AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2019

AGCAS Awards for Excellence encourage, reward and share good practice amongst HE careers and employability practitioners, and their partner organisations, by promoting quality, innovative and collaborative projects and high professional standards across the full range of HE careers and employability work.

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2019. All nominations have been of an exceptionally high standard, so many congratulations to those that have made the shortlist. We would also like to thank the shortlisting judges, fellow AGCAS members from across the UK. 

You'll find out more about those on the shortlist at the AGCAS Awards for Excellence Showcase at the AGCAS Annual Conference on the afternoon of 5 September. Award winners will be announced at the AGCAS Awards for Excellence dinner at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate the same evening. 

Awards for services, service collaborations and task groups

Research Informed Practice Award

Open to AGCAS member services, service collaborations and task groups contributing to the generation of new knowledge and insight that has been, or could be, used to enhance the work of AGCAS member services.

  •  Coventry University

A HECSU funded, qualitative, exploratory study examining the career conceptions of generation-z students (born 1996 onwards) at Coventry University, based around three one-hour focus groups (n=23). Some (non-generalisable) themes were: following your heart, parental support, positive career expectations, informally acquired career knowledge, automation generally positive, some concern about social acceleration.  

  • Keele University 

What do graduate employers want in a CV? An innovative study investigating the views of recruiters, resulting in a unique product: the CV rubric. The CV rubric and study findings are of real value to both careers professionals and academics due to their potential to support employability activities.

  • University of West London 

This study explores how taking a collaborative approach to developing interview skills with first generation higher education students, through the delivery of interactive Forum Theatre workshops, improves their confidence and success at graduate placement and job interviews, and promotes both social justice and social mobility in graduate employability.

  • University of Wolverhampton 

Applying a visual research methodology to Careers and Employment research and career interviews is not typical; however, I have found through photographs, fine art and business management students perceive and develop their career aspirations differently and require different career support.

 

Significant Contribution Award – Group

Open to AGCAS member services, service collaborations and task groups able to demonstrate they have brought significant benefits to the AGCAS community, HE careers and employability profession and/or sector.

  • Goldsmiths, University of London  

Low and declining Graduate Prospect scores convinced Goldsmiths SMT of the need for change.  The mantra became: Employability is everybody's responsibility. Creating and implementing an institutional employability strategy has transformed culture, practice and outcomes, all within 18 months.  Publicising how we did it across AGCAS has taken 12 months.

  • Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Beckett University and University of Leeds

#InLeeds is a cross city initiative, running annually since 2016, with the aim of improving graduate retention. Bi-annual events take place, bringing together teams of students from each university in a city-wide challenge visiting local graduate employers to showcase Leeds as a city of opportunity.

  • Newcastle University and University of Liverpool

Newcastle and Liverpool Universities worked with 16 European employers and 2 Dutch universities to deliver the Amsterdam Sustainable Business Challenge. 100 students worked in cross-university teams on real life sustainability tasks set by local partner, Amsterdam Inbusiness. Evidence shows students developed a range of employability skills through this innovative event.

  • University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham and The University of Warwick 

Working collaboratively across three Midlands based institutions, we have demonstrably enhanced the employment outcomes of our Chinese students and graduates in China on their return.  Together, we have developed and delivered a range of employability services including organisation and delivery of the largest UK-organised careers fair in Shanghai, China.

 

Awards for services

Building Effective Partnerships Award

Open to AGCAS member services able to demonstrate effective collaboration with one or more organisations, with the ultimate aim of demonstrable benefits for the service's stakeholders. 

  • Edinburgh Napier University  

The highly successful Legal City Challenge initiative came from a model original devised by our School of Arts and Creative Industries. It is a perfect example of a highly successful partnership between the University, Law Society Scotland and employer partners to benefit our students and employers.

  • Newcastle University and University of Liverpool

Newcastle and Liverpool Universities worked with 16 European employers and 2 Dutch universities to deliver the Amsterdam Sustainable Business Challenge. 100 students worked in cross-university teams on real life sustainability tasks set by local partner, Amsterdam Inbusiness. Evidence shows students developed a range of employability skills through this innovative event.

  • University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham and The University of Warwick

Working collaboratively across three Midlands based institutions, we have demonstrably enhanced the employment outcomes of our Chinese students and graduates in China on their return.  Together, we have developed and delivered a range of employability services including organisation and delivery of the largest UK-organised careers fair in Shanghai, China.

  • Ulster University 

Ulster University has developed a consortium of local and international strategic partners specifically to support the development, delivery and funding of student outward mobility programmes.  These partnerships have driven an unprecedented growth in global opportunities for students and subsequent positive increases in student engagement and participation in mobility programmes.

 

Strategic Innovation Award

Open to AGCAS member services who can show the effective design or redesign of the way in which a service is delivered in order to adapt to changes and/or meet new demands, whether institutional, regional or sector-wide. This can also include incorporating the use of new technologies.

  • Lancaster University 

The Employment and Recruitment Service in Careers supports the University’s strategic priorities by not only enhancing the employability of our students, but supports regional business engagement, improves the application conversion by demonstrating to candidates the ability to work safely whilst studying and provides the whole University with a talented workforce.

  • University of Lincoln 

The University of Lincoln team have introduced an innovative strategic approach to employer engagement and localised graduate attraction across the GLLEP region; creating team leads across all of the region’s districts, to better support the local economy through greater connectivity between the university, graduates, employers and local authorities.

  • Ulster University 

The introduction and implementation of an Integrated Curriculum Design Framework at Ulster has changed the landscape of how Employability and Enterprise has been embedded into the curriculum. A service re-design has followed, leading to enhancement across all the areas of the Employability and Careers service at Ulster.

 

Supporting Student/Graduate Employability Award

Open to AGCAS member services who can show effective development and implementation of an initiative with the ultimate aim of improving the student/graduate outcomes and learning gain.

  • King's College London

Extracted employability – the employability value of what is taught – redefines embedded employability in the curriculum. Academics find it credible, academically rigorous, enabling and non-invasive. Students develop more precise and comprehensive language for articulating their employability assets of Knowledge, Attributes, Skills and Experience: the KASE Framework of extracted employability.

  •  University of Leicester 

Embedding our career development programme into existing academic content as a credit bearing component has achieved large scale, accessible, engaging, and discipline-specific delivery. A focus on critical thinking supports students to become better learners across academic, personal and professional contexts, and increases the likelihood of undertaking valuable professional experience.

  • Leeds Beckett University 

Career Cartographies -- a custom-built module designed for online delivery as a way of enhancing digital skills whilst fusing work-integrated and career development learning for final-year students in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities. Collaboratively developed with students and employers utilising employer assessment techniques in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

  • Ulster University 

Ulster University is committed to improving graduate employability outcomes for its large Widening Participation student population through a strategic curricular approach. This approach includes the collaborative design and delivery of a range of bespoke, tailored and targeted innovative curriculum interventions which have led to increased levels of employability.

  •  York St John University 

York St John’s Grad2Director and Grad2Freelancer combine app-based training, workshops, one-to-one coaching and funding awards to support students/graduates to launch private limited companies in 3-months. The programme has successfully boosted positive graduate-level outcomes in the Yorkshire region and has seen improved outcomes for students with disabilities.

 Awards for individuals 

Outstanding Newcomer Award

For an individual who has worked in an AGCAS member service and been a Full or Partner Member of AGCAS for fewer than two years consecutively, who has made an outstanding initial contribution to the work of a member service.

  • Clare O'Reily, University of Leicester

The Career Development Manager at the University of Leicester has executed an exceptional transition into a new role and sector, utilising previous HR experience to effectively lead and manage their team during a period of change, resulting in the successful embedding of the employability provision within core academic modules.

  • Dr Rachel Shannon, Ulster University 

Rachel has made a significant contribution to the work of the Employability & Careers Department at Ulster University and to the wider careers community. Rachel’s passion for supporting student learning, along with her professionalism and motivation, has resulted in the successful implementation of a wide range of strategic employability initiatives.

  • Sarah Cooper, University of Bristol 

Sarah Cooper, Careers Consultant at the University of Bristol Careers Service, has shown tenacity, drive, enthusiasm and commitment to improve our support to International students both in Bristol and throughout our region. She has done this through hard work, amazing networking skills and a strong overall vision.

 

Significant Contribution Award – Individual 

For an individual who has worked in an AGCAS member service and been a Full or Partner Member of AGCAS for more than two years consecutively, who has made an exceptional contribution to the work of a member service.

  • Andy Morris, De Montfort University 

Andy Morris, Employability Mentoring Manager at De Montfort University, is truly a credit to both DMU and the AGCAS community. Andy has designed and established a student Employability Mentoring programme from scratch in 2014 to a fully accredited and hugely successful feature of key employability support at DMU by 2019.

  • Sam Brown, BPP University  

Staff and students’ comments speak for themselves. Staff describe Sam’s contribution as having a ‘stupendous impact on employment outcomes’, ‘taking things to a whole new level.’ Students feel the quality of Sam’s services is ‘unrivalled by previous careers services,’ resulting in a 25% appointments’ increase and a doubling of events.

  • Sue Snowball, University of Huddersfield

Sue is dedicated to supporting students enhance their studies with employability skills whilst enriching local businesses and the community with the talent of Huddersfield students. Sue is particularly happy to see students achieve great success in roles she has sourced through her continuous networking and extensive business contacts.

 

John Roberts Memorial Award

Awarded by The University of Warwick to the best student on the AGCAS/Warwick Careers Education, Information and Guidance in HE (CEIGHE) qualification.

View criteria

 

View previous award winners