The University of Sheffield named University of the Year

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards.

Beating five other shortlisted universities, the University was rewarded for its many imaginative and innovative initiatives as well as exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance.

Judges said the University had "stood out as a result of a strategy based on its values and rooted in its founding principles" and praised the institution's "determination and grit" in focusing on its local community.

University Registrar Philip Harvey and Students' Union President Thom Arnold received the award at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, on Thursday (24 November 2011).

Vice-Chancellor Professor Keith Burnett said: "This is wonderful news for everyone; to be chosen for such an honour is a powerful tribute to the hard work, dedication and ability of our staff, students, graduates and partners.

"At a time of real challenge for quality, access, and the funding of universities, the University of Sheffield has drawn particular inspiration from our founding principles as a civic university established by public subscription and the donations of ordinary working people.

"This has become a unifying passion for all of us, to put knowledge to work in tangible ways, ranging from advanced manufacturing to translational neuroscience to what is perhaps the country's most ambitious programme of student and staff volunteering."

The ceremony was attended by more than 1,000 members of the higher education community from around the United Kingdom.

Students' Union president Thom Arnold added: "Sheffield is known for its strengths across the board, not only in research and teaching but also for its outstanding Students' Union. The culture in Sheffield is about making a difference in people's lives, and I was proud to collect the award for University of the Year award together with University staff in recognition of the fact that the real strength of our University lies in our strong commitment to work positively together."

The University was also shortlisted for two other categories, Widening Participation Initiative of the Year for the most imaginative and innovative outreach projects that encourage people from under represented backgrounds to enter higher education and Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers category.

The Times Higher Education Awards University of the Year is sponsored by Santander Universities. The University of Sheffield was previously named Sunday Times University of the Year and the Sheffield Students' Union was rated top in the UK in the 2011 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

Notes for Editors: The Times Higher Education Awards are a highlight of the academic calendar and a glittering celebration of the best of the sector. The awards represent a unique and high profile opportunity to celebrate the excellence and amazing achievements of UK higher education institutions. There are eighteen categories for 2011. For more information visit: Times Higher Education

For more information on the University of Sheffield visit: University of Sheffield

For further information please contact: Paul Mannion, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2229851 or email P.F.Mannion

To read other news releases about the University of Sheffield, visit:
Media Centre