Information Services

Winners! Edinburgh take home THE Awards Outstanding Library Team Trophy

Our University of Edinburgh uCreate Makerspace team has won the Outstanding Library Team award at the Times Higher Education Awards 2020.


THE Awards - Edinburgh Library Team Winners

The THE Awards – widely referred to as the ‘Oscars of higher education’ – is a huge celebration,  with over a thousand people having logged in to catch this year’s winners. Hundreds of entries from individuals, teams and institutions were received, from all corners of the country. Huge congratulations are due to our uCreate Makerspace team, who have earned such an incredible achievement and taken home the trophy for outstanding work in library and information-services departments. 

The uCreate Makerspace is a site where student societies, student entrepreneurs, and teaching staff can all visit and make use of 3-D printers, various electronic components and an ever-expanding array of new and transformative technologies, including virtual and augmented reality.

uCreate is located in the Main Library - at the heart of our main campus - enabling all our students to visit conveniently; a distinction from other university makerspaces, which are typically housed in science and engineering facilities. Particularly noteworthy, uCreate has also helped jump-start careers in new technologies, such as the group of students who went into business to create affordable 3-D printed prosthetic arms. We have also witnessed archaeological replicas, astrophysics maps and biological models illustrating everything from insects to human organs.

This THE Awards entry window opened just as the Covid lockdown commenced, and focused on activity during the 2018-19 academic year. Judges praised, “the systematic planning from initial vision, the comprehensive one-year pilot service and, ultimately, the successful and much-expanded roll-out. There is clear evidence of an improvement in teaching and learning.”. 

In an extraordinary year, the opportunity to sit down with the THE Awards judges – remotely, of course – and immerse oneself in the stories behind our shortlisted entries was more rewarding than ever.

Because these awards recognise achievements in the 2018-19 academic year, we are dealing with the world as it was pre-pandemic, but the brilliance of our researchers, the exceptional teaching and the extraordinary ingenuity shown by administrative staff, all on display in this year’s shortlists, will be critical for both universities and the country in the period ahead.

In some ways, picking out examples of individual achievement seems at odds with the collective effort that has been so vital during the difficult months this year, but the THE Awards have been celebrating the UK sector in this way for 16 years, so a pandemic wasn’t going to stop us. Congratulations to an inspirational group of winners, and indeed to everyone shortlisted.”

John GillTHE Editor