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KCL wins accolades at The Guardian University Awards

Picture Credits: The Guardian

The Guardian University Awards results were published online on 25 November 2020, recognising commendable projects from UK universities. King’s College London won two awards—in the categories of “Employment and entrepreneurship” and “Marketing and comms campaign”.

The awards were judged by a panel of specialists from both the Guardian as well as the higher education sector in the UK. Among them was Anne-Marie Canning, director of social mobility and student success at King’s College London who was awarded for her assistances to Higher education during the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2018. Kalwant Bhopal, director of the centre for research in race and education at the University of Birmingham and a visiting professor at KCL was also on the judging panel.

The entries for the awards were assessed on Innovation, Delivery, Impact and Evidence. Innovation looked for what made the project new and exciting, Delivery focused on “excellence in planning, teamwork, partnerships and value”. Impact saw the difference the project had made to the community and evidence looked at the validity of the claims made in submissions.

King’s Civic Leadership Academy won the award for Employability and Entrepreneurship, with projects from University of Salford and Sheffield Hallam University being declared runners up. The criteria for this award was to recognise a “successful initiative that equips students with the skills they need for the job market, provides networking opportunities, gives them access to potential employers, and fosters the spirit of creativity that would enable them to launch their own enterprises.”

According to the Guardian, King’s Civic Leadership Academy benefitted “students, London charities, and King’s alumni”. King’s Civic Leadership Academy provides students at KCL paid internships with local charities and also provides alumni mentors for students who are a part of this program. The students work on specific projects and have completed 11,270 hours of community service through this program. “Since August 2019, the academy has placed 50 students, 80% of which identify with two or more under-represented characteristics, with 18 charity partners”, the Guardian article says. It is also mentioned that KCL is looking to expand this programme.

King’s “Air Pollution Campaign” project won the award for Marketing and comms campaign, with projects from University of Oxford and University of Reading coming as runners up. This award was presented to a university’s marketing/press campaign that was engaging, innovative and give a new perspective of the university. According to the Guardian, this campaign was planned “around specific research projects, journal publications and key dates and in collaboration with companies, government bodies and charities.” The campaign was planned to raise awareness about the health impacts of air pollution and brought to light research conducted about the topic. The Air Pollution Campaign involved partnerships with the Mayor of London, technology company Dyson, the British Council as well as UK100.

As a part of this campaign, King’s also partnered with the British Council on an app that showed outdoor workers’ exposure to pollution and looked into “exposure of London taxi drivers and hospitalisations across UK cities on high pollution days.” Not only that, the Guardian article mentions that “The campaign achieved 3,884 pieces of media coverage, including two front-page stories. There were also nearly 7,250 social media and blog posts and 175 NHS doctors and staff cited King’s research in an open letter calling on the government to commit new funding and resources to the air pollution problem.” This showed how the campaign achieved its goal of bringing public attention to air pollution.

Through these awards, King’s showed its commitment to their local, as well global community and once again presented itself as an important entity in UK Higher Education.

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