This award, sponsored by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, is an opportunity to recognise institutions that have embedded entrepreneurial activity into the fabric of their institution to the extent that their environment and culture not only fosters enterprising thinking among all members of its community but also delivers significant entrepreneurial impact at regional, national and international levels.

The 2013 award was made to the University of Strathclyde.

Strathclyde’s distinctiveness as an entrepreneurial university stems from its foundation as a “place of useful learning”. This remains embedded today through a focus upon research with impact; enterprising education for students who want to make a difference and Strathclyde’s positioning as an international university at the heart of a world-class city.

Demonstrations of Strathclyde’s entrepreneurial mindset include: the Enterprise Academy delivering entrepreneurial skills to researchers; its diverse activities in Research and Knowledge Exchange; the spin-out fund and enterprise hub; the student-led entrepreneurial skills development programme; and the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network.

But beyond these specific initiatives, it is Strathclyde’s emphasis on behaviours such as “Challenging traditional boundaries,” “Questioning their own approaches” and “Encouraging innovation in all that we do” that make it particularly impressive. As entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, founder of Strathclyde’s Centre for Entrepreneurship said, “Strathclyde is… open to getting an entrepreneurial mindset through every discipline. That mindset is an attitude – it is about thinking in a different way.”

Keith Burnley, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, and member of the judging team, said, “All short-listed Universities were impressive and the general trend towards a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, innovation and impact is very encouraging. What particularly impressed us about Strathclyde was its commitment towards developing an environment that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and delivers significant entrepreneurial impact, both of which are key aspects of the award.”

The other members of an exceptionally strong shortlist were

–  University of Chester
–  University of Lincoln
–  University of Sheffield
–  University of Surrey
–  Teesside University


1. Institutional Environment
a. How has the university transformed its culture to provide environments conducive for supporting student enterprise and graduate entrepreneurship?
b. How is institutional leadership for driving enterprise and entrepreneurship throughout the institution demonstrated?

2. Student Engagement
a. How are students and graduates demonstrating their ability to apply the enterprising and entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours learnt through their university experiences?
b. How has the student experience enhanced a positive attitude towards enterprise and entrepreneurship as a career and life choice?

3. Innovative and Entrepreneurial Staff
a. How have staff demonstrated innovation and growth in their approach to the design and delivery of the institution’s enterprise and entrepreneurship offerings?
b. How are staff incentivised and rewarded for developing excellence in enterprise and entrepreneurship practice?

4. Entrepreneurial Impact
a. What impact has the institution had on the entrepreneurial outcomes of staff, students and graduates?
b. What step-change has been achieved in the delivery of regional and national entrepreneurship goals?
c. What enterprise and entrepreneurship good practice and effectiveness has been demonstrated?
d. In what ways has the institution’s experiences influenced policy and practice in the wider environment?

These national awards represent a unique and high profile opportunity to celebrate the excellence and amazing achievements of UK higher education institutions.

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