Prestigious Principal Fellowships awarded

Congratulations to Deputy Provost Professor Meg Stuart, Associate Dean Head of Learning and Teaching, Governance and Accreditation Dr Bhavani Sridharan, and Associate Professor Deputy Head of School Allied Health Loretta Sheppard, who were recently awarded Principal Fellowships of the Higher Education Academy.

Advance HE provides formal recognition of professional practice in higher education teaching and learning support, through awarding Higher Education Academy Fellowships to university teachers and higher education professionals. To gain this recognition, applicants must apply to have their practice assessed against the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

The prestigious award of Principal Fellowship recognises an individual’s sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high-quality student learning. As one of the main motivators to apply, Dr Sridharan says, “The prospect of recognition and acknowledgment of my sustained commitment and contribution to the advancement of higher education inspired me to go for it.” Similarly, Associate Professor Sheppard comments, “It is very affirming to have my approach to learning validated by a panel of international experts in the field.”

Less than 1 per cent of the 143,816 fellows worldwide are Principal Fellows. In Australia, there are now 4,725 Fellows, approximately 131 of which are Principal Fellows. The latest figures show that the density of membership in Australasia is second only to that of the UK.

 Professor Meg Stuart
Professor Meg Stuart
“Fellowship gives me membership of a still fairly exclusive club of like-minded educators and leaders, and access to their expertise, advice and mentoring. As such, it expands my thinking and further influences my practice.”
Dr Bhavani Sridharan
Dr Bhavani Sridharan
“It is an absolute honour and privilege to join a group of great scholars who are highly committed to doing everything under their power to make a difference in students' educational journey.”
 Associate Professor Loretta Sheppard
Associate Professor Loretta Sheppard
“The underpinning philosophy of capacity building aligns with my own personal philosophy of supporting others to understand and get the most out of themselves.”
 Fellowships at ACU

Professor Stuart, Associate Professor Sheppard and Dr Sridharan join an impressive list of 55 academics with Fellowships at ACU, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Provost Professor Belinda Tynan and six other Principal Fellows.

ACU continues to partner with Advance HE in 2021, providing the opportunity for academic and professional staff to join this growing community of educators.

Professor Stuart says, “This ongoing commitment to the scheme is critically important to raise the profile of teaching at ACU and to acknowledge and celebrate the many excellent and dedicated teachers at ACU. It sends the message to the higher education community domestically and internationally that ACU is committed to a culture of excellence in learning and teaching.”

Dr Sridharan says she is “looking forward to fostering this fellowship community by paying it forward and imparting the knowledge derived from this process to support cultural transformation, and to be the change agent for the advancement of the future of higher education”.

Professor Stuart echoes these thoughts: “I would like to see a more visible Fellowship community. Together, we can be a force for good across the university.”

If you are interested in applying for an Advance HE Fellowship, please visit the LTC webpage for more information or contact Dr Vanessa Fredericks, Senior Lecturer in Academic Development, at

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