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Three of Ulster University’s teaching staff have been recognised in Advance HE’s National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) Scheme this year.

Dr Liz Doherty from the School of Arts and Humanities, Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost of Ulster University’s Magee campus, and Professor Colin Turner, School of Engineering, join a distinguished group of academics across the UK recognised for their outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Institutions can nominate up to three individuals each year and for the first time, all three of Ulster University’s nominees have been successful – one of just three UK universities this year to celebrate three newly appointed Fellows.

Liz, Malachy and Colin are three of 55 fellowships awarded this year and they will join other Fellows in playing an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within Ulster University, the HE sector and further afield. Ulster University now has 12 National Teaching Fellows.

Welcoming the Fellowships, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said,

“To have three of our leading academics recognised in this way is deserving recognition of the talent of our academic community and the importance we must continue to place on teaching and the student learning experience.  As one of only three UK universities to receive the maximum of three Fellowships awarded, this is an outstanding performance from Ulster academics on the national stage.

It is rewarding to reflect on the very many young people, external partners and communities that have been inspired, supported and encouraged by Liz, Malachy and Colin and by teaching staff right across our University.”

Dr Liz Doherty is an internationally renowned performer with extensive experience in guiding national policy in traditional music. Since her appointment in 2007, Liz has used her sectoral leadership to spearhead the teaching of traditional music at Ulster. She has led the development of a community of learning in traditional music, extending the student learning experience beyond the classroom.

Dr Malachy Ó Néill is an eminent academic in the field of Irish language and literature and Provost of the Magee campus. He is highly respected across the University for his tireless contribution to building academic communities across disciplines and faculties and his passion for the understanding of language in general and Irish in particular, his activities span education sectors, from primary school through to higher education, with a consistent focus on civic engagement, academic research and international advocacy.

Professor Colin Turner is a truly student-centred educator. His vision for an Engineering Society, his confidence in his students whilst Head of School and his mentoring of the Ulster Society of Student Engineers brought to life a true staff-student partnership. Colin was appointed President of the Engineering Professor’s Council (EPC) in May this year, through which he will champion the role of engineering in HE as it addresses the challenges and opportunities facing the profession and enhance the Council’s services to all academic engineering staff.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Paul Bartholomew added,

“These latest Fellowships are richly deserved and are testament to the commitment and energy that Liz, Malachy and Colin bring to their roles, both within and outside the University.  Our latest National Teaching Fellows are representative of a committed body of teaching colleagues who continue to deliver academic excellence in spite of the challenges presented by a constrained operating environment for HE locally.

“This personal and institutional success reflects the importance of fostering a staff culture that encourages new thinking, innovative practices, collaborative working, external networks, and with our students as partners at the heart of teaching and learning.”