A win for UCLan at the Time Higher Education Awards

Hannah Mason, Editor-in-Chief

UCLan wins prestigious Time Higher Education Award for unique digital arts project

Global Sound Movement recognised at Oscars of higher educator sector

UCLan has been crowned a winner at the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

The university beat off competition from five other UK universities to win. winning the arts category prize for its Global Sound Movement (GSM) project, a unique digital arts initiative that captures the sounds of rare and exotic musical instruments from remote villages across the globe for commercial use with profits donated back to the communities.

The project, led by UCLan’s College of Culture and the Creative Industries, travels to international areas where music is intrinsic to the communities’ individual culture; often where hand-built instruments are constructed from locally sourced materials forming the basis of the unique sound of that location.  As well as providing a way for remote, economically deprived communities to showcase their rare and distinctive music to a global audience, GSM provides local musicians with a sustainable income stream which could help lift them out of poverty.

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Senior lecturer in Brand Management Paresh Parmar is one of the leaders on the project.

Speaking at the THE Awards ceremony he said: “To win this award is absolutely brilliant.  The Global Sound Movement project connects people through music and everyone involved benefits, from the communities we visit to our students who themselves learn so much from the whole experience.  It truly transforms lives and that is something I think really resonated with the judges.”

The project brought together a team of staff and students in a collaborative process of teaching, learning and research, was praised by the judges for realising UCLan’s innovative vision of learning taking place ‘in the wild’.

UCLan’s win was one of six awards handed put to North West universities at the event. UCLan was also shortlisted in the Entrepreneurial University of the Year category for the third year in succession, reflecting the university’s growing status as one of the most innovative institutions in the higher education sector.

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said: “I am delighted the University has won this award in recognition of such a unique and ground-breaking project that truly reflects our international outlook and has proved to be a revolutionary sustainable fundraising platform.

“The THE Awards attract hundreds of talented entrants every year so to be nominated in two categories and go onto win one is fantastic and reflects the hard work and commitment of our dedicated staff and students.”

The awards took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London with 1,200 guests. All winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Malia Bouattia, President of the National Union of Students (NUS).

 

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