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Congratulations to the University of East London (UEL) for winning this category with their innovative ‘Life Stories – University for All’ project, which offered residents of the Jungle refugee camp in Calais the chance to undertake a short university course and earn transferrable undergraduate credits.

Life Stories students read and discussed the life stories of inspirational people such as Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai, and even penned their own life stories and poems. Coming from a variety of countries across Africa and the Middle East, students had a broad range of backgrounds, and all wanted to further their education and use the course to learn about others’ journeys and share their own.

Also commended was De Montfort University’s ‘Disability Enhancement Programme’, established in response to the significant cuts to the DSA, which used universal design practices to meet all students’ needs. Lecture capture must be used for all staff-led activities to record content, and assistive software and quiet themed accommodation have been introduced to meet a variety of individuals’ requirements.

The University of Sunderland’s ‘Returners to Learning’ programme finished joint runner-up with De Montfort. It offered flexibility in learning and provided information to try to reverse the fall in mature student numbers.

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