A third of students short-listed to be crowned graduate of the year and pocket a £10,000 cash prize are based at a Midland university.

Four out of the 14 final-ists in the competition run by graduate employment guide Real World magazine come from the University of Warwick.

Judges in the contest, sponsored by accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers, selected candidates they believed to be the most inspiring students in the UK.

Computer systems and engineering student Sadiq Jaffer, aged 22, from Kenilworth, was chosen for starting his own online T-shirt business which now generates more than £30,000 a year. Called Syswear, it has customers all over North America, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Another Warwick final-ist - David Metcalfe, aged 21 - has helped raise the profile of HIV/Aids in Africa and is also learning Spanish, German, British Sign Language and taking an A level in chemistry while studying biological sciences.

Darius Norell, founder of Real World, said: "At a time when graduates are coming in for criticism, those on the shortlist demonstrate how many are making the most of their time at university, developing new skills and experience."

The winner will be announced at the end of the month.