Northumbria University’s Times Higher Education Award Triumph winning the award for outstanding student support 2023 by Associate Professor Barry Hill

Northumbria University’s remarkable achievement in winning the Times Higher Education (THE) Award for Outstanding Student Support in 2023 is a testament to its innovative approach in supporting interrupted nursing students. This prestigious recognition is not just an accolade but a reflection of the university’s commitment to nurturing future healthcare professionals.

The “Supporting Interrupted Nursing Students to Return to Their BSc/MSc Programme of Study”, was a collaborative effort funded by NHS England as part of their RePAIR innovation. It involved Northumbria University and three Third Sector organisations, focusing on re-engaging students who had paused their studies. The initiative featured a range of activities, including wellbeing and resilience workshops, art and pottery, movement and dance workshops, study skills development, and confidence-building sessions.

These activities were not just extracurricular indulgences but essential components in rebuilding students’ confidence and readiness to return to their academic and professional journeys. The programme’s impact was profound, with over 50% of the interrupted students resuming their nursing education. This success is a significant contribution to the national goal of expanding the nursing workforce, a crucial need in today’s healthcare landscape.

Northumbria University’s approach went beyond traditional academic support. It addressed the holistic needs of students, recognising the multifaceted challenges they face. The project exemplified how educational institutions could play a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare by supporting the well-being and professional development of nursing students.

The award is not just an honour for Northumbria University but also a beacon of inspiration for educational institutions worldwide. It showcases how innovative, empathetic, and student-centric approaches can create substantial positive changes in the education and health sectors.

The success of this project is a story of resilience, collaboration, and dedication. It celebrates the spirit of nursing students who, despite interruptions in their studies, showed the determination to return and contribute to the healthcare system. Northumbria University’s recognition by the Times Higher Education is a well-deserved accolade for its outstanding contribution to student support and the nursing profession.

As we move forward, this project highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the diverse needs of students, particularly in challenging fields like nursing. The lessons learned and the strategies developed through this initiative can guide future efforts to support students across various disciplines.

In conclusion, Northumbria University’s achievement in winning the THE 2023 Award for Outstanding Student Support is a milestone in the field of education and student welfare. It is a testament to the power of empathy, innovation, and community collaboration in creating environments where students can thrive and succeed, even in the face of adversity. This award not only honours the university but also sets a new standard in student support, inspiring educational institutions globally to adopt similar transformative approaches.


If you would like more information please feel free to contact Barry at