HESPA Development > HESPA Awards

The HESPA awards are an annual celebration of the work of our members and our sector. The awards aim to highlight excellence, innovation and dedication and pose an opportunity to support the professionalisation and recognition of strategic planners, while motivating colleagues and boosting morale.

The Awards are usually presented during our HESPA Conference, with nominations opening several months beforehand. We will let you know when nomination for the HESPA Awards 20-23 are open. For now, you can read about this years award winners below, and check out previous years award winners by clicking on the links to the right. 

HESPA 2022 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the HESPA 2022 Awards. We were delighted to celebrate with you at the virtual awards ceremony, and to hear about the valuable work you do. We’d also like to thank everybody who nominated themselves or others for an award – we really enjoyed reading all the entries and would like to congratulate all of you on your achievements.

Collaborative Planning Award

This award is for planners who have demonstrated innovation and worked cross-function with multiple departments and colleagues to tackle some of the big issues the sector currently faces, and achieve shared institutional goals.

Winner - University of Essex

The University of Essex established a governance structure around data insight, aiming to ensure that they were responsive regarding lag and lead data indicators and overseeing actions appropriately.

Their Data Insight Governance structure is an innovative and novel way of identifying actions that share good practice and helps to ensure continuous improvement. This structure also provides the opportunity for constructive challenge and self-assessment of performance in real-time, with targets set for improvement.

This unified approach to data governance is certainly one to be applauded, and we are delighted they decided to nominate this work for a HESPA award. 


Data Award

For snazzy BI and analytics work as well as overall engagement with extra curricula innovation in the sector.

Winner - King's College London

King's College London have taken full advantage of the rapid development environment provided by Microsoft’s Power Apps platform, to successfully build custom apps. The apps are all designed to help with current and future multifarious higher educational challenges.

The latest Power Apps developed and deployed by the team cover a range of uses including report navigation and submission, risk assessment, business modelling and process improvement.

Based on their success so far, they are planning to develop several additional apps, designed to empower staff to make data-informed decisions, and enabling them to support the needs of their staff and students alike.

We look forward to hearing about how things progress going forward!


Strategy Award

For best institutional strategy development and implementation.

Winner - University of Surrey

The University of Surrey have used exemplary data visualisation, on point facilitation skills and an engaged, collaborative process to enable the development of a strategy that has unified their community around a set of shared, ambitious but achievable goals.

This was followed by the development of an implementation plan that included a transformational re-design of their resource allocation model, creating the capacity to fund their ambitions, and the delivery and total democratisation of their PowerBI dashboards to enable the whole community to track progress, to adapt together, and to celebrate together.  

Congratulations on an excellent piece of work!


Paul Youngson Award

In memory of an excellent planner and treasured colleague, the Paul Youngson Award this year was presented to an up and coming planner who shows commitment and promise to the higher education strategic planning community, including HESPA and its members.

Winner - Elizabeth Morgan, Sheffield Hallam University

Elizabeth was nominated by her colleagues, who felt that over the past year, she has particularly flourished in her role, leading on a number of strategic projects and initiatives including being the “go to” person regarding the Access and Participation Agenda, co-authoring a report on how to build collaboration between HE and FE, and retaining good humour and determination amidst the wave of extensive policy consultations. 

We look forward to getting to know Elizabeth better and are sure she will continue to be a valued member of HESPA. 

Previous Award Winners

You can read about previous award winners below:



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