A ground-breaking project which has inspired dozens of students to take up the chance to study at university is one of four De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) initiatives recognised with national award nominations.
The university has been shortlisted in four categories at this year’s prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2019.
DMU has been named in the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year, as well as the International Collaboration of the Year category for its work with the United Nations (UN), the Outstanding Estates Strategy, for the development of its campus, and the DataPoints Merit Award category which this year recognises university success in meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The shortlist for Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year commends the university’s DMUaspire project, which has been developed in collaboration with schools and colleges in Leicester to inspire a new generation of undergraduates from hard-to-reach groups and boost their exam results.
DMU developed an accredited learning module for those entering their final year of A-levels, giving them a UCAS-equivalent tariff on completion that is recognised by the university should their final exam results not meet requirements.
DMU Local project co-ordinator Jess Bogic said: “DMUaspire is a project we are extremely proud of because it gives young people that extra support in being able to achieve their dreams of getting into university, so to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is doubly pleasing.”
Louise Buckingham, who created the DMUaspire project and leads the module with the Library and Learning Services team, added: “We have seen students coming on to the programme and now coming to DMU as undergraduates. It is such a worthwhile programme and it is marvellous that it is getting recognition.”
DMU’s partnership with the UN created valuable opportunities for students to attend major conferences hosted at the organisation’s headquarters in New York as part of its #JoinTogether campaign – to promote respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants – which led to recognition with an International Collaboration of the Year nomination.
Associate Director of Public Engagement Mark Charlton said: “We have been leading a project with more than 100 universities across six continents which share our values, particularly creating impact towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“We have been able to share new knowledge and ideas and create opportunities for student and staff exchanges. It has been a huge and rewarding effort to build the #JoinTogether network with the encouragement of the UN, so we are particularly proud that this work has been recognised with a shortlisting.”
DMU’s campus transformation project was behind the Outstanding Estates Strategy shortlist, after the university invested more than £136 million to connect its inner-city campus to Leicester’s city centre, create high-quality public spaces and inspiring new buildings, and refurbish key landmarks.
Director of Estates and Facilities Umesh Desai said: “All members of the directorate were involved in the delivery of the Estates Strategy and I am personally delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. The strategy recognises the impact a city university can have by working collaboratively with its neighbours and is a celebration of historic and modern buildings integrating and working together as one on campus.”
Unlike other categories in the THE Awards, DMU’s fourth shortlist – the DataPoints Merit Award – doesn’t take submissions. This year the THE data team took a fresh look at the data submitted by UK institutions for its first University Impact Rankings, focusing on an institution's success in meeting specifically chosen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday 28 November.
Posted on Thursday 5th September 2019