This section showcases the award-winning activities, programmes and partnerships being delivered across the sector, celebrating initiatives that have made tangible impacts in the areas of widening participation and social mobility. Whilst not exhaustive, included in this section are a range of UK-wide awards which recognise contributions from individuals, universities and employers across a number of categories.

As well as showcasing award-winning initiatives, this section is designed to encourage AGCAS member services and individuals to nominate their own good practice for award recognition. Don’t forget, winning awards is not the only way to celebrate your work. Delivering at conferences, writing for publications e.g. Phoenix, or simply sharing successes through internal communications channels raises awareness of your contributions to social mobility and widening participation.

AGCAS Awards for Excellence

The AGCAS Awards for Excellence encourage, rewards 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. 

Example categories and 2018 winners include:

ISE Awards

The ISE (Institute of Student Employers) awards recognise excellence across a broad range of categories including university and employer partnerships and employer engagement strategies.

Example 2019 categories include:

  • Commitment to Improving Diversity through Student Resourcing
  • Best Work Experience, Internship or Placement Programme
  • Outstanding University Partnership with an Employer or Supplier
  • Best University & Employer Engagement Strategy
National Mentoring Awards

The National Mentoring Awards give public recognition for ‘mentoring excellence’ to create inspirational mentoring role models across every sector of business, education, sport and society.

Example categories and 2019 winners include: 

  • Careers and Education Award Winners
  • National University Mentoring Award – Roger Awan-Scully, Cardiff University
  • Diversity, Equality and Social inclusion Award Winners
  • National Diversity Mentoring Award – Danna Walker – Built By Us
  • National Disability Mentoring Award – Jeevan Chagger - Evolve
  • National Women’s Mentoring Award – Carrie Wooten – Rise Mentoring Programme
  • National Health and Wellbeing Award – Project HERO - Evolve
NEON Awards

The NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards celebrate the transformative power that HE can have and recognise key achievements in the widening access sector.

Example categories and 2019 winners include:

  • Higher Education Institution of the Year — City University London
  • Widening Access Initiative (Outreach) – University of Sussex, Brighton & Sussex Medical School
  • Widening Access Initiative (Retention)  — University of Leeds
NUE Awards

The NUE (National Undergraduate Employability) Awards bring together employers, students and universities from across the UK to recognise the successes within undergraduate employability.  

Example categories and 2019 winners include:

Social Mobility Awards

The UK Social Mobility Awards are about making the advancement of social mobility a key part of how organisations are run in this country.

Example categories and 2018 winners include:

  • Organisation of the Year — Grant Thornton
  • Leadership of the Year – Social Mobility Business Partnership
  • Innovation of the Year – Penguin Random House UK]
  • Recruitment Programme of the Year – Greene King
Student Social Mobility Awards

The Student Social Mobility Awards are organised by upReach to showcase outstanding achievement and provide role models to those from lower socio-economic groups.

Example categories and 2018 winners include:

  • The Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Award for Best Mentor
  • Biggest Champion of Social Mobility
  • Highest Impact Employer Initiative - Lloyds Scholar Scheme
  • Highest Impact University Initiative - Access to Leeds, University of Leeds
TARGETjobs Awards

The TARGETjobs Awards are the largest early careers recruitment awards in the UK, celebrating achievements of employers, universities and individuals. Their awards are voted on and determined exclusively by students. 

Example categories and 2019 winners include:

  • AGCAS Award for Careers Service Engagement — PeopleScout, nominated by UWE Bristol
  • Best University Employability Strategy — University of Leicester
  • Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy — Police Now
  • Best Social Mobility Strategy — Capgemini
The Guardian University Awards

The Guardian University Awards recognise pioneering work in higher education. There are 14 categories which are judged by an expert panel.

Example categories and 2019 winners include:

The Herald Higher Education Awards

The Herald Higher Education Awards recognise outstanding higher education institutions in Scotland. The awards have a broad spectrum of categories and touch on all aspects of higher education and help build future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practice.

Example categories and 2019 winners include: 

  • Higher Educational Institution of the Year – The University of Dundee
  • Supporting Student Wellbeing Award – University of Edinburgh – Feeling Good App
  • Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities – Robert Gordon University – Innovation@RGU
  • Widening Access Award – University of Glasgow – Glasgow Medical School Access Programme
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award – University of Edinburgh – Global Community Team – Refugee, Asylum & At-Risk Scholar Support
Times Higher Education (THE) Awards

Described at the ‘Oscars of higher education’, The THE (Time Higher Education) Awards recognise outstanding work across a wide range of university activity, reflect the reality of how they operate and the interwoven nature of so much of what they do.

Example categories and 2018 winners include:

  • Outstanding Support for Students — University of Kent
  • University of the Year — University of Essex
  • Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year  — University of East London