top of page

Categories & Criteria

The Teaching Excellence Award Scheme (TEAS) aims to recognise, reward and promote excellence in teaching at the University.


Teachers who have made outstanding teaching and learning contributions are encouraged to apply for these awards. 

The UGC invites annually nominations from the university for its UGC teaching award. Award recipients under the TEAS have a priority in being considered for nominations.

Image by Sigmund

Categories of Awards

  1. University Distinguished Teaching Award (UDTA) 

  2. Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA)  

    • Individual Award 

    • Team Award 

  3. Early Career Teaching Award (ECTA) 

  4. Teaching Innovation Award (TIA) 

    • Individual Award 

    • Team Award 

The awards are open to all full-time teaching staff with (a) a substantial responsibility for teaching of undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes offered by the University; and (b) a minimum years of service in this University as follows:

For ECTA, applicants should possess no more than five years of teaching experience in higher education institutions as at April 21, 2023. 


Teaching teams which comprise up to five members with at least one of them, preferably the team leader, satisfying the above criteria are eligible for OTA and TIA.  In any case, all members should be staff on full-time/fractional appointment at the University.


A teaching staff may not apply for more than one of these individual awards in the same exercise: UDTA, OTA and ECTA. Recipients of UDTA and OTA (individual) awards are not eligible to apply again for the same award until after respectively ten and six years from receiving the first award. In such cases, the applicant should provide evidence of substantial innovations and contributions to teaching and learning beyond those recognised in the previous award.


Criteria for Awards

Applicants for the UDTA, OTA and ECTA should demonstrate:

1. Adoption of learner-centred approaches, ability to engage/inspire/impact on students and demonstration of superior acumen in teaching

A good understanding of pedagogy and how students learn

Being able to engage students in learning with enthusiasm

Respect for students’ diverse learning needs

Outstanding classroom teaching (in face-to-face, virtual or hybrid settings)

Adopting teaching and assessment approaches that can achieve better student learning outcomes

Inspiring and supporting students  

Building students’ confidence and capability (including critical thinking, analytical skills, values, etc.)

2. Course/programme/curriculum design that can reflect a command of the field,

Demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the curriculum and student learning resources design (e.g., textbooks, e-learning resources)

Developing appropriate student learning outcomes

Adopting complementary research-informed teaching practices

Adopting innovative approaches to teaching and assessment which can facilitate students’ achievement of the learning outcomes

3. Past/present achievement(s) and leadership in teaching and potential scholarly contribution to and impact on the development of effective teaching practice,

Demonstrating educational research and innovations in the field of study

Demonstrating leadership in the promotion of teaching excellence

In the case of ECTA, the focus will be on the applicant’s potential for leadership in teaching as well as their past achievements. In the case of team applications, the impact of the collaborative work of the team on the development of effective teaching practice will also be considered.  


Applicants for TIA will have to present a recent innovation in pedagogy and/or curriculum design:

  1. Adoption of learner-centred approaches, ability to engage/inspire/impact on students and demonstration of superior acumen in teaching. 

  2. Evidence of sustainability to be embedded in the curriculum to enhance student learning. 

  3. Impact on the development of effective teaching practice. 


The three criteria for each award category carry no specified weighting. The Selection Panel will consider each application on its own merit with reference to the criteria. 

The monetary award for the different categories of awards are set out below:

HKU Teaching Excellence Awards

University Distinguished Teaching Award (UDTA)

Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA)

Early Career Teaching Award (ECTA)

Teaching Innovation Award (TIA)





The monetary award can be used for academic purposes related to teaching and learning. In the case that the awardee wishes to use the grant to support teaching relief in order to focus on a teaching and learning initiative, a maximum of two courses arranged in different academic years may be allowed subject to the approval of his/her Faculty/Department. Awardees are expected to submit a brief report on the uses of the award at the end of the funding period, which is five years for UDTA and OTA, three years for ECTA and two years for TIA (or up until the expiry of the awardee’s appointment with the University, whichever being the earlier). For the team award, the monetary award will be shared equally among all team members.

An award plaque will be presented to each awardee at the University’s Excellence Award Presentation Ceremony. In addition, the names of awardees/teams will be posted on the plaque of honour located on the Centennial Campus.

Prizes & Recognition

Expectations of Awardees

Awardees are expected to continue contributing to the enhancement of teaching and learning at the University and to become active members of the University's Teaching Academy. 

The Selection Panel comprises the following: 

  1. Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) (Chair); 

  2. Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (to be established in July 2023);  

  3. An external member (normally a teacher from another university); and 

  4. Up to two co-opted members

    • To be determined by the Selection Panel; a student representative and a previous award recipient were co-opted in the previous exercises.

Selection Panel

bottom of page