Departmental ICT Initiative of the Year 2014 winner announced

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Last night Loughborough University were announced as the winners of the Departmental ICT Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Jisc, at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2014.

The awards, announced by the evening’s host, comedian Rob Brydon, celebrate the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions, from HR to estates and finance to fundraising.

Loughborough University’s winning entry came from their school of aeronautical, automotive, chemical and materials engineering. The team used information and communications technology to transform its student placement process to improve its efficiency and provide a better student experience.

An 18 month project started in 2012 to upgrade the university’s in-house Co-Tutor platform and develop a set of standard digital forms. After a series of consultations with staff and students, a ‘service blueprint’ was developed that outlined how the school would use ICT to improve its placement processes.

Co-Tutor now keeps placement information in an organised central repository, monitors the submission of health and safety forms, makes allocating placement supervisors quick and easy, and ensures that placement information is kept in line with the Data Protection Act. To date, it has facilitated more than 700 industrial placements.

Martyn Harrow, Jisc’s chief executive and a member of the judging panel, said: “In a strong field, Loughborough’s entry stood out as best meeting the brief and demonstrating impressive results.

“The judges particularly recognised the imaginative yet highly systematic approach to collaboration between staff, students and developers that drove the success.”

Professor Morag Bell, pro vice-chancellor (teaching) at Loughborough University, said: “We are delighted that Loughborough has received this prestigious award. It recognises the way in which different parts of the university work in partnership to develop the efficiency of our processes and provide an enhanced service to our students.”

See the full list of award winners on the Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2014 website.

Notes to editors

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