Coventry University crowned ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’

University news

Friday 25 November 2011

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Coventry University has been crowned the ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards, and has also won the ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ award for a joint submission with Loughborough University in recognition of the institutions’ collaborative maths support centres.

Coventry was chosen from a shortlist of six other universities for the prestigious ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ award, which commends the institution that has best demonstrated that it encourages its students, staff, and others to be enterprising in what they do and how they do it.

The THE Awards judging panel was particularly impressed with the level of student engagement demonstrated by the University, and it also praised the positive impact Coventry University has had on local businesses, which has seen the institution work with almost 9,500 small and medium enterprises and help 300 companies start-up through its Business Innovation Centre.

Speaking about Coventry’s ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ award, David S. Frost, executive chairman of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) and member of the THE judging panel, said:

It was clear from all the staff interviewed that an entrepreneurial culture permeates at all levels of Coventry University.

A combination of interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial institutes, physical developments, strong leadership, exciting international activity and lively engagement by staff and students provided the basis for selecting Coventry for this award.

The ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ accolade was awarded jointly to Coventry and Loughborough universities for their pioneering work through the SIGMA Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.  The centre runs mathematics drop-in classes which have been a hit with students from a range of disciplines.

SIGMA’s classes attracted over 12,000 students between September 2010 and May 2011 and offered around 50 hours of drop-in support each week for undergraduates and postgraduates who are either struggling with maths or who would like extra help to achieve excellence.

Two quotes from the citation show how highly regarded their work is within higher education. Professor John O’Donoghue, the director of Ireland’s National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, said:

We stand on the shoulders of giants. Coventry and Loughborough and Sigma are the giants. We have unashamedly copied our ideas from them.

And the president of the National Union of Students, Liam Byrne, said:

Loughborough and Coventry should be incredibly proud of delivering support for students in a positive, innovative and transferable way.

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, said:

This is a very proud day for Coventry University. We are thrilled that the Times Higher Education Awards has chosen to recognise our institution’s efforts not only to support our students in effective ways, but also to encourage the creativity and entrepreneurial flair of those studying and working here.
The awards are a fitting tribute to our commitment to students, and to the enterprising attitude of our staff, our current and former students, and of everybody who works for the University on a day-to-day basis.
It is an outstanding way to mark what has been a very successful year for Coventry University, which has seen our best-ever student satisfaction survey results, a significant improvement in our position in the university league tables, and the launch of our new student building, The Hub – all of which ensures that we will continue to provide our students with a high-quality, academic and social experience.

Earlier this year Coventry University’s strong National Student Survey results made it the highest-rated modern university in the Midlands and the second best in the UK, and helped the institution achieve a 30 place rise to 53rd overall in the Sunday Times University Guide 2012.