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UOW a global leader in learning and teaching

International award recognises commitment to excellence in higher education

Following a rigorous judging process involving the world’s best higher education institutions, the University of Wollongong (UOW) has been announced as the only NSW university, and one of five Australian universities, to be a finalist in Global Teaching Excellence Award 2017.

The Global Teaching Excellence Awards (GTEA) are an initiative of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), an independent UK-based national body which champions teaching excellence, in partnership with Times Higher Education.

UOW is among 27 institutions shortlisted from among the top universities in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Entries for GTEA 2017 are assessed against three key criteria: Excellence in the Leadership of Teaching and Learning, Excellence in Teaching, and Excellence in Student Support.

A 16-person independent panel comprised of international educationalists from America, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia will judge the shortlisted entries, with the overall winner to be announced at a gala event in London on 4 September.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joe Chicharo said that in just 42 years since becoming an independent institution, UOW had become one of the best modern universities in the world: dynamic, agile and prominent in national and international rankings for the quality of its teaching, research, student experience and outcomes.

“At Wollongong, we have a tradition of caring deeply for our students, and making sure we do all we can for them to enjoy a great experience,” Professor Chicharo said.

UOW’s efforts in this area are linked to its strategic goal to providing an exceptional learning and student experience by transforming what is taught and how it’s taught to maximise student success.

Evidence of UOW’s excellence in the leadership of teaching and learning includes creating an environment that fosters innovation.

Staff are encouraged and empowered to develop solutions to emerging problems and are active collaborators with the sector, including through the establishment of the Wollongong Academy of Tertiary Teaching and Learning Excellence.

UOW’s excellence in teaching is based on a curriculum model that speaks to students’ expectations of study: real-world focused, research and enquiry based, technology enriched, and intellectually challenging.

Since 2001, UOW has achieved 4-5 stars for overall satisfaction in the Good Universities Guide, and in 2017 has the highest number of stars in Australia for overall quality, student retention, learner engagement, learning resources, skill development, student support and teaching quality.

The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website has consistently placed UOW among the top three Australian universities for overall performance. In 2017 UOW is ranked Number 1 nationally for Teacher Education, Engineering and Communications; Number 1 in NSW/ACT for overall satisfaction, skills, learning resources, learner engagement and teaching quality.

The focus on employability and career development also demonstrates excellence in student support. In 2015 a co-curricular program called UOWx was launched to formally recognise student learning outside of academic studies.

That same year the University won the Australian Financial Review Award for Employability. In 2016, 83 co-curricular activities were recognised as ways students were actively contributing to their employability.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE said the award shortlisting was a testament to the institution-wide approach UOW takes to providing a personalised student experience in outstanding learning environments.

“Our courses and research capacity are geared towards excellence at a global level. We are focused on creating a lasting impact that contributes to the needs of communities and empowers people to achieve their aspirations.”

UOW currently offers more than 300 courses across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to more than 32,000 students around the world. Its activities generate around $2 billion in economic activity annually, making UOW a major economic force.


The Global Teaching Excellence Award (GTEA) is the first global award to celebrate and reward institutional commitment to the pursuit of teaching excellence in higher education and is open to all public and private sector universities and other providers of higher education.

Judging of the award involves a rigorous two-stage process. External peer reviewers initially assess each institutional application in relation to three ‘domains of excellence’. The reviewers then generate an initial shortlist from which an independent judging panel of distinguished international educationalists from North America, Africa, Australia, Europe and East Asia select the finalists and overall winner of GTEA 2017. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 4 September 2017.

Posted in Education
Tagged: Education