University handed gold and bronze at annual Heist Awards
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating after picking up two national education awards.
UCLan won both gold and bronze at the Heist Awards, which celebrates excellence and innovation in education marketing from all over the UK.
Gold came in the Best International Initiative 2018 category for UCLan’s efforts to relocate 700 medical students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) to Preston after Hurricane Irma devastated the island of St Maarten last year. The University was also awarded a bronze award for Best Community/Business Engagement Campaign 2018 for its In the City campaign, a community hub delivered by the Communications and Engagement Team to bring local people together through a variety of free events and activities.
It is the second award for both initiatives, with the AUC project winning a Guardian University Award and the In the City campaign receiving an Educate North Innovation Award in April.
"I am delighted that the University has once again been recognised for two fantastic projects that show compassion and a willingness to bring a community together."
Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that the University has once again been recognised for two fantastic projects that show compassion and a willingness to bring a community together.
“Bringing an entire medical school to Preston in only nine days was a huge undertaking and I’m so proud of the many people involved, including our own staff, AUC representatives and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
“When we heard about the plight of the AUC we immediately wanted to help these people, whose lives have been turned upside down, to continue in their ambitions to become doctors. To be recognised for this within the higher education sector is fantastic.”
Engagement and outreach officer Lee MacNeall runs the In the City project. He commented: “The is the second award the project has received in a matter of months so we’re over the moon that UCLan’s commitment to social engagement, inclusivity and minimising social isolation is being acknowledged.
“In the City is a very unique project that caters for people throughout the community; from kids’ clubs to knitting projects to a savvy surfers’ workshop. It is the only UK-wide, permanent university space situated within a shopping centre that is focused solely on engagement with the community rather than course promotion and student recruitment.”
The annual Heist Awards celebration is now in its 28th year, with each category judged by a panel made up of sector experts, higher education peers and commercial specialists with marketing expertise. The event was held on Thursday, 12 July, at the The Principal Hotel in Manchester. For more information visit the website.