Celebrating National Teaching Fellowship Success at Heriot-Watt



Stuart Allan, Director of Online Learning at Heriot-Watt Online, has been awarded Heriot-Watt’s first ever National Teaching Fellowship by Advance HE. These awards celebrate and recognise individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

Advance HE announced 55 new National Teaching Fellows and 14 teams were awarded the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) today, Thursday 5 August.

Stuart has been recognised for his work to connect technological development and pedagogic innovation. He has helped transform the practice of online course development teams, bringing academic and professional expertise together to spark innovation and open space for these programmes to be truly pioneering.

He heads up the design and development of fully online programmes at Heriot-Watt Online, leading a team of learning designers and digital media producers who work with academics across the institution. Stuart joined Heriot-Watt in 2005 and led the recent transformation of the Edinburgh Business School MBA and doctoral programmes before becoming Director of Online Learning at Heriot-Watt Online in July 2020.

After winning the award he said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive an AdvanceHE National Teaching Fellowship award and I’m so grateful to all the colleagues who have supported and encouraged me over the years. I’m really looking forward to taking part in AdvanceHE’s community of NTFs and to discussing critical and sustainable approaches to learning and teaching online.”

Professor Martha Caddell, Director of Heriot-Watt’s Learning and Teaching Academy, congratulated Stuart on his success.

She said: “At this time, when online learning and digital pedagogies have rocketed to the forefront of institutional priorities, recognising the range of expertise that help shape excellent teaching and online practice is vital. Stuart will be an excellent ambassador for online learning, and for Heriot-Watt University, within the National Teaching Fellow community.”

Professor John Sawkins, Deputy Principal (Education and Student Life) noted: “As an institution and a sector, the future of teaching enhancement lies in collaborative development of courses, bringing colleagues with technical, pedagogic and academic skills together to deliver excellent online and blended learning opportunities. I am delighted that the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme has recognised and celebrated the instructional design and pedagogic development specialism that Stuart offers, expertise that is critical in ensuring we offer exceptional learning opportunities for our students.”

The National Teaching Fellowship scheme began in 2000, opening to applicants from Scottish institutions in 2018. 2021 sees the scheme surpass 1,000 awardees in its 21-year history.

Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE, said, “I am delighted to congratulate the 2021 NTFS and CATE awardees on their achievements. This year marks the 1000th National Teaching Fellowship award. Over the years, each and every NTF has made an impact on the sector – both on the students they teach and on their fellow teaching staff who look to them for inspiration and guidance.

“Well done to each and every awardee on this outstanding achievement.”

The full list of 2021 NTFs and CATE winners is below.

National Teaching Fellowship

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence


Susan Kerr