THERE have been some terrific success stories in our region over the years, and the development of Teesside University is right up there among them. Over the last 15 years or so, the university has seen stellar growth, bringing quality education to many thousands of students and gaining a national reputation in the meantime.
There was a time when it didn't compete with the very best in the university rankings.
But it growth - both in size and quality - was capped in 2009-2010 when it was named University of the Year by the Times Higher Education Supplement. That recognition took the university into a whole different league, which, to its great credit, is how it is judged today.
It may be that the university is known and respected nationally, but it still has a profound effect locally.
It provides higher education to thousands of Teessiders who see it as their university and gain an education which means they can aspire to the best career possible.
Its development has also brought huge benefit to Middlesbrough town centre, both physically and in the numbers and diversity of students who choose to live in the area and use its shops and amenities. The university's vice-chancellor for the past 12 years, Graham Henderson, has just moved on. He has been replaced by Paul Croney, who is tasked with taking the university on to the next level.
One thing is for certain; the influence of the university is here to stay and will hopefully bring further prosperity to Teesside in the years to come.