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USP Pro Vice-Chancellor at the GTEA Awards Ceremony in London, UK

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Representatives of the University of Huddersfield at the London Awards Ceremony.

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pro Vice-Chancellor (Flexible Learning) and Director of the Centre for Flexible Learning, Professor Som Naidu, who was part of the international panel of distinguished judges for the Higher Education Academy’s Global Teaching Excellence Award (GTEA) shared his experiences in judging some of the best universities from across the globe.

Professor Naidu said that it was fascinating to see what these universities were doing in relation to teaching and learning enhancements in their institutions. He added that while he was judging other universities, he was comparing their plans and processes with the ones at USP.

Professor Naidu stated that it was an honour and a privilege for him to be able to serve as part of the international panel of judges ( and added that it also highlighted the esteem in which USP is held by the Higher Education Academy.

“Clearly USP is very much on their radar as an institution that is unique in so many ways and doing extraordinary things in the most difficult of circumstances, and my presence on behalf of USP acknowledged that reality very well,” he said.

But he pointed out that there is a lot that USP could benefit from the experience of the 27 finalists, particularly from the winner, University of Huddersfield. (

GTEA is a new global award for teaching and learning in higher education and is the first of its kind, with the distinct purpose of recognising and celebrating institutional commitment to driving teaching and learning excellence.

The award recognises that teaching excellence is contextually specific and therefore will require applicants to clearly evidence how the impact of their strategy supports their particular vision for and definition of teaching excellence.

The GTEA award ceremony took place at Church House Westminster, London on 4 September 2017, and coincided with the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit which was held from 3-5 September.

Professor Naidu said that during the awards dinner, he got the opportunity to sit next to Mr Chris Havergal, News editor of Times Higher Education with whom Professor Naidu had the chance to have lengthy discussions about featuring USP in their publications.

“Needless to say that USP is like no other institution out there and we need to tell our story ever so loudly and often as we have much to show and share,” the Pro Vice-Chancellor added.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Higher Education Academy’s Chief Executive, said, “With high quality submissions from around the world, I think this award has really captured the imagination of the higher education sector and will help raise the profile of teaching globally.”

This news item was published on 25 Sep 2017 11:58:35 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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