Teaching Awards - Edinburgh University Students Association



A student led teaching award to recognise excellence in various aspect of teaching and academic support.


Academic staff currently receive recognition, research funding and promotion largely based on their research activity. The Teaching Awards are an opportunity for excellence in teaching practice to be recognised. The Teaching Awards are also a way of highlighting that teaching and research should be awarded more parity institutionally, and that students appreciate good teaching when they receive it.

Whilst excellent research is recognised and rewarded within the University of Edinburgh, there was no corresponding and systematic recognition and reward of excellent teaching. There has been a perception, widespread amongst students, that academic staff prioritise research over their teaching commitments, and this may be partly due to the imbalance of incentives between research and teaching within the current career path.


The EUSA Teaching Awards are entirely student run and operated, involving particularly the EUSA VP Academic Affairs, the EUSA Teaching and Learning Convenor, School and Class Reps and staff support. All students are invited to nominate teaching staff. The University has been very supportive, with discussion in Senate and University committees, and endorsements from the Principal and University Senior Management. However, there is recognition that the credibility of the awards comes from the fact that they are student directed.

Effectiveness and impact

Awards are given at a very well received ceremony with attendance from the University, and across the Education sector. The Awards allow identification of good teaching practice, and the sharing of best practice through such events as the EUSA Inspiring Teaching Conference, at which Teaching Awards Winners hosted workshops and Schools within the University provided stalls for a University wide exhibition.

NUS Scotland and the Higher Education Academy are undertaking a joint piece of work based on the EUSA model to support a cohort of eight students' associations and universities in designing and implementing student-led learning & teaching awards, with the aim of creating political capital for pushing learning & teaching issues (e.g. feedback, assessment, academic representation etc.) up the institutional agenda.

Overcoming initial staff scepticism of the awards relies on getting information out and publicising the awards benefits as widely as positive and maintaining a relentlessly positive campaign, and showing that students value their educational experience and welcome the opportunity to feedback on this.

The involvement of school and class representatives in promoting the awards is crucial.


Craig Stewart, Academic Adviser and Teaching Awards Administrator, EUSA 
0131 650 9395

EUSA Teaching Awards

Item Number:109