Ako Aotearoa Academy

About the Academy

The Ako Aotearoa Academy (the Academy) is a professional community of innovative, passionate tertiary educators recognised and celebrated with Te Whatu Kairangi - Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Awards (previously Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards).

Established in 2008, the Academy operates under Ako Aotearoa.

To qualify for entry into the Academy, members must first be awarded a Te Whatu Kairangi award.

The Academy’s vision

The aim of this group is to foster, promote and support the development of outstanding tertiary educators throughout Aotearoa; working with diverse learners in reciprocal, transformative learning partnerships.

Contributing to tertiary teaching practice

Academy members are encouraged to share their skills, knowledge and teaching and training expertise with colleagues and wider tertiary teaching networks across Aotearoa.

Ways they do this include:

  • mentoring colleagues to reflect on and refine their educator practice
  • promoting debate around educator policy and practice
  • supporting colleagues to develop educator portfolios for their professional development and consideration for awards
  • sharing their practice, strategies and tips through regional seminars, at times organised in conjunction with Ako Aotearoa’s Regional Hub network
  • collaborating and advocating outstanding practice to stakeholders
  • delivering the national Talking Teaching symposium - a popular two-day event focused on tertiary learning and educating practice for the whole tertiary sector.

Their values

Everything they do is underpinned by the group’s values, including a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and ako (reciprocity between learner and educator), while drawing strength from the manaakitanga and whanaungatanga of diverse communities. 

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TWK 2023 awardee collage

Awardee Community

Since 2007, the awards have celebrated over 276 outstanding tertiary educators.