Brunel has been shortlisted in two categories for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2011.
The University Library has been nominated in the Outstanding Library Team category, after a series of major student-driven changes in recent years. The Library’s layout has been reconfigured following student feedback and there is now 24-hour service during the week, while Facebook and Twitter presences, a blog and SMS notifications have improved communication with the University community.
The success of these initiatives has been demonstrated by a steady improvement in National Student Survey scores, and Brunel’s Library now ranks in the top quartile of the sector.
The Library also plays a major role in the dissemination of the University’s research work, investing in e-resources and managing the Institutional Repository, the Research Publications database and the Open Access Publishing Fund.
Ann Cummings, Director of Library Services, said: “I am delighted that the significant progress and changes made by the Library over the last few years have been recognised by our being shortlisted for this award. It is particularly gratifying to be recognised by the sector in this way, reflecting our consistently high feedback from students in recent national and international surveys.”
President of the Union of Brunel Students Priya Pallan added: “The Library is considered the heart of campus by Brunel students. The team has looked at ways to positively impact students during stressful periods, from creating areas for taking a break from studying to offering counselling services in-house during examinations. All this in addition to the warm attitude of the Library team, creates the perfect environment to study and learn.”
The University’s nomination in the Research Management Team category is our second in two years, following another year of innovative work to enhance the impact of Brunel’s research on industry and the general public.
A substantial proportion of Brunel’s 53 per cent annual research funding increase, arising from our excellent results in the 2008 RAE, has been re-invested to further enhance the University’s research culture through the recruitment of 40 senior academic appointments.
The expansion in number of Brunel’s Collaborative Research Networks has continued with the launch of the new CRN in Innovative Manufacturing, which integrates world-class research activity to create an accessible route for industry to engage with Brunel.
The University also demonstrated its commitment to external impact through the brokering of significant strategic partnerships with major companies including Jaguar Land Rover, Marks and Spencer and GlaxoSmithKline. One outstanding example was the founding of the Brunel Innovation Centre in Cambridge in collaboration with materials technology company TWI, establishing a world-class research capability.
Commenting on the nomination, Professor Aamir Khalid, Technology Director of TWI, said: “This is a well-deserved commendation of the professionalism of Brunel’s research management team, which was a critical factor in our decision to establish the Brunel Innovation Centre at our site. The team has been central to the success of our research partnership to date and we are working together actively to drive it forward over the coming years.”
The winners of this year's awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on 16 June.