The Guardian has named Nottingham Trent University ‘University of the Year' for performance, improvement and retention of students from under-represented groups


Nottingham Trent University named University of the Year

Nottingham Trent University named 'University of the Year'

Nottingham Trent University has been crowned ‘University of the Year’ by The Guardian for its inclusive curriculum and focus on social mobility. This is another significant addition to the institution’s growing list of major awards. 

The award recognises Nottingham Trent University in combining academic excellence with inclusivity. Nottingham Trent overtook the nearby Russell Group Nottingham University in the Guardian’s university league tables for the first time. The former polytechnic, which has 30,000 students across four campuses in the city and surrounding countryside, was among the highest risers in the rankings.

Professor Edward Peck, vice-chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said social mobility is a priority since a quarter of the student body is from households with a combined income of £15,000 or less. The university was the first to sign up to the UK Government’s social mobility pledge, which commits it to working with schools and employers to improve life chances for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We’ve been very determined to reduce some of the attainment gaps for some of our students, and in particular to narrow the gaps between those who get graduate level jobs and those who don't,” Professor Peck said. 

Justine Greening, MP for Putney, Roehampton & Southfields congratulated the university via a tweet: "Many congratulations to ⁦TrentUnion winning the inaugural ⁦GdnUniversitiesuniversity of the year! The first university to commit to ⁦thesmpledgetoo. Proud to be working with you on #SocialMobility and making a difference."

“Nottingham Trent's performance across a range of measures has been exceptional this year. The university delivers overall academic excellence while paying close attention to the success of each individual student, no matter their background," said Guardian University Guide editor, Judy Friedberg. 

Receiving prestigious recognition

NTU Guardian University of the Year

The prestigious award comes after Nottingham Trent University received the Times Higher Education University of the Year and the Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year.

The award also follows the University jumping 18 places to secure 16th place in the Guardian University Guide. This national league table is based on student satisfaction, graduate employment, and quality of teaching.

The Guardian University of the Year award is based upon performance and improvement in its Guardian University Guide as well as considering retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

Providing opportunity for all students to succeed

As part of its ‘Success for All’ agenda, Nottingham Trent University is committed to providing the opportunity for all students to succeed and is at the forefront of understanding and implementing what works to support students.

“I want to thank The Guardian for recognising the achievements of NTU over recent years. My colleagues and our students set out our shared ambitions and challenging objectives back in 2015 and we have all worked incredibly hard to deliver these," said Nottingham Trent University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Edward Peck.

Reducing attainment gap in underrepresented groups

Nottingham Trent University also won the Course and curriculum design category at the Guardian University Awards for its SCALE-UP project. Originally a small-scale idea trialled in the USA, Nottingham Trent University has enhanced and scaled-up this approach to teaching which rejects traditional lecture theatres and the student/teacher relationship and encourages students and lecturers to work more collaboratively in a roundtable environment. 

This initiative has successfully reduced the attainment gap in underrepresented groups, and improved non-continuation rates across all groupings. Now all students have a greater chance of getting a ‘good’ degree. For BME students especially, the attainment gap reduced by 4.2%, attendance improved in the 90%-100% category by 13 percentage points and the non-continuation rate almost disappeared.

Further recognition for a Prime Employer

Nottingham Trent University was named Times Higher Education University of the Year because of its impressive record on outreach and its use of learning analytics to increase retention.

The University was also named Modern University of the Year in the 2018 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, in recognition of its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers. 

NTU has also been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework, the highest ranking possible. 

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