Academic awarded prestigious fellowship to teach in New Zealand

A University of Plymouth academic has been awarded a prestigious international fellowship to expand his world-leading expertise in transport policy and innovation.

Professor of Transport Geography Jon Shaw will spend eight weeks in New Zealand during 2020 having been awarded an Erskine Fellowship by the University of Canterbury.

The fellowship programme is open to academics who are distinguished in their fields, and offers them funding to undertake teaching activities in the country.

Professor Shaw was invited to apply to the scheme, with his application referencing his nine published books, more than 50 peer-reviewed research publications, and over £2m in funding for academic research.

It also cited projects including the national roll-out of smart ticketing and ongoing work with GWR, while he has also served as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Transport Committee.

He plans to use his team in New Zealand to share his expertise and experience with students in New Zealand, but also to explore research collaborations in the country.

He also hopes to spend time gathering material for a new book on governance and public policy, which will complement his existing works on international transport strategy.

Professor Shaw said:

“This is obviously a real personal honour, but also a great opportunity to establish international connections that can benefit the work we are doing here in Plymouth. There are a number of transport geographers in New Zealand who work at the intersection between transport, climate change and health, which are all issues we’re very interested in.
“Lecturing to undergraduates and postgraduates in New Zealand will also bring a new perspective to my teaching. In the immediate term it will bring some new life to my transport geography teaching and all sorts of new ways of looking at the way I do my job. The idea is that this will be of benefit to the wider University, not just myself.”

The Erskine Programme was made possible through a bequest by John Angus Erskine, and enables visiting international senior academics to lecture in Canterbury. It is only open to distinguished, international academic visitors who are already advanced in the learning of any subject predominately taught in Business, Engineering and Science.

Plymouth students and Cape Point African penguins during South Africa fieldwork module (1995)


Celebrating 50 years of geography

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of geography as a degree subject at the University of Plymouth.

In the last half century, 6,394 students have graduated from our geography programmes and 154 staff have worked with us, supporting and carrying out world-class research and teaching.