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York shortlisted for University of the Year at prestigious THE awards

Posted on 7 September 2023

The University of York has been shortlisted for University of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023.

The University engaged with local enterprise and community events

Widely recognised as the 'Oscars of higher education', the University of the Year is awarded to an institution that demonstrates “exceptional performance” through bold, imaginative and innovative initiatives.

Response to cost of living crisis

The nomination was based on the University’s response to the cost of living crisis. It focused on support for students, our research to influence city, regional and national policy-makers, and work with the City of York’s community to engage and nurture social enterprise and inclusive entrepreneurship. 

The University brought together all the financial and welfare support in one place, so students could better access bursaries, get help with household bills, employment opportunities and a team was put in place to offer help and guidance.

Academics set about channelling their expertise and insight on the drivers of the cost of living and its impact on the wellbeing of communities, to be at the forefront of policy change to tackle the endless challenges of affordability. 

The University also engaged with local enterprise and community events, to explore how it could support social enterprise, helping individuals and groups in the community to take advantage of their ideas and feel empowered with the new skills to make the changes they want to see.

Local partnerships and research collaborations

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: “The cost of living was, and remains, a great challenge facing our students, so it was vital that we recognised their key concerns early on and provided a range of support packages.

“Our staff were dedicated to creating a scheme that was responsive and accessible, and this award recognises these efforts in what has been another difficult year for universities.

“The strength of our local partnerships and research collaborations has also been key in this award nomination. From driving improvements in policy to helping individuals to flourish, we have inspired creativity and innovation, and we will be proud to showcase this support at the finalist awards in December.”  

Outstanding Technician of the Year and Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year

In addition to University of the Year, Jason Daff, Horticulture Manager in the Department of Biology, received a nomination for Outstanding Technician of the Year.

And the University was also nominated for Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year for Northern Accelerator (the universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside and York.)

Jason leads a team of six horticulture technicians who are responsible for operational support of the Department’s plant science research portfolio, as well as supporting students and teaching through the production of high-quality biomaterials and project support.

Jason provides a complete horticultural service for more than 20 research groups, from advising on experimental design, propagation and production of biomaterials, routine maintenance, care of research plant materials, dealing with biosecurity and plant-health issues and the identification and treatment of pests and diseases.

Northern Accelerator is an exciting collaboration between the North East’s universities, creating real-world impact from world-leading research, commercialising innovation and boosting the region’s economy.

For the first time since the THE Awards launched in 2005, the final ceremony will take place outside London, this year taking place on 7 December 2023 at ACC Liverpool.

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