Dr Stan Zakrzewski has a clear aim as Head of the School of Computing and Digital Media at London Met. He wants to build on the quality teaching already taking place in the School and cement it as a centre of teaching excellence underpinned by strong industry-relevant research. And with a strong background in teaching himself, Stan is the perfect man for the job.
“I have always wanted to teach,” said Stan, who has a BSc in Maths and Physics; an MSc in Solid State Physics; and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of London. Stan’s desire to teach let to him retrain as a computer scientist, learning many of the languages himself while earning a BTEC Higher in Computer Studies in his spare time.
“I began teaching at Palmer’s Sixth Form College before taking a HE post at the University of Bedfordshire, so I’m actually qualified to teach at both secondary schools and universities. I’m passionate about teaching and think we have a great opportunity at London Met to make a name for ourselves in this area.”
Whilst at the University of Bedfordshire, Stan was project director of the official British Olympic Association Sydney Olympics CD-ROM. It was the first official licensed product of the British Olympic Association and was launched just prior to the Sydney Games in 2000. The project highlights Stan’s interest in how computing can complement education, and his current research interests include computer-based assessment systems.
He believes London Met has much to offer the world in terms of computing and digital media.
“We’re already recognised as the best Cisco Academy in the world, and our strengths in cybersecurity means we have the opportunity to be very relevant to industry as this field grows. We already have some very exciting knowledge transfer partnerships in place and work closely with employers such as Lloyds Bank.
“Our National Student Survey (NSS) satisfaction record continues to rise and three of our courses (Music Technology, Digital Media and Computer Systems Engineering) achieved 100% overall satisfaction scores, while many others were at or well above the national average rate. Our staff teams include academics who have very high media and publication profiles and who regularly produce work for outlets including The Guardian and the BBC.
“I want to increase our knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP) activities and links with industry and become a school which has an active interest in our graduate’s long-term careers – not just their achievements while they are with us.”
Key accountabilities for Stan as Head of the School of Computing and Digital Media include further enhancing retention rates, closing the BME (black and minority ethnic) attainment gap in the School, increasing the number of KTPs and collaborative partnerships, further improved teaching scores in the NSS and Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) statistics.
“I want to help develop a new culture in our School which embraces quality teaching over all other areas and empowers academics to work more closely with industry and develop new, industry-relevant courses supported by applied research.”
However, it isn’t just education where Stan sees value in the outside world; he is a big fan of the great outdoors. When not leading the School of Computing and Digital Media, he can be found on the River Ouse, where he has a cruiser moored for the weekends. He also enjoys swimming, fishing and rambling.