Posted: Thu 7th Apr 2016

University Shortlisted For THELMA Award For Outstanding Leadership & Management /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 7th, 2016

Swansea University has beaten off tough competition to be shortlisted in the prestigious Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMA) for its Outstanding Leadership and Management work. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The annual THELMA awards showcase and celebrate the best examples of professional services innovation, teamwork and enterprise underpinning university achievements. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Senior Pro Vice Chancellor at Swansea University said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am delighted the THELMA awards have shortlisted Swansea University, recognising we have achieved exceptional and unparalleled success in leadership and management. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We have simultaneously improved the quality of our research, student satisfaction, and graduate employability, and delivered the new £450m Bay Campus, which co-locates academia and industry partners, fostering collaborative research and helping to improve the regional economy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This shortlisting follows other recent awards success for Advancing Staff Equality in the Guardian University Awards 2016; ranking 36th in Stonewall’s Top 100 inclusive employers in Britain and being shortlisted in nine out of ten categories for WhatUni’s Student Choice Awards including the Overall Best University category which we won in 2014.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Central to these successes is the emphasis the University placed upon building a more focussed and ‘better managed’ institution, facilitated through the Swansea University Leadership Model. Further recognition of this ‘professionalised’ approach is evidenced by Swansea University becoming only the second university in the UK to achieve Corporate Accreditation from the Association for Project Management. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Bay-Campus---Engineering-Central-street-entrance-with-reflection-of-the-Tower-Information-Centre ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Another major success was the delivery of the Bay ‘Science and Innovation’ Campus (pictured) on time and on budget, described by the European Investment Bank as “the top knowledge economy project in Europe”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The quality of the leadership and management team was critical in convincing major investors that Swansea University was capable of achieving this ambitious £450 million project, and in successfully managing and delivering it, which has entailed 30% of students and staff moving, and a doubling of the University’s estate. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The University also achieved one of its main strategic goals to become a UK top-30 research intensive institution three years early. A change management approach to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) engendered a cultural shift in the University’s attitude to the research agenda. Pro Vice Chancellor leadership, supported and governed by a professional change team, and a sixty strong community of Unit of Assessment, Impact and Environment leads, engaged and supported 600 researchers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This approach helped Swansea University make the biggest leap up the rankings of all research intensive institutions, from joint 52nd position to joint 26th. This success also resulted in Swansea University being awarded the largest growth in Quality Research funding in Wales (+20%) and the third largest of all research-intensive universities in the UK. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Matt Carnie RAA 2013 MINI ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Working collaboratively, the Pro Vice Chancellors and Senior Management Team also fostered greater levels of engagement with staff and students to provide a focus on student experience and employability. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This has led to a UK top 10 (from 17th to 8th) position for student experience (National Student Survey) and a top 20 position (from 20th to 16th) for Graduate Prospects (Times Good University Guide); both are unprecedented rankings for Swansea. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice Chancellor at Swansea University added: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our shortlisting in these highly prestigious awards adds further recognition to Swansea University’s successes and meteoric rise over the last 10 years. This is a testament to the vision and leadership of our senior management teams right across the University and the dedication of all staff in delivering these achievements. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We can truly demonstrate that Swansea University is a successful international university with top quality teaching and research.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The THELMA awards are announced on the 23rd of June in London. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea University has also: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Been placed as the 26th university (up from 52nd) in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014).
  • Achieved 5-Stars for excellence in the global QS Stars quality assessment, placing the University amongst other world-leading institutions such as Harvard and Oxford.
  • Achieved a top 400 rank in both the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings in 2015.
  • Won the 2016 Guardian Higher Education Award for its impact on improving staff equality and diversity.
  • Been shortlisted in the Overall Best University category of the WhatUni awards once again this year, having won it in 2014, as well as in eight other categories.
  • Been chosen to host the 2016 British Science Festival, a vibrant celebration of science, engineering and technology, which will shine the international spotlight on Swansea’s world-leading research.

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