Leicester feels benefits of Times Higher accolade

October 1, 2009

It is more than just a pat on the back. Since it was named Times Higher Education's University of the Year 2008, the University of Leicester has seen significant growth in interest from prospective staff and students.

Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester, said that student-application numbers had soared since the win. "We have seen some incredible increases in the past year. It's very noticeable," he said.

The number of applications for taught postgraduate degrees at Leicester rose by 69 per cent this year, while the number of overseas applications shot up by 48 per cent.

Postgraduate research also received a boost, with prospective student numbers increasing by 37 per cent.

Interest among UK undergraduates has also been sparked by the award, with a 16 per cent rise in applications for this academic year compared with last.

"Winning the award was a high spot in the university's development," Professor Burgess said. "It had a really positive impact on morale among staff and students. It encouraged people in the work they're doing."

The vice-chancellor added that Leicester had also noted more interest in its academic vacancies since it was named University of the Year.

"We have seen increased interest in senior positions across the university, and we have also been able to attract a number of high-profile staff from other universities in the UK and internationally to come and work at Leicester."

He said he hoped the knock-on effect of the award would be felt for years to come.

The 2009 Times Higher Education University of the Year, and the winners in 17 other award categories, will be announced at a black-tie ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 15 October.

This year, six institutions have been shortlisted for the top accolade: Bournemouth University; the University of Nottingham; Queen Mary, University of London; the University of Teesside; the University of Warwick; and the University of Winchester

hannah.fearn@tsleducation.com.

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