The University of Southampton

Personal Chair for e-Learning Director

Published: 18 June 2009

Hugh Davis, University Director of Education responsible for e-Learning, and Head of the Learning Societies Lab, has been awarded a Personal Chair in the University.

ECS celebrates another first with the appointment to a Professorship of Hugh Davis. Professor Davis is the first person in the University of Southampton to achieve the double distinction of being recognised by promotion to this level twice, for excellence in both Education and in Research.

Hugh has been the founding Head of Group for the Learning Societies Lab since 2004. 'My research is essentially multidisciplinary,' he says. 'This is reflected through the broad-ranging research interests of academics in our group, and our collaboration with many different academic schools across the University.

'We have worked hard as a team to establish our standing in the computer science research community,' he continued, 'and I am delighted that my research has been recognised in this way. I am particularly proud that I have now been promoted in both areas of my specialism. We have a strong ethos in ECS that values and promotes education and research; this reflects the University’s commitment to student-centred research-led teaching. For me, collaboration and teamwork is essential for success. I see this as well-deserved recognition for the hard work of all my colleagues and researchers across our research group.

'The way in which technologies impact on society, and particularly education, is an increasingly hot topic for public debate. Funding councils across the UK contribute to the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) which commits tens of millions of pounds annually to research, services and content to support education, and I have been fortunate in being closely involved in developing the strategic direction of this investment through my participation on the JISC Learning and Teaching Committee. I will now be investing energy into establishing technology-enhanced learning as a mainstream topic of study and research.'

Professor Harvey Rutt, Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, commented: 'This is another first class achievement for ECS. Hugh has established and developed a thriving and dynamic research group at the same time that he has made significant contributions to the development of education agendas across the University. I heartily congratulate him on his success which reflects the equal value we place on research and education.'

Professor Davis became a University Director of Education in 2005. In 2005 he and a team of colleagues were awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s award for teaching and learning for innovations in the Computer Science Curriculum. Hugh is also chair of the University’s Wine Club and studying part-time for a Diploma in Wine, so he will no doubt be celebrating his promotion in style!

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