Te Arawai Ako

Professional development focused on enhancing teaching and learning practice and accrediting Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE).

Te Arawai Ako: Pathway to Learning and Teaching Fellowship

Te Arawai Ako is a professional development programme that supports staff to reflect upon and receive recognition for their teaching and learning through the award of an HEA fellowship. The fellowship is granted in recognition of meeting a set of internationally agreed upon professional standards.

Te Arawai Ako translates literally as “the learning and teaching waterway” and connects with our University’s Māori name, Te Herenga Waka, the mooring post for canoes. Participating in Te Arawai Ako gives staff involved with teaching and learning the opportunity not just to reflect on their teaching with like-minded colleagues but also to receive recognition for their hard work.

What are HEA Fellowships?

Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowships are a professional recognition scheme for university educators to have their teaching and learning expertise reviewed and recognised through an external body. They are awarded through AdvanceHE, an organisation based in the United Kingdom. The scheme is open to professional and academic staff.

The Fellowships are based on the UK Professional Standards Framework (PSF) and are recognised around the world.

There are four categories of Fellowship, three of which are offered through Te Arawai Ako:

  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA): those with limited experience of teaching, including, for example, senior tutors, PhD students, very new lecturers or teaching fellows
  • Fellow (FHEA): those with substantive teaching and learning responsibilities
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA): leaders of learning and teaching
  • Principal Fellow (PFHEA): strategic leaders of learning and teaching (at an institutional, national or global level), available only through direct application to AdvanceHE.

Benefits for Te Arawai Ako participants

  • Engagement in a practical process that encourages reflection on and development of teaching and learning
  • International recognition of a commitment (both the awardee’s and the University’s) to standards and professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education
  • Participation in an ongoing peer-led community of practice to support Continuing Professional Development in the University
  • A badge of professional identity as a higher education teaching and learning practitioner, including the entitlement to use the post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, or PFHEA)
  • International portability of recognition of teaching capability.

What does Te Arawai Ako involve?

Te Arawai Ako participants take part in a series of workshops, writing days, peer review, and mentoring that help with the written submission for all three Fellowship categories. Applicants for fellowship prepare a written submission that maps their experience against the Professional Standards Framework (PSF). The submission includes a written narrative of reflections and evidence, as well as supporting statements that authenticate participants' teaching/learning support practice. This written submission is then peer reviewed by Te Arawai Ako assessors.

Online resources

Once enrolled in our Te Arawai Ako community site on Nuku, staff will have access to:

  • Timetables and calendars
  • Discussion fora
  • Materials and any recordings from the workshops
  • Examples of applications, statements of support and peer reviews
  • Templates and guidelines.

Enrol in workshops to begin your Te Arawai Ako participation.

Workshop timetable

  1. Introduction to Te Arawai Ako and the PSF
  2. Developing a Learning and Teaching Philosophy
  3. Reflective Practices and Peer Review Processes
  4. Finding and Narrating Evidence
  5. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and Continuing Professional Development

See the workshop schedule then select the relevant month to register for information sessions and workshops

Find out more

For more information see Te Arawai Ako Programme Handbook and watch this short information video.

Submit an Expression of Interest.


For further queries email: cad-contact@vuw.ac.nz.