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Bath Spa University’s monthly magazine JULY 2015


FEATURES 19

Talking Point Excellent teaching is only part of the picture

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Spotlight on‌ Graduation 2015

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My Student Experience Joshua Beagrie, BA (Hons) Business and Management

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contents 6

Update from the Vice-Chancellor

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Special honours for outstanding contributions

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Minerva upgrade GALA conference in China

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Vice Provost Research

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Global students rewarded

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Sir Ken Robinson talk

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Third MIX DIGITAL conference

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Attachment Awareness conference

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SPACE magazine is published every month and is aimed at staff and students of Bath Spa University. SPACE welcomes contributions from all members of the Bath Spa community. Want to get involved? Contact Jane Wakefield – j.wakefield@bathspa.ac.uk Editor Jane Wakefield Features Writer Jenny Davies Design and layout Lorna Harrington Contributors Joshua Beagrie Richard White – photography ‘Forced Walks’

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Front cover: Graduation 2015, Bath Abbey by Ben Langdon

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Mother and daughter launch children’s book

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Wedding bells at Bath Spa

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Textile Design graduate wins New Designers award

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Talking Point – Excellent teaching is only part of the picture

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Spotlight on – Graduation 2015

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My Student Experience – Joshua Beagrie, BA (Hons) Business and Management

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Review- ‘Forced Walks:Honouring Esther’

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What’s On Staff news SPACE JULY 2015

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Professor Christina Slade, Vice-Chancellor


Update from the Vice-Chancellor Welcome to the July issue of SPACE magazine. This time of year is one of celebration as we look back on yet another busy academic year. Some highlights include Bath Spa being voted one of the best creative universities in the Which? Student Survey, Lecturer Nathan Filer winning Popular Fiction Book of the Year for his novel The Shock of the Fall, our Axel Scheffler ‘Shaun’ being at the heart of the Shaun in the City trail in London and the completion of our new student residential accommodation at Newton Park. Congratulations to everyone who recently graduated. I’m sure you will agree that each ceremony was an uplifting celebration of your time at Bath Spa University. Graduation is the culmination of many years’ hard work and dedication and I was delighted to confer awards to the class of 2015. I would like to thank staff members who worked so hard to make this year’s graduation ceremonies such successful and memorable occasions: This year we have welcomed five honorary graduates into our fellowship including Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Don McCullin and Juli Beattie who all joined us at Bath Abbey in July. Details of all this year’s honorary graduates can be found on our website here For those who graduated, you are now welcomed into the Bath Spa Alumni Association, a 60,000 strong community of former students and staff, honorary graduates, friends and benefactors. The Association is here to support your professional development, expand your local and international networks, offer exclusive benefits and services, and keep you updated and involved with fellow alumni and the University. More information about the Alumni Association is available here

Professor Christina Slade Vice-Chancellor

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UNIVERSITY NEWS Special honours for outstanding contributions Ewan and Manuela Wirth

The University awarded four honorary doctorates at graduation this year and each recipient was recognised based on their outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

Legendary photojournalist Don McCullin was honoured for his outstanding contribution to journalism. Mr McCullin is recognised as one of history’s greatest war photographers and he produced his first war assignment for The Observer in 1964, covering the civil war in Cyprus. In 1966 he began an 18 year collaboration with The Sunday Times Magazine, witnessing numerous conflicts and battlefields in the Congo, Biafra (Nigeria), Israel, Vietnam, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Kurdistan. Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Presidents and co-Founders of Hauser & Wirth, a leading international gallery of contemporary art and modern masters were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the arts.

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Don McCullin being presented his award by Professor Neil Sammells, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

With five galleries in Zurich, London, New York and Somerset, they have built an unparalleled reputation for dedication to artists, artist estates and for supporting the realisation of ambitious artistic projects. And Juli Beattie, Founder Director of The Art Room, a national arts and education charity established in 2002 was honoured for her outstanding contribution to the arts.

The Art Room offers art as therapy to children and young people aged five to 16 who are experiencing challenges and emotional difficulties in their lives. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade, said: “Each year it is a pleasure to award honorary doctorates to individuals whose achievements are an inspiration to our graduating students, and this year is no exception. I am delighted to welcome Iwan and Manuela Wirth, Don McCullin and Juli Beattie into the fellowship of Bath Spa University.�

Juli Beattie

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Minerva upgrade The University has invested in Blackboard, the software that supports Minerva, so Minerva is being

significantly upgraded this summer which will greatly enhance the online learning environment for students. Although it will look different, Minerva will still have all of its existing functions as well as some new, enhanced ones that will be added to over the next two to three years, in particular to enable collaborative learning. The changes being made to Minerva this summer are both structural and visual. The structural changes will allow students and staff to receive information tailored to reflect their role and campus location. The new layout will make it easier to receive important information and will reduce information overload. For example, there will be easier access to student support, careers, community/student networks and in the future, funding opportunities and competitions. These upgrades will allow Minerva to act as more of a communications platform for students as well as providing the same academic information as it currently does. There will be further opportunities to add more elements to Minerva over the next few years to further enhance its usefulness for students and staff.

GALA conference in China The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) enjoyed a

very successful conference, ‘Communication Without Borders’ hosted by Communications University China in Beijing on 6 and 7 July. This two day conference brought together partners from countries including Russia, USA, Australia, UK, Italy, China and Mexico to investigate the ways in which international collaboration can transform our activities as scholars, teachers and students.

GALA members in China

GALA is a global network of creativity spanning national and cultural boundaries to broaden the experience of students and staff. The first network of its kind, GALA was created by Bath Spa University ViceChancellor, Professor Christina Slade, to bring together Liberal Arts providers from around the world. GALA brings staff and students together from around the world to explore the relationship between creativity and social engagement through teaching and research collaborations and an annual meeting. Activities include joint programme development, comparative research, student exchange, remote teaching, joint student projects and visiting lectures. 10

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Vice Provost Research In June we announced that Professor Tim Middleton, Vice Provost

Research and Enterprise will be leaving the University at the end of August to take up a new position at Bucks New University as Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise. Tim has been part of Bath Spa for nearly 14 years. He joined us in 2001 as Head of School of English and Creative Studies and went onto hold the position of Dean of the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries before being named Vice Provost Research and Enterprise. In this role Tim has worked with the Deans of School and Academic Services to deliver the University’s research, employability and enterprise strategies. He also manages our Corsham Court campus incorporating the Graduate School and Research Office. Professor John Strachan, currently Acting Dean of the School of Tim Middleton Humanities and Cultural Industries has been appointed as Professor Middleton’s replacement and will take up his new role in August. As well as becoming Vice Provost Research and Enterprise, Professor Strachan will become Dean of the Graduate College and will lead on implementing the University’s research strategy, in particular preparations for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

John Strachan

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Global Citizenship students with Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade and Dean of the Institute for Education, Dr Kate Reynolds.

Global students rewarded The University presented 13 students with certificates in Global Citizenship at a special event held on the Vice-Chancellor’s Terrace at Commons last month.

The certificate is designed to recognise the global perspective of undergraduate studies and to open opportunities for students in the global employment market. It was given to students who completed studies relating to global issues over the course of their undergraduate degree. Students worked as a group to develop thinking and skills around global citizenship and attended a series of Global Citizenship events including lectures and seminars given by internationally renowned speakers. They also took at least two international modules in their degree module choices, and undertook an international placement. Students took part in placements at a variety of different institutions including in the Netherlands, Malaysia, and China.

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Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson talk The Institute for Education recently hosted an event at Newton

Park at which Sir Ken Robinson gave the keynote presentation called ‘Creative Revolution’ in which he talked about the power of creativity in education. He was giving the speech to a group of teachers and educational practitioners from across the region.

Sir Ken admiring the marble run created by children from St Andrews Primary School

Sir Ken is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity and innovation in education. He is also patron of the charity 5x5x5=Creativity which organised the event. He spoke about the power of imagination and how it allows us to anticipate the future as well as revisit the past. He also highlighted the need for our education system to be creatively focused, not bound by conformity or compliance, so that children are free to use their imagination in learning. Prior to his talk, children from St Andrews Primary School in Bath were working with staff and final year students to produce a ‘Marvellous Marble Machine’ on the media wall in Commons. This project was part of a larger initiative called ‘School Without Walls’ which responds to children’s natural curiosities and helps them explore a new landscape free from the confines of the traditional classroom. The result was spectacular and attracted a lot of attention from attendees at the event.

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third MIX DIGITAL conference Writer

Naomi Alderman, theorist Florian Cramer, and performers Blast Theory appeared at this year’s successful Writing Digital: MIX DIGITAL Conference 2015. The School of Humanities and Creative Industries, who host the conference, continue to be at the forefront of both research and teaching of creative practice across many forms. The conference is organised by Kate Pullinger, Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media. The conference is an established innovative forum featuring a vibrant mix of academic papers, practitioner presentations, seminars, keynotes, discussions, workshops and an exhibition of the work by conference participants. This year’s MIX DIGITAL included Naomi Alderman talking about how and why a literary novelist came to be the imaginative power behind the hugely successful apps, Zombies! Run, and The Walk. The conference featured discussion and exploration of writing and technology and attracted a cohort of attendees from locally, to nationally, even internationally with

Professor Kate Pullinger

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Attachment Awareness conference a resounding success Bath Spa Institute for Education hosted a conference with Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) celebrating their partnership on attachment and trauma awareness in schools.

The conference was held following the news that the Attachment Aware Schools partnership has been recognised in the Government’s statutory guidance on promoting the health and well-being of children in care. The guidance, issued from the Department for Education and the Department of Health to all local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS and healthcare bodies in England, stipulates that all groups must have regard to it when exercising their functions. Over 200 delegates listened to keynote speeches from Professor Jeremy Holmes of Exeter University, a world expert on attachment theory, Mary Gordon, an international social entrepreneur who runs the Roots of Empathy project in Canada, Tony Clifford, Virtual Headteacher in Stoke-onTrent, Mike Gorman of B&NES and Dr Janet Rose from Bath Spa. Staff from sixteen schools also attended and gave presentations about their work in this field.

Richard Parker, Head of Consultancy, Institute for Education, addressing conference attendees

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Mother and daughter launch children’s book Colleen and Zoe Cookson

MA Writing For Young People student Zoe Cookson launched her

Front cover of Odd Job Frog

debut children’s book titled Odd Job Frog this month.

Zoe Cookson, 41, wrote the story and her mother, Colleen Cookson, 69, illustrated the book which features a frog who wants to visit the exciting sights of London. Their book is now widely stocked in independent bookshops across the country, and is available in all major online book stores. Zoe had always wanted to write for children and was inspired by characters that her mother had drawn when she was little, and so enrolled on the prestigious MA Writing For Young People course at Bath Spa which has seen a host of acclaimed authors pass through its doors. Zoe said: “I am delighted that after so many years of dreaming we are finally in position to launch our first children’s book – Odd Job Frog. “It’s been such a pleasure to work with my mum on this story and we are both thrilled to see the first copies appearing on bookshelves, and even in the window display of several independent bookshops in central London. “Entering the competitive world of children’s publishing was a daunting experience but my MA at Bath Spa gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap.” 16

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Wedding bells at Bath Spa

Bath Spa’s Newton Park campus is now a licensed venue for

marriages and civil ceremonies - with 30 different spaces within the grounds available for hire. The University is well equipped with a variety of buildings, rooms, accommodation and outdoor spaces to cater for a range of different sized weddings. Spaces for hire include the impressive Main House – a Grade I listed manor building or the stunning 13th tower called the ‘Castle’. There is an option to have the ceremony at the garden temple overlooking the lake, or outside in the picturesque Italian gardens. For larger weddings the University Theatre holds up to 200 guests or the brand new Commons building can cater for between 20 and 300 guests. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade, said: “Bath Spa University prides itself on its location. I am delighted that we are now able to welcome the public into our magnificent grounds. “Our buildings and rooms are fine examples of the Georgian age. We look forward to sharing this with couples on their wedding day.” Congratulations to Lottie and James Treby (pictured), the first couple to marry at Newton Park. For more information visit www.bathspavenues.com

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Textile Design graDuate wins New Designers award Chloe Gregory, Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors graduate won the New Designers Sanderson Award Prize of £1,000 and a four week paid placement in the Sanderson studio.

The title of her winning work was Large scale florals and featured screen printed textiles inspired by florals and 17th century still life paintings. The initial sketches were developed into large scale prints designed for interiors. The judges commented that Chloe’s magnificent designs have evolved from her beautiful drawing and carefully observed colour studies to create a very distinctive work. Commenting on her win Chloe said: “I can’t believe it! I’m so grateful to New Designers for the opportunity to have my work seen.”

Chloe Gregory

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talking point Excellent Teaching is only part of the picture,

by Professor Christina Slade, Vice- Chancellor

New Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson recently described teaching standards as the

‘Achilles Heel’ of higher education. Although he was talking more broadly about the demands students make of universities today, I think he missed an opportunity to highlight the variety of additional activities we in higher education offer students which are an essential part of their overall student experience. I agree that we should strive to provide the best teaching and learning environments for students, but this is not a new concept. Universities, especially in the UK are renowned for the high academic standards we set and the results are evident in the popularity of studying here. A Teaching Excellence Framework as proposed by the Minister would provide a mechanism for students to judge their academic education, but it would not take into account everything else that makes the student experience so rich and varied. I am referring to the various non-curriculum opportunities for development that are today so intrinsic to what universities do. We at Bath Spa University focus all our activities, teaching and non-teaching on the student experience. Indeed, it is the core of our university strategy and I know that every member of staff has the student experience at the heart of what they do, whether they are working in academic or professional services. Since the increase in tuition fees was introduced, universities have been adapting to the change in market conditions this created. We have enhanced our academic offerings and invested in infrastructure to demonstrate our commitment to our students. At my own institution we are currently reviewing our teaching curriculum to foster inter- and multi-disciplinary scholarship – giving our students more flexibility and choice. In so doing, we are not only responding to the changing demands of our students, but reflecting the needs of the job market, both in the UK and internationally. I strongly believe that students who have a vibrant academic journey supported by inspiring extra-curricular activities go on to become well-rounded graduates with the necessary skills and experience to become socially engaged global citizens – and to flourish in their chosen careers. Graduates need a diverse range of skills and experiences to thrive in the new world of work. We, as do many other universities, work in close partnership with business, especially within the creative industries to ensure our students develop the attributes required by their future employers. By the time they leave Bath Spa we want our graduates to be creative, digitally literate, internationally networked, ethically aware critical thinkers. Scrutiny of our academic standards is something universities are firmly committed to and it is right that students have high expectations of the teaching they will receive. However, they will also expect to benefit from networks, connections and experiences beyond the university as well as within it. This, surely, is just as important in transforming students’ lives.

The article originally appeared in The Huffington Post on 29 July 2015. SPACE JULY 2015

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spotlight ON... This year’s graduation ceremonies took place on 15, 16 and 17 July at Bath Abbey, a stunning

spotlight on...

venue for such a wonderful celebration of success. Congratulations to everyone who graduated. Across the following pages are some photographs that capture the spirit of the occasion.

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MY STUDENT EXPERIENCE Joshua Beagrie, BA (Hons) Business and Management

my student experience

Josh (far right) with some of the Meon Valley Travel group team

Throughout my second year at Bath Spa I was determined to secure a great placement as I felt

that it would increase my confidence, business knowledge and give weight to my job applications. Although I had already managed to get a 10-week marketing placement in the calendar, I was obsessed with finding a 10-month long position. The search process was a lesson in itself such as attending assessment days at IBM and Warner Brothers and only just missing out. I began my 10-week marketing internship at Meon Valley Travel and before I knew it I had written my first editorial, helped manage the 50th anniversary rebranding, including a celebratory event

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with 120 attendees and attended my first conference with the UK’s largest independent travel group. Meanwhile, my search for a longer term assignment continued in the evenings. A few days before I was prepared to ‘throw in the towel’, my efforts were realised. Juxtapose relentlessness with patience and perhaps you’ve got the right mix for success. I was soon to begin a five-month Sales and Marketing internship at Knexus, a fast growing, cloud tech, omnichannel content and customer engagement business in London. How exciting! Filling the second half of my placement year would come later. Living and working in London was in itself a huge change given my more rural background. However I took this in my stride and quickly thrived in these new organisational and living environments. Just to add to the pressure, my mentor was with me for only three weeks before leaving her position, so I had to pick up the reins for the email marketing, website analytics and social media sooner than I ever expected. I also dealt with incoming first engagements, scheduled meetings, sent sales material and maintained the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database. I was speaking to industry leading, global businesses and directly supporting the CEO to manage his time most effectively. By the time I came to the end of my placement I had experienced almost every area of the business, from user experience testing our service Knexus Platform to interviewing my replacement. Following this, as luck would have it, I re-joined Meon Valley Travel. They had some plans to implement and wanted to test a similar prospecting approach for the Business Travel division that I had learned at Knexus. Within two weeks I was back in the game! Seneca’s not-so-famous quote (which my Dad loves accidentally paraphrasing) rang true for a second time, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Selling business travel certainly takes a different approach to selling technology and the nuance of this was a steep learning curve and a valuable experience. I am now within my last few days of internship, and it’s been very successful. I feel better in control of my future and understand more about the demands of business. Whilst my student experience is thankfully nowhere near finished I feel more confident and prepared for the challenges of the looming final year dissertation. I urge anybody thinking about a placement or internship to grasp it!

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REVIEW Forced Walks: Honouring Esther To mark the remembrance of 70 years since the liberation of Belsen death camp, a group of artists took part in a walking project which was the subject of an exhibition held at the 44AD Gallery in Bath in July.

The walk itself took place in Somerset in April and was led by artists Richard White, Associate Lecturer: Creative Media Practice and Heritage, and Lorna Brunstein who were joined by descendants of survivors and liberators to make up a 20 strong group. The group were honouring Lorna’s mother, Esther, who survived the death march to Belsen and was liberated from the camp in 1945. It is the testimony of Esther and the route of the death march she survived that formed the thread of the project. The walk followed as closely as possible the transposed line of a Nazi death march with the artists conducting ten ‘interventions’, moments of reflection exploring local and contemporary resonances, along the way. These interventions took place at points where the route of the walk intersected the line on the map of the death march to Belsen death camp. In the exhibition these form ten ‘stations’ of documentation assembled by the artists. Walkers generated social media throughout the two days and contributed to a live link up to the Anne Frank Center in New York on arrival at the Jewish Burial Ground in Combe Down, Bath. Esther Brunstein, a contemporary of Anne Frank, recorded a special statement which was networked world -wide from Combe Down. The exhibition of the walk included photographs, notebooks and memorabilia gathered by the walkers and curated by the artists. The artists also produced a series of new works including an installation and short films exploring the experience of the walk and the resonances from it. Belsen was liberated by the British army, some of whom came from Somerset. Descendants of those veterans joined the walk. Find out more here:http://forcedwalks.wordpress.com

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What’s on Alumni Reunion Weekend Fri 21 – Sun 23 August, Newton Park, Sion Hill and Corsham Court

Alumni are warmly invited to our first Alumni Reunion that will take place on the 21, 22 and 23 August 2015. Come and join us for a memorable weekend of celebrations in Bath, which promises to be a great opportunity to reconnect, meet with old friends and rediscover what it was that made Bath Spa special to you. Whether it has been six months or 60 years since you graduated, we invite you to come and join in the fun.

Bath School of Art and Design MA Degree Show Sat 19 – Wed 23 September, 10:00am-5:00pm Daily, Sion Hill Gallery, Bath Tickets: FREE

The MA Degree Show provides an exciting showcase for the work of the graduating students in MA Fine Art, MA Design: Ceramics, MA Design: Fashion and Textiles, and MA Curatorial Practice.

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Starters and Leavers In July we welcomed… • Gena Goldfield, Events Assistant, Chancelry • Joshua Ryall, Web and Social Media Coordinator, Chancelry • Alison King, International Admissions Coordinator, International Relations • Rachel Jenkins, Business Liaison Assistant, Enterprise and Local Partnerships • Trevor Gittings, Lecturer in Television Production,School of Humanities and Cultural Industries

We also said farewell to… • Juliet Mather, Job Shop Coordinator, Enterprise and Local Partnerships • Nic Jeune, Senior Lecturer: Creative Media Practice, School of Humanities and Cultural Industries • Anita Edson, Head of Strategic Projects, Chancelry

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