UNSW Sydney took home two awards at the AFR Higher Education Awards, for UNSW’s Hero Program and The Maker Games.

The awards, announced Tuesday in Melbourne, identify leading programs in areas of innovation, education, student wellbeing and community engagement. More than 109 nominations from 38 universities were submitted for 10 awards.

The UNSW Hero Program won in the Learning Experience category for helping build the graduate capabilities of students. The program equips students with an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and most importantly confidence. Students go beyond classroom learning, participating in industry workshops, intrapreneurship projects and volunteering work integrated placements.

The Maker Games took out the Industry Engagement category for pioneering a cross-disciplinary team-based prototyping competition. In just 10 weeks, engineering students build real devices to solve companies’ 'wicked' problems. The idea came from Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Kelly Bayer-Rosmarin and other members of the UNSW Engineering Dean’s Advisory Committee. Companies assess individual capability in the context of real-world working environments and make a pivotal contribution in shaping students’ education.


(From Left) Dr Susan Carland, UNSW Program Manager Anatoli Kovalev, The Australian Financial Review Education Editor Robert Bolton

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs congratulated all award recipients.

“UNSW has a rich tradition of industry engagement and delivering innovative educational experiences to students. Our two UNSW award winning teams are testament to this and I’m delighted they have been recognised for their outstanding work,” Professor Jacobs said.  

“Congratulations and thank you to everyone at UNSW who brought the programs to life and ultimately supported each student for the future.”

The awards are part of The Financial Review Higher Education Summit where Professor Jacobs gave a keynote address on how Australian universities remain globally competitive.

Winners in the other eight award categories can be found here.

Special congratulations to:

  • Anatoli Kovalev, Program Manager, UNSW Hero Program
  • Kevin Duquette, Project Officer, UNSW Engineering
  • Julien Epps, Associate Professor (and Scientia Education Academy Fellow), School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications
  • Sandra Harrison, Manager Student Opportunities, UNSW Engineering
  • Danielle Neale, Entrepreneur in Residence, UNSW Engineering.