18 November 1998

UQ a front-runner in national teaching awards

Australia's 1998 University of the Year, University of Queensland, will enter Monday night's announcements and presentations of the 1998 Australian Awards for University Teaching as the nation's best represented university.

The University of Queensland has an unprecedented number of four finalists in what is seen as the higher education equivalent of the Oscars to be held at the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra on November 23, 1998.

In a significant coup for Queensland, UQ has three individual finalists and one institutional finalist as follows:

* health category - Associate Professor Laurie Walsh of the Dental School;
* social science category - Associate Professor Doune MacDonald of the Human Movement Studies Department;
* engineering category - Mr Michael Pemberton of the Mathematics Department; and
* institutional awards category for services for Australian students - the University of Queensland Cybrary entry prepared by University Librarian Mrs Janine Schmidt.

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay said the success of UQ staff showed the quality of teaching was second to none nationally.

"It is a great tribute to the excellence of University of Queensland staff that all who entered became finalists", Professor Hay said.

"It is also a great achievement for UQ staff to follow up the Australian University of the Year award with such a dominant representation in the nation teaching award finals.

"Teaching quality is clearly a major contributor to the outstanding outcomes for graduates that earned for UQ the University of the Year award from the Good Universities Guides," he said.

Monday night's event, to celebrate the achievements of the best university teachers in Australia will be hosted by Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs Dr David Kemp.

The gala presentation dinner will feature high-profile presenters from higher education, industry and the arts plus entertainment from outstanding students and leading Australian performers.

The presentation ceremony, to include awards in 11 individual and two institutional categories, will culminate in the announcement of the Prime Minister's Awards for University Teacher of the Year.

Further information: Professor Hay (07) 336 51300