An Oxford Brookes academic has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship – the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

Jane Anderson, Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture, was acknowledged for her innovative use of live projects in architectural education.

Jane runs OB1 LIVE at Oxford Brookes which is a radical programme of real live projects designed and implemented by students for the local community.

Past projects include an exhibition of archaeological artefacts at the Pitt Rivers Museum and a moveable ticket booth for the Creation Theatre Company.

OB1 LIVE projects often have implications beyond the initial premise. One student commented: “My involvement in has always been so different from other educational experiences. Fundamentally because they’re real and physical. Something that affects people, their lives, often having political and social impact.”

Jane is also co-founder of the Live Projects Network, an international online resource to connect students, academics, practitioners and clients involved in live projects.

Commenting on her award, Jane said: “As a teacher I support educational experiences that are personally transformative and socially engaged. Live Projects involve students, academics, practitioners and the community in real projects. It’s a highly collaborative process so huge thanks are due to all who have participated over the years.”

Unusually, Jane started her teaching career with an extended period of observation in the architectural design studio. Her teaching practice is still informed by her study of the dynamic between student and tutor

Jane practiced as an architect in Germany and the UK, particularly enjoying working with pupils and teachers to design school buildings. She balanced this with teaching in the design studio which imparted a belief that year-one students are capable of tackling complex problems.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA, commented: “Each year I look forward with great anticipation to the announcement of our new National Teaching Fellows.  It is always such an inspirational time as we welcome 55 outstanding teachers in higher education to our growing family of NTFs. This year is no exception.

“Our students deserve the best possible learning experience and it is colleagues like those we celebrate today who can make a real difference to their futures. I congratulate all the successful Fellows and wish them every success in their own learning and teaching experiences.”

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme recognises and rewards excellent learning and teaching.

The successful National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) were chosen from nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Each successful NFT award winner will receive £10,000 which will be used to support their professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.

This is the eighth National Teaching Fellowship to be given to those working at Oxford Brookes in the past six years. 

Further information on the National Teaching Fellowship is available on the HEA website.