UOW receives Global Teaching Excellence Spotlight Award

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has been recognised among the world’s best institutions for teaching excellence, receiving a Spotlight Award in the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award.

The award, presented at a gala awards ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland last night (Wednesday 18 July 2018), recognises and celebrates institution-wide commitment to the pursuit of teaching and learning excellence.

UOW was one of five Spotlight Award recipients, selected from a field of 17 finalists from Asia, Europe, North America, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia, and was the only Australian university shortlisted in two consecutive years.

A distinguished panel of judges selected UOW for a Spotlight Award for ‘cultivating a culture amongst staff and students that continuously promotes and supports learning and teaching’, having already undertaken a rigorous assessment of the University in three ‘domains of excellence’: excellence in the leadership of teaching and learning; excellence in teaching; and excellence in student support.

“Overall, the university shows excellent examples of practice in leadership, excellence in teaching and learning, and great student support and feedback. It is successfully cultivating a culture that promotes and supports teaching and learning, particularly in terms of the structures, discipline-specific approach to professional development and its Curriculum Model. Its investment in new thinking (to “take risks”) was also particularly commendable,” the judges said.

The judges specifically commended UOW for “…the teaching and learning infrastructure it has nurtured for both staff and students”, with students benefiting from: “a ‘before, during and after’ approach to support and a renowned Peer Student Support Programme both of which have had a demonstrable impact on student success.

“Notably, this university is now training institutions across the world in using peer student support and, in doing so, has built a global reputation,” the award citation said. The judges also commended the university’s use of learning analytics to support its enhancement.

The judges also commended UOW for its use of learning analytics to support its enhancement.

UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said, “this global mark of excellence pays testament to the outstanding work and deep commitment to students shown by UOW staff over many years.

“Already renowned for its world-leading research, this award now recognises UOW as being among the world’s best institutions for the teaching and learning experience it provides its students.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Joe Chicharo, received the global accolade on behalf of the University

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award on behalf of UOW academic and professional staff who are all so deeply committed to providing an excellent, personalised student experience and who have worked so diligently to create and develop the culture of learning and teaching that is being recognised by this award.

“That student experience has now been confirmed as not only world-class, but among the world’s elite,” Professor Chicharo said.

Canada’s McMaster University was named as Overall Winner and fellow ‘Spotlight Award recipients were: Edge Hill University (UK), Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Universidad de Deusto (Spain) and University of Birmingham (UK).

Alison Johns, chief executive of award convener, Advance HE, said, “the quality of submissions this year is truly outstanding. The geographic spread and diversity of institution type among our 2018 finalists underlines that teaching excellence and institutional commitment to its achievement is evident around the world.

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