Categories

Bank/Capital Provider

Judges will be looking for the bank, lender or capital provider that has best supported the sector, in both lending and transactional services. This could include traditional lending to operators and developers, as well as debt financing to orchestrators of leveraged buyouts and takeovers. Banks, debt funds, alternative lenders and other types of capital providers are welcome to enter. Entries should include granular details of transactions/deals and showcase sector expertise.

Consultant – Strategy

Judges will be looking for the consultancy that has provided comprehensive strategic advice to a wide range of education companies. Entries should include granular details of projects, their scope, and how the work generated new business and/or expanded clients’ market share.

Consultant – to Deal-making

Judges will be looking for the consultancy that has produced commercial and financial due diligence – buy-side and/or sell-side – relating to a wide range of M&A transactions over the past 12 months. Entries should include details of deals, while showcasing the impact of how due diligence reports made a positive impact on processes and resulted in clients being better informed of opportunities and risks.

Financial Advisor

Judges will be looking for the corporate finance house or investment bank that has advised on a wide range of deals across numerous sub-sectors executed by a variety of investors. Entries should include details of deals and how they generated value for both vendors and buyers. Sell-side and buy-side work will be taken into account.

Investor

Judges will be looking for the investor – be that venture capital, private equity, independent, trade, family office, pension fund or sovereign wealth fund – that has executed one or more successful and significant deals over the past 12 months. Both minority and majority deals will be taken into account. Entries should include details of transactions and clearly explain the investment thesis underpinning each deal.

Legal Advisor – to Deal-making

Judges will be looking for the law firm that has advised on a range of successful investments in, or takeovers of, education institutions over the past 12 months. Both minority and majority deals will be taken into account. Entries should include details of transactions and explain the specific ways in which legal advice assisted clients with their investment strategy.

Legal Advisor – to Education Institutions

Judges will be looking for the law firm that has advised education operators on a range of legal issues relating to their corporate strategies over the past 12 months. Entries should include details of projects and highlight the ways in which legal advice helped clients overcome challenges and/or improved strategies.

Property Advisor

Judges will be looking for the advisor that has advised education clients – including both public and for-profit operators – on property-related matters. These could include purchases and/or sales of educational property; sale-and-leaseback deals; property expansions; greenfield and brownfield projects; and property efficiency enhancements. Entries should include granular details of projects and highlight the ways in which clients’ goals were met or exceeded.

Educational Publisher
Judges will be looking for the for-profit educational publisher that has best leveraged technology to enhance delivery, expand sales and widen access to content by students worldwide. Online and offline publishers are invited to enter this category. Entries should demonstrate a focus on content improvement and the ways in which providers are utilising technology to better serve students in the digital era, as well as any commercial activities, such as M&A and fundraising.

Ed Tech Provider
Judges will be looking for the ed tech company that has experienced robust growth in sales while enhancing customer outcomes. Entries should demonstrate the ways in which providers have grown – in terms of both users and revenue – while enhancing standards, as well as any commercial activities, such as M&A and/or fundraising. Ed tech providers entering this category that launched within the past five years are advised to briefly outline their medium-to-long-term strategy.

Further Education/Vocational Education Provider
Judges will be looking for the for-profit further education/vocational training provider that has pivoted successfully to online delivery methods amid the pandemic while improving student outcomes any expanding market share. Online and offline providers are invited to enter this category. Entries should demonstrate the ways in which providers have achieved educational excellence while pursuing a clear corporate strategy, which could entail M&A and organic expansions.

Higher Education Institution

Judges will be looking for the for-profit higher education institution – or group of institutions – that has demonstrated educational excellence over the past 12 months while expanding its operations in the UK and/or overseas – despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. Entries should showcase the ways in which student outcomes have been improved, as well as details of commercial activities, such as M&A and/or capacity expansions.

Nursery Operator

Judges will be looking for the for-profit nursery operator that has demonstrated high standards of childcare provision over the past 12 months while also pursuing a clear corporate strategy – despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. Entries should showcase the ways in which operators have adapted their strategies in light of the pandemic in an effort to uphold occupancy levels and include details of any M&A deals executed in the past 12 months.

Pathway Provider

Judges will be looking for the pathway provider that has continued to serve high volumes of students throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted international student mobility and higher education provision. Entries should showcase how providers have pivoted to online delivery and improved student outcomes, as well as any commercial activities such as M&A and/or fundraising.

Private School Operator

Judges will be looking for the for-profit private school operator that has demonstrated educational excellence over the past 12 months while expanding its operations in the UK and/or overseas – despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. Entries should showcase the ways in which student outcomes have been improved, as well as details of commercial activities, such as M&A and/or capacity expansions. Standalone schools as well as groups are invited to enter this category.

Private Tutoring Provider

Judges will be looking for the for-profit private tutoring company that has continued to assist students via online channels and innovative methods throughout a period in which schools and other educational centres have been closed due to social distancing measures. Face-to-face provision will also be taken into account. Entries should demonstrate the ways in which tutoring providers have improved student outcomes and adapted to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as details of any commercial activities such as M&A and fundraising.

Skills-training Provider
Judges will be looking for the for-profit skills-training provider that has pivoted successfully to online delivery methods amid the pandemic while improving student outcomes any expanding market share. Online and offline training providers are invited to enter this category. Entries should demonstrate the ways in which providers have achieved educational excellence while pursuing a clear corporate strategy, which could entail M&A and organic expansions.

 

Education Software Provider
Judges will be looking for the education software provider that can demonstrate the ways in which their digital products enhance the efficiency of clients’ businesses while offering value for money. Software providers catering to education companies in any sub-sector are invited to enter this category. Entries should evidence growth in client numbers and positive user feedback, as well as robust recurring revenues.

Recruitment Services
Judges will be looking for the education-focused recruitment provider that can demonstrate the ways in which placements made over the past 12 months have been successful. Both agencies and boutiques catering to clients in any educational sub-sector are invited to enter this category. Entries should evidence not just volume but the quality of placements, showcasing how candidates have made a positive impact on clients’ organisations.

School-Improvement Provider
Judges will be looking for the service provider that can demonstrate tangible improvements it has made to schools’ operations and/or learner outcomes. Entries should include granular details of school-improvement projects and evidence how sustainable, long-term outcomes have been achieved.

School Management Information System (MIS) Provider
In this new category, judges will be looking for the school management information system (MIS) provider that can demonstrate the ways in which their products enhance the efficiency of schools’ operations while offering value for money. Entries should evidence growth in client numbers and positive user feedback, as well as robust recurring revenues.

 

Business Woman  (Business Women in Education)

Judges will be looking for a leader who has demonstrated achievement, growth and success across her business. The recipient will have a proven record of growth and influence across the education sector and be known to many as a woman who has made a significant impact during her career.

Entries should demonstrate the ways in which they have achieved business excellence across education while pursuing a clear corporate strategy and sustainable long-term projects.

Education Provider
Judges will be looking for the standout education provider – across all sub-sectors – that has made the greatest impact over the past 12 months, a period in which the sector has come under acute stress as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Education providers of all shapes and sizes are invited to enter this category. Entries should demonstrate the ways in which providers have markedly improved learner outcomes and include details of commercial ventures – such as M&A, fundraising and market entrances – that have led to expansions of market share.

Exporting Excellence
Judges will be looking for the UK-based education provider that has successfully exported its offering, or entered a new market, overseas in the past 12 months. Providers from across all sub-sectors are invited to enter this category. Entries should evidence the success of overseas ventures and include forward-looking details about strategy.

Market Entrant
Judges will be looking for the UK-based education-focused company that has launched in the past 24 months. Education-focused operators, advisors and investors are invited to enter this category. Entries should include details about the new company’s role in the sector, its growth and achievements to date, and forward-looking details about strategy.

Woman to Watch (Business Women in Education)
The Woman to Watch Award recognises a woman who has had significant accomplishments in her profession. The recipient will be a woman who is considered an up-and-coming star and who demonstrates unwavering passion and commitment.
Entries should provide supporting documentation as evidence of achievements. This may include letters of recommendation from supervisors and colleagues.

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