annual review 2013/14
Contents A Year of Progress
Development and Alumni
The Alumni Association
Working in the Region
Facts and Figures
Governors and Senior Staff
Cover image: ‘PE1’ and ‘Polysurface’ by Joe Bradford BA(Hons) Three Dimensional Design: Idea Material Object
Foreword Welcome to the Annual Review of the University for 2013/14. We are proud to celebrate the successes of our staff and students, which reflect the core themes of our vision â€“ creativity, culture and enterprise. This is a time of change within the sector, with altered funding arrangements and pressure from the government for universities to define their particular strengths and offerings. We at Bath Spa are well placed to respond to this â€“ through innovative teaching and research, we provide a high quality student experience. Our location in a World Heritage city and our connections to a network of international partners ensure our graduates are socially engaged, global citizens.
Our attention to our students has always been a matter of great pride. Our new academic building Commons, and the new halls of residence on our Newton Park campus reflect our continued commitment to this, and we have been rewarded with another increase in student satisfaction levels through the National Student Survey. Our research offering continues to expand, with projects taking place across the world as well as closer to home. Our Research Excellence Framework submission included 96 members of staff across the University. Evidence of excellent research was submitted in Education, English Language and Literature (including Creative Writing), History, Art and Design, Music, Drama and Performing Arts, and Communication Cultural and Media Studies.
Our graduation ceremonies were held again in Bath Abbey and provided a moment of proud reflection for us all as we celebrated the hard work of our students. Our new alumni will take our name forward as they consider their next step, be that further study, employment or travel. They are joining an ever-growing talented community of award-winning creative professionals and successful business leaders. I hope that you enjoy this review, showing you the highlights and outstanding achievements of the University over the last year. Professor Christina Slade Vice-Chancellor
A year of progress
Vision and Strategy for 2015
1. A world university
The University’s vision for 2015 is to be a leading educational institution in creativity, culture and enterprise.
Our internationalisation agenda has brought increasing numbers of international students onto campus and introduced new global perspectives across the curriculum.
Through innovative teaching and research, the University will provide a high quality student experience. Based in a World Heritage city and connected to a network of international partners, Bath Spa University will ensure that its graduates are socially engaged global citizens. Work on our strategy to deliver the vision continued throughout the year with significant progress in these three areas of focus:
Links with international education partners continue to grow. In June, Bath Spa hosted the inaugural meeting of the Global Academy for Liberal Arts (GALA), attended by academics and senior managers from across the world. GALA is a global network of creativity spanning national and cultural boundaries to broaden the experience of students and staff.
Research from across the University was included in our submission to REF 2014. 2013 also saw the launch of the University’s institutional repository, ResearchSPAce, which showcases our research and provides access to textual and non-textual material in a range of formats.
3. A distinctive student experience
2. Engaged research with impact
Building on foundations of quality and distinctiveness, our student experience strategy is aligned with our goals for research and internationalisation. The University works in partnership with the cultural and creative industries as well as regional, national and international education partners to produce employment-ready graduates.
The University’s research strategy is centred on increasing our reputation by growing external funding, expanding postgraduate research and teaching activity, enhancing international partnerships and maximising impact and engagement.
In May, a Student Engagement Conference was hosted by the Students’ Union, with support from the National Union of Students. Through lively debate with senior staff, students helped shape the future of the University.
Newton Park campus development
The most significant campus development ever to take place at Bath Spa University was completed in 2014. The changes to the Newton Park campus began in 2012, and are a key element in helping the University realise its vision for 2015. Known as ‘Commons’, the new academic building was completed in April 2014 and was formally opened by Academy Award-winning film producer Lord Puttnam CBE in June 2014. Commons has a large open-plan Learning Commons, quiet study spaces, a variety of teaching and meeting rooms as well as Café Commons, meeting pods, and a state-of-the-art digital studio and editing suites. These facilities are the most outstanding of their kind in the South West. An outdoor amphitheatre also provides a unique performance space. New student halls of residence at the top of Newton Park campus, near to the Students’ Union, were completed in September 2014 in time for the new student intake to move in. The development consists of 55 ‘houses’ for up to ten students, including six fully accessible en-suite rooms and a number of small studios, providing a total of 561 bedrooms.
In addition to the building work at Newton Park, the library has undergone a major refurbishment during the summer months a huge undertaking requiring around 80,000 books and shelving to be removed and stored in Exeter, whilst minimising the disruption to students and staff. Access and borrowing facilities from other university libraries were negotiated and inter-library loans were arranged to assist with this. The refurbished facilities reflect changes to learning styles, including increased use of mobile devices. Finally the Students’ Union benefited from a £600,000 renovation during the summer months, transforming the building into an inviting and flexible space, including a new cafe/bar area, larger shop and improved gym.
Consortium awarded £14.2 million by AHRC
Film ‘Sixteen’ premieres in London as part of BFI Film Festival
Launch of Attachment Awareness research
Prestigious QAA mark is retained
NOVEMBER 13 Novelist Hilary Mantel received honorary degree
MAY 14 Research grant from Forces in Mind
DECEMBER 13 Universityâ€™s Christmas Carol Concert at Bath Abbey
JUNE 14 Opening of Commons building by Lord David Puttman CBE
JANUARY 14 Creative Writing graduate and lecturer Nathan Filer wins Costa Book of the Year Award
JULY 14 Graduation ceremonies
FEBRUARY 14 David Willets MP visits the University
AUGUST 14 Student satisfaction up to 89 per cent in National Student Survey
Double Costa Book Award success Creative Writing graduate and lecturer, Nathan Filer, won both the Costa First Novel Book Award and the Costa Book of the Year Award 2013. Nathan beat best-selling novelist Kate Atkinson, whose novel Life After Life was the bookmakers' favourite to win the overall prize. He is only the fifth winner of the first novel category since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985 to beat the other four categories (novel, biography, children's and poetry) and take the overall prize. Nathan graduated from the MA in Creative Writing course at Bath Spa in 2010 and is a registered mental health nurse. The Shock of the Fall is Nathan’s debut novel and was published in May 2013 by Harper Collins. Commenting on the University’s delight in Nathan’s achievement, Dean of the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, Professor Steve May said: “Nathan embodies the kind of writer our courses produce - innovative, individual, and grounded in the world outside literature. We are indeed fortunate that he is now helping extend this tradition in his teaching of current students.” This is the third year running that Bath Spa has seen success in these awards. Former lecturer in Creative Writing, Andrew Miller won both the 2011 Costa Book Best Novel Award and the overall Costa Book of the Year Award for his novel Pure. In 2012 the prize went to Bring Up the Bodies by Bath Spa Honorary Graduate Hilary Mantel. It was the first book to be named as Costa Book of the Year and win the Man Booker Prize in the same year.
© Sarah Lee/Guardian News & Media Ltd.
Creativity Distinction for Professor Almond Professor of Creative Writing and highly acclaimed author, David Almond, had his novel Skellig selected for the top 100 children’s novels to read by age 14. This unusual and captivating novel has also won both the Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Children’s Book Award. Professor Almond has written many novels, stories, and plays including The Savage, Clay, My Name in Mina, and My Dad’s a Birdman. In addition, in November 2013, Professor Almond was named as the winner of the annual Eleanor Farjeon Award. This award is made for distinguished service to the world of children’s books and is given to a person or an organisation whose commitment and contribution is deemed outstanding.
Libretto for opera ‘Dorian Gray’ Kate Pullinger, Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media has written the Englishlanguage version of the opera, Dorian Gray composed by Lubica Cekovska. The opera opened in November 2013 in Bratislava and was reviewed in the New York Times which stated: “Ms. Cekovska’s easily grasped, mildly dissonant style, with lyrically oriented vocal lines, underscores, as far as it goes, the unsettling nature of Oscar Wilde’s sinister novel. Tension is created by steady drumbeats, insistent rhythms and swelling chords. Yet, Ms. Cekovska’s music at times was too tame for Wilde’s chilling tale — depraved, some would say — of a painting that mysteriously ages to reflect the increasingly twisted soul of its subject, the beguiling Dorian Gray, while he remains eternally young. The Canadian author Kate Pullinger solidly crafted the Englishlanguage libretto.”
Commenting on receiving this award, David said: “I am of course really delighted. This is a real honour. The award comes from the heart of the children’s book world, a world of great creativity and optimism, a world in which people genuinely believe that books and all forms of art can and do change people’s lives. I am proud to be part of it.”
Special issue of Little White Lies magazine BA (Hons) Graphic Communication graduates Robbie Wilkinson, Will Harvey, Patch Keyes and Eliot Wyatt were commissioned by Little White Lies Magazine to produce illustrations for a special 50th issue. The foursome were selected, along with 46 other artists, as representatives of ‘some of the best artists out there now’. The 50 artists were commissioned to produce new illustrations for the landmark issue, which has discarded the traditional format to create a compendium celebrating 50 years of amazing movies. This special issue is available to view in the University’s Sion Hill campus library.
He joins a prestigious list of previous winners including Quentin Blake, Malorie Blackman, Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman.
I wanted them to be simple, effective, and suitable for all research subjects, from theatre to sociology. It will be very exciting to see my designs on books in the market.”
Creativity Student artwork commissioned for Gainsborough Spa Hotel Students Stefanie Clark (BA Fine Art), Agnese Matteini (MA Fine Art) and April George (BA Creative Arts) were selected to produce artwork for the new five-star Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. The hotel, which is owned by YTL Hotels, commissioned New York-based Champalimaud Designs as their interior designer and after a meeting with the University, agreed to give Bath Spa students the chance to create artwork for the hotel. The initial proposal included a single commission for the wall of the hotel’s restaurant but the ten-person panel was so impressed by the quality of the submissions that they decided to commission three students to produce three pieces of art. Head of Art and International Activities at Bath Spa University’s School of Art and Design, Daniel Allen added, “We are delighted and very proud of Stephanie, Agnese and April in their commissions. These competition winners are evidence of the standard of work being produced alongside the professional attitude of so many of our students at the Bath School of Art and Design.”
Winning designer of Palgrave Pivot design competition International academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan launched a new competition in 2013 challenging students to design jacket covers for its innovative new Palgrave Pivot titles. Graphic Communication student, Harvey Loake designed three winning images which have been used on jacket covers of new 2014 Palgrave Pivot titles. Commenting on his winning designs Harvey said: “When designing the images, I tried to come up with an original concept that would fit with Palgrave Macmillan’s existing collections and the Palgrave Pivot brand.
Nicky Borowiec, Head of Design at Palgrave Macmillan added: “The standard of entries was very high, and it was difficult for us to choose a winner. But Harvey’s images had clearly been chosen thoughtfully, and look stunning. We’re looking forward to hosting him for paid work experience.” Professor Slade chose one of Harvey’s winning designs for the cover of her new book Watching Arabic Television in Europe: From Diaspora to Hybrid Citizens.
Creative Sparks Creative Sparks was a new collaborative platform where students and staff from different disciplines came together to create unique work in response to a creative brief around the theme of ‘water’ to help celebrate the opening of the Commons building on 5 June 2014. At the launch 1500 guests including staff, students, local residents, University governors and VIPs were able to explore the building and view the exciting projects following the official opening by Lord Puttnam.
Giant installation at Sion Hill campus A giant inflatable suckling pig, created by acclaimed Chinese artist, Cao Fei was displayed at the Sion Hill campus for two weeks in December 2013. One of the key artists of a new generation emerging from mainland China, the artwork â€˜House of Treasuresâ€™ was created by Cao Fei to celebrate themes of prosperity and abundance. Cao Fei mixes popular aesthetics and references to Surrealism to create her work, and has seen her pieces exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery (London), MoMA (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). House of Treasures was originally exhibited as part of the inaugural exhibition of the new major contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong, M+, and was presented at Bath School of Art and Design in collaboration with Eastside Projects in Birmingham.
Graduate Fashion Week success Fashion Design graduate Grace Weller was winner of the Graduate Fashion Week 2014 Womenswear Award and the overall George Gold Award, the highest honour and most prestigious of the Graduate Fashion Week Awards. Previous winners of this award include Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Julian Macdonald and Matthew Williamson. Competitors came from far and wide with over 1,000 fashion designers of the future, from 47 universities, in 21 catwalk shows competing for the coveted awards. Grace wowed the judges with her designs which featured deep blue sheer materials embroidered with dark orange flowers.
She was presented with the Womenswear Award and £5,000 prize money by London-based milliner Philip Treacy. The overall George Gold Award and £10,000 prize money was presented by brand director for George at Asda, Fiona Lambert and Sara Mower MBE, Ambassador for Emerging Talent at the British Fashion Council, Chair of the BFC’s NewGen committee, and leading fashion journalist. Commenting on winning both awards, Grace said: “I’m overwhelmed and so happy. I’m completely pinching myself. I’ve always wanted to be a designer so I can’t believe I’ve won two awards today.” Grace’s achievement is evidence of the continued success of the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at Bath School
of Art and Design and follows another Bath Spa graduate, Chloe Jones, who won the same awards at Graduate Fashion Week 2012. Course Leader of Fashion Design, Louise Pickles, added: “There are 47 universities at Graduate Fashion Week, and 21 catwalk shows so it is a very competitive environment. To win is fantastic for Grace, for the University, and for the city of Bath, I think all would agree that Grace is an extremely well deserved winner.” In addition to winning both awards, Grace was joined by fellow Bath Spa graduates Keziah Newlove and Ainslie Mackie who were also selected to be included in the 'Best of Graduate Fashion Week 2014' show featuring 25 collections.
The Bath Spa Porthleven Prize Sponsored by The Trevor Osborne Property Group. Five students who successfully applied to The Bath Spa Porthleven Prize completed an intensive ten-day residency in Porthleven, Cornwall. During their time there, the students worked incredibly hard to produce some very thoughtful work. Their time together, and collaborative approach, resulted in the presentation of professional work that promoted external curators to comment on the ‘excellent standard’. The five winners of the Bath Spa Porthleven Prize 2014 were: G
Jenny Newbury (Creative Writing)
Emily Furnell (Fine Art)
Sae Murai (Dance and Textile Design Studies)
Fiona Haines (Fine Art)
Lucinda Burgess (Fine Art).
Despite the extensive storm damage that hit Porthleven in winter 2013/14, the students were able to engage fully with Porthleven, working on beaches, interviewing local people and going out to sea with fishermen to collect flotsam and jetsam, and other found objects. Commenting on the experience, Fiona Haines said: “Four main areas of interest occurred within my residency: place, object, people and sound. Within place, fall specific sites, such as Goonhilly, Loe Bar, and the disused Bathhouse, and places encountered by chance during walks - including coastal paths and disused mines. It was on such walks that I came across objects that proved inspirational within my work, such as flotsam and jetsam, or a burnt tree found to the side of Loe Bar. I also found myself influenced by the conversations with people that I met, and the different sounds experienced around me, recording and listening live via headset.” Some wonderful work including images and texts has been produced, and one MA Fine Art student worked with the chains from Porthleven harbour that had to be replaced after the storm damage. The resulting
artwork was shown as part of the opening of Commons on 5 June 2014 and toured the O3 Gallery, Oxford and the Sion Hill campus in October and November 2014. Trevor Osborne, founder and sponsor of the prize, commented: “The collaborative experience of combining disparate talents and media is proving to be a formative experience which benefits the students and greatly satisfies my objectives as a sponsor.”
Professor Kate Pullinger leads WW1 commemoration project Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media, Kate Pullinger, and novelist and theatre director Neil Bartlett created a new kind of war memorial for the First World War centenary commemorations. Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, 'Letter to an Unknown Soldier' invited the public to write a letter to a soldier; not just any soldier however, but the soldier who inspired the famous Charles Jagger war memorial on platform one of London's Paddington Station. Nearly 21,500 letters were received from schools, groups and individuals including Stephen Fry, Andrew Motion, Sheila Hancock and Malorie Blackman.
Kate Pullinger said: “Neil and I set out to create something original and inspiring, a memorial that would give everyone a voice. It’s clearly struck a chord with people and the kind of themes and stories coming through are fascinating.” Kate and Neil worked with a group of editors at Bath Spa University to create a daily selection of featured letters, and all the letters are available online for people to read: www.1418now.org.uk/letter In response to this project, Professor Pullinger then teamed up with Bath Spa colleagues Anthony Head, Neil Glen and Tim Vyner to create 'Oak', a stunning, seven
metre high digital artwork. ‘Oak’ took the form of a 200 year old wintering oak tree, with its bare branches symbolising strength and endurance. Every minute a new letter, written by a member of the public was displayed by the roots of the tree. Gradually the letters were transformed into wordleaves, and grew larger and older until they changed from green to brown and fell back to the ground. Designer and technologist Neil Glen designed the text layout of the work making reference to memorial walls in which the names of those honoured are listed as a series of columns, creating a visual mass which upon close inspection reveals the details of those being remembered. The text of each letter is laid out in a single column, moving to the right every minute to reveal a new letter.
Culture Bringing the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ to life A group of final year students in heritage and humanities subjects teamed up with second year Graphic Communications students and No.1 Royal Crescent to create an iPad app using objects on loan from Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. The aim of this cross-disciplinary project was to produce an informative and educational app explaining the history and background of 'Cabinets of Curiosities' and the idea of the 'Grand Tour'. Cabinets of Curiosities were popular in the eighteenth century when wealthy gentlemen and traders collected rare and exotic objects from around the globe. On returning to England they would often go to great lengths to display these souvenirs and objects in cabinets or specially designed rooms. Collections Manager, Matt Williams, who guided the selection of these objects from the BRLSI museum collection said: “We carefully chose objects that related to the known interests of a real eighteenth century resident of No.1 Royal Crescent”. Heritage Subject Leader at Bath Spa University and co-ordinator of the project, Dr Kristin Doern commented: “This project offered our students a fantastic opportunity to be involved in a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment of a major Bath museum and gave the University a chance to work across subjects to produce an app that really brings to life eighteenth century passions for collecting.”
Professor Anita Taylor curates Jerwood anniversary exhibition Dean of Bath School of Art and Design, Professor Anita Taylor curated Drawn Together: Artist as Selector, an exhibition that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, an annual open exhibition that she has directed since inception. The exhibition for Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, centred on the role of drawing in the practice of 25 eminent artists who have been on the selection panel for the annual Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibitions since 1994, including Bath Spa Honorary Graduate Michael Craig-Martin RA, Cornelia Parker RA and Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition explored the selectors’ own drawing practices, and extends the continuing dialogue promoted by the Jerwood Drawing Prize about the knowledge, understanding and role of drawing and its importance as a medium for artists working in the UK today.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize project was established in 1994 to facilitate an understanding of current drawing practice; and to provide students with professional experience as part of the curriculum to organise and understand the process of an open exhibition. It was initially known as the Rexel Derwent Open Drawing Exhibition and then the Cheltenham Open Drawing Exhibition, until the Jerwood Charitable Foundation became the principal benefactor in 2001.
Year of success for Creative Writing The MA Creative Writing course at Bath Spa has been running for over 20 years, and alongside the MA Writing for Young People, has become one of the most successful and popular course of its kind in the UK. The course tutors are respected writers themselves, and have excellent connections to the publishing world. The course continues to produce talented and successful writers as demonstrated by the 44 works published over the last two years. Creative Writing Masters graduate, Clare Donoghue had her debut novel The Watcher, which she worked on during her MA, published in March 2014. This London thriller combines psychological suspense with a gritty whodunit crime story. Meticulously plotted and skilfully drawn, The Watcher fizzes with tension as a complex criminal pulls off crimes terrifyingly close to home. A heart stopping finale paves the way for a sequel, Entombed, her second book which is scheduled for release in March 2015.
Creative Writing Masters graduate and now PhD student Jack Wolf made the Polari First Book Prize shortlist with his novel The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones. Set in the mid-18th century, The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones is the story of a young man, Tristan Hart who, at the age of 20, goes up to London to study anatomy and surgery at St Thomas’s. Considered a genius and a physician of extraordinary promise, he is also, alas, psychotic. A lost, motherless boy, a sadistic monster, a philosopher, fantasist, visionary, Tristan’s story is funny, moving and frightening. The Tales of Raw Head and Bloody Bones was also the winner of the Author’s Club First Novel Award 2014 which was awarded in June. Bath Spa graduates Lucy Cruikshanks and Anthea Nicholson were also on the shortlist for the award. In addition to novels, two Bath Spa Creative Writing graduates have had success with their poetry. Daisy Behagg was named the winner of the prestigious Bridport Prize for her poem The Opposite of Dave. Judge Wendy Cope said of the poem: “The Opposite of Dave made me laugh out loud the first time I read it and
smile every time I thought of it. They say that funny poems don’t win competitions. Well, this one did. But it isn’t just a funny poem. It is saying something about women and their relationships with men that many readers will find recognisable.” In addition to Daisy’s success another graduate, Virginia Ashley was Highly Commended by the Bridport Prize and also won the Dorset Award. The Dorset Award is specifically for Dorset writers and awards £100 to the highest placed Dorset writer in the Bridport Prize each year. The Bridport Prize is one of the top competitions for new writing, with entries coming from as far afield as Eritrea and Estonia. Patron of the Bridport Prize, and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa, Fay Weldon CBE, spoke of its significance saying: “Mention the Bridport Prize and the eyes of writers everywhere light up. It's not just the money - though that's not to be sneezed at - it’s a prize really worth fighting for in terms of prestige and genuine literary accomplishment.”
The Ladevèze Collection A fabulous collection of books and papers from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) Illustration Award were donated to the University by Jack and Audrey Ladevèze. Jack and Audrey Ladevèze are trustees of the Enid Linder Foundation who sponsor the prize. This donation is formed from their own personal collection of illustrated books and papers that they have built up over the years that they have been involved with the prize. It is a unique collection that shows the changing nature of book illustration and design over 20 years and will be a valuable learning resource for students and staff. The V&A has been awarding prizes for book illustration since 1972.
Bath Spa playwright recognised by Theatrical Management Association
Religious Studies group visit China to study Buddhism
Christopher William Hill, a lecturer on the University’s MA Scriptwriting course was awarded the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) Best Show for Children and Young People Award for a play he wrote, entitled Mister Holgado.
Three Study of Religions students, Beth Jeffcoat, Amber Norris and Sean Spain had a wonderful opportunity to visit China and study Buddhism. This experience was arranged by the Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program (affectionately shortened to the Woodenfish Program), run by a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, Venerable Yifa, and Secretary Officer of Woodenfish Michael Paone. The aim of the visit was to give Western students the opportunity of learning about Buddhism and experiencing monastic life in practice.
As well as being an award-winning playwright, Christopher is also an accomplished fiction writer with novels such as Osbert the Avenger, the first of a four novel series Tales From Schwartzgarten.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade commented: “We are extremely grateful to Jack and Audrey Ladevèze for this generous donation. The collection will be a valuable teaching and learning resource for our staff and students in their education and research. I hope that having such a prestigious collection here at Bath Spa will encourage our students to enter the V&A Illustration Award in future years.” The collection is now housed in the University Library at Newton Park. Jack and Audrey have also committed to continuing to add to the collection with the gift of future prize winning and shortlisted works.
Established in 1894, the TMA is a leading trade association representing the interests of and providing professional support for the performing arts in the UK. Since 1991 the TMA’s annual Theatre Awards have celebrated the creative excellence and outstanding work seen in UK theatres each year.
Bath Spa Live Bath Spa Live topped 2012/13’s busiest year ever with an even busier year in 2013/14, with 129 events produced and 6,271 tickets sold. 74 of the events involved performances by Bath Spa University staff and students working with 39 professional artists and groups. The popular membership scheme sold out all 200 memberships in record time by the end of October. Bath Spa Live membership enables Bath Spa students to see all events for a one-off payment of £27. Offering excellent value for money, the scheme encourages students to take risks and experience new work. Many academic staff now recommend that students invest in a Bath Spa Live membership as part of their course materials.
Bath Spa Live employed ten student staff and three professional Duty Managers over the year. All student staff gain valuable work experience in running live arts events. This includes running the box office, stewarding, running the event bar and being responsible for the health, safety and enjoyment of performers and members of the public. Bath Spa Live was also successful for the second year running in the Bath Spa Job Shop Student Employee and Employer of the Year awards, with Duty Manager and Acting student Nick Toop winning the Campus Student Employee of the Year award.
Bath Spa Live launched the New Brew Artists Development Scheme in January. Funded by income from events bars, New Brew provides students and alumni with the opportunity to apply to present their own events in the Bath Spa Live season at Burdall’s Yard. Applications were received from a hugely varied range of genres, from art workshops to a Shakespeare-inspired circus event. The two winning applications were a production of Wyndham Lewis’s play Enemy of the Stars, which took place in July, and a Christmas performance by chamber choir Noctis.
The Beggar’s Opera Bath Spa Live joined forces with Bath Recital Artists Trust to co-produce John Gay’s Georgian masterpiece The Beggar’s Opera in April at Burdall’s Yard and in May at Bath’s Old Theatre Royal. The event was directed by Mark Langley and was performed by Bath Spa final-year Acting students, with support from Theatre Production students and live music performed by staff and students from Bath Spa’s Department of Music.
Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro Students from BSU’s School of Music and Performing Arts put on a hugely successful production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro under the expert direction of Garth Bardsley, who has a wealth of acting, singing and writing experience behind him, as well as being a senior lecturer and opera director at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. The student cast, orchestra and conductors came together to bring this production to fruition.
Enemy of the Stars Written in 1914 by artist and writer Wyndham Lewis, the original version of this play was considered to be ‘unperformable’. However, lecturer in English and Creative Studies Dr Colin Edwards and part-time lecturer in English Literature and Philosophy Christopher Lewis adapted the play to produce a workable script for students from the Drama, Acting and Theatre Production courses. Christopher Lewis, whose PhD thesis concerns the writing and paintings of Wyndham Lewis, said: “This play offers a unique insight into the aggressive cultural and artistic temper of London immediately prior to the outbreak of war. It is in the spirit of exploration and with an aim to provoke debate on this remarkable work that we are attempting to bring it to life on stage for the first time.”
October saw the launch of a new series of Jazz Nights at Burdall’s Yard, under the artistic direction of Adam Biggs from the School of Music and Performing Arts. The events give BSU Jazz students the opportunity to learn jazz performance the traditional way, through performing on stage with professionals. Visiting artists included Corey Mwamba, Derek Nash and Moonlight Saving Time, amongst others. The series attracted a growing audience of local jazz fans and Bath Spa Live has now been awarded a PRS for Music Jazz Promoters Award to help develop the programme in 2014/15.
An Evening of Georgian Pleasures Sponsored by The Leche Trust The academic year started with the most ambitious event produced to date – a full reconstruction of an evening of Georgian entertainment, staged in the gardens of the Holburne Museum. This production was a joint project between the Schools of Music and Performing Arts and Humanities and Cultural Industries, under the artistic direction of Dr Matthew Spring. 300 audience members, many of whom arrived in full costume, enjoyed an authentic programme of Georgian music and theatre. Extracts from the programme were also broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Enterprise Publishing internships Bath Spa extended its working relationship with businesses through two new internships. London-based international book publisher Amber Books agreed to offer five paid graduate internships whilst Parragon, the largest illustrated non-fiction publisher in the world, maintained its close relationship with the University by extending its graduate scheme for a third year. Parragon’s three-month, fully-paid internship scheme aims to integrate students within the work place to encourage commitment, responsibility and appropriate attitudes and work ethics that are vital in professional working environments. Publishing Course Leader, Katharine Reeve, said: “These internships are an amazing opportunity for our graduates to gain highquality experience of working in a publishing house, where activities can be tailored to each graduate’s area of interest.” Gemma Bailey, HR Officer at Parragon Books added: “We’re delighted to be running our graduate scheme again in 2014 after such success in 2012 and 2013. We have had some really fantastic graduates join the business in a variety of roles, and the quality of Bath Spa’s publishing students is excellent.”
Pledge to support mental health awareness The University and its Students’ Union confirmed their commitment to raising awareness of mental health by signing the Time to Change pledge. Time to Change is England’s biggest anti-stigma programme led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. The aim of the pledge is to end the discrimination and stigma often associated with mental health. Professor Christina Slade said she was proud to sign the Time to Change pledge on behalf of Bath Spa University. “We are dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and encouraging our students and staff to talk about this to help end stigma and discrimination.” Emma Weskin, Vice-President Welfare at Bath Spa University Students’ Union said: “The stigma surrounding mental health can sometimes be even worse than the symptoms themselves. It is something very personal to me and I am so proud of everyone who has jumped on board to be a part of the programme as well as the positive response it has received across the University!”
Supporting student employability Bath Spa works with over 460 local employers who advertise over 2,400 part-time job opportunities every year. This year over 500 students secured industry placements. The Employer Liaison Team has facilitated placement opportunities for students with a wide range of external organisations including Unilever UK, Valentine Thomas & Partners, Somer Valley FM, Serco Group, Operation Wallacea, Kilver Court Designer Village, Ridgeway, British American Tobacco Group R&D Centre, Sirona, Somerset Solders Ltd, Miller, The National Trust, The Makery, LanguageJobSpain, Nielsen, The San Francisco Fudge Factory, and St John’s Hospital. The Bath Spa Jobshop has engaged new local employers in offering part-time and holiday work for students, and regular users of the service to come in for ‘Meet the Employer’ events or curriculum talks. These include The Bath Food Company, Action on Hearing Loss, Minuteman Press, Bath Rugby, Evercreech, Apple, Percy Community Centre, Creche Staff, The Spicery, The Abbey Hotel, Priston Mill, Advanced Studies in England, Language Study Centres.
Olympian graduate recruits students Famous for winning gold for the 4x100m relay at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Jason Gardener MBE is also a 2003 graduate from Bath Spa University, where he studied Sociology and Media Communications. Jason was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2006. Jason is now co-owner of a sports-related business, Team Superschools, which gives school children the opportunity to meet and be inspired by an Olympian or internationally renowned sports personality. With 60,000 pupils a year participating in Team Superschools activities, the business needs a flexible workforce to respond to demand. This led Jason to approach Bath Spa Universityâ€™s Jobshop as a means of recruiting students with a passion for photography or sport into part-time paid job opportunities in and around Bath that will fit around their studies. Jason commented: â€œI spoke with the team and ended up interviewing a few candidates for a photography position which was filled excellently by a Bath Spa student. It has been brilliant to use that network and come back to where I studied and recruit from the University. This relationship is mutually beneficial and not only provides me with great employees and as an alumnus enables me to stay connected with the University, but also for students and graduates to have opportunities to develop what they have studied and earn a living from it.â€?
Enterprise Award: Leadership
JobShop awards In May 2014 the University launched the new Jobshop Awards 2014 to reward outstanding achievement by Bath Spa students in their part-time job. At a ceremony on Tuesday 20 May, four students - accompanied by their employer - received cash prizes in recognition of being exceptional employees. The winners were:
Award: Above & Beyond Following feedback from Ben Brown, Centre Operator, Language Studies Centres, Beth Vowles (BA English Literature) was selected for a prize of £400 for her contribution as an Activity Leader. Beth has helped to create a vibrant and cohesive team, who respond to every task with enthusiasm and vigour.
Owain Jackson (BSc Psychology) has been working as a Personal Assistant (Support Worker) for the Shaw Trust and was selected for a prize of £400 in recognition of his exceptional communication and leadership skills, which are also related to the nature of his degree course. Owain has been responsible for helping to introduce an autistic teenager to the outside world, supporting social progression and building confidence.
Award: Highly Commended Employee Georgia Monaghan (BA Fine Art) earned her nomination from Dean Quintin, Club House Manager at Bath Rugby, due to her excellent work ethic as a Supervisor and her attention to detail on vital financial returns. She received a prize of £200.
Award: Excellent Contribution to a University Department Suzanne Harris, Events & Venues Manager in the University’s theatre department, nominated Nicholas Toop (BA Acting) for a prize of £400 due to his competence, commitment and reliability in the role of Duty Manager.
The Bath Spa Jobshop works with over 460 local employers in and around Bath and advertises over 2,400 part-time and vacation jobs to students every year. 80 per cent of our students work during their studies, to gain valuable work experience. Employers using the Bath Spa Jobshop to recruit are invited to nominate Bath Spa students for an award, where they feel outstanding commitment, initiative and flair have been demonstrated.
Education in India Bath Spa has been working with tour company GeoIndia to collect and distribute books to two schools in the Punjab, Northern India. GeoIndia is a small, independent company specialising in educational tours to Northern India. They will shortly begin distributing the books to partner schools in Sahauli and Dhariwal in Northern India. Throughout the autumn term students and staff at the University donated good quality books on any topic for primary and secondary
school aged children (aged 4-16). Collection bins were located across the University’s Newton Park campus and donations poured in. Inside each book, staff and students have also written personal messages for the recipients. In total 283 books were donated. Students on the Geography degree course at Bath Spa undertake a field trip to Northern India in their second year and this project has evolved based on their learning experiences,
with their desire to give something back to Indian communities in return for their hospitality. Books are a much needed resource for schools in the region and Mr Brij Mohan, Principal of the Indian Heritage Public School in Dhariwal, Punjab said: “Many of the children come from poor families who are unable to afford books for study – especially those written in English. The gift of a book will provide children with a valuable source of knowledge; indeed good books are the best friends of the student.”
Sabbatical officers shortlisted Sabbatical officers Emma Weskin, Amy Dawson and Holly Jenkins were shortlisted for Officer Team of the Year at the NUS Awards 2014. The team were nominated for the outstanding contribution they made to student life and the Students’ Union - from raising awareness about mental health on campus, to negotiating funding for a Students’ Union refurbishment, from putting course reps at the heart of University decision making with the first Course Reps Conference, to overseeing a record number of students participating in clubs and societies.
World’s first graphic novel about counselling Barbara Bloomfield, a Bath Spa graduate and former lecturer, published the world’s first graphic novel about counselling in October 2013. Barbara’s book Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex takes readers into the private world of the counselling room and follows three sets of couples as they try to save their troubled relationships. Commenting on the book, Barbara said: “Genre-busting is very fashionable these days and I wanted to do something different and original, to show the secrets of the process of therapy through pictures. I find younger people relate very well to visual storytelling and Chris Radley's illustrations are really exciting.”
Improving recycling rates in hi-rise developments Final year BSc Environmental Science students worked with Kier Services and Bath and Northeast Somerset Waste Managers to undertake a survey of recycling in Bath. The aim was to review barriers to recycling from people who live in hi-rise flats within the city of Bath. The project highlighted that knowledge, behaviour, language barriers and logistics were the main barriers to recycling, and made recommendations on communication and system improvements. Ultimately these will bring longer term savings and increase recycling rates. Following these results, Kier have calculated that with improvements in communication at hi-rise flats and a redistribution of staff at peak periods, the increased recycling rates and the reduction of general waste will equate to a significant financial saving each year.
The officers have supported each other, the Liberation Reps, School Reps, Housing Reps, Club and Society Committees and worked with staff throughout the year with achievements as varied as making it onto BBC for Children in Need to receiving Investors in Diversity accreditation for the Union. NUS received record numbers of nominations this year so we are very proud to see Bath Spa’s name amongst the shortlisted.
Enterprise Success at New Designers 2014 2013 MA Design: Ceramics graduate, Taz Pollard, won the New Designers One Year On award at this year’s New Designers exhibition in London. The New Designers event is divided into two exhibitions (Part One and Part Two) with a One Year On award winner per exhibition. Taz’s design won the award at the Part One exhibition, coming out on top of the sixty brightest new names in the design world who have been in business just one year since graduating. The talented ceramicist was presented with the award by the jewellery designer, Alex Monroe. The judges commented that Taz’s work is: “A fusion of utterly contemporary design which acknowledges her own local knowledge and background. Taz is very innovative and brave in her use of material and colour.” Commenting on receiving the award, Taz said: “I am utterly shocked to have won! The experience has made a massive difference to my business and to understanding where my work fits in to the market place. New Designers has changed everything.”
Internationalisation is a key element of the University’s 2015 strategy, with a focus on expanding the international student body, extending opportunities for all students to benefit from a global outlook, and increasing our international partnerships. The International Relations Team continues to develop our global partnership links, and so far the University has 36 partners in 10 countries including Australia, Chile, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia and the USA. These partnerships offer a range of opportunities to the University such as staff and student exchanges, research activity, recruitment and study abroad. The University continues to be an ERASMUS partner with 39 universities across Europe. International recruitment has been successful in attracting and processing over 14,000 student enquiries which has resulted in over 1400 applications for 2014/15 entry. The successful conversion of applicants with a ratio of 3 to 1 has resulted in buoyant international student recruitment for 2014/15 and positively reinforces the approaches being adopted by the University.
Director of International Relations, Jeremy White, has been delighted with progress, “Our approach to internationalisation has sought to augment the typical Bath Spa University student with a global student experience. The depth of talent, experience and quality of students arriving at the University is already beginning to demonstrate the wider benefits of internationalisation to the academic community and students alike, and the University remains firmly on track to deliver on all of its international objectives by 2015.”
Bath Spa Global launch Bath Spa’s partnership with US-based education specialist Shorelight saw the first intake of students onto an innovative International Year 1 pathway programme in September 2014. The students are studying an intensive blend of language tuition, academic instruction and UK history and culture. Upon successful completion the students will have the option of progressing to the second year of established degree programmes in the Bath Spa portfolio, or join a new initiative being introduced with our Shorelight partners - a new School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE). The SBE will offer a new and exciting business programme in the form of a Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA), with the first cohort of international students planned to start in September 2015. We believe the partnership will deliver significant additional international student numbers as well as extend Bath Spa's global reputation.
The introduction of a February intake has begun to gain traction in the marketplace to support the development of focussed incountry strategies. The University’s approach to international partnership, the introduction of regional recruitment offices in Asia and South America and the development of a global agent network is now beginning to pay dividends and put Bath Spa University on the map in certain countries. Also the year has seen the development of a highly successful in-house pre-sessional English Language programme which provides support where it is needed. The success of the programme has resulted in a very high percentage of progression into the Bath Spa University’s substantive programmes.
Founding a global network The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) is a global network of creativity spanning national and cultural boundaries. It brings together a group of leading Liberal Arts providers from around the world to explore the relationship between creativity and social engagement. The inaugural meeting was held at Bath Spa in June 2014. The group's activities span international, interdisciplinary and inter-generational perspectives to broaden the experience of students and staff. The founding partners represent a range of international approaches to the liberal arts and will share a commitment to raising students’ global awareness. Delegates were welcomed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade, founder of GALA. Plenary talks on the theme of ‘water’ were led by Professor John Strachan and Professor Owain Jones of Bath Spa University.
Workshops were held on: G
Creativity inspired by landscape
Intercultural education and global citizenship
Working in the creative industries.
Professor Liz Coleman, Director of the Elizabeth Coleman Center for the Advancement of Public Action, Bennington College, USA gave the keynote lecture entitled Thought, Action and Passion: the Power and Obligations of Liberal Education. The inaugural meeting of GALA was attended by delegates from Bath Spa University, UK; Bennington College, USA; Claremont Graduate University, USA; Concordia University, Canada; Gabriela Mistral University, Chile; Queensland University of Technology, Australia; State University of New York at Geneseo, USA; Tec de Monterrey, Mexico; University of Adelaide, Australia; University of Humanities and Social Science, Poland; University of Parma, Italy; University of Stockholm, Sweden; and University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Internationalisation Three Continent programme Bath Spa University teamed up with its existing partners in the USA (Santa Monica College) and Singapore (Training Vision Institute) to provide an exciting and highly innovative three continent student experience to study a BA (Hons) Business & Management and MA Business Management. Students will have the opportunity to study for a total of five years taking them from a foundation programme up to a UK Masters award. The first year of study is completed in Singapore as a foundation year of 30 weeks duration, the next two years are studied on the prestigious site of Santa Monica College in California, USA and the last two years which include the final year of the Bachelor’s degree and the one year UK Master’s degree, are studied and completed at Bath Spa. Students are guaranteed a place at each stage of the programme providing that they meet the entry requirements and pass all of the course requirements at each stage. Both the Bachelor’s and Master's degrees are awarded by Bath Spa.
Visit from Higher Education Attaché
A visit from Mufulira College of Education
Dr Catherine Robert from the French Embassy was recently welcomed at the Newton Park campus. During her visit Dr Robert met with numerous members of senior staff, enjoyed a tour of the new academic building ‘Commons’ and had afternoon tea with some of the University’s French students hosted by Jeremy White, Director of International Relations. One of the reasons for Dr Robert’s visit was her interest in Bath Spa building further connections with French universities and this is something that is being taken forward as part of the University’s international strategy.
In March 2014 the University welcomed Mrs Grace Chilekwa, Principal of Mufulira College of Education in Zambia to the Newton Park campus.
Visit from Mexican Embassy October 2013 saw the visit of Deputy Head of Mission for the Mexican Embassy, Alejandro Estivil to Bath Spa University. Meetings centred around how the embassy could help students that want to come and study at Bath Spa University and how the University could do more in-country to increase opportunities for study in Bath.
The School of Education has worked with Mrs Chilekwa and her College for the past ten years. During that time over 100 Bath Spa School of Education undergraduate students taking the Education and International Development module have visited Zambia to study its education system. In May 2014, 19 students travelled to Zambia to learn about the latest educational developments in Zambia. During her stay Mrs Chilekwa gave a lecture to a class of students on education in Gambia and met with different members of University staff. Commenting on Mrs Chilekwa’s visit, Dean of the School of Education, Dr Kate Reynolds said: “We were delighted to welcome Grace to Bath Spa. The relationship we have established between our two institutions has flourished and enabled our students and staff to gain valuable international experience. This visit allowed us to explore the differences and similarities of our education systems and discuss opportunities for students from Mufulira College to visit Bath Spa next year.”
Forces in Mind Trust A grant totalling £114,729 was awarded to the University in May, to research and explore why students from an Armed Forces background are under-represented on Access to Higher Education courses.
South, West and Wales consortium The University is part of a new consortium that was awarded £14.2 million by Arts and Humanities Research Council in October 2013. The South, West and Wales Consortium will offer postgraduate studentships and training across the full range of the AHRC’s disciplines, with a strong emphasis on collaboration between the members of the consortium and 19 partner organisations including English Heritage, the National Trust, the BBC, Cadw and Welsh National Opera. The funding, which equates to 200 new studentships, will allow for innovative postgraduate support, including the development of broader skills such as partnership working and language skills, and experience in working outside academia through industry and international placements.
Professor Tim Middleton led negotiations with the consortium’s industry partners, including the National Trust, BBC, English Heritage, Crafts Council. Bath Spa has been involved in supervision of five of the first 50 students. Professor Kate Pullinger chaired the creative and critical practice subject panel which handled over 175 applications.
The Forces in Mind Trust, an organisation established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has awarded £97,209 of this grant. An additional £9,600 has been awarded by Help for Heroes and a further £7,920 from apt awards, the Access course validating agency for the South West region. The apt awards will also provide an Access to HE Consultant for the duration of the project. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a well-established qualification, widely accepted throughout the higher education (HE) sector to prepare students who, for many reasons have few if any, qualifications suitable to gain entry to HE. In recent years the overall size of the regular Armed Forces has been reduced as increasing numbers of military personnel are made redundant. This project will develop a set of recommendations about how best to encourage students with an Armed Forces background to undertake an Access course. The research project is led by Dr Mel Macer, Research Fellow in the School of Education at Bath Spa University and is taking place in the South West because approximately 25 per cent of Britain’s Service and ex-Service personnel and their families live in the region. The researchers will work with ex-Service personnel from all three Services.
The project aims to increase the number of students with an Armed Forces background in HE, to develop a shared understanding between military and civilian organisations which exist to deliver Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) on HE courses and to identify barriers that adults can experience in their knowledge of, or engagement with, Access to HE diplomas. The project’s recommendations will ensure that Access Course students in the UK are not disadvantaged by their military background. Dr Mel Macer said: “It is great to secure this support from these key organisations to deliver this important piece of work. This project further demonstrates Bath Spa University’s commitment to supporting educational outcomes for members of the wider Armed Forces community.”
Professor Sian Sullivan joined the University
Professor Owain Jones was awarded a three year AHRC project Professor Owain Jones, School of Humanities & Cultural Industries, was awarded a three year AHRC Project with an overall budget of £1.164 million. The aim of the ‘Hydro Citizenship’ project is to use innovative Arts and Humanities centred Interdisciplinary Research (AHIR) to aid the reimagining and (re)practice of communities through the concept of hydro citizenship. Using eco-social approaches that develop community-located stewardship and address fragmented 'community' relations and disadvantages, the project will investigate how local communities are embedded in the hydrosphere (combined water catchments, networks and processes), and seek to develop societal awareness of, and engagement with, a series of interdependent challenges surrounding sustainable/resilient water-society relations. The project will address multiple interrelated water issues
(floods-fluvial/pluvial/tidal/coastal/ groundwater, drought, water quality, biodiversity, ground water, catchment management), in a range of settings centred on community and governance practices in the contexts of local cultures, economies and climate change. In addition, the project aims to interrogate a series of questions about communities, citizenship, rights and conflict, and consider how social and environmental challenges can be addressed through synergistic, innovative, multidisciplinary and multiagency working. The project is a partnership between University of West England, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, University of Brighton, Middlesex University, Bangor University, University of Bristol and Aberystwyth University.
Professor Sian Sullivan, School of Society, Enterprise & Environment, joined the University with a new five year Arts and Humanities Research Council project, which has an overall budget of £766,260, in partnership with SOAS and the University of Edinburgh. The project, entitled ‘Future Pasts in an Apocalyptic Moment: A Hybrid Analysis of 'Green' Performativities and Ecocultural Ethics in a Globalised African Landscape’ aims to explore how apocalyptic tropes are shaping cultural responses to perceived and actual environmental change, and hence acting to transfer particular past and present values forwards into the future.
Research expertise Impact of design in the region In partnership with the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol, Dean of Bath School of Art and Design, Professor Anita Taylor successfully bid for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Design Council Bath and Bristol Design project. The overall award was for £750,000 and the 18-month project aims to analyse the scope, value and impact of design in the region. Working in collaboration with REACT, West of England Design Forum (WEDF), Bristol Media, Creative Bath and The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP), the three universities will provide a unique knowledge base that affords a deep understanding of the distinctive nature and characteristics of design in the Bristol and Bath region.
There were four sessions with each looking at a different element of carrying out creative work in prisons and community criminal justice settings. There were talks from practitioners and participants working in these environments, academics carrying out research into enrichment activities and professionals from prisons, probation and government. There were also opportunities to hear about projects in the UK and abroad, to ask advice on how to run and evaluate successful projects, to offer support and to take part in discussions about the impact that creative activity can have on participants, staff and institutions.
The research team at Bath Spa will comprise Professor Anita Taylor and Dr Graham McLaren, along with a Research Fellow who will specifically examine the history of design in the Bath and Bristol region.
Creative work in prisons and criminal justice systems Dr Laura Caulfield, School of Society, Enterprise and Environment, completed an Economic and Social Research Council Seminar series in partnership with the Arts Alliance, which supported a series of talks on arts, creativity and spirituality in criminal justice systems.
Primary Science gets a boost The Centre for Research in Early Scientific Learning (CRESL), within the School of Education, successfully bid to become a Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) Regional Hub. It is one of seven national PSTT hubs and will receive a grant of £150,000 over three years, with the focus being the development of a solution to teacher assessment in science to meet the requirements of the revised national curriculum in England and to define ‘best practice’ across the UK and internationally.
Paid Ecosystem Services research published A research project on Paid Ecosystem Services undertaken by staff at Bath Spa University in collaboration with partner organisations was published in February by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Working in collaboration with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, Engain and RM Wetlands and Environment, Head of Department, Science, Dr David Watson, course director MSC Environmental Management, and lecturer in Biology, Dr Lisa Thomas from the School of Society, Enterprise and Environment were major contributors to a £50,000 research project into Paid Ecosystem Services (PES), jointly funded by DEFRA and Wessex Water. The PES approach is being promoted increasingly by the Government to recognise, harness and place value on the services provided by natural systems in dealing with pollution, reducing carbon and other negative effects that arise from human activity. This case-study project represents the first example of a multi-benefit PES approach to mitigating the impacts of sewage. The findings will help deliver the Natural Environment White Paper, contribute to Water Framework Directive compliance and lead the way for a new, multi-benefit approach to phosphate removal from municipal wastewater.
Global perspective Leverhulme Trust Visiting Research Fellows The University hosted two Leverhulme Trust Visiting Research Fellows; Mr Ru Lei from Xian Academy of Fine Art in China, and Dr Donna Hancox from Queensland University of Technology in Australia Mr Ru Lei spent ten months in the Bath School of Art and Design. His research at the School focused on the lessons to be learned from studying Bath's experience of modernisation and industrialization in the context of Britain as the first properly 'industrial' nation. As his tenure progressed the focus of Mr Lei's study was increasingly on Bath as an urban landscape that has changed several times over the centuries. He argues that key lessons to be learned in the Chinese context include the relative success of Bath in managing areas of work and play in the city, and the success of its relationship to and use of the surrounding countryside. Dr Donna Hancox spent ten months in the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries and was involved in a number of activities centred on digital writing, innovations in publishing and transmedia storytelling across the School. Donna worked hard on her novel, parts of which she shared with colleagues at Bath Spa, and succeeded in finishing the first draft. She also finished one article and one short story. She was key in bringing Bath Spa, Queensland University of Technology and the Writing Platform together in research bids and activities which promise to persist into the future.
Dr Jodi Anderson completed a 12 month Economic and Social Research Council International Partnerships programme with Hong Kong Polytechnic University on ‘Global Citizenship in Higher Education: Evolving Policy and Practice from a Comparative Perspective’. The network convened an international group of established scholars, from Asian, European and North American universities, to examine policies and practices surrounding global citizenship education within universities.
Research Celebration Week Research Celebration week took place at the University, and a number of public venues during November 2013. The week offered an opportunity to illuminate and educate staff, students and the public about the richness and diversity of research undertaken at the University, and provided a platform from which to share experience and recognise achievement. A programme of activity was devised that showcased Bath Spa’s research and emphasised the importance of these activities to the institution’s mission. Research Celebration Week aimed to involve the University community and the public through a programme of talks, workshops, performances and seminars.
Biodiversity project around Whatley Quarry Head of the Department of Science, Dave Watson and other staff and students taking BSc Biology are leading a research project into enhancing the biodiversity of woodland planting around Whatley Quarry – one of the largest quarries in South West Britain. The project focuses on the feasibility of introducing ground flora species from nearby Asham Wood Site of Special Scientific Interest. The project proposal was deemed to be one of the top five of 95 proposals in the UK, and so won sponsorship from Hanson (Heidelberg Cement Group) to support two student interns and two placement students to work on the project for a month. The work involves a combination of field and desk-based studies.
Stella Pirie OBE
Michael Craig-Martin CBE
Launch of Professorial Lecture series
The University’s annual graduation ceremonies took place in Bath Abbey in July, with over 1,700 students graduating and five new names awarded honorary degrees.
Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis, a leading figure in African-American music and funk music, received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to contemporary music.
Previous Bath Spa governors Stella Pirie OBE and Mary Toman; contemporary conceptual artist and painter Michael Craig-Martin CBE; American saxophonist, composer and arranger Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis; and entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden were all honoured by the University.
Deborah Meaden, a successful Somersetbased entrepreneur and popular Dragons’ Den inventor, was given an honorary doctorate for outstanding services to the world of business.
Stella Pirie OBE and Mary Toman were the University’s longest serving governors and were awarded Honorary Fellowships in recognition of their outstanding service to the University. Michael Craig-Martin CBE, who famously fostered the talent of the ‘Young British Artists’, was given an honorary doctorate for his services to art.
‘Pee Wee’ Ellis
Commenting on this year’s honorary graduates, Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade said: “The achievements of our honorary graduates in their respective fields are a huge inspiration to our students today, who are studying courses with a strong emphasis on combining creativity, culture and enterprise. Each of the honorary graduates reflects the aspirations of many of our graduating students and we are delighted to welcome them to our fellowship.”
2014 saw the launch of the University's Professorial Lecture series. The aim of the series is to present one lecture a month to share the expertise of new and established Professors at Bath Spa. In November 2013 there was a unique opportunity to listen to and ask questions of two exceptionally talented and much loved British authors, Hilary Mantel and Professor Fay Weldon. Hilary Mantel CBE is the Man Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. Professor Fay Weldon teaches Creative Writing at Bath Spa and is a wellknown author and screenwriter best known for her historical and period writing. Fay and Hilary drew upon their many years of experience as successful writers who have had to deal with being in the public eye. Hilary noted the paradox that most writers see themselves as introverts, but regularly find themselves talking at literary events. Fay gave some advice to aspiring writers by saying that when presenting herself as a writer she has always found it easier to simply tell the truth.
Student Satisfaction at all-time high
Professor Christina Slade, Vice-Chancellor, Hilary Mantel and Fay Weldon
Prestigious QAA mark retained Following an Institutional Review of the University in April 2014, Bath Spa retained the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) mark by meeting the expectations of quality and standards for UK universities. These included academic standards, enhancement of student learning opportunities, information about learning opportunities and the quality of student learning opportunities. A number of areas at Bath Spa were identified as good practice by the QAA review team: G
The University's approach to employability, including the professional practice opportunities available to students,
Good use of external advisors for course approval and periodic review processes,
The way in which the University responds to its external examiners,
The extensive feedback given to students on subject specific matters following the annual National Student Survey and the University's internal survey.
Retaining the QAA Quality Mark demonstrates the University's commitment to academic rigour, providing an excellent experience and good career development opportunities for students.
The University scored 89 per cent in the 2014 National Student Satisfaction Survey. This is a two per cent increase from last yearâ€™s survey (87 per cent in 2013) and for the second year running, the University has achieved a score above the national average and the previous yearâ€™s survey. The University has seen improvements in a number of NSS key indicators including teaching (one per cent increase), assessment and feedback (four per cent increase), academic support (one per cent increase) and personal development (three per cent increase). There has also been significantly high overall satisfaction in a variety of the Universityâ€™s courses. Joint honours English Literature and Drama, single honours Biology and Theatre Production students recorded a 100 percent satisfaction, whilst single honours Psychology (98 per cent), Commercial Music (97 per cent) and English Literature (97 per cent) all achieved impressively high satisfaction ratings. The most notable improvements have been in single honours Drama Studies (94 per cent) and single honours History (96 per cent) with 23 per cent and 15 per cent increases respectively. Additionally Business and Management were ranked as number one in the UK for student satisfaction, and joint number one for teaching in the Guardian University Guide 2014.
Best Feedback Pamela Karantonis, Senior Lecturer in Voice, School of Music and Performing Arts. "Possibly one of the most open and generous lecturers I have worked with. She has the ability to give a high level of individual feedback, whilst being truthful and accepting of others' needs."
Most Innovative Teacher David Joseph, Senior Lecturer: Business and Management, School of Society, Enterprise and Environment.
Student Union 2014 Teaching Awards winners This year saw the second annual Students' Union Teaching Awards, and with over 1000 nominations, this proved to be even more popular among students than the year before. The awards aim to celebrate the amazing teaching staff at the University, and highlight what students value in their teaching. The judging panel had a tough task to whittle down the nominations to a shortlist of just 50, and then select the winners, who were:
"David's module is challenging and innovative in its content delivery - students are active participants in the running of the module, and the decision making for all of the modules elements, such as assessment topics and when these assessments will take place."
Teacher of the Year 2014 Ian Gadd, Professor in English Literature, School of Humanities and Cultural Industries. "He creates an environment where you feel opinions are valued and accepted." This year's awards were sponsored by Miller Construction.
Dr Ye Liu awarded prize
Bath Spa University’s School of Education, in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) Council, produced a programme of research and training materials on attachment awareness, designed to help teachers and governors across the UK understand how failure to form secure attachments with adults at an early age can affect children throughout their education.
Dr Ye Liu, was awarded the 2014 Prize from the Society for Research into Higher Education, for her proposal entitled: "When Choices Become Chances: Extending Boudon’s Secondary Effects Theory to Analyze Social Reproduction Through University Choices in Contemporary China."
and technology to develop graduates with unique skills to meet the current and future needs of the UK economy. It was fantastic to see the investment being made in the facilities and I'm pleased that the University will benefit from the Government lifting the cap on student numbers.”
Ye joined Bath Spa University as a lecturer in International Education in 2013. Prior to her post at Bath Spa, she was a lecturer of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Director of the BA programme in Chinese Studies at the University College Cork, Ireland from 2012 to 2013.
Shadow Minister for Schools
The materials were launched in March at the National Virtual Headteachers’ Conference in Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. The materials were commissioned by National College for Training and Leadership (NCTL) and have been endorsed by Minister for Children Edward Timpson. Dean of the School of Education at Bath Spa University, Dr Kate Reynolds said: “It’s vital that all teachers have a practical understanding of attachment issues experienced by children who have suffered neglect. If these problems are not recognised and dealt with they can cause exclusion, underachievement and in the worst case, wasted lives. This resource is based on leading academic insight and authority, extensive research and direct experience, and should go some way in helping teachers support their most vulnerable students.”
New CDs released Professor of Music Roger Heaton has had two new CDs of his work released by the music label Clarinet Classics. Magnets, Lava, Crystals, a clarinet quintet by Mihailo Trandafilovski and performed with the Kreutzer String Quartet, was written for Roger and first performed in London in 2011. The second CD The Inner Time has three solo works by Boulez, Scelsi and Radulescu. Both include specially made films about the pieces.
Kevin Brennan MP, Shadow Minister (Education) visited the University in June to talk to lecturers, trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers, and to observe a range of education in action across different age phases. Kevin said: “I was delighted to meet some trainee teachers during my visit to Bath Spa University. The enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism they all demonstrated are exactly what we need to make a positive difference in our schools.”
David Willetts MP visit The then Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts visited Newton Park campus in February and heard about the University’s plans for its future. During the visit Mr Willetts met some of the University’s current students and talked to them about their experiences and plans for the future after they graduate. He was also taken on a tour of the new academic building, Commons, which was then under construction. Commenting on his visit, the Minister said: “Bath Spa University has a bold vision for its future and is successfully mixing creativity
His day included a visit to the University’s Day Nursery where a Forest School approach is adopted to encourage young children to learn from the outdoor environment. He also visited Wellsway School in Keynsham, where he met a group of local headteachers to discuss their needs in relation to initial teacher education and continual professional development. Dean of the School of Education, Dr Kate Reynolds commented: “We had a very interesting discussion around different models of teacher education, and the balance between schools and universities. Bath Spa University’s partnership with multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances and schools such as Wellsway School demonstrates the value of an integrated approach to developing the next generation of professional teachers and educationalists.”
Development and Alumni Development We are extremely grateful to the people, businesses and grant-making organisations who have collectively given £170,570, through the Development and Alumni Relations Office, to support our students by offering them more opportunities and to invest in research and academic projects.
“Bath Spa University is a wonderful, creative and inspiring place for a student to study and learn their craft. I have huge respect for what it achieves. It is my pleasure to be patron of, and first donor to, The Amphitheatre Fund.” Fay Weldon, CBE, FRSL, Professor of Creative Writing.
This annual review shows how strong the creative, cultural and enterprise outputs of Bath Spa University are, but to sustain this excellence and build on these achievements, we need philanthropic support to continue to extend our creative capacity and innovate.
Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards
The Amphitheatre Fund This year our governors, staff, former colleagues, students and alumni, as well as many others from the local community, came together to give over £21,000 through an ‘adopt a seat’ campaign to create the Amphitheatre Fund. This fund will be used to support the development of our students by giving them opportunities to work with industry professionals. This incredible achievement was celebrated on the 3 June with the opening night of the amphitheatre, featuring extracts from productions including Stephen Sondheim’s Company, The Jungle Book and The Beggars’ Opera, accompanied by classical music and original compositions from singer-songwriting students. If you are interested in joining this wonderful group of supporters we still have seats and rows available for adoption.
Jennifer Skellett has been a trailblazer for our student scholarships, bursaries and awards. In 2013/14 her generosity gave MMus Songwriting student Kirsty Folan and MMus Performance student Tom Davis, vital support in continuing their studies at Bath Spa University. Tom Davis, MMus Tom received a £500 grant from the Jennifer Skellett Awards to support his expenses during his Master’s. He also joined a group of Bath Spa MMus students at the ten-day, prestigious Vitoria’s Summer Music School in Spain, a trip funded by the Jennifer Skellett Fellowship.
“The funding I received for postgraduate study was greatly appreciated and I felt proud that my skills in music and contributions to the cultural life of the University had been recognised. I was driven to study Music further, though due to financial constraints, this wouldn't have been possible without the contribution of the Jennifer Skellett Postgraduate Bursary. “Being able to participate at a renowned music summer school in Spain was a particular highlight. I gained a huge amount from the experience, receiving tuition by eminent musicians in a setting with first class facilities, learning strategies and skills that will improve my playing considerably for the future. Other valuable experiences facilitated through funding and the course, included playing masterclasses and lessons with internationally successful performers, and seizing unique performing opportunities in venues such as Bath Abbey.”
Development and Alumni The Bath Spa University Cullum Family Award A new award for current students and recent graduates from the Department of Music was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Cullum family. The Bath Spa University Cullum Family Award aims to support students and new graduates by helping them explore and better understand the music industry and the various career pathways available to them. The Cullum family, which includes jazz-pop singer and songwriter Jamie Cullum and his older brother, producer and songwriter Ben, chose to support Bath Spa mainly because parents John and Yvonne, were particularly impressed with the quality of student performances they have attended and by the strategic vision this University has in promoting music and the performing arts. The first recipients were Commercial Music students Bruce Galliver and Nicola Haynes,
and Creative Music Technology student Luke Galloway, who were each awarded grants for their respective projects. Commenting on the standard of applications received, John Cullum said: “I am pleased with the range and diversity of grant applications received for these inaugural awards and delighted that we have chosen to support three creative projects that will help develop the future employability of these students.” Head of Music, Charles Wiffen was a member of the assessment panel reviewing applications. He added: “The entries were of a high standard and included a number of concepts that were interesting, genuinely original and quirky. Students and graduates were aware of the artistic and commercial potential of their ideas and it's very encouraging to see this level of creativity coming from our Department of Music.”
The Gane Trust’s Travel Scholar award The Gane Trust has been providing an annual Travel Scholar award of £1,000 for students studying at the Bath School of Art & Design for a number of years. The purpose is to encourage and support a student to travel abroad to study an aspect of design or craftsmanship. Fiona Haines, MA Fine Art, spent ten days in Reykjavic, Vik and the glacial lagoon in Iceland, focussing on its sensory as well as visual aspects. “Winning the Gane Travel Award has been the fundamental premise for my final project of my Master’s in Fine Art (MFA) at Bath Spa University. The field trip allowed me to explore glaciers, lava fields, geological rock formations and experience the awe of the northern lights twice. I have immersed myself in different Icelandic locations attempting to capture fugitive essence, through photography, field sound recordings and collections of rocks and water. Winning the Gane Trust Travel Award has been beneficial for extending my creative practice and for that I am enormously grateful.” We are also grateful to Lady Strasburger and Ian Hay Davison who have sponsored the new Bath Spa Classical Performance Award for Master’s students, and to The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust for increasing their support of The Porthleven Prize (see page 11).
The Alumni Association Alumni Reunions
On 23 April 2014 we welcomed over 80 former Bath Academy of Art students, one of our predecessor colleges, to Corsham Court for their 50th Anniversary Reunion. Having studied with us from 1964 to 1967 this was the first time some of the group had been back to Corsham. They enjoyed lunch in the Barn, tours of campus, an exhibition of photos from their time as students, and shared with each other, via a slideshow, images of the artwork they have made since graduation. The response was great, with talks of another visit in the pipeline soon.
During the course of 2013/14 the University hosted many reunions at the request of our alumni. 1 March - Class of 1985 reunion, organised by Jean Golledge. 7 April - Judith Royle and Annie Hollis left Newton Park in 1978 and requested a tour of the campus, as Judith’s daughter is currently studying at Bath Spa. 9 June - Class of 1963 reunion at Sion Hill, organised by Mary Stanhope. 8 July - Class of 1967 teacher training reunion. 9 July - Class of 1954 teacher training reunion, organised by Marjorie Armitage.
Graduation Each group thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the university and were very interested in the advancements that had been made since their time here, both structural and academic. Many of the groups remained on campus with us for lunch or afternoon tea and viewed the archive, which were very popular.
For the second year running we celebrated graduation with the newest members of the alumni association. Graduating students were invited to take part in an alternative graduation photo, posing with a giant scroll! The event got a huge response on Facebook and Twitter encouraging over 700 new alumni to follow us www.facebook.com/ BathSpaUniversityAlumni The winning photo was awarded to Zoe Norman, who received a brand new iPad mini.
Mary Berry - President of the Alumni Association
Bath Academy of Art, 50th Anniversary Reunion at Corsham Court
“The whole day was amazing and it felt quite unreal to be meeting so many of the people and actually at the place too, which had been such an important influence on my life… It was lovely to see so many old friends and to inhale the ambience of Corsham once again, - unforgettable. Thank you for so generously making the day happen for us.”
th y of Art 50 Bath Academ Reunion Anniversary
Newton Park sary 0th Anniver
Park 60th An niversar Reunion
Theatre Royal Bath partnership Building on a long history and existing and successful collaborations, Bath Spa and Theatre Royal Bath signed a new partnership agreement in June 2014, which saw the University become the Theatre’s official higher education partner. In particular, this alliance will provide Bath Spa students the opportunity to audition and perform in professional productions, new teaching and learning opportunities and the development of a new MA in Theatre for Young Audiences. The new MA course is a key element of the partnership. It builds on Bath Spa’s expertise in theatre production, performance and writing for young audiences. Students on the course will benefit from development training days at Theatre Royal Bath as well as the opportunity to work in a professional theatre environment at the egg (Theatre Royal Bath’s dedicated theatre space for children). Exposing children to the arts is an important part of their cultural development and this new MA will allow students to develop new theatre productions that are tailor-made for this large and important audience. Bath is fast becoming a creative hub of performance and writing for young audiences. The egg is renowned for offering placements for young people to participate in the process of making theatre. It has recently launched ‘The Incubator’, a new programme that encourages talented artists to write and make specifically for young audiences. Kate Cross, Director of the egg theatre said: “We are delighted to be formalising our creative partnership with Bath Spa University across all its performing arts-related courses. We are proud to be associated with the University’s new MA in Theatre for young audiences, it being one of only two such courses in the whole of the UK.”
Working in the region Cleveland Pools placement Hidden away on the banks of the river Avon in Bathwick sits Cleveland Pools, the UK’s only surviving Georgian lido built in 1815. Sadly the Pools closed in 1984 when public funds were directed elsewhere, but a new campaign led by the Cleveland Pools Trust is aiming to restore the baths and reclaim them for outdoor swimming. Three history students at Bath Spa undertook a work placement for the Cleveland Pools Trust. Their remit was to research and collate information on other lidos throughout the country so that the Trust could submit the findings to the Heritage Lottery Fund when applying for a grant.
Robyn Hodgkiss, Georgina Baker and Sara Bird, who were all third year History students, put together a 70-page document for Ina Harris who is in charge of fundraising. Linda Watts of the Trust was very impressed and grateful for the amount of effort they put into the document. “It became immediately clear that they have left no stone unturned in their quest for information. Having worked closely as a team, the students managed to produce a very thorough and concise factual record with related summaries, recommendations and conclusions to their findings which will undoubtedly help the Cleveland Pools campaign move forward. Module co-ordinator for Humanities at Work, Dr Bobby Anderson said: “These three students have completed a mammoth task which has saved the already-stretched Cleveland Pools campaigners a huge amount of extra work”.
Donation to Bath Trauma Recovery Centre The Trauma Recovery Centre in Bath welcomed a donation from Bath Spa University Students’ Union in January. The Centre provides vital support and therapy for children, young people and their parents to help them process traumatic experiences. The money was raised by the Students’ Union at the annual Bath Spa University carol concert which was held in Bath Abbey in December. The Trauma Recovery Centre is the only one of its kind in the UK. Therapy is available for children and young people who have suffered sexual abuse, domestic violence, bereavement and increasingly, trafficking. The Centre has recently had to introduce a waiting list because the demand for support is so high. Betsy de Thierry, Founder and Managing Director of the Trauma Recovery Centre said: “We help these children by providing essential therapy and support. We are very grateful for the donation from Bath Spa University which is a vital part of helping us restore children’s lives.”
Working in the region Widening Participation at Bath Spa University Bath Spa Universityâ€™s strategic approach to widening participation is set out in our Access Agreement with the Office for Fair Access and Widening Participation Strategic Statement for the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Our strategic aims in 2013/14 relating to the participation of under-represented groups include raising aspirations and attainment; promoting fair access; improving student retention and success; supporting career progression; contributing to the national access agenda and supporting regional initiatives.
Creative Futures 2014 This season of screenings, performances, events and degree shows aimed at celebrating Bath Spaâ€™s fresh creative talent. Featuring the work of graduating students from across the creative and cultural industries, including heritage, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, photography, textiles and visual arts, Creative Futures highlighted some of the expertise which emerged from the University during the year.
Outreach Programme Through the work of the Widening Participation Office, the University delivers an extensive and successful widening participation outreach programme for young people and adults to raise aspiration, support attainment and encourage progression to higher education. A significant proportion of the Universityâ€™s widening participation outreach activity is targeted at young people from Years 6 to 13 in schools, colleges and academies through our Be Inspired!
programme, which complements and enhances the frameworks that our partner schools have in place to support learner progression to higher education. In addition, we offer support programmes for young people in care or from a care background, mature returners and Access to Higher Education Diploma students, work-based learners and community groups. In 2013/14 our Be Inspired! programme included a range of primary and secondary school and college-based bespoke activities, a mentoring and tutoring programme to support educational engagement and GCSE attainment in Bath and North East Somerset schools, a range of campus-based higher education awareness-raising and subject enrichment activities, sixth-form conferences and workshops, the introduction of the Step into Teaching Summer School, support for learners undertaking the Extended Project and input into a range of school and collegebased careers, aspirations, higher education awareness and parent events. An important part of our programme is providing advice and guidance for those who may influence decision-making processes, including for example teachers, tutors, careers professionals, parents and carers. All outreach activities are fully supported by our team of Widening Participation Student Ambassadors and Tutors. These are current University students who have been rigorously selected, appropriately trained and DBS (formerly CRB) checked for working with young people. In 2013/14 the Widening Participation Office worked with over 30 schools and colleges and the activities delivered through our outreach programme reached over 10,000 people.
Miller Construction - Our Widening Participation Outreach Programme Partners 2013/14 The presence of Miller Construction at Newton Park during the construction of the Gardens Residences provided the Widening Participation Office with an exciting opportunity to establish a very fruitful and enjoyable partnership with Adrian Smith and his community engagement staff. As part of the programme, Adrian’s team led career and construction workshops, supported local schools and colleges with careers events, gave site tours of the student accommodation as part of Widening Participation Campus Visit days, provided work experience placements, went out to our local schools to deliver Maths and English in the workplace sessions and even made bat boxes with local primary schools.
The Bloody Square Working with academic colleagues in the School of Music and Performing Arts, the Widening Participation Office commissioned a group of third year BA Acting students who were studying a module in Theatre in Education to design and deliver a performance and workshop for schools that explored how education is valued by people in different societies. The result was an exceptional performance called The Bloody Square. The performance aimed to make the audience consider the barriers that young people may face and have had to overcome to access education. The Bloody Square, based on the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai, who nearly lost her life because of her belief in the empowering effect of education, provided a strong emotional
theme - “I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.” Almost 600 pupils from three local schools and one college were enthused by the troupe’s creative approach and by the inspirational 'Malala Yousafzai' theme. One teacher commented: “an extremely thoughtprovoking show…leading to discussions and a greater awareness of the value of education. The pupils found it inspiring and informative to work with the university students who clearly enjoyed what they were doing”.
Adrian’s team and staff from the whole construction site also helped the Widening Participation Office produce an inspirational short film using the construction industry and education sector to illustrate the different career pathways young people can follow when they leave school and the opportunities which degree-level entry into an industry or sector can offer.
Working in the region National recognition for work with Access to Higher Education Diploma students Following on from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Award in 2013, in April 2014, at the Connaught Rooms in London, Dr Sally Griffin from the Widening Participation Office accepted a second national award on behalf of the Western Access Progression Agreement Steering Group, this time from the Universities Association of Lifelong Learning (UALL) for innovative and successful learning programmes. The Western Access Progression Agreement Steering Group is a group of widening participation practitioners from universities in the South West, who work together to support students on Access to Higher Education Diploma programmes and their tutors. Members of the group support Access learners in a number of ways, including the provision of information, outreach visits to Access Diploma Courses, a joint annual Access to Higher Education Learners Conference and pre-entry support activities.
News from Weston College
News from Circomedia
It has been another successful year for Bath Spa University graduates studying at Weston College, with two scooping prestigious national awards this year.
March saw the successful launch of Circomedia’s BA (Hons) Degree validated by Bath Spa University. Although the second qualification of its kind in the UK, it is unique in the fact that it places a strong emphasis on the integration of specialised circus techniques with theatrical performance and is the first outside of London.
Grace Davies, who received First Class Honours in Graphic Design, was one of four young designers to be presented with the Design Council’s Future Pioneers Award at the New Designers exhibition in London, out of around 1,500 who exhibited. Her design for social impact project, PATCH Bristol, a project designed to encourage allotment holders in Bristol to donate fresh produce to food banks, has attracted considerable interest from prominent figures in the region including Bristol Mayor George Ferguson. It impressed the all-star judging panel, including Editor of Design Week Angus Montgomery, who presented Grace with the award. Grace said: “It feels amazing that a world renowned organisation believes in my project, PATCH Bristol, and recognises its potential. It’s a huge achievement to know that something that started out as a university project can be beneficial to so many people.” This is the second year in a row a student from this course has won an award at New Designers, with Amelia Hurrell taking the Sky Creative Award in 2013 for her ME & You mobile application design for young people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
In addition, Corrine Priest, who graduated with a Distinction in Musical Theatre last year, and is now continuing her studies in London, has won the Stephen Sondheim Student Performer of the Year award in London’s West End. She passed through the heats of the competition at the Royal Academy of Music and, out of more than 70 auditions and 12 finalists, wowed the judges and won the award for her outstanding performance of ‘Don’t Laugh’ from the musical Hotspot. Her award was presented on stage at the Garrick Theatre by renowned performer, and Patron of the Stephen Sondheim Society, Julia McKenzie.
September marked 20 years since the organisation opened its doors to 12 aspiring circus performers for their very first term. To mark the occasion Circomedia put on a celebratory programme of sell out performances, classes and events at its award-winning venue St Paul’s Church. This programme saw over 300 new people engage with the organisation and Contemporary Circus in four weeks and prompted praise from Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson: “Circomedia’s pioneering presence over the past 20 years has been key in building a strong reputation for Circus in the Bristol city region. Their continuing dedication to training, showcasing and presenting performances of high quality Circus are a vital part of what makes Bristol such a good city for the performing arts.”
Corrine said: “I cannot thank the more than dedicated and talented staff at Weston College, who supported me throughout my degree, enough. My time there gave me the confidence to pursue my dream. I learnt a lot there and would recommend any aspiring actor to attend.”
Environment Sustainable travel Bath Spa University has worked with Nextbikes, a public bike rental service launched across Bath in July 2014. At the Newton Park campus and next to the Unite student accommodation on Lower Bristol Road there are docking stations where people can collect bikes. Bath Spa has negotiated free rental for 40 minutes for staff and students.
EcoCampus Platinum award EcoCampus is a national Environmental Management System (EMS) and award scheme designed specifically for the higher education sector. The scheme is closely aligned to ISO 14001, the international EMS standard. The aim of the scheme is to assist institutions in moving towards environmental sustainability through good operational and management practices. The EcoCampus scheme is broken down into four phases, with the final phase indicating a fully operational, auditable EMS that delivers continuous improvement: - Bronze (Planning) - Silver (Implementing) - Gold (Operating) - Platinum (Checking and Correcting). Bath Spa University was amongst the very first Universities to be awarded Platinum in 2010 and we were re-certified in October 2013.
Green Week A diverse range of activities was held during Bath Spa’s first ‘Green Week’ in April 2014. Events were run at the Newton Park and Sion Hill campuses alongside the ‘Big Green Discussion’ at the Guildhall, for students at the University of Bath and Bath Spa University. During Green Week there was a focus on local food, sustainable travel, Waste Free Fair with ‘Disco Soup’ and a ‘Thrifty Thursday’ at Sion Hill. It also saw the launch of the Student Move Out project. This joint initiative between Bath and North East Somerset Council, University of Bath and Bath Spa University in conjunction with the Students Union, Unite and the Student Community Partnership, aims to divert as much waste as possible from landfill and re-direct valuable resources to local charities. Students were encouraged to donate non-perishable food and kitchen equipment which has been passed onto Genesis Trust in Bath who run the Food Bank. Textiles and bric-a-brac were also collected and donated to the British Heart Foundation.
HR update Through the BSU People Strategy a range of objectives was delivered under the broad themes of organisational design, recognition and performance, organisational development and engagement.
Staff facts and figures The University continues to be a significant local employer with approximately 800 staff including both academic and professional services staff. We received nearly 3,000 applications in 2013-14, for 130 job vacancies. The launch of our e-recruitment system earlier this year has created a slicker, more user friendly approach to applying for a vacancy at BSU and enabled us to make internal efficiency savings when processing these applications.
Recognition and Performance As part of our drive to improve performance we consulted with staff on what skills and behaviours a Bath Spa University leader needs, to deliver the University Vision. Work is on-going and we hope to be able to present it for further consultation and launch shortly. We have also revised our appraisal process this year so that any individual objectives agreed have a link to the University Key Performance Indicators. This enables individuals to see clearly how what they do contributes to the University as a whole.
Equality and diversity
Research Support Bath Spa University successfully retained its ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award, after a two year review process undertaken in January 2014. The award reflects the University’s current and on-going commitments to maintaining an active research portfolio. As part of this process we have undertaken an annual review of the action plan for the implementation of the Concordat, which supports the career development of Researchers at the University. We supported the University’s 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) submission, made to HEFCE in November 2013 and completed an Equality Impact Assessment on the final submission. The assessment showed that the REF submission made was a fair representation for each assessed protected characteristic.
The Forum provides an important platform for consultation with different groups and stakeholders both within and outside the higher education sector, and informs our future plans for tackling equality issues in the University.
Wellbeing Organisation Development We have continued with our work on defining and developing the university ‘Leadership Community’. We held two events in the year, one that concentrated on discussions around how we could improve on the University’s Key Performance Indicators and the other on how we could maximise the use of the new Commons building and use the technology now available to us to improve the student learning experience. Staff enjoy many opportunities to learn and develop including workshops on academic development, IT skills and personal and management skills, as well as support for job-related professional qualifications.
On 8 May 2014, Bath Spa University welcomed staff and students from the University of Bath, as well as local employers and community groups, to the annual Joint Equality Forum. This year’s theme was ‘Finding Common Ground’, and we were delighted to be able to hold the event this year in our newly opened Commons building. Delegates took part in discussions and lively debate on a range of equality and diversity issues, including women in leadership, raising cultural awareness, mental health, access and inclusion. A key note address was delivered by Professor Terry Threadgold, formerly Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies and Pro Vice-Chancellor Staff and Diversity at Cardiff University, discussing the continued under-representation of women in academic life.
We continued with our overall driver to improve staff wellbeing, and events this year comprised a Mental Health Awareness week which included taster sessions in Yoga, Mindfulness and Reflexology, and support of both Men’s Health Week and Random Acts of Kindness week. This is in addition to the ongoing provision of free counselling and advice that is available through our Employee Assistance Programme. Our reporting on wellbeing includes analysis of both labour turnover and staff absence at the University. Both benchmarks remain fairly static and usually below most comparators.
Facts and Figures Turnover (year ending July 2013)
Undergraduates applications to Bath Spa University (to July 2014) 13940 Undergraduate applications to places ratio
Total student number
Mode of attendance Full time
Under 25 years
Over 25 years
Bath School of Art and Design
Humanities and Cultural Industries
Music and Performing Arts
Society, Enterprise and Environment
Newton Park/Corsham Court
Level of study
Age on entry
Location of study
*Figure is as at end of July and therefore before confirmation and clearing. Ratio will be higher based on actual student numbers enrolled.
Governors and senior staff Governors
Stella Pirie OBE (Chair up to November 2013)
Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade BA PhD DipEd FRSA
Dean of School of Society, Enterprise and Environment Professor Robert Mears BSc MSc PhD PGCE
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost Professor Neil Sammells BA PhD
Director of Computing Dave Hassall BSc
Director of Student Services and Registrar Christopher Ellicott BA MA (Oxon)
Director of International Relations Jeremy White BA MA
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations) until June 2014 Jon Brady BSc
Director of Library Services Alison Baud MA DipLib MCLIP
Jane Henderson (Chair from November 2013) Professor Christina Slade (Vice-Chancellor) Professor Robin Alexander Julian Amey (to November 2013) Will Archer (from November 2013) Paul Bird Nina Campbell (from November 2013) Professor Paul Davies Amy Dawson (to June 2014) Christopher Ellicott (Clerk) Teresa Fisk Martin Francis Bruce Galliver (from June 2014) Rosemary Heald (from November 2013) Lady Theresa Lloyd (from November 2013) Professor Paul Luna (to November 2013) Professor Philip Martin Revd Prebendary Edward Mason Shaun McGall Trevor Osborne (from November 2013) Philip Parker David Pester Michael Roy (to November 2013) Mary Toman (to November 2013)
Chief Operating Officer interim from June to August 2014 Nirmal Borkhataria BSc ACA Director of Human Resources Arlene Stone FCIPD Vice-Provost Learning and Teaching Quality Professor Paul Davies BSc PhD Vice-Provost Research and Graduate Affairs Professor Tim Middleton BA MA PGCE PhD Dean of Bath School of Art and Design Professor Anita Taylor BA MA Acting Dean of School Education until January 2014 Christine Eden BA PGCE MSc Dean of Education from January 2014 Kate Reynolds BA MA PhD
Director of the Vice-Chancellorâ€™s Office Rob Armstrong-Haworth BA MA Head of Development and Campaigns Marnie Whiting BA ACIM Head of Enterprise and Local Partnerships until February 2014 Adam Powell BSc PG Dip Head of Estates Richard Jordan MCIOB Head of Finance Kevin Wright FCA Head of Learning and Teaching Professor Paul Hyland BA PhD PGCE NTF Head of Marketing and Communications Tessa Griffiths BA DipM Head of Planning Support Jon Sebright BA
Dean of School of Humanities and Cultural Industries Professor Steve May BA PhD PGCE
Head of Strategy Diana Newport-Peace BA DEA PhD
Dean of School of Music and Performing Arts Professor Joe Bennett BA NFT FHEA
University Solicitor Tristan Foot LLB
Thank you to all our supporters, those listed here and those who give anonymously.
Individuals Charmian Adams
Jack and Audrey LadevĂ¨ze
Ark Data Centres
Alderman Bill Martin
Bath and North East Somerset Council
The Cullum Family
Burges Salmon LLP
Morny and Ian Hay Davison
Crabtree and Evelyn (Bath)
Mrs Sylvia Hailstone
Mrs Lynn Hakes
Anne Hawkins Mr Steve Hoare Mr Colin Jacob Mrs Mary Jones Lady Lloyd
Trusts and Foundations The Leche Trust
In addition we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Amphitheatre Fund. A full list of contributors can be found online www.bathspa.ac.uk/about-us/alumni
Forces in Mind Trust Help for Heroes The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust Higher Education Funding Council for England PRS for Music Limited