Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education

Here at Homes for Students like the rest of the UK we’re grieving the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest-serving monarch. As you will have heard, she passed away at Balmoral Castle on the 8th of September – may she rest in peace.  

Over her 70-year reign, the Queen had a long relationship with the education sector, with a fair share of educational awards and charities in her name, most notably the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.  

Within this blog we’ll be discussing the history of the award, this year’s addition, who is eligible for the award and the impact it has on universities and colleges within the United Kingdom.  

Queen Elizabeth II

History Of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize  

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is the highest award that an educational institution can receive, it’s awarded every two years to a select few universities and colleges.

The prize is awarded by the Royal Anniversary Trust, a registered charity set up in 1990 to mark 1992 as the 40th year of Elizabeth II’s reign as British monarch.  

The first round was awarded in 1994 and there have been 14 biennial rounds since then, with 275 prizes being awarded to 82 universities and 49 further education colleges.  

The goals of the award were to establish an educational award which would recognise the outstanding work of colleges and universities within the UK, as well as promote cultural awareness of the constructional monarchy and promote commerce, industry and the advancement of education.  

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize were previously granted by Her Majesty The Queen, whilst the honour will now be passed to the new monarch King Charles III.  

Queen's Anniversary Prize

Who Can Apply For The Award 

The award is open to all UK colleges or universities offering a range of full-time courses and programmes. Although, any higher education facility which wants to compete for the prize needs to reach the entry requirements.  

The entry can be in any subject, field or discipline but needs to persuade those judging the awards that:  

  • It is of very high quality and an example of the best the UK can do in the particular field  
  • It is innovative or ground-breaking  
  • It brings specific benefits to the college or university 
  • It delivers public, scientific, educational and other practical benefits to the world  

Examples of past fields at universities or colleges which have received the award include science, engineering, arts and the creative industries, humanities, the environment and medicine. 


The Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2020-2022 

King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) and Princess Anne made a joint appearance in February at St James’s Palace to present the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for higher and further education earlier this year.  

For 2020-2022 a total of 21 Prizes were awarded for the 14th Round of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes. 

You can find out more about this year’s winners below – your university could be on the list! 

  • University of AberdeenInnovations in soil science to combat climate crisis 
  • Anglia Ruskin University Harnessing the power of music to help people living with dementia 
  • University of Bradford – Building the future by rebuilding the past 
  • Chichester College Group A leader in craft skills for furniture-making and upholstery 
  • Exeter College National impact in digital educational technology 
  • University of GlasgowInternational research centre accelerating virology capability 
  • Grimsby Institute (The Tec Partnership) – Transforming lives through digital skills training 
  • Heriot-Watt University – Pioneering photonics with global impact 
  • University of Huddersfield – Cutting-edge manufacturing providing smart solutions 
  • Imperial College London – Critical modelling and research in the face of the global COVID pandemic 
  • University of Leeds – Equipping communities against climate challenges 
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Empowering alumni to save lives 
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science – Providing a multi-disciplinary response to climate change 
  • The Manchester College – A mission to support social mobility 
  • Nottingham Trent University – Advancing cultural heritage science 
  • University of Oxford – Life-saving rapid response to COVID-19 
  • University of Reading – Connecting communities with climate change 
  • South West College – Leading the way in the green economy 
  • University of Strathclyde – Driving innovation and job creation in advanced manufacturing 
  • Swansea University – Revolutionizing applications for renewable energy 
  • Warwickshire College – Bridging skill gaps in industry 

You can find out more about the prize winners and their stories on the Queen’s Anniversary Prize website.  


The Impacts Of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize 

As we mentioned earlier, the Prizes are the highest national Honour awarded in UK further and higher education so, the impact that winning the award has on universities and colleges is grand.  

The benefits of being schools that are a recipient of the award include an increase in profile and reputation, further attraction to prospective students and staff, as well as helping to further funding, business and development opportunities. The awards can also have great public benefit worldwide.  

Applications for Round 15 of the prize (2022-2024) are now open, click here to find out more. 

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II & The Education System 

As you can see from this blog, Queen Elizabeth II honoured different universities and colleges for their contributions to education and the wider world through this prestigious award.  

Aside from The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, The Queen had a detrimental impact on the UK’s education system and education systems of countries within the commonwealth.

Elizabeth spent a significant amount of time visiting schools, colleges and universities not only on a national level but a global level too across her 70-year reign.  

Education secretary Kit Malthouse has stated Her Majesty’s “devotion to public service has been an inspiration, and her wisdom and strength have often provided solace to her people in times of darkness, most recently during the pandemic”. 



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That’s the end of our blog on the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, we hope we’ve enlightened you with some history on the fantastic award.  

Here at HFS, we remember Queen Elizabeth II decades of dedication and support to the education system and her commitment to public service.  

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