North East Connected

Northern Centre of Photography in the frame for new national teaching award

The University of Sunderland has been shortlisted for a new award which recognises teaching excellence by teams in higher education.


The Higher Education Academy (HEA) today announced the 15 finalists for a new team award – the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), which includes Sunderland’s Northern Centre of Photography (NEPN).

The NEPN team (Alexandra Moschovi, Carol McKay, Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dave Harvey, Amanda Ritson) function as a research and development agency for photography in the North East. Since 2009, the team, with support from Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts, has commissioned a number of major photography projects, as well as producing the region’s first International Festival of Photography.

The CATE award, being piloted by HEA this year, is an important development which reflects the key role that teamwork has in promoting student success through learning and teaching.

Professor Plouviez, Head of Photography, said: “We are really pleased to be one of the finalists for the CATE award. NEPN has supported the development of a vibrant photographic community from which our students can benefit and to which they can continue to contribute post graduation. Collaborative working is part of the rationale for NEPN and is central to the way in which it operates with students and external partners.

“It is really fabulous for the work done within NEPN to be recognised in this way.”


The criteria for the CATE award are: ‘excellent practice’, teamwork, and the team’s dissemination plan. Teams needed to show direct student involvement in their work and excellent practice in relation to one of the following themes:


Fifteen institutions, listed below, have been shortlisted for the award.  Six of these institutions will be awarded grants of £15,000 to share their learning and best practice, and these will be announced at the formal celebration event to be held at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, London, in late January 2017.

As well as announcing the CATE, 55 new National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) have also been revealed by the (HEA) today. A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education.

Professor Marshall, HEA Chief Executive, said, “I am so pleased the HEA has the opportunity to run these awards, and to help to disseminate the best practice they reveal. Celebrating great teaching, whether by teams or individuals, is really important and highlights just some of the great work in the sector to improve the student experience.

“All the awards provide compelling case studies of best practice which we can share around the sector.

“It’s also an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our own work, individually and as teams – what are we getting right, what can we learn, what could we do better?

“We have also had an excellent response to the new collaborative award and I would like to congratulate all the finalists in that category and, of course, all the new NTFs.  I’m sure the whole higher education sector will join me in agreeing that we are very proud of your achievements.”

The NTF and CATE schemes are run by the HEA on behalf of the award funders: the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland (DfE). The schemes are open to staff whose teaching or support roles enhance the student learning experience.


Finalist for the CATE awards (Team profiles are here)

Anglia Ruskin University

Brunel University

Imperial College London

Liverpool Hope University

Newcastle University

Northumbria University

Pearson College London

Plymouth University

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Sunderland

University of East Anglia

University of Gloucestershire

University of Hull

University of Leicester

University of Liverpool


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