Birkbeck takes top title at Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards

Higher education’s best leaders, managers and administrators have been honoured at an annual awards ceremony, with Birkbeck, University of London taking the top prize.

June 17, 2011

The Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2011 were presented at a ceremony last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Prizes were awarded in a total of 16 categories, covering everything from fundraising to human resources, research management to student services.

The main award of the night, for the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team, went to Birkbeck, which was praised by the judges for its extraordinary response to potential calamity.

As a specialist part-time provider, the college found itself facing desperate uncertainty following the decision by the last Labour government to withdraw funding for students taking second degrees.

Birkbeck faced losing almost 40 per cent of its teaching funding, necessitating a major strategic review.

That review, and the college’s subsequent repositioning, resulted in a 38 per cent increase in student recruitment to help mitigate the loss of funding, and Birkbeck was further bolstered by a highly successful fundraising drive.

Tricia Wombell, director of marketing and communications at the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, said the judges were impressed by the way it had reinvented itself as a “very modern institution”.

Other winners included the University of Bath, which took the prize for Outstanding University Fundraising Team; Aston University, which won in two categories - Knowledge Exchange Initiative of the Year and Outstanding Human Resources Team; and the University of Derby, which was named as having the Outstanding Registry Team.

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