Skip to main content

Student-led Teaching Awards (SLTAs)

Student-led Teaching Awards (SLTAs) enable all students to engage positively in the education quality debate.

Students can have their say about what good teaching looks like and reward staff who have gone the extra mile by nominating them in categories such as 'outstanding teacher' 'innovative teacher' and 'teaching in an international context'.

The SLTA initiative

From 2009 to 2014 the HEA funded the SLTA initiative. The HEA worked in partnership with the NUS to support institutions to develop and run SLTAs enabling the sharing of good teaching practices and raising the profile of teaching

Advised by the NUS students’ unions designed and developed their own awards deciding on categories and criteria that reflected their institutional profile and then inviting the students to nominate staff. The schemes were student-owned designed and operated within an agreed union–institution partnership.

More on about past SLTA schemes on SLTA website.

Future of SLTAs

Student-led Teaching Awards within institutions continue to develop and grow in number. By May 2014 93 of 140 NUS-affiliated higher education students’ unions were running SLTA schemes.

Scheme developments include:

  • inclusion of categories to recognise professional services staff
  • faculty and discipline awards as well as institutional
  • partnership SLTA schemes – both university–university and university–FE college

Using data from schemes has resulted in:

  • capturing insight into broader areas such as student support internationalisation employability and assessment and feedback
  • development of learning and teaching enhancement strategies
  • supporting evidence for education policy campaigns
  • students as partners initiatives exploring curriculum design from a student perspective

SLTA award winners have:

  • shared best teaching practice within their institutions
  • used their award in support of other teaching excellence recognition such as NTFS  and Fellowship of the HEA

The next stage is to capture the impact of SLTAs and use the outcomes to inform future development and highlight effective practice.

Useful resources

- Reward and recognition: Student-led teaching awards report

- Student-led teaching awards: lessons from a leading HE intitiative in Scotland

The materials published on this page were originally created by the Higher Education Academy.