Advisory Group

The Salford Community for Excellence in Education Advisory Group was created in summer 2018 in response the University Strategy, the Salford Curriculum Plus initiative, the Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy and the development of a new Academic Careers Framework.

Members of the Advisory Group have expertise in and/or a passion for educational excellence. Meet some of our advisory group:

Advisory Group Members

We are delighted to share the biographies of the Advisory Group with you.

Professor Jacqueline Leigh: Advisory Group Lead

Professor Jacqueline Leigh

I am a Professor of Nurse Education Practice in the School Health & Society at the University of Salford and I am an Adult Nurse. An advocate for research-informed and innovative learning and teaching practice. I have experience of leading and enhancing the quality of the UK and international nurse/professional workforce. This is achieved through developing innovative curricula that meets workforce needs in health and social care. My approach and philosophy on providing leadership for demonstrating excellence in nurse education is situated within an inter-disciplinary framework; and this I believe positions the University of Salford (UoS) at the forefront of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and global health and social care transformations that are realised through the provision of exemplary workforce learning and teaching.

 I have been recognised for my excellence in learning and learning, particularly within the fields of practice learning and leadership development through being awarded National Teaching Fellow, Senior Fellow, Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) Advance HE and multiple Vice Chancellor Distinguished Teaching Awards. I have a passion for ensuring that we get healthcare right for people and that student nurses who qualify as registered nurses and healthcare leaders have the right skills, knowledge and values to provide consistent quality care. I have set up and am leading on the Educational Research and Scholarship Cluster at the University of Salford, focusing on research informed and innovations in practice learning and leadership development. As an Executive Coach I particularly enjoy supporting individuals to learn and develop and reach their full potential. I am an experienced NHS Leadership Academy Healthcare Leadership 360 Feedback Facilitator (individual and group) and I coach and mentor senior healthcare leaders as part of the North West Leadership Academy mentoring scheme.

I am currently leading across the University of Salford Community for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Our purpose to foster an institution-wide ethos for research-informed and innovative L&T practice which will inspire the academic community and cultivate excellence in L&T.

My research interest is in approaches to leadership development, practice learning, workforce development and role transition. In the past, I have worked with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust as the appointed governor for the University of Salford. I am currently Vice Chair Healthwatch Salford and have experience as being the University of Salford appointed governor at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Rob Higgins

I am a lecturer in Radiography in the School Health & Society here at University of Salford. Prior to joining the University of Salford in 2013 I worked within the NHS.

Rob Higgins with first year students

As a Diagnostic Radiographer by profession I have always had an interest in teaching both students and other professionals. I have a strong interest with the integration of teaching with research, student learning and pedagogical research. Since joining the University, I worked with colleagues in bringing Research-informed Teaching into our curriculum starting from year 1.

The Research-informed Teaching experience (RiTe) helps to develop students research skills but also the linking of theory with practice and other key employment skills such as communication and team working. I am currently exploring the role of RiTe on student learning and the development within the undergraduate Diagnostic Radiography curriculum at the University of Salford. I am also interested in the evaluation of student learning and the linking of this with self-efficacy as part of this process.

I am very excited to be part of this advisory group and look forward to sharing practice and seeing what exciting innovations are developed as a consequence of the group.

Dr Siân Etherington

Dr Siân Etherington

I have worked in the university since 2003. In December 2018 I joined the Academic Development team in the Quality and Enhancement Office as a full-time member of staff. Prior to this I worked as a lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics within the English Directorate, where I led the MA TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language)  programme and taught Undergraduate TESOL modules.

I have been involved in educational research and development for many years. My research interests are in the area of the psychology of second language learning and teaching and I am currently PI on a British Council research grant to investigate teacher emotions in English for Academic Purposes teaching. I have supervised PGR students working on learner autonomy, motivation, and self-efficacy in L2 learning and teaching.

I was a former member of Salford’s Higher Education Research Centre, a founder member of the International Educational research writers’ group, and part of the organisational committee for each of the four ‘Education in a Changing Environment’ Conferences.

In the TESOL area I’ve been a committee member and treasurer of the IATEFL (International Association for Teachers of English as a foreign language) Research Special Interest Group for over 5 years. In this capacity I’ve developed research training for EFL teachers worldwide and edited a collection of EFL researchers’ reflections on their development (Etherington and Daubney 2017). I’ve worked on CPD initiatives for EFL Teachers and supported action research as professional development. I am currently chair of a local EFL teachers’ support network (NATESOL – Northern Association for Teachers of English as a second or other language) and in this role lead the organisation of teacher seminars and a teacher-led conference each year.

I am excited to be part of the SCELT and look forward to helping the community grow in the coming years.

Romas Malevicius

Roman Malevicius

I am a lecture in Sustainability and Ethics in the Salford Business School at University of Salford. I have 10 years’ experience working on several sustainability initiatives, receiving national recognition that focuses on students and staff engagement with the third sector organisations. I have passion and committed to education for sustainability, my research linked with embedding sustainability in higher education institutions through research-informed teaching, action research and collaboration.

My work was recognised by winning Vice Chancellor’s Awards in 2010 (Anglia Ruskin University) and 2018 (University of Salford). And I have been shortlisted for the Green Gown Awards both in 2013 and 2018.

I am module leader of business ethics and sustainability. This is a super module for level 6 and reaches around 350 students every academic year. The module design, delivery and assessment aim to showcase an outstanding teaching and learning experience in line with the University of Salford Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZ) programme to unite colleagues, students, industry and communities through shared knowledge, learning and innovation. This embodies the ICZ ready curriculum based on collaboration, co-production and co-creation.

I am overly excited to be part of SCELT and look forward to sharing my research, learning and teaching experience and learn from other members of this group.

Neil Withnell

Neil Withnell

Following a career as a qualified mental health nurse I moved to the University of Salford in 2002 and have been a module leader, programme leader, Associate Dean for Academic Enhancement, Associate Dean for Quality Assurance and now my current role is Associate Dean Academic for the Student Experience in the School of Health & Society, where my passion is for excellence in learning and teaching. Having a keen interest in technology enhanced learning, flexible delivery and social media in education,  I enjoy working with colleagues both locally and across the HE sector, and help to organise#creativeHE#LTHEchat#SocMedHE and #BYOD4L.

I am proud to have been awarded the first teaching excellence award at the University, best personal tutor for 2 years, part of the Vice Chancellors team award for 4 years and shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times lecturer of the year. I am a senior Fellow of the HEA and embrace co-creation having presented with students at national conferences.

I am excited to be part of SCELT and look forward to seeing this community grow and develop.

Dr Heather Baglee

Dr Heather Bagleee

I am a Senior Lecturer and Programme leader in the BSc Occupational Therapy team here at Salford. My particular areas of interest in relation to learning and teaching are inclusive teaching and the design of leadership development activities within the undergraduate curriculum.
I gained a Vice Chancellors Teaching Award for my individual teaching practice relating to student engagement, teaching leadership and inclusive practice. I have been part of a project to embed Inclusive teaching practice across the University. This project involved representing the University externally with the Higher Education Academy and then becoming a Inclusivity Champion for the School of Health Sciences.
I was awarded a professional doctorate in October 2018 and my research used Feminist Participatory Action Research to design leadership development activities in collaboration with occupational therapy students. I enjoy applying a critical theory approach to explore and question current practice.
I am looking forward to working with the SCELT team and supporting students and staff with creative and innovative approaches to learning and teaching.

Other Advisory group members inlcude: Dr Emma Smith, Vicki Harvey, Charles Knight, Lisa Linden, Sudi Sharifi

As an advisory group we have a vision to foster an institution-wide ethos for research-informed teaching practice which will inspire the University of Salford’s academic community and cultivate excellence in teaching and learning. Our activities will include:

  • Providing a scholarship fund to support educational projects
  • Disseminating best practice and fostering networking opportunities, e.g. delivering an annual conference where staff can share their ideas
  • Working in collaboration with other University services to support staff development, coaching and mentoring

The group is led by Professor Jackie Leigh from the School of Health and Society. Members come from a number of schools and professional services because we thrive on inter-disciplinarity. Membership is open to anyone who is passionate about educational excellence and research. Please contact

if you feel you would like to join the Advisory Group. Commitments will include one hour meeting per month as well as any actions arising from the meeting.