Principal Fellowship of UK Higher Education Academy for Niamh Moore-Cherry


Associate Professor Niamh Moore-Cherry, School of Geography, has become the first academic at University College Dublin, and only the second in the Republic of Ireland, to achieve Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.

Associate Professor Moore-Cherry received the award in recognition of her sustained record of demonstrating national and international impact in educational enhancement and her contribution to student learning.  In particular, her award recognised her integrated approach to academic practice and positive influence as a strategic leader in education. Globally, there are just 800 people with Principal Fellow HEA status. 

The Higher Education Academy is a non-regulatory body that champions teaching excellence and works with governments, universities and academics in the UK and around the world to help and achieve change in learning and teaching. Its mission is to improve learning outcomes by raising the status and quality of teaching in higher education. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of evidence of personal professional practice that meets the requirements of the four Descriptors of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF):

  1. Successful, strategic leadership to enhance student learning, with a particular, but not necessarily exclusive, focus on enhancing teaching quality in (inter)national settings.
  2. Establishing effective organisational policies and/or strategies forsupporting and promoting others (e.g. through mentoring, coaching) in delivering high quality teaching and support for learning
  3. Championing, within institutional and/or wider settings, an integrated approach to academic practice (incorporating, for example, teaching, learning, research, scholarship, administration etc.)
  4. A sustained and successful commitment to, and engagement in, continuing professional development related to academic, institutional and/or other professional practices

In 2007, UCD awarded Associate Professor Moore-Cherry a University Fellowship in Teaching and Academic Development and she was a recipient of a University Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. Niamh led the development of UCD's first Massive Open Online Course in 2016/17 and has led a number of enhancement projects over the last decade.

Niamh is currently President of the Geographical Society of Ireland, a member of the Social Sciences Committee, Royal Irish Academy; a member of the IGU Urban Commission Steering Group; and is on the Editorial Boards of Irish Geography and Journal of Geography in Higher Education. She will Chair the International Geographical Congress, the Olympics of Geography, in 2024 and the event will attract over 4,000 geographers to Dublin.