University of Derby join list of sponsors backing this year’s Derby Telegraph Business Awards

derby college
thomas international
Submitted by dtbus on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 14:49

The 2018 edition of the Derby Telegraph Business Awards will welcome the support of the city’s higher education establishment, the University of Derby.


Providing industry-relevant degree programmes, the University of Derby – who are ranked in the top 1,000 universities in the world by Times Higher Education – offer around 34,000 students opportunities to gain professional work experience alongside their studies.


For the fourth consecutive year, it is the SME Business of the Year category which has gained the university’s support.


Speaking of their sponsorship of the category, Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive & Finance Director at the University of Derby, said: “This category was a natural choice for us. We’re already heavily invested in supporting start-ups and small businesses through our business incubation centres, such as Banks Mill in Derby, and currently have around 115 businesses benefiting from the services we offer. These include access to business premises, advice and guidance, and resident entrepreneurs on hand to share their knowledge and expertise.”


With an investment of £200 million put into the university over the past 10 years the university is committed to ensuring anyone attending the university has access to unparalleled facilities and this drive to be the best is just one of the ways in which they contribute to the local community.


Highlighting some of the other ways in which they impact the local community, Hari said:


“We have opened a £12 million facility in Derby to support education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) courses and have launched a scholarship to support social mobility and the development of key skills among the city’s young people. We are also a founding partner of the Midlands Enterprise Universities group, which is working to boost regional productivity and growth.”


He continued: “In addition to our degree courses, we have accredited programmes and apprenticeship schemes from levels 2 to 7. We can also provide support for R&D programmes through Knowledge Exchange Partnerships, and SMEs can access government funding through our £16 million Invest to Grow programme.”


2018 has already seen the university enjoy successes including being recognised as one of the top institutions in the country for teaching quality, achieving a Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework. This great start to the year will undoubtedly further motivate the establishment, who have clear ambitions and targets for the year ahead.


Sharing just a few of these, Hari said: “We have ambitious student recruitment targets, but are confident in achieving them as we continue to take market share from our competitor group. Recently we were placed 6th in a Times Higher Education league table for University ‘Top Risers’, thanks to an increase in student numbers of more than 11% from 2015 to 2016; an incredible achievement given the highly competitive marketplace we’re operating in.


He finished: “Commercially we will continue to collaborate with businesses and organisations regionally, nationally and internationally. We have a wealth of academic expertise, knowledge and research that can bring huge benefits to business and deliver a real impact on personal and corporate performance.”


For more information regarding the Derby Telegraph Business Awards please contact Devon Coverdale at Champions (UK) plc on 08453 31 30 31 or email


Alternatively, visit: to enter, for more information or to find out the other sponsors giving their support to this year’s awards.

University of Derby