Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

December 2014 Monthly Message

  

📥  Messages

As we enter December and thoughts start to turn to the festive season I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work over the past year. There has been plenty to be proud of in the past 12 months.

We continue to attract an increasing number of high quality students who want to study at Bath. Once here the academic and social opportunities and facilities we offer are highly thought of and reflected in Bath being ranked first for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey for a second year in a row. Last week’s Better@Bath event provided an opportunity to celebrate this and other learning and teaching successes.

In terms of our research we are now just weeks away from the publication date for REF (Research Excellence Framework) submission. The outcome will be made public on 18 December. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to REF 2014 return. It was a challenging task and we all know how much thought and care went into it by so many colleagues across the University. (more…)

 

Preview: VC's report to Senate - 3 Dec 2014

  

📥  On campus

1. GW4

The GW4 Alliance, which brings together the combined strengths of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, held its official launch on 29 October in Westminster. In a successful event at the House of Commons hosted by Baroness Randerson, Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb MP, came together with representatives from industry, business, academia, charitable organisations and the public sector, to celebrate the Alliance’s achievements over the past 18 months. The collaborative strength of GW4 has already succeeded in attracting significant funding to train postgraduate researchers and bring the brightest minds to the region. It hosts the largest Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) in the UK, providing 200 studentships to develop the next generation of environmental scientists. In the past year it has funded over £650,000 to 35 projects harnessing expertise across the four institutions to tackle some of society’s grand challenges such as climate change and dementia.

2.         Committee of University Chairs (CUC) - Higher Education Code of Governance

The revised Code of Governance was approved in principle by CUC members on 16 October and is undergoing final revisions. The key changes are: (more…)

 

VC visits staff in Pharmacy & Pharmacology

📥  Visits to departments

On the latest of her visits, Dame Glynis met with staff from Pharmacy & Pharmacology to find out more about the work of this ‘impressive’ department.

The Pharmacy Practice Suite

The Pharmacy Practice Suite

Professor Stephen Ward, Head of Department, began the tour in the Pharmacy Practice Suite, where students were having a dispensing lesson. The Suite is complete with dispensary, consultation rooms and medical examination rooms; all to simulate as accurately as possible what working at a busy pharmacy might be like.

Community Pharmacist and Teaching Fellow, David Taylor, introduced the Vice-Chancellor to Sean Lee, a third year MPharm student who was being tested on his ability to check the accuracy of a prescription, and Natalie Griffiths, a PhD researcher who was role-playing with students in the consultation rooms. Dame Glynis commented on how calm and professional the students all seemed. (more…)

 

Article about the VC in Bath Life magazine

📥  In the news

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell was invited to speak at Bath Life's Business Club recently.

Describing what it's like to manage one of the UK's top 10 universities, she said: "It's like being the CEO of a multinational business. Running the 200-acre campus is a bit like running a small town."

Click the image to read the article (page 103)

She also talked about our international partners, our research and our commitment to invest in and engage with our students.

You can read the full feature on page 103 of Bath Life magazine.

 

Postcard from the Far East

📥  Messages, Representing the University

This month’s message has been written from the Far East where I have been joined by our Chancellor HRH The Earl of Wessex on his first official international engagement for the University.

We attended the Ambassador’s Residence in the British Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, where I was delighted we could host an event to a room full of not only our alumni but also our educational partners and corporate contacts. I took particular pleasure from seeing senior representatives from our partner institution Yonsei University including Provost Dr Hyun Yoon Shin, as well as Dr Keum-Jin Yoon, Executive Vice-President of the Korea Foundation. We were also delighted to host, for the first time, Professor Nak-In Sung, President of Seoul National University.

Pictured are some of the guests from our event at the Ambassador’s Residence in the British Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, including Professor Nak-in Sung, President of Seoul National University, Dr Hyun Yoon Shin, Provost of Yonsei University and Dr Keum-Jin Yoon, Executive Vice-President of the Korea Foundation.

The following evening I travelled on to Hong Kong for a drinks reception at the prestigious Jockey Club and a chance to meet members of one of our most thriving groups of alumni. It was a great opportunity to not only hear what some of our graduates are doing in their chosen careers but also to outline some of our plans for the University’s 50th anniversary in 2016. Both events highlighted the broad range of support and advocacy which our alumni are willing to offer. (more…)

 

VC takes a look at Biology & Biochemistry

📥  Visits to departments

Dame Glynis met staff from our Department of Biology & Biochemistry for tea and biscuits in one of the University’s very first classroom, 4 South Pavilion, on her latest departmental visit.

Professor Rod Scott, Head of Department, began by introducing the Vice-Chancellor to the Department Executive: Professors David Tosh and David Leak and Drs Christopher Todd, Andrew Preston and Robert Williams. He then gave an overview of the staff and course structure and discussed the Department’s ambitious plans to increase student intake.

VC visits Biology

Dame Glynis welcomed a group of first year students in the teaching laboratory.

Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology is joined this year by a fourth subject: Biomedical Sciences. Dr Preston, Courses Director, explained that the Department is exploring more creative ways of teaching to meet the demands the new course will bring; in particular, expanding online teaching and assessment capabilities.

Esther Reeves, Faculty Placements Officer, outlined the successes of her team, which include finding placements for a record 81 per cent of students this year. Over half of those placements, she explained, are only available because of the outstanding reputation the University has with industry. (more…)

 

Preview: VC's report to Senate 15 Oct

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📥  On campus

  1. 1. League Tables

1.1       Good University Guide 2015

The University is ranked 10th out of 123 universities across the UK in the new The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 and has some of ‘the most satisfied students’ and ‘best graduate prospects’. The league table is drawn up from criteria including student satisfaction, research quality, graduate prospects, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student/staff ratios, service and facilities spend, and university dropout rates. Bath is ranked second overall in the student satisfaction criteria and third for graduate prospects (the percentage of graduates in professional jobs or postgraduate study six months after leaving university). In separate listings covering 66 subjects, we are among the 10 leading universities in no less than 22 of the 25 we offer, topping the table in two – Architecture and Social Work – as the number one place to study the subject in the UK.

1.2      QS World University Rankings

The University has moved up eight places in this year’s QS World University Rankings.  We have risen from 187 to 179 of the best 800 national and international universities, and are one of only 29 UK universities ranked in the top 200. The rankings assess each university in four main areas – research, teaching, employability and international outlook – using six indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations by faculty, international staff ratio and international student ratio. (more…)

 

Monthly message October 2014

  

📥  Messages

I write this monthly message during one of our busiest and most exciting weeks – the beginning of the new academic semester. Our new students have settled in well during their first week and I enjoyed welcoming many of them as part of their induction process. They are now joined by those returning students in years two, three and four as teaching starts once again creating a really vibrant campus atmosphere.

The month of September has been a busy one. We welcomed international delegates from nine of our partner institutions to the Institute for Policy Research’s (IPR) inaugural International Partners Policy Symposium entitled ‘Lost Youth in the 21st Century’. This provided a unique opportunity for our researchers to network and share ideas with colleagues from institutions around the world. It was particularly pleasing to hear that so many young researchers who are just setting out on their academic careers were able to attend.

Last week saw the official opening of The HIVE - our new £1 million research facility to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. This building is the first of its kind in the UK and was officially opened by our Chancellor HRH The Prince Edward. The event created a great deal of industry excitement and media interest, and I’m sure we will be hearing lots more about the innovative research going on there in the coming months.

I had the chance to talk about our world-leading research and the ongoing investment in our campus when I was invited as a guest of Bath Life’s Business Clubthis week. It was a great opportunity to talk to Bath’s senior business people about our University and to share some of our recent successes and achievements. (more…)

 

Dame Glynis meets staff from Maths

📥  Visits to departments

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell met staff from the Department of Mathematical Sciences on the first of her visits for the new academic year.

Head of Department, Professor Ivan Graham, began by outlining the department’s successes and exciting plans for the future. He made particular mention of recent undergraduate recruitment, PGT and PGR programmes and the new Centre for Doctoral Training Statistical Applied Mathematics at Bath (SAMBa).

VC visits Maths

Dame Glynis talks to PhD students

The department was well represented at the talk – over 50 members of staff were in attendance – and Professor Graham took the opportunity to thank his colleagues for their hard work. Dr Geoff Smith MBE, who was recently elected to lead the International Mathematical Olympiad, was personally thanked for his popular Open Day talks.

Dame Glynis was then invited to speak and started by saying how much the department’s strong performance is appreciated by the University, and thanked everyone for their work to make Mathematical Sciences  an ‘excellent department’. She highlighted the improved NSS score as something the department should be rightly proud of. (more…)

 

We are top ten in Good Uni Guide 2015

📥  Celebrating successes

The University has some of ‘the most satisfied students’ and ‘best graduate prospects’ according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015.

I’m pleased that our exceptional track record in terms of both graduate employment and student satisfaction has again been highlighted in this table. Our academic high-flyers are highly sought after by some of the world’s leading employers once they leave Bath.

This has been matched with a very strong performance in the individual subject rankings. It is a glowing endorsement of the dedication and enthusiasm of our staff and students.

We are ranked 10th out of 123 universities across the UK in the new guide.

The league table is drawn up from criteria including student satisfaction, research quality, graduate prospects, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student/staff ratios, service and facilities spend, and university dropout rates.

Bath is ranked second overall in the student satisfaction criteria and third for graduate prospects (the percentage of graduates in professional jobs or postgraduate study six months after leaving university). (more…)