The achievements of some of the sector’s top performers were rewarded on a night of glitz and glamour at the inaugural Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, held in association with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
The winners in more than a dozen categories were announced at the London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane last night, at a gala dinner hosted by comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner.
The awards rewarded excellence in fields ranging from estates to finance, human resources to fundraising, with winners hailing from every corner of the sector.
The evening’s main prize, the outstanding leadership and management team award, went to Loughborough University. Ewart Wooldridge, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation and one of the judges, said he was particularly impressed with the results of a Loughborough staff poll, which found that more than 90 per cent of workers believed that Shirley Pearce, vice-chancellor of the institution, was doing a good job.
“She is a very inclusive type,” he said. “The overwhelming proportion of staff think she and her team are doing a good job. In my experience, that’s very difficult. People always think that bosses are up to something and they don’t score that highly.”
Loughborough tasted further success on the night, as it also took the prize for the outstanding student accommodation team in recognition of its dramatic overhaul of campus accommodation last year, work that has created 500 new en-suite rooms.
The award for the outstanding human resources team went to the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, which saw staff sick leave fall to just 2.6 days a year on average in 2008, an improvement attributed to root-and-branch reform of its staffing procedures.
Sheffield Hallam University won the outstanding estates team award thanks to its campus consolidation programme, while Nottingham Trent University was named the outstanding university fundraising team.
Birkbeck, University of London, triumphed in the marketing/communications team category, Edinburgh Napier University took the outstanding ICT team award and Bournemouth University was victorious in the outstanding library team section.
Other winners included the University of Bedfordshire, which took the award for the outstanding student recruitment team, Cranfield University, which won the new student residence award, and the University of Derby, which beat all comers in the outstanding finance team category.
The recruitment campaign award went to Birmingham City University, the University of Bristol pipped its rivals to the post in the human resource initiative category, and the University of Nottingham secured the prize for the outstanding estates initiative.
The outstanding financial initiative award went to Northumbria University, and the ICT initiative prize was won by Cardiff University.
Pictures from last night’s celebration of leadership and management talent in higher education are now available to view here.