Associate Professor of Social Sciences becomes a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Dr Susanne Darra, Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Swansea University, has been awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) – the national body which champions teaching excellence and works with governments, universities and academics both in the UK and globally.

Dr Susanne DaraDr Darra (pictured) is one of only limited number of educators in the UK to achieve the organisation’s most prestigious award.

Dr Darra, who is based within the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at the University’s College of Human and Health Sciences on the Singleton Park Campus, received her Principal Fellowship in recognition of a sustained record of strategic impact and influence in relation to teaching and learning extending beyond her own institution.

Since joining Swansea University in 1999, Dr Darra has held numerous leadership positions including the roles of Head of Midwifery Education and Programme Lead for Health and Social Care, while establishing a reputation for excellence in both research and teaching.

As a highly active researcher, Dr Darra has developed an extensive research profile publishing widely in education and midwifery. These research activities complement the contribution that Dr Darra has made to midwifery and associated disciplines across a number of areas at national and international levels. This has included previously being Chair of the All Wales Heads of Midwifery Education Group and Deputy Chair of the UK wide Lead Midwives for Education Strategic Reference Group.

Dr Darra served as an external examiner and programme reviewer at numerous institutions over the past 10 years. She has completed an invited review of professional supervision for midwives for Healthcare Inspectorate Wales. The award of Principal Fellowship of the HEA recognises the numerous teaching innovations and developments Dr Darra has made at national and international levels.

Speaking about the award, Dr Darra said: “I am truly honoured to become a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, which is the organisation at the heart of promoting and developing excellence in Higher Education.

“Principal Fellowship is the HEA’s highest level of award for teaching and I am thrilled and excited at receiving this award. I look forward to working closely with the HEA and colleagues to further enhance the work of the Academy and my University.”

For more information on the HEA visit