The UK's top academic teachers launched a formal group this week that will give them an independent voice and help them to shape higher education policy.
Academics awarded National Teaching Fellowships after being nominated by their peers have formed the Association of National Teaching Fellows under the aegis of the Higher Education Academy.
Bob Rotheram, a 2002 fellow and e-learning development manager at Nottingham Trent's Centre for Academic Practice, said: "Many fellows wanted to do something beyond their special interests."
A group of 19 volunteers, drawn from across the four years the awards have been in place, made up an interim coordination group.
Until now, this worked on an ad hoc basis, but the academy has agreed to host the body, which could become a formal association. Members expect to find out about the academy's formal approval on February 8.
Victoria Eaton, the academy's director of registration and accreditation, said: "Many fellows are doing informative and innovative projects. If they can work with the academic community to share that knowledge, we will be making the most of their pool of expertise."
Paul Ramsden, the academy's chief executive, said: "The more we can get people on the ground to inform policy the better."
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