Distinguished Teacher Award

22 March 2016 | Story by Newsroom

Dear colleagues and students,

The Distinguished Teacher Award is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within the university and recognises excellent teaching. Through the award, the University of Cape Town acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the university's work. Students and members of the academic staff are hereby invited to submit nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award for 2016. All permanent members of staff who have taught students at the institution for a minimum of three years are eligible for the award.


Each year the Distinguished Teachers Award Committee considers nominations made by students and staff on behalf of a number of dedicated teachers. The committee examines each submission in detail in accordance with a carefully devised set of guidelines, terms of reference and criteria. The committee examines each submission for evidence of:

  • Reflection on teaching practice
  • Versatility in different teaching settings
  • Transformational capacities
  • Innovation in teaching
  • An influence on students' career development
  • Concern and sensitivity towards the needs of students
  • Endorsement from colleagues and students
  • Intellectual vigour and communication skills in the interpretation and presentation of subject matter, and
  • Outstanding student evaluations

The Distinguished Teachers Award Committee may recommend up to a maximum of four recipients per year. In addition, at the discretion of the committee, Certificates of Teaching Merit will be awarded to nominees who have not been awarded a Distinguished Teacher Award but who are nevertheless deserving of recognition for their outstanding contribution to teaching. The awards are formally announced at an appropriate graduation ceremony in December. A citation recognising the recipient is set out in the programme for the ceremony and a purse of R35 000 is attached to the award.


Nominations from students, colleagues, members of departments and faculties will be welcomed. Nomination letters should consist of a statement making the case for the award and can include:

  • Details of excellence in teaching over a number of years
  • Information about the nominee's approach
  • Where the strengths of the nominee lie, for example in lecturing to large classes, in laboratory instruction, in less formal teaching activities outside the classroom, in an innovative teaching technique, and so on.

Please email nominations to Amanda Barratt before 16 May 2016.

Upon receipt of a nomination, Ms Barratt will confirm with the nominee if they wish to accept, and inform them of the documentation required in support of the nomination. Nominees are required to submit supporting documentation by 4 July 2016.

For further information, please contact Ms Barratt on 021 650 2614.

See the list of all past awardees.


Professor Sandra Klopper
Deputy Vice-Chancellor

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