2018 AGCAS Awards for Excellence Shortlist

20 June 2018

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the revamped AGCAS Awards for Excellence 2018. The nominations have once again been of an exceptionally high standard so we would like to extend our congratulations to all those that have made the shortlist.

Find out more about those on the shortlist at the AGCAS Awards for Excellence Showcase on the afternoon of 5 September. Winners will be announced at the AGCAS Annual Conference for HE Careers and Employability Professionals conference dinner later that evening.

Awards for services, service collaborations and task groups

 Research Informed Practice Award

The shortlist is:

The Careers Group

The Careers Group implemented and utilised the Careers Registration Methodology – introducing questions about career readiness and work experience into mandatory data collection at student enrolment – across every federal member institution. 

Keele University

Enhancing feedback in careers and employability activities an innovative study which demonstrated that feedback provided by careers practitioners to students and graduates is significantly improved by utilising screencasting technology, in terms of quality of feedback and resulting impact on individuals’ CVs.

University of Reading

Thrive is the University of Reading’s award-winning career mentoring scheme with over 400 alumni-student partnerships. Being informed by two research projects, evaluation and a PhD has led to novel matching, recruitment, training and scheme design. Thrive has impact – showing a positive relationship with graduate level employment and increased student employability.

Significant Contribution Award

The shortlist is:

AGCAS Teaching and Related Professions Task Group

The task group is a key influencer with established, productive relationships with DfE, UCAS, ITT providers and education professionals across teaching and related professions. They have developed a suite of high-quality, wide-reach publications for students and careers professionals. Training is delivered in person (“Fantastic! Thank you”) and using online platforms.

The University of Edinburgh/University of Glasgow/The University of Sheffield

Careers consultants at three universities collaborated to develop a massive open online course offering tailored careers support to research students and staff at institutions where there is limited dedicated support available. Over 1,000 researchers from across the world joined the first course, supported each other in their learning, and gave very positive feedback.

University of Huddersfield

The enhanced programme of HE experience for trainee Careers Advisers (QCD students) has led to a 16% increase in students seen through frontline service, 100% positive feedback and 50% of the QCD students securing careers and employability roles within HE upon graduation.

Awards for services

Building Effective Partnerships Award

The shortlist is:

Leeds Beckett University

Women in Leadership a development programme for second year undergraduates. Working collaboratively with partners across sectors including Business Services, Insurance and Digital, to deliver a transformational learning experience. Students have participated in skills workshops, networking, mentoring and work based learning – to accelerate their interest in leadership, their ambition and potential. 

Northumbria University

How a bipolar comedian, Careers Service and Students Union gave students confidence to discuss and disclose their mental health with graduate recruiters and helped create impactful discussions. “Great performance! Having a mental health issue myself (PTSD) you’ve removed stigma and shown me to be proud of mental health. THANK YOU!!”

UWE Bristol

What role can a British university play in supporting the development of careers and enterprise provision in Northern Africa? UWE Bristol took the initiative to work in partnership with the UAE to develop the capacity for social enterprise support of the staff and students in Northern Morocco, learning a lot from the Moroccan context.

Strategic Innovation Award

The shortlist is:

University of the Arts London

not just a shop introduces studio learning pedagogy in careers education for creative students and graduates by combining a retail space that sells exciting design products and artwork with an experiential learning environment.

The Careers Group

The Great Grad Job Hunt video project gave students accessible, real-time examples and understanding of how their peer group job hunt using social media platforms. With over 15,300 views, it’s an excellent example of how video and social media can deliver careers education and information.

Nottingham Trent University

Innovation Community Lab (ICL) is a development programme designed for early-career individuals working in an SME. ICL offers a regional professional network, blended learning, and develops desirable skills not typically gained at university. ICL gets graduates proactively innovating for their employers, catalysing business growth and encouraging long-term job retention.

Supporting Student/Graduate Employability Award

The shortlist is:

University of Glasgow

The Human Book Project was a one-day innovative event delivered jointly by Careers Service and Development and Alumni Office. It gave students unprecedented access to alumni experts from a range of creative destinations. Students were able to book 15 minute one-to-one conversations to inspire and prepare for the workplace.

Nottingham Trent University

The university delivered an innovative, creative and eye-catching campaign to support our graduates – Future You. By investing in their graduates they are maximising their graduate success. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates the experience and confidence increase that the scheme is providing for those graduates most in need.

University of West London

In order to improve students’ job prospects, the Careers Service at UWL has taken a Forum Theatre approach to teaching students to perform well at interview. The approach has been tailored to specific course groups with significant success, including students gaining roles on competitive placement and graduate schemes.

Wrexham Glynd┼Ár University

During 2017, WGU’s CES successfully delivered Make Summer Work For You. Moving away from a traditional end of year graduate support type event, to an innovative and flexible employability focused programme, which ran throughout the summer. Responding to feedback, new sessions were delivered to support wellbeing, confidence and resilience.

Individual Awards

Outstanding Newcomer Award 

For an individual, the shortlist is:

Kezia Falconer - University of Glasgow

Kezia is an outstanding colleague and asset to the university. She is passionate about engaging alumni in new ways and supporting student career development using social media. This is demonstrated by the remarkable results of her work and testimonials from those she has worked with along the way.

Tamara O’Donovan - University of Leicester

Tamara’s impact at the university is reflected in the impressive speed in which she has progressed both her career and the interventions and programmes she oversees. She applies strong pedagogic practice, and a keen understanding of the needs of our students and employers to wonderful effect, ensuring consistently outstanding results.

Lynsey Russell-Watts - The University of Edinburgh

Lynsey has made an impressive contribution to the Edinburgh Careers Service, helping to establish a researcher-practitioner culture, leading two externally funded projects on resilience and work experience. She has simultaneously advanced the careers agenda at the Edinburgh College of Art, extending reach and engagement across all disciplines.


We would also like to thank the judges for giving up their time to judge the awards. If you have any questions aboout the awards process please don't hesitate to contact us.