UQ’s Fine Fellows

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship scheme is a professional recognition scheme for university educators. It provides an international benchmark for teaching quality.

Following a successful pilot in 2016 and further development across the last year by The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) alongside school and faculty partners, the UQ HEA Fellowship scheme is now institutionally accredited by Advance HE (UK).

This enables ITaLI to manage and administer internal HEA Fellowship applications for the benefit of all staff (both academic and professional) working in Teaching and Learning at UQ.

At UQ, the HEA scheme is one way the university is building and acknowledging a community of great teachers creating change. Read about one of our newest HEA Fellows below.

Dr Andrew Allsebrook (FHEA) from the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences is a long way from his original birthplace in England and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland where he studied Chemistry (and golf). Andrew has a diverse career background; one of his most unique jobs across his career (in our opinion) has been making chewing gum and soft drinks as a food scientist. He has called Australia home for seven years, and has taught in his current role at UQ for five of those. Outside of work, Andrew has a deep passion for sport and coaches at his local cricket club. 

Teaching journey

My career and teaching journey has been long winding, and taken me a long way from home. After completing a Chemistry degree and PhD at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, a fairly unique job I had was making chewing gum and soft drinks in the food industry. Following that role, I moved into the pharmaceutical industry in Cornwall. I then combined a teaching and food industry consultancy role at the University of Abertay Dundee, back in Scotland, before a family move to sunny Brisbane. I have been Lead Demonstrator in the First Year Chemistry Undergraduate teaching laboratory for 5 years now, which combines a role where people and project management is important, with an opportunity to have a positive impact on the learning path of over 2000 students each year.

I hope that the broad experience I bring to the role shows our students and tutors the diverse opportunities available to them with a Chemistry degree.

HEA experience

The HEA application process provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how much I had actually done in my teaching career and to put it down on paper in one place.  The process was very straightforward. The support of the ITaLI team and having a buddy to bounce ideas off and to challenge me helped to crystallise my thoughts. 

Being recognised with the Fellowship gives me confidence that the work I do to develop the learning experience for the first year chemistry students (and the tutors that work with them) is paying off. It also encourages me to continually look for opportunities to continue this development.   

Memorable teaching moment

It’s great to see the students’ skills, knowledge and confidence grow through the semester and to see the tutors developing too. The most satisfying part of my role is when I see the tutors and students working together and to hear the interaction between the students as they share their knowledge with each other. Seeing these students then progress through their Chemistry degree and then come back as a tutor is also a fantastic experience, though it shows how old I’m getting!

Teaching philosophy

My teaching ethos is to do everything I can to provide a platform for the students to become the best scientists that they can be. Even if we can’t convert everyone to Chemistry, hopefully the students will take away a framework to take them through their academic career in the laboratory and onwards.

Having seen so many students through our courses in the past five years, my children think I’m famous as I’ve been recognised in diverse places such as Bundaberg and Eat Street markets!  It’s really nice to get a smile and a hello from students that you have helped in the past.