Teaching Awards

  • UC

    The award was designed in 2015 by Aaron Beehre from the School of Fine Arts and made from reclaimed timber after the Christchurch earthquakes. Each is as unique as its recipient.

UC Teaching Awards recognise excellence in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. Introduced in 2001, the awards include $1,500 for each winner towards teaching-related activities.

In 2022, the UC Teaching Awards are being refreshed 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
    • General Teaching Award,
    • Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Award and,
    • the new Hapori Community of Practice Award.

General Teaching Awards

For general Teaching 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 General Teaching Award is holistic and covers all aspects of teaching and learning excellence.

Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation

The Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Award can focus on one specific aspect of teaching and learning

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:

Application to include: Clear, documented evidence of the positive impact the teaching practice has had in relation to at least three of the following

    • 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.

Hapori Community of Practice Award

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.

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.

(Subject to formal approval of 'Hapori' title)

How to apply

The awards are open to all tertiary educators and are not restricted to academic staff.

Anyone working in an education position who is integral to the learning and teaching process such as kaiārahi, librarians, student success, instructional designs and academic developers is eligible.

In the first instance, please consider completing an expressions of interest form, as this will enable us to provide you with support from previous Awards winners and/ or the Academic Development Team for completing your application.

Nominees for general teaching awards please complete the following application form.

If you are seeking recognition for a particular teaching transformation, you should complete an Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Form.

If you are wanting to reward colleagues who are supporting learners in a broader sense through the new Hapori award, you should supply a reference based on the attached nominator guidelines.

Submission date

Applications for all awards are to be submitted to Mark Stern, Academic Porjects Coordinator (mark.stern@canterbury.ac.nz, Level 2 Matariki) no later than 12 noon, Friday 16 September 2022.

Tips and FAQs

You may also wish to look through the UC Teaching Award Nominee Information or the 2022 Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Nominee-Information to help you submit your portfolio.

For some FAQs about the UC teaching awards, click here.

UC's Teaching Quality Framework also contains useful examples of evidence that can be used in your portfolio.

For information about the UC Teaching Medal, the University's highest award for teaching and leadership, please see the UC Teaching Medal Page.

 Award Winners 2021: Teaching Excellence Recognised at UC


To see all winners

go to our winners' profile page