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Double award win for professional services

Innovative approaches to student registration and future-focused procurement methods have won Nottingham Trent University two Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (Thelmas).

Innovative approaches to student registration and future-focused procurement methods have won Nottingham Trent University two Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs).

Times Higher Education said the University was "a deserving winner for its much-lauded" introduction of a simple and rapid mobile-led system for registering student attendance, which won the Outstanding Digital Innovation Award.

Under a bespoke new process, students have been asked to download a mobile app created by the University that allows them to scan an event-specific QR code projected on to a screen in classrooms or lectures.

The digital process means it takes the same time to register 250 students as it used to for one student, maximising teaching time.

Instant data is now available for analysis by staff, allowing them to identify and address persistent absence – a key cause of low academic achievement and student dropouts. More than 20,000 students have downloaded the app, providing coverage of more than 80% of all students.

The student attendance monitoring system was described by the judges as "highly innovative and cost-effective", finding a simple approach to a previously time-consuming and uneconomical activity.

The use of a mobile app to read QR codes could be replicated at other institutions, presenting "far-reaching opportunities across the sector to improve retention and learner outcomes", the awards panel said.

The University's award-winning procurement team also picked up another accolade at the black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jimmy Carr.

They won the Outstanding Procurement Team award for their strategic programme, SCoRE, designed to drive the actions and activities required to deliver sustained value for money and to support the University's core agenda. SCoRE, standing for Sustainability, Commercial Effectiveness, Research and Employability, has now become an embedded way of working for Nottingham Trent University, embraced by both procurement and its customers.

The University's Chief Operating Officer Steve Denton, who attended the respected industry awards ceremony, said: "I'd like to congratulate colleagues from Information Services and Procurement on their well-deserved awards. They are both examples of creativity and innovation in the delivery of professional services to our staff and students. I will build on these successes, using them as exemplars, as I continue to work with both teams, and colleagues across professional services, to continually review and improve what we do and how we do it."

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education; David McBeth, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange Services at the University of Strathclyde; and Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education at the British Library.

  • Notes for editors

    Nottingham Trent University’s five-year strategic plan, Creating the University of the Future , has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally, and Empowering People.

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Double award win for professional services

Published on 24 June 2016

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