The Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning recognise learning and teaching support projects, teams and services that make an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning, and student experience of higher education.

There are four award categories, with up to four awards in total granted each year at the discretion of the University Teaching and Learning Committee. Each award winner will receive a certificate and a grant of $10,000.

Key dates

ActionDue date
Expressions of interest closeFriday 22 April 2022
Full applications closeFriday 22 July 2022
UQ awards ceremonyMonday 31 October 2022

Award categories

There are four APEL categories:

1. Student Experience that supports diversity and inclusive practices


  • Services directly related to student learning for specific groups of students, that promote participation, information access, course advising, language support, counselling and/or disability support
  • Learning engagement activities and learning and teaching services that support diversity and inclusive practices, such as those to sustain and retain students, encourage personal development and improvement of the quality of the first-year student experience. 

2. Collaborative Educational Partnerships in Learning and Teaching


  • Internal partnerships related to teaching quality and student learning, such as between schools/faculties and central services
  • External partnerships between universities and/or other organisations – such as schools, private higher education providers, registered training organisations, professional bodies, businesses, government, and Not-For-Profit organisations in collaborative approaches to learning and teaching. 

3. Curriculum Transformation and Innovative Pedagogy


  • Curriculum design and approaches to learning and teaching that afford flexibility in time, place and/or mode of learning, such as micro-credentials, stackable curriculum, flexible curriculum, online learning that enhances student learning outcomes.
  • Curriculum that encourages novel approaches to learning and teaching with aligned assessment that encourages or supports multi-disciplinary, research-based learning and teaching approaches, and utilise the potential of new and/or emerging technologies, remotely, synchronously, or asynchronously.
  • Innovation in curriculum to be considered as a form of evidence.

4. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs that value and enhance student employability


  • Experiential learning to WIL programs and other WIL related activities that focus on valuing and enhancing students’ employability.
  • It includes internship programs, work placement coursework, industry placement, industry consulting project and other learning and teaching programs.
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General eligibility

  • Application is open to all projects, teams and services that enhance student learning at The University of Queensland. Applications should be broader than one or two courses or a service or team that involves a small number of students. For example, applications may involve a project, team or service provided at the institutional, faculty or school level; a program of study across a year or number of years; or a service or project directed at particular groups of students.
  • All applications must relate to projects, teams or services that have been sustained for a period of at least three years.
  • Cross-faculty, cross-school/unit or cross-discipline applications will be considered.
  • Teams may be of any size. All teams must provide a team name.
  • Previously unsuccessful applicants for APEL are eligible to reapply.
  • A winner of a University of Queensland Awards for Teaching Excellence (ATE) may not be the recipient of The University of Queensland APEL in the same year, unless they form part of a team application and are not the lead applicant.
  • An application which is considered to be more closely aligned with the criteria for a Citation may be referred to the Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (COCSL) Selection Committee for consideration in the same year.

Eligibility of previous recipients

  • Previous University of Queensland Citation and/or Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation winners are eligible to apply for an APEL.
  • Projects, teams or services that have received a University of Queensland APEL are ineligible to reapply.
  • Recipients of a University of Queensland APEL can only reapply if they form part of a team application and are not the lead applicant. The new application should be for a project, team or service that does not substantially replicate the original award.
  • A winner of an AAUT APEL may apply for a University of Queensland APEL if they have not been a previous recipient.
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Assessment criteria

APEL expressions of interest and applications will be assessed on the evidence provided in response to the following four criteria. Criteria will be given equal consideration by the Shortlisting Committee and Selection Committee:

  1. Distinctiveness, coherence and clarity of purpose – extent to which the project, team or service has clear objectives and systematic approaches to coordination, implementation and evaluation.
  2. Influence on student learning and the student experience – extent to which the project, team or service targets identified needs and directly or indirectly enhances student learning, student engagement and/or the overall student experience of higher education.
  3. Breadth of impact – extent to which the project, team or service has led to widespread benefits for students, staff, the institution, and/or other institutions, consistent with the purpose of the project, team or service; and
  4. Addressing equity and diversity – extent to which the project, team or service promotes and supports equity and inclusiveness by improving access, participation and outcomes for diverse student groups.

In assessing applications against the four criteria, the Shortlisting Committee and Selection Committee will take into account the extent to which the applicants have:

  • Impacted on student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience for a period of no less than three years, not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.
  • Gained recognition from fellow staff, the University, and/or the broader community.
  • Shown creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments.
  • Drawn on the scholarly literature on teaching and learning to inform the development of initiatives, programs and/or practice.

Please refer to the information session resources: Addressing a Learning Challenge (PDF, 165.5 KB) and Evidence for your application (PDF, 107.1 KB) when drafting an Expression of Interest or Full Application.

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How to apply

Expression of Interest (EOI)

APEL applicants must first submit an Expression of Interest and upload their Summary of Evidence (DOCX, 49.2 KB) by 5pm, 22 April 2022.

The EOI online form will prompt applicants for the following information:

  • Application form:
    • applicant details including name, school, faculty, email and team details (if applicable)
    • category of award
    • synopsis (150–200 words)
    • overview of the project, team or service and its context (max. 200 words).
  • File upload:
    • summary of evidence addressing all four assessment criteria provided in dot point format (maximum one A4 page).


A Shortlisting Committee will appraise expressions of interest according to the published criteria, and will invite eligible applicants to provide a detailed application by 22 July 2022.

To download previous APEL applications, browse through our Exemplar award application library (staff login required).

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a workshop facilitated by ITaLI where advice and guidance will be given on the format and content of their APEL application.

A Selection Committee will appraise applications according to the published criteria and make recommendations for awarding commendations and citations to the University Teaching and Learning Committee for approval.

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Workshops and information sessions

Drop-in sessions

Applicants who need 1:1 support are recommended to request a consultation at the following sessions: 

  • 30 March 2022, 9–10am
  • 11 April 2022, 9–10.30am

Teaching Excellence Awards Information Session

17 March 2022 at 10am

This session will provide an overview of the Teaching and Learning Award schemes offered at UQ, and tips for structuring an effective expression of interest (register now).

Writing a Teaching and Learning Award Application Workshop

This session is open to shortlisted applicants only, and will be held in June 2022.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide applicants with guidance on the format and content of their application and discuss tips for a successful application.

Award Writing Session

This session is open to shortlisted applicants only, and will be held in July 2022.

The purpose of this session is to provide applicants with time and space to work on their draft application, with ITaLI staff and previous UQ award winners available to provide advice and clarification.

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Previous APEL award winners

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