To content
Guest talk

Prof. Dr. Rosemary Deem

(Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)

What Is Teaching Excellence, (Why) Does It Matter and (How) Should It Be Rewarded?

Many higher education institutions both inside and outside Europe already have teaching prizes and there are also some national teaching excellence initiatives, whilst student-led awards are also increasingly common. Land and Gordon (2015) in a recent paper for the Higher Education Funding Council for England discuss different modalities of teaching excellence (from competence to expertise and high recognition) and high or low fidelity awards (whether evidence is required or not), rewarding teams and administrators as well as academics, different kinds of organisations or groups making awards and the operational cost of teaching excellence initiatives. But whilst they and others make comparisons between the relatively high rewards of research excellence initiatives and the much lower rewards for teaching excellence, it is argued in the presentation that this comparison may be flawed. In addition, it can be harder to evaluate teaching than research excellence since teaching excellence is hard to define, excellent and innovative teaching do not necessarily go together and teaching excellence is not a linear process. No-one is always an excellent teacher, the gender and ethnicity of teachers can affect perceptions of excellence and we do not know if excellent teaching always produces excellent students.

So what is the point of assessing teaching excellence? If there is a point, how should we do it? Finally, how, if at all should teaching excellence play into league tables and rankings?

Rosemary Deem is currently Vice Principal (Education), Dean of the Doctoral School and Professor of Higher Education Management at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. In 2013 she was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to higher education and social sciences and in July 2014 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Leicester for her academic contribution to the sociology of education. In September 2014 she was elected as incoming Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education, the first woman ever to hold this position. Her research interests include higher education policy, leadership, governance and management, public service modernization, research excellence evaluations and initiatives, inequality and diversity (particularly gender) in educational and other organizational settings, doctoral education and training, research and teaching relationships and the purposes of higher education.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), Room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education


Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan