Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What a Year for the University of the Year

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

What a Year for the University of the Year

Article excerpt

TEESSIDE University has enjoyed one of its most successful years. And it now has a strong platform for 2010, the year in which it will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the opening of Constantine College, the institution that founded the university.

The highlight of 2009 was the university's achievement of the prestigious accolade of Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year, the first modern university ever to receive this level of recognition. At the same time the university also achieved the THE award for the most Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative of the Year in respect of Teesside University Business School's highly innovative foundation degree in leadership and management, developed in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce. In announcing Teesside as the winner of the top prize of University of the Year, the university was praised for, amongst other things, its "outstanding regional economic strategy and its strong financial performance". Award judge Dianne Willcocks, vice-chancellor of York St John University, said: "Teesside has a history of working with communities and businesses that makes it the public benefactor par excellence. Compelling evidence is available, from student projects to staff-led knowledge transfer and leadership collaborations across the town and region. Truly a merited winner." Times Higher Education editor Ann Mroz said: "Teesside is a fantastic example of an institution that has put itself firmly at the heart of its community, embracing with zeal its mission of working with both individuals and businesses to help them achieve their full potential. With an ambitious 16-point plan it has helped to create and sustain jobs in the midst of a recession. The university has been a beacon of hope in the region's economic gloom. It also set a fine fiscal example by turning in a strong financial performance of its own. Teesside is a very worthy winner of this year's top accolade."

Professor Graham Henderson, the university's vice-chancellor, said: "Teesside is the first modern university to ever receive recognition from the Times Higher as the University of the Year. It was therefore both an amazing moment and a huge personal honour for me to be able to accept this award on behalf of my university."

"I really cannot put into words how proud everyone at the university felt at having been given such a wonderful accolade. To win such a major national award in competition with outstanding institutions shows how far we have come in this our 80th year. We started our journey from quite humble roots, first as Constantine College, then as Teesside Polytechnic and now as Teesside University -the University of the Year. We are confident that winning this award will go a long way towards changing perceptions, not just of the university but also of the town and the Tees Valley, both nationally and internationally. …

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