World’s first global award for university teaching - The Global Teaching Excellence Award launched by Higher Education Academy

Thursday, 23 February, 2017

The Higher Education Academy (HEA), the UK-based champion of higher education teaching, today announced the official launch of the Global Teaching Excellence Award – believed to be the first global accolade to recognise universities demonstrating world-class commitment to teaching and learning excellence.

Run in association with Times Higher Education, publisher of the THE World University Rankings, the new global award is open to universities and other higher education providers from across the world.  Closing date for entries is 2 May 2017 and entry details can be found on the Global Teaching Excellence Award webpage at

Institutional entries to the Global Teaching Excellence Award will be assessed against three main areas: Excellence in the Leadership of Teaching and Learning, Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Student Support.  Details of assessment criteria can be found on the Global Teaching Excellence Award web pages at

The distinguished independent international panel of judges will be chaired by Canadian Svava Bjarnason, 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.

Other judges on the panel, who will select 25 finalists from a shortlist identified through rigorous initial entry assessment, will be announced in March. The overall Global Teaching Excellence Award winning university or institution will then be named at a prestigious ceremony in London in early September to which all 25 finalist institutions will be invited.

Launching the award, HEA Chief Executive Professor Stephanie Marshall said: ”We are proud to provide this platform to recognise and celebrate institutions offering truly outstanding teaching in higher education.  Applications are warmly welcomed from higher education providers across  every part of the world – from major institutions with an existing global profile to small and specialist providers catering for a distinct student cohort or subject area.”

Commenting on the Award, Times Higher Education Editor John Gill said: ”Times Higher Education has been at the heart of higher education for almost 50 years, and our university rankings and summit series take us around the world. We know how vital it is that great and innovative teaching is championed and recognised, which is why we are pleased to support this new initiative.”