Dr Pollyanna Magne

An academic driven by the transformative power of education has received a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) from Advance HE.

Dr Pollyanna Magne, currently a Lecturer in Clinical Education and Programme Lead for MSc Global Health, received the accolade for a sustained track record of impact on teaching and learning in Higher Education at a local, national and international level.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have had an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Following an early career as a secondary school teacher, Dr Magne started as a Widening Participation Officer at the University of Plymouth in 2001, helping pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential in higher education, and leading the national mentoring programme. From there, she joined the Learning Development Team, enabling students to develop their academic skills.

Dr Magne said: 

“Education is my absolute passion – it transforms people’s lives and the more we can do to create dynamic teaching and learning environments, whether that’s under a tree, in a half-built classroom, a high-tech lecture theatre, or a digital learning space, the better.

“NTFs are about having a sustained track record in making a difference through education, so I’m absolutely thrilled to have received the award. Whether it’s teaching a child to read and write, empowering people to apply to university, or working with new and experienced academics to enhance their teaching, it’s all about inspiring learning and transforming lives through education. It’s a real honour to be awarded an NTF for my contribution to this.”

Dr Pollyanna Magne and students 

In 2007 Dr Magne became an Associate Professor in Educational Development and the Programme Director of the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. 

As well as being described as an ‘outstanding’ pastoral tutor to students, she has also been nominated for the SSTAR Awards (Student, Staff, Teaching and Representation) led by the University of Plymouth Students’ Union, for giving effective feedback and commended by external examiners for the provision of high quality, innovative academic development programmes. 

Dr Magne has trained and mentored over 1,200 academics in the UK and abroad and provided development and guidance for experienced academic teams to enhance the teaching, learning and assessment experience for students in Higher Education.

Her research concentrates on assessment and feedback, inclusive practice, transnational education and internationalisation. Dr Magne’s interest in global education has inspired self-funded sabbaticals to teach children in rural Kenya and abandoned or orphaned ‘street kids’ in urban India.

Dr Pollyanna Magne with children in Ramanthapur, India

2021 sees the NTF scheme surpass 1,000 awardees in its 21-year history; with 55 new NTFS. A further 14 teams were awarded the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), which recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning and highlights the key role of teamwork in higher education.

Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE, said: 

“I am delighted to congratulate the 2021 NTFS and CATE awardees on their achievements. This year marks the 1000th National Teaching Fellowship award. Over the years, each and every NTF has made an impact on the sector – both on the students they teach and on their fellow teaching staff who look to them for inspiration and guidance.
“It’s also very gratifying to see the quality of teamwork represented this year – the CATE awards really have become part of the sector landscape. Teamwork has been especially important in the past year with the challenges for teaching and learning as a result of social distancing and in the autumn we will publish case studies highlighting this excellent collaborative effort. I am sure that institutions will value these examples as we start to return to the best of in-person teaching complemented by excellent online delivery. Well done to each and every awardee on this outstanding achievement.”