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Advancing Fellowship

After what can be a long and drawn out writing process, the arrival of a Certificate confirming Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy can be an underwhelming conclusion to months of hard slog. It’s this context that the ANU Education Fellowship Scheme (EFS) would like to alter through its Advancing Fellowship initiative.

By adopting the concept of ‘Good Standing’, the EFS community will help to frame the ‘certificate’ in a supportive environment that values and recognises the contribution of its membership. As years pass, instead of yellowing into a sepia reminder of what you once achieved, your wall-mounted accolade will be updated with regular accounts of your ongoing EFS engagements. To begin building your own case for Good Standing, why not start by attending the forthcoming Advancing Fellowship event planned for Friday 24 September 2021.

Flagged as an annual event, the Advancing Fellowship gathering will offer a point in time to look at who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re heading within the cycle of our current Advance HE registration period.

The recent re-registration process (almost behind us) has prompted a number of significant changes that along with Good Standing will feature in the Advancing Fellowship event. To begin with, it’s important a community knows its own profile and uses that knowledge to measure change over time. Through benchmarking, a community moves from a static establishment to a dynamic culture that’s eager to grow and collectively maintain its contemporary relevance. To mix metaphors, it’s through a Letter of Good Standing from the EFS Committee that you’ll keep your trophy polished. At the event, we’ll begin to share ideas on what might constitute as a Good Standing activity; and furthermore, describe how the EFS community can cultivate the concept in the form of special interest groups.

The EFS scheme at ANU has relied on a ‘back-to-base’ model for disseminating information and gathering intelligence on the fellowship that occurs across the campus. Being a diverse campus this has meant our knowledge and understanding is sometimes impeded by distance and time.To remedy this dislocation, the EFS Committee has worked with Deans to identify a College Champion from their list of active Senior Fellows. The College Champion will act as the EFS medium; helping to promote the benefits of fellowship and advocate Advance HE objectives that underpin our shared enthusiasm for learning and teaching in higher education. The forthcoming Advancing Fellowship event will be our first opportunity to meet our College Champions and creates another good reason for attending.

The ANU re-registration process prompted a good hard look at our yearly calendar of events and brought about a streamlining of proposed processes. With events and processes better aligned, it’s hoped four milestones will define each year – such that mentoring, assessing, recognising and reporting are integral to the building of our Fellowship. With recognition in mind, the Advancing Fellowship event provides an opportunity to formally welcome new members. The source of ‘new members’ is primarily from within our ANU ranks but there is a trickle of membership that arrives as pre-badged from other institutions across the globe. At the event, we’ll be crafting a moment to recognise new members emerging or arriving on the scene over the past couple of years (2020 – 2021). To that point, if you’re a pre-badged Fellow (from another institution), we’d appreciate some self-identification. Let us know you’re out there by sending a message to the EFS mailbox and we’ll be in touch to make more of your presence at ANU.

This short article is running the risk of becoming a tome – what’s worse than meeting the editor’s axe. If you’re an existing Fellow and want to play your part in Advancing Fellowship, please accept this cordial invitation.

Register for Advancing Fellowship event
Friday 24 September 2021, 2-4pm

Tim Grace is the Manager of the Education Communities and Environments team at the Centre for Learning and Teaching.