Last year's initial foray into the world of awards was one of the most rewarding initiatives that this newspaper has ever undertaken. The response in terms of entries, sponsorship and interest in the process was overwhelming. Even many of those who were not among the winners - or, in some cases, the entrants - felt that the exercise filled a gap in the higher education calendar that should have been addressed long ago. The celebration of success in a wide variety of fields sent a valuable message both within and beyond the sector.
Hardly had the first awards been presented than proposals started to arrive for additional categories. Not all could be accommodated, but this year's call for entries shows five new awards: honouring early-career researchers; leadership development; innovation and technology; student support; and sustainable development. The majority of these will be run in partnership with higher education organisations in the hope that the whole enterprise will inspire a sense of ownership, as well as support, in universities and colleges.