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NTFS shows ‘there is an opportunity to change things and do things differently’

15 Aug 2023 | Advance HE Tab Betts from the University of Sussex discusses becoming a National Teaching Fellow, the impact it has had on him and the advice he would give to those who want to follow.

Earlier this month, Advance HE announced the fifty-five latest winners of the prestigious National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS). The scheme acknowledges those who have made an outstanding contribution to teaching and inspiring colleagues in higher education. 

Tab Betts, Lecturer in Higher Education Pedagogy at the University of Sussex was one of the winners. Tab is the Co-founder of the Active Learning Network and has been building international collaborations and developing inclusive learning in higher education for over fifteen years. 

In this video, Tab discusses what it means to receive the award, the impact it has, and advice he would give to prospective fellows.  

“Being awarded the National Teaching Fellowship means a huge amount to me. My application was all about the power of building international collaborations and inclusive communities, and this award provides important recognition that the world needs more of that.” Tab said.  

Inspiring others  

Tab said, “I hope it will allow me to carry a message to inspire others as many of the NTF community have inspired me. As someone who is neurodivergent and unconventional in my approach to teaching and learning, as well as life, this serves as important validation. 

“Many of my colleagues and students like me feel like outsiders in the system and it’s easy to become disillusioned or dismayed at the current state of things. This award means a lot because it shows that there is an opportunity to change things and do things differently.” 

Focus on the criteria and have fun 

Calls for nominations for next year’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme will open later this year. For those who may be looking at following in the footsteps of this year’s winners, Tab offered some advice. 

“In terms of the application, focus on the criteria, reach out to students and colleagues and gather feedback on everything you do and then try to gather a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. 

“Above all else, I would say have fun. In life, even a serious thing can be done playfully. Just try and enjoy the process, and find the things that inspire you, because then you’ll do things that inspire other people.”  

Watch the full video below.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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