University of Sheffield recognised for improving the environment and public realm of campus and city

The University of Sheffield has been recognised for its outstanding work and vision to improve the environment and public realm of Sheffield at the national Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs).


Dedicated staff at the University of Sheffield are celebrating after picking up the Outstanding Estates Strategy award last night (Thursday 22 June 2017) at the prestigious event which recognises excellence across the professional services and administration of the UK’s world-leading higher education institutions.

The University of Sheffield was described by judges as being a ‘worthy winner’ in the estates and facilities category for exhibiting “great creativity” and successfully “uniting university and city goals to improve the environment and public realm of Sheffield”.

At the heart of its success and key to unlocking its wider strategy in 2015-16 was the opening of The Diamond, an innovative and multidisciplinary facility providing state-of-the-art engineering facilities and equipment.

The 2015-16 academic year also saw the opening of Factory 2050 – the world’s first fully reconfigurable factory, as well as the initial development of ambitious plans for an advanced manufacturing research campus.

Meanwhile, work started on a project in partnership with Sheffield City Council to transform public spaces around the university by improving pedestrian walkways and crossings, creating safe cycle routes, planting new trees and plants, and integrating public art into the area.

The University of Sheffield was also praised for its vital work in supporting overseas staff and students who have chosen to study in the UK with the #WeAreInternational campaign with a Highly Commended accolade in the Outstanding Communications/Marketing Team category.

The nomination celebrated the University's work collaborating with 160 universities across the UK, along with business organisations, the NUS, UKCISA, British Council and government departments.

The University’s work creating and sharing unbranded marketing materials was also highly commended. These included several resources such as #WeAreInternational videos which have had nearly 120,000 views across all channels, plus many additional downloads from the campaign's network of over 200 partners.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “I am delighted that our hard work and achievement in such crucial areas has been recognised by Times Higher Education. At a time when teaching is a focus of national and international attention, we have worked closely with our students and employers to ensure that our teaching strategy looks deeply into what really matters to students and graduates, as well as what is the best way to ensure we respond to the challenges of the future.

"This is backed up by the approach we are taking to our campus and facilities, as we transform our ability to work with students and industry in new ways, including with the world's first fully reconfigurable Factory of the Future where our engineers and computer scientists work with McLaren and Boeing to revolutionise productivity."

He added: "However, none of this would be possible without our truly international student community and the scholars who teach them, so I am deeply grateful to the THE for its recognition of the #WeAreInternational campaign which has become a shared statement of welcome and the value of international scholarship right across UK higher education. It has never been more timely or more needed."

Keith Lilley, Director Estates & Facilities Management at the University of Sheffield, said: "We are thrilled to win this national award which marks and celebrates the achievements of the whole Estates and Facilities team.

"I am always so proud to be working alongside such talented colleagues who are totally committed to the University, our students, staff and Sheffield.

"To be recognised by the judges for a strategy to unite the University of Sheffield estate and the city is a great achievement. We look forward to continuing to work together with our city to improve the environment and public realm of Sheffield and to support the University's objectives of world class teaching and research."

The University of Sheffield was also shortlisted and recognised in the Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year category for its focus on a wide range of sector-leading developments including engaged learning, interdisciplinarity, open online learning, apprenticeship education, and personal and academic support.

Speaking about the University’s achievements, Times Higher Education Editor John Gill, said: “Once again we've seen examples of exceptional performance in the most important areas of university leadership, management and administration. At a time of ever greater competition in higher education, our hope is that by shining a light on these winners, institutions will learn from one another to improve the quality of what they do across the board.

“Anyone working in a UK university will know how dedicated and resourceful their colleagues are, but it’s our great honour to be able to showcase these examples from across the country.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859