Edge Hill University has enjoyed another successful year in 2017.

The University achieved Gold, the highest rating in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for delivering ‘consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’.

The Gold award – which was given to only three Universities in the north west – indicates that teaching at Edge Hill is of the ‘highest quality found in the UK’.

Edge Hill was also named University of the Year for Student Retention by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The guide praises the University for its work enabling a wide range of students to successfully complete their courses and for its low drop out rate.

Figures released by the Complete University Guide showed once again that the University is the safest in the North West, based on the cumulative rates of crimes most relevant to students.

The University also won two coveted accommodation awards. It was crowned the Best Value for Money Student Accommodation in the UK in the National Student Housing Survey Awards.

As well as scooping the top spot Edge Hill was also named in the top three universities for the overall Best Student Accommodation. The award came hot on the heels of Edge Hill being named the Best Accommodation at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards earlier in the year.

In addition, the University won the Charity Times Award for Cross-Sector Partnership for its pioneering sport and mental health work with Everton in the Community and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Since partnering with Everton’s official charity, the University has launched a number of research led programmes including Tackling the Blues, a pioneering early intervention which uses sport and education to help children with, or at risk of mental illness.

The year also saw the launch of the Student Opportunity Fund to enable students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities.

The fund ensures that costs are not a barrier to students making the most of their experience at Edge Hill. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhancing their employability skills.

So far, 62 students across 14 departments have been awarded funding for a range of activities from interning overseas at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in America and the Computational Biology Department in Tokyo, to placements at the BBC and volunteering with local charities.

In research and innovation, the University is taking part in a cutting edge project which promises breakthroughs and world firsts. Edge Hill’s Department of Computer Science is delivering a £400,000 work package, part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project, exploring the quality of open source computer software.

The University’s second annual Festival of Ideas returned in June to explore the theme of ‘Identity and Belonging’ through a stimulating programme of debates, talks, films, exhibitions, round tables and performances. Highlights included a poetry evening with Roger McGough, sound tracked live by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ensemble 10/10, a symposium marking the centenary of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington and a public lecture on the Psychology of Language and Communication from Professor Geoff Beattie.

Earlier in the year, acclaimed Liverpool actor, director and writer David Morrisey visited the University to give students an insight into his varied career. David, who is an honorary graduate of the University, played ‘The Governor’ in AMC’s The Walking Dead and is noted for his meticulous preparation for and research into the roles he plays. He spoke about the techniques he used to prepare for a new role and how he gets to know a character, saying he enjoys the challenge of different and testing roles.

Finally, Edge Hill again welcomed inspirational people from across the world of sport, academia, music and the arts to become honorary doctors of the University. Singer-songwriter Marc Almond, Doctor Who and Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall and comedian and broadcaster Alexei Sayle were honoured along with champion swimmer Francesca Halsall, rugby legend Ray French MBE, Dr Dame Sue Ion who is one of the UK’s foremost nuclear engineers and British academic, writer and activist Professor Peter Beresford OBE.

Steve Cram CBE, one of the UK’s most well-known sporting individuals and now TV presenter, athletics commentator and coach was named Honorary Doctor of Science at Edge Hill University’s December graduation ceremony.

Discover their messages to students here: