Entry guidelines

Our awards are free, simple to enter and open to anyone involved in higher education in the UK or Ireland, with the exception of sector-wide organisations.

This year’s THE Awards focus on activity during the 2020-21 academic year.

Please note that this year we are offering entrants in seven categories the opportunity to also submit written or video resources for THE Campus – check the Categories page for further details. (Please note this is optional – these resources will not be assessed as part of your awards submission.) 

  • Entry is free
  • When preparing your submission, please review the category criteria carefully, then ensure that it contains sufficient robust information and shows key activity taking place during the 2020-21 academic year.
    We will accept submissions based on projects, initiatives or endeavours that commenced prior to the 2020-21 academic year, provided that core achievements have taken place during this main period of focus. We will also accept any evidence that has come to light after the close of the 2020-21 academic year if this further underlines success.
    In some categories the period of focus may be longer (this will be stated in the specific category criteria), but we still want to see examples of outstanding work during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The judges will be looking for a good story, well told, and backed up with solid metrics.
  • All entries must be submitted online via www.the-awards.co.uk .
  • When the entry system opens on Thursday 7 April 2022, please go to the Categories page and click on the ENTER NOW button beneath the category you wish to enter. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 8 June now 13 June 2022 at 23:59.
  • You must register on this website to enter these awards. Your details will not be shared with any third party, and will only be used by us for awards-related communications.
    If you have previously registered to enter our awards, you should be able to use the same login details.
  • As well as populating the ‘Institution’ field on the application form, please ensure that, if applicable, you also enter the team/department name, project name or individual’s name in the ‘Nominee’ field.
  • When logged in, entries can be drafted and redrafted as many times as you wish – just click 'SAVE FOR LATER' or ‘SAVE’ any time you wish to exit an incomplete submission.
    Please note that an entry is not submitted by clicking 'SAVE' – to submit the entry, you must first click on 'MOVE TO BASKET', then access the entry again from your basket, and when satisfied that everything is correct, click on the 'SUBMIT ALL' button at the foot of the page.
  • Submissions should consist of up to 500 words of text, specifically addressing the criteria set out in the relevant category. You may also attach supporting documents. These should be no more than four sides of A4 in total (they may be printed out during the judging process). Please see below for more details about supporting materials.
  • If you wish to submit tables, graphics etc, these should be included within your supporting materials, not as part of the submission text.
  • We are also asking you to compose an abridged version of your submission (150 words max.), which will be published on this website if the entry is shortlisted. This page will be archived on all future THE Awards websites, collecting the best stories of the year in one place. 
    We are aware that some submissions contain confidential information, so please ensure that your edited version is something that you are happy for us to share publicly.
  • You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a different submission for each one.
    Please note that no single submission will be accepted in more than one category. Please choose the most appropriate single category for your entry. If you are unsure which category to choose, please contact david.suter@timeshighereducation.com to discuss.
  • You may submit a maximum of five entries per category, if the featured work is distinctive and unrelated. However, if there is common ground between entries, or you are trying to convey how a range of initiatives collectively address a particular challenge at your institution, we advise you to combine the best elements in a stronger single entry.
  • Our judges occasionally point out that some promising submissions are based on projects or initiatives still relatively early in their cycle, and that given a further 12 months their impact and success may be clearer. We encourage you to submit projects or pieces of work a second time, but please update the earlier submission and ensure you highlight activity during the subsequent 12-month period.
  • Institutions collaborating with each other or with external public or private partners are welcome to enter, but organisations working across the sector or with a large number of institutions are not eligible to enter themselves.
  • If your entry relates to an initiative or project carried out in collaboration with other institutions, the submission should come from the lead institution. In such cases, please enter “ <University name> in collaboration with <university name> ” or, in cases where the institutions are working under a collective banner or project name, “ <Project name> (<list all university names>) ” in the ‘Institution‘ field on the entry form, and we will credit everyone if shortlisted.
    Please note that these awards primarily recognise achievements at UK institutions, but we will acknowledge the importance of overseas partners in collaborative projects. In such cases, the entry should still be submitted by the UK institution.
  • If there is no lead partner institution, to avoid multiple entries focusing on the same project, please agree who will make the submission on behalf of the partnership.
  • If your entry relates to a collaboration with an external organisation who you would like to credit, please enter “ <Institution>, in collaboration with <organisation name> " in the ‘Institution’ field on the entry form.
  • Entries can be completed by those working at institutions or their suppliers (architects, consultants, PR companies, etc.). If you are entering on behalf of an institution, please make sure they are happy for you to do so.
  • If you are an individual considering submitting an entry, although we do not require written confirmation or authorisation, we ask that senior management and marketing departments are made aware that your entry is being submitted.
  • The shortlist will be published on Thursday 1 September 2022, with the winners being announced at the Hilton London Metropole hotel on Thursday 17 November 2022.

Supporting material

As these are downloaded for judging purposes, it would be appreciated if attachment titles could be kept as short as possible so that they can be opened easily.

  • Supporting materials should back-up or expand on statements made in the 500-word submission – they should not be used to provide additional information.
  • Documents should be in PDF or Word doc format.
  • One or two sets of supporting documents may be submitted, but in total they should comprise no more than four sides of A4.
  • Supporting material may include photographs, tables, documents containing statistics, testimonials, supporting research, evaluation or inspection reports, press cuttings and promotional material. Please highlight any sections you believe are particularly relevant. PowerPoint and video files cannot be accepted; however, you may submit screenshots.
    You can also include full URL links to further relevant information (no hyperlinks, please), though judges may only access these to verify claims made elsewhere in the entry.

Any information submitted outside these guidelines will not be considered as part of the submission.

Entry form

For institutions that filter entries through a central awards team, as well as sharing the Entry guidelines you may wish to circulate these entry form requirements:

  1. Nominee or key personnel (if you wish to highlight the role of specific people)
  2. Submission title or project name (if applicable)
  3. Project URL of link to further information about your entry (if applicable – this link will be published if the entry is shortlisted)
  4. Institution name *
  5. Submission text * (address specific criteria – strict limit of 500 words)
  6. Abridged submission * (will be published if the entry is shortlisted - strict limit of 150 words)
  7. Supporting material 1
  8. Supporting material 2
  9. Upload institution logo *

* mandatory field

Additionally, in seven categories we are inviting entrants to submit resources for THE Campus, so there will be additional fields on those entry forms only, where these can be uploaded. These resources are optional, and will not be judged as part of the awards submission. Further details can be found beneath the relevant category criteria .

Your entry

For each entry, our primary contact throughout the awards cycle will be the person who made the submission, so if you would prefer us to contact someone else after the form has been submitted, please send new contact information by email to THEawards@timeshighereducation.com , along with the institution and category (and unique Nomination Code, if possible).

When the shortlist is published on 1 September 2022, we will also write directly to the main contact for each successful entry.

On receipt of this shortlist confirmation email, please cross-check the unique Nomination Code against the one shown in your original 'confirmation of receipt' email when you made the entry, as it is possible that your institution may have submitted more than one entry in any single category.