University of Central Lancashire shortlisted for three Times Higher Education Awards

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating as it has been shortlisted in three categories for the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023.

What are the THE Awards?

Now in its nineteenth year and widely regarded as the 'Oscars of higher education', the Times Higher Education Awards celebrates innovative and inspirational ideas across 19 categories.

All UK and Irish higher education institutions are eligible to enter and this year the awards received over 650 entries, a record number, which UCLan says makes its triple nomination a “fantastic result”.

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Only two other universities have more nominations (Cardiff Met and Essex), and UCLan’s three nominations for 2023, in the face of increased competition, follows up on the university’s record-equalling five nominations in 2022.

What has UCLan been nominated for?

UCLan is a finalist in the following THE 2023 categories.

-Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion for UCLan’s Creative Mental Health Framework (CMHF) which was delivered by students, for students. It harnessed creativity to raise the profile and reduce barriers and stigma around mental health and the LGBTQ+ community through teamwork as well as dynamic and engaging activities. The CMHF partnered with Tate Liverpool, Growing Resilience, Lancashire Mind and Lancashire LGBT.

-Research Project of the Year (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) for UCLan’s Dance and Parkinson’s project which integrates community engagement, student teaching and research. The project delivered weekly hour-long classes designed to help participants with mobility, balance, and movement confidence. The strength of this project lies within the mutual benefits of partnerships between people living with Parkinson’s and undergraduate dance students.

-Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year for UCLan’s Into Our Skies: Space in Schools project which is a collaboration between dance artists, scientists, and educators with a cross‐curricular approach to teaching science through dance. The six‐week scheme of work uses movement and dance as a tool for primary pupils aged 9‐11 to explore concepts of Earth and Space.

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What has the university said?

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “I’m delighted that UCLan continues to be praised for our strengths in the areas we unashamedly focus upon and excel in, namely community participation, equality, diversity, and inclusion. UCLan is proud to be a force for positive change, championing equality and enriching lives for the public good.

“Recognition from the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for our growing influence internationally in the field of research has also thrilled me. With our academics’ undoubted expertise, we are achieving a louder voice and delivering our research findings in the community where it’s being used for the betterment of the communities we serve.”

What has an awards spokesperson said?

John Gill, THE’s editor, said: “Across 19 categories, you will find not only some long-established big names, but also younger, aspirational institutions, those with a community-centred civic vision, and others with a much more specialist focus – all of whom deserve wider recognition for their brilliant work.

“Our awards are inclusive by design, and while THE has learned countless things over the past 52 years covering the sector, right up there is the fact that innovative and inspirational ideas can originate at any institution, whatever its shape, size or reputation.”

This year’s awards will be presented in the North West at the ACC in Liverpool on December 7. The full awards shortlist can be viewed online.

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