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A More Diverse And Inclusive Tertiary Teaching Awards To Be Launched By Ako Aotearoa

Ako Aotearoa confirmed today that the Ngā Tohu Whakaako Whakahirahira - Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards (TTEA) - will no longer run under its existing format. Instead, Ako Aotearoa is evolving the Awards to be more diverse and inclusive of celebrating tertiary teaching and training excellence. This follows a major review and sector consultation process that began in late 2020.

The new Awards will strongly support the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy priorities by seeking increased diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups and tertiary sectors.

Dr Graeme Benny, Ako Aotearoa Board Chair, says,“With major sector reforms underway it was timely to ensure the Awards hosted by Ako Aotearoa were fully inclusive of the entirety of the new education and training landscape.”

Helen Lomax, Tumuaki/Director of Ako Aotearoa is excited by the development. “Our intention is to build on the success of and respect for the Awards to date by evolving them to be more accessible to all teachers, educators, trainers and instructors from across New Zealand’s tertiary education and training sector system.”

All awards will be strongly focused on evidence of sustained contribution to and impact on learner success, and the subsequent impact on whānau, communities, and employment outcomes.

“We look forward to seeing a broader range of educators, teachers, trainers, teams, subsectors and types of education and training organisations represented in nominations and recipients. Smaller education and training organisations should be recognised for the valuable contribution they make to the sector and our communities, alongside the larger ones”, says Helen Lomax.

The review revealed the need for separate awards categories for individuals and groups, a stronger focus on building sector capability, and a more straightforward, ‘level playing field’ approach to the nominations process. For example, text and digital recording limits will reduce significantly using standardised formats and online submission.

Tertiary education sector representative experts were widely consulted during the review and recommendation process and are supportive of the changes.

An official announcement is expected in February 2022 to launch the new Awards, and online workshops will be held in March to help the sector understand the new process. Nominations will be open from the end of February to 30 June.

About the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards (TTEA):

The Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards were established in 2001 to celebrate and promote sustained excellence in tertiary teaching, and were renamed Ngā Tohu Whakaako Whakahirahira in 2018. The Supreme Award is awarded by the Prime Minister. The Kaupapa Māori and General Awards are awarded by the Minister of Education.

Ako Aotearoa has managed the Awards since 2008 and encourages nominations from any education organisation that receives Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding. This includes Adult & Community Education (ACE), Industry Training Organisations (ITO), Institutes of Technology/Polytechnics (ITP), Other Tertiary Education Providers (OTEP), Private Training Establishments (PTE), Universities and Wānanga.

About Ako Aotearoa:

Ako Aotearoa is a government-funded organisation committed to supporting the country’s teachers, educators, trainers and instructors across the tertiary education and training sector to be the best they can be for the success of all learners.

Services provided by Ako Aotearoa aim to improve the way people deliver high-quality teaching, for lasting change in the tertiary education sector.

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