Lancashire institutions triumph at Educate North Awards

By Tim Aldred

02 May 2023

Edge Hill wins at the Educate North Awards 2023

Lancashire colleges and universities have triumphed across multiple categories at this year's Educate North Awards.

Edge Hill University won a hat-trick of awards, including the Social Mobility Award for the Widening Access and Participation Team’s Student Advisory Panels, which allow students to influence university events, policy and projects,  and the External Relations Team of the Year which went to the Student Recruitment & Marketing team in recognition of its website, refreshed brand and effective undergraduate recruitment campaign.

Edge Hill's Leading Lancashire Programme, lead by its SME Productivity & Innovation Centre, was a joint winner of the Community Engagement Award alongside Lancaster University. The programme has helped more than 900 employees from 340 SMEs, 500 of which were female leaders, to develop high-quality management and leadership skills over a three-year period.

In all, the university was shortlisted in eight categories and its Moving In Experience – Welcome Weekend was also highly commended in the Student Experience Award.

Mark Allanson, pro vice-chancellor of Edge Hill, said: "These awards reflect the strength the university has across different areas. A tremendous amount of work has gone into all the projects that were shortlisted, so it’s fantastic to come away with wins in some very competitive fields.

"We’re very proud that the judges recognised Edge Hill’s drive to widen access to education, boost the skills of local businesses and the work of our excellent marketing team."

The University of Central Lancashire scooped the trophies for Best Entrepreneurial University and the Employer Engagement Award – University Sector for its Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPP) Initiative.

The university works closely with a network of 1,700 SMEs and champions student enterprise, the result of which has seen UCLan ranked top in the north of England for the number of student start-up businesses created.

Prof Graham Baldwin, UCLan’s vice-chancellor, said: “I’m delighted our innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours have been recognised at this year’s Educate North Awards.

"It’s fantastic our TAPP initiative has won another award, it’s a great example of real-world collaboration which is benefitting the health of many patients in the North West."

Lancaster University was named the overall University of the Year, and its Regional Heritage Centre was a joint winner of the Community Engagement Award for the University Sector, alongside Edge Hill.

Themis at Burnley College placed first in the UK Apprenticeship Award, while the college's Low Carbon Hub was highly commended in the Sustainable Green Initiative category.

Hannah Cutler, head of apprenticeships at Themis at Burnley College, said: "For Themis to be recognised with this prestigious award is great news for Burnley College and for the successful employers with whom we work so closely across the North of England.

"It truly shows that we mean business and are determined to play an active role in the region’s future economic success by providing the highly-skilled, ambitious and innovative employees that our employers need – today and in the years to come.

“When our passion is recognised at such a high level it’s validation that we’re doing the right thing and it inspires us to work harder, work smarter and build bigger and better in the future.”

The college's Low Carbon Hub was initially funded through the government’s Strategic Development Fund and showcases the latest technologies for solar and wind power, as well as housing training suites for electricians and plumbers in electric vehicle charging and heating solutions.

Neil Burrows, director of skills and innovation at Burnley College, said: "The green agenda is here to stay, rightly so, and we all have a duty to play our part in preserving our planet’s natural resources for future generations. The Low Carbon Hub is designed specifically to make that transition towards net zero as efficient and effective as possible. We believe passionately in sharing best practice and ensuring that every business across the North West can benefit from sustainable technologies."

Preston College earned an award for best collaboration between business and the higher and further education sector, and Preston College Dance won the Music and Performing Arts Award.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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