The Higher Education Academy (HEA)is an international, non-profit organization that promotes teaching excellence in higher education. HEA is a subsidiary of UK-based Advance HE. There are more than 150,000 HEA fellows in the world. UVU is the first American institution to be accredited by the HEA to offer fellowship recognition to faculty, administrators, and staff supporting learning. Fellowships are earned through written reflection and interaction with an HEA Mentor to demonstrate how one’s teaching/supporting learning practices fulfill the dimensions of the UK Professional Standards Framework (PSF). The PSF is the heart of the Higher Education Academy fellowship recognition program. This internationally recognized articulation of the necessary actions, values, and knowledge to effective teaching/supporting learning provides the framework for peer dialogue and personal reflection of practices.

HEA Infographic

HEA Infographic

2023-2024 HEA Application Deadlines | UVU

Summer 2023

Jul 31

Fall 2023

Oct 31

Spring 2024

March 31

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty and Staff

What is the Higher Education Academy Fellowship?

Higher Education Academy Fellowship (HEA) demonstrates institutional commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education. It provides teaching faculty and staff supporting learning with international recognition of their practice, impact, and leadership in teaching and learning in higher education.

How do I become a Higher Education Academy Fellow?

Utah Valley University through its Office of Teaching and Learning has been accredited to award three categories of fellowship: Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA), and Senior Fellow (SFHEA). Each of the three categories has its own application form, mapping documentation and handbook. See the links on this page under “Resources for Applicants” to access them. For the Principal Fellow category (PFHEA) please contact OTL to discuss how to apply to Advance HE directly.  

Which category of Fellowship is right for me?

Initially, if you are not sure which category of Fellowship to apply for you may find the Fellowship Category Tool from Advance HE useful. The tool has been designed to assist you in selecting the category of Fellowship that is the closest match to your current practice. The tool includes around 18 questions and should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

What are the requirements for becoming a Higher Education Academy Fellow?

All full-time and part-time teaching faculty and staff who support learning, e.g. academic advisors, instructional designers, instructional support technologists, etc. are eligible to apply for recognition as Higher Education Academy Fellow at any category. 

What specific documents do I need to submit for my application?

Your application packet consists of the following: 

  • A Context Statement: this is a brief summaryof your teaching and/or support of learning experience, including the context in which you work, your current role and responsibilities in teaching and/or support of learning. 
  • Your Account of Professional Practice(APP):  this is a written reflection on your practice. It is also sometimes referred to as the Fellowship Claim or the Reflective Narrative of Practice. The word count for the APP and the requirements for each category are outlined in the respective Applicant Handbook (See “What is the word count?” and “Resources for Applicants” below). Also review this description of the application process.
  • Your CV
  • Supporting statements or reference letters: these should be written by colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of your practice and who can corroborate your claim. Your referees don’t need to be fellows and can be from a different institution. The number of Supporting Statements depends on which category you are applying for. You will need to submit the statements along with your application.  For more guidance on writing Supporting Statements see the link on this page under “Resources for Referees”.

What is the word count for my HEA Fellowship application?

As aforementioned, the word count depends on the category of fellowship for which you are applying. 



Submission Requirements

Associate Fellow (AFHEA)

1500 words excluding references

Fellow (FHEA)

3000 words excluding references

Senior Fellow (SFHEA)

6000-word limit for Account of Professional Practice and Case Studies excluding references


What are the first steps I can take towards HEA recognition?

To get started with your HEA Fellowship you can: 

  • Request a mentor who can help you identify the appropriate category of fellowship, and support you in the process of writing your claim. 
  • Sign up for a 1:1 consultation. This is appropriate at any stage of your application whether you need initial advice or as you progress through your application. 
  • Attend an introductory workshop or webinar. These will be run throughout the year on a monthly basis.  [Coming Soon] 
  • Join an HEA Claim Writing Cohort. You can only register at the beginning of the semester as courses are cohort-based and are meant for applicants to work together and provide peer dialogue and feedback. [Coming Soon]

When can I submit my application?

The Office of Teaching and Learning offers three assessment cycles.  



Deadline for submissions

Distribution of submissions


Fall Cycle

Early November


Early December

Spring Cycle

Early March


Early to Mid-April

Summer Cycle

Early July


Early August


How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be reviewed by two assessors who hold FHEA/SFHEA/PFHEA fellowship and have completed an annual calibration exercise.  Members of the assessment panels are selected for their understanding of the UKPSF, as well as for their knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in higher education. 

The assessment panel will be looking for evidence that your approaches to teaching and/or supporting learning is grounded in an understanding of how learners acquire and develop knowledge and are based on appropriate incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship.  Therefore, your evidence should be reflective, not just descriptive. The panel will also look for indications of how you evaluate your effectiveness and how you develop your approaches in the light of your experience and continuing professional development.

New Academic Advisors

In Development