Nottingham Trent University has been shortlisted for the prestigious ‘University of the Year’ title in the Times Higher Education Awards.
These annual honours, rightly dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the higher education sector, celebrate outstanding contributions from across universities in the UK. Of all of the categories, ‘University of the Year’ is the most coveted.
Nottingham Trent has been shortlisted for its innovative and systematic approach, underpinned by rigorous research and sector-leading data, to enabling students to fulfil their academic potential and in particular the University’s commitment to supporting students from less privileged backgrounds in transforming their life chances.
This work was also highlighted by a panel of independent higher education experts when awarding Nottingham Trent the highest, Gold, rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “Being shortlisted for such a respected award is in itself an acknowledgement of our whole-university approach to transforming life chances, particularly for those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.”
The University’s submission focused on the way teaching, research and student support services work together to improve student outcomes.
In particular it focused on NTU’s work to transform lives through:
· supporting students into University
· innovative teaching
· improving graduate prospects
One of the key features of its work promoting social mobility is its scale. Nottingham Trent’s Schools Colleges and Communities Outreach (SCCO) team works with 30,000 pupils a year to improve their attainment in local schools. This culminates in significantly enhanced GCSE grades for those young people who stay with its programme until 16.
Of NTU’s 21,300 UK undergraduate students, a quarter come from homes with a combined, average annual income of £15,000 or less.
Once at Nottingham Trent, the University’s award-winning learning analytics Dashboard, used by over 90% of students and nearly 100% of staff, allows students to track their engagement and focuses personalised tutorial discussion.
The University’s work to ensure good job prospects is also based on data. Its own research shows that undertaking an extended work placement raised from 75% to 90% the number of undergraduates entering graduate level jobs or graduate entry training after six months. It also completely removed the difference in graduate employment rates between the richest and poorest students. The University has a dedicated team of staff working to improve employer engagement and ensure high quality work experience; from 2018 placement opportunities will be available for all students.
Prof Peck said: “Our Strategic Plan has been built around ensuring both a value based and systematic approach to delivering equality of opportunity to our students. What is also rewarding is to know that, through the social and commercial opportunities opened up to them while at NTU, our students and graduates are also transforming the lives of others.”
The winners of the Times Higher Education Awards will be revealed on Thursday 30 November 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel.