Language head awarded Senior Fellowship for teaching excellence

Regent’s Head of English Language Centre, Monika Wierzanska-Villar, has been awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

‘I’m proud to receive the Senior Fellowship,’ she says. ‘It’s a recognition of my career achievements so far, and reflects Regent’s high quality standards. Becoming a Senior Fellow also motivates me to hone my skills as I strive to deliver a great experience for students.’

Headshot of Monika Wierzanska-Villar

Monika has dedicated her career to language. She studied Applied Linguistics in Poland and saw herself translating for a living – before her passion for teaching took hold and led her to where she is now at Regent’s.

‘I got to a point in my career where I knew I had to move to England to really perfect my teaching. I ended up at a summer school in Devon, where I stayed for six weeks. This led me to London, where I’ve worked in various EFL roles in English language schools and then as a Team Leader at King’s College. Three years ago, I was drawn to Regent’s – and I haven’t looked back.

‘What I love about Regent’s is the diverse, international body of staff and students, the quality of teaching, and the exceptional student experience. Regent’s is able to teach on a small scale, which means English learners get the attention they deserve to nurture their language skills.’

Monika worked with her mentor to determine which level of fellowship she should apply for. Together, they decided she should apply to be a Senior Fellow – a level reserved for leaders in teaching.

‘Students learn English for a variety of reasons, whether that’s to pursue further academic studies at Regent’s, get a job in the UK, travel the world, or advance their skills in their home country. Whatever their reason for learning the language, my aim is to help them achieve their needs in a stimulating environment.’

About the Fellowship

To receive the Senior Fellowship, Monika presented in front of a panel of four judges and attended an interview-style question-and-answer session. She was assessed on a list of criteria, including:

  • Ability to demonstrate impact and influence on teaching
  • Leadership, management and organisation
  • Ability to support and mentor other staff, including those new to teaching. 

The Senior Fellowship (SFHEA) offers many benefits, including:

  • Personal development opportunities and evidence the fellow has influenced their colleagues’ professional practice
  • Demonstration of their commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience
  • Recognition that they encourage engagement in a practical process that inspires research, reflection and development
  • Post-nominal letters: SFHEA
  • Recognition and value by a growing number of international institutions.