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Leicestershire, UK
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25 June 2008 PR 08/91

Initiative ‘cooks up’ prestigious award

An initiative designed to help students develop their cooking skills, which is being piloted at Loughborough University, has won a prestigious television award.

‘studentcooking.tv’ picked up the Best Contribution to New Media title at this year’s Royal Television Society Awards (Yorkshire Region), beating the BBC’s online coverage of the 2007 Summer Floods. The award recognises the best production delivered via ‘new media’, where the content is digitally delivered rather than being broadcast on television.

‘studentcooking.tv’ has been available exclusively to students at Loughborough University since February this year. The show, fronted by chef Oliver Harrison and TV presenter Debbie King, is a lively, informative and stylish internet-based video series, released weekly, that shows students how to cook great tasting, nutritious meals on a budget.

Presenter Debbie King says ‘studentcooking.tv’ is designed for everyone, regardless of their cooking ability.

“We’re there to build students’ confidence in the kitchen, guiding them step by step through the very basics of cooking, while also bringing some of the best recipes from around the world to the kitchen table,” she says.

“We passionately believe that food on a budget doesn’t mean eating budget-style food. ‘studentcooking.tv’ is there to move students away from takeaways and ready made meals and onto having the power and knowledge to cook great food for themselves, educating them on where and how to shop for the best ingredients and to get the most out of their money during the weekly shop, all in a modern, dynamic cookery show for students which aims to enhance the student experience.”

As well as the weekly podcast, there is a ‘studentcooking.tv’ website where students can search for recipes, ask and answer questions in the forum, upload photos of their own culinary delights – or maybe their friends’ disasters! – and download shopping lists, complete with nutritional information.

“The reaction from the students has been fantastic – they’ve been encouraged to get involved with the project and Loughborough students have featured in every episode we’ve made this series,” says Simon Horniblow, head of production at studentcooking.tv.

“It’s been a fantastic experience working with the team at Imago Services at the University, who are responsible for the halls of residence. Their passion for delivering the very best possible student experience in all areas of student life is outstanding and their vision for the future and enthusiasm to embrace new technology and services is unique. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them throughout this series of studentcooking.tv”

Duncan Cressall, operations director for imago Services, says: “We see the podcasts as the ‘media front end’ to our food diaries and nutrition systems, and they have been very successful with the students at Loughborough.

“Oliver, Simon and Debbie are not only very professional but have a unique empathy with the student population. The quality of the broadcasts and the concepts behind each episode have delivered a superb service to our students and add to the Loughborough experience.”

The initiative is now set to roll out to a number of partner universities this September.

ENDS

For all media enquiries contact:

Notes for editors:

1. ‘studentcooking.tv’ can be accessed at http://www.studentcooking.tv/

2. Simon Horniblow and Oliver Harrison, creators of studentcooking.tv, originate from the East Midlands region and are graduates in Film and TV Production from York St. John University. Both have worked in television (Simon worked on factual series for ITV1 and Channel Five, and Oliver for The ONE Show on BBC1) before forming their own company, West Park Media Limited, in January of this year 2008.

The idea for ‘studentcooking.tv’ comes from the creators’ own experience during University. Simon never learnt to cook whilst Oliver spent a lot of his time perfecting recipes and creating his own dishes.After graduating it became clear to the pair that anyone who had not leant to cook by the time they finished university was more likely to struggle to learn afterwards.

3. Find more information about Debbie King at: http://www.debbieking.co.uk

4. More information about the Royal Television Society: http://www.rts.org.uk/Information_page_+_3_pic_det.asp?id=2858&sec_id=570

5. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.
It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.
Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.
In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.


It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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