University of Stirling wins “higher education Oscar”

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The University of Stirling has been recognised for its ‘Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development’ at this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

The awards, known as the "Oscars of higher education", highlight the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions working in the sector.

Professor Gerry McCormac, University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that we have been recognised in these prestigious awards for our work in leadership development.

“At Stirling, one of our priorities is enabling staff to be the best they can be, so we can offer a first-rate experience for our students.”

In 2016, Stirling set itself the challenge of developing a “culture of confident and skilled leaders” who could enable and support their teams and also deliver the university’s ambitious strategic plan.

Having gained accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Management, the University established three innovative ILM programmes to help university managers at all levels.

Bespoke training was provided to team leaders, line managers and mid-level managers, particularly those who oversee a number of teams and other managers.

Development involved a '360-degree' feedback exercise to seek constructive comments from junior and senior staff alike, as well as online blended learning programmes.


Around 30 people took part in the first training cohort in 2016‑17, followed by 49 in 2017-18. All of the participants polled, rated the course as very good or excellent and said that they would recommend it to others.

The judges said Stirling had achieved “strong levels of participation in a short time period” and that its external evaluation process showed a “strategic commitment to ensuring sustainable development was maintained and continued into the future”.

THE editor John Gill said: “At a time when universities face challenges and headwinds, when politics and social attitudes can seem to call into question many of the things that they stand for and hold dear, it is particularly important to champion the values, creativity and dedication of those who live and breathe higher education.

“As ever, our shortlists represent the best of the best, but our judges also reported that this year’s entries were the strongest that they could remember, so all those honoured should be incredibly proud. It's THE's great honour to help celebrate their success.”

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