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This year we have eight categories of award for Made a Difference. Please read the categories below and think about the person you’re nominating and which category is right for them.

Outstanding Personal Tutor Award (all Personal Tutors can be nominated)

Your personal tutor is your guide on the path to academic success. This award is for that personal tutor who helps you develop from wide-eyed fresher to university expert, a friendly mentor who helps you maximise your potential at ARU.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they make sure you get the help you need, whether it’s from them or not?
  • Do they help you adjust to university life?
  • Do they support your personal development, inside and outside of your academic achievement?
  • Do they develop your independence while still being there for you?
  • Do they help you understand your academic engagement, leading you to become more likely to succeed?

Outstanding Supervisor Award (all Supervisors can be nominated)

The supervisor plays a vital role in the development of your work, whether you’re writing a dissertation, completing your major project, or undertaking a doctoral thesis. This award is for the supervisor who pushes you – and your academic work – just that bit further.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they challenge you to produce original research that contributes to your subject?
  • Do they engage in stimulating and enthusiastic discussion that gets you excited about your work?
  • Do they help you to showcase your research or creative work to your community, through conferences, publications, or other opportunities to share knowledge?

Excellent Module Award (all modules can be nominated - this is not an award for an individual, but goes to the team who have developed and delivered the module)

There’s nothing like the feeling that comes with having a great module. Doing something you love and being taught in an enjoyable way can definitely make or break your educational experience. This award is to applaud a module with an exceptional design, superb content, and meticulous organisation.

When nominating a module for this award, consider:         

  • Does it cover a good range of sources and reading?
  • Does the assessment help you to develop your knowledge rather than being a means to a grade?
  • Has the delivery been outstanding - whether in-person or online?
  • Is the module material critically engaging?
  • Does the learning help you gain a full understanding of the subject?

Excellent Teaching Award (all teaching staff can be nominated)

Those who teach us have the potential to make a tremendous impact on our lives, inspiring us as they stand in front of the lecture hall or lead our seminars. This award is for those whose skill is making information exciting, understandable and fresh. Whether teaching in-person, online, or a bit of both, this award is for the excellent teacher in your life.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they communicate new concepts to you effortlessly?
  • Do they provide useful and prompt feedback that allows you to improve your skills?
  • Are they passionate about their subjects in way that makes you enthusiastic to learn?
  • Do they act as a leader in ARU’s learning community, challenging what you think you know and organising subject-related talks, debates, and panels?
  • Are they innovative, using technology creatively, approaching the subject in a unique way, or providing course material that is outside of the standard curriculum?
  • Is their teaching up-to-date with the latest practice in your current or future employment sector, or has their teaching helped give you skills for current or future employment in your chosen career?

Professional Services Staff Award (all Professional Services staff can be nominated)

Is there a member of staff that works behind the scenes that you think stands out? This award is for those people who enrich your university experience, contributing positively to your on-campus (or virtual!) learning environment.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they go above and beyond to solve an issue?
  • Do they demonstrate ARU core values, enhancing your learning experience?
  • Do they listen to your feedback and anticipate your needs?
  • Do they offer support that motivates you to act on issues yourself?
  • Do they offer flexible options for how to access support in a way that suits you?

Inclusivity Award (all staff can be nominated)

This award is for the staff member who is inclusive of all students, from anticipating accessibility needs to ensuring that all students get engaged, feel represented and are heard. Being inclusive is about everything from bringing everyone into the discussion, having a diverse curriculum and overcoming prejudice that might manifest on campus. Being inclusive can also be about providing a specific focus for a group of students who may otherwise feel excluded from university. This could be providing extra classes/activities, specific resources or an alternative format for students.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • In the classroom, are the handouts, presentations and Canvas pages accessible?
  • Have they developed teaching or support for a specific group of students (for example BAME students, disabled students or care leavers)?
  • In the classroom, are the resources used reflective of a wide range of perspectives and opinions? Do they include examples from people of different cultures, genders or sexualities?
  • On campus, do they anticipate the needs of students who require something a little bit different, or think about ways to represent and engage students from BAME, disabled, LGBT or other diverse backgrounds?
  • Do they make sure that you get extra support if they know you need it?
  • Do they put effort into making your university experience inclusive for everyone?

Student and Staff Collaboration Award (all staff can be nominated)

Some staff go to great lengths to treat students as equals, seeking out the student voice and truly listening to it. This award is to recognise someone who works together with students as partners to effect change and enhance the student experience here on campus. 

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they work with you in a trusting and supportive relationship, both sharing and inviting perceptions, knowledge, skills, experience and expertise?
  • Do they include you in the design and delivery of curriculum or in decisions about your university experience?
  • Have they asked you to work with them on a project to improve the student experience or supported you with a project of your own?
  • Do they work with your club or society to help make it a success?
  • Do they promote a culture of co-creation and collaboration in order to enhance teaching and learning, inside and outside of the classroom?
  • Do they collaborate with you to make you a partner in your education?

Special Recognition Award (all staff can be nominated)

Is there someone you want to recognise who is so amazing that they could have won all the Made a Difference awards?! This award is for the person who has gone above and beyond this year to defy the categories. This award is for the person who has overcome all the odds and barriers to give you academic confidence, and who brightens your day whenever you see them.

When nominating someone for this award, consider:

  • Do they listen and improve your whole university experience?
  • Do they adapt to changing circumstances and communicate what's going on clearly?
  • Do they support on many aspects of your academics, creating a learning community here at ARU?
  • Do they work to make your education enjoyable (but it seems no effort for them at all)?


Made a Difference Awards are student led, co-ordinated by the Students’ Union, and are all about students recognising fantastic, inspirational and life-changing Anglia Ruskin Staff. What makes a truly amazing student experience is identified through the nominations and this feedback contributes to improving all areas of our University.

Anglia Ruskin Students' Union is a company limited by guarantee and a charity registered in England and Wales. Registered Company No. 08064796 and Registered Charity No. 1148574. The registered office of Anglia Ruskin Students' Union is Helmore Building, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT

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