Brian Cantor, vice-chancellor of York, picked up the top award at a ceremony in London yesterday, which was attended by more than 1,000 staff from universities and colleges across the country.
The award judges said they had been hugely impressed by York’s success in combining academic excellence with social inclusion, as well as its record in scientific discovery.
Its achievements this year included completing the first phase of a £500 million campus expansion on time and under budget, winning its third consecutive Queen’s Anniversary Prize, and mapping the genetic code of the herb Artemisia annua, to help tackle malaria.
York is also making an impressive investment in the arts and humanities through an £11 million building project to house its Humanities Research Centre and Institute for Effective Education.
Shearer West, chair of Research Councils UK’s research and development group and one of the judges, said: “York has an impressive record for outstanding research, high-quality teaching and social inclusion. It has been undergoing a period of physical expansion, with improvements to its student and research facilities. It is also leading the way in reinforcing its fine track record in the humanities through major investment.”
Other winners at the ceremony at the Grovsenor House Hotel in Park Lane included Cary Cooper, distinguished professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School, who won the Lord Dearing Lifetime Achievement Award; and Tony Mann, head of the department of mathematical sciences at Greenwich University, who was named Most Innovative Teacher of the Year.
The University of Hertfordshire won the title of Entrepreneurial University of the Year; University College London won Research Project of the Year; and the University of Leeds won for its Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology.
The award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community went to Southampton Solent University; Queen’s University Belfast won Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year; the University of Central Lancashire was named as organising the International Collaboration of the Year; and the University of Manchester picked up the title for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.
Other winners included Birmingham City University and Birmingham City Students’ Union, which together won the award for Outstanding Support for Students; the North West Universities Association, which triumphed in the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative category; and the University of Bradford, which took the prize for its Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development.
A partnership between The Open University and Unison won the award for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year; the prize for Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year went to the University of Bristol; and the nominee judged to have provided the most Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers was the Universities Scotland Research Training Sub-Committee.
Last but not least, the University of Sunderland won the title for Most Improved Student Experience; and Cardiff University for the Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development.
The awards ceremony was conducted by the former Conservative minister Michael Portillo.
THE Awards 2010 winners
A full list of winners, a PDF of the winners' booklet and a gallery of photographs from the evening can be found here: http://bit.ly/THEawards10