Record-breaking success for University of Central Lancashire

6 September 2018

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been recognised in a record-breaking five categories of the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

Widely regarded as the Oscars of the higher education sector, this year’s shortlist has seen UCLan nominated for the highest number of entries in its history. The categories are:
– International Collaboration of the Year
– Outstanding Entrepreneurial University
– Excellence and Innovation in the Arts
– Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration
– Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community

The International Collaboration of the Year nomination is for UCLan opening its door last September to nearly 650 medical students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) who were displaced after Hurricane Irma hit the Dutch-French island of Sint Maarten. The University has already won two national education awards for this aid effort.

It is the fourth time in the past five years that UCLan’s entrepreneurial work has been selected in the prestigious category of Outstanding Entrepreneurial University, reflecting the University’s growing status as one of the most innovative institutions in the higher education sector. This year the application highlighted some major recent successes including increasing the opportunities for entrepreneurial and real-life experiences, encouraging staff engagement with innovation and enterprise plus employing professional investors to support businesses, staff and students via the Investment Readiness programme.

The Excellence and Innovation in the Arts nomination relates to UCLan Publishing, the only student-run, trade but not-for-profit publishing house in the world. It is breaking the mould of how a publisher usually operates, empowering students to ‘learn on the job’. This year the team has enlisted big name authors such as Jaqueline Wilson, Jane Johnson and A J Hartley, to give the students experience of big trade, commercial publishing. A J Hartley’s book, Cold Bath Street, was promoted through UCLan Publishing PR and has become a national bestseller, with Waterstones taking it as a promotional title nationally.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between UCLan and Recycling Lives, a national recycling and waste business, has been shortlisted for the Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration. This partnership has worked together to turn automotive shredder residue from old vehicles into a saleable product and electrical energy, greatly reducing environmental impact and diverting material away from landfill.

In The City, the University’s community hub which brings local people together through a variety of free events and activities, was recognised in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category. The initiative has seen a range of projects take place in the city centre shop, including the knitting project, a parent and child club called SaturYay and a free law clinic.

Joel Arber, Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations), said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for us to have been shortlisted for five awards, that’s a record for us and one we’re all delighted with. The wide range of shortlisted categories is further proof of our aim to grow a vibrant community of academic innovators and maximise our positive social, environmental and economic impact locally, nationally and globally.”

John Gill, Editor of the THE, added: “Times Higher Education is extremely proud to host these awards once again. In yet another record year for entries, and with over 70 institutions represented on the shortlist, it’s a genuine privilege for the THE team and our judges to read through these many and varied tales of excellence from all corners of the UK. It’s a significant achievement to make this shortlist, and we look forward to honouring all the finalists at the Grosvenor in November.”

The THE Awards dinner and ceremony takes place on 29 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend, including politicians, senior sector figures, and academic and professional university staff from across the UK.

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