Excellence in enterprise

Thu, 13 Sep 2012 11:56:00 BST

University is named as one of the very best in the field

THE University of Huddersfield’s emphasis on enterprise, employability and links with industry has put it in line for a prestigious award.

The Times Higher Education magazine has placed Huddersfield on the shortlist in the Entrepreneurial University of the Year category for its annual awards, which will be announced at a gala ceremony on 29 November.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan , who is  determined that the University of Huddersfield should display an entrepreneurial spirit, said that he was delighted by the Times Higher Education shortlisting.

“Now, more than ever, universities have a vital role to play in the economy of the UK and we are determined that our students and staff should be at the forefront of this.  To have made the shortlist for such an important award is a real vote of confidence in what we are doing at Huddersfield to foster entrepreneurship.”

Dr Kelly Smith “I am thrilled by the nomination,” said the University’s Head of Enterprise, Dr Kelly Smith (pictured left).  “It demonstrates   the breadth and depth of enterprise education and interaction with business that we have all across the University.

The University has two key strategic aims in this area and they are to produce employable and enterprising graduates and to contribute to economic, social and cultural development.

Enterprise is embedded in University curricula and Huddersfield ranks in the UK top ten for employability, industrial placements and graduate business support.

The University offers a BA in Enterprise Development, which is one of only three of its kind and it offers Masters and Doctor of Enterprise Degrees.

“We lead on the award-winning Graduate Entrepreneurship Project, a £2.7million ERDF-funded collaboration of 10 universities across Yorkshire and Humber,” said Dr Smith.

“Also, we have made further innovations in enterprise since we drew up our submission to the Times Higher Education Awards.  For example, we are one of the universities to be selected to take part in a scheme to develop social enterprises, in partnership with the charity UnLtd.”

Earlier this year the University of Huddersfield’s student and graduate business start-up unit was highlighted as a case study in the Wilson Review of Business-University Collaboration.  The unit helps around 35 start-ups a year and has hosted over 400 attendees at enterprise skills events.

Liz Town Andrews Newly completed at the University is the £12million 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, which will eventually accommodate 100 companies and hundreds of staff.  It will be a unique hub, with global companies alongside innovative start-ups, plus student and graduate businesses – all with ready access to the University’s research expertise and facilities.

The University of Huddersfield is also home to the £8million EPSRC Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, and it has formed strategic partnerships with organisations and firms that include the Prince’s Trust and global giant 3M.

Professor Liz Towns-Andrews (pictured right), who is the University’s Director of Research and Enterprise and the woman behind the new 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, welcomed the award nomination: “I think to be nominated for this award is fantastic for us and is a strong endorsement for what we are doing at Huddersfield.  It’s been an exciting few years and all the hard work that everyone has put into the enterprise programme is paying off.  I am proud to be leading such an innovative team and programme of work.”

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