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Teesside is a top business-facing university

16 October 2009 @TeessideUni


Champagne corks were popping across the Tees Valley today after Teesside University won a major prize at the Times Higher Education magazine Awards ceremony for its work with businesses in the region.

The Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative was presented to Professor Graham Henderson, Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University, at the glitzy gathering of higher education leaders in London’s Grosvenor House.

The Times Higher Awards night is one of the most prestigious events in the national higher education calendar and the University’s winning entry was in respect of Teesside University Business School’s Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management, developed in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC).

Award judge Dianne Willcocks, vice-chancellor of York St John University, praised Teesside for its 'history of working with communities and businesses that makes it the public benefactor par excellence and truly a well-merited winner.'

Times Higher 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 Henderson said: 'I think it is fantastic that we have won the Outstanding Employer Engagement award for our innovative work with the North East Chamber of Commerce.

'It is a testament to the excellent spirit of partnership that governs our business relationships in the region and we look forward to working together with more companies and organisations in the coming year to bring real benefit to the North East.

'We are committed at Teesside to being the leading business-facing university and our mission is to provide opportunities and to promote enterprise around a first-class experience of higher education for our 28,000 students and our business and other partners in the region and beyond.'

James Ramsbotham, the NECC’s Chief Executive, was at the awards ceremony last night. He felt the award for the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative was well deserved, saying: 'I am delighted to have been involved in this real step forward for university-business engagement and my congratulations go to all involved. It was real teamwork. 'I know it has been an incredible year for Teesside University. Every single business throughout the region continually remarks on what a great business engagement model they have. I absolutely feel that Teesside University deserves all the accolades it gets for its business engagement model that it uses, it sets the standard in so many ways.'

Among the first to congratulate the University on it is success was Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon, who said: 'Being recognised in this way sends a powerful message to the whole of the country that Teesside University is open for business.' Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of One North East, said: 'This is fantastic news and I would like to offer my huge congratulations to Teesside University and all of those involved who have helped achieve this impressive accolade.' Teesside University Business School Dean Alastair Thompson said: 'For several years, providing employer-focused, demand-led programmes has been at the heart of our work and we’re very proud of our Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management. We developed the programme in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce to meet the real needs of employers in the region. 'In most parts of the country, ‘real world’ leadership and management skills are sorely lacking and we’re pleased that our innovative work in this area has been recognised as the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative of the Year.' Also congratulating the University on its success was entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, he said: 'It’s very important that Teesside University is engaged with business and that we are engaged with the University. Teesside is a leading University for business engagement and study opportunities and I’m delighted that they’ve won the outstanding employer engagement initiative from the Times Higher. As a Teesside Honorary Graduate, I offer my congratulations to the whole University community.' Notes to Editors The Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative award recognises university achievement in working with employers. Teesside’s entry focuses on a highly innovative Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management developed by its Business School in partnership with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC). Aimed at junior and middle managers across the region, it includes a series of two-day masterclasses delivered by industry leaders and University staff, as well as coaching and mentoring in the workplace and on-line learning support. Since launching the foundation degree with the NECC for its member organisations in the region, Teesside University Business School has gone on to develop similar programmes with other major employers and has just launched a foundation degree, with PD Ports.