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Commercial excellence across UK Universities recognised at virtual CUBO awards

CUBO Awards

Last night at CUBO’s (@CUBO_Comms) virtual awards ceremony, ten CUBO members were recognised and rewarded for their outstanding achievements in commercial and campus services at universities across the UK.

The awards ceremony, taking place as part of CUBO’s annual Winter Conference, was watched by CUBO members, conference speakers, VIPs and business affiliate partners. Held for the first time in virtual format and streamed live on YouTube the format enabled a large number of people to engage and celebrate the winners’ achievements.

CUBO Chair, Jo Hardman (Head of Commercial Services, Lancaster University) paid tribute to the achievements of those working across higher education with commercial services.  He said:

“Obviously, we would have liked to have been able to celebrate together in person, nevertheless, we all enjoyed an impactful and entertaining evening where we recognised and showcased best practice, service excellence and the sheer hard work that has been achieved.

“The standard of this year’s entries was impressive, demonstrating inspiring initiatives taking place before the pandemic. The UK’s universities are seen as some of the best in the world and the role that CUBO members play in delivering outstanding campus services is an important part in supporting this reputation.

“This year has been immensely challenging for the sector and here at CUBO we applaud and share the success of our well deserving winners”.

Mr. Hardman also paid tribute to Richard Kington, formerly at The University of Edinburgh and CUBO Board Director, for his contribution to the university sector and for driving awareness of international best practice in student accommodation and residence life in the UK.

The 2020 CUBO Award winners who impressed the judges are:

Best Residence Life Initiative sponsored by Unite Students:

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh’s Residential Intervention Team supports student well-being, following up reports of concerning behaviour and delivering plans for joined-up support. The team has trained colleagues across Accommodation, Catering and Events to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health.

Best Marketing Campaign: Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University Sport’s campaign to promote student workforce opportunities resulted in applications rising by nearly 400%. The campaign smashed its target of a 50% rise, on a budget of only £800. Web site visits increased by nearly 500%, and social media content gained a reach of 60,000.

Excellence in Student Sport: University of Nottingham

The only university with a full-time Inclusive Sport Officer, the University of Nottingham secured £22,000 in additional funding in 2019/20 for its inclusive sport offer. New facilities include a Health and Well-being Suite and beach volleyball courts. Initiatives include Men’s Health Active which supports male students to look after their well-being.

Campus Experience of the Year: Lancaster University

Lancaster University has a mission to make their campus an inspiring place. A focus on well-being includes significant investment in sports facilities, while green initiatives include an onsite wind turbine, generating up to 20% of the University’s annual electricity consumption.

Best Student Housing: University College London

Astor Hall has been remodelled as part of Transforming University College London, the university’s £1.2bn building programme. The new building offers redesigned communal areas to encourage socialisation and improved sustainability, delivering a 50% reduction in carbon emissions and 40% reduction on water use.

Innovation in Catering: University of Reading

The University of Reading’s introduction of smart self-service coffee machines has boosted the use of reuseable cups from 12 to 69%. The machines only work with cups containing readable microchips and offer hot drinks to subscribers at a significantly lower price.

Business Team of the Year: Loughborough University

The catering team at Loughborough University is committed to challenging the status quo. It has exceeded revenue targets, increasing contribution by 48%. Innovations include “all you can eat” meals and a detailed food safety audit. The team also prepares and delivers food for a local community service.

Innovation in Student Experience sponsored by UPP: University of the Arts, London

University of the Arts, London’s first volunteering programme saw students and staff sign up to help their local communities, giving them the opportunity to meet people and develop new skills. Volunteers cleared overgrown pathways, worked with elderly residents to brighten up an area in South London and helped deliver an arts workshop.

Business Partnership of the Year:
London South Bank University with Keystone Talent Bank

London South Bank University Employment was set up by London South Bank University in partnership with recruitment technology provider Keystone Talent Bank. The online Talent Bank allows students to be offered work opportunities 24/7. The scheme has registered over 3,750 candidates, facilitated 190 internships and provided over 4,000 work assignments.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Kington, formerly The University of Edinburgh.

The ceremony was produced and hosted for CUBO by student communication and engagement specialist Campuslife. Watch the event on YouTube.

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