research-based learning and our distinctive Leeds Curriculum.”

Dr Raphael Hallett, Director of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, said: “The Institute carries the ambition for student education at Leeds to new levels. The time is ripe to invest in a talented community of innovators and pedagogic researchers, and to showcase their outputs. The mission of the Institute is clear: to help shape the Leeds Curriculum of the future and to lead sector-level developments in student education and teaching scholarship.”

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