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25 November 2011 | PR 11/150

Loughborough and Coventry Universities win national Student Support award


Loughborough and Coventry Universities have been presented with the award for Outstanding Support for Students at this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

Announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, last night (24 November), the THE awards recognise excellence, creativity and innovation within the UK’s universities.

Loughborough and Coventry were presented with their award in recognition of the work of sigma – a collaborative venture, which aims to help students advance their mathematical and statistical skills.

In the first eight months of the 2010-11 academic year, more than 12,000 students visited the sigma services at Loughborough and Coventry, with a further 13,000 visitors using the online resources each month.

Students in disciplines as diverse as aeronautical engineering and social sciences have benefited from up to 40 hours of support each week since sigma started in 2005. Students with very specific support needs, such as severe confidence issues or maths-phobia, are able to get additional help at sigma’s Eureka Centre for Mathematical Confidence, and one-to-one statistics support for students working on final year and postgraduate projects is also available.

Student ambassadors have helped to promote the scheme to their peers and acted as mentors alongside academic staff.

In 2010-11, sigma’s work was rolled out to universities around the country that previously had no such provision. Mathematics support has been developed at many other universities and six regional hubs have also been established to provide opportunities for staff to share good practice.

Professor Tony Croft, sigma Director at Loughborough, said of the award: “To have our work acknowledged in the sector in this way is wonderful. Loughborough and Coventry are widely regarded as leaders in the field of university-wide mathematics support – this award is formal recognition of that, and also of the hard work and commitment of all the staff, and students, involved in mathematics and statistics support at Loughborough and Coventry.”

Judge Liam Burns, president of the National Union of Students, said at the award ceremony: “sigma is a fantastic example of institutions recognising genuine concerns in standards and acting in a positive way to address them. Students’ reports about the support they received were exceptionally positive. Loughborough and Coventry should be incredibly proud of delivering support for students in a positive, innovative and transferable way.”


For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

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 was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Tuesday November 29, 2011 9:36