David Morley, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Warwick Writing Programme, has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS), which launched in 2000 and is sponsored by The Guardian, recognises and rewards teachers and learning support staff in higher education in England and Northern Ireland for their excellence in teaching.
David has written eight books of poetry and edited six anthologies of new fiction and poetry, two of which are set texts in teaching. He writes essays, criticism and reviews for the Guardian, Poetry Review and international journals and has produced two works of public art and directed a film about poetry readings in the UK Gujarati-speaking community. In 2005, he received a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence, achieving the highest score for that year and across all the years that the scheme has been running.
One of David’s main aims is to develop a community of writers who support and nurture each other and their work. In 2000, he led 60 students in schools in Coventry in a workshop project involving 2000 people, resulting in an anthology, Phoenix New Writing. In 2002, students worked with professional writers and medical staff to produce The Gift: New Writing for the NHS. After national media attention, George Bush’s Healthcare Review team telephoned and ordered copies.
David believes that creative writing is a discipline with its “door open on the world”: he asks writers to deliver teaching through workshops and encourages students to work in the community, running new festivals of writing and even their own publishing houses. He developed the pioneering BA in English and Creative Writing – the first undergraduate degree to place the practice of writing equally alongside the study of literature. Over 800 home and EU applicants apply for 25 places each year, making it one of the most popular arts degree courses in Europe.
The Warwick Writing Programme is the subject of a huge amount of external acclaim. The Independent called the programme “one of the most imaginative experiments in higher education”. Salman Rushdie chose Warwick as the first place to read in public before the Fatwah was lifted, saying to reporters, “The WWP is bridging the gap between academic and creative writing. I came here because I believe in what it is doing.”
The NTFS is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland and sponsored by The Guardian as part of their ongoing commitment to celebrating those who contribute to student learning. It was re-launched in 2006 and now comprises two strands: Individual National Teaching Fellowship Awards and Projects.
The scheme is open to all staff who promote excellence in student learning in HE. Higher education institutions were able to nominate up to three staff for the Individual Award strand. The Individual Awards aim to raise the profile of learning and teaching; recognise and celebrate individuals who make an outstanding impact on the student learning experience; and provide a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.
The 50 winners, chosen from a record 242 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England and Northern Ireland, will each receive awards of £10,000 to support their learning and teaching. The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony and dinner in London on 19 September.
The Higher Education Academy works with universities and colleges, discipline groups, individual staff and organisations to help them deliver the best possible learning experience for students. It has a triple focus on national policy, institutional support, and subject and staff development.
It is an independent organisation funded by grants from the four UK funding bodies, subscriptions from higher education institutions, and grant and contract income for specific initiatives. Its functions include the accreditation of programmes and of individuals as registered practitioners, research and evaluation, and a UK-wide Subject Network providing discipline-based support for learning and teaching.