Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Posts By: President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell

Supporting our international staff

📥  Internationalisation, Messages

Dear Colleagues,

In the Prime Minister’s speech tomorrow, we are likely to hear more about the UK Government’s approach to negotiations on the UK leaving the European Union.

I know that many of you are concerned about the impact of the EU referendum and the effect it might have on you personally, or on your colleagues at the University. At our Let’s Talk meeting at the end of November, we discussed the implications of the EU referendum for our people, our strategy and the wider sector.

Supporting all of you through this momentous change is really important, so to follow on from the immigration advice sessions we ran last year we have now agreed to provide further support to our EU employees from outside the UK, and to those joining us from outside the EU.

We will be paying the fee for European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) staff who are eligible to apply for a Registration Certificate or Permanent Residence Card.

Furthermore, to maintain and enhance our ability to attract international candidates from outside the EU we will be providing an enhanced relocation allowance to eligible candidates. There is still some policy detail to be finalised, but I expect further information to be available in the coming weeks.

We have also joined #WeAreInternational to play our part in ensuring our universities remain diverse, inclusive communities open to students and staff from across the world.

Further updates and advice can be found on our website or from your line manager and the HR department.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell

President & Vice-Chancellor


Christmas message from the VC

📥  Celebrating successes, Messages

As we approach the last few working days of 2016, I wanted to wish you well for the festive season.

It has been a particularly busy few months. Our 50th anniversary celebrations on 25 October were a real highlight and I’m grateful to everyone who made them such a success.

Casting our sights to 2017, our University of Bath Festival will be taking place on 6 May and I’m looking forward to welcoming the wider community on to campus to experience the best we have to offer in research, teaching, sport and the arts.

Next year will be an important one for our University and we will be forging ahead with the implementation of our Strategy, attracting more postgraduate students, increasing our research power, continuing to improve our infrastructure and forging stronger international partnerships.

In the meantime, I hope you have the opportunity to relax, enjoy your break and watch the Royal Institution’s 2016 Christmas Lectures which will be broadcast on BBC Four on 26, 27 and 28 December at 8pm.  It is an enormously prestigious lecture series with a rich heritage of scientific discovery and we are delighted that Professor Saiful Islam, from our Department of Chemistry, will present ‘Supercharged: Fuelling the Future’ this year.

My thanks to our entire community for all your hard work. I wish you and your families a very merry and peaceful Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Best wishes,

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature


Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell

President & Vice-Chancellor


Celebrating our 50th in the US

📥  Alumni event, Internationalisation, Representing the University

I visited San Francisco earlier this month.

Our Chancellor, HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was there to host a reception for our alumni and supporters on the West Coast - the largest gathering we ever held in the US and a fitting start to the international celebrations of our 50th anniversary.

Held at the top of the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco with wonderful views of the Bay, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, the event was energetic and all the attendees really engaged – ranging from alumni of 40 years ago to ones from 2015.  It is amazing what careers Bath graduates create for themselves – influential in so many walks of life.



While there, I also visited the University of California San Francisco QB3 business incubator to see how they do things.

Even more exciting, I visited the Tesla car factory in Fremont, hosted by our Honorary Graduate Gilbert Passin, and learnt about their amazing recent development.  We talked about placement students going there and I cannot imagine a more exciting opportunity.  I also drove one of the cars – just delicious, so environmentally-friendly, so fast and so stable!  What more can you ask for?

I spoke to several of our great supporters on the visit, including Anthony Lye and Fernando Flores-New, and I also met some new people who have the ability to be tremendously helpful in the future.  Just as an example, I think I should mention that one of our graduates, Randy Newcomb arranged for Humanity United with the British Consulate to give a lunch for several charities who would be interested in our work in Jordan and in South Africa.  I look forward to working with them to further both our research and provision of education in these countries.



It was a short visit but a rich and productive one.  I thank everyone – in the University and outside of it – for making it so valuable.  I particularly thank our Chancellor who made a special effort to be there.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell

President & Vice-Chancellor 





VC Message: A heartfelt thank you on our 50th anniversary


📥  Messages

After weeks of busy preparation, we can now celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University receiving its Royal Charter.

I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to our whole community of staff, students and alumni; it is your creativity, innovation, tenacity and enterprising spirit that has led to our success.

A host of people helped to organise events at the Abbey and the wonderful food, activities and entertainment for Party on the Parade; my thanks to them all.

As a small marker of this milestone in our history and in recognition of all your contributions, the University will close early for Christmas this year. Friday 23 December will be an extra day of leave. Colleagues who operate essential services will be given further details shortly.

Anniversaries are about looking forward as well as celebrating success. Together, we will not only look further but also go further than others have gone before.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

Professor Dame Glynis M. Breakwell
President & Vice-Chancellor


Celebrating 50 years


📥  Messages

Dear Colleague,

Following my previous messages about our plans for celebrating our 50th anniversary in the Abbey and at the Rec, I would like to invite you to take time out of your afternoon on 25 October to join the POP! Party on the Parade.

From 12 till 4pm, there will be entertainment ranging from staff bands to samba, student societies to quizzes, celebratory activities such as a zip wire and climbing wall, and free cake and soft drinks for staff and students to enjoy.

There will be something for everyone, so please take some time out of your busy day to celebrate this milestone of our University.

You can find more details about getting involved in our anniversary year on our website.

I look forward to sharing our anniversary with you all.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
President & Vice-Chancellor


Welcome message from the Vice-Chancellor

📥  Messages

The start of the academic year - a time of frenetic activity and new challenges. Our community and our campus is geared up to welcome our new and our returning students - undergraduates and postgraduates from all over the world.

Thanks to the tremendously hard work of staff across the entire University and Students’ Union, we are well prepared for the busy weeks ahead, starting with Induction and Freshers’ Week. New students will be arriving with a mixture of apprehension and excitement and I know that a kind word or some timely information from you will go a long way towards making them feel at home. Small acts of thoughtfulness in these early days tend to be remembered fondly for many years.

This is a particularly special year for us here at Bath as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our official birthday on 25 October will combine a ceremony at Bath Abbey, an afternoon Party on the Parade and a rugby match at the Rec in the evening. I would encourage you to take full advantage of the huge range of events being held throughout the year - they are all listed on our 50th anniversary website.

The emphasis of our 50th celebration is "looking further". We do not wish simply to celebrate what we have achieved so far since 1966. We want to look forward and (to quote a line that resonates) "to go where no one has gone before". That is the essence of a great university. Through this we will sustain and develop our excellence in research, learning and teaching.

The new University strategy has set the direction for the next five years (2016-21). We will continue to grow our research power, attract increasing numbers of postgraduates, continue to strengthen our international influence through worldwide partnerships, to enhance the quality of the academic and extra-curricular student experience and expand our capacity and capability by investing in new facilities and technologies.

Against a backdrop of political and economic change, thanks to the talented and dedicated members of our community, I think we will continue to deal with the challenges and, more importantly, seize the opportunities that will emerge.

I look forward to working with you during this critical and exciting year in our University’s history.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE DL

President and Vice-Chancellor



Celebrating 50 years

📥  Messages

Dear Colleague,

Next month, on 25 October 2016, we mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter that founded our University.

Our anniversary is a special opportunity not only to reflect on all that we have achieved in our short history, but also a chance to look ahead together.

The day will begin in the unique setting of Bath Abbey where our Chancellor, staff, students, alumni and friends will gather to celebrate our community with ceremony, music and performance.

Tickets for staff will be allocated on a first come first served basis so please do register your interest quickly if you would like to take part.

Throughout the afternoon, there will be entertainment and celebratory activities on campus for staff and students to enjoy.

To round off the day, our whole University community is invited to cheer on our men’s 1st XV rugby team in a BUCS fixture at Bath Rec.

There are plenty of ways to get involved throughout our anniversary year and the 50th website is a good place to start: take a trip down memory lane, put a date in your diary and read about the remarkable discoveries made possible thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends.

More details about the Abbey celebration and how to register are below.

I look forward to sharing our anniversary with you all,

Professor Dame Glynis M Breakwell
President & Vice-Chancellor




Tuesday 25 October 2016

The 50th anniversary of the signing of the Royal Charter
which founded our University.

The Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO

and the President & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE DL

warmly invite you to join us in celebration.

Together we will share music and performance, reflect on our achievements and look to the future.

Bath Abbey: 11am – Midday

Tickets are available first come, first served.
To secure your place, please register online, email
or phone 01225 386417.

The event will also be streamed to campus.

Please inform us of any access requirements. Full details will be sent with your ticket.

Please note that there will not be an academic procession.


A message from the VC following the EU Referendum result


📥  Messages

Dear Staff and Students,

As we consider the decision to leave the EU, we should remind ourselves that the strengths of our University community - our international outlook, the quality of our people, the excellence of our research and our academic programmes, and our robust financial status - are still what they were before the referendum result was announced.

Whilst none of us yet know exactly how the implications of the referendum will unfold, it is important to remember that we are entering what may be a prolonged period of uncertainty but from a very strong position.

Over the coming months and years we will need to work closely with the Government and others to represent the interests of our students, staff and the University as a whole. There will certainly be challenges but there will also be opportunities in this new reality and we must be agile enough to seize them.

I know that some of you have raised specific questions about what this means for your individual circumstances.

On Friday I met with the Minister of State for Universities & Science, attended a Board meeting of Universities UK and spoke with both the Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company and Head of Policy of HEFCE. The message they are all emphasising is that any change will not be immediate and for now the current arrangements with regard to participation in schemes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, and the visa status of staff, students and applicants remain as they were before Friday morning.

The Student Loans Company are assuring current EU students and current applicants that their associated fee status and access to student loans have not changed as a result of the vote.

The process of leaving the EU will not happen overnight. Universities collectively and individually will throughout this negotiation be seeking to secure the best outcome for our students and staff and for the future of academic endeavour in the UK.

There will inevitably be a period of uncertainty but we will continue to thrive together as a community if we redouble our efforts to show how our University remains a truly international centre of excellence for teaching and research.

Over the next weeks and months as the situation becomes clearer, we will keep you as up-to-date as possible on any changes that may affect you.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

President and Vice-Chancellor


Launching our programme of events to mark our 50th anniversary


📥  Alumni event, Celebrating successes, Messages

Dear colleague,

Whilst our University formally received its Royal Charter on October 25th 1966, our celebrations of our 50th anniversary will continue throughout the new academic year and start in earnest this week.

The 50th anniversary planning group has put together an impressive programme of almost 100 conferences, events and other activities across the full spectrum of University life.

The very first week will see a talk on ‘Phosphatases and Signalling in Health and Disease’, the 25th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis and a special screening, at The Edge, of ‘Goal!’, a film about the 1966 world cup. We’ll be welcoming exceptional Bath-based athletes and coaches to our sports Hall of Fame and holding our summer graduation ceremonies in Bath Abbey from June 28th to 30th.

Bath Abbey will also be the venue for a special celebration on October 25th which staff, students and alumni will all have an opportunity to attend. More details of this and other forthcoming events will be communicated separately and published on the 50th anniversary webpages. The programme will include a birthday party on campus and also a festival day for the whole community on May 6th 2017.

The anniversary is both a wonderful opportunity to showcase all we have established together as a University community and a reason to ‘Look Further’ - our chosen theme for our 50th year.

In what will be – whatever the result of Thursday’s referendum - a momentous week for this country, it is perhaps timely to think that having started as a single building in a field overlooking Bath, we are marking the start of our celebrations as the highest ranked University of our age in Europe, with a global network of strategic partners and a worldwide community of over 100,000 alumni.

Achieving our goal of becoming an international leader in innovative graduate education will require us to deliver the suite of strategic priorities outlined in our new University strategy. The theme of ‘Looking further’ is not simply an encapsulation of all our University has achieved in its first 50 years, it also articulates a continued shared ambition for future excellence, impact and influence.

I look forward to celebrating with you.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signature

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
President and Vice-Chancellor


Message from the Vice-Chancellor: June 2016

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📥  Messages

We are operating at a time when the external HE policy environment is on the cusp of significant change. The HE White Paper, published on 16 May, proposes an Office for Students to replace HEFCE and incorporate OFFA as well as the much-anticipated introduction of a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The seven research councils will be brought together in a new body called UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), with revised funding arrangements and an increased emphasis on interdisciplinary research.

This could be one of the most important moments for HE policy since the 1990s.  The HE Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May, will reinforce the messages of the White Paper.  The new TEF, the opening up of the market to new providers and the requirement for more information to be published on application, offer and progression rates will all serve to increase competition.

All of these changes will have a significant impact on our core activities and we cannot afford to stand still.   It is reassuring, therefore, that we are already moving ahead with a strategy that makes the most of the changing environment.

We aim to establish the University as an international centre of excellence in innovative graduate education. Our ambition is to grow the critical mass of the research we conduct and to continue to enhance the quality of the student experience we offer.

To achieve our ambitions in graduate education, we need to develop our postgraduate portfolio. With our solid basis of delivering an excellent undergraduate student experience, we are in the best possible place to do this. We need to take steps to ensure our curriculum is always informed by the best thinking in the relevant field and well attuned to the evolving needs of those who see how continuing their studies will enhance their future prospects.

Our new strategy envisages a University which is innovative in its modes of delivery.  Many of you are actively pursuing initiatives which will lead to new academic programmes, more flexible and agile working processes or enhanced technological infrastructure. I anticipate we will see more examples of success like the unique doctoral training programme we are delivering in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in South Africa which is already gaining excellent feedback both from its first cohort of students and their sponsors. Our new facility in London will provide a base from which we can further develop our international profile, enhance the impact of our research and expand our executive education offer.

Those of you who attended, or viewed, the recent Let’s Talk meeting will have already heard how plans for a Doctoral College – or something similar - are developing and how the University’s investments in the city and on campus will increase our teaching and research capacity by 9.75% and student learning space by 20%.  We have secured 354 additional bed spaces for our next student intake and postgraduate students will soon be able to make use of the ‘graduate commons’ space on the top two floors of the new 10 West building. Work is progressing fast on 4ES which will enable the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering and Design and provide a new home for Computing Services.  Developments such as the new Independent Learning Centre in Manvers Street and the Milner Centre which will soon be a reality. Planning permission is being sought for new student accommodation on campus.

Whilst there remains much work to do to ensure effective implementation of our new strategy, I have been impressed by the energy which has already gone into planning our next steps and you will have a further opportunity to contribute to the discussion shortly.  The positive feedback from colleagues to date indicates that you feel we are moving in the right direction and I would like to thank you for your continuing support.

In the almost 50 years since our foundation, this University has worked together to achieve great things. Our rich heritage of invention, enterprise and international engagement and the vibrant, diverse community we have become provide a firm foundation for our future.

We might have started life as a University on a hill overlooking Bath but our influence and physical presence now extend far beyond Claverton Down. The outlines of the next chapter of our story are already taking shape.

Thank you,
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell's signatureProfessor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE DL