MENTOR wins First Place at Inaugural Triple E Awards recognizing Leaders in Engagement in Higher Education

MENTOR wins First Place at Inaugural Triple E Awards recognizing Leaders in Engagement in Higher Education

The UNIC Youth Guidance Programme excelled in a field with over 300 entries from 20 countries

A host of change-makers, innovators, educators and leaders in higher education gathered in Kochi, India this week, to celebrate outstanding achievements of universities in the areas of entrepreneurship, engagement, social outreach and sustainability. The University of Nicosia’s MENTOR Youth Guidance Programme was awarded as the “Community Engagement Initiative of the Year” (First Place), as part of the inaugural Asia-Pacific Triple E Awards, initiated by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities (ACEEU).

The MENTOR Programme excelled in its respective field, with over 300 entries, and 60 finalists, from 20 applicant countries. All entries underwent a rigorous application and selection process, with an external panel of reviewers – entrepreneurship and innovation experts from Asia-Pacific region – reviewing each applicant on the basis of a strict list of criteria.

The ceremony showcased some of the most innovative and inspiring initiatives that have left an indelible mark on the lives of students, colleagues, children and citizens at large in the preceding year. Indicative of that, the MENTOR Programme helps identify children from vulnerable groups and connect them with university students or alumni, with UNIC offering training, ongoing support and supervision, in order to facilitate their role as friends, role models and mentors for these children. Moreover, MENTOR utilises evidence-based practices to foster the all-important mentoring relationship.

The Triple E Awards aim to extol exceptional achievements in university undertakings in their response to societal needs in the first instance, as well as in their broader outlook and role in responding to the grand challenges of the 21st Century vis-à-vis the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MENTOR, which is a structured community engagement initiative serving both the University of Nicosia’s social outreach pillar and broader societal needs, was recognised as an effective tool by which short and long-term social benefits linked to the SDGs, are achieved.

Commenting on the development, the Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Alexandros Antonaras, underscored UNIC’s substantial and varied contribution to society throughout the years: “The University of Nicosia is delighted to be recognized as a game-changer in this area, while at the same time contributing towards ushering in a new era where engaged and entrepreneurial universities constitute the backbone of higher education”.

On her part, the Director of the Programme, Katerina Georgaki, highlighted that MENTOR has indeed proven a powerful tool for social change, for both Mentees and Mentors alike – emphasising the role of youth as tomorrow’s socially responsible citizens and leaders, respectively. “We are immensely proud of the recognitions showered on our Youth Guidance Programme these past few months, with 2020 bringing MENTOR’s biggest achievement yet. The ‘Community Engagement Initiative of the Year’ at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Triple E Awards is both a huge honour and a major responsibility, to further enact MENTOR’s declared mission to realize youth potential through Mentoring”, concluded Ms. Georgaki.

Caption: (from left) Katerina Georgaki, Director of MENTOR, and Dr. Alexandros Antonaras, Vice President of Student Services, UNIC