Strathclyde is in the running for the award for a second time, having previously won the title in 2012.
The University is also in contention in three other categories: Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development; Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative; and, Outstanding Library Team.
The University of the Year nomination recognises Strathclyde’s overall strategy in engaging with business, industry and government, investing in students and developing socially progressive policies.
The Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development shortlisting is for the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Programme (STEP), run by the University’s Organisational and Staff Development Unit (OSDU). The Widening Participation Initiative nomination is for Breaking Barriers, an initiative with ENABLE Scotland – a UK first – helping people with learning disabilities to gain valuable university and work experience. The Library Team has been shortlisted for initiatives including running workshops for local schoolchildren, providing work placements for young people with autism and supporting students with learning difficulties taking part in Breaking Barriers.
The 2019 winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 28 November.
Strathclyde Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “This is tremendous news for our entire university community and reflects the educational, social and economic contribution of our staff and students over the last year.
“We have accelerated our vision as a leading international technological university to make a positive difference to our students, our partners and the local and global communities we serve.
We are proud to work with our partners to provide technological and socially progressive solutions to global challenges, while nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and generating jobs and inclusive economic growth.
In the past year, Strathclyde has:
· launched Glasgow City Innovation District, the first of its kind in Scotland, a hub for entrepreneurship and collaboration
· advanced plans to grow, with two new buildings to meet demand from industry to co-locate
· played a key role in the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District near Glasgow Airport
· been named as the anchor university for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland
· opened the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, and co-developed a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre
· Received its largest-ever research grant for One Ocean Hub – a £20m project bringing together 50 partners internationally to transform the world’s response to plastic pollution, rising sea levels and over-fishing
· Continued to invest in students through the transformation of wellbeing services, the launch of a state-of-the-art Strathclyde Sport facility and, in partnership with the Students’ Union, led the development of a £60m Learning and Teaching building – its biggest investment in a building to date.
Strathclyde has also focused its socially-progressive ethos on widening participation in education. One in every eight young, full-time Scottish entrants to HE from a disadvantaged background studies at Strathclyde. Along with Breaking Barriers, examples have included:
· Project SEARCH, which helps people with autism to secure jobs
· science outreach days for school pupils with Additional Support Needs, who are often excluded from such events
· ‘Carer Positive Established’ status for support for employees with caring responsibilities.
Times Higher Education editor John Gill said: “The THE Awards hold a place in the hearts of many in UK higher education and have now been a fixture in the its calendar for well over a decade. This year we decided to incorporate the complementary strengths of our THE Leadership and Management Awards, so that the range of categories better reflects the reality of how universities operate today, and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do. This will be the biggest celebration of higher education that we have ever hosted.
“I am delighted to say that the ‘Oscars of higher education’ go from strength to strength. With 23 categories this year, we’re also showcasing more exceptional stories than ever before, and it’s a real honour for us to shine a spotlight on all those who have made it as far as these shortlists – their stories deserve much wider circulation.”
The double nomination continues a long line of success for Strathclyde in the awards. In recent years, the University has won: Research Project of the Year (2011); UK University of the Year (2012); Entrepreneurial University of the Year (2013) and Business School of the Year (2016). In addition, Professor Sir John Curtice, of Strathclyde’s School of Government & Public Policy, received the Lord Dearing Lifetime Achievement Award at the Times Higher Awards in 2017.