Many thanks to all those staff who were involved in this year’s December Graduation ceremonies which went off really well. We graduated around 1200 students in our five ceremonies and many of the students and their guests commented on how friendly and approachable people were and how the events themselves had the right mix of ceremony and informality. They are always a reminder of the work that all University staff do in helping people to study and develop in their time at Bradford.
The sector is continuing to digest the impact of the recruitment falls this year. Our own shortfall in terms of Home/EU students looks to be at around the sector average and it is clear that many universities have experienced falls in home students. Given that we are also seeing a fall in overall applications for September 2013 across the sector it is clear that we need to continue to work hard to make sure our potential students understand the benefits of studying here, the pathways that a Bradford degree provides to employment and the range of facilities and experiences that we can offer. It is also clear that recruitment of international students, a very important component of our student intake, is more challenging than it ever was. Our overseas offices in Dubai and Beijing are working hard to develop the links and partnerships which are essential for sustainable recruitment.
It has been pleasing to see the developing work on our Curriculum Framework and Employability Strategy which are important in continuing to bring students to Bradford. Work is now beginning on implementing this work which, along with the student charter, are designed to further enhance the student academic experience.
You can follow developments and view related links via Shirley Congdon’s new Learning and Teaching blog.
I hope that colleagues have been able to see the work now completed on the first and second floors of the Library. It has made an enormous difference to both the feel of the library and to its environmental performance and it has also opened up some very pleasant views onto the amphitheatre. Inevitably it has caused some disruptions to both students and staff but I hope you will feel it has been worthwhile when you see the end result. It has also been pleasing to see the Sustainable Enterprise Centre (SEC) and the STEM building next to it progressing well. We hope to be able to formally open both buildings together in April or May. The SEC will host an overarching institute for our work on sustainability and the closed loop economy while the STEM Building will help to inspire and train a young generation of scientists from the schools of the district who we hope will be students here in the future.
I am delighted to congratulate members of the School of Management on achieving the coveted international ‘Triple Crown’ of external accreditations. It has now secured accreditation from the two key US-based organisations (AACSB and AMBA) together with the Europe-based EQUIS organisation. It joins a small number of UK Business and Management Schools with this ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation and positions the School of Management strongly within European and global rankings. My thanks to all the staff who worked so hard to achieve this. It provides a fitting tribute to Dr Sarah Dixon who will be leaving the role of Dean of the School to take up a senior post in China.
I’d also like to congratulate Shirley Congdon, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching on her promotion to Professor of Educational Development.
The University has achieved two major accolades at the prestigious Higher Education Green Gown Awards which recognise exceptional environmental and sustainability initiatives and are considered the leading award scheme in the sector. Two Ecoversity projects at the University fought off 68 finalists to win the ‘Construction and Refurbishment’ category for the Sustainable Student Village: The Green and was also awarded Highly Commended in the ‘Carbon Reduction’ category for its toolkit for waste which saw landfill reduced by 83%. These initiatives aim to embed sustainable development in the learning and living experience of all students.
Finally I’d like to offer my huge congratulations to Bradford City after their momentous and well deserved ‘giant killing’ defeat of Arsenal earlier this week. As an Arsenal fan, that really hurt!
Congratulations to all and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.