UCLan achieves triple success at prestigious industry awards

8 April 2022
Pictured receiving the awards left to right Bev Wood and Emma Speed (Creative Innovation Zone), Professor Professor Nicola Lowe (School of Sport and Health Sciences) Liz Granger and Ginette Unsworth (UCLan External Relations)

Staff and students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are celebrating today having scooped three major titles at the 2022 Educate North Awards – more than any other university.

Shortlisted for eight awards, UCLan won the categories for Business/Industry Collaboration-University Sector: Creative Innovation Zone; Research Project of the Year – BIZIFED Project, and External Relations Team of the Year.

Judged by a panel of leading industry professionals and experts, the Educate North Awards is a prestigious event which celebrates, recognises and shares best practice and excellence in the education sector from across the North.

In the Business/Industry Collaboration-University Sector category, the University’s Creative Innovation Zone (CIZ) was praised for using creative thinking techniques to bring together students, academics and industry from diverse courses, backgrounds, expertise, and sectors to exchange knowledge and solve challenges set by employers. The judging panel noted: “Extremely positive. CIZ is an immersive challenge model that has the potential to change the way businesses collaborate with academia and, even better, the team is applying it in Kazakhstan.”

The Research Project of the Year prize gave recognition to Professor Nicola Lowe and her team whose BIZIFED initiative is an international, multi-partner collaboration designed to explore sustainable solutions to malnutrition. The results of the research will inform government policy globally as evidence for the effectiveness of the biofortification of staples, such as wheat, as a sustainable way to address malnutrition.

Commenting on the project the judging panel said: “This is an interesting and insightful project which has the potential to make a real change. It was a stand-out entry in this category.”

Finally, in the External Relations Team of the Year category UCLan’s detailed entry was praised with the judges commenting: “A very comprehensive submission showing an outstanding and extensive programme which appears ahead of the curve – well done. A super impressive range of initiatives which effectively demonstrate the positive impact they have made.”

The UCLan entry highlighted initiatives such as the launch of the University’s Return to Study Programme, the opening of the Student Centre and University Square together with the development of the Transition to HE Programme, the introduction of campus tour days and the refreshment of the University’s organisational values.

Commenting on the recognition UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “It’s fantastic to see the great breadth of activity at UCLan recognised through these prestigious sector awards and I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved whose outstanding work has been justly recognised.

“To walk away with more awards than any other University is absolutely outstanding and as we emerge from the pandemic this recognition will give the whole University a real lift, continuing our mission to transform lives by delivering an outstanding educational experience.”

The event attracted over 300 education professionals from Further and Higher Education institutions, together with a range of suppliers to the sector.

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