The awards – widely referred to as the “Oscars of higher education” – is one of the biggest celebrations of the higher education sector, recognising the outstanding work from individuals, teams and institutions across the UK.
Loughborough received the top honours in Excellence in Registry Services, Outstanding Entrepreneurial University and Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team.
Academic Registry was recognised for its influential work transforming the student experience for doctoral researchers, which the judges described as “meaningful and delivered beneficial changes in a robust manner to a sometimes-neglected student group”.
The team worked closely with other areas across the institution – in particular the Change team – to review and introduce new procedures, and enhance working relationships between PhD students, supervisors, administrators and managers.
The winning entry for Outstanding Entrepreneurial University was based on the establishment of a new enterprise ecosystem – where enterprise has been embedded in academic Schools, at senior management level, and as part of the student experience. The judges said Loughborough was a “worthy winner” because it took “a truly holistic approach” to embedding entrepreneurialism in the work of staff and students.
“The highlights include Associate Deans for Enterprise in every faculty, recognition in all staff contracts, year-long placements for more than 1,500 students, placements for those who wish to start up a business and Loughborough’s engagement in regional enterprise,” they said.
As part of initiative the University has secured funding to commercialise many innovative research projects, including a street-level flood prediction system, a railway track switch that has the potential to prevent 90% of delays caused by point failures, and a system that measures blind spots in trucks and could save more than 500 lives in Europe each year.
Judges described the University’s Marketing and Advancement department as a “dynamic” unit that exceeds “wide-ranging targets consistently”, thanks to successful campaigns in recruitment, PR and CSR initiatives.
Targets achieved within budget, a refreshed marketing strategy for international students and a creative clearing campaign were all admired by the judging panel.
In addition, they noted the team is “bolstered by strong and active leadership support” that “effectively promotes the University’s engagement, inclusivity, belonging and advocacy ethos”.
More information about the awards and the full list of winners can be found here.