RAU wins Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year title

Pictured (L to R): Jackie Stansfield Smith, Katy Duke, Georgina Shanley, Matthew Reading

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has taken the title of Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The University won the prize at the Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (IOEE) and SFEDI awards this month (3 October). The honour is given “in recognition of a learning provider that has delivered beyond its remit, meeting complex learner requirements and exceeding SFEDI and IOEE’s exacting standards”.

Katy Duke, Head of Enterprise at the RAU, was also runner-up in the ‘Intrapreneur of the Year’ category, in recognition of her work to embed entrepreneurship throughout the University.

Speaking after the event held at the House of Lords, she said: “The enterprise team at the RAU is passionate about providing opportunities for all students at the University via our social enterprise projects, extra-curricular business start-up programme and links to our School of Business and Entrepreneurship curriculum.”

The RAU team, which also includes Head of School for Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr David Bozward and Student Enterprise Coordinator Georgina Shanley were told that the panel’s decision was unanimous.

Sarah Trouten, Chief Executive of the IOEE said: “I am delighted to recognise the Royal Agricultural University as our Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year. It’s great that the RAU has fully embraced enterprise and an entrepreneurial spirit can be felt throughout the University.”

Earlier this year the RAU became just the sixth university – and the first small, specialist – to be made a Centre of Excellence by the IOEE.

The University’s Enterprise Programme has seen over 50 successful businesses created. Each year the RAU hosts the Grand Idea competition, where student entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to an expert industry panel. The 2019 winner, Constantin Huet, created a business called Pre-O, which is a label of quality for farms making the transition to organic.