The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

You can read the Judging Values Statements here.

Our Judges

Dr Catherine Boyle
Dr Catherine Boyle | Operational Excellence Coach | Invest Northern Ireland
With a primary degree and PhD in Chemical Engineering, Catherine has more than 15 years’ experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry and the automotive sector. She has held a wide range of technical roles including manufacturing, design, process safety, distribution, project management and managing a technical team. Catherine has been working for Northern Ireland’s economic development body, Invest Northern Ireland for the past 6 years. She is an Operational Excellence Coach, supporting businesses across Northern Ireland in the implementation of Lean Manufacturing principles and Continuous Improvement practices in their processes through a combination of training, advice, mentoring and coaching. Catherine is an active STEM ambassador, promoting STEM subjects in schools, and she sits on the STEM Education NI Advisory Panel.
Terry Warren
Terry Warren | Independent Adviser / Consultant |
Dr David Perrin
Dr David Perrin | Deputy Head of Division | Chester Business School, University of Chester
David has a background as an academic and writer on political and economic theory, though over the last two decades has developed expertise in academic credit and accreditation of prior learning issues in Higher Education, now running one of Europe’s largest HE accreditation frameworks for adult learners in work, while publishing extensively in this field. David currently works part-time for the University as Deputy Head of Division in Chester Business School and Framework Leader of Work Based & Integrative Studies (WBIS), which has nearly 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across the University. He has also been Director of the Centre for Work Related Studies at Chester and was appointed as an Associate Professor. He has worked closely with large public sector organisations and has operated as a consultant on behalf of the University advising organisations that have included the Cabinet Office, RAF, Department of Work and Pensions and a range of private-sector providers. He currently sits on the Executive Education Committee of the Chartered Association of Business Schools.
Ruth Ashford
Ruth Ashford | Emeritus Professor |
Former Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean at Manchester Metropolitan University and Executive Dean at University of Chester, Professor Ruth Ashford has over 25 years of teaching and learning experience in HE. Ruth was also former Chair of Academy of Marketing (AM) and former Chief Examiner for Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) for many years, as well as serving on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) panel responsible for Business and Management Benchmark Statements and this has a provided wealth of experience in managing teaching quality.
Eugene Varghin
Eugene Varghin | Technical Consultant | Interact Software
Professor George Lodorfos
Professor George Lodorfos | Dean of Leeds Business School | Leeds Beckett University
Professor George Lodorfos is an electrical and electronic engineer by first degree, he holds Masters degrees in Automation and Control as well as in Innovation and Technology Management, and a PhD in Strategic Management of Research and Development. In addition, he has supervised to completion and he has examined many PhDs both in the UK and Europe and is an external examiner for two UK universities. He has extensive practical and academic experience in the field of Strategic Management, R&D and Adoption of New Technologies and Innovation. In addition, he has done extensive research and enterprise work in the areas of buyer behaviour with particular interest in online purchasing and the use of technology to enable the sustainable growth of businesses. Furthermore, he has done extensive research and enterprise work in the areas of Small Businesses Development and Growth. Teaching Experience George is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and has more than fifteen years of teaching experience at all levels, in areas including, Business Strategy, Business Planning, International Business, Managing Innovation and Change, Entrepreneurship, and others. Research Interests Professor Lodorfos' research interests are in the broad thematic areas of Innovation, Enterprise and Change, and Consumer Behaviour. Particular research themes include: • Organisational changes in the form of mergers, acquisitions, demergers and divestments and the effect that they have on organisations' performance. • The management of research and development in technology intensive industries. • The factors that enable SMEs' sustainable development. • The factors that affect consumer behaviour in the food and drinks industry. • The focus of his research and enterprise work, and therefore the impact of his work is on how to "boost" business growth for enterprises.
Mali Hayes
Mali Hayes | Singer/songcreator |
Dr June Dennis
Dr June Dennis | MD | Mountain Top Perspectives
June has over 25 years’ experience in higher education and has held senior management roles in 5 HE institutions, spanning universities and private HE colleges. She is a Chartered Marketer and past Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. June works with higher education institutions and organisations worldwide across a range of areas including collaborative academic partnerships, university centres, curriculum design and development, and student experience. She is a board member of University Centre Leeds and an external member of NCUK Academic Quality Board.
Jamie Griffiths
Jamie Griffiths | Smooth Radio Content Director | Communicorp UK
John Cater CBE DL
John Cater CBE DL | Vice-Chancellor | Edge Hill University
John was first appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University in 1993. During his 28 years as Vice-Chancellor John has led Edge Hill from a college to a University, gaining Degree Awarding Powers in 2006. As a social geographer, he has published extensively on race, housing, economic development and public policy and co-authored major research studies for the Social Science Research Council, the Commission for Racial Equality and their successor bodies.
Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee
Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee | Engineering Team Lead | BAE Systems
Lucky Ali
Lucky Ali | Enterprise & Employability Executive | University of Liverpool
Lucky Ali is a purpose-driven Biomedical Scientist at the University of Liverpool. Since her college years she has an avid passion for leadership and her proactiveness led her to be elected as the President of Wirral Metropolitan College Students’ Union. Recently she has undertaken clinical vaccine research with the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford. Lucky is passionate about exploring and researching the potentialities of current and novel technologies for the enhancement of medicine and healthcare. Her specific research interests lie in Lifestyle Medicine, AI/AR, Health Data Science, and Healthcare Technology. Lucky fervently supports value-led innovations and has just embarked on her own entrepreneurship journey. She has been appointed as the Governor of Wirral Metropolitan College, and as an active member of the Board of Governors she is working towards a more inclusive and quality Further and Higher Education in the Liverpool City Region. Lucky’s aim is to invest in the BAME communities and break the socio-economic barriers. Her vision is to empower underprivileged and underrepresented communities and bring them into the mainstream of talented positions within Europe and across the globe.
Mehmooda Duke
Mehmooda Duke | Founder | Moosa-Duke Solicitors
Mehmooda is the founder of Moosa – Duke Solicitors specialising in medical negligence claims, a firm she set up in 2003; she spent the first 10 years defending health professionals and since 2003 she has acted for victims of the NHS and GPs. She specialises in complex spinal injury claims attracting multi million pound awards and leads a team of 18 professionals. In the History of English Cricket, Mehmooda is the first female and also the first person of colour to become the Chair of a First Class County Cricket Club. Her journey began in 2021 as the first female Board Advisor to the Leicestershire County Cricket Club; 2019 saw her become the first female Board Director and just 2 months later in May 2019 she was elected. She was re-elected in May 2020 and again in March 2021; during her time she has inter alia developed important relationships with key stakeholders, secured £2.45m refinancing, brought about financial stability, changes in leadership, structure and overall strategic approach to include the establishment of the Academy of Cricket and South Asian Strategy group. She stands down as Chair in March 2022 to take up the role of High Sheriff for the County later that month, only the 2nd Asian female to hold that position. Mehmooda was the first Asian female in the 155 year history of Leicestershire Law Society from 2015-2016 to be President; she was appointed Chair in May 2017 and stood down at the AGM in September 2020; Nationally, Mehmooda is a founder member and founder Executive Board member of the Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL); she is now on its Public Affairs Group representing Clinical Injury Lawyers at national level; She was appointed Trustee of the MCC Foundation in February 2021; In 2017, Mehmooda was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Leicestershire and Rutland (2nd Asian female in the history of Leicestershire) and will hold this position to age 75; Mehmooda was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List 2019 for services to the Legal Profession and female entrepreneurship; Awarded Leicester Mercury Business Woman of the Year 2017;Awarded Leicestershire Law Society Solicitor of the Year 2018; Mehmooda is the founder and Chair of ‘Leading Ladies’ a membership organisation made up of professional and non - professional women of all generations ( oldest member aged 82). The aim is to inspire, mentor, coach and support one another to ‘dream big and fly high’. In June 2019, with the support of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club community team brought 180 women from the local and business community to a health and well being event to play Bolly Cric-Hit at Grace Road; In 2020, in collaboration with Leicester High School for girls and the local business community, we invited children from 3 state schools and ran an IWD evening with careers panels and interactive presentations and workshops; on the back of this, during the pandemic, we provided mentoring and training for women and girls (age 11 to 16) and involved them in local radio as guests and presenters. Mehmooda has organised six 10 mile charity walks for local lawyers and business people, done two 10K runs and climbed Kilimanjaro raising over £130,000 for charity; Mehmooda was a founder member and Co-President of the Fosse Business Breakfast club a local organisation of small businesses for 7 years.
Mike Jones
Mike Jones | Doctor of Business Administration |
On leaving the RAF Mike began a 20 plus year career as a Human Resource professional ,starting out as a Personnel Trainee with the then De Havilland Aircraft Company at Broughton ,near Chester (now Airbus) and his industrial appointments included periods as Personnel Manager/Director in the Food Products, Engineering and Paper industries as well as Consultancy with both Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse before joining the St Helen’s based Pilkington Group, initially as Group Management Development Manager and then becoming Managing Director of its subsidiary Leadership Business, Lakeside Training and Development Ltd. This role led Mike into the University Business School world when he was appointed as a Visiting Fellow at Manchester Business School. Gradually Mike increased his work within the University Business School sector in numerous Fellowships and Senior Appointments including a spell as Dean of the Business School at the University of East London and as the Director of the Foundation for Management Education . However, it was in his work as the Director General of the Association of MBA’s the professional body for holders of the prestigious MBA degree that he made his most international impact in masterminding and running the Global accreditation service which safeguards and validates the design, quality and assessment of the MBA degree the world over. As a result Mike was and still is a recognised global authority in his field and as such has worked at and with most of the top business schools across the globe often as a member of their Management Advisory Boards. He has served on various Government Committees concerned with linking Universities to the world of work.He is a Trustee of the Lubbock Trust at Balliol College Oxford. Mike has been awarded a Doctor of Business Administration degree including one “Honoris Causa” from our the University of Chester where he is appointed as a Visiting Professor. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Management and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development In his semi -retirement Mike’s life continues to be one of industry and service He has developed an interesting portfolio of volunteer activities including becoming a Trustee/ Director of Age UK, a School Governor, a Trustee at Balliol College, Oxford and a Director of a National Housing Association. He is a Liveryman and Past Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Marketors and a Freeman of the City of London.
Professor Nicola Curtin FMed Sci
Professor Nicola Curtin FMed Sci | Professor | Newcastle University
Phil Harris
Phil Harris | Emeritus Professor & Chair of the Judging Panel | University of Chester
Phil Is Professor Emeritus at the University of Chester and was previously Executive Director of the Business Research Institute, a Dean of its Business Faculty and held the Westminster (Grosvenor) Chair in Marketing and Public Affairs. He is Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa. He is a past Chairman of the Marketing Council (UK) PLC, Board member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Professor of Marketing at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and Founding Director of the Centre for Corporate and Public Affairs at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he led one of the largest business start-up and support initiatives in the North. Prior to becoming an academic he held positions in the international chemical, and foods industries with ICI and RHM and has chaired or been a board member of the American Marketing Association, Academy of Marketing, and the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy. Phil has advised government on Medium Sized Businesses and Small Business and helped found the Educate North Awards in 2015 and University Enterprise Challenge in 2016. He is recognised for his work in developing high quality entrepreneurs regionally and internationally both in the not for profit, private and public sectors. He serves on a number of boards, trusts and holds visiting positions and professorships in China, Germany, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
Rachel Candler
Rachel Candler | Producer | Quays Culture/The Lowry
Dr Shobana Partington
Dr Shobana Partington | Head of Department | Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Shobana has over 20 years experience of working in Higher Education in the UK and abroad. She leads the department that delivers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the subject area of business technology, business analytics, project management, operations and supply chain, events and hospitality management. The department is also home to the sector leading Degree Apprenticeship programme in Digital Technology Solution.
Professor Steven Rhoden
Professor Steven Rhoden | Dean, School of Business | University of Central Lancashire

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Latest News



The Educate North Awards represent both an important high-point and aspiration for the North’s academics, institutions and indeed students. It provides a platform for sharing excellence and achievement. More importantly it encourages, promotes, and nurtures the sector and talent. Congratulations on reaching 10. Here’s to the next ten celebrations of what the education sector achieves. DR JOHN CATER CBE DL, VICE-CHANCELLOR
I was overwhelmed to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023 as part of the Educate North Awards. It’s inspiring to see so many dedicated people being recognised for their important work across the educational sector and across so many disciplines. I hope the creators will build upon their own success since 2015 and create more opportunities to showcase what education really means in the North of this country. PROFESSOR NICOLA CURTIN
Seeing the Educate North Awards live for the first time in 2023 was a wonderful experience. To bring an often disparate sector together is wonderful, to share best-practice is fulfilling and to see the superb standards from Sixth-Forms, Further Education and then HE in one room is often, breathtaking. We should embrace Educate North more and drive it forward beyond this special 10th ceremony. SIR JOHN JONES
The idea sounded complex but exciting in 2015. Could the North create a showpiece which would harness the best of the talents we have in our educational sector? Would anyone even enter? Would we create a respected and highly motivated judging panel and find expert leadership for it? Would we also find room, as we did in the first 3 years, to debate the future direction and resources needed to increase social mobility and opportunities for all? Would we find new business ideas and young entrepreneurs as well with a willingness to test their ideas? The answer was yes, and the result is a wonderful parade of superb nominees who are helping shape and change the worlds they occupy. Long may Educate North continue. DR JOHN KENNEDY CBE, KSG, KMCO, DL.
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