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AUB celebrates three wins at 2023 HEIST Awards


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The Marketing and Access and Participation teams at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) are celebrating after three wins out of three submissions at the premier Higher Education sector marketing awards, HEIST.

This year, the awards were fought over fiercely by more than 80 institutions, celebrating as they do, marketing effectiveness, innovation and best practice. All evidenced by data and research.

The first win of the night, a Silver, was for the Best Use of Content. The centrepiece of this entry was a spoof unmasking of AUB’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Gough on TikTok, revealing him as the elusive and anonymous street artist, Banksy.

On top of being funny (and more than a little anarchic) this “conspiracyTok” campaign was celebrated for breaking down the perceived stuffiness that many young people feel surrounds universities and instead flies a flag for AUB’s approachability, creativity and community values.

The second win was for a project led by AUB’s Access and Participation Team, supported by AUB Marketing, Being a Boy. This groundbreaking project is a new pre-16 Access and Participation initiative designed to tackle the gap in rates of progression to higher education for working-class boys – an especially acute issue for the creative sector.

The night was completed with a Gold for the WonderWhat project. This ongoing project created with agency partners, and AUB alumni, Bond and Coyne, represents an innovative new approach to the challenge of how to build 13/14-year-olds' curiosity in creative careers. And ultimately, to help reverse some of the declines seen in the numbers of young students choosing creative subjects at GCSE and A Level and beyond over the last 10 years.

The HEIST judges said that WonderWhat was a “standout entry and a true game-changer for the industry”.

AUB’s Head of Student Recruitment and Marketing said, “It was a great evening for AUB and a validation of the university’s commitment to the core values of innovation and passion for everything we do, whether that is in teaching, research or helping young people make better educational decisions that will help transform their lives. It is a privilege to work in HE - these awards confirm we are living up to the responsibility that goes with that privilege.”

The HEIST Awards ceremony was hosted in Manchester on Thursday 13 July by Havas.

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