Disability rights expert wins big at teaching awards

26 Feb 2020

A superstar law academic from The University of Queensland’s School of Law was among the roll call of winners at this week’s Australian Awards for University Teaching.

This is an image of Associate Professor Paul Harpur with his guide dog, Sean.
Associate Professor Paul Harpur with his guide dog, Sean. 

Associate Professor Paul Harpur from the School of Law was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Associate Professor Harpur said he was proud to be acknowledged for his leadership in translating disability strategy into a vision of ‘ability equality’ and core university business.

“This citation shows that Universities Australia values not only my work, but more importantly they value the goal of my work,” Associate Professor Harpur said.

“I dream of a university sector that is equally accessible to all students; whether they be able bodied or a student with a disability.

“I’m realising my vision to enhance the learning experience for students by successfully advocating for UQ to take a stronger ability equality stance on university-level strategic documents.

“I’ve used my academic research agenda to help influence debates, and have successfully championed and led activities that influence the overall academic, social and cultural experiences of persons with disabilities in higher education.”

Earlier this week, Associate Professor Harpur led a workshop on disability rights at Harvard University with UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Dunne.

He is a 2020 academic fellow of the Harvard Law School Project on Disabilities, and the holder of a 2019 Fulbright Future Scholarship focused on accessible design.

Associate Professor Harpur’s colleagues from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, the BEL Student Employability Team, also received an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning at the awards ceremony in Canberra this week.  

BEL Faculty Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths said it was gratifying to see Faculty staff recognised on a national level.  

“I want to extend my congratulations to the Student Employability Team and Associate Professor Harpur on their well-deserved wins,” Professor Griffiths said.

“They are prime examples of the exceptional work our teaching and support service staff do to inspire students on their learning journeys, improve the learning experience and set students up for success post-graduation.”

UQ received more awards at the ceremony than any other university in the country, further consolidating its position as the most-awarded Australian university for teaching excellence.

See the full list of UQ award-winners.

Contact: BEL Communications, media@bel.uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 9349.