Dr Diana J Pritchard

Principal Curriculum Developer

Diana Pritchard

My work supporting curriculum design and development is underpinned by a healthy combination of my knowledge of best sector practices and professional values which manifest in the following principles:

  • curriculum design should aim to develop competences that benefit learners and inspire them to realistic goals but, since it is also a ‘social good’ (UNESCO), it should develop proficiencies required by employers, organisations and communities.
  • there is an urgent need, given the changes in our environment, societies and workplaces, for HE to support students to engage in these realities, be critical in understanding the causes, and empower to transform their workplaces and communities.
  • in the context of the diversity of our student demographics and our transnational communities, HE has a crucial role to promote understandings and respect for differences.
  • collaboration is an integral part of my practice and lifestyle and bringing together colleagues and students, with community groups, creates productive learning communities and authentic learning environments.


  • PhD Social Policy and Administration (London School of Economics)
  • MSc Social Anthropology (University College London)
  • BSc [Hons] Environmental Biology and Anthropology

Professional Recognitions

Finalist collaborative award for teaching excellence 2017

  • Principal Fellow Higher Education Academy (2020)
  • Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Higher Education Academy (2017)
  • Appointed World Climate Ambassador Climate interactive

CLE responsibilities

  • Course review and enhancement.
  • Implementing Cre8 (the University curriculum framework).
  • Developing, managing and promoting curriculum innovations in relation to strategic priorities, namely: employability, diversity and equality, sustainability, local action for global change.
  • Membership of the VC Employability Action Group, the Sustainability Steering Group and the Teaching and Learning Action Group.
  • Promoting co-production to engage students in course and curriculum design and enhancement.
  • Research and scholarship.
  • Founder and coordinator of the Sustainability Forum, a multi-disciplinary community of practice.
  • Lead on measuring learning and learning gain.

Ongoing research projects

  • Principal Investigator: “International interventions in the HE Sector in the Global South: a rapid evidence assessment” Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (2021).
  • Principal Investigator: “Higher education practices that develop 21st Century learning in low and lower-middle income countries: a rapid evidence assessment”. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. (2021).
  • Principal Investigator: “Higher education practices that develop 21st Century learning: a scoping review.” (2019-20). Department for International Development.



  • 2017-2023 Core member of External Evaluation team of the UK DFID-funded Strategic Partnership Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR), a £45m programme to develop transnational partnerships to strengthen HE sectors through transnational partnerships for and contribute to development processes and outcomes. Coordinator of research components.
  • 2017-2020 Higher Education Expert for the evaluation of Q-Step, a £19m programme funded by the Nuffield Foundation Economic, Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Social Research Council.
  • 2012 Gender specialist for CIMMYT-CGIAR, devising a gender strategy for the maize breeding programme - Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa.
  • 2010 Contracted by Global Diversity Foundation to capacity train indigenous communities in La Chinantla, Mexico to support their preparation of natural resource management plans, involving validation of indigenous knowledge & resource use practices.
  • 2009-10 Contracted by Global Diversity Foundation to capacity train Mexican professionals & biologists on legal, ethical & human rights frameworks, and prior and informed consent, for work with rural communities.
  • 2008-2009 Commissioned as Consultant in Latin American & Caribbean Studies for the British Academy, London (eight months) for national study on the state of social science and humanities research underway in the UK, Latin America and the Carribean.
  • 2009 - 2012 Methodological and analytical inputs for EU-Mexican research consortium examining ecological and livelihood impacts of community managed conservation areas in indigenous territories in Mexico.
  • 2008 Systematised the experience of designing a participatory methodology to obtain community indicators for monitoring biodiversity conservation (for FFI).
  • 2004 Secured DFID funding & designed the social component of a biodiversity programme to address the livelihood priorities of indigenous beneficiaries in Nicaragua (with FFI); established participatory monitoring & evaluation system.
  • 2003 Technical review of a $2million Central American cooperation programmes for Swedish & Danish International Development Aid agencies.
  • 2002 Conducted technical review of a Finnish Aid (2002) Central American environmental programme.
  • 2002 Commissioned by UNDP to contribute to Nicaragua’s first Human Development Country Report: Nicaragua 2000.
  • 1997 Commissioned by UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct research and write an official report on remittances, migrant households and recipient families in Nicaragua.

Expertise and experience

My 25 year career has involved research, teaching and training, project management and consultancy during work (in the UK, USA, Spain, Latin America and East Africa) with universities, community organisations, NGOs and UN agencies.

Service to the academic/professional community

  • Member Editorial Board of International Journal for Sustainability in Higher Education
  • CATE Professional Network
  • Member of the Institute of Research on Education
  • Advisor for the Essex Sustainability Institute, University of Essex.

External roles

  • Research associate at the University of Sussex - www.sussex.ac.uk
  • Board member of the NGO PasoPacifico
  • Committee Member of Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum

Recent presentations/conference papers

  • Invited by AdvanceHE to present live ‘ignite’ session at its annual Teaching and Learning Conference on community-based learning. 8 July 2020.
  • A hybrid approach to ‘authenticating’ assessment’ (with N Worsfold). Advance HE Teaching and Learning Annual Conference. 8 July 2020.
  • Invited by AdvanceHE to co-facilitate a workshop (with its survey expert, Jonathan Neves): ‘Tools to measure 21st Century competencies’. Advance HE Survey Conference, Bristol 8 May 2019.
  • Invited by British Council to present at international workshop for SPHEIR partnerships on identifying 21st Century competences and their measurement, Nairobi 28 Sept 2018.
  • “Inspiring Engagement in times of managerialism”. Conference: Civic Curriculum. Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence, University of Leeds. 9 June 2017
  • “Collaborative Transforming collaborative practices for curriculum and teaching innovations with the Sustainability Forum (University of Bedfordshire)” with Nicholas Worsfold. Symposium on Implementing Sustainability in the Curriculum of Universities: teaching approaches, methods, examples and case studies” , Manchester Metropolitan University, 7 March. Manchester Metropolitan University. March 2017.
  • "Graduate Impact Statements as a mechanism to capture course delivery of employability on the HEAR: testing for coherence." Conference on: Making a Success of Implementing the Higher Education Achievement Report. Centre for Recording Achievement. University of Manchester. 27 April 2015.
  • "Students as researchers in Widening Participation institutions: transformations & employability." With Steve Kendall (Academic Partnerships) and Faith Manthenga (2nd Yr UG Dept Management and Business Systems). Conference: Researching and Evaluating Widening Participation. Society for Research into Higher Education. 23 March 2015. www.srhe.ac.uk/events/pastevents/details/?eid=166
  • "Education for sustainability in institutional boxes." Conference: Education for Sustainability in Higher Education: Achievements & Prospects Conference. Plymouth University. 8 January 2015
  • "Sustainability and employability: alliances for graduate future worlds". Conference: 2nd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities. Manchester Metropolitan University. 3-5 September 2014.

Contact information

E: diana.pritchard@beds.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)1582 743945


Centre for Learning Excellence
University of Bedfordshire
University Square
Luton, Bedfordshire



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