News in brief - 11 April 2013

April 11, 2013

THE Awards 2013
Open for entries

Entries are now being welcomed from universities across the UK for the ninth annual Times Higher Education Awards. Institutions, departments and individuals will compete in 18 categories that aim to highlight and celebrate the achievements of the sector. The categories range from Research Project of the Year and Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year, to Most Innovative Teacher of the Year and the top prize of University of the Year, won in 2012 by the University of Strathclyde. Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on 28 November. The awards are free to enter, with every category open to all UK universities, and the deadline for submissions is 9 June.

Hefce
£5m for green projects via NUS

The National Union of Students has been awarded £5 million by England’s funding council to help it support environmentally friendly and sustainable university projects involving students. The Students’ Green Fund will encourage local collaboration between students’ unions and universities, with the aim of “putting students in the driving seat” for sustainable projects, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The NUS will run a single-round bidding competition in summer 2013 to allocate the funding, with projects receiving support over two full academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15).

Research funding
EPSRC invites capital bids

The first £85 million of the government’s extra £600 million of capital funding for “technologies of the future” is available to applicants. The funding was announced by the chancellor, George Osborne, in December’s Autumn Statement. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has opened applications for £30 million for capital projects relating to advanced materials, another £30 million for grid-scale energy storage and £25 million for robotics and autonomous systems. David Willetts, minister for universities and science, said the investments would “drive growth and help secure the UK’s high-tech future”.

Graduate employment survey
It’s all about the money

A big salary is now at the top of the wish list for graduates when choosing an employer, according to a poll by accountants Ernst & Young. Twenty-two per cent of the 2,205 students surveyed by the firm said that it was their most important consideration. The same proportion said that training and development was their number one priority, making it joint top of the list. Training and development has come top of the survey every year since it was launched in 2007, although this year’s results show that its relative importance has declined. Work-life balance is also increasingly important for graduates and has moved from fifth place in 2011 to third place this year.

Clarification

With regard to our story last week on the British Universities North America Club, we are happy to make clear that BUNAC, the brand now operated by STA Travel, continues to offer opportunities for young people to work and volunteer abroad; it is the original not-for-profit club that is winding down.

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