Celebrating Exceptional Educators at The Times Higher Education Awards
With awards season upon us, it’s time to break out the ballgowns and black-tie suits and hit the red carpet. No, not the Academy awards or the Emmy’s – we’re talking about The Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, widely recognised as the 'Oscars of higher education'.
The THE Awards, returned to the Hilton Metropole in London last week, to recognise and celebrate the dedication and innovation across universities to ensure that higher education doesn’t just stay relevant, but actively thrives, even under the trying circumstances of the last couple of academic years.
Following last year’s virtual awards ceremony there was a special energy at the event. Discussion amongst the tables and leaders included reflecting upon the experiences of the past two years and seeking to create sustainable, long-term practices that can be delivered at scale to ensure that the sector continues to thrive in a digital-first world.
The awards opened with Professor Sarah Gilbert and her team at Oxford University being awarded an Outstanding Achievement award for their work in developing the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
This led to the first standing ovation of the night as well as a point of reflection and emotion that underlined the significant importance of our higher education sector and the ground-breaking and creative work that leads to world-changing discoveries.
After such a tough period, this year’s THE Awards offers a welcome opportunity to celebrate the leaders within education who are raising the bar, and for the first time, Adobe has sponsored the University of the Year award category. This award champions the institutions that have displayed exceptional performance across research, teaching, access, leadership development programmes and business performance during the 2019-20 academic year.
Looking for bold, imaginative and innovative initiatives, alongside creative leadership that anticipates change in the higher education system, the judging panel was won over by the eventual winner Cardiff Metropolitan University, recognising its consistent work to sustain its community throughout the pandemic without abandoning goals it had already set itself: to restore financial health and improve research and teaching quality.
As part of making this change, universities are reimagining their approach to assessment as a tool to drive change in pedagogy. Thoughtful design and integrated student assessment can create a useful feedback loop able to not simply evaluate the skills gained, but aid in the development of world ready skills and mindsets that go beyond the assessment.
At Adobe we support and are thrilled to highlight examples of institutions who are incorporating bold and creative change-focused leadership, and congratulate Cardiff Metropolitan University, along with the shortlist of Aston University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Open University, University of Sunderland and the University of York.
This award continues our commitment in supporting educators to incorporate digital literacy, storytelling and creativity into the curriculum, and through webinars and online conferences such as Adobe MAX.