Triple Times Higher Education Awards shortlisting success for UCLan

10 September 2021

University strengths in teaching, research and community impact highlighted by prestigious 'Oscars of higher education'

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is today celebrating having been shortlisted in three categories of the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2021.

Widely regarded at the 'Oscars of higher education', the University has been commended in the categories: ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’, ‘Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year’ and ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’.

This year the successful nominees were picked from a record haul of nearly 600 entries. The awards celebrate achievements during the 2019-20 academic year during the Covid-19 pandemic and cover the full range of university activity exemplifying the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.

In the award entry for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted which included the mobilisation of 20 final-year medical students and more than 300 nursing students to graduate early and join the medical frontline.

The work of UCLan’s Dr Clive Palmer, Senior Lecturer in Sport, PE and the Outdoors, was recognised in the ‘Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year’ category. In his nomination form Clive is described as an inspirational research supervisor, exceeding expectations to promote a learning culture in the research community. Responding to the pandemic, Clive created an online community: Clive’s Learning Shack, as a hub, meeting place and resource centre to support his students and staff.

Commenting on the nomination Dr Palmer said: “It is an honour to be shortlisted for this prestigious Times Higher Award, and with it, such a privilege to have supervised (and be working with currently) such talented people on their research projects. In truth, their ideas are so vibrant and exciting, they make me look good! I am over the moon to receive this external recognition for my efforts in the postgraduate learning experience and wish to thank colleagues for their generous support.”

"I feel incredibly proud that UCLan is one of only a handful of universities to achieve three or more THE nominations and shows our growing confidence, talent and stature within the sector"

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin

Highlighted within the ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ category, was the work of Dr David Wareing, Lecturer in Medical Microbiology. Using the quidditch world cup tournament, a competitive weekly online quiz, interactive PowerPoint presentations such as “Alice's adventures in fungus land”, microbiology escape rooms or extracurricular societies such as Parasitology Club, Dr Wareing has finally accomplished his mission following the declaration by his students that “David really helped bring it to life.”

On learning of his nomination Dr Wareing said: “I am absolutely delighted. I am also really grateful for the support of colleagues and the wonderful feedback from students on how they have enjoyed the learning experiences that we have created for them.”

Responding on behalf of the University to this year’s nomination success Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “What fantastic achievements for both Clive and David as well as everyone connected with the University. As these award nominations testify, even during a global pandemic, our innovative ‘can do’ approach with a focus on providing the best possible student experience continues to shine through.

“I feel incredibly proud that UCLan is one of only a handful of universities to achieve three or more THE nominations and shows our growing confidence, talent and stature within the sector.”

John Gill, THE’s editor, said this year’s awards would “reflect a period of turmoil and innovation necessitated by the pandemic”, yet the record number of entries was a sign of “the brilliance of universities across the whole of the UK and Ireland”.

“With almost 600 institutions, teams and individuals nominated, it really is a fantastic achievement to make it on to this year’s shortlists,” Mr Gill said.

“We look forward to celebrating the incredible response of university staff in exceptionally tough circumstances when we gather for the ‘Oscars of higher education’ in November.”

This year’s awards will be presented at the Hilton London Metropole on 25 November. The full awards shortlist can be viewed online.