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UCLan shortlisted for highly prestigious educational award

04 September 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Nominee in Times Higher Education’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year category

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been shortlisted for a highly prestigious educational award.

The Preston-based institution has beaten off stiff competition from an array of UK higher education providers to make the final list for Entrepreneurial University of the Year in the 10th annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

John Lonsdale, Head of UCLan Innovation and Enterprise, said: “We’re delighted to have made the Times Higher Education’s shortlist. It’s great recognition for us as we’ve worked very hard to make UCLan a truly entrepreneurial, enterprising and innovative University.”

In the past two years UCLan has invested in an Innovation and Enterprise team to create a stronger enterprising and entrepreneurial environment throughout all areas of the institution. Newly created initiatives are removing the barriers to these activities and are enabling staff and students to make their ideas a reality. These schemes have also allowed access to funding, commercial and legal support and training.

John said: “We’ve enjoyed great success with our new programmes and support mechanisms. Some of these have included distinguished visitor programmes to encourage enterprising international collaboration, commercial training to boost staff and students confidence and the development of a Chinese subsidiary company to provide opportunities for staff and students in China.”

Entrepreneurial work has also seen UCLan academics create the highly innovative AeroSee project. The lecturers worked with Patterdale Mountain Rescue to use drones, in conjunction with ‘crowd sourced’ online volunteers, to perform mountain rescues. It was shortlisted for the Design Museum's Designs of the Year 2014 prize.

“We’re delighted to have made the Times Higher Education’s shortlist. It’s great recognition for us as we’ve worked very hard to make UCLan a truly entrepreneurial, enterprising and innovative University.”

In the most recent HEBCIS survey UCLan was ranked second in the UK for the number of student start-ups businesses and first in UK for number of business start-ups still trading after three years.

Hundreds of nominations for outstanding institutions, departments and individuals were submitted across 18 categories covering the full range of university activity. These awards showcase the pioneering spirit, adaptability and sheer quality of our sector.

John Gill, THE Editor, said: "This celebration marks the tenth anniversary of the Times Higher Education Awards, 10 years in which higher education has undergone huge changes but has always risen to the challenges it has faced. Our universities and colleges are among the nation’s most respected institutions, both at home and internationally, and it’s THE’s great privilege to have played a part in celebrating their achievements over the past decade.”

The winners will be announced on Thursday 27 November 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Once again this promises to be a spectacular event with over 1000 guests expected to attend, including politicians, senior sector figures, and academic and university staff from all corners of the UK.

The full shortlist for all 18 categories is published in today’s issue of Times Higher Education, and is also available on the awards website: www.the-awards.co.uk