Nick Brewer, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching for the School has been promoted to Reader as part of the 2019 Annual Review process for academic staff.
Nick said, “I feel very lucky to be working with such amazing and professional colleagues in DTU-after all it’s not difficult to look good when you are surrounded by great people”.
Nick achieved his promotion in recognition of a significant body of work focussed on two areas that are a key passion for him, the student journey (widening access and retention and progression) and student experience (innovative teaching methods) for undergraduate students.
Initially at a School level Nick, as the programme lead for the Co-Curriculum, Widening Access and Foundation Year Programmes, has worked with Further Education colleges to widen access to Higher Education for students both locally and internationally. As Nick has been involved in the development of the Life Sciences undergraduate curriculum since the beginning, this has allowed for him to create an innovative approach to curriculum mapping for Further Education student entry. It has allowed them to spend time at the University prior to entry to full time study on an undergraduate course. This work has led to a formal relationship between the University of Dundee and Dundee and Angus College. In addition, this approach has led to a significant increase in the progression and retention of students entering from Further Education colleges.
Nick’s work in this area was recognised and led to his appointment as the University Lead for Articulation from Further Education centres and SLS Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching. Since 2016, several Schools across the University have adopted the strategy Nick initiated. In this articulation role, Nick continues to build and reinforce relationships on behalf of the whole University with current partners such as Dundee and Angus College while developing new ones with others. Also during his time, there has been a positive increase in Life Science retention and progression statistics for all students.
Another area that Nick has been deeply involved in has been in continually evolving his teaching approach and using new technological advances provided they are pedagogically sound. An example of which was the use of TurningPoint polling software (his Level 2 Chemistry class was the first to use TurningPoint in the University in 2006). This work was recognised with the 2005/06 and 2008/09 Dundee University Graduates’ Award for Innovative Teaching.
University Wide Work
The expertise Nick has developed through his School role has led to him to work on a number of University level projects and working groups. The Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching asked Nick to chair a University wide Working Group on the provision of online exams. This work is moving forward and hopefully will benefit the entire University. Since Spring 2018 as part of the Business Transformation process, Nick chairs a University working group with the remit of exploring the student journey from matriculation to graduation/alumni, this work is ongoing.