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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


The Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning has announced that Dr Mahbod Ghaffari, University Associate Professor in Persian Language, Linguistics and Culture, has been awarded the 2024 Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence.

Dr Mahbod Ghaffari has made an outstanding contribution as sole teacher, designer and convenor at the three levels of Persian language courses: through the development of online materials, through his constant striving to further develop his language teaching materials based on his own internationally recognised research in the field, and through the series of international conferences on teaching Persian Language which he has founded at Cambridge.

Mahbod’s tireless enthusiasm for teaching is recognised by the feedback he receives from his students, and by the appreciation and regard he has earned from his colleagues. His outstanding contribution in great part also rests on his success in creating and developing a Persian language course tailored for our third-year Year Abroad undergraduates at Yerevan State University, ensuring both quality of the teaching and the experience, but also a safe environment when travel and stay in Iran is not advisable. Finally, his proactive involvement in the Faculty’s administrative duties and constant readiness to help make Mahbod a well-deserving recipient of the Pilkington Prize.The faculty offers many congratulations to Dr Ghaffari, thanking him for his significant engagement in teaching Persian Language and for his enthusiasm for his field.

Twelve prizes are awarded every year by the Vice Chancellor to individuals who make an outstanding contribution to the teaching programme in a Department, Faculty or the University as a whole.

You can learn more about the Prizes, including Winners from previous years, on the Pilkington Prize page.

The awards were initiated by Sir Alastair Pilkington who believed that the quality of teaching was crucial to the University’s success.

Past winners from this Faculty have included:

2019 - Prof. Laura MoretttiProfessor of Early Modern Japanese Literature and Culture

2014 - Dr Rachael Harris, formerly Senior Language Teaching Office in Arabic

2009 - Mrs Haruko Laurie, formerly Language Teaching Officer in Japanese

2005 - Dr Mark Morris, formerly Lecturer in Japanese & Korean Cultural History

2000 - Prof. Boping Yuan, Professor Emeritus in Chinese Language and Linguistics