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Teaching Awards

25 July 2023

UC Teaching Awards recognise excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching. They align with Te Whatu Kairangi (Ako Aotearoa) awards and recognise contributions to learning and teaching from the wider UC community. Learn how it works and see who won the UC Teaching Awards last year.


First introduced in 2001, the awards now include $1,500 for each winner towards teaching-related activities.

The UC Teaching Awards were refreshed in 2022 with the aim of increasing diversity of applicants and aligning with the new Te Whatu Kairangi (Ako Aotearoa) Teaching Excellence Awards. Through streamlining the application process and expanding the categories of awards available we aim to recognise contributions to learning and teaching from the wider UC community. This year we are offering:

  • An optional informal Expressions of Interest stage where candidates can be matched with experienced mentors to help with applications.
  • Three different categories of award
    • Teaching Excellence Award,
    • Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Award and,
    • the new Hapori Community of Practice Award.

For Teaching Excellence Awards, the sub-committee will be looking for evidence that the nominee (individually or as a team):

  • Has maintained over a significant time-frame, high-quality teaching practices which engage students and promote effective learning appropriate to the subject level and the background of the students.
  • Is proactive in their professional development as a teacher, including the collection of, and reflection on, multiple sources of evidence of their personal teaching effectiveness.
  • Has had a positive influence on the teaching practice and/or the professional development of colleagues with respect to teaching and learning - either within their organisation or more widely.
  • Has demonstrated commitment, creativity and innovation in their teaching and made a unique contribution in their role as a teacher.

The Teaching Excellence Award is holistic and covers all aspects of teaching and learning excellence.

The Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Award can focus on one specific aspect of teaching and learning. Download the nomination form for the award.

As suggestions, applications may choose to focus on one of the new Te Whatu Kairangi Ako Aotearoa teaching categories such as;

  • Advancing approaches to, and the outcomes of, work-based learning
  • Achieving diversity and inclusion for improving outcomes for: Māori learners; Pacific learners; neurodiverse learners; and/or learners with disabilities
  • Innovation in learning, teaching, and curriculum (including developers, educators, or combinations)
  • Progressing educational partnerships and collaboration
  • Initiatives for progressing on hauora and wellbeing in education
  • Progressing on seamless ākonga transitions between contexts

For Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Awards, the sub-committee will be looking for evidence that the nominee (individually or as a team) has transformed a specific aspect of their teaching and learning. They will be able to demonstrate this by documenting: 

  • improved student achievement
  • improved student retention/enrolment numbers
  • improved student engagement
  • new connections with the graduate attributes
  • interdisciplinary integration and collaborative teaching and/or academic inquiry between colleges/schools/departments.

The Hapori Award can focus on one specific aspect of teaching and learning. The sub-committee will be looking for staff who support learners from a wider perspective, eg supporting work-based learning, transitions, curriculum development etc.

The Hapori award is open to all tertiary educators and is not restricted to academic staff. Anyone working in an education position who is integral to the learning and the teaching process such as kaiārahi, librarians, student success, instructional designers and academic developers are eligible. 

We encourage colleagues to nominate those who they feel are deserving, and collaborate with the nominee(s) to complete the application.

Application to include: Clear, documented evidence of the positive impact of the teaching practice must be provided by the nominee/nominator and must include details of:

  • Impact: Detail the impact the nominee/s is having and how you know this.
  • Leadership, partnership, and collaboration: Describe the key aspects of the nominee’s leadership and collaboration in this mahi.
  • Sustained practice: Outline the ways in which the nominee’s initiatives are sustainable in the short and longer term.


2023 Teaching Award winners

See our previous winners
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