16 July 2021

The University of East London was awarded two silvers and a highly commended award at the 2021 HEIST Awards on Thursday 15 July - awards that celebrate extraordinary work from across the sector, from small regional colleges to huge global brands.

The University's marketing team was recognised in eight categories: marketing team of the year, best undergraduate student recruitment campaign, best brand and reputation campaign, best low budget initiative (under £15k), rising star award, best alumni initiative, best undergraduate prospectus and best postgraduate prospectus.

UEL was awarded a silver award for best undergraduate student recruitment campaign #BeTheChange and a silver for best low budget initiative category. Ana Sheppard also won a highly commended award for the rising star category.

David Smith, head of marketing, said, "We are delighted that the #BeTheChange campaign has been recognised with a silver award in the best undergraduate student recruitment campaign category at this year's Heist Awards.

"Having an exciting institutional vision to build our work around has given us the platform to create a recruitment campaign that truly resonates with our audience and speaks to the challenges and opportunities of the world today.

"The marketing team has put everything into creating the campaign and we are extremely proud of the impact that it has made on students and the results that it has achieved for the University."

The campaign sought to reach under-represented audiences with an inspiring message that reinforced the important role that education plays in our society as well as gesture towards a positive future in these difficult times.

We are also thrilled to see our clearing automation project recognised in the best low budget initiative category. We are always looking for creative and innovative solutions in the work that we do, and this initiative helped us address an issue that was compounded by the pandemic, saving us a significant amount of time and money at a key recruitment period for the institution,"

David Smith, UEL head of marketing, said.

Ana Sheppard won the highly commended award in the rising star category and judges referred to her as someone with "energy and vision" and "who has the technical and creative skills that go with her responsibilities and have made a considerable difference and inspired her team".

The senior content marketing executive said, "I am delighted to have been recognised for this category. The nomination itself is testament to the creative, supportive and dedicated team that I feel very proud to work alongside."

Mr Smith said, "We are extremely proud of Ana! She has gone above and beyond and made a significant contribution in the evolution of the institutional brand. She has been central in unpacking our brand through engaging content pieces that have resonated with the audience and help meet campaign and recruitment targets."

Vanessa Varvas, chief marketing officer, said, "It has been an incredible year of ups and downs not only for the university but across the sector and around the world. All universities should be proud of their achievements.

"What 2020/21 has meant for the University of East London is that our mission and Vision 2028 have become even more important than ever for our students, community and being a driver for change.

"Having this at the centre of our marketing efforts this year has been our focus. It has been an honour to be recognised in multiple categories. The commitment and integrated working approach across teams, our student body and the university has been a driver to this recognition."

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