THE University of Essex has secured the title of University of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2018.
The awards, now in their 14th year and widely referred to as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, shine a spotlight on the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions working in our sector today.
One of the Times Higher Education Awards judges said: “This is a university that is putting people first. The gender pay gap exists everywhere, but this university said what no one else dared to say: ‘There is an easy way to get rid of the pay gap – spend the money necessary to get rid of it. And do it now’.”
This observation touches on one of the numerous bold initiatives taken by the university as it reconnected with its founding vision and values.
Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “This award recognises the impact of our amazing staff and students, the quality of our relationship with our Students’ Union and the strength of our national, regional and global partnerships.
“Founded as a progressive university, at Essex we are prepared to stand out from the crowd – and challenging convention is in our DNA. We are a community of talented, committed people, a university that is putting our staff and students first, and home to those who want to make the world a better place.
“I am delighted the award of University of the Year recognises these values and the achievements of our community of members.”
Students’ Union President Tancrede Chartier: “This award recognises the incredible qualities and achievements of Essex students, past and present, and the unique partnership between the Students’ Union and the University to put students at the heart of everything that happens at Essex.
“The University has the most brilliant, daring and bold students – students that are prepared to challenge the status quo and fight for what’s right – and we are all feeling justifiably proud today”
Our strategy has drawn inspiration from our history of being on the side of the ‘radical’, of not falling victim to ‘group think’; our focus on teaching and learning is transforming the lives of a growing student body of whom more than a third are from families with an annual income of less than £25,000.
The judges felt Essex has every right to claim to be a “home for staff and students who want to make the world a better place”.
THE editor John Gill said: “At a time when universities face challenges and headwinds, when politics and social attitudes can seem to call into question many of the things that they stand for and hold dear, it is particularly important to champion the values, creativity and dedication of those who live and breathe higher education.
“As ever, our shortlists represent the best of the best, but our judges also reported that this year’s entries were the strongest that they could remember, so all those honoured should be incredibly proud. It’s THE’s great honour to help celebrate their success.”