LeedsThis 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.

NCEE is proud to announce the 2015 Times Higher Education Award winner of Entrepreneurial University of the Year as The University of Leeds.

On Thursday 26th November 2015, The University of Leeds were announced as the winner of the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards, sponsored by NCEE. We would like to congratulate The University of Leeds for this incredible achievement and also all of the short-listed universities for their impressive work.

Keith Burnley, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, and member of the judging panel for the award, said “Enterprise is at the heart of the’ institutional vision of the University of Leeds with senior staff, experienced educators and leading researchers driving this agenda across the whole University.

The curriculum opportunities for enterprise education for any student are growing. In 2013/14 over 900 students undertook enterprise electives. The university is playing a leading role in the sector in gaining unprecedented levels of alumni and business community support for student enterprise, including the Spark Start-Up Service.  Support for students includes enterprise scholarships and enterprise ambassadors.

A £40m plus investment is being made in a 10,500m2 ‘University Innovation and Enterprise Centre’. Knowledge exchange support includes a Technology Enterprise Incubator, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and internships.

The university has a strong local and regional impact working closely with public and private sectors. In 2014 it was recognised as ‘Gold Standard’ by the Small Business Charter award.”

You can read about all of the winners here.

The other members of an exceptionally strong shortlist were

  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Lincoln
  • Loughborough University
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Nottingham


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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