Call for Distinguished Teacher Award nominations

08 February 2023

Dear colleagues and students

We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) for 2022, 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.

Students and members of the academic staff are hereby invited to submit nominations.

All academic staff members who have taught at UCT for a minimum period of five full-time years while on academic conditions of service are eligible for nomination.

Nominations must broadly address the criteria cited below. Nominations that do not speak to how the nominee meets the criteria will be returned to the nominator for resubmission.

All nominees will be consulted to confirm whether they accept.


A teaching portfolio that addresses the following criteria is required for submission to the committee. The committee examines each nominee’s portfolio for evidence of their distinct contribution to teaching and learning at UCT, including:

  • their teaching philosophy and pedagogical approach in the context of the 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, research projects
  • a reflection on how they design their learning materials to be accessible to differently abled students.

The committee requires that the teaching portfolio is submitted electronically and is no more than 25 pages (excluding appendices).

Evidence for the nominee’s contribution to teaching and learning at UCT and demonstration of excellent teaching practice is to be provided electronically in appendices to the portfolio. The appendices may be no more than 100 pages. The following includes evidence that is utilised by the committee:

  • 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
  • student feedback provided in a way that is synthesised for ease.

Please be advised that the inclusion of student feedback is a mandatory requirement for submissions. Submissions that do not include this will not meet the requirements for the award, as set out in the committee’s terms of reference.

The DTA 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 deadline

Please submit nominations to the committee by 10 March 2023.

Once they accept the nomination, nominees will have until 19 June 2023 to submit a portfolio.

The outcomes of the adjudication process will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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

The DTA Committee looks forward to receiving many nominations from the campus community.


Professor Harsha Kathard
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning

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