KARACHI: To recognize excellence in teaching in higher education, the Aga Khan University has launched the Teachers’ Academy, one of the first interdisciplinary academies of its kind in East Africa and Pakistan.
“Rewarding and recognizing teachers promotes excellence in teaching, teaching that engages students in their own learning, in pursuing creative work and innovative ideas, and in reaching their full potential. In the rapidly changing environment that we now live in, teaching excellence prepares our students to be future leaders in their communities,” said Vice Provost Dr Tashmin Khamis.
“The Academy will develop a community of faculty recognized for teaching excellence, who will be able to promote teaching and inspire and mentor their peers. It will be developed on the foundation of outstanding AKU teachers, who are recognized for their contribution to teaching and learning in higher education, including those who have benchmarked their practice internationally and attained the UK’s Higher Education Academy Fellowship.”
Her remarks were reinforced by AKU President Firoz Rasul, who noted that the AKU is the first and only institution to be accredited by the Higher Education Academy in South Asia and East Africa.
The creation of the Academy will enhance AKU’s position among the top universities globally, stressed Dr Haile T Debas, chair of the Academy’s Advisory Board and chair pro tem of AKU’s Board of Trustees. “The Academy will provide tangible recognition to AKU teachers, who are the architects and guardians of the quality of teaching and learning in each of its schools.”
Provost Dr Carl Amrhein lauded the launch of the Academy as building on many years of work in improving higher education teaching. These efforts have helped the faculty transition AKU’s teaching online without compromising on quality through the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Teaching has gone beyond ‘chalk and talk’ and video lectures to involve students in active learning.
The inaugural call for membership to the Academy was made at a virtual ceremony hosted by the University’s Network of Quality, Teaching, and Learning (QTL net), which supports the professional development of faculty and seeks to raise teaching standards across AKU’s six campuses around the world.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of AKU faculty and staff from Pakistan, East Africa, and the United Kingdom.