University of Southampton twice nominated for Times Higher Education Awards

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Our university has been nominated in the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2012, for two categories: Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development for its Open Data Service and ‘Uni-Cycle’ project, respectively.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Professor Don Nutbeam, says: “The University of Southampton is exceptionally proud and delighted to have received these nominations. This is a reflection of the outstanding effort and continual dedication of our staff, and the pioneering work going on in Southampton.”

Encouraging staff and students to be healthy and travel ‘green’, the ‘Uni-Cycle’ scheme has been shortlisted for this year’s awards. Jointly run by the university’s Transport Team and Volunteers (comprising of students who take an active role in seeking out bikes to refurbish and sell on), the project has generated £3,000 in the past two years; all spent in reinvestment. Nominated for its commitment to recycling and reducing harm to the environment, Uni-Cycle even offers free monthly ‘Bike Doctor’ services for staff and students’ bikes. Qualified bicycle engineers are on hand at events to make repairs, and over 100 have already been saved from waste. Any non-sellable bikes are used for spares and remaining metal is always recycled. It also provides subsidised bike locks, lights and cycle training – supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Sustrans.

The second nomination, is for the open data service: data.southampton.ac.uk, published under an open government licence. The site, from which several datasets have been developed, combines 73 different information feeds, including Unistats. And, with data easily accessible to both staff and students, more datasets are set to be developed.

It provides features that transform the ease with which students can access data about the university’s facilities, equipment, events and real-time travel information. This means that, not only are the university’s 22,000 students and 5000 staff able to access this data, but prospective students can also find information much more quickly, and all in one place.

Award winners are to be announced on the 29th November, at a ceremony in Grosvenor House Hotel, in London.

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