Innovator awarded by HEA

Science teaching innovator receives ‘highest category of professional recognition’ by the Higher Education Academy

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has awarded a Principal Fellowship to Professor Derek Raine MBE (pictured), the highest category of professional recognition for teaching and supporting learning that is awarded by the national body. 

Professor Raine is Associate Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science which he founded in 2004 at the University of Leicester. 

His award reflects the range of pedagogic innovations introduced in Physics and Natural Sciences that make the University of Leicester’s degrees uniquely student-centred and personalised.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science’s Natural Sciences degree programme, in particular, provides a new model for the delivery of high quality teaching in a research intensive institution. 

Professor Raine said: “I’m delighted at the recognition of the work that we have done in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and in Physics in developing teaching in a research environment over the 40 years that I have been at Leicester. 

“The unique combination of interdisciplinarity and a research-based approach in a programme led by specialist trained teaching staff enhances the value-added of Leicester Natural Sciences graduates through the employability skills embedded in the programme.  These benefits are shared by graduates of other institutions that have followed our lead.” 

One of the responsibilities of the HEA is to provide a supportive process for the professional recognition of teaching and supporting learning, which it does through its Fellowship service. There are four categories of recognition; Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow, of which Principal is the highest.

Professional recognition is based on the commitment of the applicant to the UK Professional Standards Framework, developed by the HEA for the higher education sector, which consists of three dimensions; Core Knowledge, Professional Values and Areas of Activity. 

For Principal Fellow, the criteria for recognition are different to the preceding categories, in that the commitment to the Framework should be manifested in teaching, learning, leading and policy-making at institutional, national and international levels. 

Applications are reviewed by an expert panel of Accreditors, who determine whether the claim meets the highest standards of teaching and learning practice for the category applied for. In the case of Principal Fellow, there are over 300 Principal Fellowships awarded in the country. 

Professor Raine joins Academic Registrar Professor Jon Scott and Dr Tony Lawson from the School of Education as Principal Fellows at the University of Leicester.

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