Mandy Asghar

Director of Academic Development

Academic Development Directorate


T: 01904 876823



Mandy is the Director of the Academic Development Directorate, Associate Professor and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The Directorate has three integrated strands of enhancement activity: learning, teaching and assessment; technology enhanced learning and research development.

As the Director, Mandy influences the strategic direction of York St John University to ensure that students are provided with high quality, contemporary and evidence-informed learning experiences. Her main institutional leadership focus is to enhance pedagogic practice through educational development and curriculum innovation projects that inspire a creative approach to enhancing student learning. This includes moving forward with the digital capability agenda for both staff and students. She led the development of the HEA accredited CPD framework in 2012 with its innovative professional dialogic approach. Subsequently this work has been influential in supporting the University in the successful achievement of 100% of staff either being recognised as, or working towards, Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Mandy is currently responsible for a range of internal enhancement projects including the Curriculum for student success, the learning space project and moving forward with implementing section 6.1 of the Higher Education Achievement Report. Externally she was the institutional representative on the Higher Education Academy Grade Point Average Project in 2014-15. She is currently co-chair of the national network Heads of Educational Development Group and has a growing reputation externally through her research.

Prior to her current role at York St John University and after a long career in the NHS as a clinical Physiotherapist and manager, Mandy worked at Leeds Metropolitan (2001-2009). She was course leader for the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy programme and in 2007 was awarded a University Teacher Fellowship for her innovations in assessment. She also led the Faculty of Health’s CPD framework that provided professional development masters level programmes for qualified health professionals.


Mandy facilitates academic staff development across the university in a range of topics, including assessment and feedback, curriculum design and pedagogic research.  She is interested in a range of pedagogic approaches, including problem based learning, enquiry-based learning etc. She is currently working with a group of staff to explore how an experimental learning space can provide opportunities for staff to try out new pedagogies and integrate them more effectively with technology.

Professional Activities

Mandy has extensive experience of quality assurance and enhancement. She was the external examiner for BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy programmes at Ulster University, 2007-2011, and Cardiff University (2011-2014). She worked extensively with a variety groups and committees for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) from 2007-2014 to enhance the educational work of the professional body. She is the current external examiner for the Bolton University Higher Education Academy accredited CPD framework, also for Edinburgh Napier’s CPD framework EN route and for the PG cert in Academic Practice at Nottingham Trent University.

Mandy was the critical friend for Teesside University, on a JISC/HEA-funded project (2012) to develop open educational resources that were mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). She has provided consultancy on the development of CPD frameworks that adopt professional dialogue and e portfolios to Bolton University, Edinburgh Napier and Loughborough University. She was a reviewer for an online programme developed by Epigeum for new students coming to University and will be working again as a reviewer for a new online programme that provides support for students completing dissertations. In June 2013, Mandy was invited to chair an Inside Government forum, ‘The Future of the Higher Education Curriculum’ and the subsequent follow up event, ‘Embedding Excellence in the Higher Education Curriculum’ in 2014.

Mandy is currently Chair of the national network Heads of Educational Development.

Mandy presents regularly at conferences:

Asghar, M. (2003) Poster Presentation, Physiotherapists Perceptions of the Value of Continuous Professional Development. LTSN Conference Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University

Lewis, M. & Asghar, M.(2005) Poster presentation for Excellence in Learning, Teaching & Assessment Leeds Metropolitan University. The Physiotherapy Lottery – Fact and Fantasy.

Asghar, M.(2006) Paper presentation, Physiotherapists Perceptions of the Value of Continuous Professional Development. Qualitative Colloquium, University of East Anglia.

Asghar, M. (2007) Workshop, Reciprocal Peer Coaching as a Formative assessment strategy Assessment Learning and Teaching conference, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Asghar, M. (2008) Paper presentation, Reciprocal Peer Coaching as a Formative Assessment Strategy, does it assist first year students in the self-regulation of learning? Fourth biennial EARLI conference “Challenging Assessment” Potsdam, Germany.

Asghar, M. (2008) Paper presentation, The experience of formative assessment in two higher education Institutions. Leeds Metropolitan University Assessment Learning and Teaching conference.

Mayfield, W. Asghar, A. & Laight, J. (2008) Paper Presentation, Formative assessment as an object of enquiry. Society for Research into Higher Education: Liverpool.

Asghar, M. Laight, J & Aslett-Bentley, A. (2009) Symposium: Leeds Metropolitan University, Centre for Research into Higher Education - Researching academics' understanding of formative assessment through a collaborative enquiry: paper presentations: 1. Discursive communities and local practices – formative assessment as a local practice. 2. Asghar, M. The experience of formative assessment at another institution, the same or different.

Asghar, M. (2009) Workshop, Aligning Perceptions and practice with purpose, Leeds. Sixth form to First Year what’s the difference in assessment and feedback practice? The First Level assessment and Feedback conference, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Asghar, M. (2009) Paper presentation, Sounds Good, Using audio feedback for students. The HERDSA conference. Darwin, Australia.

Asghar A. Aslett-Bentley, A. & Laight, J. (2009) Paper Presentation, The Challenge of Investigating Academic Understanding and Practice of Formative

Assessment in Higher Education: A Thematic Interpretation of Diverse Communities of Practice. Society for Research in Higher Education, Newport.

Asghar, M. (2010) Workshop, Using Reciprocal peer coaching as a means to create students as communities of learners SEDA Spring Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference: Communities of Learning, Leeds.

Asghar, M. (2010) Workshop Using Reciprocal peer coaching as a formative assessment strategy to enhance feedback for first year students. First year conference “Taking the 'Ass' out of Assessment”. Leeds Metropolitan University.

Asghar, M. (2010) Paper Presentation, The Lived Experience of Formative Assessment: What’s it really like in practice? 5th Biennial EARLI Assessment conference, Northumbria.

Asghar, M. (2012) Workshop Dialogue days. SEDA Spring Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference, Chester.

Asghar, M. (2012) Paper Presentation, Lets Talk, Staff and Students experiences of Dialogue Days, a student engagement activity. Society for Research in Higher Education, Newport .

Asghar, M. (2013) Workshop. Using e-portfolios as a thinking space to achieve HEA fellowship recognition. Aspire Symposium, Exeter University.

Asghar, M. (2013) Paper Presentation, Lets Talk, Staff and Students experiences of Dialogue Days, a student engagement activity. 10th annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Raleigh, North Carolina.


Mandy’s research has always focused on practice and highlights her view about ensuring that what we are doing is evidence-informed. She is committed to understanding what it is about an educational practice that works and how can we learn from researching it to make things better for the student and staff experience. She has published work on academics’ experience of formative assessment in practice, and on the experience of reciprocal peer coaching used as a formative assessment strategy for Physiotherapy students. She has researched the experience of ‘Dialogue Days’ and the impact of service learning for students and is interested in the concept of relational pedagogy. Mandy was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the unit of assessment for Education and is currently working towards PhD by publication. She regularly presents at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Mandy’s current research project is a collaboration with Ruth Pilkington to explore the value of professional dialogue as a route to fellowship across five institutions.

In her role as Director of Academic Development Mandy also has a remit for supporting the development of the research capacity and abilities of all staff and our postgraduate students. One of the unique aspects of the Directorate’s work is also our undergraduate students as researchers scheme that provides research opportunities for between 30 and 40 students per year.


Asghar, M & Rowe, N. (2017) Learning from the unfamiliar: How does working with people who use mental health services impact on students’ learning and development? The Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Asghar, Mandy and Rowe, Nick (2016) Reciprocity and critical reflection as the key to social justice in service learning: a case study. Innovations in Education and Teaching International . 

Asghar, M. (2016) Staff and student experiences of dialogue days, a student engagement activity. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. Vol 53, 4 p435-444

Asghar, M. (2014) Using e-portfolios to evidence the UKPSF. SEDA Educational Developments Issue 15.4 p22-26

Asghar, M. (2013). Exploring Formative Assessment using Cultural Historical Activity Theory. The Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry 4 (2) p18-32

Asghar, M. (2012) Let’s Talk: Staff and Student Experiences of Dialogue Days, a Student Engagement Activity, Conference Proceedings, Society for Research in Higher Education.

Asghar, M. (2012) Let's Talk! Using Dialogue Days as a Student Engagement Activity. Educational Developments. Issue 13.4 p18-20.

Asghar, M. (2012). The lived experience of formative assessment in a British university, The Journal of Further and Higher Education. vol 36,no 2, p205-224.

Laight, J. Asghar, M.& Astlett-Bentley, A. (2010). Investigating Conceptions and Practice of Formative Assessment in Higher Education. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Volume 1, Issue 3, p192-199.

Asghar, A. (2010). Reciprocal peer coaching as a formative assessment strategy for first year students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol 35, no 4, p403-417.

Pickford, R. Priestley, J.& Asghar, M. (2009). First Year Assessment: aligning perceptions with purpose. Assessment, learning and Teaching Journal, Leeds Met publications no 5, p9-12.

Lewis, M., Bell, J. & Asghar, A. (2008). Assessing the use of simulated patients in the interpersonal skill development of undergraduate physiotherapy students. International Journal of Rehabilitation and Therapy, vol 15, no 5, p221-227

Jones G., Asghar A. and Llwelyn D. (2008) The epidemiology of rock-climbing injuries. British Journal of Sports Medicine 42:773–778.

Llwelyn D., Sanchrz X., Asghar A. and Jones G. ( 2008) Self-efficacy, risk taking and performance in rock climbing. Personality and Individual Differences vol 45, 75-81