Making a hashtag of it

June 6, 2013

Times Higher Education recently encouraged responses to its cover feature “My student nemesis” (16 May) with a Twitter hashtag, #myworststudent. Having dropped some ­Twitter clangers in my time, I won’t seek to claim the high ground. However misjudged that original hashtag was, the response from students, #mybestlecturer, was a positive outcome. It showed that great lecturers can change lives for the better, and that is why the National Union of Students passionately believes in a partnership approach to edu­cation despite ministers ­seeking to convince us that treating it as a financial ­transaction would serve us better.

The NUS and the Higher Education ­Academy have developed and rolled out the Student-Led Teaching Awards (SLTA). Pioneered at one union in Scotland, the awards now involve nearly two-thirds of UK higher education ­institutions. The genuinely touching #mybest­lecturer messages are similar to the tens of thousands of nominations students’ unions collect through the SLTA every year. We don’t do this just to be nice but rather to identify best teaching practice and to champion it.

Let’s hope more good will come from your proverbial slip of the tweet: I hope any vice-chancellor reading this has a look at the award website and reaches for the chequebook to start or redouble their support for students’ unions running the scheme.

Those whom academics consider their worst students might also be the ones with the most to deal with outside the lecture theatre. Let’s celebrate the thousands of lecturers who go out of their way to help their charges rather than being cynical about what can be an incredibly stressful period in life.

Liam Burns
President, National Union of Students

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study