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 6 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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Chair (W3) of Architectural Construction and Design

Technische Universitat Dresden (tu Dresden)

Chair (W3) of Structural Design in Architecture

Technische Universitat Dresden (tu Dresden)

Chair (W2) of Architectural Conservation and Design

Technische Universitat Dresden (tu Dresden)
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework