Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Let’s Talk: thanks for taking part

📥  Let's Talk

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Let’s Talk meeting yesterday.

There were 169 of us in the Arts Lecture Theatre with many more of you watching the event online.

Thank you to everyone who came along

Thank you to everyone who came along

Dame Glynis welcomed everyone and introduced the main presentations.

Steve Egan, Vice-President (Implementation), outlined the implications of Brexit for us as a University and the support being offered to colleagues without UK citizenship: “We are an international University, everyone is of equal value and deserves equal respect.

“When I joined I was struck at what a welcoming community this is and as a community we must support our colleagues who may be experiencing a difficult time.”

Richard Brooks, Director of HR, talked about our workforce, emphasising the enormous diversity of our staff and the range of skills they bring to making the University what it is.

Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), outlined the changes facing the sector, including the Higher Education and Research Bill, and how our new Centre for Learning & Teaching has been shaped to ensure we adapt and thrive in this new environment.

There were follow up questions on the presentations and on more general topics including Manvers Street and the role of professional services in our new Strategy.

If you sent your question in advance and it wasn't covered on the day, you will receive a response to the email address you provided.

If you were unable to join us, you can now watch a recording of the meeting on the Let’s Talk webpage.

Please take a minute to give us your feedback on the event so our future meetings can be developed and improved further.

 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) leads University delegation to Jordan

📥  Internationalisation, Representing the University

Last week, I was pleased to spend four days in Amman in Jordan. In the context of the current humanitarian crisis, we have made a long-term commitment to help build capacity and resilience in Jordan in terms of people and systems. This trip was designed to further develop a number of projects focussed on capacity-building that we are hoping to launch with partners in the country.

Such a University-to-country approach is unique at Bath, but then so too is the current predicament of the country: bordering Syria, Palestine, Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is seen as an island of stability by thousands seeking to escape conflict in their own countries.

An estimated 40% of Jordan’s population are refugees – mainly from Syria, but also from Iraq, Somalia, and Ethiopia - and of the remaining population almost half are Palestinian – often third and fourth generation. Yet while Jordan has received more refugees per capita than any other country in the world, it has few natural resources and faces severe problems of water scarcity, poverty, housing shortages and food insecurity.

The six-person delegation from Bath represented a variety of collaborative research and teaching projects, with a focus on capacity building, whether through education, housing, water or energy.

Over the course of the four days, we met with representatives from Jordan’s four leading research universities, the British Council and British Institute, as well as key United Nations agencies, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which are working in the context of the refugee crisis. Listening to Jordanian colleagues and regional experts in these meetings was crucial in helping us fine-tune and further develop our projects, in order that they will have greater impact.

The enthusiasm with which our projects were received in each meeting not only made me feel proud to be associated with such creative and committed colleagues, but also confirmed to me that our approach is the right one.

For obvious reasons, we can’t go into the details of the projects at such an early stage, but I will keep you posted as our initiatives develop. This is just the beginning of a long-term relationship based on mutual respect and co-operation.

 

Vice-Chancellor’s visit to Hospitality

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📥  Visits to departments

Fresh from a 50th anniversary rugby shirt presentation on 12 October, the Vice-Chancellor was met by Jane Loveys, Director of ahs (Accommodation & Hospitality) and guided through a timeline of photographs showing hospitality outlets, events and staff over the last 50 years.

Wessex Restaurant was packed with colleagues who gave an insight into what happens behind the scenes to keep the University’s bars, eateries and catering at the top of their game.

Jonathan Bowker, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager introduced a film on 24 hours in Hospitality - from early breakfasts to late night events.  Serving 1,250,000 people a year is a big task and good customer service and team work are essential.

Mike James, Head Chef, said: “When I joined 13 years ago I used think of it as school dinners, now I’m serving royalty and developing our vegan offering - it’s all about keeping the customer happy.”

The department has a strong focus on ethical values and Patricia Echegaray, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager, joined Anna Harvey, Team Leader Staff Catering Operations, to explain how they balance this with customer demand. Highlights include the Leave No Trace campaign with munch boxes being served at the end of the day to save food from going to waste, and a fourfold increase in the use of reusable coffee cups.

The Vice Chancellor visits Hospitality services for presentations in Wessex Restaurant.

The Vice Chancellor visits Hospitality services for presentations in Wessex Restaurant.

Piero Stobbia, Deputy Hospitality Operations Manager, and Paul Harvey, Bars & Restaurant Manager, spoke about the growth of hospitality, expansion of the outlets and the Eat & Drink scheme.  There was also a quick plug for the 50th Anniversary beer, now offered in the Parade Bar & Grill and Lime Tree.

Sarah Cashell, ahs Deputy HR Manager, then spoke about ‘delivering the experience’ and there was an opportunity to meet old and new members of staff.

Dame Glynis said: “Seeing the photos from the last 50 years reminds me that there has been a real sea change in hospitality at the University.

“Everything shows you are looking forward to the future.  This is the most important thing for the University - being ahead of the curve, innovating.

“It’s so important to think not just about what we do on the Claverton campus but how we can build on this as we move into the city and London.

“In our 50th year, it is great to know we have the right people delivering our hospitality.”

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VC visits Student Recruitment & Admissions

📥  Visits to departments

Student Recruitment & Admissions has introduced a series of developments since Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment & Admissions, joined us in 2014.

The department took the opportunity to show Dame Glynis new work underway to support the University’s strategy for recruiting undergraduate and graduate students. After a brief introduction to section heads, Dame Glynis visited each one to find out more detail.

Florin Bisset, Head of Learning Partnerships, talked about developing our links with opportunities for research collaboration between the Department of Health and the Royal Academy of Dance, and launching the new International Foundation Year with Bath College. This provides a route for international students to progress to the University whilst remaining in the same city for the duration of their study.

Dame Glynis then met four of the almost 200 student ambassadors who help the department: Oliver Au-Yeung, Josh Bee, Hannah Crosby and Rebecca Cwiklinski. They explained how they talk to potential and new students at a variety of events including the On Track to Bath programme, encouraging and supporting students to apply to Bath who may not have done otherwise.

Dame Glynis chats with student ambassadors

Dame Glynis chats with student ambassadors

Robbie Pickles, Head of UK & EU Student Recruitment, took the VC from people to hard data with a snapshot of recent work mapping applicant outcomes by location and which will provide the basis for more targeted student recruitment activity in the coming year.

Former President of the SU and Bath Mathematics graduate David Howells, recently appointed as Head of Undergraduate Admissions, then introduced the Vice-Chancellor to the University’s own online paperless undergraduate admissions scheme. Kelly Lockheed, Senior Admissions Administrator, showed Dame Glynis the system in action and talked the Vice Chancellor through the process of making offers whilst ensuring fairness and consistency in admissions decisions.

Dame Glynis was able to share the news that VCG had just approved a proposal to develop the same system for graduate admissions.

The theme of graduate admissions continued with Kim Spencer, Admissions Manager, and Dr Bruce Rayton, School of Management Admissions. Kim described how the team support the graduate admissions process, and detailed the arrangements for the upcoming arrivals weekend to assist induction and create a positive experience for our international students.

Dame Glynis then spent time with department staff and the student ambassadors over lunch: “It’s been wonderful to see you in such good spirits and I’ve learned an enormous amount; it’s been really interesting.

“You are the dynamic heart of our University. Recruiting the right students for the right course with the right experience at the right time has been key to getting us to number 1 in the NSS.

“If you didn’t do what you do so well, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

 

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.

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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.

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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

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📥  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

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📥  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 eventsandceremonies@bath.ac.uk
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.

 

VC visits Faculty of Engineering and Design Professional Services

📥  On campus, Visits to departments

The Faculty of Engineering & Design welcomed the Vice-Chancellor recently and showcased their use of digital technologies. Management, administration and specialist teams gave demonstrations on a range of new initiatives for student recruitment, exam setting and placements. The morning acted as a celebration for innovative practices and collaborative working across the Faculty in line with their new mission statement.

Dame Glynis enjoyed presentations from:

·       The Placements Team who explained how they match students and companies to ensure the best fit for both parties.

·       The Learning Technologists and Learning Enhancement Advisor who spoke about how they use the latest technologies to support academic staff.

·       The Graduate School who described how they now create and set exams using Moodle, rendering a complex and slow process much more efficient and secure.

·       The Marketing Team who demonstrated how they use augment reality through the Aurasma App and blogging to showcase student projects and experiences.

·       The Faculty Executive Support Office who exhibited new methods for keeping staff updated.

·       The Department Offices who talked about their social media channels.

Dame Glynis hears from

Dame Glynis hears from Yvonne Moore about the support they offer academic staff with using the latest technologies

Dame Glynis also spoke with the Faculty’s first Business Administration Modern Apprentices; Hajraah Qureshi and Mitch Rose. Hajraah demonstrated a social media training module she had developed for staff.

29026 VC Visit to Faculty of Engineering 21 July 2016. Ian Forster-Smith, Director of Administration for E&D, shows the VC around. Client: Ben Harris - Corp Comms

Sarah Sempala-Ntege and Beth Jones from the Marketing team with Iain Forster-Smith and the VC

Addressing everyone over tea and a specially commissioned cake, Dame Glynis said: “It has been fascinating to find out so much about the new things you are doing. I am especially keen to create opportunities to help people develop, and it is great to hear how well your Modern Apprentices have been doing.

“I would ask you to share your work with colleagues across the faculties and the School of Management.

“Collaboration and inclusion are key to establishing innovation as the norm. The sky really is the limit when you start to work with everyone across the University. What you do here is fantastic.”

29026 VC Visit to Faculty of Engineering 21 July 2016. Ian Forster-Smith, Director of Administration for E&D, shows the VC around. Client: Ben Harris - Corp Comms

The Faculty of Engineering & Design Professional Services team