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Strathclyde scoops seven nominations across six categories in Herald HE awards

Aerial view of University of Strathclyde campus

The University has received seven nominations across six categories in The Herald Higher Education Awards, which celebrate excellence in Scotland's universities.

The nominations also include a further two for Strathclyde Student's Union, Strath Union, which was shortlisted in the Widening Access and Supporting Student Wellbeing categories.

The nominations were in the following categories:

Enhancing Student Learning Award

Strathclyde Inspire aims to unlock the entrepreneurial aspirations of all Strathclyders and create an environment in which venture creation and growth multiply and thrive, contributing to the University’s vision ‘to make a positive difference to the lives of our students, society and the world’. 

Research Project of the Year (STEM)

The Microplate Dx project started in 2017 as a collaboration between the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, with support from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. The project’s aim is to eliminate empirical antibiotic prescribing, ensuring the correct antibiotic gets to the patient as quickly as possible, reducing antibiotic resistance and improving antibiotic stewardship.

Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities

The Sir Jules Thorn Centre for Co-Creation of Rehabilitation Technology was launched by the Strathclyde Biomedical Engineering Rehabilitation Research Group in 2021 with funding from the Sir Jules Thorn Trust to develop innovations for those recovering from strokes and other debilitating illnesses. The Centre is developing new technologies for use at home and in leisure centres to support individual recovery and develop tailored exercise programmes. Recovering patients have been recruited through a pioneering partnership with Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Fathom Systems, a leading manufacturer of innovative products and services for the commercial diving industry was established to monitor the capability of its CSMTS (Critical System Monitoring and Tracking System. It tracks information from SPHLs (Self-Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat), a type of craft used by saturation divers, who descend to depths which make decompression after every dive impractical. It also took on an unforeseen dimension amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the skills, knowledge and technology were adapted to produce a new ventilator.

Innovative use of Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented challenge for all universities in March 2020 when lockdown restrictions meant moving from in-person to remote teaching and learning. Strathclyde’s staff responded with innovation, agility and hard work to continue to provide the highest-quality student learning experience as possible in the circumstances. The inspiring efforts of staff ensured high levels of student satisfaction with their learning experience.

Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community

Social Responsibility Pathways

The Social Responsibility Pathway, run by the University’s Access, Equality & Inclusion Team, gives students experience of working with initiatives and external organisations with a positive social impact. Since 2014-15, 1,250 students have worked with 28 external organisations and charities  -tackling issues such as poverty, homelessness, and support for the newly-arrived refugee community -  and with pupils from 63 secondary schools.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr Veena O'Halloran, formerly University Secretary and Compliance Officer, has been a tireless champion for the health, safety and wellbeing of the University community. As Strathclyde’s COVID-19 Lead, she worked around the clock to put systems and processes in place to protect and support nearly 24,000 students and more than 4,000 staff. Dr O’Halloran also played a lead role in the development of the University’s Widening Participation Strategy, and in 2017, supported the launch of the pioneering Equally Safe in Higher Education national toolkit.

Strath Union

Supporting Student Wellbeing Award

The Hear to Listen pilot wellbeing project to deliver pastoral support by students, for students, has trained more than 100 volunteer ‘Listeners’ since its launch last September. The service, run by Strath Union, offers friendly, non-judgemental, and confidential wellbeing support, in person and online.

Widening Access

The Union developed the role of an Access and Participation Coordinator, the first of its kind in a Student Union, with the role funded by the University as a strategic project proposal. A number of initiatives included creating a presence for Widening Access on the website, running awareness campaigns during Care Experienced Week 2020/21 and Estranged Students Solidarity Week 2020/21.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, said:

To be shortlisted across six Higher Education Awards categories is recognition of the extraordinary work happening across the University.

“As a socially progressive institution we are committed to making a positive difference to the world around us, and these nominations demonstrate the breadth and depth of that commitment.

“It’s especially rewarding to see the work of esteemed former colleague Dr Veena O’Halloran being recognised with a nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Scotland’s Higher and Further Education sector is thriving and I am proud that we are part of The Herald’s recognition of that.

“Congratulations also to Strath Union on being recognised.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on May 31.