As the vaccination programme in the UK continues to roll out, we will soon receive more information about the roadmap to reopening from lockdown measures. We are expecting details from the UK’s Prime Minister early next week, and we will be examining this carefully before updating you further as soon as we’re able to do so. Separately we have extended the rent rebate for students not using their University accommodation until 8 March. We are also pleased to have received additional hardship funds to support both taught and research students.
I continue to be most grateful to those who continue to support students, both directly on campus, for example in providing the most successful Chinese New Year meals served on New Year’s Day last Friday, and also to all involved in online learning at the start of the new semester.
Farewell and gratitude to Martyn Whalley
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Martyn Whalley, Director of Estates who will be leaving the University after over 16 years of service. Martyn has overseen huge changes in the campus over his time here as well as being key in our new investments in the Virgil Building and the Bristol and Bath Science Park. With the IAAPS building nearing completion and the School of Management building completing later this year, Martyn has decided that this is an ideal time for him to step down. He will finish as Director of Estates on 30 April this year, but continue to support us on the capital projects for a little longer. I am most grateful for everything he has given to the University and wish him well in his future endeavours.
Team Bath online wellbeing and fitness sessions
As the weather warms and lockdown restrictions begin to ease, I’m sure we all very much hope that we can get outside for more fresh air and activity. However, I have been most grateful to the team at the Sports Training Village, who continue to offer free online wellbeing sessions for our staff and students. Colleagues can access activities online from high intensity fitness classes to yoga and meditation and I do hope that many of you find this helpful. In addition, by the end of this week, we will have athletes from some 16 sports training within the STV under the DCMS protocols for elite athletes, including an increasing number of our own students. It is a pleasure to see Team Bath netball having started their season with two excellent wins over the Celtic Dragons and Loughborough Lightning.
LGBT+ History Month
May I express my appreciation to those colleagues who have been helping our University community to mark LGBT+ History Month. The Kaleidoscope group of staff and postgraduates has organised an online talk next week (on 23 February) to discuss a recent research report commissioned and published by the CIPD.
Last week, I was delighted to join a virtual reception event with our Gold Scholars and with special guest speaker, Peter Harrison, the Chief Executive of Schroders. As ever with this cohort of students, it was a fascinating and inspiring evening, learning about their individual and collective achievements, including the group’s 6,137 hours of volunteering, fundraising and outreach activity. I was delighted to note that last year, every third year Gold Scholar was awarded a first or 2:1 class degree – what an achievement! I have no doubt these students will go on to make great contributions in the future, and will also be wonderful ambassadors for Bath, helping to encourage others to achieve.
Finally, my sincere congratulations to the School of Management for receiving their five year reaccreditation from EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development’s Quality Improvement System, which is a very significant achievement.
With warm good wishes,
Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President