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Papin Prize Recognition for UCA Lecturer

The University for the Creative Arts’ Academic Development Planning Manager, Tim Savage, has been shortlisted for the Papin Prize for his contribution to the student teaching and learning experience.

The Papin Prizes are a series of awards made to university technicians across the UK and Ireland in recognition of the invaluable role they play in Higher Education (HE). The awards are named after a 17th-century technician who was one of the first to publish in his own name, Denis Papin.

Nominations for the awards are made by students, staff, collaborators and alumni and Tim’s own nomination came from Resource Manager Anita Coppock. Speaking on his nomination she said: “I nominated Tim in recognition of his sustained commitment to celebrating and advancing the teaching contribution of technicians within the creative arts. This application focuses on Tim’s own values and achievements that have proven instrumental in elevating the esteem of technical pedagogies for the betterment of student learning (and staff) teaching experiences.”

Tim’s credentials are too numerous to list, but most recently he completed an MA in Education, with his research gaining a national audience through journal publication and his blog for Advance HE. Then in January 2019, he was awarded Principal Fellowship of Higher Education Academy in the reflection of his commitment to strategic influence of teaching, learning and the student experience.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Bashir Makhoul said of Tim’s recent achievements: “I’d like to congratulate my colleague Tim Savage, who graduated from UCA's MA Creative Arts Education course with distinction in summer 2018. Following his graduation, Tim’s research exploring the phenomenon of technicians transitioning their careers into academia with the creative arts has been published by the Journal of Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education.”

These achievements have culminated in him being shortlisted for a Papin Prize. On learning that he made the shortlist, Tim said: “I was really delighted. I’m thrilled that my work at UCA and research into technician pedagogies had been acknowledged and valued at a sector and national level.”

Tim stresses that the strength of UCA degree courses is that its technicians teach employability led skills-based curriculum: “As the impending age of automation threatens some trades our technicians teach the creative process, material-based skills and knowledge enabling students to develop toolsets to realise their concepts. A great example of this is ALP (Avid learning Partnership). The ALP scheme provides UCA students with a vocational qualification in addition to their degree. Returning graduates have fed back on how helpful ALP was when securing work.”

Photo of Tim Savage

So what is the best piece of advice that Tim could offer technicians wanting to improve their student learning experience: “The best advice I can give to existing or aspiring arts technicians is to commit with unrelenting enthusiasm to your own development. And, to do so within the practical elements of your discipline by making, exhibiting and publishing work but to devote an equal amount of energy into developing pedagogic skills, experience and qualifications.”

The awards will be made at the 2019 Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS 2019), which is taking place at the University of Birmingham on 25 June 2019.

For now, Tim continues his research with an article exploring the value of teaching qualifications to technicians, which is currently being peer-reviewed for journal publication and is in the process of applying for a PhD in Education at UCA.

For further information on the Papin Prizes, click here.