University of Limerick has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education award, which are widely recognised as the ‘Oscars of higher education’.
UL has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) DataPoints Merit Award category along with seven other institutions in the UK and Ireland. The winners will be revealed at a ceremony in London on November 17.
According to THE, its DataPoints category is based on the organisation’s data scientists taking “a fresh dive into the data collected for our suite of world rankings, and tell us something new about university performance – something that our rankings do not themselves capture.
“The concept changes each year, and this is the thinking behind 2022’s THE DataPoints Merit Award:
“Universities cannot just act on sustainability, they must also be transparent in formalising their institutional approaches so as to serve as beacons of global best practice. This year, we re-examined data submitted by UK and Irish institutions for our THE Impact Rankings to identify measures that reveal the most open, visible leadership in this area.”
THE has indicated that UL is “one of the top eight institutions across the UK and Ireland, according to this reckoning”. Institutions are not required to submit entries for this category.
The full shortlist for the category is as follows: Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Glasgow, University of Limerick, London South Bank University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin
Welcoming the shortlisting, UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “I am delighted that we have been shortlisted on Sustainability based on data. It will be a great opportunity to highlight the work we are doing on the UL Sustainability Framework 2030.
“The framework advocates a mission-based approach which aligns with much of the work currently been undertaken within the EU and globally. It will act as a bedrock for our decisions and actions to shape the future of higher education, research and the organisation itself.
“It connects with so much of what has already been pioneered by UL but also looks to build new capabilities, and to enable increased experimentation on campus all aimed at becoming a sustainable university, through and through.
“I am confident it will unite and drive collaboration between learners, academics, researchers, professionals, with industry and businesses, with the communities we serve and with government and public bodies.
“We cannot do this alone, and as we take our first steps towards a truly sustainable university, one that acts as a role model for sustainability in the region and beyond, we know that we will need the support and guidance of many actors, cross-sectoral groups and individuals to succeed,” Professor Mey added.
UL was the first Irish institution to appoint a Futures and Foresight Lead to work on Sustainable and Regenerative Futures.
Following this, a Sustainability Working Group comprised of over 70 members from all areas of the University along with UL students, completed an eight-month long challenge to collectively shape a sustainability framework that will guide and inspire action at the University for the next decade.
The highly participatory, design-led process has created a sustainability roadmap to guide UL. The framework will be officially launched later this year.
These will be the 18th annual THE Awards, with 20 categories in all. This is just the second year that Irish institutions were eligible to enter and the focus is primarily on activity during the 2020-21 academic year.