Organised by the societal change charity Making the Leap, the SOMOs were established to recognise organisations that prioritise social mobility, for example through student recruitment processes and progression programmes, outreach in the local community, or by developing innovative ways to create change. This year’s panel comprised esteemed leaders chaired by Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.
This award represents the latest recognition of Queen Mary’s strength in social mobility. In 2021, Queen Mary was named the country’s top university for social mobility in a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Department for Education. And the Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 recognised Queen Mary as the most inclusive Russell Group University, noting that “Queen Mary continues to prove that social inclusion and academic success are not mutually exclusive.”
Jack Fox, Head of Student Recruitment and Widening Participation at Queen Mary attended the ceremony, and said: “We are truly thrilled to win this award. We are proud of the work we do in promoting social mobility for our students, graduates and, through our research and public engagement work that benefits wider society. This award is a wonderful tribute to our staff and students who work so hard to deliver our mission to open the doors of opportunity for anyone with the potential to succeed.”
Queen Mary’s UK undergraduate demographic marks it out among other Russell Group universities: 92% of students are from state schools; 75% are BAME; 35% are from households with less than £20,000 annual income; and 49% are the first in their family to enter Higher Education.
Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of The UK Social Mobility Awards, added: “The UK Social Mobility Awards is a vehicle to raise awareness of social mobility and showcases the individuals and organisations who are dedicated to its advancement. The number and quality of entries we received for this year’s awards is an indication of the increasing significance of social mobility to UK business. I would like to congratulate Queen Mary University of London for their achievements in the ‘University of the Year’ award and for the inspiring work they are doing to further this important movement.”
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