The University of Leeds has won the Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award in this year’s Times Higher Education Awards. The achievement was announced this week and comes as a result of the university’s decision to adopt ‘enterprise’ as one of the four pillars of its strategy, and as one of its five students’ union values.
The results of this commitment to enterprise are widespread and emerge from a number of university strategies undertaken in the 2013-14 academic year. In this year, the university gained £5.3 million from intellectual property and registered 374 patents. Its spin-out companies attracted £43.2 million in investments and created 426 full-time equivalent jobs. It also helped develop 275 regional businesses through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Growth Programme.
In the same academic year, more than 900 students, half of them coming from outside of the School of Business, undertook enterprise electives. In the same year, The university started a popular MSc course in Enterprise, set up fully funded “year in enterprise” placements and enrolled 13,000 people from 105 countries on its “Starting a Business” online course. Such achievements have also enabled Leeds to make significant progress towards assembling an investment of more than £40 million for a 10,500 sq m University Innovation and Enterprise Centre.
The judges of the Times Higher Education Award praised the University, saying: “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 judges also said that enterprise was reflected in increasing “curriculum opportunities for enterprise education”, owing to “unprecedented levels of alumni and business community support”, as well as “a strong local and regional impact” in both public and private sectors.