The University of Worcester has been shortlisted in six categories of the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards, including University of the Year, it was announced today.
The awards, known as the Oscars of Higher Education, celebrate the very best in UK Higher Education and its contribution to the wider society.
Worcester has been shortlisted for University of the Year, based on the whole university approach consistently taken to inclusion, quality education, student achievement and democratic participation. It has also been shortlisted for:
Outstanding Support for Students, focussing particularly on the work of the Disability and Dyslexia Service;
Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community, highlighting the Association for Dementia Studies’ work to develop Meeting Centres;
International Collaboration of the Year, which was based on a touring illustration exhibition and subsequent book on the theme of Migration;
Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year where Dr Theresa Mitchell, from the University’s Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery has been shortlisted for this incredibly competitive individual award.
The news comes as the University is also currently named in the final six shortlisted University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards and final three for Sustainability Institution of the Year in the Green Gown Awards. Earlier this year Worcester won the Guardian University Award for Internationalisation in recognition of its world-leading work in inclusive sport.
Also earlier this year, the University of Worcester was named number one in the UK for both Quality Education and Gender Equality in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) new global University Impact Rankings, which are based on the contribution made by universities around the world to achieving the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, which the United Nations adopted in 2016. This achievement has led to the University being shortlisted for the Datapoints Merit award in the THE Awards.
John Bateman OBE, Chair of Governors at the University, said: “To be shortlisted in six categories, including University of the Year, at these awards is an incredible achievement and is testament to the outstanding work and achievements of so many people who strive to provide a first class university experience and to make a real difference to society.”
Worcester gained full university status in 2005 and since then has gone on to become arguably the most inclusive higher education institution in the UK, through the development of imaginative, outstanding facilities, such as The Hive and the University of Worcester Arena, but also in its practices, courses and all-round ethos.
Worcester’s profound commitment to inclusion led to being ranked in the top 10 of universities which best reflects society in a HEPI report of 2017, whilst also being in the top 10 for employment 1, 3 and 5 years following graduation, in the government-published Longitudinal Educational Outcomes survey 2017. In the first ever national gender pay reporting, Worcester was the number one UK university for fair gender pay - a result repeated again this year.
The University has also been at the forefront of defending academic freedom and freedom of speech in recent years and in campaigning for desperately needed nurse training places.
University Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE, said: “To make the finals for so many awards, including University of the Year, for the second time, is a wonderful achievement, of which all our staff and students can be very proud. It has been a very positive year for the University, despite the challenging times. We are very grateful for all the support we have from our many partners and friends in the City of Worcester, the Three Counties, nationally and internationally and for the tireless, creative, outstanding work of so many staff colleagues and students.”
The winners will be announced during a glittering awards evening in London on November 28.
In the latest National Student Survey, Worcester was ranked 16th out of 152 institutions for overall satisfaction, with top 20 rankings for teaching, learning opportunities, academic support and student voice.
Harry Lonsdale, President of Worcester Students’ Union, said: “Worcester Students’ Union is absolutely delighted that the University has been shortlisted for these awards. Our aim is to continuously improve the experience for students at the University through a caring and supportive ethos. We are proud to be part of such an inclusive university with a considerable amount of our students being mature, coming from local and more disadvantaged backgrounds, or having a hidden or visible disability. We see first-hand how this University genuinely changes lives and helps students to achieve more than they perhaps ever expected.”
Local members of the Worcester community have sent messages of congratulations to the University.
Mark Stansfeld, one of the country’s most experienced business leaders and Chair of the Worcestershire Local Economic Partnership, said: “The University of Worcester has long been known for the excellent education it provides – particularly in education and health. More recently its graduates have gone on to be high achieving employees and entrepreneurs in many fields of business including the creative industries and sport. The University’s economic and social contribution to Worcestershire is immense. As a Worcestershire citizen born and bred I am proud as well as delighted and to see this well-deserved national and international recognition.”
Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the University of Worcester has been shortlisted for these prestigious awards. The University is a fantastic partner to the NHS and is totally committed to working collaboratively to recruit, train and further develop outstanding healthcare professionals for the future. Their approach is inclusive and innovative - we are privileged to work with them as a core partner.”
Sharon Smith, Chief Executive at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, added: “I’m thrilled to see the important work that the University of Worcester does has been recognised in such prestigious awards, held by the Times Higher Education.
“The news compliments the successful year that the University is having, following the acknowledgment in a recent government report of its ‘first class’ sustainability efforts - remaining in the top five most sustainable universities in the country.
“As part of the alumni, I would like to wish the University of Worcester good luck in the next stage of the annual awards, and congratulate them once again for the well-deserved recognition.”
Simon Geraghty, a leading Conservative and Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “I would like to congratulate the University of Worcester for this terrific achievement. A successful university that is attracting students from not only around the country but from around the world, can play an important part in helping us to achieve our ambitions to grow the Worcestershire economy and ensure the County has the future workforce for the higher skilled & better paid jobs of the future.”
Lynn Denham, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Worcester, said: “Huge congratulations to Professor Green and his dedicated team. It is a fantastic achievement for a university to be shortlisted for so many awards. This is fitting recognition of the long term vision and values of the University of Worcester. They are leading the way in delivering inclusive learning, tackling climate change and supporting their students. Worcester has benefited enormously from the University's philosophy and involvement in our communities.”