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UWTSD Named European Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2022

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The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has won the title of European Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the 2022 European Triple E Awards Ceremony in Florence, Italy.

UWTSD Professor of Practice David Kirby also received a Lifetime Achievement award at the ceremony in recognition of his leadership in the field and on-going work to support students at the University.

UWTSD is committed to developing the entrepreneurial and creative skills of its students and graduates as a key planning principle and such skills are embedded in our programmes.

The Triple E Awards are a global recognition of efforts towards the quest for entrepreneurship and engagement in higher education. Implemented regionally, the Triple E Awards aim to foster change in universities and to emphasize their role in their communities and ecosystems.

The European Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award recognises an institution that has designed and delivered an exceptional approach to embed entrepreneurship throughout the university. The institution has developed its own unique understanding of what it means for the institution to be entrepreneurial, aligned with the environment the institution operates in. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the institution not only nurtured among staff and students, but the institution itself also acts entrepreneurially and positively impacts a wide range of stakeholders.

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD said:

“It is a great honour to receive the award for European Entrepreneurial University of the Year, which is an important recognition of the dedication of our staff in supporting entrepreneurial students and new business start-ups and SMEs in our communities.

“The University's sustained investment has seen entrepreneurship and employability principles embedded throughout the whole organisation, including its teaching, industry partnerships and research programmes.

“We have created a culture of enterprise that is engaging an increasing number of students and graduates through our innovative projects and programmes. We are also driving business engagement through collaborative research projects with industry and supporting SMEs to grow and innovate and upskilling staff to solve real-world challenges.”

Dr Kathryn Penaluna, Associate Professor in Enterprise Education and the Director of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development (IICED) said:

“We entered the competition as part of our 200-year celebration, as our founders were clearly entrepreneurial. Our record of graduate start-ups is consistently amongst the highest in UK statistics, and their survivability over 3 years is currently the top in the UK.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised as the European Entrepreneurial University of the Year. It recognises our work in education that develops creative innovative thinkers and our international reach through projects led by IICED. Our research in this area has also just been acknowledged in our REF results, and this award is another cause for enthusiastic celebration.”

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked UWTSD in 2019-2020 as: 

  • #1 in UK for start-ups that are still active after 3-years.
  • #2 in the UK for total number of active firms.
  • #9 in UK for total number employed in graduate start-ups.

IICED is an acknowledged world leader in developing future-proof types of education that help learners to succeed. They offer a range of support for fledgling businesses, most of which are inspired by, and designed in collaboration with, these entrepreneurial alumni. Supported by Welsh Government and their Big Ideas Wales initiative, it is a powerful mix.

Commenting on the Award, the co-founder of the Harmonious Society and winner of the Triple E Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Professor of Practice David A Kirby, said:

“This is very timely and much deserved recognition for the University. Over the past forty years or more it has, through its three campuses, pioneered entrepreneurship not just in Wales but internationally. It has done so quietly and effectively and continues do so by not only supporting the Welsh Government’s ambitious plans for the well-being of the country’s future generations, but by continuously researching and introducing new initiatives that lead the development of the subject internationally.”