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Entrepreneurial University of the Year


The University of Auckland has been named Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Asia-Pacific Triple E Entrepreneurship and Engagement Excellence Awards in Higher Education. Other contenders for the category included entrepreneurial superstars such as Tel Aviv University, the University of Adelaide, University of Technology Sydney and Malaysia’s Management and Science University.

The awards are administered by the European-based ACEEU (Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities). Entrants underwent a rigorous application and selection process, with an external panel of reviewers – entrepreneurship and innovation experts from around the world – reviewing each applicant against a strict list of criteria.

Entrepreneurial University of the Year was one of a range of categories at the awards that celebrated outstanding achievements of universities and individuals in the areas of entrepreneurship, engagement, social outreach and sustainability.

With over 300 entries, and 60 finalists from 17 countries, Triple E Awards are a testament to the fact that “third mission” at universities is gaining more prominence and universities are more comprehensively embracing this new role. The third mission refers to the social, enterprise, and innovative activities that universities perform in addition to teaching and research tasks.

The awards were presented in Kochi, India at the end of an industry conference and offered the opportunity for the international community of change-makers, innovators, educators and leaders in higher education to exchange knowledge and discuss how to improve the performance of universities so as they can respond to the grand challenges of the 21st century.

The University of Auckland’s award came in recognition of the quality and scale of entrepreneurial initiatives generated through UniServices and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These include the establishment of a world-class innovation hub and makerspace, an inventor’s fund and investment committees, a global presence with new off-shore spaces including the Innovation Institute of China in Hangzhou, extra-curricular programmes and integration of entrepreneurship within curricula.

Professor Thorsten Kliewe, Chair of ACEEU and the Triple E Awards, says “On behalf of ACEEU and the Triple E Awards team I would like to congratulate the University of Auckland for winning the Entrepreneurial University of the Year award. The University is a great example on how entrepreneurship can be at the heart of a higher education institution. With the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the University’s Unleash Space, the university hosts impressive support services that students, staff and the wider community access, and this ultimately fosters entrepreneurial activity and creates the societal impact that we like to see in Entrepreneurial Universities.”

“Innovation and entrepreneurship have for many years been a feature of the University of Auckland”, says Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon. “I am delighted to see the commitment of so many staff and students across the University, and particularly Wendy Kerr and her team, recognised in this way”.

The University of Auckland was also a finalist for Innovation and Collaboration Space of the Year and Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year for Wendy Kerr, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Explore the finalist’s profiles


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