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University celebrates record number of shortlisted award submissions

Now in their fifth year, the Awards celebrate the outstanding teams, people and initiatives from higher and further education institutions across the north of England. This is the second year running that the University has been shortlisted 13 times.

The shortlisted submissions are:

Business/Industry Collaboration

Nuclear industry collaboration

Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington

Social Mobility Award – University sector

STEM Green-Power Car Challenge

Business Collaboration and Partnerships Award

Chester Business School, Centre for Work Related Studies – Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship

Nuclear industry collaboration

University of Chester and Brio Leisure – Social Value Partnership

Employer Engagement Award

Chester Business School, Centre for Work Related Studies – Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship

External Relations Team of the Year

University of Chester Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing

Student Experience Award

Chester Business School Event Management Partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council

 University of Chester Sport and Active Lifestyle: Active Wellbeing Programme

International Partnership Award

China Centre – Business Research Institute

Research Project of the Year

Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington

Teaching Excellence Award

Professor Howard Williams, Professor of Archaeology

The winners will be announced at The Hilton Hotel in Manchester on Thursday, April 25.

The Nuclear industry collaboration has been shortlisted in the categories of Business/Industry Collaboration and the Business Collaboration and Partnerships Award. The University received the help of the Institution of Chemical Engineers to assemble an ‘A-Team’ of professional engineers to teach its students essential skills in nuclear, environmental and pharmaceutical engineering – all industries vital to the North West economy. The students liked the teaching which, importantly, also led to employment opportunities and the team, made up of Professor Steve Wilkinson and Dr Kate Julian from the University’s Chemical Engineering programme team and Bill Harper from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) are doing it all again this year and hopefully for future years.

Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington has been shortlisted in the categories of Business/Industry Collaboration and Research Project of the Year. This project brings together the scientific resources and academic expertise from two universities – the University of Chester and Lancaster University – to deliver an intensive programme of collaborative R&D to support the development and expansion of local businesses and understanding of business sustainability. The project offers support to SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and young researchers who may want to gain knowledge and expertise from industry whilst completing their Master’s or PhD. In addition, there are a number of opportunities for SMEs to have a short term or a long term internship with students who may want to make contacts for the future or to share their knowledge and skills.

STEM Green-Power Car Challenge has been shortlisted for the Social Mobility Award. Angela Lupton, the University’s HE STEM Co-ordinator, devised an outreach project to raise awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects amongst male school students, and demonstrate the advantages of continuing to Higher Education in this sector: this was the Green-Power project following UCAS data that there had been a significant drop in male students from disadvantaged backgrounds continuing into Higher Education. Green-Power, which started in October 2017, is a four year project during which students, working as a team, are involved in designing, building, refining and modifying a Green-Power car to race at venues around the country.

Chester Business School, Centre for Work Related Studies – Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship has been shortlisted for the Business Collaboration and Partnerships Award and the Employer Engagement Award. Since March 2018, the University’s Centre for Work Related Studies has worked collaboratively with businesses to design, manage and continuously develop one of the earliest and most innovative business management and leadership master’s degree apprenticeship programmes in the UK. This builds on its long-running work based learning and accreditation work for adult learners. Our work requires proactive engagement and collaboration with an array of national and regional stakeholders, including universities, colleges, private providers, schools, councils, local enterprise partnerships, government departments, employers and funding agencies, to combine curricula and accredit workplace learning opportunities, providing more effective progression routes, developing workforces, and widening participation through enhanced social mobility and lifelong learning strategies. 

University of Chester and Brio Leisure – Social Value Partnership has been shortlisted for the Business Collaboration and Partnerships Award. Social Value (SV) is a method for measuring the benefit that an initiative can achieve at the wider community level. It looks beyond benefits to the individual or to business profits, and collates collective benefits, such as social wellbeing, networks, education, crime and cohesiveness. Brio Leisure is a Community Interest Company (CIC) responsible for delivering leisure services, and is commissioned to deliver part of the local authority public health remit across Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC). It provides a range of activities both within its centres and out in the community. These are designed to increase physical activity and community engagement, leading to improvements in health and wellbeing of participants and the wider population. The partnership between the University and Brio Leisure was established in 2017/18, with an aim of measuring SV related to physical activity.

Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing has been shortlisted for External Relations Team of the Year. The Centre has subsequently developed an impressive educational model and research profile. These impact positively, not only on military veterans’ health and social support, but also that of the wider Armed Forces Community. The Centre is now connected into an extensive UK and international network of collaborations.

Chester Business School – Event Management Partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council has been shortlisted for the Student Experience Award. The event management partnership is a unique collaboration between Chester Business School and Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC), and has been designed to align future graduate skills and capabilities with the demands and expectations of the event industry. The partnership started in 2012 with over 150 event management students working on the Chester leg of the Olympic Torch Relay. This entailed assisting the course marshals and security, keeping the event safe for the 100,000 spectators that descended along the route. The success of this high profile event highlighted the quality of the students, and created the opportunity to develop a closer partnership whereby they took ownership of the planning, risk management and delivery of key events, with mentoring provided by the CWaC team. These included the Christmas Lights Switch-on in Chester and Frodsham, Winter Watch parades and lantern parades.

Sport and Active Lifestyle: Active Wellbeing Programme has been shortlisted for the Student Experience Award. A collaboration between the Sport and Active Lifestyle department and the Wellbeing and Mental Health team has established and grown the Active Wellbeing programme over a period of three years. The scheme aims to support students who have anxiety and low mental health, using physical activity and education on lifestyle choices to support and improve mental health, and therefore encourage a more fulfilling student experience.

The China Centre – Business Research Institute has been shortlisted for the International Partnership Award. The University of Chester China Centre is an entrepreneurial unit focusing on achieving sustainable long-term international partnerships through cultural, business and academic exchanges between the UK and China. It organises and delivers major business and education initiatives to foster international collaboration, partnerships and programmes between Chester and ASEAN universities, as well as collaboration between businesses in the different countries.

Professor Howard Williams, Professor of Archaeology, has been shortlisted in the Teaching Excellence Award. Howard pursues both teaching and research, with special research interests in death, burial and commemoration, particularly during the early Middle Ages. He also has a sustained interest and expertise in community and public archaeology identified through his fieldwork, including co-direction of the fieldwork investigation of the Pillar of Eliseg (Vale of Llangollen, Denbighshire) and his role as co-convenor of the new research network investigating the history, archaeology and heritage of the Anglo-Welsh borderlands from prehistory to the present: the Offa’s Dyke Collaboratory. He maintains a popular Archaeodeath blog which brings many of his interests together and promotes them for the benefit of his students and specialist and popular audiences.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler, said: “I’m really proud that the University has been recognised in the shortlisting, especially as it reflects the broad range of activities here – from academic expertise through to the skills and dedication of our professional services staff. We are very much looking forward to the awards night next month.”

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