Edge Hill named University of the Year in Times Higher Education Awards
Edge Hill University in Lancashire has been named University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards.
Times Higher Education Editor, John Gill, called the university in Ormskirk "a great success story" that "improves and impresses year after year".
Edge Hill was recognised for high rates of student satisfaction and graduate employment as well as its contribution to "transforming lives" in the region.
Vice Chancellor John Cater said he was "delighted and extremely proud".
Edge Hill won the overall University of the Year award above finalists including London, Glasgow, Swansea and Harper Adams University in Shropshire.
Mr Gill, who chaired the judging panel, said Edge Hill's "achievements in student satisfaction and graduate employment were noted by our judges, as was its financial performance and the part it plays in transforming lives in the local region."
Originally opened in Liverpool in 1885 as a teacher training college for women, Edge Hill University first began offering degrees validated by Lancaster University in 1963.
It gained full university status in 2006 and now caters for about 12,000 undergraduate and 3,900 postgraduate students on its Ormskirk site as well as offering distance learning.
Mr Cater, who accepted the award from comedian and host Jack Dee at the ceremony in London on Thursday, said: "The University is stronger than ever before and I'm honoured to have been involved in its consistent growth and improvement during my tenure as Vice Chancellor.
"It is a privilege to work alongside all those who strive to fulfil Edge Hill University's commitment to changing lives - our staff, our students, our alumni, our Students' Union, our partners and our friends and it is rewarding to see this enterprising spirit recognised.
"I have no doubt that the University will enjoy continued success in the future."
Other winners in the north west included the University of Salford, awarded for its contribution to innovation and technology and for having UK's top business school, and the University of Manchester which won the award for outstanding contribution to the local community for the second year running.