Academy Fellowship Scheme

The Academy Fellowship Scheme (AFS) is a program which supports academic and professional staff to receive recognition for their excellence in teaching and/or support of learning in higher education. 

The program started in 2019 and reflects the University’s  commitment to enhancing the student experience by providing outstanding teaching and learning support. In the first two years of the program, almost 200 staff members were awarded Fellowship.

UWA awards three categories of Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship. These Fellowships are accredited by Advance Higher Education (Advance HE), a UK-based organisation which promotes excellence in higher education. Upon completion of the UWA program, staff submit an application and if successful, will be awarded Associate Fellow, Fellow or Senior Fellow. The AFS can also support staff to apply to Advance HE for the fourth category, Principal Fellow. All Fellowships are assessed in alignment with Advance HE’s Professional Standards Framework.

Fellowships are celebrated by the University community at a Celebration Ceremony held at the end of the academic year. 

The Benefits of Fellowship

Applying for Fellowship provides the opportunity for staff to reflect on their experience, expertise and practise in higher education and benchmark it against a set of internationally recognised standards.

It contributes to continuing Professional Development as applicants are required to engage with the Scholarship or Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in their discipline areas.

Further benefits include:

  • a consolidation of evidence of professional practice and personal development over your career in higher education;
  • a demonstrated commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development; 
  • an internally accredited professional recognition which is identified by post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA);
  • a badge of assured international quality throughout the institution indicating that UWA is fully aligned with the Professional Standards Framework;
  • enhancement of the student learning experience through the improvement of our learning and teaching, and recognition of our excellent teachers and professional staff and
  • participation in the UWA Academy as a Fellow and Communities of Practice (CoP) member.

UWA Academy Fellows contribute to the success of our program and benefit from professional development by supporting new applicants.

Pathways to Fellowship

There are various pathways for staff to apply for Fellowship. The main pathway to apply for Associate Fellowship and Fellowship is  through the Experiential Route, a written application which draws on experience in learning and teaching. The pathway to Senior Fellowship is the Dialogic Route which involves a written and dialogic application.

It is also possible to follow a Taught Pathway to apply for Fellowship.  This means that applicants will complete a program, unit or course which includes instruction on completing the fellowship application. Staff can submit their Associate Fellow application upon completion of Skills, Pedagogical Approaches, Resources and Knowledge (SPARK) or Foundations of Tertiary Teaching. Alternatively, staff can submit their Fellow application upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.

Categories of Fellowship

Associate Fellow (AFHEA)
Associate Fellow Logo
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)  recognises staff who  have  relatively limited teaching or learner-support responsibilities or experience. It is also a good starting point for those with significant experience but minimal professional development in teaching and the support of learning.

This category of Fellowship is suitable for: 

  • tutors with at least two semesters of teaching/demonstrating experience;
  • academics new to teaching and
  • clinical educators, educational designers and other professional and support staff.
Fellow (FHEA)
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Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) recognises staff with significant teaching responsibilities in a range of roles, including most mainstream academics.  This is a good choice for staff with solid teaching or learner-support responsibilities and experience. 

This category of Fellowship is suitable for:

  • academics with at least two years of unit convening at University level, or experience with the support of learning;
  • staff who have have undertaken substantive professional development in teaching and the support of learning and
  • staff who have demonstrated engagement with the UWA teaching community by attending internal and external events, such as EEU workshops or conferences on teaching in higher education, perhaps in their disciplines.

“Attending the Foundations of Tertiary Teaching (FOTT) intensive workshop in 2019 helped me to understand and explore the theories, principles and effective practices of university learning and teaching. In particular, I now have a greater understanding of evidence-based strategies for enhancing learning and teaching, how to critically evaluate approaches to learning and teaching in my discipline, and the importance of self-reflective practices for ongoing professional development. Through FOTT and the HEA application process, I have I gained many new ideas from discussions with educators with varying teaching experience, from different faculties right across UWA, and I have been able to implement what I learnt immediately into my own teaching. The HEA application process has been invaluable, allowing me the opportunity to form part of a growing network of teachers committed to delivering quality tertiary education.”  Dr Naomi Tucker, FHEA, School of Earth Sciences

Senior Fellow (SFHEA)
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This is an advanced category of professional recognition, acknowledging sustained effectiveness and academic leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience, combined with scholarship, educational research and other professional activities, including the impact of working with others through mentoring, support and/or coordination.

Despite the name, it is not necessarily for the most ‘senior’ educators in terms of teaching experience/years accumulated. SFHEA is set apart from FHEA as applicants must demonstrate and evidence their impact on other colleagues, through their mentoring and leadership. Applicants must also have evidence of engagement in extensive teaching-related PD.

This category of Fellowship is suitable for:

  • academics or professional staff with significant teaching and/or support of learning experience;
  • staff who have engaged in extensive and continuous formal and informal professional development;  
  • staff who have mentored, engaged and influenced peers in teaching and
  • staff who have demonstrated the successful coordination, support, supervision, management and/or mentoring of others (whether individuals and/or teams) in relation to teaching and learning.
Principal Fellow (PFHEA)
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This category recognises those who have had strategic influence across the sector – nationally and internationally.  Applicants are most commonly university executive or administrators and are assessed by AdvanceHE.

For more information

Find out more about applying for Fellowship at our Sharepoint or contact the AFS at