Dr Mohsen Al Attar has made it to the final of the Oxford University Press Law Teacher of the Year Award 2017.
The six finalists were selected from a strong pool of nominations. The judges only found out who they had selected once the decision had been finalised. Each nomination was backed by at least two sponsors, and was accompanied by supporting statements from the candidate and their head of department to build up a full picture of each nominee.
Dr Alattar had this to say about his nomination:
"Some of my current and former students nominated me for a teaching award. It goes without saying that I am flattered by the gesture. Recognition of the effort we put into our craft is a beautiful reward in its own right, particularly so for educators who are rarely celebrated in our mammon-centric society.
Admittedly, I am also a little troubled by the injection of celebrity / awards culture into academia. Anyone who has visited a university’s website in the past couple of years will have noticed the proliferation of titles associated with most tertiary institutions: ‘best university’, ‘friendliest staff’, ‘award-winning campus’, ‘award-winning facilities’, ‘award-winning research’, etc. I worry that lazy marketing tactics will ultimately corrupt genuine effort as we chase the accolades above the improvements that yield progress.
Despite my reservations, I remain flattered by my students’s initiative and was pleased when OUP contacted me for a statement. Even more exciting than this is the effort OUP is demonstrating in judging the candidates. Next week, a team will come to QUB to record one of my lecturers and chat with students and staff about my contribution to student learning. Exciting times!"