Covid response sees Loughborough shortlisted for higher education’s most sought-after award

Loughborough University has been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year award for its response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The annual THE awards, dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the higher education sector, celebrate outstanding examples of best practice across a range of activity.

Loughborough’s nomination for the top accolade recognises how it successfully managed the impact of the pandemic on its communities during the 2020-21 academic year. Despite widespread disruption the University was able to safely welcome back students to the campus, with many aspects of its Covid management seen as sector leading.

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, said: “I am delighted to hear Loughborough has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. The nomination recognises the way everybody pulled together to support our communities during the pandemic, from providing free food parcels for students isolating, to organising safe and compliant social and sporting activities. The nomination also recognises our national leadership on issues such as asymptomatic testing, Covid risk assessments and student welfare.

“The pandemic caused widespread disruption across society, but at Loughborough we can proudly say that we did right by our young people at a time of significant crisis.”

Loughborough has also been shortlisted for the Outstanding Estates Team award. The winners for all the categories will be announced at THE awards ceremony, which will take place in London on November 17.

THE editor John Gill said: “This is the 18th year that the THE Awards will celebrate the best that UK higher education has to offer, across 20 categories covering all aspects of university activity.

“Once again, the shortlists reflect universities doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times, during the 2020-21 academic year, when the pandemic continued to force higher education and all who work in it to respond to an unprecedented challenge.

“That universities did so with alacrity and creativity is clear from the truly exceptional stories told in the awards submissions, and we had over 550 in all – among the highest number ever.

“All of us at THE are looking forward to celebrating with those shortlisted when we get together for the ‘Oscars of higher education’ in November.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 22/166

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.