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Brunel shortlisted for three London Higher awards

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London Higher

The London Higher Awards 2024 announced its shortlist for awards on 14 March, and Brunel University London has been shortlisted in three categories, recognising its outstanding contribution to student employability through the Kick Start Graduate Programme; its outstanding contribution to the local London community through its partnership with The Hillingdon Herald newspaper; and its research and knowledge exchange through the Creativity and Pathways to Subjective Wellbeing project – which evidenced the benefits of the arts and creative activities on personal wellbeing.

London Higher is a membership organisation for universities and higher education colleges across the capital. Their annual awards recognise initiatives delivered by London universities, and this year's awards will also celebrate their 25th birthday.

Ahead of the 2024 awards, London Higher received 159 application submissions from 38 institutions across 12 award categories.

Outstanding contribution to student employability

Brunel’s Professional Development Centre (PDC) has been shortlisted for the outstanding contribution to student employability award for its Kick Start Graduate Programme  – a key employability initiative for graduates from under represented backgrounds. 

Since 2019, the programme has been offering an enhanced package of support to recent graduates from diverse backgrounds to help them excel in the workplace. 

“Being shortlisted for the London Higher award highlights the fantastic work that both the PDC and the wider university do in supporting Brunel students and recent graduates,” said  Jonathan Bainbridge, Director of Brunel’s PDC.

“This award is a strong reminder of Brunel’s commitment to ensuring student employability is at the heart of what we do.”

Outstanding contribution to the local London community 

Brunel has also been shortlisted for the outstanding contribution to the local London community award.

As well as being a home for many students, Brunel is also the home of The Hillingdon Herald newspaper. The monthly publication is produced entirely by Brunel students and provides them with a unique experience of working on a local newspaper.

Unlike most campus newspapers, the 24-page free newspaper serves the local borough, with 10,000 copies printed each month. Students report on community news and events, and the publication has established itself as the number one local newspaper.

Prof Peter Thomas, a politics expert at Brunel, who submitted the award application, is thrilled that The Hillingdon Herald made the shortlist. 

“Produced by Brunel's brilliant journalism students, the newspaper aims to serve the many communities that make up London by providing regular, reliable and quality news about local and global events," he said.

“This initiative is a concrete demonstration of how universities can give something significant back to the communities on whose support they rely on for their success.”

Best research/knowledge exchange collaboration in London (two HEIs working together)

Brunel's third shortlisting is for the best research/knowledge exchange collaboration in London award for a creativity and well-being research project in collaboration with the University of the Arts London.

The two universities partnered with What Works Centre for Wellbeing and an expert group to work on a project that evidenced the benefits of the arts and creative activities on personal wellbeing.

As part of the ‘Creativity and Pathways to Subjective Wellbeing’ project, the researchers conducted a rapid systematic review of evidence on why creativity supports wellbeing. The team codesigned a model to show the connections between creativity and wellbeing, which could be used by policy makers and health practitioners.

Prof Louise Mansfield, Vice Dean for Research at Brunel, who led the project and submitted it for the award, said: “I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. It is testimony to the outstanding new partnerships that have been formed with Brunel University London.

“Our expert group has been invaluable in helping us effectively translate and mobilise knowledge about creativity and wellbeing, emphasising the importance of creativity across the lifecourse and suggesting future policy and practice work to promote the wellbeing benefits of creative activity.”

Prof Jonathan Wastling, Brunel's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, is delighted that the university has been shortlisted in three categories. “The recognition of Brunel University London’s outstanding contribution to student employability and to the local London community, as well as its collaborative research, is a testament to our hard-working and dedicated staff across our academic teams and professional services.

“We have strong connections and partnerships with business and industry, and our Kick Start Graduate Programme plays a vital role in supporting our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and social mission.

“The Hillingdon Herald is a great asset on campus, and our world class research, as seen with the ‘Creativity and Pathways to Subjective Wellbeing’ project, continues to make a difference beyond our university.

“I wish everyone the very best of luck at the awards in June.”

The winners of the London Higher Awards will be announced on 6 June 2024, at a ceremony in London.

For further information about the awards, visit the London Higher website.

Reported by:

Nadine Palmer, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 267090