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Warwick Law Academics receive Awards for Teaching Excellence

Dr Celine Tan and Dr Andi Hoxhaj have been announced as winners of this year’s Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence (WATE) and PhD student Sahar Shah has been awarded the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduates who Teach (WATE PGR).

This year for WATE we have been celebrating ‘everyday excellence' and recognising the contributions to learning and teaching at Warwick that have really made a difference in unprecedented times.

It has become commonplace to say that we are living through an exceptional period for higher education. Since March 2020 we have all had to quickly adapt to meet unanticipated challenges, to teach and to learn in often unfamiliar ways.  So, just as the year of COVID-19 has necessitated different approaches to education at Warwick, it also necessitates a different approach to celebrating success.  

This year the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence aimed to recognise those who have made a difference to the student learning experience through their work and teaching practice. For the first time we have rewarded the contribution made by those working collaboratively to teach and support student learning.

Nominations were opened to both individuals and groups of people who have worked together to create something that made a difference in a difficult year. We hope our winner’s stories and how they have made an impact either directly or indirectly by supporting colleagues will plant the seeds for future approaches to teaching and learning as we emerge from the global pandemic.

Find out who our winners are, what they have achieved this year and how they feel about winning the award below.

Dr Celine Tan

I am Reader in Law and teacher and scholar of international economic law. I am a woman of colour from the global south who is committed to developing inclusive, accessible and representative scholarship, practice and communities of teaching and learning that reflect the lived experiences and realities of the majority world.

I am honoured to be awarded the WATE. It has been an extraordinary year for both students and staff. I hope that I have, in my capacity as Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Law School, as a teacher of international economic law, a personal tutor and a colleague, been able to steer us through the challenges, including facilitating a rapid transition to online and hybrid education, building an inclusive community of learning, teaching and decision-making that also engages with respectful but robust criticism upon which we need to develop our practice.

Dr Andi Hoxhaj - Butterworth Award Winner
I am an early career academic teaching in the European Union Law module at Warwick Law School. My areas of research focus on corruption, governance, the rule of law, European integration and the Western Balkans. I was awarded my doctoral title in 2017 at the University of Warwick. In April 2018, I was awarded the prestigious British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award funding my project 'The UK—Western Balkans post-Brexit'. I am an author of ‘The EU Anti-Corruption Policy: A Reflexive Governance Approach’ published by Routledge in 2020.

I am honoured to be awarded the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence and humbled by the nomination from our fantastic students. It is essential that we work more closely with our students and create a safe environment where students are able to share their challenges with us as educators – know that we are listening, and fully committed in supporting them. Student voices being heard and validated is the key to open channels of communication and academic engagement, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not only. Furthermore, curiosity and lack of fear in exploring methods of teaching tailored to our student’s needs are also critical. Their success is our success.

Sahar Shah

I am a third year PhD candidate at the University of Warwick's Law School studying Indigenous environmental and climate justice movements in Canada. I'm also a Contract Law seminar tutor and I'm involved with several university-wide teaching initiatives such as the Warwick Online Learning Certificate and WIHEA's PGR Teacher Digital Hub.

This year, I have learned that the environments in which we work are of greater importance in every way than any individual teacher. My teaching this year has been a product of lessons I have learned from my teaching team, the fantastic faculty at Warwick Law School, and my teachers on the APP PGR. Beyond my role as a seminar tutor, in collaboration with Indigenous Environmental Network and two other Warwick colleagues, I am working to create an open source curricula that turns a critical lens on the “compartments” that comprise a traditional legal university education in the UK, in the context of anti-colonial and anti-racist approaches to environmental and climate justice. As the ED&I representative for PGRs at Warwick Law School, I am also co-ordinating a seminar series on critical approaches to core legal subjects (to be hosted by PGRs from a range of institutions) called “Decolonising the Core”.

Congratulations to Celine, Andi and Sahar on behalf of your Law School colleagues and students, and thank you for your continuous hard work.


Fri 18 Jun 2021, 10:00 | Tags: Award, Staff in action, Feature