It’s the second win in two years for Team Wonkhe at the CIPR education journalism awards. And in 2017, it was Mark Leach’s editorial skills that were recognised as our Editor bagged the award for Editorial Excellence.
From 2011 onwards Wonkhe has been essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in UK HE policy. While we are glad to recognise the strength and diversity of our contributors, it is great to take a moment to celebrate the man who started it all.
Mark himself tells the story of how Wonkhe came to be in his review of our first year. There had long been a gap where entertaining and informed policy analysis should sit in UK higher education – many a wonk had discussed the idea idly over a pint or two, but it was Mark who had the vision and commitment to make it happen.
Since those days, Wonkhe has grown both in scope and in size. There’s a hugely successful Monday Morning HE Briefing, the most insightful and readable Daily Briefing in the sector, the new and more reflective Termly, and of course a series of events culminating in the amazing spectacle that was Wonkfest17. And there’s much more to come – for example, the eagerly awaited podcast that will see a pilot episode next month.
On top of this, there’s been the development and maintenance of a growing company that currently employs six people, and has established partnerships with 37 (and counting) key institutions and organisations – not to mention the fast-multiplying number of subscribers to The Wonkhe Daily.
Despite all this, Mark continues to write – most recently examining overheated claims about access to HE – and to contribute behind the scenes to the whole range of editorial content.
The judges cited Mark as “one of the most respected and influential voices in the higher education debate, with a deep and loyal following across the UK and internationally” and the Monday Morning HE Briefing, which was recognised in particular as being “authoritative and full of insight… It provides a deep level of insight for the HE sector but is also very accessible, well written and has an engaging, light tone. An outstanding body of work.” And for “amazing level of insight, true in-depth coverage that other publications should see as the standard to which they aspire.”
It’s a huge accolade that we’re all very proud to be a part of. Tonight we’re celebrating the achievement of Mark and the whole team.