Professor Som Naidu (Pro Vice-Chancellor, and Director of the Center for Flexible Learning) at USP has achieved Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA). Fellowships of the HEA is a professional recognition for practitioners in the higher education sector.

There are four grades of Fellowships offered by the HEA.

These are Associate; Fellow; Senior and Principal Fellowship.

The Principal Fellowship represents significant leadership in the promotion of teaching excellence, and are only awarded on the basis of an assessed portfolio.

In announcing the award to Professor Naidu, Professor Alison Johns (Chief Executive of the HEA (Higher Education Academy) said that “Principal Fellowship is a great achievement and recognises your commitment and contribution to student learning, as well as the positive influence you have with your colleagues as a strategic leader in teaching.

I am determined that great teaching – and great leadership in teaching – are recognised and rewarded, and the Fellowship is a clear route for doing that”.

In locating the value and importance of the Principal Fellowship in the scheme, she pointed out that “There is now a total of over 133,000 Fellows in the UK and internationally of the HEA, and [Professor Naidu), now joins a small but very prestigious group of over 1,200 (less than 1% of its Fellowship population] who have attained Principal Fellowship.

I think these numbers illustrate your achievement very clearly”. Adding also that “I am determined that Advance HE works more closely and in partnership with Principal Fellows so that your individual and collective expertise is shared with colleagues in the sector. I am confident that together we can make a difference in the ceaseless pursuit of teaching excellence”.

In congratulating Professor Naidu, USP Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia acknowledged that “This is a huge accolade and one that needs to be widely publicized”.

The award reflects well on the University of the South Pacific as it is largely based on work carried out by Dr. Naidu over the past 4 years at USP. In September 2017, Dr. Naidu also served on the judging panel of the HEA/GLOBAL Teaching Awards including attending the awards ceremony which was held in London

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