Icing on the cake for ‘unique School with a bright future’

A record number of nominations has resulted in the awarding of a very special honour.

Southwest Jiaotong Joint School, winners of the School of the Year Award

Partnership Awards 2020 School of the Year winner. September 2020

In the last of our regular feature series – profiling winners in all 14 categories of this year’s prestigious Partnership Awards – we are highlighting the outstanding accomplishments of the recipient of the School of the Year accolade.

The coveted awards celebrate those people who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community.

An award isn’t always made in the School of the Year category, which makes the achievements of this year’s winner – Southwest Jiaotong Joint School in China – all the more impressive.

The award has been made based on the exceptional scale and scope of Partnership working evident in its 160 nominations – the most of any School in the University. These were for academics, Student Education Services staff and Student Reps across the School.

It’s clear that Partnership working is embedded in this School at every level, and we recognise both collaborative working and the achievements of staff, students and postgraduate researchers through this award.

Professor Peter Jimack, the Leeds Director of the Joint School, said: “We launched the Joint School with Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) in Chengdu in 2016, recruiting students to four different undergraduate programmes in Engineering and Computing.

“The students study with us for four years and, upon successful completion, obtain Bachelor degrees from both Leeds and SWJTU. The Leeds-SWJTU Joint School is therefore a partnership at many levels: not only between the students and the staff from Leeds, but also with the staff from SWJTU.

“All of us involved in the Joint School were delighted to learn that we were to be awarded School of the Year! We feel this a recognition of what can be achieved when we work together on the design, delivery and enhancement of our degree programmes: in our case, to provide a distinctive transnational education and experience for all involved. In the same year as we have our first graduating students, winning School of the Year is the icing on the cake! Thank you.”

Professor Paul Taylor, Pro-Dean for Student Education in Engineering and Physical Sciences, added: “2020 was a huge year for the Joint School, with the first ever graduates collecting their degrees in June following a very challenging period, where students and staff had to cope with the pandemic before Leeds-based counterparts.

“The School's first ever Student Rep worked hard with colleagues in the Joint School, the Faculty and in LUU to build new networks and ways of working collaboratively. The flood of nominations for the Partnership Awards across most of the categories were very moving to read, painting a picture of a unique School with a bright future.”

Further information

See the For Staff website for in-depth profiles of each of this year’s Partnership Awards winners.

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