June Update

Latest funding information

There has been much talk in recent weeks about the scale of funding cuts and, as you will know, we have been planning for reductions in a number of ways.  There have already been some ‘in-year’ reductions and one immediate consequence of recent pronouncements has been a halving of the proposed 20,000 additional places for the sector for 2010-11. We have already submitted a bid for some of those numbers but, even if we are successful, we will still face overall reductions on our home/EU undergraduates. That is disappointing at a time of growing demand for university places.

We will continue to focus on providing as many opportunities as we can to those disadvantaged groups who can benefit so much from coming to Bradford. We must also take every opportunity we can to emphasise the important work we do both locally and nationally. I had the opportunity last week to directly contribute to the work of the Browne Review of Higher Education by emphasising the flexible, creative and innovative ways in which universities work with industry. Our work, developed through Escalate, is a genuinely innovative example of this.

An international outlook

On a more international front I have been active in my role as a member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in developing a joint-funding initiative between universities and the Commission across the UK to help provide more opportunities for Fellows from developing countries to study in the UK. That initiative will start this September and will see a real partnership between universities and the Commission. It is pleasing to see the good reputation that Bradford has for its role in developing commonwealth links through for example the Scholarship programme and the Chevening Fellowships. We also continue to be active in a number of initiatives managed through the Department for International Development and the British Council which reflect very well our commitment to working with countries and institutions that are less well-off than we are. We need to ensure that we do not see that kind of work ‘squeezed’ out of the University because of the financial constraints we face.

Events on Campus

I was pleased to see the range of events around our Diversity Day, and it was a fitting celebration of our work in this area. I’d like to thank all those who were able to attend some or all of the varied events on offer and of course, to those who helped to arrange this important celebration of the diversity within our University.

We will also be having a series of wellbeing events under the banner of our Feel Good Festival next week and I hope colleagues can take a little bit of time out to relax and enjoy themselves. I do know how busy and pressured staff can sometimes feel, but hopefully there are compensations in the positive and friendly atmosphere that we have in Bradford that is very quickly noticed by the many visitors who come to the University.

Celebrating Success

Research and Knowledge Transfer successes this month include:

  • Sonia O’Connor, Archaeological Sciences has won a prestigious £250,000 three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship – “Science & Heritage for Cultural Objects worked in Skeletal Hard Tissues”. Sonia has also recently been successful in securing projects with a number of external organisations.
  • Mark Freeman from the School of Managment has received a £27,243 research grant from Rotman International Centre for Pension Management for “Pension Plan Solvency and Extreme Market Movements: A Regime Switching Approach”.
  • Howell Edwards, Chemical and Forensic Sciences, has received two research grants. One for £27,224 from the Science and Technologies Facilities Council for “Exomars: Raman Spectroscopy” and one for £750 from York Archaeology for “FT Raman of brain and bone”.

A full list of recent successes can be viewed at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/gateway/rktsuccess/

Congratulations to Ruth Bartlett from the School of Health Studies who has co-authored a new book, “Broadening the dementia debate: toward social citizenship” with Deborah O’Connor from the University of British Columbia. The book considers the experiences of men and women with dementia from a socio-political perspective.

Well done to the HR department, who have been ‘Highly Commended’ in the Universities Human Resources 2010 Awards for Excellence in HR in Higher Education. The team have been recognised for their proactive and collaborative approach to managing health related absence. The commendation recognises the hard work of the HR team, Occupational Health and other support services, as well as the vital part played by our line managers. Their work is a great example of our values at work, adapting our practices to provide a more supportive working environment.

Congratulations to Security Assistant Anani Assagba who will be the first member of the security team to complete his Foundation Degree here at the University. Whilst his colleagues help ensure the smooth running of this July’s graduation ceremonies, Anani will be joining other students to receive his award.

Our cleaning team have been working hard to achieve their British Institute of Cleaning Science, Cleaning Operatives Proficiency Certificates (COPC) with all staff having now completed or working towards the qualification. The COPC covers all the practical cleaning tasks required in the cleaning of buildings and provides nationally recognised certification of competence.

The University has made a significant improvement in the 2010 Yorkshire and Humberside Environment Index. Our score of 84.56% is in the Silver Band recognising an improvement of over 10% on last year’s score. It is excellent recognition of our efforts to embed sustainable development within our culture.