The ideas, knowledge and expertise within the Universities, Higher Education and Further Education sectors in the North of England hold the keys which unlock the future wealth, jobs and opportunities.
If they can be encouraged, harnessed and the best ideas and brains nurtured and even more importantly encouraged to put down roots then one of the largest economies in the United Kingdom with some 15 million people coast to coast from Liverpool to Hull could enjoy the benefits.
That was the driving force when John Kennedy teamed up with the broadcaster and producer Rob McLoughlin OBE to launch the first ever Educate-North Awards in 2015 in Manchester which saw entrants from across the region compete for up to 21 special awards with expert Advisors and Judges deciding on a fabulous array of entries covering social and business collaborations, the best student experiences, the research teams of the year and both the University of The Year and FE College of The Year.
The University of York, Liverpool John Moores University and in 2018 Newcastle University (for the second time) won the honour of being named University of The Year and walking away with a prestigious trophy and acclaim. FE colleges compete in key categories on a level playing field and 2 awards have been granted for Lifetime Achievements at a superb Awards Dinner in April each year.
Launched with The Daily Telegraph Media Group and Barclays and now run in association with three of the North’s leading radio stations (Heart Yorkshire; Smooth North West and Smooth North East) as well as a host of other sponsors these awards have become highly sought after and the competition more intense.
Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE heads the Advisory Board along with Professor Phil Harris and Nik Miller of The Bridge Group.
In 2016, the UEC, University Entrepreneurs Challenge saw 6 spin-out companies from the North’s universities compete for cash prizes in the first ever inter-university challenge of its type sponsored and supported by UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) and among others Phil Hodari’s Pilot Group.
In 2018, the winners came from The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores while the 2017 winner came from York and the first winner was The Big Heritage Company nurtured by The University of Chester.
Students with bright ideas also pitch their ideas on the night and one walks away with a mentor, a prize of £1000 (to produce a business plan) and a chance to return the following year. The audience of academics, students, business people and sponsors select the winner.
“I am so proud of this initiative’ says John ‘It gives me so much pleasure to see improvement, excellence and great ideas emerging from the sector and we are only at the beginning. Educate-North can grow and do so much more to help harness the power and ideas within the North.
“It’s great to put something back and to see so many supporters rally to make this a great success.”