Outstanding projects in the running for higher education 'Oscars'


Two sector-leading initiatives at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been shortlisted in the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2017 (THEAs).

The THEAs are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector and every year attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.


Our Disability Enhancement Programme (DEP) has been selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Support for Students category, while the Future Research Leaders (FRL) programme is in the running for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development.

DMU has one of the largest proportions of students registered disabled in UK universities today and the DEP aims to increase their independence and narrow attainment gaps, in keeping with our core values of diversity and inclusivity. We introduced our Universal Design for Learning framework – which recognises that learning variability is the rule rather than the exception – and an example of this in practice is our DMU Replay policy, which means lectures are recorded.


Phil Scarffe, Head of Student Welfare at DMU, said:  “The DEP was a truly collaborative cross-institution approach to improving the experience of higher education for disabled students. It was instigated at a time of significant cuts to the funding available to support disabled students, but nevertheless I believe what we achieved has made us a far more inclusive institution.

“We have received praise from the Department for Education, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Universities UK for the work which we did, and we are somewhat overwhelmed with requests for visits and information across the sector, which has been incredibly gratifying. To have now been shortlisted for this award is a real honour and recognition of all the hard work of everyone involved.”

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Our FRL programme provides the basis for identifying our staff who can be developed to shape the future of their discipline at DMU and in the wider sector. Increasing the number of doctoral researchers and improving their overall experience is central to enhancing our research culture.


Professor Rusi Jaspal, Associate Director of Research at DMU, said: “I’m delighted the Vice-Chancellor’s FRL programme has been shortlisted. It was designed to identify and develop research leaders in a wide range of fields, ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences. Since the programme’s launch in 2013, a number of former FRL graduates from all four of our faculties have made an extremely important impact on DMU’s research profile.”

The winners will be revealed on Thursday 30 November in a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.


Posted on Thursday 7th September 2017

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