International judging panel announced for second year of global award for university teaching excellence

Thursday, 30 November, 2017

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) is today announcing the judging panel for the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award.

Following the highly successful launch of the first Global Teaching Excellence Award last year, this international accolade, in association with Times Higher Education (THE), recognises and celebrates universities demonstrating commitment to institution-wide teaching excellence.

Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) joins the 14-strong independent judging panel (details below) which includes leading international educationalists from North and South America, Australasia, Europe and Asia.

Commenting on the importance of this award to the global higher education sector, Schleicher said:

"Most measures of the education function focus on retention, progression or completion. But if we want to enhance the performance of higher education, we need to know more about the practices in higher education that drive better student learning and graduate outcomes…that's what makes this award such an important catalyst for change."

Entry to the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award opened in September and has since generated interest from leading public and private universities from around the world. Closing date for entries is 18 January 2018.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA said: “The pursuit of excellent teaching is now a global phenomenon, as this Award continues to demonstrate, through the level of interest and applications received from a broad spectrum of higher education providers across all continents.”

She added: “While there are already a number of global league tables ranking institutions and awards for the teaching excellence of individuals in higher education, this award is unique in its recognition of institution-wide commitment to excellence in higher education teaching.”

Stephan Earnhart, Academic Director of the Swiss Hotel Management School, a finalist in the 2017 Global Teaching Excellence Award, also joins the judging panel.

Commenting on the importance of the award to his institution and the global higher education sector, he said: “I would encourage any higher education institution to consider applying for this award. By re-evaluating one’s own pillars of excellence, we were challenged to define or confirm our commitment to the domains of excellence in leadership of teaching and learning, teaching and pedagogical strategy, and student support and achievement.”

The three main areas of assessment are: Excellence in the Leadership of Teaching and Learning, Excellence in Teaching, and Excellence in Student Support. The panel of judges will select finalists from a shortlist identified through rigorous initial entry assessment and peer review.

The overall Global Teaching Excellence Award winning university or institution will then be named at a prestigious ceremony in the summer, to which all shortlisted institutions will be invited.

The Global Teaching Excellence Award judging panel - (See additional background at:

Svava Bjarnason

Chair of the GTEA Panel

Svava Bjarnason is the former Principal Education Specialist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. In this capacity, she was a member of the World Bank Education Sector Board from 2007 to 2010.

Prior to joining the IFC in 2007, Svava Bjarnason was the founding Director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education and held a dual post as Director of Research and Strategy at the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) based in London. Before joining the ACU in 1998, Svava was a consultant in higher education in the United Kingdom. She has served on numerous expert groups for the OECD and UNESCO.


Andreas Schleicher - Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France

Dr Arshad Ahmad - Vice-Provost, Teaching & Learning, McMaster University Canada

Dr Denise Martins de Abreu-e-Lima - President, Languages without Borders, Ministry of Education, Brazil

Professor Duncan Lawson - Pro-Vice Chancellor, Newman University, UK

Dr Ebtissam Al-Madi - Founding Dean, College of Dentistry, Princess Nora University, Saudi Arabia

Professor Er Meng Hwa - Vice President (International Affairs), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 

Helen Lomax - Deputy Director of Sector Services, Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, New Zealand

Professor Isabella Poon Wai-yin - Pro-Vice Chancellor / Vice President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr Joe O’Shea - Assistant Provost, Florida State University, USA

John Gill - Editor, Times Higher Education, UK

Professor Mark Rose - Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy and Education, La Trobe University, Australia

Stephan Earnhart - Academic Director, Swiss Hotel Management School, Switzerland

Dr Tashmin Khamis - Director, Networks of Quality Assurance and Improvement and Teaching and Learning, Aga Khan University South-Central Asia, East Africa & UK