Anne-Lie Svensson receives Distinguished Teaching Award


Congratulations Anne-Lie Svensson, Senior lecturer at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, who is awarded the Uppsala University Distinguished Teaching Award 2021 for her commitment to constantly developing teaching and creating good conditions for learning.

Anne-Lie Svensson, Senior lecturer at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences
Anne-Lie Svensson, the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

So how did this come about?
“We were in a Zoom meeting when suddenly several people joined without being called. One of them was Deputy Vice-chancellor Coco Norén, asking us to take an important message to Deputy Dean Anja Sandström - which was that I was being awarded Uppsala University's Distinguished Teaching Award. I was as surprised as genuinely happy, and the fact that both students and colleagues nominated me means so very much to me.”

Anne-Lie Svensson
Anne-Lie Svensson, Senior lecturer

The award motivation mentions your student focus, how do you pursue this?
“I try to live up to what I consider good pedagogics: The sensitivity to perceive the needs of individual students and the ability to adapt your teaching accordingly. Equally important is to establish confidence within the group, to confirm that we meet as equals and that all questions are okay to ask.”

How are these ambitions affected by current restrictions?
“Of course it entails major adjustments. Currently, I combine pre-recorded lectures with webinars in smaller groups, a layout that the students seem to appreciate, providing them room to express themselves. If we are to find something positive in the pandemic, it is probably this digital creativity that we will hopefully bring with us when returning to campus.”

Do you keep digital speed with your students?
No, they are a few steps ahead of me. On the other hand, it is not about how technically sophisticated you are, but rather how we use the tools we master. Just by making a well-recorded lecture and adding a cordial quiz, you can make your teaching available both geographically and in terms of time and content, and by doing so, take your message quite far.

Can the pandemic increase students' expectations of flexible teaching formats in the future as well?
“It may very well, and if so we have to relate to that. Of course, we must as far as is reasonably practicable meet the needs of students, but we also have good pedagogical reasons for educating on campus. If we are faced with unjustified requests, we must be clear about where and why we draw the line.”

Finally, should the position of pedagogy be further advanced within academia?
“During my twenty years at Uppsala University, there has been a clear and continuous improvement, still it is definitely a competence that can be more visible. Why not engage a pedagogical expert when reviewing applications? Or how about strengthening the opportunities to develop pedagogical competences? All in all, this process is far from complete.”


  • Uppsala University confers annual awards for outstanding accomplishments in undergraduate education.
  • All employees and students at the University have the right to submit nominees for the award. The recipients are selected by the Vice-Chancellor.
  • The awards are conferred at the Professorial Inauguration Ceremony.
  • Senior lecturer Anne-Lie Svensson at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences receives the 2021 The Distinguished Teaching Award in the field of medicine and pharmacy with motivation:
  • Anne-Lie Svensson is appreciated by the students for her dedicated and warm way of teaching. She focuses on the students and creating good conditions for learning. The desire to constantly develop teaching is noticeable, among other things, in her participation in pedagogical conferences, also at national level, and then sharing her experiences in her role as pedagogical leader. Among Anne-Lie Svensson's faculty-wide efforts is her central role in the work of strengthening the quality of the Science Programme in Pharmacy’s bachelor project.



Anne-Lie Svensson, Senior lecturer
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt 

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Last modified: 2021-08-19