A transformative international collaboration designed and delivered by the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University has been shorted for a prestigious THE Award, widely known as the “Oscars of higher education”.
The pioneering institute set out to address street homelessness on an intellectual, international and city level. As well as providing a lead research role in the creation of the Institute of Global Homelessness at DePaul University, Chicago, their recent evaluation work on the ‘A Place to Call Home’ initiative integrated 13 research teams across six continents to identify strategies to reduce street homelessness in hugely diverse global contexts.
Street homelessness is an extreme manifestation of social injustice with profound negative consequences for individuals and communities.
The ongoing project, which is shortlisted in the International Collaboration of the Year category, is providing evidence to local and national governments and community sector partners across the world. It has demonstrated for the first time that comparisons spanning diverse contexts in the Global North and Global South are invaluable in generating international dialogue on street homelessness reduction. Its recommendations have, for example, influenced new homelessness projects in Uruguay and inspired Greater Manchester to pivot its services.
Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, director of I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University said: “Street homelessness is an extreme manifestation of social injustice with profound negative consequences for individuals and communities. Yet, it often struggles to achieve sufficient attention at an international level. We set out to tackle this with a pioneering collaboration designed to address street homelessness on an intellectual, international and city level. I-SPHERE’s work spans all major forms of extreme disadvantage, focusing resolutely on those at society’s margins so recognition in this prestigious shortlist is hugely welcomed and shines a further light on why this ongoing work is vital.”
John Gill, THE editor said: “19 years on from their launch, I’m delighted to say that the enthusiasm for the THE Awards continues to grow. This year saw yet another record number of entries, but maybe more importantly, we also have more institutions represented on the shortlists than ever before – a clear indicator of the great strength and depth of UK and Irish higher education.”
This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony in Liverpool on Thursday 7 December 2023.