What is Fellowship?
Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy is an indicator of professional achievement for higher education practitioners. It confers the entitlement to use the post-nominal letters AFHEA (Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy), FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy), SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy) and PFHEA (Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy).
Associate Fellow (AFHEA)
You should provide evidence of effectiveness in relation to your professional role which will typically include at least some teaching and/or learning support responsibilities. You will need to present some understanding of effective teaching, learning support methods and student learning.
Typical roles and experience for people applying for Associate Fellowship are:
- early career researchers with some teaching responsibilities (e.g. PhD students, GTAs, contract researchers/post-doctoral researchers etc.);
- staff new to teaching (including those with part-time academic responsibilities);
- staff who support academic provision (e.g. learning technologists, student support, careers and learning resource/library staff);
- staff who undertake the role of demonstrator/ technician with some teaching-related responsibilities.
You should provide evidence of broadly based effectiveness in more substantive teaching and supporting learning roles and can demonstrate a broad understanding of effective approaches to learning and teaching support as a key contribution to high quality student learning.
Typical roles and experience for people applying for Fellowship are:
- staff in the early stages of their academic career
- staff in an academic-related and/or support role holding substantive teaching and learning responsibilities
- experienced academics relatively new to higher education
- staff with (sometimes significant) teaching-only responsibilities including, for example, within work-based settings
Senior Fellow (SFHEA)
You should demonstrate a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as a key contribution to high quality student learning. You may be an experienced member of staff able to demonstrate impact and influence on other colleagues through, for example, responsibility for leading, managing or organising programmes, subjects and/or disciplinary areas.
You should be able to provide evidence of a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning, incorporating for example, the organisation, leadership and/or management of specific aspects of teaching and learning provision? Such individuals are likely to lead or be members of established academic teams. Typically, those likely to be eligible to apply for Senior Fellowship are:
- experienced staff able to demonstrate, impact and influence through, for example, responsibility for leading, managing or organising programmes, subjects and/or disciplinary areas;
- experienced subject mentors and staff who support those new to teaching;
- experienced staff with departmental and/or wider teaching and learning support advisory responsibilities within an institution.
Principal Fellow (PFHEA)
You should demonstrate a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and development. You will be highly experienced, with wide-ranging strategic leadership responsibilities in connection with key aspects of teaching and supporting learning and be able to provide evidence of a sustained and effective record of impact at a strategic level in relation to teaching and learning, as part of a wider commitment to academic practice. This may be within your institution or wider (inter)national settings.
Typically, those likely to be eligible to apply for Principal Fellowship are:
- highly experienced and/or senior staff with wide-ranging academic or academic-related strategic leadership responsibilities in connection with key aspects of teaching and supporting learning;
- staff responsible for institutional strategic leadership and policymaking in the area of teaching and learning;
- staff who have strategic impact and influence in relation to teaching and learning that extends beyond their own institution.
Fellowship is not only valued at Sheffield Hallam University. It is rapidly becoming a sought-after qualification, listed as a desirable or essential requirement in an academic job person specification. It is also increasingly being linked to progression, promotion and teaching award criteria. It is valued nationally as a professional qualification by universities and colleges who have collectively established the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) on which recognition is based.
Most practitioners who have gained recognition have found it to be an important reflective process. It has increased their confidence in what they do by formally recognising its quality and appropriateness.
For an individual it demonstrates your professionalism and promotes the ethos of an academic community of practice.
For a course team it allows them to evidence the quality of teaching on the course and shows the team’s commitment to enhancing the quality of the student experience.
For an institution it showcases the University’s teaching quality and its support for the professional development of its staff.
For the sector it demonstrates the quality and maturity of its teaching standards and its investment in maintaining the value of a UK higher education, nationally and internationally.