Ako Aotearoa receives international award for contribution to tertiary education
Ako Aotearoa – The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence – is the first group recipient of the Arthur (Art) R
King Jr. Award for Curriculum Innovation, for its contribution to teaching and learning in tertiary education.
Ako Aotearoa southern regional hub manager, Bridget O’Regan, accepted the award on behalf of the organisation at the
Pacific Circle Consortium (PCC) annual general meeting and conference held in Auckland 12-14 August. The Pacific Circle Consortium (PCC) is an initiative in international co-operation between educational research and
development institutions in the Pacific Region, initially drawn from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) countries.
The award was presented by Dr Donald Young from the University of Hawai’i on behalf of the selection panel. Dr Young
comments, “Art was both colleague and mentor and I can attest to the fact that the work of Ako Aotearoa exemplifies the
ideals Art strove to achieve in his career. As the first group awardee, Ako Aotearoa provides a high standard for future
Ako Aotearoa was selected because of its contribution to the enhancement of teaching and learning outcomes for Pākehā,
Māori, Pacific Peoples and all learners in the tertiary sector. The organisation’s ongoing commitment is demonstrated
through its; support of teaching and learning-related projects through its various funding streams; production of a wide
range of practical resources to aid practitioners and researchers - focusing on topics such as curricula, assessment,
building research capability and evaluation; the championing of excellence in teaching at a national level, and
fostering collaborative work between individuals and groups across the tertiary sector to bring benefit to learners.
Bridget O’Regan says, “It is an absolute honour and privilege to accept the award on behalf of the staff at Ako
Aoteaora. We are delighted that the consortium has chosen to acknowledge our hard work and contribution to enhancing
teaching and learning in the tertiary sector.”
Dr Sue Walbran, Ako Aotearoa interim director - operations, adds “It is fantastic to get such prestigious confirmation
for the strong impact Ako Aotearoa has made to tertiary teaching and learning in the four years since it was
established. The organisation looks forward to continuing its work with many different individuals and organisations to
improve outcomes for learners across the entire tertiary sector.”
The award was established in 2009 in memory of Arthur (Art) King Jr
., who was a founder member of the PCC and is acknowledged for his substantial contribution to the group, to curriculum
specifically, and to education in general. Art was founder, and director of the Curriculum and Research Development
Group at the University of Hawai’i for more than 40 years. The work of the centre has resulted in cutting edge research,
curricula based on inquiry within the disciplines of knowledge, and professional development programs that have impacted
generations of educators in Hawai'i and around the world.
The award is presented to an individual or group for developing an innovative, effective program or curriculum focusing
on the Asia-Pacific region. The competition is open to all PCC members and nominations are from PCC's membership.
The Pacific Circle Consortium (PCC), established in 1977 as an education initiative involving Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The Consortium is now independent from the OECD. The PCC has moved from
its initial focus of collaboratively produced curriculum materials, to broader issues of policy development and
educational research. The consortium hosts an annual conference at which joint projects are discussed and reported upon,
and a range of papers and symposia are presented.
For further information about the Pacific Circle Consortium and the awards, go to: http://pacificcircleconsortiumorg/