An “excellence turn”? Rethinking teaching excellence awards for a future-ready South African university

  • Karin Cattell-Holden


This paper examines the teaching excellence awards at a research-led South African university, a post-colonial institution which functions in both a neo-liberal higher education environment and a society characterised by inequity and inequality. The awards demonstrate an understanding of teaching excellence in terms of de-contextualised and performative values focused on the individual good. The paper proposes a social re-contextualisation of the awards, based on collaboration among all role-players, in order to reclaim teaching at the institution as a public good.