From education to employment

University of Chester named double finalist in Educate North Awards

The University of Chester is a finalist for two accolades in the north of England’s most prestigious education awards, recognising the impact of its Business School and The Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans.   

The University has been shortlisted in the Educate North Awards 2024 for Business School of the Year and its Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans project, Where Are All the Veterans?, is nominated in the category of Innovation.

The Awards bring together the north’s leading higher, further and sixth form institutions and organisations to celebrate world-class achievements, developments, and success.

Chester Business School has reached the final four for embarking on a new and purposeful phase of business engagement.  

Flourishing despite the challenge of changes in external funding, the Business School team has worked in partnership with other business support providers and Cheshire West and Chester Council, to make a difference in the region. The School has expanded its business network and provided support from grant development to coaching and workshops. In just six months, from summer 2023, it has worked with local businesses to realise around £1.7m of business investment and more than 60 new jobs locally, while creating opportunities for future growth and for students.

The Where Are All the Veterans? project aimed to understand the most effective approach to raising ex-Service personnel registration at Primary Healthcare services, in new and novel ways. 

Through this project, again in just six months, an additional 1,311 former members of the Armed Forces were identified across 12 primary healthcare practices, raising registration by more than 200%.  

As part of the project, research on the prevalence of mental health disorders within ex-Service personnel using primary healthcare records also resulted in more valid and reliable data on the mental health needs of the ex-Service personnel community. 

Discussing the Business School nomination, Associate Professor Kirstie Simpson, Dean of Chester Business School said:

“It is fantastic news to be shortlisted for Business School of the Year in the Educate North Awards.

“Furthermore, it is an honour to be part of the region’s business community and build relationships with business year-on-year; to be able to play a part in business growth by offering support, developing ways to generate investment, create jobs and champion new business products and services, as well as provide a range of opportunities for our students with businesses.”

Responding to the Innovation Award shortlisting, and being among the seven finalists in the category, Dr Alan Finnegan, Director of Nursing and Military Mental Health at the University of Chester added: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this Award. It means a lot to the team and for our work to receive recognition for the Where Are All the Veterans? project, and the benefits it has achieved for ex-Service personnel and their families in improving registration for healthcare and more effective delivery of patient-centred care.”

This year is the 10th Educate North Awards, celebrating, recognising and sharing best practice and excellence in education in the north.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Manchester on Thursday, April 18. 

For further information about the Awards, visit:

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