More than 250 academics, students, executives and business people from across the North and the UK filled The Hilton Hotel in Manchester for the third Educate North Awards, a unique event that celebrated the continued growth and success of the knowledge sector in the region – jump straight to the winners here.
Delivered in association with The Telegraph Media Group, the 2017 awards brought together leading vice-chancellors, principals from the FE and Sixth Form sectors as well as some of the most talented staff in the North’s higher and further education institutions.
Educate North founder and awards host Rob McLoughlin
It was once again hosted by the initiative’s founder, Rob McLoughlin, in partnership with Prolific North and events company Don’t Panic.
As with the two previous years, the awards were preceded by a special conference; this year focused on Brexit and how leadership within the knowledge sector is so keenly needed now more than ever.
The audience heard Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Leicester, call upon government to “stop shooting the sector in the foot” and recognise that UK Higher Education is a “fantastic brand” which is being prevented from realising its potential internationally because of a “lack of joined-up thinking” from the variety of Whitehall Departments which have a hand in the sector. He said they are preventing “a co-ordinated strategy across Government”.
Phil Woolas (second from left) spoke at the conference
Professor Jo Purves, of The University of Salford said the Treasury wanted the sector to make a £30bn contribution to the economy but this was impossible with current visa restrictions on foreign students.
David Kurten MLA, UKIP’s spokesman on Education, described Brexit as a “great opportunity” to create British jobs for British workers, calling for a return to Polytechnics and more vocational training. He said it had been a mistake for Labour to push for 50% of students to go into Higher Education.
Phil Woolas, Labour’s last Immigration Minister, called upon the Prime Minister and Brexit negotiators to change the definition of immigration so students do not count, and on negotiators to ensure that student travel rights across the EU continue under the Article 50 agreement.
The Conference was overseen by Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, from the Alliance Manchester Business School and one of the UK’s leading specialists in management psychology, supported by Professor Phil Harris of The University of Chester and Nik Miller, a former executive at The University of York and now part of The Bridge Group.
Sir Cary Cooper was honoured at the event
Sir Cary was also honoured with a surprise Lifetime Achievement Award on the eve of his birthday. He was described as an exceptional academic, communicator and ambassador for the sector with more than 100 books to his name.
As well as some highly stimulating keynote speeches and panel discussions, the afternoon also saw the return of the University Entrepreneurs Challenge, developed with David Taylor, the former ‘Flying Start’ TV Judge and now chairman of the executive board at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). It was hosted by broadcaster and writer, Jim Hancock, and directed by former TV producer Alison Tarpey-Black.
Six companies from across the North – all supported by leading universities – fought it out for cash prizes in front of four experienced judges which included Dean Paton of Big Heritage and the winner of last year’s competition, Dr Martin Henery of The Alliance Manchester Business School, Jenny Stewart, CEO of The Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce, and Phil Hodari of Crystalised, one of the sponsors.
Emma Woollard picks up the UEC grant for her startup The Language Guys
The Entrepreneurs Challenge is sponsored alongside the conference by UCLan, The University of Manchester’s Intellectual Property Division (UMIP), and The Enterprise Centre at The Alliance Manchester Business School as well as Crystalised, which specialises in IT solutions for education. Due diligence was conducted by David Fleming’s team at the US owned Financial Services company, Duff and Phelps.
The Challenge winners were announced at the awards dinner, with York-based SkillsForge named the overall winner, picking up a cheque for £5,000, with Liverpool University’s Farm Urban (£2,000) and Kaizen Academy supported by The University of Lancaster (£1,000) taking the second and third prizes respectively.
And in a brand new initiative this year, the awards audience were given the chance to pick between four students or graduates with a ‘bright’ business idea. Each had a three-minute pitch to sell their business and earn a University Entrepreneurs Challenge grant of £1,000. It was a tough decision between four excellent pitches, but in the end the audience opted to award the grant to Emma Woollard’s (University of Chester) innovative idea for foreign language tuition in bars and restaurants, The Language Guys. The prize money was handed over by Phil Hodari, sponsor, and the winner will receive personal mentoring from Professor Sue Smith (Innovation and Enterprise) from UCLAN.
Our thanks go out once again to John Kennedy CBE, Patron of the 2017 Awards and the expert panel of judges, detailed information on whom can be found here.
Entries for 2018 will open in the autumn.
Educate North Awards 2017
Winner: Newcastle University and Northumbrian Water
Liverpool John Moores University – Beverley Clifton Morris
Liverpool John Moores University – MSc Industrial Biotechnology teaching team and multiple biotechnology companies in the North West
LJMU’s Teacher Education Team and Liverpool World Centre Holding Difficult Conversations
UCLan – LaunchPad Leadership Development Programme
University of Hull and AAK
Vital North Partnership – Newcastle University and Seven Stories the National Centre for Childrens Books
Social Mobility Award
Oldham Sixth Form College – Closing the Communication Gap
Employer Engagement Award
Winner: University of Chester Faculty of Business & Management – Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
Highly Commended: University of Cumbria
LJMU – World of Work Employer Engagement Team
Salford City College – Career Ready Programme in Accounting
Environmental Industry Award
Winner: University of Chester Sustainability Unit – Energy and Carbon Lab
Highly Commended: Newcastle University
University of Chester Hospitality Services – The Eco Box
External Relations Team of the Year
Winner: Salford City College
Highly Commended: University of Chester
University of Central Lancashire
Huddersfield New College – Innovation in the promotion of Equality Diversity and Inclusion
University of Central Lancashire – UCLan LaunchPad Leadership Development Programme
Liverpool Hope University – WORDBANK
Student Experience Award
Winner (Further Education): Interface at South Tyneside College
Winner (Higher Education): The Porters of the University of Chester
Enterprise Student Experience
Liverpool John Moores University Library Services Library Standards
Newcastle University Students’ Union – Inclusive Sport Offering
University of Hull – Health and Wellbeing Team
University of Hull – Middleton Hall
Research Team of the Year
Winner: Leeds Beckett University – DCM EPIC Trial Team
Lecturer / Academic of the Year
Winner: Peter Cowling – University of York
Dr Tony Wall – University of Chester
International Transnational Award
UK Leadership Award
Winner: Dr Lindsey Whiterod OBE – South Tyneside College
Highly Commended: Ian White, Domestic Bursar and Director of Hospitality and Residential Services – University of Chester
Peter Cowling – University of York
Professor Mike Thomas – University of Central Lancashire
UK Apprenticeship Award
Winner: The Juice Academy
Students’ Union of the Year
Winner: Leeds Trinity Students’ Union
Chester Students’ Union
Newcastle University Students’ Union
University of Cumbria Students’ Union
Winner: Salford City College
South Tyneside College
Winner: St John Rigby College
Huddersfield New College
University of the Year
Winner: Liverpool John Moores University
The University of Liverpool
University Entrepreneurs Challenge
Some more pictures from the night: