Southampton Lecturer Wins Teaching 'Oscar'

Southampton lecturer, Simon Kemp has won the Times Higher Education (THE) award for the ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ 2013. Simon hugely impressed the judges due to his imaginative […]


Southampton lecturer, Simon Kemp has won the Times Higher Education (THE) award for the ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ 2013.

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Teaching don: Simon (centre) at the ceremony.

Simon hugely impressed the judges due to his imaginative approach to teaching, particularly by putting students in high-pressure, real-life business situations, which saw him walk away with the award, dubbed the ‘Oscar’ of the higher education community.

Lead judge Philippa Levy, deputy chief executive of the Higher Education Academy, said:

(Simon is) the best in innovative and inspirational teaching in UK higher education today. His imaginative approach to teaching sustainability and environmental management systems challenges and supports students to learn actively and to develop crucial employability and professional skills.

Moving away from traditional classroom-based lessons on environmental management courses, the senior teaching fellow from the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment asked students to conduct professional audits for several major organisations, including Southampton General Hospital, Skandia Insurance and West Quay Shopping Centre, under his supervision.

Students presented their work to the clients and received feedback on their services – inspiring some to set up their own consultancy firms upon graduation and they have now worked with nearly 100 local businesses, prompting many firms to improve their green credentials.

Students at the university praised Mr Kemp’s teaching as “brilliant”, “extremely well designed”, “totally unique” and “incredibly academically rewarding”, and expressed his dedication to providing an outstanding learning experience. Mr Kemp has also embraced technology, filming his lectures and using ­Twitter to extend debates beyond the classroom.

Simon spoke about his win by saying:

I am absolutely delighted to win such a prestigious award! I am passionate about my teaching and I always seek to provide a rich and rewarding learning experience for our students.

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Alongside Simon’s teaching, he partnered with students to create the massively successful Southampton Blackout, and he’s working with SUSU this year on the BEES project, helping to bring sustainability work to the wider Southampton community. The BEES project just this week secured a £175,000 grant and has now begun the search for an Intern to help lead this project forward and to really make a difference to local businesses and people!

The Soton Tab would like to congratulate Simon and wish him every success in his future projects!