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Educator who promotes Welsh language in higher education receives prestigious Award

L-R Heather Fry (HEFCE), Prof Caroline Gipps (Chair of the NTFS Advisory Panel), Dr Charles Buckley, Prof Sir Robert Burgess, Chair of the HEA Board.L-R Heather Fry (HEFCE), Prof Caroline Gipps (Chair of the NTFS Advisory Panel), Dr Charles Buckley, Prof Sir Robert Burgess, Chair of the HEA Board.Dr Charles Buckley of Bangor University has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning. This is the first time such an award has gone to staff at Bangor University.

Dr Buckley of the Academic Development Unit at the University’s School of Education, was among 55 lecturers and learning support staff chosen by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) from over 180 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. He received the Award of £10,000, which may be used for his professional development.

Dr Buckley works closely with colleagues at Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to support staff at Bangor and other higher education institutions across Wales to study through their preferred language.

Charles gained recognition for his work on inclusivity, research into many aspects of learning and teaching in higher education, quality enhancement and supporting Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in promoting Welsh-medium amongst staff on the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE).

Mr Eifion Lloyd Jones, Staff Development Consultant at Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol said Charles Buckley's pioneering work at Bangor has been the catalyst for other universities to become similarly involved. Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol is extremely grateful for his vision and perseverance.

Dr Charles Buckley’s approach to learning and teaching has been influenced by his varied career background including being a police constable, holiday representative and primary school teacher. This has developed his knack for relating to people and he leads on developing inclusivity in all aspects of teaching. As well as working closely with colleagues at Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, he has vast experience in working with international students and uses a number of approaches to integrating research with teaching.  He now joins a national community and Association of National Teaching Fellows which facilitates networking and promotes innovative practice.

With a background in teaching and competing in sport, Dr Buckley understands the importance of working with teams and has supported a unique collaborative model for the PGCertHE at Bangor which operates with four other universities across Wales.

The scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, and is open to staff whose roles support the student learning experience at institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA, said the awards carry considerable prestige within the sector and are highly competitive. He added: “The 55 new Fellows created this year have all made a highly valuable contribution to learning and teaching within their institutions and often more widely. At the HEA we are committed to recognising and rewarding excellence in teaching. Students deserve - and expect - the best possible learning experience during their time in higher education, and fantastic staff such as National Teaching Fellows help to deliver this experience. I am extremely proud of the HEA in delivering this programme and I congratulate all successful recipients."

Publication date: 16 October 2012