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HEA Fellowships

(14 Posts)
desanto Fri 24-Mar-17 10:34:49

In the course of my research I’ve developed a niche for engaging undergrad students with research through various initiatives I’ve developed (initially driven by the need for cheap RAs) and a colleague has suggested that I use this somewhat accidental specialism to make an application for FHEA or SFHEA. Until yesterday I’d not heard of these fellowships and I’m wondering what the benefits are. The HEA website sells the fellowships as being good for promotion, internal / external recognition etc. But is it worth it? Does it boil down to a few extra letters in your email signature? Looks like a 3000 word application so not massively onerous, but with time in short supply I’ve got to be selective with what gets my focus.

I’m a lecturer on a permanent contract at a RG Uni currently trying to promote to SL, having been knocked back once. The Learning and Teaching pathway hasn’t been on my radar as I’m going for the research track to promotion, although I did get the PGCE in L&T in HE a few years back as obligatory training in my first lectureship at a different institution. The never-ending reflection and contrived essays on that PGCE drove me insane, and that’s when I was relatively time-rich (pre-kids/pre-REF).

Has anyone got one of these Fellowships? Was it helpful in any way to you?

desanto Fri 24-Mar-17 10:35:44

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Fri 24-Mar-17 12:10:40

I can't see a particular benefit, given the teaching qualifications you already have. DH is going for a HEA fellowship, but only because he escaped taking his institution's training qualification, and they are now making everyone who doesn't have it apply to the HEA. Something to do with the TEF, though I'm not sure what, as I don't recall teaching qualifications being one of the metrics.

Chaotica Fri 24-Mar-17 12:16:43

In my university it is essential for promotion to SL. (Although I'm not sure that is official -- I have just been told this.) Fortunately, they're pretty helpful with the application. If you only have to do the case studies and the application, you will lose two weeks of your life to ancronyms. If you have to do a taught course, don't bother.

It might be worth it. (At my previous uni, it was completely optional and largely unknown.)

MiladyThesaurus Fri 24-Mar-17 12:29:26

I have just applied for the senior fellowship. I spent about 3 days on the application. I can't say I've enjoyed it or found it in any way beneficial.

If I'm totally honest, I think the entire process is utter nonsense. I write two case studies and provide my own evidence (which no one checks up on). The reviewing process seems to be about making sure that you make links to all the aspects and that you cite literature (even if you've only glanced at the abstract), not that anything you say is actually true.

My university makes the fellowship a probationary requirement, and then tries to get you to go for senior fellowship. If I weren't being nagged about it continually, I wouldn't have bothered at all.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Fri 24-Mar-17 12:41:28

For those of you whose institutions have HEA fellowship as a requirement, is this on top of your institution's own teaching qualification, or instead of?

MiladyThesaurus Fri 24-Mar-17 12:48:00

My institution got rid of its teaching qualification just as I was starting, but had already agreed that I could do the fellowship instead (because I wasn't a new lecturer). Now everyone does the HEA fellowship, but (because my institution loves to change things and then immediately change them back) they're apparently developing a replacement teaching qualification.

Where I was before you just had to attend a small number of mandatory sessions of the teaching qualification (and do not essays). No one did the HEA fellowship.

As far as I can tell it's all designed to create the illusion that we're specifically qualified as HE teachers for marketing purposes. The only people who seem to think in any way differently are those who've built their career around being L&T specialists. Certainly, I've never heard anyone saying that filling in the HEA paperwork helped them in any way. New staff who did the teaching qualification found that much more useful, but not the bit where they were made to apply for HEA fellowship at the end anyway.

MiladyThesaurus Fri 24-Mar-17 13:03:55

To clarify: by L&T specialists, I mean people whose entire purpose in their career seems to be to promote HEA fellowship and similar. And, in my experience, who too often insist on a one-size fits all version of good HE practice that just happens to look exactly like what they themselves do.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Fri 24-Mar-17 13:35:06

New staff who did the teaching qualification found that much more useful, but not the bit where they were made to apply for HEA fellowship at the end anyway.
Oh, bloody hell, I really hope my place doesn't do this. I spent three years doing their teaching qualification - it was no help at all, and I wasn't light-loaded either, as my department couldn't afford to release me from teaching any modules or doing admin, so it was pretty much three years of hell devising and teaching new modules, finishing a book for the REF and doing major admin (rather ironically, I was the Director of Teaching and Learning for the department for the whole time I was doing this qualification). If that's not enough now, I'll be very pissed off.

sammySammyA Fri 24-Mar-17 14:19:47

Same as mentioned above. In my institution it's mandatory for new starters, and this is the only reason anyone has ever heard of them. Lots of nicely written paperwork to zero benefit and zero point. My opinion is that it's just a money making scheme to collect membership fees from people and Universities.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Fri 24-Mar-17 14:26:45

So, Sammy, it's a replacement for an institutional qualification at your place? I'm a bit worried now that TEF is going to drive institutions to insist all their staff have a HEA fellowship, when we've already suffered a lengthy (and useless) institutional training programme.

MiladyThesaurus Fri 24-Mar-17 14:40:17

Honestly, LordRothmere, there's no predicting what stupid hoops they'll devise for us to jump through.

The fellowship application is pointless but it is much less time consuming than the teaching qualification. You'd be able to repurpose the coursework you did and just stick in references to the HEA standards. You'd probably only need to waste an afternoon of your life on it. So at least that's something if a university ever decides that you must do it.

It would still be utterly infuriating, obviously.

desanto Fri 24-Mar-17 15:03:06

Message received loud and clear. I'll file this one under Not Unless Absolutely Necessary.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Fri 24-Mar-17 15:08:57

Honestly, LordRothmere, there's no predicting what stupid hoops they'll devise for us to jump through.

That is very true. I've spent the last twelve years (as lecturer and SL) hoop-jumping. I've yet to see much point in any of it, and it just seems to be getting worse.

Unfortunately I binned and deleted my coursework in a fit of pique after completing the bladdy qualification, so couldn't reuse it. Let's hope that doesn't prove to have been a terrible mistake. I'm on the verge of career-changing anyway (if I can only work out to what), and that would no doubt be the final straw.

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