Winners! Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013

Swansea University last night (20th June 2013) picked up an award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2013.

The award for Outstanding Student Services Team was won by Swansea University, for its Academy of Inclusivity and Learner Support.

The Times Higher Education Leadership and Management awarding body said:

"This year’s award went to Swansea University for its Academy of Inclusivity and Learner Support, an initiative designed to widen access to education and to provide academic and pastoral support for underrepresented groups.

Based on an existing study skills programme for international students, the academy focuses on helping students successfully manage the transition into UK higher education study, whether they come from under-represented groups in the UK or from overseas.

The academy offers drop-in and enrolled classes in academic study skills, presentation and critical thinking, as well as English language support, one-to-one appointments and 10 hours a week of embedded, subject specific support in partnership with academic colleges.

Recognising the multiple and complex challenges students face, the academy also works to refer students between the team and a range of other integrated student services. Feedback suggests that the scheme is working well, with the vast majority of students reporting the classes to be 'very good' or 'excellent'.

Judge Andrew West, director of student services at the University of Sheffield, said Swansea was 'a strong winner' with 'excellent evidence of collaborative working across the institution and good partnership working between teams and functions'.

'I was particularly pleased to see the emphasis on collaboration with academic departments, which can be challenging for student service teams but seems to me to be a key feature supporting student success,' he added.

The initiative was established in 2012. Dr West said that although it was still in the relatively early stages of development, the project already had a good success story. He wished the winning team the best in their plans to develop still further.