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UAL's first Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Students working on computer in uni library
Students working on computer in uni library
Digital facilities and students in the library at London College of Communication UAL. Photo © Alys Tomlinson
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
06 August 2020

The Academic Enhancement and Attainment team, part of UAL's Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange, has won a 2020 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) – a prestigious national honour given to those enhancing teaching and learning outcomes in higher education through leadership in collaboration and teamwork.

It is the first time UAL has received the award, which is given by sector agency Advance HE. A total of 15 CATE winning teams were credited for driving impact by championing equality, diversity and inclusivity within their approaches.

Led by Professor Susan Orr, Dean of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, the team delivers the University’s Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) which seeks to eliminate awarding gaps and enhance student experience by improving structures, processes and approaches.

Just 3 years old, this small but dedicated team works in complete collaboration with colleagues, students, and diversity and equality leaders across the University community to design and deliver educational development support for courses at UAL. With a focus on ways of collaborating, the team’s methodologies include co-design, arts practice-led enquiry approaches, decolonizing and appreciative enquiry expertise.

Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, UAL Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic):

We are very proud to congratulate all colleagues involved in this vital work. This award reflects the value within our institution of formally supporting spaces for open dialogue and collaborative, empathetic ways of working. It recognises transformation achieved through collaboration and I thank all those who share in efforts to improve attainment and the student experience at UAL.

Curating and sharing teaching and learning best practice in accessible formats is a central part of the team’s work. The AEM team have worked with colleagues in UAL’s Colleges to create the AEM tool box which offers open access, evidence led resources to support course teams seeking to enhance curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

Alison Johns, Advance HE CEO:

I am sure I am joined by the entire sector in congratulating the 2020 CATE awardees. All of the winners should be extremely proud of their achievement of what are prestigious, national teaching awards. Their work epitomises the outstanding commitment to teaching in the UK higher education sector, which this year has been more demanding than ever before. Well done to each and every one of them.

Advance HE promotes transformative leadership and management, teaching and learning, equality, diversity and inclusion and effective governance in higher education. Its chair is UAL Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington.