CUBO launches 10th anniversary commercial services awards with a revamped programme

With prizes for conferencing, events, catering and hospitality, the CUBO awards return for 2022 with a revamped programme

College and University Business Officers (CUBO) marks a decade of its awards with the launch of a revamped programme for 2022.

Nine awards are up for grabs, including Campus Experience of the Year and a new award for Creativity in Conferencing, Events and Hospitality.

Established in 2012, the CUBO Awards recognise excellence in commercial and campus services. They are open to all universities and FE colleges in the UK and Ireland. Submissions are welcome from any area of commercial and campus services including student accommodation, residence life, catering, retail, hospitality, sport and conferencing and events.

Entries must demonstrate best in sector and results in finance, strategy or student experience, as well as innovation or adoption of new ideas or technology. The 2022 judges will also be looking for evidence of wider benefits of sustainability, student wellbeing, broader integration and community.

Entries will need to show team work, people and skills development contributing to success, and an increase in engagement, partnership working, communication and connection to target audience.

Sponsored by Unite Students, UPP, Russell Partnerships and Quadient, the nine awards categories are:

  • Campus Experience of the Year
  • Creativity in Catering and Retail
  • Best Residence Life Experience
  • Excellence in Sports Experience
  • Innovation in Student Housing
  • Innovation in Student Experience
  • Creativity in Conferencing, Events and Hospitality
  • Business Partnership of the Year
  • Best Marketing Campaign

A panel of 14 judges drawn from universities, companies, media and individuals with expertise in HE commercial services will be chaired by CUBO chair-elect Kirsty Woodward, director of campus services at the University of Leicester.

The new Creativity in Conferencing, Events and Hospitality award recognises a key area of commercial activity for higher and further education institutes, whether utilising student accommodation in the summer, operating year-round guest accommodation or even one or more hotels.

In other changes, the Best Residence Life Initiative award has been renamed Best Residence Life Experience, while Innovation in Catering becomes Creativity in Catering and Retail.

“We wanted to capture the total ResLife package, the holistic experience, as opposed to just one initiative,” said Woodward.  “And the catering award now includes all the provisions our members represent and allows for both innovation or a successful new take on an existing service.”

The shortlisted entrants for Campus Experience of the Year and Creativity in Catering and Retail will undergo site visits, while entries for all other awards will be judged in one round. The shortlist will be published in May 2022.

Entrants have until Friday 1st April to complete their submissions. The finalists will be revealed in May and the Awards dinner and celebration will take place at Lancaster University on 14 July, during the CUBO Summer Conference.

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