Winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes announced
Story posted 25 November 2011
- From nuclear research, to eye disease, creative writing, food security and vocational skills for work: excellence, innovation, and impact in the UK’s Higher and Further Education sector celebrated
- 18 universities and 3 further education colleges win highest national honours
Twenty-one institutions have tonight been announced as winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. The announcement was made by the Royal Anniversary Trust by kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen, at a reception at St James’s Palace.
The 2010-12 ‘Diamond Jubilee’ Round winners of the prestigious biennial Prizes include eighteen universities and three further education colleges from across the UK. One hundred and thirty institutions entered submissions to the Royal Anniversary Trust.
The Prizes recognise and celebrate outstanding work within UK higher and further education institutions and the impact that they have. They are the UK’s highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institutions. The winning entries represent individual departments or research groups, major international development projects, community schemes and vocational programmes and the application of cutting-edge research.
Five of the winning institutions focus on applied research into key environmental issues:
- The Universities of Plymouth and St Andrews have been world leaders over many years in work aimed at understanding and improving the global marine environment and have influenced governmental approaches to conservation and better ocean governance;
- The University of Surrey has worked for over 30 years to improve human health globally, through innovative technologies providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation;
- The University of Oxford has been a pioneering influence on conservation biology worldwide, providing practical solutions to biodiversity problems involving local populations to conserve endangered species and their fragile environments;
- Brunel University has led novel work over 20 years period and significantly influenced European legislation banning the discharge of hormone-disrupting and other chemicals into wastewater, improving water quality and benefitting human health and aquatic life.
While cutting-edge medical research projects awarded Prizes include:
- The Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering at the University of Leeds which has a twenty year track record in pioneering the development and production of medical devices and regenerative therapies;
- The Queen’s University Belfast-led Comprehensive Cancer Centre is recognised internationally and nationally for its excellence and seen as a flagship for reducing cancer mortality rates;
- University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology is one of the foremost and most influential eye and vision research institutes in the world, enjoying an outstanding reputation for excellence in furthering understanding of the eye and visual system and its related disorders and diseases.
Kieran Poynter, Chairman of the Royal Anniversary Trust, comments, “At a time when the higher and further education sectors are under so much pressure – from funding and finance to finding ways to better demonstrate their impact – the winners of the ‘Diamond Jubilee’ ninth round highlight the fantastic depth and breadth of research being undertaken at institutions right across the UK.
“The winning institutions collaborate and work with industry, government departments, mental health trusts and hospitals, the armed forces, and the world of sport, and demonstrate their impact around the world.”
Entries undergo a rigorous process of independent external assessment. This includes review by national and international experts and specialists covering the relevant disciplines, reference to government departments and UK devolved governments with a particular interest in the fields of work under consideration and to professional and other bodies and sources. The final decisions on recommendations for The Queen’s approval are made by the Awards Council of the Trust.
Malcolm Cowgill, Principal & CE, of South Nottingham College, said, “Our educational charity was set up to tackle major social challenges at home and abroad through sports training and football. It has had benefits for both the volunteers involved and the children in communities in Nottingham and South Africa that it has reached. We are extremely proud for the College’s work to be commended by this award.”
Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham, said, “We are delighted to receive our second Queen’s Anniversary Prize. The Centre for Formulation Engineering, which concerns the development and manufacture of products with complex microscopic structure, was established in 2000 and to be recognised as a ‘clear world leader’ in the field is a great accolade.”
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This recognition of Northern Ireland’s Comprehensive Cancer Services reflects the excellent partnership which exists between Queen’s, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The University’s commitment to high-quality translational research has led to new techniques for early detection, diagnosis and therapy, and improved outcomes for cancer patients. It has already produced life-saving and life-enhancing results, reflecting the drive by Queen’s and the Northern Ireland NHS to become a global force in the worldwide fight against cancer.”
The ‘Diamond Jubilee’ (ninth) round presentations, to representatives from the winning institutions, will be made in February 2012 at a Buckingham Palace honours ceremony.
NINTH ROUND PRIZE-WINNERS:
UNIVERSITY OF BATH
Influential applied research into child poverty and support for vulnerable families
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
New technologies and leadership in formulation engineering in support of UK manufacturing
World-class computer animation teaching with wide scientific and creative applications
Protecting the environment from hormone-disrupting chemicals and pollutants
COLEG LLANDRILLO CYMRU
An original and large-scale approach to high quality training in hospitality and catering
World-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation
UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA
Groundbreaking and innovative programmes in creative writing with wide international impact
HACKNEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Enabling people with mental health needs to gain education and employment skills
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
Innovative joint replacement and regenerative technologies to improve quality of life
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Internationally renowned research and skills training for the nuclear industry
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
A comprehensive and multifaceted approach to global challenges of food security
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Wildlife and environmental conservation: WildCRU’s leading work in applied science and community action
UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH
Education and research solutions for the global marine sector
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST
Comprehensive cancer services improving survival rates for patients in Northern Ireland
UNIVERSITY OF READING
Design for reading: teaching and research in typography and graphic communication
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
Innovation and world-beating expertise in performance sports engineering
SOUTH NOTTINGHAM COLLEGE
Education, sports training and volunteering in the community, at home and overseas
UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
Research and teaching to promote better governance of the ocean
UNIVERSITY OF SURREY
Wide-ranging and global work improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Internationally-distinguished research and pioneering clinical therapy in eye disease
THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Leading-edge work in archaeology from prehistory to the modern age