The NWU celebrated the torchbearers of its teaching excellence during a virtual event streamed online on 25 March. The occasion was the annual Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) ceremony, where the best-of-the-best lecturers of 2020 were acknowledged for their work in taking teaching and learning to higher levels.

More about the NWU Teaching Excellence Awards


The NWU’s TEAs aim to acknowledge university teachers for their role, commitment, dedication and contributions to student success through the quality and excellence of teaching and learning within multi-disciplinary fields.


Awards are presented in three categories:


  • Emerging Teaching Excellence Award (ETEA)
  • Teaching Excellence Award (TEA)
  • Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award (DTEA)



The proverbial red carpet was rolled out for the Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony that was streamed online on 25 March. Click on the above image to share in the joy of this special occasion.

About three-quarters into the video you can watch the four finalists for the DTEA being announced in real time during the streaming. They are Prof Roelof Burger (Natural and Agricultural Sciences), Dr Teresa Hattingh (Engineering), Dr Elma Marais (Education) and Dr Salome Romylos (Education).

Then, while the tension is mounting, the two winners, Roelof and Teresa, are revealed in true Oscar style and given the opportunity to say a few words.




of 2020

The NWU is renowned for teaching excellence, having produced past winners of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa: Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award – a showcase of the most esteemed and celebrated university teachers in South Africa.


The NWU has in past years also been ranked as one of the best-performing universities in South Africa for teaching and learning.


Complementing this external recognition, the NWU makes sure outstanding lecturers are also recognised within the institution. Each year, its showcases excellent teaching contributions by inviting its lecturers to participate in the NWU TEAs.


The cream of the crop


Forty-six university teachers from all eight faculties and multi-disciplinary fields received awards for 2020. Click here to see the full list of winners.


Two lecturers in particular displayed exceptional levels of excellence in their teaching and learning contributions within their disciplines. Prof Roelof Burger and Dr Teresa Hattingh were both awarded the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award (DTEA), the highest institutional award for NWU academics.


Roelof is from the School of Geo- and Spatial Sciences in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. His expertise and exceptional teaching and learning contributions are in the fields of climatology, meteorology and remote sensing.


Teresa is a senior lecturer and programme manager in the School of Industrial Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. She has a national and international footprint in emerging fields of industrial engineering education.


Excellence is the key word


Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor, expressed his appreciation for the high calibre of university teachers at the NWU. He thanked all 2020 TEA winners for their exceptional contributions to the South

African higher education landscape.


Prof Linda du Plessis, vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, also congratulated all TEA winners.


She stated that the awardees’ teaching contributions underpin the NWU’s reputation for quality, employability and responsiveness to market and national higher education needs.

Click on the buttons to read more about the awards.