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Is having a Higher Education Academy Fellowship important?

(13 Posts)
fuffapster Mon 02-Oct-17 07:57:29

Hi,
I am based outside of the UK, with a lecturing job in a well-known university. I have 14 years teaching experience, and a research profile that is reasonable but not awesome. I graduated with my PhD six years ago.

With my family, we are going to move to the UK next year and settle. I will have to try and find a job. I'm not looking forward to it as it looks like a hard environment, but for various reasons we have to do it.

I've been advised that it would be a good idea to get a certification from the Higher Education Academy: www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship/fellow

I already have postgraduate certificate in higher education teaching awarded by a reputable university.

It seems like it can cost up to 600 pounds to get the certification.

My question is: how important is it to have this recognition?

Thanks for any advice.

geekaMaxima Mon 02-Oct-17 16:41:29

In my research-intensive university, not very. If you were hired, you might be expected to do a teaching qualification (or at least establish that your existing PG cert was eligible for HEA accreditation), but no one would expect you to have it in advance, particularly when coming from outside the UK.

dippyeggsandtoast Mon 02-Oct-17 18:03:00

They are obsessed with getting it in anywhere that is teaching focussed.

GiantSteps Mon 02-Oct-17 19:05:08

You'll probably find that you extant certification can be fairly easily converted to HEA Fellowship status, once you're in a post. Do a bit of sleuthing on the HEA's website to see how your certificate might translate.

Then in job applications, mention the existing certificate, and suggest that once in post, you'd be willing to do whatever to achieve HEA Fellow status (you might even go for Senior Fellow status wit your experience).

Huh! I remember the LTSNs (I used to co-direct one) which were to do with actually working with colleagues in the discipline, not making them jump through hoops.

dippyeggsandtoast Mon 02-Oct-17 20:21:09

In some jobs, they have you do it whilst you are in post - I had to do a PGCAP to obtain Fellowship.

I think the ex polys are particularly focussed on it - so it depends where you would like to end up.

fuffapster Tue 03-Oct-17 04:08:15

Thanks for the answers. I'll do more checking on the website.

I am assuming that it may be difficult to get a position like the one I currently have (research university). So teaching may be more prominent - at least for a few years.

It's just the money that's putting me off - I'm sure I could get the cert (though they do require a reference from someone who has one, and that means nobody I know of in this part of the world). It would be nice to help the HR to tick the box...

As GiantSteps says, maybe I can just make sure to highlight my existing qualification.

bigkidsdidit Tue 03-Oct-17 17:39:20

I'm in a research intensive place and we're all being strongly encouraged. I think it will be mandatory in a few years for us.

fuffapster Wed 04-Oct-17 03:21:58

Thanks bigkidsdidit

I've been reflecting and it seems like actually it is basically wanted everywhere, and if I don't have it yet, I will have to get it.

So I'm probably better off getting it anyway, and it will at least give one less reason for my applications to be put aside.

Is that a fair assumption?

geekaMaxima Wed 04-Oct-17 09:43:35

I think it's a fair assumption that you'll need to get it once in post, but not that you need it when applying for jobs and should therefore pay for it yourself.

Check out person specs for likely jobs to see if they mention HEA fellowship status. I've seen some ex-polys mention it as desirable (though not essential), but not other universities.

ArbitraryName Wed 04-Oct-17 18:03:53

My university is obsessed with it but they'll allow you to do it during probation rather than insisting on you having it.

I've recently done a senior fellowship and, honestly, I'm not in the least convinced that it proves anything whatsoever. Those of you needing to do it can rest assured that you can probably do the whole application in a day. Maybe less, since the fellowship application is much shorter.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 04-Oct-17 18:11:21

At our HE establishment they are happy to have you work at getting it during the probationary period of a new job. Also because our uni has some sort of institutional affiliation to the HEA we don't have to pay either. They would be thrilled if you already had a recognised HE teaching qualification (though this would be less important than the other criteria for the job, as again you could work towards this during probation) so do think carefully before spending the money yourself.

truffles42 Thu 05-Oct-17 17:11:30

A lot of job ads will put HEA cert. or equivalent as a desirable. I would suggest you flag up your current qualification and say you are keen to gain HEA SF status once in post. Most universities here now have internal schemes that will see you through.

fuffapster Fri 06-Oct-17 04:15:14

OK thanks everyone for the advice, much appreciate it.

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