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University of Leicester Named University of the Year

The Vice-Chancellor receives the University of the Year award on behalf of the University of Leicester.

University of Leicester Named University of the Year

Staff and students celebrate winning coveted Times Higher Education award

24 October 2008

The University of Leicester has claimed the title of University of the Year in the higher education sector’s most prestigious and keenly contested awards.

The award from the Times Higher was made at a glittering gala dinner in Park Lane, London, last night, (Thursday October 23) in the presence of Higher Education Minister David Lammy. More than 1000 people from the higher education sector attended.

In recognising Leicester’s tremendous achievements, the Times Higher cited the view that Leicester was elite without being elitist.

Ann Mroz, Editor, Times Higher Education, commented: “Few entrants embody the spirit of these awards more than the University of Leicester. Its triumph in this category at the third time of entering sends out a powerful message to the rest of the sector on the nature of constantly striving for excellence. Leicester’s turnaround in the last decade has been extraordinary, and it is encouraging to note that the university has risen through the league tables without feeling the need to compromise on its widening participation initiatives.”

The judges highlighted Professor Bob Burgess’ leadership saying: “Ten years after he first accepted the task of leading Leicester out of the lower leagues, he now has a strong claim to being among the elite.”

“Leicester was able to evidence its commitment to high quality, a belief in the synergy of teaching and research and a conviction that higher education is a power for good, “said Bernadette Porter, provincial treasurer of the Society of the Sacred Heart and a member of the expert judging panel for the awards.

The judges added that Leicester was ‘the stand-out choice in a very tough competition’ not simply because of the elite status of the University- rather it was its eschewal of ‘elitism’.

They stated: “Its continued commitment to, and real success in, widening access to students from non-traditional groups made it the stand-out choice in a very tough competition. On access Leicester is unique among its research intensive peers –it exceeds its benchmark for widening participation.”

This is the fourth successive year that Leicester has been in the running for a title of University of the Year, having been cited three times by The Higher and once by the Sunday Times.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Burgess said: “This tremendous success represents another major milestone in the achievements of the University of Leicester which has gone from strength to strength over the past decade.

“We now stand at the highest point in league table rankings in all national media and are placed second only to Cambridge for student satisfaction amongst full time students taught at mainstream universities in England.

“We have also achieved our highest rankings in the Times Higher and Shanghai Jiao Tong University world ranking of universities.

“None of this could have been possible without the hard work of colleagues and students at the university.

“We are delighted with national accolade which is a testament to the very high standing of the University of Leicester. We will build on this achievement in order to move Leicester to a position of even greater strength as we challenge for a place amongst the top 10 UK universities.”

Leicester was also in the running for the title of Research Project of the Year.

The international research project in collaboration with the Departments of Geology and Biology looked into the diet of sticklebacks in Nevada 10 million years ago. Chips and scratches on the teeth of fossil stickleback fish revealed for the first time how changes in the way an animal feeds affects its evolution. The research represented the first time that the relationship between feeding habits and evolution has been directly testable using fossils.

Representatives from the University celebrate the announcement of the award.

THE Awards

Click here for more information about the Times Higher Education awards

To read more on what the Times Higher Education said about the University of Leicester, please click here .

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