News and events archive 2004 - 2013


Success for School of Education Student

A University of Leicester doctoral student has won a prestigious Fellowship for work that is helping to shape the future of higher education provision in the Arab world.

Fiodhna Hyland a Doctoral student from the School of Education has secured a Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for her thesis proposal. She is to be congratulated on her fine achievement in securing the Fellowship which is awarded to only three people every year to improve the teaching of English in the Arab world.

Each award is worth US $25,000, and each proposal is reviewed by a committee of four international researchers. It is given by the TIRF (The International Research Foundation for English Language Education), a US based body, which promotes the improvement of the teaching of English around the world. Sheikh Nayan, of the United Arab Emirates, is a supporter of this programme. Secretary to TIRF’s Board, Dr Kathi Bailey, herself a prominent writer in this field, notes that ‘the committee members were most impressed by Ms. Hyland’s proposal’.

On hearing about her award Fiodhna said she was delighted and that she wanted to thank Dr Hugh Busher from the School of Education for his support in her application for the Fellowship.

Fiodhna is currently a Lecturer at the Abu Dhabi Women’s College, one of nine Colleges of Higher Technology that form a major part of the Higher Education system of the United Arab Emirates. She has already published articles on teacher development and the teaching of reading in 'Classroom Connections', the in-house journal for the Colleges of Higher Technology in the United Arab Emirates, and in Professional journals in Ireland, her native country. The focus of her thesis is on Preparing Student Teachers to be Teachers of EFL Reading. She explains that, ‘there is an urgent need to invest in teacher education programmes in the Arab world '. Her thesis investigates ‘the rationale behind shaping and contextualizing a teacher education reading methodology course in the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) B.Ed programme in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)' .

Findings from this study will have important implications for teacher education programmes in the UAE, by establishing concrete links between theory and practice and by enhancing the capacity of trainee Emirati teachers to teach reading successfully’.

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