First ever University Alliance awards recognise the commitment and dedication of Alliance colleagues

University Alliance (UA) is delighted to announce the winners of the first ever UA Awards.

The Awards, held online this evening, were a new feature of the UA’s Annual Summit this year. They were set up with 7 categories to recognise those individuals and teams that have demonstrated the behaviours and values that as a collective of Alliance universities we believe are most important.

Winners will receive a specially commissioned University Alliance medal made by Birmingham City University’s Jewellry School

Vanessa Wilson, CEO of UA and host of the awards ceremony, says all finalists truly represent the talent, work ethic and success found in the UK’s professional and technical universities.

“Huge congratulations to all the deserving winners for their outstanding efforts. Reading all the nominations was an incredible privilege and showed the breadth and depth of work and commitment across the Alliance membership to deliver for both students and staff alike.

“We received a large number of strong applications, and the tough choices we had to make to pick the winners reflects just how high the standards were.

“More so now than ever before I believe we are all aware of the need to take time out to recognise those individuals and teams who go the extra mile and stay true to those values and behaviours we feel are important, particularly when demonstrated in challenging and adverse circumstances”, says Vanessa Wilson.

The 7 awards are based on a set of principles co-created by member Vice-Chancellors earlier in the year and ratified as part of the members’ meeting held as part of the Summit. Members were asked to nominate colleagues from across their institution for each of the awards and a judging panel made up of representatives selected from across the membership were asked to judge the finalists.


The full list of winners:


The Unity Award: recognising the key values and behaviours that have helped unite or support a group of people leading to a positive result or outcome:

Winner: The UWE Nightingale, UWE, Delivered the UWE Bristol Nightingale Hospital – a 300 bed fully ventilated Intensive Care Hospital


The Braveheart Award: recognises individuals whose actions and behaviours convey a true sense of conviction to do the right thing often going above and beyond and deploying influence to achieve a positive outcome in potentially trying and challenging circumstances.

Winner: Emily Hughes (posthumously), Kingston University Instrumental in creating the exemplary and impactful KU Cares programme which provides comprehensive and tailored support for care leavers, young adult carers, estranged students, and forced migrants.


The Professionals Award: recognising a commitment to professionalism as well as positivity to deliver positive outcomes and results in challenging circumstances

Winner: The Doctoral College, Brighton University Forged a dynamic team effort dedicated to maintaining the department’s responsive service.


The Innovation Award: The Innovation Awardrecognising a commitment to presenting solutions and innovations

 Winner: Desktop Support & Security Team, USW  for their work in tackling student digital poverty head on, delivering needed resources whilst challenging to the status quo, a passion to look for solutions and tenacity to not give up.


The Integrity Award: recognising integrity and a commitment to openness and honesty

Winner: Lorraine Slater, Brighton University Led on PGR COVID communications across multiple digital channels, and was quick to set up a dedicated blog which was shared with the University Alliance.


The Alliance Award: recognising a commitment to collaborative working

Winner: The Future Quest Team, UWE Joined together virtually to design an online programme for the first time. The 6-week programme supports learners in local schools to plan for their future.


The Star Award: recognising the values and behaviours that lead to a culture and environment that is consistently positive and rewarding for all involved even in the toughest times

Winner: Ali Bushnell, Coventry University Ali works exceptionally hard in a stand-alone post keeping students informed and engaged through her Moodle posts as part of her role as Student Communications Officer, any time day or night she is letting students know what is going on.


More information about each of the winners is available here.

Further reading