Ngā Tohu Whakaako Whakahirahira

Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards

Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards

These national Awards (TTEA) were established in 2001 to celebrate and promote sustained excellence in tertiary teaching.

Ako Aotearoa manages the awards 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. 

Procedures and Criteria

The Procedures Guidelines and Criteria booklet provides everything nominees and their organisations need to know about qualifying for an award and the steps to submit a nomination.

  • The process is inclusive and takes into account different teaching and learning contexts
  • The criteria are flexible. Nominees are asked to describe ‘teaching excellence’ and ‘effective learning’
  • The portfolio requirements are focused and allow for written, audio and video content. 

The Awards

Up to 10 Sustained Excellence Awards of $20,000 each are awarded annually, with provision for awards under the General and the Kaupapa Māori Categories. An Excellence in Supporting Pacific Learners endorsement (with an additional $5,000 grant) is also available.

The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award (with an additional $10,000 grant), is awarded to the nominee whose portfolio best exemplifies the overall criteria. 


Nominations can ONLY be submitted through the Nominee’s organisation and must include:

  1. the completed Nomination Form
  2. the Tertiary Teaching History Form (one for every nominee if a team nomination)
  3. an electronic copy of a portfolio (and, if relevant, the Excellence in Supporting Pacific Learners document) plus any video or audio files (if applicable)
  4. a screenshot verifying the word count and/or video and/or audio content viewing/listening time/s. 

Nominations of teaching teams can be submitted under either of the two categories. The award and monetary grant are the same for teams as for individuals.

A copy of all nominations and portfolio requirements, plus full Awards requirements are included in the Procedures Guidelines and Criteria booklet

Deadline for nominations

Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now closed. The awards ceremony will be held in September.

Awards documentation

Procedures Guidelines and Criteria booklet (PDF 6 MB)

Nomination Form (PDF)

Tertiary Teaching History Form (PDF)

More information 

For more information about applying for the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards :

  1. Watch these three videos for a good overview of what's involved

    Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards promo

    Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards nomination process

    Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards preparing a portfolio

  2. Contact us if you have any questions – go to the Enquiries page of the Criteria booklet for full details.