The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence awarded by AdvanceHE, have just been announced. This year, we are delighted to share with you that MetMUnch has been recognised nationally with this prestigious award.
MetMUnch is a global award-winning, student-led social enterprise based at Manchester Metropolitan University, which was started back in 2011. At its heart is a passion for sustainable and nutritious food – and sharing that with students, staff, local businesses and communities. The MetMUnch Team run a whole range of sessions, from on-the-spot nutritional advice and running pop-up stalls, to cooking nutritious meals and leading fun, interactive activities.
The MetMUnch Team is diverse; made up of people from different cultures, different parts of the University, and different generations. The team is also multi-layered. Embedded in the Environment Team, the core team consists of two members of staff – Haleh Moravej and Dean Brookes – and 10 student leaders from across the University.
These leadership roles rotate – students get recruited from every faculty in their first year and, and when they graduate, they continue to get involved in MetMUnch events, as well as linking them to the companies and organisations they work for.
MetMunch helps these students develop skills, knowledge and experience to promote health and wellbeing, and then apply it in a range of sessions, workshops and public engagement events. Students in the team enrich their university experience with entrepreneurial and creativity skills, all with sustainability at heart. For everyone involved, it’s an environment where ideas and innovation receive the support they need to flourish.
UTA asked Haleh Moravej, the MetMUnch founder, what it means to win a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence. This is what she said:
“Enterprise education, entrepreneurship, sustainability and creativity are key traits needed in 21st century, to provide us with empowered people and a better planet. They have never been more important than now.
The Advance HE CATE award is even more special than my individual National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) award. This is because it is about our TEAM and the unlimited and collective creativity of the MetMUnch community, of the extraordinary people we work with, and the exceptional mentorship of Dr Chrissi Nerantzi over the last 6 years. Chrissi truly has been an inspiration to all of us at MetMUnch and I am very grateful for her compassion, kindness and for always pushing students and I beyond our comfort zone.
I would also like to thank Sam McVeigh (Assistant Director of HR), Jonathan Face (Assistant Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Development) and Prof Rebecca Lawthom for their modern, empathic and inspirational leadership and support.
When I won my own NTF award for enterprise, sustainability and Nutritional Sciences in 2018, I was thrilled, humbled and expected massive personal transformation and limitless growth. The only way that was possible, was to pour all passion and energy into growing and empowering our team of exceptional students.
This was also a great opportunity to work with students and likeminded creative colleagues from different faculties. Learning more from Environment Team and collaborating with HR, Conferencing, MMU Sport, Widening Participation, International, First Generation, Jobs4Students and Catering Teams. During this time, I had the pleasure of working with Dean Brookes who has been wonderfully supportive, enthusiastic and student focused.
Together, we have been expanding and enforcing meaningful collaborations, along with some new and unexpected partnerships with internal university teams, charities, social enterprises and national organizations. The culmination of this is our student-led GROW Meat Free (GROW). GROW features a meat free café containing upcycled furniture, locally sourced food, and is staffed by students. It has a packed programme of activities promoting healthy and sustainable habits, including creative workshops that have personal growth and wellbeing at the forefront.
Many thanks to Advance HE for recognizing, rewarding and valuing 10 years of empowerment, courage, curiosity, hard work and true experiential learning and connected teaching where the whole world became our classroom.”
Professor Helen Laville noted in her institutional supporting statement:
“As a modern university committed to education for sustainable development, the pioneering approach of the MetMUnch team is visible and articulate. The MetMUnch Team, and its student leaders, work with many teams across our institution, both in academia and Professional Services. Together, they develop projects and initiatives around sustainability, enterprise and nutrition, which have a wider impact across the institution and beyond.
The creative pedagogical work, which begins experientially in the classroom, is not contained there, and has challenged the typical institutional structures. Through commitment, hard work and creativity, the team has created synergies and collaborations that have a real impact on our students, their learning and their journey after graduation. MetMUnch is a movement we are proud of embodying our priorities for student education, employment and the planet.”
Our warmest congratulations to Haleh and the whole MetMUnch team! We are delighted and are looking forward to sharing their work further across the institution. Congratulations also to all CATE winner nationally!!!