Home > Academic Planning > Distinguished Teacher Award

Distinguished Teacher Award

The APU services the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee and manages the administration of the award.

About the award:
The award is the highest accolade awarded to teaching staff at all levels within the university and recognises excellent teaching. Through the award, the University of Cape Town acknowledges the primary place of teaching and learning in the university's work. The Distinguished Teacher Award Committee may recommend up to a maximum of four recipients per year. In addition, at the discretion of the Committee, "Certificates of Teaching Merit" will be awarded to nominees who have not been awarded a DTA but who are nevertheless deserving of recognition for their outstanding contribution to teaching. The Awards are formally announced at an appropriate graduation ceremony in December. A citation recognising the recipient is set out in the programme for the ceremony and a purse of R35 000 is attached to the award.

For more information, visit the Distinguished Teachers Awards list.

Each year the Committee considers nominations made on behalf of a number of dedicated teachers. The Committee examines each submission in detail in accordance with a carefully devised set of guidelines, terms of reference and the same criteria. The Committee examines each submission for evidence of: reflection on teaching practice, versatility in different teaching settings, innovation in teaching, an influence on students’ career development, concern and sensitivity towards the needs of students, a strong faculty and departmental endorsement, intellectual vigour and communication skills in the interpretation and presentation of subject matter, and outstanding student evaluations.

Nomination letters must consist of a detailed statement making the case for the award and can include details of excellence in teaching over a number of years as well as information about the nominee's approach and where their strengths lie, for example whether the teacher's strengths lie in lecturing to large classes, in laboratory instruction, in less formal teaching activities outside the classroom, in an innovative teaching technique, and so on. Nominations should be forwarded to the APU.