Teaching Awards - College of Business and Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Teaching Awards

The University of Canterbury Teaching Awards were introduced to the University in 2001 and recognise consistent success and achievement in teaching-related activities in undergraduate, graduate and/or postgraduate programmes (including thesis supervision).

Excellence in teaching may be evidenced through several contexts and activities. The awards will be open to many styles and methods of teaching and learning, and submissions will be reviewed from a holistic perspective. Achievements could be from any of the following, but are not limited to:

  • consistently high performance in an area of teaching;
  • innovative and creative teaching practices;
  • acknowledged leadership in the teaching of a discipline; and/or
  • research and development in teaching and learning.

Nominations normally open in January with an awards ceremony held mid-year.

ako logoThe annual Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards (TTEA) aim to recognise and encourage excellence in tertiary education, at a national level. They provide an opportunity for teachers to further their careers and share good practice in teaching. Up to 12 Sustained Excellence Awards of $20,000 each are awarded annually. One recipient also receives the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award.

UC Teaching Awards 2016

sarah wright
Dr Sarah Wright

Dr Sarah Wright, Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Dr Sarah Wright's Head of Department describes her as "one of the quiet achievers in teaching who is making a real difference to the lives of students, which not only helps shape them as individuals, but also better prepares them for their future careers."

Sarah's teaching philosophy promotes complete learner exploration of the subject matter and relies on students taking an active role in their learning. She says that managers who possess a balance of self-insight and perspective are inherently more effective at managing organisations, so sees her job as an educator as helping students learn how to possess these attributes so they can become effective contributors in organisations.

Sarah strongly believes in the power of experiential learning and the transformative influence it can have on students' learning and development into adept professionals.
She has been particularly effective in leveraging the Erskine programme and experts from overseas to continuously strive for new ways to engage students in the classroom.
This award acknowledges the work Sarah has put into her courses and to improve the experience of PhD students to align with the University's values on student-centric learning and creating work-ready graduates.

Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Award 2015

herb de vries
Dr Herb de Vries

Dr Herb de Vries, Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

This national award recognises Dr de Vries' dedication and support of students through their course of study, business projects and careers. Long impressed with the difference great teachers can make to students’ lives, Dr de Vries has gone on to inspire others.

Dr de Vries’ commercial background gives authenticity to his teaching, and his willingness to engage with students in a very interactive manner is a particular strength.

“Students need to grow as learners and as people, so I encourage them to engage with other students as a learning community. It’s not about me – it’s about inspiring them to set high expectations for themselves. When I walk into a classroom, my students are the centre of my universe – for that period of time, nothing else matters more.”

Read the media release and see the Te Ako webpage

Herb de Vries' staff profile (Department website)
Herb de Vries' research profile (UC SPARK website)

Australasian Tax Teachers Association Hill Medal 2015

adraian sawyer ATTA medal
Professor Adrian Sawyer

Adrian Sawyer, Accounting and Information Systems

This award recognises Professor Sawyer's outstanding contributions to tax teaching and policy in Australasia. Professor Sawyer is just the second New Zealander to receive the medial since it was first awarded in 2000 and he has also been elected president of association for the next two years.

Professor Sawyer is currently the research director for the School of Business and Economics and has published over 400 articles on tax issues. He has published in a wide range of high ranking journals such as the British Tax Review and Australian Tax Forum. He is chair of the Editors of the New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy.

Professor Sawyer's staff profile (Department website)
Professor Sawyer's research profile (UC SPARK website)

Previous teaching award winners from the College of Business and Law

Year UC and external Teaching Awards UC Business School Teaching Award
2016 Dr Sarah Wright  

AKO Teaching Award: Herb De Vries

Australasian Tax Teachers Association Hill Medal: Adrian Sawyer

Associate Professor Pavel Castka
Dr Sarah Wright
2014 Sascha Mueller
Debra Wilson

Ursula Cheer
Bob Hamilton
Ekant Veer

David Fortin
Sanna Malinen
Laura Meriluoto

2012 AKO Teaching Award: Stephen Hickson

Bob Hamilton
Alistair Hodson
Ekant Veer

2011 Russell Wordsworth

Seamus Hogan
Herb de Vries


Steve Agnew
Herb de Vries

Steve Agnew
Trevor Nesbit
Russell Wordsworth


Paul Ballantine
Chris Gallavin
Bob Reed

Paul Ballantine
Tony Mortensen
Bob Reed

2008 Richard Fisher Andrea Menclova

Stephen Hickson
Colleen Mills


Ian Brooks
Andrew Maples