Coventry University continued its unprecedented year of success tonight when it was named 'University of the Year' in the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.
The University fended off competition from five other shortlisted UK institutions to be awarded THE's flagship accolade in recognition of its achievements and performance over the year.
According to the judges, the University stood out for its student centred approach to learning, its efforts to make higher education more affordable and accessible; and the transformation in its research strategy.
Other achievements which were highlighted included the substantial investment the university has made to improve facilities for staff and students alike, the work it is doing to regenerate a neglected area of Coventry city centre and its commitment to small and medium-sized enterprises in the city.
Vice-chancellor John Latham was presented with the award by comedian Rory Bremner during what is described as the Oscars of the higher education industry, which celebrate the pioneering spirit, adaptability and quality across the university sector.
Coventry's latest accolade follows a number of notable achievements, which include being named 'Modern University of the Year' for the third time by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
The University also rose into the UK's top 15 in the Guardian University Guide, was voted top for personal development in the National Student Survey 2015, and was presented with one of the most coveted accolades in UK business – the Queen's Award for Enterprise.
Professor John Latham said:
This is a landmark achievement for Coventry University and a wonderful testament to our staff who have worked so hard to make this such a successful year. Competition is fierce at the THE awards, so it's quite an accomplishment for us to have achieved this kind of recognition within the industry.
There's much to celebrate, but it's what's going on beyond the accolades and league table positions that is what I'm most proud of – particularly the way we help our students to reach their full potential, whether through the hands-on, activity-led learning approach we pioneer at Coventry, the international opportunities they have, or through the vast array of sports and activities at the students' union.
This award is for everyone in our community of learning. Staff, students, local businesses we support and residents who we engage with on a regular basis – this is something that Coventry as a city should feel proud about.
John Gill, editor of Times Higher Education, said:
The judges were impressed with Coventry’s achievements across a range of activities and, in particular, by its novel approach to improving access. We’re always looking for pioneers who make bold attempts to tackle the issues facing higher education locally, regionally and nationally, and Coventry is to be congratulated for doing it so successfully.
For further information, please contact Alex Roache, external press and media relations officer, Coventry University, on 024 7765 5050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.