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East Midlands Chamber News

NTU scoops three HEIST awards

Nottingham Trent University has won three Higher Education Information Services Trust (HEIST) Awards for campaigns aimed at international students and local businesses.

The Awards, which celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, are organised by Havas People and recognise excellence in education marketing.

Nottingham Business School’s Thinkubator Challenge took the silver award for Best Communications or PR Campaign and the bronze for Best Community or Business Engagement Campaign.

Nottingham Trent University also won the silver award for Best International Initiative for increasing the number of students it attracts from India.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University, said: “Receiving three Heist awards is a tremendous achievement for Nottingham Trent University. Our strategy is to develop globally-employable graduates by having an internationally diverse student body and by providing practical real-world experiences to our students. It is therefore extremely rewarding to be recognised for our efforts in this area.

“It is also a great accomplishment for our Thinkubator Challenge to win two Heist Awards. While the primary objective of the event was business engagement, to help us play a leading role in the economic and environmental development of the city and region, and the UK, it also helped us to achieve other objectives, such as developing the knowledge, skills and resilience of our students.”

The Best International Initiative Award recognised the university’s efforts to increase the number of students it recruited from India during a period where the wider UK sector suffered a decline.

This was achieved by undertaking research which showed prospective students wanted to be supported through an informal network that would provide guidance and information in an interactive way. The university responded to the findings by creating student engagement activities that promoted UK education in a positive way and showed that the country is a welcoming destination. It collaborated with its Indian Alumni and found positive in-country ambassadors and, in addition, it provided positive stories for the media to publish in India.

Since January 2013, the university has employed an Indian alumnus as a full-time member of staff to help and support students in India who wished to study here. New students can choose to be accompanied by the member of staff on their flight from India and the representative then stays for the first week of term to help them to settle in. A unique programme of activities also gives prospective students the opportunity to meet Nottingham Trent University alumni and other applicants.

Thinkubator Challenge was a ground-breaking one day event designed to provide businesses across the region with free business expertise to support their growth.
The 2014 event saw more than 1,000 expert academics, research students, business postgraduates and final year undergraduates at Nottingham Business School come together to provide responses to 60 problems that had been submitted online by businesses, the majority of which are based in the local region.

Students were split into hubs with staff facilitating and heard presentations from the participating businesses before getting to work on their challenge – with just two hours to analyse the issue and finalise their recommendations.

The event was informed by Nottingham Business School research which highlighted that SMEs are actively looking to engage with universities in sharing knowledge and solving business problems, and they are more likely to engage when the opportunity arises in their local area, and when driven by the university.