CUBO Awards put the spotlight on commercial excellence

CUBO Awards put the spotlight on commercial excellence

Commercial excellence took centre stage at the 2023 CUBO Awards on July 6th at the University of Glasgow, as eight universities were recognised for outstanding achievement in commercial and campus services.

Hosted by inspirational Scottish celebrity and presenter JJ Chalmers, with Bailie Norman Macleod from Glasgow City Council as guest of honour, the 2023 CUBO Awards were presented across nine categories.

Awards Chair, Jane Donachy, Associate Director of Catering, Retail and Accommodation Services at the University of the Arts, London, praised the exceptional standard of entries in 2023, hailing the awards as “a fantastic platform to showcase the hard work of university commercial staff.”

“University commercial services are an essential part of the student’s life, with most of their personal time being spent in halls, retail outlets, cafes, and canteens. It is a place for them to call home, make lifelong friends and memories,” she said.

“The awards are critical to motivative and reward hard-working staff in the commercial areas within the context of the wider university. You cannot underestimate the buzz and encouragement winning an award gives the teams that work tirelessly to improve the student experience.”

The 2023 CUBO Award winners are:

Creativity in Catering and Retail: University of Exeter

An unused bank branch was transformed into a vibrant street food hub providing additional revenue and a hireable events space.

Best Residence Life Experience: University of Nottingham

Nottingham built a sport, wellbeing and health package into students’ overall accommodation offering resulting in 96% reporting an increased sense of belonging to the university and halls.

Excellence in Student Sports Experience: University of Exeter

Exeter’s Get Into Sport campaign has successfully extended participation to international students, women, and those with mental health difficulties by making sport more accessible for all.

Innovation in Student Housing Award: University of the Arts London (UAL)

UAL’s Archwood site is designed to build networks between local Southwark businesses and students, with initiatives such as apprenticeships and local employment schemes.

Innovation in Student Experience: University of Essex

Essex’s Fan Engagement Project used sport as a lever to build engagement between students and the university, tackling wellbeing in the post-Covid environment.

Creativity in Conferencing, Events and Hospitality: Keele University Events & Conferencing

The drive to carbon neutrality at Keele has been supported with initiatives including a green delegate package and green energy, contributing to a 26% increase on income forecasts.

Business Partnership of the Year Award: University of Manchester and Infinity Inc

Sales from Manchester’s gift shop have soared by 263% thanks to an innovative partnership that has embraced an online store, sales to staff and eco-merchandise.

Best Marketing Campaign: University of Leeds

Leeds rebuilt its gym membership among students with a creative approach to digital marketing that targeted prospects with tailored content, resulting in sales in excess of £2m.

Campus Experience of the Year: Royal Holloway, University of London

Collaboration, team-working and communication between teams and target audiences has delivered a ‘World Class’ ranking for the commercial services directorate, making it the top scoring purely commercial services directorate among universities.

Honorary membership

Outgoing CUBO Board members Richard Kington and Jane Donachy were recognised for their outstanding contribution to CUBO and higher education professional services.

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