Edge Hill has been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) awards.
The University has been recognised in two categories – Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community and Support for Students – in what are widely considered the Oscars of the higher education sector.
The University’s student support package, hailed as an example of best practice, was redesigned in response to the Covid-19 pandemic with new measures taken to ensure students had access to extra services and practical help.
More than £300,000 was invested to provide free laptops, headsets, dongles and software, £4million in accommodation costs were waived and wellbeing support was increased significantly, including the creation of TogetherAll, a 24/7 online community to support mental health.
The University also harnessed its community spirit to innovate and improve lives during the pandemic. This included the heroic efforts of hundreds of staff and students working and volunteering on the frontline; donating Personal Protective Equipment to partners; providing accommodation for key workers; to installing walk-in Government testing facilities for the community on campus; and converting part of the Sports Centre into a vaccination centre to support the roll-out.
Edge Hill was also a major supporter of footballer Marcus Rashford’s End Child Food Poverty movement by supplying local schools with free food parcels.
Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater welcomed the shortlistings and commended staff and students for their kindness and compassion.
“I’m incredibly proud of everyone here at Edge Hill who went above and beyond to join the global fight against Covid-19 when the pandemic was at its worst. Thank you again to everyone who donated their time and energy to this cause.
“We take our position in the local and wider community very seriously and will continue to support that community, socially, culturally and economically, from the dedicated education of our students to the ground-breaking research we carry out.”
John added: “We were, and still are, determined to do whatever we can to minimise the negative impact of Covid-19.
“Support for students was ramped up during the pandemic, with the University rapidly developing a comprehensive student support package designed to provide maximum assistance and reassurance to students at a very challenging time.”
The THE awards attract hundreds of entries from UK higher education institutes every year which exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 25 November.