Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Topic: Celebrating successes

Our global network: the view from New York

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📥  Celebrating successes, Internationalisation

Affirming our international influence through worldwide partnerships and extending our research power are two key strands of our 2016-2021 strategy.

These cannot be achieved solely from our campus here in Bath. A key part of my role as Vice-Chancellor involves working with our faculty and alumni team to forge new collaborations and seek fresh opportunities.

Last week in New York was an important chance to celebrate the close of our 50th anniversary with supporters and alumni who play a crucial role in supporting scholarships and funding our research. You can read more about this event here.

Whilst in the city, we had the chance to meet with the President of New York University (NYU), Professor Andrew Hamilton whom colleagues here may recall was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. NYU has a campus in London and operates globally and we had a good conversation about areas of potential inter-institutional co-operation.

Equally key were the meetings with influential academics, including the Dean of Science at New York University, Professor Michael D. Purugganan, who spent time with us last year as a Global Chair at the Milner Centre. Our Global Chairs visiting professorship scheme attracts distinguished, globally renowned scholars to engage in a programme of high-profile research activity at our University. This meeting was an invaluable opportunity to reflect on how we enhance this network and continue to foster close relationships with these academics even after their term with us is over.

Professor David Coley’s important research into developing better shelters for refugees was at the heart of our visit to the United States. We met with David Miliband who is now President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and engaged in fruitful conversations with his team about how to expand this work in refugee camps beyond Jordan. We also had an excellent meeting with the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations in New York, Dr. Sima Sami Bahous. We were able to discuss the practical applications of David’s work helping to improve the living conditions of people living in extreme climates both for refugees and also for host communities in the Middle East.

Our schedule on this short trip allowed a meeting of the Foundation Board, our US charity, which made some important decisions about supporting sports scholarships for US students, further supporting the Global Chairs visiting professorship scheme and also creating a joint grant with Marshall Scholarships to attract the best and brightest minds to Bath.

For the next few weeks, my focus is closer to home, welcoming new and returning students back to campus. However, this trip will stay in my mind as a testament to the strength of our alumni network and the importance of looking further to forge new and fruitful partnerships across the globe.

 

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

 

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

 

Congratulations on our June Open Days

  

📥  Celebrating successes, Learning & Teaching, Messages, On campus

Dear colleague,

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in our June Open Days. We welcomed thousands of visitors over two days and I am delighted that we kept the show on the road through sunshine and showers to put on a very successful event.

Open Days give prospective students the chance to visit Bath to see for themselves the world-class courses and facilities on offer at the University. There is very clear evidence that our Open Days both help to convince prospective students to apply here and also that they are more likely to make Bath a firm choice should they receive an offer.

Our Open Days are a great opportunity to showcase our University and I’m sure you will agree that the atmosphere on campus was incredibly positive and uplifting.

If you have any feedback about the Open Days, you can either visit the drop in evaluation session next Wednesday 22 between 12.30-14.00 in 1 West North 3.11 or e-mail the team at opendays@bath.ac.uk.

Finally, I am always humbled by the sheer effort of so many people working to ensure the event goes smoothly. From the events team and organisers in faculties, to the hard work of estates and security and our many student ambassadors, it really is a team effort. So whether you were giving a talk, setting up in the early hours, leading a tour, staffing a stand in the Information fair or welcoming visitors to campus, a huge thank you for all you have done.

Many thanks,

Professor Bernie Morley
Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost

 

 

VC to identify eminent scientists for Science Council

📥  Celebrating successes

In 2014, our Vice-Chancellor was named one of the 100 leading practising scientists in the UK by The Science Council.

She was recognised for "leadership in UK higher education and championing the role of universities in scientific and technological innovation, exploitation and economic regeneration".

This year, Dame Glynis has been invited to join the advisory panel of The Science Council identifying eminent scientists for the 2016 list.

The annual list of 100 practitioners reflects a rich and diverse landscape of scientists working to research and develop our future knowledge, others who are teaching and mentoring future scientists, some who shape policy and campaign on science-based issues and those who communicate about science and explain complex scientific issues.

This appointment follows the recent announcement that the Vice-Chancellor has been appointed to the Science & Technology Honours Committee, which reviews nominations made for national honours (such as knighthoods and damehoods) in the fields of science and technology.

 

Vice-Chancellor appointed to Science & Technology Honours Committee

📥  Celebrating successes

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, has been appointed by the Cabinet Office to the committee which reviews nominations made for national honours (such as knighthoods and damehoods) in the fields of science and technology.

The committee is chaired by Professor Sir John Bell FRS – Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford - and includes amongst its other members the Chief Scientific Advisers to the UK and Welsh Governments.

Commenting on her appointment, Dame Glynis said: “The national honours system plays an important role in recognising the people whose talent and commitment makes advances in science and technology possible.”

 

Inter-institutional collaborations in doctoral training provision

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📥  Celebrating successes

Following the University’s successful bid for funding from the Higher Education Academy (HEA), a project is underway to assess our training for postgraduate research students within inter-university partnerships.

The project is considering ways to:

  • enhance the experience for doctoral training students from application to employability;
  • create more efficient procedures and more effective deployment of resources (benefiting both the University and our partners);
  • develop good practice applicable across the sector.

A series of face-to-face interviews is planned for the next phase of the project and Dr Susanna Martin will be joining the team on Monday 1 February to assist with the collation and analysis of data. Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Project Manager said:

“Having completed her PhD at Bath, Susanna is well placed to evaluate the support available to doctoral students and the ways in which their experience might be enhanced. Her experience of working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology will also be invaluable.”

It is anticipated that the project findings will help to inform the University’s new Strategy for 2016-19 and help us to achieve our ambition of being recognised internationally as a top university for graduate education.

 

Technology Panel Debate with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching)

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📥  Celebrating successes

The first LITEbox event of the new semester kicked off on 15 October with Professor Peter Lambert, the University's recently appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), chairing a debate on the uses of new and existing technologies to a packed lecture theatre.

Commenting on the event, Professor Lambert said: "I very much enjoyed chairing such a well-attended and dynamic event, particularly with such a mixed audience of both academic and Professional Services staff from across the University"

For the full review read the LITEbox blog here.