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CUBO Awards celebrate commercial excellence across UK Universities

At a glittering awards ceremony held last week, 10 CUBO (The College and University Business Officers) members were recognised and rewarded for the valuable contributions they have made in driving commercial excellence at universities across the UK.

Held as part of CUBO’s annual Summer Conference at Swansea University, the awards dinner was attended by over 200 guests and CUBO members, business affiliate partners and VIP guests.

CUBO Chair Elect, Gillian Almond, (Director of Commercial Services for Royal Holloway, University of London), paid tribute to the achievements of those working across higher education estates with commercial services. 

Almond said: “The standard of this year’s entries was deeply impressive and proved highly inspirational for our judges. The UK’s universities are seen as some of the best in the world and the role that CUBO members play in driving commercial success and delivering innovative campus services, plays an important part in supporting this reputation.”

Almond also paid tribute to Richard McGloin, recently retired from Sheffield Hallam, who was awarded the CUBO 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for his work both at Sheffield Hallam and also working tirelessly for many years as a non-executive member of CUBO.

CUBO Award winners 2019

Best Residence Life Initiativesponsored by Unite Students
University of the Arts London – UAL’s unique annual programme of 1,500 events, coupled with online initiatives delivered through its Hallslife platform, has driven student satisfaction rates up by a significant level.

Best Marketing Campaignsponsored by Conference News
UCL – Creating a single brand focused on student experience helped UCL build a sense of community across 21 disparate halls. Student satisfaction soared to a record level as a result.

Excellence in Student Sport Experience
Manchester Metropolitan University – MMU Sport’s Active Campus programme offers more than 55 free activity sessions every week for staff and students. Participation increased by 10 per cent between 2016 and 2018.

Commercial University of the Yearsponsored by Collegiate
Edinburgh First, University of Edinburgh – During 2018 Edinburgh First organised 1,648 events, and accommodated more than 42,000 commercial guests. Conference and Events business has grown by 25 per cent in the last four or five years.

Best Student Housing
Future Lets, Coventry University – Bishop Gate halls fulfil a student’s learning and social needs as well as their housing requirements, with private booths to work in, an on-site gym and a state-of-the-art cinema room.

Innovation in Cateringsponsored by TUCO
University of Manchester – Reacting to increased competition around campus, Manchester turned a canteen into an indoor street food market, with local traders renting space. Sustainability is key and traders use recyclable, biodegradable packaging.

Innovation in Student Experiencesponsored by UPP (Joint winners, scoring equal points from the independent panel):
UCL – Housingadvice.london is a website developed by UCL students working with the Accommodation team. It offers advice and professional guidance to first-year students about to leave halls for private sector accommodation.
University of Sheffield – Sheffield introduced LGBT+ exclusive accommodation spread throughout its residences, so students could live with others with shared or similar experiences. The provision has already been extended twice to meet student demand.

Business Manager or Team of the Year
Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre Team, University of Birmingham – The Edgbaston team turned a building site into an outstanding hospitality business. The project included setting up a new company, recruiting over 40 new staff and training 90 team members.

Business Partner of the Year
Swansea University and First Cymru – First Cymru links Swansea’s two campuses with its 24-hour Unibus service, supporting 45,000 student journeys each week. In the first term dedicated staff help students navigate the bus system.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard McGloin, Sheffield Hallam University (recently retired). Currently serving as a Non-Executive Director of CUBO.

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