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 has also worked externally with other universities wishing to implement a professional dialogic route to Fellowship. She is currently 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 has facilitated academic staff development across the university in a range of topics, including assessment and feedback, curriculum design and pedagogic research and academic leadership.  She is interested in a range of pedagogic approaches, including problem based learning, enquiry-based learning etc.

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) and the current external for BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy programme at Limerick University and the Postgraduate certificate in Academic Practice at Nottingham Trent University. 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 presents regularly at conferences:

Asghar, M & Pilkington, R (2016) Paper presentation. Building relationships and reputation through professional dialogue. Society for Research into Higher Education, Newport December 2016

Asghar, M. (June, 2016) The Value of Professional Dialogue in the Measured University. Academic Identities Conference, Sydney.

Pilkington, R. & Asghar, M. (2015) Reviewing the Use of Dialogue within CPD Frameworks. Day workshop. York St John University.

Asghar, M. & Rowe, N. (2015) Converge: Understanding, through scholarship, the impact of a Service-learning Opportunity for students. SEDA Autumn conference, Cardiff.

Asghar, M. (2014) Workshop Engaging staff with the UK Professional Standards Framework through e-portfolios SEDA spring conference, Newcastle.

Asghar, M. (2013) Paper Presentation, Let’s 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.

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

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

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. (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) 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.


Mandy’s research has always focused on practice. 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 completed a Ph.D. by publication in 2017. 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 opportunities for students. She regularly presents at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Mandy’s current research projects include:

  • Exploring the value of professional dialogue as a route to fellowship across five institutions in collaboration with Dr Ruth Pilkington from Liverpool John Moore University. Comparing dialogue and paper routes to Fellowship in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University.
  • Investigating the impact of “Converge” of students and users of mental health care services in collaboration with Dr Nick Rowe.

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 postgraduate students. One of the unique aspects of the Directorate’s work is our undergraduate students as researchers scheme that provides research opportunities for between 30 and 40 students per year



Asghar, M. & Pilkington, R. (2017) The relational value of professional dialogue pursuing HEA Fellowship. International Journal of Academic Development

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