Derby shortlisted for University of the Year at UK Social Mobility Awards

The University of Derby has been shortlisted for University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs) 2020.

The prestigious award celebrates universities making an outstanding commitment to social mobility issues and recognises those who go beyond what they might be mandated to do and who show a clear commitment to social mobility.

In its award entry, Derby highlighted its growing reputation as a leading institution for social mobility, demonstrated by HEPI Fair Access Table ranking (2nd in the country), and its highest overall national league table position (26th – Guardian University Guide 2020).

Speaking about the shortlisting, Fiona Shelton, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, of the University of Derby, said:

“I am delighted that the University of Derby has been shortlisted for University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards.

“At Derby we firmly believe in the transformational nature of education and are committed to ensuring that people receive the high quality education they deserve, and those looking to further their education and develop their skills and knowledge have the opportunity to do so.

“To be acknowledged as a leading institution for social mobility is recognition of the fantastic work our staff, students and stakeholders are undertaking to break down barriers, support achievement and create opportunities for all across our region and beyond, regardless of age, background or location.”

The University has a strong record in improving life chances by addressing barriers to access. In 2018-19, 24.3% of young undergraduate entrants (4th in UK) and 28.3% of mature undergraduate entrants (3rd in UK) to the University were from low participation neighbourhoods. The number of mature undergraduate entrants has continuously increased (63% increase since 2015) through targeted professional programmes.

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Chief Executive and Founder of the UK Social Mobility Awards and Making The Leap, the charity that runs the SOMO Awards, said: “We are delighted to have shortlisted our fourth cohort of finalists for the UK Social Mobility Awards. Having received so many quality entries from fantastic organisations and individuals, it was an extremely difficult task. The Awards were created to encourage organisations across the UK to see social mobility as a business imperative and embed core strategies to advance it. Whilst we celebrate the finalists, we equally commend all who entered and all who are engaged with this important agenda in any way.”

The SOMOs are the first national awards dedicated to social mobility and aim to encourage action that will promote and increase social mobility within Britain’s companies and institutions. The 12 award categories recognise best practice and innovation and celebrate excellence and achievement.

The winners will be announced at a virtual gala on 8 October 2020. Find out more about the awards here. For more information about the University of Derby’s widening access work click here.