Thursday, 01 September 2016
The University of Worcester has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education’s University of the Year award, it was announced today.
The awards celebrate the very best in UK Higher Education and its contribution to the wider society.
Worcester has been shortlisted for the top award, University of the Year, in recognition of its achievements and performance over the past year. The winners will be announced during a celebration event in London on November 24.
In just over a decade since gaining full university status, Worcester has become the most inclusive higher education institution in the UK, through the development of imaginative, outstanding facilities, such as The Hive and the University of Worcester Arena, but also in its practices and ethos.
University Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green, said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this most prestigious award. It is testament to the very hard work of all the excellent, and highly dedicated staff at Worcester and their unbeatable commitment to providing all students with the best possible experience and education.”
The University of Worcester Arena is the first mass-participation indoor sports arena in the UK designed to include wheelchair athletes. It won The Guardian’s 2015 award for the most inspiring university building in Britain and hosted the most successful single Paralympic sport event in the UK since London 2012 – the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
The Hive, Europe’s first joint university and public library, was opened by HM the Queen in 2012. It has gone on to become one of the three most visited public libraries in the Country. The creation of The Hive has already seen the University win The Guardian’s award for Best University Contribution to the Community, while the University-County Council Hive partnership has won numerous architectural, library and environmental awards.
In recent years, the University has excelled in educating highly employable graduates, who have been snapped up across a host of different industries. Worcester is now in the top 20 English universities for graduate employment, with 24 out of 25 graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their course.
Worcester MP, Robin Walker, said: “The University of Worcester has been a positive force for change and a great driver of regeneration in the City, so it is exciting to see it getting such national recognition. Whether it is from its strong record in education and excellent relationships with local schools; the growing influence of its Business School; its pioneering work in important areas such as dementia studies; or its exciting and ambitious plans for an International Centre for Inclusive Sport; the University is really making a difference.
“Its students bring an extra level of vibrancy to the City and contribute to so many charities and voluntary organisations. As Worcester's MP I am delighted to see our university competing at the highest level and getting the recognition it deserves.”
Two years ago, the University also achieved the most improved performance for research power in the country in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with world-leading research in Art and Design, Biological Science, Education Health and History among others.
Mark Stansfeld, Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great news that the University of Worcester has been recognised as one of the top performing universities in the country.
“Worcestershire has seen the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills of all other LEP areas in recent years and the fact that Worcester has one of the fastest growing universities in Britain, with a 95.8% employment rate within 6 months of graduation, is undoubtedly a significant factor in this success.”