Awards and recognition

Our dedication to breaking down the barriers to learning and widening participation has been nationally recognised and our initiatives have won a number of awards.

The Diversity Champions Project

The University's Diversity Champions Project and its work have been recognised at a number of local and national awards, including:  

Outstanding Social Behaviour Awards 2020

The Outstanding Social Behaviour Awards (OSBA) recognise the efforts of those who have made a positive difference within their community, as well as marking the achievements of people who have had the courage and determination to move away from crime and violence.

The Champions Project won the award for Community Cohesion and Diversity. Read more about their OSBA win.

Spirit of Manchester Awards 2019

The Diversirty Champions Project won the Equalities category at the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2019. The prize recognises the work taking place to address and tackle issues regarding equality in areas such as race, gender, sexual orientation, mental health and faith.

The community project was created by the BAME Programme team, part of Student Recruitment and Widening Participation, and aims to improve the understanding of hate crime among schoolchildren and young people aged 13–15.

Throughout the year, pupils from schools in Greater Manchester were invited to take part in different training sessions and workshops delivered by local charitable organisations that specialise in mental health, LGBTQ+ awareness and Equality and Diversity. Students learnt about different forms of hate crimes and the importance of being an active bystander, before going on a field trip to Auschwitz in the summer. On their return, the pupils staged Diversity Days at their schools to share their learnings with peers.

Read more about the Diversity Champions' trip to Krakow.

The University of Manchester School Governor Initiative (UMSGI)

Since September 2012, the University of Manchester School Governor Initiative has won a number of regional and national awards.

  • Spirit of Manchester Employee Volunteering Award 2018
  • The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service 2016
  • The Times Higher Education Award 2014 for 'Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community'
  • BITC Big Tick Education Award – 2014 
  • BITC Big Tick re-accreditation for further improvements and successes in 2015 and 2016
  • Green Gown Award 2013 and International Green Gown Award 2013 for Social Responsibility

Catalyst Award for Community Engagement 2017

In 2017, The University of Manchester Library’s contribution to widening participation through its My Learning Essentials (MLE) resources was recognised with a Catalyst Award for Community Engagement 2017 awarded by Blackboard Inc. The annual Catalyst Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice.

Health Education England Widening Participation Award: Research and Evaluation into WP

In August 2017, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health widening participation team won a national award from Health Education England for its research into the performance and experience of widening participation students. The project looked at student’s end of year examination results and these were compared across five disciplines: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Psychology and Pharmacy, with over 2,000 students being compared.

Neon Awards

The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) was founded in early 2012 as the professional organisation to support those involved in widening access to higher education (HE) and social mobility and The University of Manchester is a member institution.  NEON’s annual awards provide a platform to celebrate and recognise the contribution of their members, the University has received the following awards: 

2018: NEON Widening Access Initiative (Retention and Success)
Commended: The Student Inspire Network

2018: NEON Student of the Year
Commended: Memona Shahid, University of Manchester student and Access All Areas volunteer

2015: NEON Student of the Year
Highly commended: Omer Ali, University of Manchester Medical Student

2014: NEON Widening Access Initiative Award
Winner: Gateways, the University’s flagship secondary widening participation programme

2014: NEON Outstanding Contribution to Widening Access Award
Winner: Sam Kalubowila, Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Coordinator

The University of Manchester: Making a Difference Awards

The University’s Office for Social Responsibility’s Making a Difference awards run annually and include an award that recognises the outstanding contribution of both staff and students to widening participation. Find out more about the awards and previous winners.