UWE Bristol scoops Times Higher Award

Issue date: 27 November 2015

Times Higher Education Awards

UWE Bristol won the Outstanding International Student Strategy award at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015, held in association with Santander Universities. The awards, now in their eleventh year, are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, shining a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of institutions, teams and individuals in the UK higher education sector.

Last year the University was nominated in the Outstanding Employer Engagement category, in recognition of the success of GradLink UK, a free web based service developed at UWE Bristol that enabled overseas employers to link with international students and graduates.

This year UWE Bristol has gone one better, winning for its approach to International Student Strategy, and it is once again for the Gradlink UK website.

GradLink UK is a free site that enables students to search and apply directly for jobs, build and submit their CV and research the graduate job market in their chosen country. Businesses can advertise vacancies and search a database of students' and graduates' CVs.

The University collaborated with the careers services at its overseas partner institutions to set up meetings with their employer contacts, which has led to real industry engagement. There is now a network of more than 340 employers based across Asia, Africa and North America who use the service.

The website has received more than 180,000 visits since its inception in June 2013, and more than 1,300 students from UK universities have put their CVs on its database, which was established in spring 2014. International student applications to UWE have also increased by one-third in that time.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Sir Deian Hopkin, President, National Library of Wales, and Joanna Newman, Vice-Principal (international), King's College London.

The judges said, “Gradlink UK has had impressive numbers of students and employers use the service nationally and internationally, helping the UK retain its reputation for the employability of its graduates”.

David Gee, Global Employability Development and Creator of Gradlink UK says, "We are absolutely delighted that UWE Bristol has been recognised for the significant and pioneering work it is doing for international students. In the current climate it can be quite challenging for international students to get graduate jobs, and through the creation of GradLink, UWE has taken the lead in creating an essential tool to help thousands of international students across the UK, and the world - whilst at the same time establishing ourselves as a flagship university for global employability.

It's great that UWE has been rewarded for its vision, initiative, and ability to network with employers, organisations, alumni etc. on such a global scale."

The award was presented to the Gradlink team by comedian Rory Bremner, who hosted the ceremony, in front of more than 1,100 people, including the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, to celebrate the greatest ideas, the finest practice and the very best researchers and teachers in the sector.

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