Call for nominations for Distinguished Teacher Award 2020

25 January 2021 | DVC A/Prof Lis Lange

Dear colleagues and students

Students and members of the academic staff are hereby invited to submit nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) for 2020. The DTA is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Through the award, the university recognises excellent teaching and acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the institution’s work.

Each year the DTA Committee considers nominations made by students and staff on behalf of a number of excellent teachers. The committee examines each submission in detail in accordance with a carefully devised rubric, terms of reference and set of criteria.


All full-time members of staff who have taught at UCT for a minimum period of five years are eligible for the award.


The committee examines each nominee’s portfolio for evidence of their distinct contribution to teaching and learning at UCT.

Candidates who accept a nomination must submit a portfolio that needs to convey their distinct contribution to teaching and learning at UCT.

Nominees must address the following in their portfolio:

  • their teaching philosophy and pedagogical approach in the context of teaching and learning challenges in South African higher education
  • their contribution to curriculum renewal and transformation
  • their innovation in teaching and learning
  • their impact on their students, beyond formal teaching time
  • their impact on teaching and learning approaches of their colleagues
  • their notion and practice of inclusivity in their teaching
  • their reflective teaching practices.

In addition, nominees are encouraged to submit:

  • a reflection on their scholarship of teaching and learning including any relevant publications, conference attendance and research
  • a reflection on how they design their learning materials to be accessible to differently abled students.

The Committee engages in a rigorous process of adjudication and relies on the following:

  • an electronic portfolio of no more than 20 pages, excluding appendices
  • substantive evidence in the electronic appendices, as detailed below
  • an interview with the nominee.

Evidence for the nominee’s contribution to teaching and learning at UCT and demonstration of excellent teaching practice, is to be provided in the appendices in the portfolio, in the form of:

  • examples of curricula developed including course outlines and lecture notes
  • evidence of assessment practice
  • engagement and participation (or leading) in educational development activities within their department, faculty or at the institutional level.

The Committee will also require access to at least one lecture recording of a nominee’s choice.

The Distinguished Teachers Award Committee may recommend up to a maximum of four recipients per year, and the awards are formally announced at an appropriate graduation ceremony. A citation recognising the recipient is set out in the programme for the ceremony and a purse is attached to the award.

Nominations process

The Committee may receive nominations from students or members of the academic staff or both. Nominations must consist of a detailed statement making the case for the award in line with the criteria below, developed by the Committee (PC08 2020).

Nomination letters should consist of a statement making the case for the award in line with the above-mentioned criteria.

Please submit nominations to the Committee by 19 February 2021.

Nominees are required to submit their portfolio electronically by 16 April 2021. The outcomes of the adjudication process are announced in the third quarter of 2021.

The first call for the DTA nominations for 2020 was made in the 14 January 2021 weekly campus announcement.

Information about past Distinguished Teacher Award recipients can be accessed on the UCT website.


Associate Professor Lis Lange
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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