University rounds off an excellent year at the Times Higher Awards

Posted on 30th November 2012

The University of Chester has topped an incredibly successful year by scooping a coveted prize at a major national awards ceremony – and it’s all thanks to its students.

Katie Badman, Chester Students' Union President and The Rev Dr Lesley Cooke, Dean of Students, collect the THE Award for Most Improved Student Experience.
Katie Badman, Chester Students' Union President and The Rev Dr Lesley Cooke, Dean of Students, collect the THE Award for Most Improved Student Experience.
Since obtaining the right to award all degrees in 2007, the University of Chester has gone from strength to strength.
Mia Lorenz, Associate Director at YouthSight

Last night the institution won the Most Improved Student Experience in the Times Higher Education (THE) 2012 Awards – a category voted for by students themselves.

The award was announced at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, hosted by comedian David Walliams.

Chester was judged, along with the UK’s other universities, by up to 12,000 students polled by the student market research specialists YouthSight to rate the academic reputation, teaching, social life and facilities of their institutions.

The results were compared with a survey conducted in 2010-11, and the winner is the institution showing the greatest average improvement in overall student satisfaction and the biggest increase in its ranked position.

Mia Lorenz, Associate Director at YouthSight, said: “The University of Chester moved up 46 places in the rankings and improved its overall score by 6.1 points.

“Since obtaining the right to award all degrees in 2007, the University of Chester has gone from strength to strength. It has invested in new facilities and in workplace learning with its Centre for Work Related Studies.

“Chester also carried out its own satisfaction survey with students, using the findings to shape policy and provision.

“Clearly these efforts are paying off – it has increased its standing not only in the Student Experience Survey, but has also improved in many National Student Survey attributes since 2008.”

In unveiling the nominations, the THE stated that: “Universities and their staff continue to be tested by the financial and political climate. But as ever, they continue to rise to every challenge. Our shortlist for the Times Higher Education Awards 2012 singles out those who uphold, and exceed, the standard of excellence.”

Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted at the award. It recognises the efforts of all the staff at the University, their enthusiasm, commitment and genuine care for the students of the University. It was particularly fitting that the award was received by Katie Badman, President of Chester Students’ Union, and the Rev Dr Lesley Cooke, Dean of Students.”

Katie Badman, President of Chester Students’ Union, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this particular award, especially as it was the only category voted for by students themselves, making it all the more meaningful and prestigious.”

John Gill, Editor of Times Higher Education, said: “Anyone looking for evidence of the pioneering spirit, adaptability and sheer quality of our higher education sector need look no further than the winners of this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.”

The University has enjoyed an upwards trajectory of success this year in several national league tables. In The Times Good University Guide published in June it positioned itself as the highest ranking University of its kind in the North West – seeing a leap of 12 places to be placed at 59 out of 116 institutions across the UK from last year’s position of 71.

In addition, it climbed 28 places in the 2013 Guardian University Guide and it also improved by 12 places in April’s The Complete University Guide. These all represent best-ever performances.

Thanks to a number of initiatives to improve environmental awareness and a ‘greener’ way of life at its Chester and Warrington Campuses, the University leapt 33 places to be placed 64th in the People and Planet Green League 2012.

It was also named in the top 10 in a list of the safest places to study in The Complete University Guide.