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It’s a double celebration for Edge Hill University with news that it has been shortlisted for two awards in the Oscars of the educational world.

The Institution is competing for the titles of Outstanding Student Services Team and Outstanding Human Resources Team in the crème-de-la-crème Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs).

Celebrating the sector’s leadership, management, financial and business skills, the awards showcase the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions.

Vice-Chancellor John Cater said: “To be nominated for such prestigious accolades against such a high standard of universities from across the country is an achievement in itself and reflects the innovative thinking of these teams.”

The Student Services Team recognises that many students find the transition to HE challenging and runs a number of initiatives to help them integrate in all aspects of university life.

They designed a three-day residential programme in July last year where applicants benefited from group work, presentations, how to access resources, support and social opportunities. The project reported 100% retention rate on the programmes students had enrolled in and all participants expressed they felt better prepared for university life.

To promote financial capability amongst the student population, the team is always trying out imaginative ways to help them manage their money wisely.  Creative campaigns included Edge Hill Student Master Chef On A Budget, A Home Not A Money Pit and Saving Christmas, all of which included interactive participation, competitions, giveaways and useful information.

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Director of Student Services Christine Coleman said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the team has been shortlisted. These initiatives are the sort of innovative projects and support provided by Student Services here at Edge Hill.  The provision of our high quality services is based not just on providing excellent services but on transformative educational principles, which help make a difference.”

The shortlisting for the HR team at Edge Hill is in recognition of its massive transformation to meet the business needs of the University and deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Following feedback from key customers, HR operations have been centralised, business teams strengthened and service provision expanded within the existing budget. New initiatives have included tailored training interventions to further improve staff development and ‘create a culture of excellence’. The introduction of a ‘key contact’ approach has provided all frontline managers with one-to-one support to aid positive working relationships. A complaints, compliments and comments procedure has also been launched.

As a result, 92% of managers felt the HR Service was fully aligned to the needs of the University and the HR Annual Report demonstrated many improvements to services including reduced absence costs and working days lost, and greater staff engagement with health and well-being activity. It has resulted in the team being given a Customer Service Excellence Award in November 2012 and they have also just been shortlisted in the HR Excellence awards for the Best HR team in the Public and Not-For-Profit Sector.

Ann Collins, Director of Human Resources, said: “It is wonderful for the HR Team at Edge Hill to achieve this prestigious recognition for the outstanding service they provide. This nomination builds upon the achievement of the Customer Services Excellence Award achieved by the team earlier this year.”

The winners of the THELMAs will be announced at a glittering gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 20th June.