Educate the North logo with TelegraphProlific North is partnering the launch of a prestigious new initiative which aims to celebrate the success and growth of the knowledge sector across the North of England. The sector includes 33 universities and a series of leading arts, music, legal, teaching and other higher educational institutions. We are delighted that The Telegraph Media Group has agreed to partner the initiative.

The awards will be presented at a unique black tie dinner in Manchester on 3 June 2015 which will showcase the world-class status of many of the North’s leading academic institutions, with a special one-day conference preceding the awards.

Full details of the speakers and topics at the conference will be released in early January.

A team at The University of Liverpool Management School will be working alongside this initiative to deliver a host of original and published research data which will illustrate the sheer scale and contribution of the sector: a sector which contributes tens of billions of pounds to the regional economy.

A list of the award categories can be found here.

Submissions can now be made and the closing date is 20 March 2015.

The 20 award categories available recognise advancement and success in specific fields of research and collaboration as well as awards for employer engagement, international outreach and environmental developments. There will also be recognition for leadership, student experience and access for students from a mix of backgrounds, abilities and social class.

Professor Ella Ritchie

Professor Ella Ritchie

Our outstanding panel of judges has been drawn from leading academics and individuals with an acknowledged interest in the sector:

  • David Alton, Baron Alton of Liverpool
  • Keith Burnley, CEO, National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education
  • Professor Ian Clarke, Dean, Edinburgh Business School
  • Dr Julie Davies, Deputy Chief Executive, Association of Business Schools
  • Geoff Dawson, Chair Elect, Committee of University Chairs
  • Professor Deborah Eyre, Education Director, Nord Anglia Education
  • Martin Doel OBE, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
  • Michael Jones, Professor and Director, Foundation for Management Education
  • Dr Karima Hani-Kadifi, Senior Lecturer in Post-Compulsory Education, University of Worcester
  • Professor Jim Keaton, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool
  • Linda Miller, Senior Research Fellow, The Institute for Employment Studies
  • Professor Ella Ritchie OBE, Emeritus Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University
  • Professor Peter Starbuck, Entrepreneur & Author
  • David Wood, Founder & CEO, Jam Pan


Professor Cary Cooper

Professor Cary Cooper

The academic chairman of the initiative is Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Lancaster and one of the UK’s leading specialists in management psychology. He is supported by Professor Phil Harris of The University of Chester who is chairing the judging panel and Nik Miller a former executive at The University of York, now part of The Bridge Group.

“This is a unique moment to pause, analyse and examine the truly world-class nature and leading achievements of this sector in the North,” said Carm Productions founder Rob McLoughlin, the ITV Granada broadcaster and producer who has devised the awards and conference.

His interest in the sector was sparked when he was asked to sit on the professional advisory board of The White Rose College which unites the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York and has won more than £19m to fund PHD students in the arts and humanities.

“At the same time, this is the perfect opportunity to focus on the future, the financial pressures facing colleges, the economic realities of surviving the recession, increases in student fees and a truly worldwide as well as online competition for the best graduates and under graduates.

Rob McLoughlin

Rob McLoughlin

“We wanted to team up with The Telegraph Media Group because this is a truly national stage for a debate focussed on one sector and one defined geographical region at a time when Westminster and Whitehall are paying the North of England inordinate attention ahead of the General Election and after the Scottish vote on independence.

“Here we can take stock and consider the evolution of the knowledge economy across the North.”

The University of Liverpool’s Management School, led by Professor John Taylor, will for the first time publish a detailed analysis of the sector’s economic value as well as its importance to the country’s cultural and social life. The universities play a major role as employers and also in construction and other key areas as they expand and grow to attract students from across the country and globe.

“It will be an unmissable event,” said Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE.

“We are at a crossroads in academia so let’s celebrate the success to date but let’s also open a dialogue with policy makers and the public about the direction we all travel in from this point.

“That is why I am so pleased we are taking these issues and placing them on one stage with a conference and an awards ceremony to begin that debate. I hope as many people as possible engaged in this area or who wish to engage in this sector will join us and contribute to the dialogue and debate.”

Sir Cary is being supported as chair of the conference by Professor Phil Harris of University of Chester, who added: “I also hope it will inspire new partnerships and new co-operation which is one of the key ingredients to prospering in the near future.”

We will be releasing more details of the nominations, speakers and the conference engagement opportunities over the next few months. For enquiries about possible commercial engagement with this initiative, please contact Jill Taylor at or on 07879 471636.

Educate The North Awards and Conference at The Hilton Hotel Manchester on 3 June 2015 is being staged by Prolific North, Don’t Panic and Carm Productions in association with The Telegraph Media Group