Professor Awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy


Professor Debbie Tolson has been awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Professor Tolson joins an elite group in the UK to hold Principal Fellowship (PFHEA) status. The HEA champions excellence in learning and teaching in higher education, and awards PFHEA status to those who demonstrate a sustained and effective record of impact at strategic level, as well as a wider commitment to academic practice and strategic leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience.

Professor Tolson is respected nationally and internationally for her work on dementia and is the Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Dementia Policy and Practice, a joint partnership between UWS and Alzheimer Scotland, which is based at the University’s Hamilton Campus.

She is passionate about improving services and care for people living with dementia and her hard work and determination has made a real difference to those with the condition, and the attitudes of others towards them.

Professor Tolson is a real leader in her field with an international reputation for advancing evidence based care with older people and family carers within nursing homes, hospitals and community settings.

Her expertise has previously been recognised by St Louis University (USA) Medical School in 2010 for her contribution to research with older people through the award of the Jim Flood Memorial Alzheimer Disease Distinguished Lectureship. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing UK, and an Honorary Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute in Scotland.  Her research outputs include over 100 peer reviewed research papers, national care guidance for nurses and patients, and edited books.

Commenting on achieving PFHEA status, Professor Tolson, who was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Scotswomen of the Year award, said: “The Higher Education Academy is the national body for enhancing learning and teaching in higher education and it is a huge honour to have been named a Principal Fellow.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said:  “This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement for Debbie. The Principal Fellowship is the highest level of teaching recognition in the UK higher education system and is only awarded to the most outstanding educationalists. Debbie is a recognised leader in her field and we are delighted that her expertise has been recognised in this way by the HEA.”

Professor Tolson follows Professor Rowena Murray of the School of Education to become the second academic at UWS to be awarded a prestigious a Principal Fellowship.

In addition to Professor Tolson a number of colleagues have also celebrated success with Linda Crearie, John Connolly, Dorothy Johnson, Jennifer Ellis, Lynne Poole, Robin Freeburn, Abeer Hassan, Katherine Sloman, Kate Miller and Karen Watchman all being awarded Senior Fellowships in 2015. Last year also saw Fellowships being awarded by HEA to Pablo Casaseca-de-la-Higuera, Irene Wotherspoon, Jose Alcaraz-Calero,  Tamsin MacBride, Kevin Burnard, and James Findlay, with Raewyn Riach, Margo Stewart, Val Norval, and Lindsay McDonald all receiving Associate Fellowships.