The AUA Annual Awards are usually announced and presented as part of our Gala Dinner. As our Annual Conference & Exhibition has been postponed, we have had to rethink how we will recognise and acknowledge the hard work by our members and networks for this year’s awards.

Each weekday from Thursday 26 March, we will be publishing a short article about each member and network that has been shortlisted by our awards panel. This will lead into Monday 6 April, which would have been the date of this year’s Gala Dinner, where we will announce the winners.

Here you can read about the Student Experience and Engagement themed network, who have been shortlisted for network of the year! The network is led by Network Coordinator Josh Gulrajani (Bath Spa University) and Deputy David Gilani (Middlesex University).

What it means to be shortlisted

Given that we’re such a new network – about to celebrate our first birthday next month – it’s been great to be recognised. It’s been an incredible year for the world of Student Experience and Engagement and so there’s been lots happening for the network.

The best part of running a network has been to bring together so many talented Higher Education practitioners across the country at our events, conferences and online spaces. Thank you to everyone who has engaged with us and helped us achieve what we have in the last year.”

Why Student Experience & Engagement was shortlisted

After launching in April 2019, Josh and David have been hard at work to raise the profile of the network to AUA members. They have had a strong presence at AUA events to promote the network, including at the 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition and the 2020 North Wales and North West Regional Conference. They also held a network specific event in the South Wales and South West regional network, and have plans for further presence at other regional networks going forward via clearly-labelled network relevant sessions.

SE&E held a joint event with the Quality and Standards themed network in August at Leeds Beckett University. The event was well attended and a follow-up is planned with the involvement of other sector-bodies. They are also planning to further involve other sector-bodies in other future network activities.

Their nomination lays out their clear plans and methods for recruiting new members. It also describes how they are facilitating discussion in the network and communicating to those a part of the network, utilising newsletters, the AUA Blog and JiscMail.

The panel recognised the strong first year the network has had. The initiative shown to engage other HE bodies was particularly praised, along with the well attended event held in co-ordination with the Quality and Standards themed network.

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