Published: 6 September 2023 at 17:35
Nominations have been announced for Times Higher Education 2023 awards
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has been shortlisted for the University of the Year accolade at the Times Higher Education (THE) 2023 awards, widely known as the Oscars of the UK university sector.
The prestigious THE University of the Year award honours “exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year”, a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was still causing disruption, and ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period has been recognised by the judges.
ARU is dedicated to serving the region and the communities in which it is based. ARU’s significant achievements in 2021-22 included the successful launch of ARU Peterborough, a new university designed from the ground up to meet the needs of local students, employers, and the regional economy.
Delivered through a unique partnership between ARU, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Peterborough City Council, the first teaching building at ARU Peterborough was completed on budget and on time in the summer of 2022, ready to welcome its first students last September.
ARU’s progress in growing the range, quality and impact of its research was recognised by its best ever ranking in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, with every subject area including research rated as ‘world-leading’. This followed the 2022 award of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which acknowledged the globally important work of ARU’s Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research.
Through partnerships with eight police forces, ARU became the largest university provider of initial police education, as well as being recognised in the 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey as the largest provider of health and social work graduates in the UK, reinforcing ARU’s commitment to offering innovative, employer-led courses that serve the region. In the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022, ARU was ranked 1st in the UK and 20th globally for health and wellbeing.
ARU’s innovative education includes the interdisciplinary Ruskin Modules and the Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange initiative, which in 2021-22 saw over 1,000 students tackle 60 complex challenges facing society, each set by local public sector partners.
Also in 2021-22, the UK’s first Samaritans university hub was opened on ARU’s Cambridge campus, which sees fully trained student and staff volunteers deliver support to the public, and ARU’s Chelmsford campus hosted the most sustainable British Science Festival ever staged, attracting thousands of visitors.
Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said:
“ARU’s achievements in 2021-22 included the realisation of major projects and our best-ever global rankings, delivering on our mission to serve our region and transform lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research.
“ARU Peterborough is a perfect example of this. It realises a 40-year ambition to establish a university for Peterborough, which has been a long-term Higher Education ‘cold spot’. Co-created with partners in industry, ARU Peterborough will play a pivotal role in transforming the city, providing the skills local employers need and bringing life-changing opportunities to its students.
“I’m delighted that this and many other important initiatives have been recognised by the Times Higher Education, and I’m proud to work alongside outstanding colleagues and remarkable students who have made these projects so successful.”
ARU is shortlisted in the University of the Year category alongside the University of York and the University of Exeter. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Liverpool on 7 December.
ARU has also been shortlisted in the categories of Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community, and Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.