THE Awards Master

Edge Hill University has been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious Times Higher Education awards.

Professor Andy Smith, from Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity, and Jon Jones from the Faculty of Education, have developed a community initiative titled Tackling the Blues which has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category. And Dr Charles Knight, Senior Lecturer in Business and Management, has been shortlisted in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category.

Widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, the annual Times Higher Education (THE) awards attract hundreds of entries from UK higher education institutes that demonstrate the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community award will be given to the individual or institution that has made the most imaginative attempt to aid the wider community socially, culturally or economically.

Tackling the Blues (TtB), a sport, physical activity and education-based early intervention programme for 6-16 year-olds who are experiencing or at risk of developing mental health problems, was launched in March 2015 in partnership with Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club.

TtB has delivered over 300 tailored educational and peer-led sessions delivered by specially trained staff and students in Edge Hill’s Department of Sport and Physical Activity, incorporating mental health themed sport and physical activity, as well as workshops on topics such as emotions, bullying and communication. These sessions have led to improvements in mental wellbeing, quantity and quality of social relationships and engagement in academic study.

The award for the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year will reward the academic whose imagination and passion have transformed a course and inspired students, and Dr Charles Knight has been shortlisted for this category for making use of bold and innovative teaching methods.

After taking on a new Project Management class, Dr Knight decided that it would have no lectures and seminars, and instead would be student led, student controlled and designed to develop and enhance digital skills and capabilities. Students were set the task of developing a plan for a University-wide enterprise application, making use of cloud-based software, mobile devices and Open Educational Resources.

Dr Knight has won three student led teaching awards in the past four years, and students in his Project Management class have described him as “incomparable to any other lecturer in the University,” and one student states “his enthusiasm, knowledge and laid back approach for teaching makes for truly enjoyable classes.”

The THE awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 24th November at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.