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Newcastle University Management team wins top award


Newcastle University won the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team Award at the fifth Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards in London last night.

The University won the accolade for its leadership in providing a comprehensive ‘offer’ to students in the year that increased tuition fees were introduced so as to improve their overall experience of studying at Newcastle.

This was backed by a strategic investment of almost £7 million into improving the campus and student facilities.

Among the initiatives provided in the Newcastle Student ‘offer’ were: the development of a University temping service aimed at students; an expanded career development module for all students; and high levels of student representation on University bodies to give a greater say on matters relating to them.

Professor Chris Brink, Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University, explained: “In light of the Government’s changes to the undergraduate fee regime, we asked ourselves the question, what will our students get in exchange for their tuition fees? We also asked our students about what was important to them.

“We answered our question with the Newcastle Student ‘Offer’ - a set of opportunities that form the core of each Newcastle undergraduate student’s experience whatever their discipline. Through the offer our undergraduates can be clear that the services and support we provide meets or exceeds a clearly defined threshold and that we will deliver consistently on what we promise.”

Throughout the University worked closely with the Students’ Union on the ‘Offer’. The results included 130 staff nominated in a new student-led teaching excellence award in 2012.

Mark Pegg, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and judging panel member, said the awards had attracted “a strong field with nominations that demonstrated outstanding achievements”, but Newcastle won because Judges "were looking for evidence of powerful team performances.”

The initiative was championed by Professor Suzanne Cholerton, pro-vice-chancellor for Learning and Teaching, who said: “It is fantastic to see our Student Offer project being recognised in this way. It's an award for all the people across the University who have worked, and continue to work, to make the Newcastle student experience one of the best in the country.”

Mark I’Anson, Chair of Council at Newcastle University, said: “This is an outstanding achievement by the management team and all staff at Newcastle University, and I would like to thank everyone involved.

“It has been a time of great change for universities these past two or three years. The key is to keep the students’ perspective at the centre of everything we do; something we have achieved to good effect so far and it will continue to be our priority.”

The victory was witnessed by over 800 people, who gathered in The Great Room at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Staff from Universities all over the UK, and influential figures from across the sector gathered to celebrate the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions.

For a full list of winners see the Time Higher Awards website.

Pictured (l-r) Dara O'Briain, Professor Ella Ritchie, Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Dr Ellie Clewlow,

published on: 21 June 2013