Sheffield Hallam University wins outstanding student admissions award

30th June 2017

Sheffield Hallam University has won a prestigious award for excellence in professional services at the Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards - the THELMAs.

The University was successful in the Outstanding Student Admissions Strategy Award in recognition of the joint plan to help its students achieve their ambitions. The strategy was developed and delivered across a number of teams: Student Recruitment, Marketing, Admissions, Alumni & Communications. Working in partnership with academic faculties, the University identified its objectives for 2016 recruitment, including maintaining Hallam's position as the third largest institution in the UK. The institution exceeded recruitment targets for 2016, with undergraduate acceptances increasing by 1 per cent in the context of a 4 per cent decline in applications, and UK and European Union domiciled acceptances at postgraduate level growing by 4 per cent. This was achieved owing, in part, to an 18 per cent increase in school and college engagement, reaching more than 39,000 students, three quarters of whom were from low-participation neighbourhoods. Hallam established a student-led call centre to support prospective applicants, leading to record numbers of enquirers booking an open day, and developed an -always on approach to social media, with a particular focus on student-led video content: the institution's videos reached 14.2 million people in 2016, up 211 per cent year-on-year. Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: "The growing success of the University is supported by the excellent working practices of our staff, and this has been highlighted by this award. "Hallam is at the very heart of our city and our region, with students who bring so much to Sheffield. The University's ambition is to transform lives." The judges said that they were -impressed by the joint approach to student recruitment that brought together colleagues from the recruitment, marketing, admissions, alumni and communications teams. -Through using best practice techniques, including student-led call centres and multiple digital channels, as well as an imaginative approach to roadshows, such as a zombie apocalypse-themed presentation for under-16s, the student admissions strategy has supported the university's ambition to transform student lives. The University was recognised above fellow shortlisted universities, the University of Bradford and Lancaster University, to win the award at a ceremony in London, hosted by comedian Bill Bailey. Hallam was also shortlisted for an award in Outstanding Estates Strategy, reflecting its commitment to its estate and how it nurtures and supports staff and students. The THELMAs, now in their ninth year, are a highlight of the academic calendar and a celebration of the best in the sector. Times Higher Education editor John Gill said: -Once again we've seen examples of exceptional performance in the most important areas of university leadership, management and administration. At a time of ever greater competition in higher education, our hope is that by shining a light on these winners, institutions will learn from one another to improve the quality of what they do across the board. "Anyone working in a UK university will know how dedicated and resourceful their colleagues are, but it's our great honour to be able to showcase these examples from across the country.

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