Leader 2: Praise where it's due

February 25, 2005

Higher education has been one of the UK's success stories for the past decade and beyond. Despite all the financial pressures, universities and colleges have continued to open their doors more widely while maintaining their international standing and serving their students well. One thing they have lacked, however, is a forum to celebrate their undoubted successes. In launching a set of awards for the sector, The Times Higher aims to fill that gap.

The awards are deliberately wide ranging, recognising the student experience, e-learning and widening participation as well as research and interaction with business. They will honour achievement in all types of institution, not replicate the league tables. There will be a focus, too, on young academics, with prizes for the outstanding author and researcher of the year. The Government and the private sector are supporting the initiative with gratifying enthusiasm, but the awards will fulfil their potential only if universities and colleges embrace them. Higher education has been reserved about its successes for too long - join in and help us bang the drum.

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