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Top honour for Professor who always puts her students first

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Published on 05 August 2021

Professor Monika Foster
Professor Monika Foster

A University of Sunderland Professor has been honoured with one of teaching’s highest accolades after supporting thousands of students.

Professor Monika Foster , who is Head of School, Business and Management at the University, today received the National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) for her commitment to Higher Education.

The NTF scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession.

Professor Foster said: “This is a prestigious, national award which means a lot to me both personally and professionally.

“As the Head of School of Business and Management, I’m delighted to raise the profile of the School and the Faculty, and the University's commitment to putting our students first in everything we do.

“Receiving this award is a testimony to the fantastic work with our students, and a tremendous effort and commitment of all the colleagues in the School.

“It's important for me as a leader to demonstrate my commitment to the student outcomes, to transforming teaching and learning, and my own impact on higher education, especially in these times of change, so I can inspire my talented colleagues to innovate, to be creative, and to celebrate their own commitment to teaching and learning.

“I have very much valued the experience of applying for a National Teaching Fellow as an opportunity to review my teaching-led and student-focus 30-year career in HE.

“The key elements in my approach have always been students as partners, and research and teaching collaborations locally, nationally and internationally.

“As an international academic, originally from Poland, I’m very proud to have developed my own excellence in UK Higher Education over the years, in roles which allowed me to work closely with the students and to drive excellence within my immediate and institutional contexts, supporting and developing colleagues to provide the highest quality student experience.

“As the ways we engage with students have changed over the years, I have strived for impact through my own professional development. I have tried to keep my practice up to date through my research, my close work with the students, including recently by reverse mentored by a final year Business student.

“I have most valued my experience of working with students as partners to develop student-led resources for international students transitioning to the UK Higher Education or to co-create new curriculum solutions including the most recent UG Business curriculum review. Students are a source of such inspiration.

“I look forward to joining the National Teaching Fellow community to further develop my own practice and to ensure I share the latest in learning and teaching within the School of Business and Management and across the university.”

Each UK Higher Education Provider (HEP) – which includes universities and colleges - is invited to nominate up to three individual members of staff for the NTF, who can clearly demonstrate having an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession.

Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, said: “The National Teaching Fellowship award is a testament to Professor Foster’s hard work and innovation within the profession.

“Not only is Monika a strong researcher, but also highly dedicated to the cause of student focused education driven by innovative practice, where students are true partners in their learning journey.”