Queen’s Anniversary Prize brings University of Bedfordshire national and international recognition

Fri 28 February, 2014
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HER Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh presented the University of Bedfordshire with the leading award in higher education at an honours ceremony at Buckingham Palace today (Thursday).

The prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was bestowed upon the University in recognition of its applied research into child sexual exploitation, influencing new safeguarding policy and practice.

The award was presented to the University’s Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell, and Professor Jenny Pearce, who led the pioneering research as Director of the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at the University.

Bill Rammell said: “It truly was an honour today to be invited to Buckingham Palace and to receive such a prestigious award from Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke Of Edinburgh.

“To win the Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a landmark moment for the University of Bedfordshire. It brings national and international recognition to the University for its ground-breaking research in social work and social care. I am particularly pleased that, by addressing the societal challenge of child sexual exploitation, this University has made an impact on policy and practice that will change the lives of many young people.”

When the award was first announced in November 2013, the Royal Anniversary Trust said the University of Bedfordshire’s work was of strategic national importance, influencing UK policy and practice, adding that it has positioned the University as a leader of child-centred research in an area of growing social concern.

The Trust went on to describe the University’s research as being exceptional and distinctive, as it has helped alter perceptions of children so they are understood as victims of child abuse, and worked with welfare agencies to ensure that children are safeguarded rather than criminalised through the youth justice systems.

The Trust said this has brought about a “greatly improved practice in the protection of children and young people” and a fundamental change in approaches to child sexual exploitation”.

Professor Jenny Pearce (pictured) said: "It is an enormous honour to receive this award.

"It means a lot for us as researchers as recognition of our work but also to the young people we work with who, through such recognition, appreciate that their efforts to stop sexual violence are recognised."

Professor Pearce added: “Our work is distinctive and unique because of its collaborative approach, engaging with partners in government, funders, service providers and voluntary agencies, and because we prioritise the voice of the child through participatory methods of work.

“As a result, we are working with young people and other colleagues to advance theory, policy and practice. We are contributing to widespread changes in approaches to child sexual exploitation, positioning it firmly within strategies to safeguard children.”

Notes to Editor

To request live footage of the University receiving the award or for an interview with Professor Jenny Pearce, please contact the press office at the University of Bedfordshire: 01582 743046; 07724 241214; press.office@beds.ac.uk

Twenty institutions were announced as winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education at a reception hosted by the Royal Anniversary Trust. The announcement was made by the Royal Anniversary Trust by kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen, at a reception at St James’s Palace on 21 November 2013.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize recognises and celebrates outstanding work within UK higher and further education institutions and the impact that they have. They are the UK’s highest form of national recognition open to a UK higher or further education institutions. The winning entries represent individual departments or research groups, major international development projects, community schemes and vocational programmes and the application of cutting-edge research. Further information can be found at: www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk

The University of Bedfordshire (www.beds.ac.uk) is the largest higher education institution in the county, providing excellent opportunities for more people to access top quality higher education. We aim to create a vibrant multi-cultural learning community enabling people to transform their lives by participating in excellent, innovative education, scholarship and research.

The University of Bedfordshire has over 24,000 students, representing over 100 countries. Around 35 per cent of students are aged over 25 and about three-quarters of students receive financial support from the university. Between 2006 and 2013 over £180 million has been invested in new facilities at the university, which contributes approximately £300 million annually to the local economy.

For further information, or to receive University of Bedfordshire press releases on a regular basis, please contact: press.office@beds.ac.uk; 01582 743046. Follow us on Twitter: @uobnews


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