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

This programme supports academic and professional staff to reflect on their teaching and/or support higher education learning within a community of like-minded colleagues. By meeting internationally recognised professional standards, participants receive acknowledgment for their dedication and expertise through the award of a prestigious HEA fellowship. 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.

About HEA fellowships

Advance HE fellowship demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and provides recognition of practice, impact and leadership in teaching and learning. These fellowships are based on the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) and enjoy global recognition. There are four categories of fellowship, three of which are offered through Te Arawai Ako:

  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA): suitable for those with limited experience of teaching and/or support of learning practice, including, for example, senior tutors, PhD students, very new lecturers or teaching fellows
  • Fellow (FHEA): suitable for those with depth and breadth of teaching and/or supporting learning practice
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA): for leaders or influencers of learning and teaching practice
  • Principal Fellow (PFHEA): for strategic leaders of learning and teaching (at an institutional, national or global level), available only through direct application to Advance HE.

Explore our two streams

Te Arawai Ako offers two tailored streams:

  • staff stream—catering to academic and professional staff members
  • student stream—designed for current students who have at least one year of experience in tutoring (or other kinds of university teaching) at VUW and who may aspire to an academic teaching career. More information is on the tutor site.

Participants must be either a student and/or employed by the University when they complete an expression of interest for the programme and when they submit their fellowship application. If this is not the case you will need to make a direct application to Advance HE at your cost.

Benefits for participants

Engagement in Te Arawai Ako provides participants with:

  • opportunities for reflection on and development of your teaching and learning
  • international recognition of a commitment to standards and professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education
  • participation in a Continuing Professional Development peer-led community of practice
  • recognition of teaching capabilities with international portability, including the entitlement to use the post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, or PFHEA).

Programme structure

Participants engage in a series of workshops, writing sessions, peer review, and mentoring that support them to craft their written fellowship submission. This submission comprises reflective narratives and evidence, mapped against the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), and accompanied by supporting statements that authenticate participants' teaching/learning support practice, which is then reviewed by Te Arawai Ako assessors.


Enrolled participants gain access to online resources in Nuku, including discussion forums, workshop materials, application examples, templates, and guidelines.

Find out more and register

Begin your Te Arawai Ako participation (all streams)

  1. Attend an information session
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest
  3. Attend all workshops offered for your stream, held twice a year, starting in March and August.

Staff stream

For more information about the staff stream see Te Arawai Ako Programme Handbook and watch this short information video. Register for an information session and all five workshops through the calendar below.

  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.

Student stream

For more information on the student stream visit the tutor site. Register for the next Te Arawai Ako—Student Stream: Introduction Session and all three Student Stream workshops in the calendar below.

  1. Student stream—Reflective Practices and Peer Review Processes
  2. Student stream—Developing a Learning and Teaching Philosophy
  3. Student stream—Finding and Narrating Evidence.

Workshop schedule

Find your next information session and series of workshops for your stream in the calendar below, held twice a year, starting in March and August. Click on the event to register.


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