• QHT Awards 2022/2023 - for implementation 23/24 onwards

The Quintin Hogg Trust has awarded a total of £5,564,317 during 22/23 for new and continuing projects to commence in 23/24 and to extend into 26/27.

The bid covers four out of the five strategic areas, totalling £2,470,500:

  • Employability: Enhancing the impact of our employability activities (£348,500)
  • Learning and Teaching: Trading Places: New forms of authentic learning for the C21st (£1,282,000)
  • Research and Knowledge Exchange: Performance at the University of Westminster (£540,000)
  • Wellbeing and Student Experience: Our Connected Community – Working Together for Wellbeing (£300,000)

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategic area is only seeking some continuing funds this year (Black History Year Create, below), and will submit a renewed approach next year.

There are additionally eight continuing bids totalling £3,093,817:

  • Intermediate Projects Pot (£900,000)
  • PhD Studentships – for 10 completing in 23/24 and 10 completing in 24/25 (£745,310)
  • Extension of the QHT bursary scheme Talent Bank- Work With Us (£235,937)
  • QHT Fieldtrips (£250,000)
  • Small (Pilot) Projects Pot (£100,000)
  • The Ignite Fund (formerly the 125 Fund) (£60,000)
  • Black History Year Create (part of the Community and Communities EDI block bid) continuation phase (£50,000)
  • 10 new, 3-year PhD studentships starting in 2024 and ending in 2027, totalling £779,570.

A very brief summary of the intended project activity is given below. As in previous years, a number of the bids plan to employ graduates and students to develop and deliver the projects. As currently, the continuation of the bids beyond the first year, and the funding of the continuation bids, will depend on satisfactory annual reports.

Total amount granted 2022/23: £5,564,317

Summary of bids:

  • Title


  • Employability: Enhancing the impact of our employability activities

    This bid is for 14 months to align with the end of the existing Strategic projects, and to enable future bids to streamline with the 29 Marylebone Road (29MR) developments. The project will extend the support currently available to students and recent graduates through the successful QHT-funded Employability Strategic projects: Bringing the Outside In, and Transforming Student Engagement projects

    Activities will include:

    Adding value to existing Bringing the Outside In activities By: Increasing employability support for post-graduate taught (PGT) and international students; expanding the successful What Comes Next programme; extending the Employ Autism pilot; extending entrepreneurship support through the development of an entrepreneur network; support for company registration/self-employment registration, and development of hackathon type activities.

    Test and pilot approaches to curriculum delivery through 29MR: establishing “entrepreneurship in the curriculum” activities where students get to meet and work on collaborative projects with entrepreneurs, freelancers and innovators.

    Incubator programme: running costs for a new incubator to support trading businesses with potential to scale: mentors, coaches, experts in residence, prizes.

    Development of the Chancellor’s Circle to engage businesses in supporting the employability of our students: events, events support, annual reception and public lecture.

    Westminster Working Cultures activities: WWC UK: to connect students with local businesses to enhance their employability and introduce them to the working culture in another city in the UK: travel, subsistence, engagement prizes, annual reunion and events.
    WWC International: the project will help to embed WWC as a flagship employability programme at the university, with 200+ WWC International places annually offered to students, of whom at least 75% participants come from an underrepresented or disadvantaged background.

  • Learning and Teaching: Trading Places: New forms of authentic learning for the C21st

    This project will develop new styles of learning and assessment which enable students to apply their knowledge and skills to real world problems, and to work with local businesses, social enterprises and charities. Students will develop capabilities for the C21st, in particular skills relating to collaboration, creativity and consultation. They will work closely with external partners, with all parties learning from new challenges and settings. Academic colleagues will develop the skills to support these new approaches to learning. Inter-disciplinary working, and vertical alignment (i.e. students working at different levels/year groups) will be embedded into these new approaches.

    The project will focus on a small number of ‘flagship’ approaches, which can demonstrate how these new styles of learning can benefit all stakeholders, and how they can be managed to maximise value. This will require some specialist classroom and digital provision. Over the course of the project, these flagship approaches will be embedded into the curriculum, so that in the medium-term students will pursue authentic learning for credit as part of their journey at the University. The “flagship” areas are:

    Marketing Consultancy (based in the Westminster Business School) – enabling students to offer consultancy services to corporates and local SMEs; this would require the development of specific spaces and resources at Marylebone.

    Sustainability Consultancy (based in Liberal Art and Sciences) – enabling students to offer consultancy services (and green audits etc) primarily to SMEs through the Baker Street Quarter and other local networks. This would require the development of specific spaces and resources at Regent Street and Marylebone – and would link explicitly with 29MR.

    Legal Clinic (based in Liberal Art and Sciences) – this reflects a significant expansion and enhancement of clinical advice following the revalidation of Law courses in 2022. It will require the reconfiguration of spaces at Little Titchfield Street, and the development of resources to support staff and student collaboration.

    Smoke Media (based in Design, Creative and Digital Industries) – a transformation and re-invigoration of Smoke Radio into a Media Agency (curating content and broadcasting across digital platforms) responding to internal and external commissions as well as showcasing student work.

    Creative Agency (institution-wide) – brokering and commissioning live projects for students in Fashion, Photography, Contemporary Media, Graphic Design, Digital Marketing, Illustration, Art and Fine Art. This could involve internal commissioning (e.g., University Estates commission Art on Campus), internal trading opportunities (pop up/mock shops) and external commissioning (e.g. continuing partnership with NHS Foundations).

  • Research and Knowledge Exchange: Performance at the University of Westminster

    The University is rich in performance spaces including the Portland Hall, the cinema in Regent Street, the SohoPoly theatre, AmbikaP3 and locations with untapped potential such as the foyers to the buildings and external spaces at Harrow. All the central London buildings are positioned to be able to attract members of the public to attend events, shows and exhibitions, and Harrow can be an increasingly powerful cultural presence in its community. Performances do take place in the buildings, but they are ad hoc and not underpinned by a clear commitment to enriching the lives of students and colleagues or to furthering ambitions for public and community engagement [PCE]. The proposed project is intended to address these shortcomings directly by developing a place of rich and diverse cultural performance with students as agents and beneficiaries. It will comprise two strands:

    Strand 1 (Events). A series of events will be identified each year of the project for development and delivery. These may be one-off performances (concerts, shows, etc.) or they may be series of events. They will comprise a mixture of performances by students and events by externals using the performance spaces as developing London cultural venues. Collaborations with external performers would form the basis for ongoing engagement. The highlight of the annual cycle will be the Cultures of Westminster Festival, which will to be developed with reference to and in partnership with other local festivals, such as the Fitzrovia Arts Festival.

    Strand 2 (Productions). This strand will commission new events, such as musical or dramatic performances, exhibitions, films, which showcase our history, our values, our achievements, with a clear and creative emphasis on Equality Diversity and Inclusion. These be developed to utilise the performance spaces and capitalise on what is uniquely Westminster. Productions will in the first instance engage the University’s student and colleague creative talent. If appropriate external partners will be engaged, they must align with Westminster’s values, commit to working with students on the project, and use the university venues.
    Teams will be multidisciplinary, comprising students from creative disciplines along with entrepreneurs with a range of knowledge and experience. This strand will also embody the University’s commitment to research and KE as a unified endeavour, as productions will in certain cases be based on research to explore its past, how its community lives and works and also the history and opportunity of the physical environment, providing a pathway to research impact.

  • Wellbeing and Student Experience: Our Connected Community – Working Together for Wellbeing

    The project will be co-led with the University of Westminster Students’ Union (UWSU). It will build on the foundations of evidence gathered and development activities undertaken in the 2022-23 academic year and will improve organisational competence through the following strands:

    1. Embedding and extending the personal tutor CPD programme (developed and delivered in 2022-23 to Level 4 personal tutors) on student wellbeing to apply to all personal tutors across the University. It will review, develop, upscale and deliver a comprehensive programme of continuing professional development activities and resources for all colleagues who fulfil personal tutor roles, to enhance confidence and capability in promoting student wellbeing.
    2. Identify, implement and monitor priority developments in an ambitious action plan to accelerate developments outlined in the University’s Student Wellbeing Framework (approved by the University Executive Board in 2022).
    3. Accelerating progress with the implementation of the University Student Wellbeing Framework priorities and achievement of HE Sector University Mental Health Charter status by July 2025, Co-led with UWSU.

Continuing bids

  • Title


  • Intermediate Projects Pot

    This funding pot, enables colleagues and the UWSU to bid for projects up to the value of £150,000.

    As advised by the Trust, colleagues were invited to bid for their projects in advance of the main grant submission. There was a rigorous short-listing and selection process involving the University Executive Board. 37 bids were received, 21 short-listed and 10 granted funding. The successful projects are:

    • Learning Sign Language as a foreign language using VR technology (LearnSLVR)
    • The Westminster-Smithsonian Partnership Development Fund
    • Soho Poly: Sustainable Foundations
    • WBS student engagement in building stronger communities through PRME, KE and co creation
    • Emerging Technologies and Advanced Technological Literacies for Creative Disciplines
    • Student Sustainability Team
    • United Nations internship programme
    • Blending Co-creation and Lived Experience for an Authentic Module Design
    • Education on the Inside: Delivering University of Westminster degrees across the prison estate (Phase Two)
    • Co-creating and presenting an innovative app.-based solution to solve the problem of ‘invisibility of the Global South Brands’

  • PhD Studentships – for 10 completing in 23/24 and 10 completing in 24/25

    This is the final working through of the 30 PhD students who were funded at the rate of 10 per annum from 20/21. This completes the funding for this cohort.

  • Extension of the QHT bursary scheme Talent Bank- Work With Us

    Talent Bank provides paid part-time jobs on campus that fit around a student’s course commitments. This experience enhances their employability skills and their confidence to apply for professional opportunities outside of the programme.
    In 2023-24, the project will target 100 roles to have a greater impact on employability as well to support students through the current cost of living crisis. Additionally, the introduction of new digital routes to becoming a Talent Bank member will enable more students to join the scheme anytime through term-time and increase buy-in from hiring managers.
    The introduction of further training will focus on improving skills such as skills articulation, job application, and professional behaviour; and some training will be coordinated in conjunction with the Westminster Employability Award to strengthen a sense of community and cross-promotional activity. The scheme has strong support from the Students’ Union

  • QHT Fieldtrips

    The QHT Field Trip fund has acted as a beacon for extending learning beyond the classroom. The QHT Field Trips were severely impacted by the pandemic; an extension of the QHT funded field trips for a period of one year will ensure that students most impacted by the pandemic can link their learning to authentic and real word opportunities, directly linked to the professional profile of their course. It is proposed that the QHT Field Trips are 5-day international trips, targeting students from a widening participation background.

  • Small (pilot) Projects Pot

    This bid provides a pot of £100,000 to enable staff/UWSU to bid for funding for projects between the value of £5,000 - £10,000. This ensures the University is able to support innovative initiatives which would not otherwise have an opportunity to apply for funding. The application process will be managed end-to-end by the University.
    Since this pot was introduced in 2021, funding has been granted to over 20 projects which has resulted in hundreds of students benefitting in the past two years alone. Some of the Pilot projects which have received funding have been scaled up, which means more students have been positively impacted and will continue to benefit from their success.

  • The Ignite Fund (formerly the 125 Fund)

    The Ignite Fund, has run successfully for six years, providing over 700 students with grants towards projects and business ideas. It now has over 300 supporters donating via direct debit, with a guaranteed income of £35,000 per annum. The QHT has now increased the funding to £60,000 (provided on a matched funding basis). It aims for a 50% increase in annual applications to 600, support for at least 250 students per annum and an increase in regular donors from 300 to over 380 by July 2024.
    Now any unmatched QHT funding will be released to the University as ‘Ignite Fund: Release the Spark’ to give more students the opportunity to reach their potential.

  • BHYC Create, part of the Community and Communities EDI strategic project, continuation phase

    This is part of the capacity building strand of the existing EDI Community and Communities Programme. The University aims to enhance the breadth and impact of the current BHYC project by:

    • Increasing the number of students from 15-20 due to demand and need. Students have mentioned the scarcity of career mentoring, networking and progression opportunities for Black students
    • Including the previous cohort in decision-making by the BHYC project board.
    • Aligning mentors and students more closely and monitoring the outcomes of their interaction

    This programme offers a bursary of up to £1,000 upon completion of the course, to be used for continued professional development, e.g. via upskilling, purchase of employability-related materials, and/or seeking employment. The programme represents a decolonised, tailored approach to supporting Black students into entering the workplace.

  • 10 new, 3-year PhD studentships starting in 2024/25 and ending in 2026/27

    The project commences a rolling scheme of 10 PhD studentships per year, comprising full stipends at UKRI levels and 50% of the home fee. These will be managed and administered through the Graduate School and overseen by the Graduate School Board. The studentships will be awarded to Schools on the basis of annual bids.