The Widening Participation Team at St Mary’s University, Twickenham (SMU) has won four awards at the annual Aimhigher London Practitioner Awards.
Hosted at SMU, with Professor Anna-Lise Gordon and Nikki Anghileri as invited speakers, the awards are Aimhigher London’s celebration of the successes of their partners, who go the extra mile to engage with learners to widen access to higher education and ensure their on-going success.
For the second year running, SMU has won the Institution of the Year award, with Goldsmith’s University and UWL as runners-up. This recognises an outstanding contribution to the development of the Aimhigher London Network and the collaborative work supporting young people from disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds to progress to Higher Education.
SMU staff members also won individual awards, with Widening Participation & Outreach Manager Nancy Bentley winning the Commitment over Time award and Senior Widening Participation and Outreach Officer Mandip Birk winning the Widening Participation Champion award.
Student Ambassador Marie Nyvang-Hansen also won Student Ambassador of the Year for her outstanding contribution as a positive role model to learners.
SMU colleagues were shortlisted in two further awards, with Disability and Dyslexia Support Manager, Helen Duncan, nominated for Outstanding Collaboration and Widening Participation Outreach Officer, Holly Bazeley, nominated for Inspiring Practitioner.
Aimhigher London is a partnership of 14 London-based Higher Education Providers, 25 schools and virtual schools, and many, many more individuals, so to be nominated and win so many awards is truly a testament to the outstanding staff.
Speaking of the Awards, SMU Dean of Teaching and Learning Prof Adam Longcroft said, “I am delighted to see this fantastic recognition of our colleagues working in widening access and student success. There was strong competition at the awards, which is a brilliant celebration of the vibrancy of work in the sector to improve outcomes for learners across London at all stages of their higher education journeys.
“Congratulations to Nancy, Mandip and Marie on their awards, and to all of colleagues that work in and with the Widening Participation at SMU for their support in making us Institution of the Year again.”