Virtual practice leads list of HEA award winners

May 22, 2008

A professor who has helped develop technology allowing law students to act on behalf of "virtual" clients is among this year's batch of Higher Education Academy senior fellows.

Students of Paul Maharg, professor in law at Glasgow Graduate School of Law, University of Strathclyde, are taught and assessed via a fictional town on the web that features virtual law firms and clients.

Another fellowship goes to Martin Haigh, professor of geography at Oxford Brookes University, whose ideas on internationalisation of the curriculum have been used to develop policy at Oxford Brookes and beyond.

Professor Haigh, who is editor of the international Journal of Geography in Higher Education, focuses on "education for a sustainable future".

Ursula Lucas, professor of accounting education at Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, is recognised for taking a lead in promoting accounting education internationally.

Professor Lucas led an inquiry into the teaching of accounting across the UK as part of her national teaching fellowship project and organises accounting education symposia with the University of Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile the work of Bernard Moss, professor of social work education and spirituality at Staffordshire University, includes designing a teaching module that helps social-work students to practise their communication skills.

He is director of the Centre for Spirituality and Health, which holds annual multifaith symposia, tackling themes around mental health and "end-of-life" issues.

For the first time, the HEA has awarded senior fellowships to two academics based overseas. The awards go to Iain Hay, professor of geography at Flinders University, Australia, and Mark Israel, professor of law and criminology, also at Flinders.

Paul Ramsden, chief executive of the HEA, said: "The scheme recognises the enormous contribution made to students' experiences by leading academics.

"Their expertise is of great benefit to both students and staff."

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