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Anglia Ruskin University wins ‘University of the Year’ at the UK Social Mobility Awards

award and confetti

The 2023 UK Social Mobility Awards Gala took place on Thursday 12th October, and Anglia Ruskin University took home the winning trophy for the ‘University of the Year’ category.

The winners of the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs) 2023 have been announced at an Awards Gala held at The Royal Lancaster London Hotel. The gala was organised by Making The Leap, and saw organisations and institutions committed to advancing social mobility across the UK come together to celebrate their work and share best practice.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) was named University of the Year thanks to its commitment to serving the communities surrounding its campuses. In September 2022 they opened ARU Peterborough, which is a new university designed to match the needs of local students, employers and the regional economy.Through their unique partnership with Cambridgeshire, Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) and Peterborough City Council (PCC), ARU will have a significant impact on the city of Peterborough, a higher education ‘cold spot’, where only 32% of the population have degree-level qualifications, compared to a national average of 43%.

The UK Social Mobility Awards were set up to recognise organisations that are prioritising social mobility, through recruitment processes and progression programmes, outreach within the local community, or by developing innovative ways to create change. This year’s judges included a panel of 25 esteemed leaders, chaired by Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE. Judges included Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Karen Blackett OBE, and Steven Cooper CBE.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, commented:

“We are delighted to have been named the University of the Year in this year’s Social Mobility Awards. We strive to create an innovative and inclusive environment that supports our students to achieve their very best. Winning this award is a lovely testament to all the hard work we have put into creating a university that goes above and beyond to ensure the success of our colleagues and students, and to contribute to the communities in which we are based.”

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of the UK Social Mobility Awards, added:

“The volume and quality of entries we’ve received for this year’s awards is a testament to the increasing significance of social mobility to UK businesses, which is exactly what we set out to achieve when we started the award seven years ago. We appreciate the support of all our partners and entrants for their important part in raising awareness of social mobility across the UK.”

“We started the UK Social Mobility Awards as a vehicle to raise awareness of social mobility and to showcase the individuals and organisations who are dedicated to its advancement. It’s fantastic to see all the work they have done to help provide equal opportunities for individuals to succeed.”

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