AAUT Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) were established in 1997 by the Australian Government to celebrate and reward excellence in university teaching. The AAUT recognise quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning, demonstrating excellence in higher education learning and teaching. Recipients, with the support of their institutions, further contribute to systemic change in learning and teaching through the ongoing sharing and dissemination of knowledge.

Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning (Program Awards) recognise learning and teaching support programs and services that make an innovative and outstanding contribution to student learning outcomes and the quality of the student experience. Up to 6 Program Awards are awarded to programs and services that have set high standards for ongoing quality in learning and teaching activities in Australian higher education institutions.


To recognise learning and teaching support programs and services that make an innovative and outstanding contribution to student learning outcomes and the student experience of higher education.

ANU YouTube: Promoting Excellence playlist

ANU applicants for the national awards talk about their teaching



Nomination is open to all programs and services that enhance student learning in higher education. Nominations must be supported by the nominating institution.

Programs should be broader than one or two subjects, or a limited service that involves only a few students. For example, programs may involve a service or program provided at the institutional, faculty or school level, a program of study across number of years, or a service or program directed at particular groups of students.

Previous recipients of Awards or Citations

Programs that have received an AAUT Program Award are ineligible for renomination.

Recipients of an AAUT Teaching or an AAUT Program Award (including Carrick and ALTC Awards) can only renominate if they form part of a team nomination and are not the lead nominee. The new nomination should not substantially replicate the original nomination.

Nomination or receipt of an AAUT Citation does not affect eligibility for an AAUT Program Award.

Eligibility of team members

Team nominations can only include members with a contribution of 10 per cent or higher.

In some circumstances a team member(s) for a program award may not be employed by the nominating institution. This is acceptable providing the program is a program or service at the eligible institution that enhances student learning and the project leader and majority of team members are employed by the nominating institution. The funding for program award recipients is provided to the nominating institution, and all team members should be aware of this upon nominating.



ANU may submit up to two Program Award nominations across all categories.

The ANU Promoting Excellence team will nominate individuals or teams from the recipients and applicants for the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Education.

Nominees may be included in only one Program Award nomination in any year, except if a nominee forms part of a team nomination and is not the lead nominee.


The six categories of Program Awards are:

1.  Widening participation, encompassing approaches to learning and teaching, and/or student experience which enhance student access, widen participation, and support progression.

2.  Educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations, encompassing partnerships between universities, and universities and other organisations - such as schools, private higher education providers, registered training organisations, professional bodies, businesses and industries in collaborative approaches to learning and teaching.

3.  Innovation and flexibility in curricula, learning and teaching, encompassing approaches to learning and teaching that afford flexibility in time, place and/or mode of learning and innovations that encourage novel approaches to learning and teaching, innovations that align assessment with curriculum design, innovations that encourage or support multidisciplinary, research-based learning and teaching approaches, innovations that utilise the potential of new and/or emerging technologies.

4.  Postgraduate education, encompassing programs and other activities that focus on postgraduate students, postgraduate coursework learning and teaching, postgraduate research supervision and research higher degree candidature and postgraduate learning support.

5.  Student experiences and services supporting learning, development and growth in higher education, encompassing services directly related to student learning such as services for specific groups of students, information access, course advising, language and learning support, counselling and disability support. Quality of learning engagement and other learning and teaching experiences within large student groups to sustain and retain students, student enhancement, whole personal development learning and the quality of the first-year student experience.

6.  Global citizenship and internationalisation, including valuing and enhancing the international student experience, student exchange, international recruitment, transition programs for international students and internationalising the curriculum.



Application components

(See component details below)

  1. Nomination form
  2. Written statement: synopsis, overview and statement addressing the 4 selection criteria (10 page max)
  3. Statement of contribution (team nominations)
  4. References: 2 signed references of one page each
  5. Supporting teaching materials
  6. Digital photograph


Applications will be submitted to the Awards Portal by the AAUT Institutional Contact Officer in ANU by 9 December 2018.

    1. Nomination form

    The nomination form reports administrative information and includes a declaration from the nominee and institution. The form acts as a cover sheet for the nomination. The completed nomination must be signed by the Vice-Chancellor / Chief Executive Officer or their nominated delegate.

    2. Claims against the assessment criteria

    This component is limited to 10 A4 pages, describes the program activities and achievements and must address all four assessment criteria, providing evidence to support claims. It should comprise the following elements presented in order:


    Up to 200 words, which includes a description of the program and its contribution to student learning. The synopsis must:

    • be written in the third person
    • avoid jargon and use plain English
    • should inform the broadest possible audience about the program.


    An overview of the program and its context


    Addresses the assessment criteria (include criterion headings), providing supporting evidence including impact on student learning.

    1. Distinctiveness, coherence and clarity of purpose

    • Extent to which the program has clear objectives and systematic approaches to coordination, implementation and evaluation.

    2. Influence on student learning and the student experience

    • Extent to which the program targets identified needs and directly or indirectly, enhances student learning, student engagement and/or the overall student experience of higher education.

    3. Breadth of impact

    • Extent to which the program has led to widespread benefits for students, staff, the institution, and/or other institutions, consistent with the purpose of the program.

    4. Addressing equity and diversity

    • Extent to which the program promotes and supports equity and inclusiveness by improving access, participation and outcomes for diverse student groups.

    Reference list

    • Nominees should use their preferred recognised reference style throughout and include a reference list within the 10 pages.
    • Links to reference lists online will not be reviewed by assessors.

    3. Statement of contribution (for team nominations)

    Team nominations must include one A4 page which explains the role and indicates the percentage contribution of team members (limited to team members with 10 per cent or higher), in addition to the team information included within the nomination form.

    4. Letters of reference

    Two references, of no more than one A4 page each, are to be provided by referees able to comment on the program's contribution to student learning against the assessment criteria. References should:

    • Include one referee who is the head of the nominee’s faculty, department, school or administrative unit or higher level.
    • Apply to the program, not individual team members.
    • Include a statement acknowledging the referee’s acceptance of the Privacy Notice in the nomination form, e.g. ‘I accept the Privacy Notice provided by the nominee.’
    • References must be signed – electronic signatures are accepted.

    5. Supporting materials

    Nominees can choose to submit up to two of the following supporting materials:

    • a three minute video (which could include footage of team members talking about the program, its vision and interviews with students) – include web address
    • website (URL) – include web address
    • 10 pages of supporting material in PDF format.

    The relevance of all material must be made clear in the written component. Supporting materials should be clearly labelled and are the last component of the combined nomination file.


    Supporting materials (including websites) should remain accessible throughout the assessment process, beyond the submission date. Supporting materials should not include a login and password to access the material.

    6. Digital photograph

    • A formal digital photograph of the individual nominee or team must be submitted with each nomination, in line with the following specifications: colour
    • white background
    • head and shoulders only image
    • resolution of 300 dpi (approximately 10 cm by 10 cm and the size of the file must be at least 1 MB)
    • JPEG file.

    If the nomination is successful, digital photographs are used for publication purposes, including awards booklets, the department’s website and other promotional materials. The photographs should therefore be of the best possible quality and include all members of a team nomination. Low quality photographs will not be accepted. Where possible, the Promoting Excellence team will arrange for the photo to be taken by ANU Photography..



    Assessment criteria

    All nominations will be assessed on the evidence provided in response to the following four criteria which will be given equal consideration by the assessors:

    1. Distinctiveness, coherence and clarity of purpose 
    2. Influence on student learning and the student experience
    3. Breadth of impact
    4. Addressing equity and diversity

    The assessment will also take into account:

    1. evidence of the effectiveness of the program in formal and informal evaluation
    2. the degree of creativity, imagination or innovation
    3. evidence of sustained effectiveness of the program for no less than three years, not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.

    AAUT Assessment reports

    Nominees are advised to contact the Promoting Excellence team for copies of the previous years' AAUT Assessment Reports.


    Recipients and their details are listed on the pages below.