What is the Educational Fellowship Scheme (EFS)?

The ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme (EFS) recognises those at ANU who have contributed to student learning experiences by awarding them with Advance HE (previously Higher Education Academy or HEA) fellowships. There are four categories of fellowship, Associate Fellow of the HEA (AFHEA), Fellow of the HEA (FHEA), Senior Fellow of the HEA (SFHEA), and Principal Fellow of the HEA (PFHEA). You should apply for the one that most closely aligns with your experience as an educator.

Through online material and face to face modules, we support you to reflect on your practices, values and philosophies as educators, your accumulated experiences, and different kinds of education-related expertise.

There are more than 130,000 HEA fellows across the world, with more than 1,200 of those in Australia. Since being introduced to ANU in late 2013, the ANU EFS has awarded more than 400 HEA fellowships to ANU staff, and more than 250 to staff from external universities.

What are our aims?
Aim 1
To support individual members of academic or professional staff from ANU and other Australasian or regional universities to apply for internationally-endorsed professional recognition as a university educator through an appropriate category of HEA fellowship, in order to provide externally-referenced esteem indicators of an individual’s experience and outcomes as a university educator. This preparation includes relevant professional development as well as group and individual development support in describing, and reflecting on, past practice that includes:
  • experience in, and knowledge of, teaching and learning at tertiary level, and/or student learning support;
  • engagement with relevant professional development; and
  • commitment to professional values and professionalism as a university educator.
Aim 2
To broaden the approach to professional development and professional recognition with regard to teaching and learning activities at ANU, by providing staff with:
  • A reflective framework of standards that gives ANU staff involved in teaching and learning a clear understanding of what they do, how they do it, and why they do it that way
  • A recognition structure linked to the Academic Professional Development (APD) programs
  • An externally benchmarked measure of esteem for promotion cases, performance reviews, and job applications
  • Opportunities for ongoing peer engagement, networking and intra- and cross-institutional benchmarking opportunities
Aim 3
To support ANU in showing national leadership in the sector, through engagement with effective professionalisation of the ANU teaching and learning workforce


What is Advance HE?

Advance HE, previously known as the Higher Education Academy or HEA, is an independent non-profit organisation committed to world-class teaching in higher education. It works in partnership with institutions and individuals in higher education supporting student success. Advance HE brings the sector together to collaborate, and share teaching strategies and practice, and currently has over 130,000 fellows around the world.

Why do university educators need professional recognition?

Whereas a PhD provides evidence that an academic has an effective approach to research, there has been no equivalent widely-accepted acknowledgement that an academic has demonstrated an effective approach to teaching… until now. Advance HE pioneered such acknowledgement in the UK, and increasingly internationally, through its professional recognition of educators against national standards, specifically the UK Professional Standards Framework (PSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. This role stems from Advance HE’s mission to champion teaching and learning in higher education.


How did the ANU become a leader in professional recognition?

In June 2013, ANU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the HEA (now Advance HE) to become its first subscribing higher education institution outside the UK, and thus the first Australian university to invest in professional recognition of teaching strategy open to all its staff. To initiate the institutional standard, a small group of academic staff with track records of teaching excellence – identified by institutional/national teaching awards, and/or institutional/discipline leadership – successfully applied directly to HEA as Senior or Principal Fellows. This provided a cohort of champions across campus to provide high level visibility and endorsement of HEA recognition, and to support others in developing applications.The ANU EFS was subsequently accredited by the HEA to follow detailed and quality processes to award all four categories of fellowships to those who meet the PSF standards in Australasian university contexts.

The unique relationship between ANU and the HEA was soon supported by national awareness-raising, discussion and research, sparking great interest across the sector which an additional 200 successful applications to the EFS from around 30 other universities across Australia, New Zealand and China.

In May 2016, the first Australasian Symposium on Professional Recognition of University Educators was held at ANU University House. The Symposium attracted more than 70 delegates from 18 Australasian universities, the Australian Department of Education, New Zealand’s Ako Aotearoa, and the HEA, and enhanced the national interest in recognition through HEA fellowships. Many other Australasian universities, including other Group of Eight universities, have now joined ANU in subscribing to HEA or putting staff forward for fellowships. In February 2017, the HEA launched its Australasian Strategic Advisory Board in Canberra, and this was hosted by ANU.

Australian Universities subscribing to Advance HE:
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Tasmania
  • Murdoch University
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)


Institutions that have worked with ANU to enable fellowship applications through the ANU EFS:
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Griffith University
  • Macquarie University
  • University of New England
  • University of Queensland
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University of Wollongong
New Zealand:
  • Auckland University of Technology


Institutions from which individuals have applied for fellowship through the ANU EFS:
  • Central Queensland University
  • Curtin University
  • Griffith University
  • James Cook University
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Melbourne (Peter MacCallum Cancer Research)
  • University of Melbourne (Water & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research)
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Anhui Normal University
  • Beijing Dance Academy
  • China University of Political Science and Law
  • Heibei Medical University
  • Jiangsu Normal University
  • Peking University
  • Shanghai International Studies University
  • Southwest Jiaotong University
  • Southwest University
  • Wuhan University
  • Yunnan Normal University


How successful has the ANU EFS been?

The EFS has grown steadily in its first three years, with consistent interest amongst staff from all colleges. In 2014, the “early adopters” were busy, with 112 successful applications for HEA fellowship. 2015 and 2016 saw continuous growth, with another 188 successful applicants, taking us to a magic 300 in 3 years! 2017 saw the largest cohort go through this program, making a total of 415 fellows. There is a list of all ANU colleagues who have already been awarded fellowship.

For more information on the first three years of the EFS, please read the following paper:

Beckmann, E.A. (2016). Teaching excellence: Recognising the many as well as the few. In M. Davis & A. Goody (Eds.), Research and Development in Higher Education. The Shape of Higher Education, 39 (pp 13-22). Fremantle, Australia, 4 – 7 July 2016.

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1. Associate Fellow: Entry category of professional recognition, suited to those with relatively limited teaching or learner-support responsibilities and experience. 2. Fellow: The standard category of professional recognition, suited to those with solid teaching or learner-support responsibilities and experience (usually at least two years of course convening), and substantive professional development in teaching and learning. 3. Senior Fellow: An advanced category that recognises sustained effectiveness and academic leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience. This is combined with scholarship, educational research and other professional activities, including working with others through mentoring, support and/or coordination. 4. Principal Fellow: The highest category that recognises those with a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high quality teaching and student learning. This is combined with an integrated scholarly academic practice and other professional activities.