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Alumni Association Magazine Autumn 2016

WELCOMING OUR NEW CHANCELLOR Sir Lenny Henry on his new role

BLOOD ON THE RINK Expert Victoria Silverwood tackles violence in ice hockey

BREXIT The impact on higher education and the city of Birmingham

Editor’s welcome

Front Cover to be inserted here

Alumni Association Magazine Birmingham City University University House 15 Bartholomew Row Birmingham B5 5JU T: +44 (0) 121 331 5506 E: alumni@bcu.ac.uk W: www.bcu.ac.uk/alumni Course information and guidance T: +44 (0) 121 331 5595 Switchboard T: +44 (0) 121 331 5000

Cover photograph: Sir Lenny Henry

EDITORIAL Editor: Helen Geary Contributors: David Aust, Sam Lambeth, Rachel Whitehouse, Gemma Harris Designer: Kitty Lungley Production Manager: Catherine Davis Aspire is produced by Birmingham City University Alumni Association. Unless otherwise indicated, copyright belongs to Birmingham City University. Reproduction in whole or in part of any material contained in Aspire is prohibited without prior written consent. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of Birmingham City University. While all due care is taken regarding accuracy of information, no responsibility can be accepted for errors. Any guidance given does not constitute a legal opinion.


Welcome from the editor Every autumn, we open this magazine with a warm welcome to the newest members of our alumni community, and of course this year is no different. Congratulations to the Class of 2016; it was a pleasure to celebrate with you at graduation in July, and I look forward to hearing about your continued success. This year, however, the University has another very important welcome to extend. We are delighted that Sir Lenny Henry has been appointed Chancellor of Birmingham City University. Not only is he a much-loved national figure with an incredible record in the arts and charity, he also shares our deeply-held commitment to our home city, and our belief in offering educational opportunities which transform lives. Sir Lenny has visited twice this year, and will be formally installed at a ceremony in November. He is determined to play an active role as a hands-on Chancellor during his fiveyear term, and we look forward to him becoming a familiar face on campus. We will be working to arrange opportunities for him to engage with our graduates at particular events – in the meantime, you can get to

know more about him in our in-depth interview on p12. Elsewhere, this summer has been a time of great change – exactly how great, we are yet to see. We have a new Government in place, looking to shape the country’s future postBrexit. On p18, we explore some of the potential impact of the EU referendum result both on the university sector and on our city. The Higher Education Bill is currently passing through Parliament, and a new Teaching Excellence Framework will assess all universities on the quality of their teaching. Closer to home, devolution is gathering pace, with the launch of the West Midlands Combined Authority in June. Candidates are now emerging for the first elected Mayor for the West Midlands, with an election due in May 2017. Your University is playing a major role in the regional agenda, both independently and as part of the West Midlands Combined Universities and the Midlands Enterprise Universities. Ours is indeed a city university, but one very much with a global outlook. We have major ambitions in terms of increasing our international student

Contents Autumn 2016




REGULARS News 04 All the latest news from your University: awards, estate developments, alumni news and more.

Where are they now?


Catch up with other alumni – where are they now and what are they doing?

body and overseas partnerships. This year marked another major milestone in achieving those ambitions with the official opening of the Birmingham Institute of Fashion and Creative Art, our partnership with Wuhan Textile University in China – hot on the heels of a celebration of 10 years of our China office itself. At Birmingham City University, our aim is continually to expand our own horizons just as it has always been our aim to expand those of our students. I hope that wherever life has taken you, you continue to look to the furthest horizon.

FEATURES Alumni of the Year


Meet our latest Alumni of the Year, recognised at our graduation ceremonies in July, and find out how you can nominate for 2017!

A teacher’s work is never done


Paul Harris, one of our Alumni of the Year 2016, tells us how he balances his demanding roles of headteacher, Schools Improvement Adviser, National Leader of Education and an Ofsted inspector.

Welcoming our new Chancellor


We caught up with Sir Lenny Henry when he paid a visit to the University to start preparations for his new role of Chancellor at Birmingham City University.

Blood on the rink


Victoria Silverwood tells us about her extensive research at the University into the reasons, issues and outcomes surrounding violence in ice hockey.

Helen Geary Head of Development and Alumni Relations

Brexit: what now?


Some of the University’s leading experts tell us what the UK’s vote to leave the European Union will mean for higher education and our home city of Birmingham.



OLYMPIC MEDALLIST LAUNCHES NEW SPORT AND LIFE SCIENCES COURSES Double Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith swapped Rio for the Rotunda in September to officially launch a new suite of Sport and Life Sciences degree courses being offered by the University. The Team GB star visited the Bullring to take part in a day of sports and health activities organised by the University to showcase the knowledge and skills which will be gained on the courses, which run from September 2017. The launch marks the first time the University has offered degrees and postgraduate qualifications in subjects such as Sports Therapy, Physiotherapy, Nutrition Science and Biomedical Engineering.

NEGLECTED clothing revolts Academics at the University are working on a connected wardrobe that addresses the problem of unworn clothes by reminding you to wear them – or to give them away to charity.


Louis with the University’s cheerleaders

Louis, who followed up a bronze at Beijing in 2008 and silver and bronze medals at London 2012, with another silver at the Rio Games, was also given a tour of the University’s City South Campus in Edgbaston, including the site where a new £41 million building is being constructed to house the new courses. Louis said: “I couldn’t have made it to the Rio Olympics without the network of professionals I had working with, and supporting me. “Now that I’m getting older in the sport, all these areas and the people putting in hours of graft to get us to where we are, are even more important.”

The initiative will create an Internet of Clothes that sees garments tagged using washable contactless technology, known as radio-frequency identification (RFID). Clothing will tweet and message users asking to be worn depending on the weather and frequency of wear. If these notifications are ignored, the garments will get in touch with a clothing charity and ask to be recycled, with an organisation automatically sending out a mailing envelope for return. The project aims to challenge people’s relationship with fashion and clothing usage – as a

society, we own four times as many clothes as we did 20 years ago, but regularly only wear about 20 per cent of them. Mark Brill, Senior Lecturer in Future Media at Birmingham City University, is behind the project. He explained: “The connected wardrobe is a practical, engaging concept to encourage people to think about their clothing consumption. Ultimately, I hope it will encourage more ethical fashion consumption.” The project has been made possible by Maker Monday, an open innovation project from the University that brings artists and technologists together to create new concepts. Mark will be leading a team from Maker Monday to deliver the Internet of Clothes.

FINAL FAREWELL Former students and staff returned to Birmingham Conservatoire in early June to say a final ‘farewell’ to Adrian Boult Hall, fondly known by many as “the ABH”. Organised by the University’s Alumni Association in partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire Association, this was the final alumni reunion in the current building. Former students and staff from 1949 up to 2015 attended, celebrating the Conservatoire’s time at Paradise Circus. An alumni concert was held in the evening, which had been organised by alumnus James Ward OBE with the support of the University’s Alumni Association. Over 100 alumni and former staff took to the ABH stage one last time, with James himself on the podium. The programme consisted of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture in A Major, Op. 96, Faure’s Requiem (with alumni soloists Lawrence Broomfield and Sarah Helsby Hughes) and Parry’s I Was Glad. The event was greatly enjoyed by the alumni and former staff taking part, and those in the audience, and over £450 was raised for student bursaries and scholarships through Birmingham Conservatoire Association.

DOUBLE celebration

There was a double celebration for student Anu Yusuf in July, as she married and graduated with a First Class degree on the same day. Anu received her Law LLB in a ceremony at Symphony Hall alongside hundreds of her fellow students in July, wearing a traditional cap and gown. However, just hours before, Nigeriaborn Anu was dressed all in white, as she tied the knot at Birmingham Register Office. Anu and her husband Joseph Kolawole Ola met four years ago in Gombe while working as part of Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps, and their subsequent engagement was prolonged as a result of her coming to study in the UK.

She said: “My husband often joked that he would whisk me away after my graduation to marry me because he can no longer wait. So, we decided to marry on my actual graduation day!” Now Anu hopes to further her studies by embarking on a PhD in Law, while her husband is studying in Bradford at LIFE Church College.

GOTTA RACE ‘em all! Students on the University’s Gamer Camp and Interactive Entertainment courses have developed a new racing app that is hoping to revolutionise the way we interact with the world around us. The app – ‘Xtreme Drone Racing Micro’ – uses geo-tagging technology to unlock tracks set in digital versions of real world locations. At the game’s official launch in August, the Android title featured two iconic Birmingham locations: Millennium Point, at the heart of the University’s City Centre Campus, and Cathedral Square, which is known locally as ‘Pigeon Park’. On the latter track, gamers can weave around digital recreations of St Philip’s

Cathedral while dodging a squadron of Spitfires – famously made in the city during the Second World War. However, in order to race on these tracks, gamers must be physically present in the real world locations the tracks represent, similar to players visiting a PokéStop or Gym in ‘Pokémon Go’. As well as tracks, vehicle modifications and power ups are unlocked at certain locations in the new game. Alongside the tablet game, the programmers, artists and producers at Birmingham City University have also developed a PlayStation 4 version – ‘Xtreme Drone Racing’ – as part of their studies.



TACKLING SEXTING A pilot study carried out by researchers at the University and the University of Warwick revealed that parents and guardians needed to be better educated in order to tackle sexting among young people. The study found that 70 per cent of pupils interviewed did not know that sexting under the age of 18 was a criminal offence, and viewed it as a replacement for physical sexual relationships, while 75 per cent admitted that they were unsure of who to turn to should things go wrong online. They believe that parents should monitor and oversee online communication but felt that they have little knowledge of how to do this. The study, carried out on a group of male and female pupils aged from 13 to 15, sought to capture young peoples’ views on sexting, the current responses and interventions already in place, and the type of support pupils would like to see. Dr Alex Wade, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Practices



Alumnus Stephen Judge’s award-winning creative consultancy Bonfire Creative Intelligence has been listed in the top 100 marketing agencies in the UK. The list was compiled by the Recommended Agency Register (RAR), which carry out extensive research and analysis to develop the report each year, with hundreds of agencies submitting their data. Stephen said: “Being included among the RAR+ Top 100 marketing agencies is testament to the hard work of everyone at Bonfire. Schemes like RAR+ are 6

and Cultures in Education at the University, said: “Current information on sexting marginalises the voices of young people. This study aims to bring the views of young people sharply into focus, allowing them to voice their own thoughts on the subject. The study raised some key concerns, particularly with educating pupils about the dangers and implications of sexting, and in identifying who pupils can turn to should they need to raise concerns. “Further education for parents, as well as pupils and teachers, is needed in order to help tackle sexting. In spite of their connected lives, young people still value face-to-face interaction. This is a positive sign and such communication should be promoted. Interestingly, pupils were not in favour of over-reaching school involvement; however they felt that the school should take responsibility for educating parents on these issues.” The study has been submitted as part of the UK Parliament inquiry into sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools.


The £31 million expansion of the University’s City Centre Campus has taken a major step forward after the construction firm tasked with building the 100,000 sq ft extension was officially named. After a stringent tender process, the University has handed the job of constructing its new building, known as Curzon B, to Willmott Dixon Construction. The new site will extend the University’s Curzon Building which sits on Cardigan Street, forming part of the City Centre Campus in Birmingham’s Eastside. City planners gave the University the green light to install the six-storey development in October last year. Work has now begun with the building expected to be ready for use in 2018.

incredibly important helping benchmark and promote the value of creativity and the effectiveness of good design for the benefit of the creative industry, its customers and the wider creative economy. The register is a reflection of the talent across the UK, proving you don’t have to go to London, or other large cities, to find a wealth of expertise.” Stephen set up Bonfire Creative Intelligence in 2000 after completing a BA (Hons), PgDip and an MA in Visual Communication at the University. The company is based in Ampthill, Bedfordshire and works with international and local brands such as Bosch, Charles Wells, Survival International, Greenpeace, Argos, Chad Valley, Bush and Bedford Modern School.

Alumnus Stephen Judge and staff from Bonfire Creative Intelligence

PIONEERING DEGREE to launch The University is set to become the first institution in Europe to offer a degree in Black Studies. Expected to launch in September 2017, the undergraduate BA (Hons) degree will focus on examining the histories, social movements and contributions of people of African descent. Dr Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor

in Sociology, said: “Birmingham is the perfect place to launch Black Studies, being one of Europe’s most diverse cities, with a strong history of community activism and engagement.” Students interested in the Black Studies course can find out more information at the University’s Open Day on Saturday 19 November 2016.

HONORARY DOCTORATES John Lewis boss Andy Street was handed an Honorary Doctorate from the University in July in recognition of his achievements in business. The award was presented during a ceremony held at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall alongside graduates from Birmingham City Business School. Accepting the honour, Andy told the audience that business had the power to change people’s lives, promote inclusivity and encourage diversity. Honorary Doctorates were also awarded to Sir Mike Tomlinson, Education Commissioner for Birmingham; Adil Ray, star and creator of the award-winning hit BBC One sitcom ‘Citizen Khan’; Dr Keith Bradshaw, Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands and High Sheriff; Birmingham artist and Turner Prize winner, Gillian Wearing; and head of Birmingham-based engineering firm IMI, Mark Selway. Andy Street

WEIGHTY ISSUE Figures analysed by staff from the University’s new Life Sciences courses suggest that a weekly post-pub takeaway could lead people to gain two stone each year – and they would need to run most of the way from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back to burn it off. Numbers crunched by staff looked at how just one extra takeaway each week could impact people’s health and weight. Adding one takeaway meal to a regular diet was shown to clock up thousands of extra calories each week – and in some cases more than 100,000 each year. Meals from the local chip shop or popular outlets like McDonalds, Burger

King and Pizza Hut were found to often contain more than 1,000 calories and could top a staggering 2,000 for those choosing to go large. Adding 2,000 calories to your diet each week equates to more than 104,000 extra calories a year – enough to gain more than two stone.

Adil Ray

Runners burn around 2,600 calories for a marathon meaning that, over the course of a year, eaters would need to run more than 40 marathons (1,055 miles) to burn off the calories gained – almost 90 per cent of the distance from Lands’ End to John O’Groats and back (1,206 miles).


ALUMNI of the YEAR Birmingham City University Alumni of the Year recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of our graduates. Our alumni make a real difference across the globe in a variety of ways. We recognise achievements in three categories – Enterprise and Innovation, Community Engagement and Leadership, and Excellence in Sport or the Arts. The latest recipients were presented with their certificates and sterling silver Alumni of the Year pins at the University’s graduation ceremonies in July 2016.



BTEC ND Design (Photography), 1996 BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Photography), 1999

BTEC ND Design (Visual Communication), 1996 BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Illustration), 1999

Excellence in Sport or the Arts

Excellence in Sport or the Arts

Since graduating, Alisdair has built a reputation as a freelance photographer, specialising in the automotive sector, providing car manufacturers, advertisers and publications with the high-quality images they need.

Jonathan is a well-respected illustrator and caricaturist, having had his work published by the likes of The Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Spectator and the New Statesman. He’s also done designs for the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, and has been commissioned by companies and organisations including Unilever, Cadbury, Netflix and English Heritage.

He has won the Audi/Guild of Motoring Writers Photographer of the Year award twice, and has been commissioned by almost all the UK motoring media, from classics to performance car titles, being responsible for some 350 magazine covers at the last count. His photography has also featured in books celebrating the history of such iconic models as the Mini and Triumph TR7, and he also regularly writes features, doing word and picture jobs for the Land Rover and Porsche 911 magazines. Alisdair built his expertise in studio lighting and location knowledge while at the University, before graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 1999, alongside his twin brother Jonathan, who specialised in illustration. He has remained involved with the University, supporting current students with their portfolio preparation and reviews. 8

A number of celebrities have purchased Jonathan’s caricatures of themselves including the late DJ John Peel, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, chefs Raymond Blanc and Heston Blumenthal, and Queen legend Brian May. Having already won the British Cartoonists’ Association ‘Young Cartoonist of the Year’ award in 1995, Jonathan decided to further his career by studying Illustration at Birmingham City University. Having won a number of student awards and designed the University’s Christmas card during his time here, he graduated with First Class Honours in 1999, alongside his twin brother Alisdair, who specialised in photography.



Diploma in Management Studies, 1993 MBA, 1995

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, 1998

Community Engagement and Leadership Tina Swani has developed a successful career in the charity sector, currently working as Chief Executive of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. Before that, she was a Branch then Regional Director at the British Red Cross. She studied a Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Birmingham City University, graduating in 1995. Having held her current role since 2001, Tina has used her commercial acumen to oversee a huge increase in annual income, from £2 million to £8 million, raising more funds for the hospice’s vital work to reach more people, as well as growing the hospice’s reputation for specialist services. In addition, Tina has helped the hospice to enhance relationships with the areas it serves through the Compassionate Communities programme, which has resulted in advocates across 87 different community groups. In 2015, Tina became chair of the Midlands Action Group for the National Transition Task Force, which brings organisations together to find new ways to support vulnerable young adults who have survived life-limiting conditions in childhood, and holds positions with a number of other local and national charities as her reputation in the field continues to grow.

Community Engagement and Leadership Paul Harris was appointed headteacher of Curwen Primary and Nursery School in East London while still in his 20s and quickly made an impact, with the previously struggling school being judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted just three years later. After turning round the school by reducing pupil exclusions, improving staff retention and building new links with the local community, he was then called on to share his expertise more widely by joining forces with another primary school in the area, and then by working on other projects for the local authority and the Department for Education. He is now a School Improvement Adviser for the local authority as well as a National Leader of Education, where he supports other schools which are having difficulties. He worked on the Department for Education’s Rochford Review into assessment for children who are not able to take National Curriculum tests, and is an Ofsted inspector for the London region. His efforts were recognised in 2015 when he was named ‘Headteacher of the Year’ at the 2015 TES Schools Awards.

Find out more about Paul’s working life overleaf.

Game-changers. Trailblazers. Success stories. Who will be our Alumni of the Year 2017? Nominate someone at: www.bcu.ac.uk/alumnioftheyear by 31 January 2017



is never done

Having become a headteacher while still in his 20s, BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS graduate Paul Harris is now head of two schools while also managing a further two and being a local authority Schools Improvement Adviser, a National Leader of Education and an Ofsted inspector. He spoke to Gemma Harris about how he balances these demanding roles on a daily basis. Paul spent three years of his life being educated at Birmingham City University in order to continue a life of education. Following the completion of his degree in 1998, Paul went on to teach in two schools in Newham, London, before becoming deputy head of Kensington Primary School. Paul was appointed headteacher at Curwen Primary and Nursery School in 2006. He quickly made an impact by reducing pupil exclusions, improving staff retention and building links with the local community. In 2014 he became executive headteacher of Kensington Primary School, after Ofsted had deemed the school to be in the ‘requires improvement’ category. In September 2016, a further Ofsted report rated Kensington as ‘outstanding’, less than two years after the change in management. Paul has also been called on to share his expertise more widely by working on other projects for the local authority and the Department for Education. This poses the question just how does he juggle these varied roles on a daily basis? Paul explained: “I find it challenging to switch roles throughout the day and also to simply switch off at the end of the day but I am getting better at overcoming these problems by delegating more.


“I find that the days simply are not long enough to achieve the things that I set out to do.

but I do enjoy interacting with students, so always take time on a daily basis to speak to as many as possible.

“I divide my time carefully between each of the four schools depending on their needs at the time and I also factor in weekly time to concentrate on my other roles. I also schedule my time so that emails and office based work is done before or after the school day. I now have a PA who is invaluable in organising my diary and ensuring I am at the correct place at the correct time.”

“I do my best to hang on to the parts of it that first attracted me to a life in education by meeting with and talking to our pupils whenever I can and I also try to attend as many of the weekly school assemblies as possible, to ensure that I continue to have a visual presence at each school.”

He added: “I really never have a ‘typical’ day but that in itself is the reason that I love my job. “Plans and priorities inevitably change on an increasingly frequent basis due to the nature of working with four different schools along with my other roles and responsibilities. “I do try to ensure that there are key tasks that I carry out on a daily basis depending on which school I am in.” Paul’s rise in responsibilities has meant his job has increasingly become more of a ‘business’ role, in addition to him having more early starts and late finishes. Paul said: “I can quite quickly dispel the myth that teachers start around 9am and finish at 3pm! “I am at my desk by 7am each day and after catching up on emails and invoices, meeting with my key staff and routine office work, I then like to walk the building to ensure that each environment is suitable and fit for purpose and then spend time checking pupils’ books and school displays. “Governors meetings take up quite a few evenings and I try not to calculate how many hours I have worked each week; luckily I have a very sympathetic wife who is also in the teaching profession.” He added: “I rarely teach these days

All of Paul’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. He was awarded ‘Head Teacher of the Year’ at the prestigious 2015 TES Schools Awards and during the same year he was named one of Birmingham City University’s ‘Alumni of

This award means a huge amount to me as it recognises how much the university ensured that I was equipped to become a very successful teacher and leader in education. Paul Harris

the Year’ in the category of Community Engagement and Leadership. He said: “Someone from the school put me forward for the TES award – I was on a shortlist of eight across the country and I didn’t know the final result until the night. I was shocked, overwhelmed, very proud and I really wasn’t expecting it as I was up against some very experienced headteachers. “I was also honoured to be named as an ‘Alumni of the Year’, particularly as it is for doing a job that I love – most of the time! This award means a huge amount to me as it recognises how much the university ensured that I was equipped to become a very successful teacher and leader in education.” Paul has also received recognition from the local authority, which seeks his advice for other schools within the borough. He primarily wants to use the success he has had in education to provide his pupils with the best chance to do the same. He said: “I have always been driven by the belief that the children we serve deserve the best. Any success that I have achieved is not just down to me but is a reflection on the whole team behind me. “I plan to continue to develop a group of schools to work in partnership to ensure excellence for our pupils. This could be in many forms but schoolto-school partnerships are key and I want to be at the forefront of setting up these partnerships to ensure good-quality education and support for our pupils, to enable them to receive the best possible life chances in the future. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing the success of our children and their development. I really enjoy the challenge and the fact that every day is different.”


Sir Lenny meets staff and students


Welcoming our new

CHANCELLOR There was excitement around campus back in July when our new Chancellor – actor, writer, comedian and campaigner Sir Lenny Henry – paid a visit to start preparations for his new role and meet with staff and students. The University’s relationship with the Dudley-born star follows a tour of the campus earlier in the year when Sir Lenny saw for himself how we open doors to the creative arts for young people from a range of diverse backgrounds. He saw the University’s industry standard media facilities, including four TV studios, radio recording studios and Europe’s largest static green screen. And his role will not just be ceremonial – Lenny plans to visit the University regularly and play an active role in its development, with his own office on campus, once he is officially installed for an initial five-year term in November. Lenny said: “Taking on the role of Chancellor at Birmingham City University is a superb opportunity for me to pursue three passions – Birmingham and the West Midlands, the creative arts and giving life-changing opportunities to

young people from a wide range of backgrounds. “Birmingham City University has facilities that rival anything in the television industry, is right in the centre of a city that has changed beyond recognition in recent years and offers the sort of contemporary education I would have killed for when I was a kid. “On my last trip here I saw an animation studio, a radio studio and a TV studio. I saw people studying on all these Macs which I couldn’t quite fit into my briefcase! I got to see all manner of exciting things happening here and it just feels like it is exploding with talent and diversity and cultural exchange – and that’s important. Plus, there’s an amazing social scene. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to come here.” Sir Lenny was born in Dudley, near Birmingham, in 1958, shooting to fame in 1975 when his stand-up comedy routine won the talent show New Faces on Birmingham-based TV station ATV. He went on to become a household name fronting, programmes such as Tiswas and Three of a Kind. In 1985 he co-founded Comic Relief, a poverty and

social justice charity which has since raised over £1 billion to help causes in the UK and around the world. In recent years Sir Lenny has received widespread acclaim for dramatic roles, playing the title role in Shakespeare’s Othello at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2009. Last year he wrote and starred in Danny and the Human Zoo, a fictionalised account of his life as a teenager in 1970s Dudley – partly shot in Birmingham and the Black Country. He was knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to drama and charity, and was presented with a special BAFTA award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television in 2016. He said: “Birmingham is where I did my New Faces audition, it is where I did the Night Out in Birmingham for Tommy Cooper when he was off, it was where I came to snog at Snobs, it is where I had lamb chops for the first time at Rackhams, it is where I had a lot of fun. So to be Chancellor of Birmingham City University is a huge honour. But it also feels like I’m at home so that is why it is cool to be here.” In recent years, Lenny has been an 13

Welcoming our new Chancellor

Sir Lenny meets staff members

Sir Lenny and a student take a selfie

outspoken campaigner for increased diversity in the media industry, mirroring the University’s own reputation for providing transformative opportunities for young people to students from diverse backgrounds. In the 2013/14 academic year, 45 per cent of Birmingham City University’s students came from lowincome households, with 48 per cent from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Lenny said: “I think diversity is incredibly important. As a diversity champ, I’ve campaigned for a more open sense of access to the industry for BAME over the last two years. And some of the figures are amazing. The industry was haemorrhaging BAME people because they were hitting a glass wall or falling over a glass precipice. “I’ve campaigned to reverse that – not only with training and initiatives because, although they are important, training and initiatives are useless if there are no jobs at the end. It is


Sir Lenny and students

really important not to just parachute people into jobs that they fail at; it’s important to make sure that they have the necessary training or the catch-up training so they can do their job to the best of their ability. I’m confident that we are making small steps towards a very big resolution with this, but it is going to be a while. Just get any copy of Broadcast magazine and take a look for yourself how diverse the industry is.”

“Birmingham City University has facilities that rival anything in the television industry, is right in the centre of a city that has changed beyond recognition in recent years and offers the sort of contemporary education I would have killed for when I was a kid.” Lenny Henry

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Cliff Allan welcomed Lenny to his new role. He said: “We are absolutely delighted that one of the country’s most well-known personalities is to be our new Chancellor. He not only encapsulates the University’s commitment to both the arts and widening participation, but he is a strong advocate for Birmingham and the region, including his home town of Dudley. “Sir Lenny joins at a very exciting time for the University, as we continue to develop facilities that are the envy of other universities and even industry professionals. What I’m most excited by is that Sir Lenny doesn’t want to be a remote ceremonial figure but is determined to play an active role as a hands-on Chancellor. He will have his own office and staff to enable him to be a big part of what we do over the next five years.”


Exploring violence in ice hockey

Ice hockey is one of North America’s most popular sports, as well as one of its most violent. But what is the impact and consequences of the latter being so prominent within the game, and what rules and methods are instilled to control it? Sam Lambeth spoke to Birmingham City University expert Victoria Silverwood, whose extensive research discusses the reasons, issues and outcomes surrounding violence within the sport. Victoria is a lecturer in Criminology, and first began researching hockey while studying her Master’s. “I have been a fan of the sport for over 20 years now, and 10 years ago I began interviewing players and writing for a team’s programme,” she said. “I was fascinated at how in hockey a bareknuckle fistfight was legitimised, when if it took place away from the rink it would be considered illegal assault.” That interest led to Victoria undertaking a PhD about such activities

within the sport, spending an entire hockey season, which equates to nine months, living and working alongside a team of players. Getting such close exposure to the participants enabled Victoria to gain a deeper understanding of ice hockey’s violent connotations. “It was really interesting that the most violent players were the least aggressive away from the rink, and accepted the use of violence was just part of the game,” Victoria said. “I was keen to discover what code of conduct the players ascribed to, as

well as looking at the unwritten rules of fighting.” Victoria discovered that some fights are staged simply to satisfy the demands of the crowd, who see such brutal contact as a key requisite of the game. “There are ‘staged fights’, in which players agree to drop the gloves and fight at a specific time,” she said. “This is largely done for the crowd and the players express little enjoyment in participating in them.” Victoria found that a staggeringly significant number


Blood on the rink

Victoria’s research led to her being contacted by a group of documentary-makers, who were creating a film, Ice Guardians, that focused on the role of the enforcers within the game. of fans relish these challenges. “In my previous research, I discovered 97 per cent of spectators were drawn to the violent aspect of the game, and would be less inclined to view the sport as frequently if fighting was removed.” But while some fights are performed purely for pantomime, most of the altercations that occur are very real. “Hockey has far more intensity than, say, football,” Victoria explained. “The ferocity and contact of the sport, combined with the enclosed space of the rink, leads to high levels of aggression

and emotion. This is worsened by the presence of items that could be used as weapons such as sticks and blades.” With fighting being such a frequent occurrence in the rink, hockey carries a great deal of risk when it comes to injury. “The speed, equipment and intensity of the game all have a risk of injury that, coupled with the damage caused from legal hits and body contact, make hockey so dangerous,” Victoria said. As a form of protection, ‘enforcers’ are employed within the team to shield their teammates from excessive force.

“The enforcer, or enforcers, takes responsibility for protecting their players by engaging in threatening or violent behaviour,” Victoria said. Other sports, such as football, take particular care when it comes to injuries like concussion, and Victoria believes there needs to be greater emphasis on this within hockey. “Concussion is a hot topic within the hockey community, and players have begun filing class action law suits to their league if they feel they have not been adequately warned of the long-term risks of concussion,” she explained. “I have been fortunate enough to speak to junior hockey players about concussion prevention and treatment, but there needs to be a massive change in awareness of this in hockey at all levels and age groups.” Victoria’s research led to her being contacted by a group of documentarymakers, who were creating a film, Ice Guardians, that focused on the role of the enforcers within the game. “I connected with the makers of the film on Twitter, and they were keen to hear more about my research,” Victoria explained. “I was thrilled that they wanted to hear what I had to say, and they flew me out to Vancouver for filming. “The documentary is multi-faceted. It aims to give a voice to some of the biggest names in North American ice hockey, and seeks to understand how the role of the enforcer came about. It also examined the experiences some of the enforcers went through, and how non-fighting players felt about being protected by them.” Victoria attended the documentary’s world premiere in Toronto in September, and has been pleasantly surprised at the positive reception it has already received. “Since the trailer has been released, it has gained millions of views on YouTube and has a very strong social media following,” she said. “The film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, and has also been showcased at several other big festivals, too, including Raindance Film Festival in London. Attending the premiere was


“The ferocity and contact of the sport, combined with the enclosed space of the rink, leads to high levels of aggression and emotion.” Victoria Silverwood

a very unusual experience for me as an academic, but it is a wonderful opportunity for me to speak to the press about the film and my research.” The next step for Victoria is to finish her two books, both of which are about the sport. “One is an academic monograph of my PhD research, while the other is more for the general hockey fan,” she said. “The latter is being co-written with the writer and director of Ice Guardians, Brett Harvey, and some of the themes covered in the documentary will be explored.” As well as her books, Victoria plans to continue researching the issues surrounding ice hockey. “As the only academic researching in this subject area, I feel a responsibility to continue uncovering and understanding this subject,” she said. “I am currently involved in trying to ascertain the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs, as well as undertaking research on referee decision-making and conflict resolution tactics. “I am very fortunate that I get to examine an area that I am passionate about and I look forward to my continued investigations.”



what now? The UK’s narrow vote to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves around the world – but what does the momentous decision mean for the HE sector and our home city of Birmingham? David Aust spoke to some of the University’s leading experts to find out. The University did not take an official position before the referendum, but the sector as a whole had previously highlighted potential dangers such as a loss of overseas students or EU research funding if the UK voted to leave. Since the result became known, senior figures from Birmingham City University have been lobbying government ministers and building alliances across the sector and locally to ensure international students continue to be made welcome and areas such as research funding are protected. The University’s Director of Planning and Performance, Tim Openshaw, said that at the moment, the University had two main priorities – reassuring those affected that in the short term, nothing has changed as we remain a member of the EU, while in the long term seeking to ensure that the University was not adversely affected by any changes and was well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities that came along. He added: “The University did not have a formal position on the EU exit; that didn’t stop individuals voicing their own opinion of course, but they were speaking for themselves, not the University. In the


immediate aftermath of the vote, we spoke with staff and students from the EU to reassure them that, certainly in the short term, nothing is changing and they’re still extremely welcome at the University. “We haven’t got as significant a proportion of our student body from the EU as some institutions, but we still have several hundred and that’s not a figure we foresee changing a great deal in our long-term predictions. Clearly fees will be something that we’ll have to consider alongside other elements of financial support such as scholarships and bursaries, which we’re currently looking at more broadly anyway, but we’ll continue to appreciate our EU students and see them as part of the richness of the community we’ve got. “There are many institutions in the EU that we would want to continue having relationships with, but it’s not just a oneway street; European institutions want to work in the UK market and will be looking for vehicles to enable them to do that, and if we can develop relationships that would allow EU institutions to have a presence in the UK, there will be great

benefits for all involved. The recent partnership we announced with [German research organisation] The Fraunhofer Society is a good example of that as it’s something they were keen to pursue, regardless of the result of the referendum.” The University’s Policy Analyst Annis Mapleston added that, while there had been some negative comment about the potential effect of Brexit on the higher education sector, there were also opportunities, and the University was actively exploring how it could take advantage of those. She added: “It’s certainly very easy from a higher education sector perspective – not necessarily BCU – to get caught up in the doom and gloom of ‘we’re going to lose some of our best staff, we’re going to lose students because they’re not going to want to come here, we’re going to lose access to research funding’, but actually we don’t know for sure that we are going to lose any of that; it’s all dependent on government negotiations and there will still be attractions in coming to the UK even if we are no longer part of the EU.

“In the immediate aftermath of the vote, we spoke with staff and students from the EU to reassure them that, certainly in the short term, nothing is changing and they’re still extremely welcome at the University.” Tim Openshaw, the University’s Director of Planning and Performance

“However, it does also give us opportunities to look at other ways of doing things – for example I was at a conference looking at the implications of Brexit for universities, and one of the ideas which got floated was whether we could do an Erasmus-type scheme for Commonwealth countries. Yes, the EU is important but, as a sector and as a University, we have to have a global outlook not just focusing on the EU, so we should use this as a way of broadening our perspective. “It’s probably worth noting that there are already a number of schemes for international travel and study experiences in existence which aren’t related to the EU at all, such as those organised through the British Council, so even if – and it is an if – we lose access to Erasmus, there are still others out there. It’s not like students won’t have the opportunity to go abroad any more; they will.” With the government still examining how it will go about leaving the EU, and what relationships could take its place, at the moment the position of the University is very much ‘business as usual’. Tim added: “In the short-term nothing is changing but of course we always review our policies and encourage staff to continue looking for every opportunity that’s out there and the best ways to capture them. Partnerships are something that’s high on the University agenda – not just in the EU but more widely – and we will continue to develop existing collaborations and build new ones.”

Birmingham saw one of the narrowest results in the country, with 50.4 per cent of its residents voting leave, although this figure masked wide variations between different parts of the city. Dr Steven McCabe, Associate Professor at Birmingham City Business School, said that the city would feel the impact of the decision, although the precise effects remained to be seen. However, he did not believe this would change its reputation as a multicultural city which welcomed people from all over the world. He said: “Those who argued that the UK should leave the EU believe that the outcome of the historic referendum on 23 June marks the beginning of a glorious new epoch in this country’s history. The UK will, they asserted, regain sovereignty that has been diminished by EU membership as well as ensuring that the economy is strengthened. Remain campaigners suggested that leaving the EU would cause job losses, a fall in the value of the pound compared to other major currencies and a loss of confidence that would undermine future economic growth. “The reality of the decision by the UK to leave the EU will be judged in the longterm on the basis of the actual effects. At present it’s too early to say. However, Birmingham will experience the impact of the decision as profoundly as every other part of the country; possibly more so.

“Contemporary Birmingham is a place that has always welcomed newcomers who wish to develop new ideas and produce wonderful products. This goes back to the industrial revolution. Though many of those attracted to Birmingham came from within the British Isles, Birmingham has a long tradition of welcoming those from Europe and all other parts of the globe. Birmingham is now a truly international city that prides itself on its diversity and commitment to multiculturalism. Witness the profusion of languages spoken in the city and the incredible range of food from, literally, every corner of the world. “Perhaps it’s worth remembering that history demonstrates Birmingham’s ability not just to cope with change but to fully recover from trauma. During the Second World War Birmingham was regularly bombed by the Luftwaffe in an attempt to disrupt the factories making armaments for the war. And in 1974 the city suffered the atrocity of the pub bombings carried out by the IRA. It’s worth noting that two of the most popular events that take place each year in Birmingham are the annual German Christmas market and St Patrick’s Day Parade. “Brexit, whatever challenges it brings, will not undermine Birmingham’s desire to be a significant global destination and a place that welcomes creativity, ingenuity and a willingness to do business.”



Share your post-university experiences with your classmates, friends and fellow alumni




ABSM General Musicianship and Performance, 1968

GBSM, 1971

HND Business Studies, 1982

Since graduating from the School of Music in 1971, completing my Cert Ed at Reading University in 1972, I followed a teaching career for some 40 years. Having retired in 2012, I now work for the Church of England as an Licensed Lay Minister in Southampton City Centre Parish, a Visitor Chaplain at Winchester Cathedral and I am often to be found “ship visiting” with the Anglican Chaplain to the Port of Southampton. Occasionally I play the organ and give recitals.

After 31 years in local government I have now retired and moved to the Greek island of Zante. Yep, me and six cats made the trek across Europe to live life in the sun and assist with local animal welfare.

Started as Head of Music in a local school in Aston, Birmingham and moved on to Head of Lower School. Composer of musicals and have worked with Desmond Tutu, Royal School of Church Music, Timothy Dudley-Smith and John Sentamu. All these years later, I’m about to take 23rd musical ‘Barnabas’ to Cyprus with venues in the north and south. Just this week a lady from northern Nigeria has been in touch that 40 years ago was sent an LP of my epiphany musical ‘Star Gazers’ which she and her family grew up loving. My website: www.cmm.org.uk


JANE FOX BA (Hons) Textiles (Embroidery), 1983 After graduation I worked for Fogarty in Boston, Lincolnshire, designing duvet covers and curtain fabrics. I then returned ‘up north’ where I designed and made wedding dresses. Later I worked for Debenhams on their store opening team dressing windows and merchandising. I was then head hunted by Format, a photographic company where I worked as a stylist on their in-house shoots for Next, Littlewoods and Grattan catalogues. After having two children I then worked freelance for a variety of photographic companies, and taught art in the evenings at Runshaw College. As my daughters grew and started school I became a learning support teacher at their primary school. Here I was instrumental in rewriting the art scheme of work for the whole school, implementing new and exciting projects for all year groups. I was encouraged by

the headteacher to pursue my ambition to teach art full-time. I redid my maths GCSE enabling me to study for a PGCE. I have now been teaching Art GCSE full-time for 12 years. I also paint landscapes for pleasure. I would like to re-establish contact with the girls from my degree study course!

ANDY ASQUITH BA (Hons) Government, 1987 I’ve been here in Paradise (aka New Zealand) since 2005 after I applied for a job I’d never thought I’d get - and got it. After my degree, I worked for 18 months, then ended up back at the Poly (it’ll always be the Poly to me!) doing a PhD under the supervision of Chris Painter and Kester Isaac-Henry. From there, it was a roundabout journey until the music stopped and I ended up at Massey University here in Paradise. Coming here was the best thing I ever did. As we say here in NZ, I’m now ‘world famous’ in New Zealand - as one of a very small number of academics specialising in local government.

JULIAN PAUL BA (Hons) Business Studies, 1993 Management consultant with one of the big five. Worked for United Nations secretariat for climate change. Currently working on social change in Saudi Arabia.

RALPH BARKER BMus, 1994 After leaving the Conservatoire I really didn’t know what to do, so continued working as a chef at the Warehouse Café in Digbeth before moving to Amsterdam in 1996 with a rucksack, tent and a little bit of money I’d saved. Gradually getting settled and having worked as a cleaner to make ends meet, I found a job at McAfee and then spent a lot of years working in various

roles in business for many years, which culminated in a role in learning and development that lasted for seven years before (luckily!) I was made redundant due to a major reorganisation. So I decided to re-train, took a CELTA qualification and am now working as a teacher of English as a foreign language. It’s great, probably the best thing I’ve ever done. As for music, I stopped playing for around 10 years after college but re-found the recorder and have been playing in a large recorder orchestra for around 10 years and regularly visit music festivals, masterclasses etc.

ANDREW SMITH BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, 1996 After graduating and spending a few years working at Birmingham University in their Mechanical Engineering Department getting involved in NanoMetrology development, reverse engineering and CNC machining, I moved into the automotive industry, tooling development, multi-stage progression tools, pattern making, plastic moulding projects and prototype vehicles three to four years before the market release date. After the completion of a land speed record diesel driven supercar for JCB it was time to branch out with a move to Australia and a change in industry into oil and gas. An introduction to a new industry with a few years of remodelling drilling rigs to suit the CSG market and the stringent regulatory standards in Australia and short terms managing operations in West Africa and the Middle East I was promoted to the head office in Canada and headed the rig build division for the third largest oil and gas drilling contractor. Building rigs and developing new technology was an amazing experience. A career move earlier this year, and I’m now working in Saudi Arabia as a Maintenance Superintendent. It seems forever ago but this is one roller coaster I don’t want to get off...



BA (Hons) Business Studies, 1998

MSc Audit Management and Consultancy, 2004

I have been asked to apply for a TED talk. I have written a blog about it www.borroclub.co.uk/blogpost/ted-talk/

ELIZABETH KAKEMBO MSc Health Promotion, 1999 After graduating I continued with publishing work. The company decided to sponsor me for a publishing course at Oxford Brookes University. Meanwhile, I was appointed as the Director of the company that specialises in academic books. I have travelled extensively meeting many interesting people. I have two lovely grandchildren - a girl 10 years old and a boy seven years old. My husband and I have retired but work few hours a week.

FARAH PRIELA MA Media and Communication, 1999 Since graduating from UCE, I relocated to California, USA and was hired in a multicultural advertising agency in NYC for 10 years. I worked as Broadcast Director where I supervised six staff members in creating media plans and budget for broadcast campaigns. I collaborated with various broadcast TV, radio and cable networks in building cross-platform media campaigns. After this stint, I moved back to California and started teaching media studies in public as well as private schools. I enjoyed teaching more than the advertising job. Media Studies is an elective subject here in the US, but it is gaining popularity and becoming in demand in the school curriculum. I am very blessed that I took media and communication for my Master’s at UCE. The MA degree definitely, allowed me to introduce this course to my present school.

LEONY ALBRECHTBROWN MA History of Art and Design, 2000 I have bought and renovated two old stone houses in a traditional Cypriot village in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains. We used to use The Old Olive Mill in Dhoros as our holiday home in the sunshine; a get away from it all with little light or noise pollution, until we purchased the old stone shack next door that used to belong to the village cobbler; hence its name ‘To Skapariko”. Once we had renovated our new house we moved in and went about refurbishing and setting up The Old Olive Mill in Dhoros as a self-catering holiday home. During this transition I have taken photos and recorded stories of traditional Cypriot village life, posting stories and photos on The Old Olive Mill’s facebook page and timeline.

JACQUELINE MOHR BA (Hons) Visual Communications, 2004 Became an unqualified teacher Sept 2004... qualified in 2009 teaching art and textiles. Now teach art to children with emotional and behavioural needs. I also produce my own artwork and photography.

I retired from the Ministry of Justice Internal Audit & Assurance at the end of August 2016. I was appointed Chair of Corporation for Warrington Collegiate earlier this year just in time to assist in the merger of four Cheshire Colleges following Further Education Area Review. Life is good; I value my studies and qualifications and have used the lessons learned wherever possible.

KELLY O’HANLON BA (Hons) Media and Communication, 2005 I graduated in 2005 with a First Class degree from the very course I am now part of as a member of staff. I’ve maintained my links with the University, through open days, mentor schemes, guest speaking and assessment panel appearances, and I’ve always been passionate about engaging the practitioners of tomorrow and making crucial connections between university and industry. I started my PR career straight from university and spent almost 11 years at the well-established, renowned, multi-award winning agency of WPR, working my way from graduate all the way to divisional head. I’ve also briefly been a PR Director for One Black Bear, a creative agency extending their communications offering. In 2008, I was shortlisted for CIPR Young Professional of The Year and I’ve participated in various schemes, including the B-Hive student initiative for the creative industries. You can find me on Twitter as @KellyinPR.

IBRAHIM RAMJAUN MSc Information and Library Management, 2005 Ever since graduating with a Master’s degree from UCE in 2005, I have had the opportunity to write some professional articles both in Mauritius and in peerreviewed academic journals abroad, attended the African

Library Summit twice, written an ebook in French based on the Quran and taken up a new position with a foreign, state of the art university library to pursue my dream of achieving job satisfaction. You may wish to view my profile and publications on academia. edu portal.

ALOK RATHORE MBA, 2005 Working with a real estate major as a Vice President (Hospitality and New Initiatives).

MICHAEL SCOTT BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Photography), 2005 In March 2016, I started as a full-time press photographer for Caters News Agency in Birmingham - one of my life ambitions. Since graduating from BCU (or UCE when I was there!) I have continued my photography on weekends and then self-employed in weddings and press, it has now come to a head as a full-time job, and I am loving it!! So even if your dream job doesn’t come straight away, don’t give up, you’ll get there in the end!

Partner at Quality Solicitors Mander Cruickshank in Leicestershire.

ANDREW LOMAS MA Education, 2007 Since completing the Master’s course I was appointed as Deputy Head at Kings Norton Boys’ School and was ordained as Catholic Permanent Deacon in 2010 by His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham. In September 2016, I began a new post as Deputy Head in a special school for students with emotional difficulties.

OLUGBENGA ADESOLA MSc Computing, 2009 Live in Birmingham, started family, have two kids and currently work as Lead Technical Services Analyst for Midland Heart.

TOM ADOGHE BSc (Hons) Property and Construction, 2009 Now a senior partner at TEE Construction Limited London and Birmingham.

LLB (Hons), 2008


Having qualified as a Solicitor in April 2012 I am now Head of the Private Client Team and

After completing my MSc degree at BCU, I went back


MSc Management, 2010


Class notes to Côte d’Ivoire at the end of 2010 and managed to be amongst the first employees to be recruited and launch a microfinance project. Spent four months training in Cameroon, then returned to CI to be part of the opening of the first branch. Then I moved to the banking sector as a Foreign Operations agent and in 2015 got married after getting a wonderful job opportunity in Ghana into the agribusiness field - training even sent me back to London in the same year and I went to Birmingham to visit relatives and friends - best business trip ever! I’m now back in CI, where I work on projects management for Bolloré Transport & Logistics which is quite funny, as I again deal with HR managers of BTL subsidiaries in the UK. It seems I never left the UK. Simply looking forward to adding new members to my family now.

FAISAL HASSAN BA (Hons) Business and Management, 2011 The past few years I have been living in London, although I’ve been to diverse places in the world. I acquired experience which I’ve expanded during my adventure. No one can predict what will happen in the future, but you can predict some days, if you are a persistent person enduring hard circumstance you will prevail and succeed your expectation. I here send my warm greeting to all my classmates, teachers, professors and Birmingham City representatives and as well as anyone who assisted during my studying, I hope I will visit one day in the near future.

TOBY NUTTER BA (Hons) Media and Communications, 2011 On Thursday 25th August, whilst I was taking a break from work to travel and go to Reading Festival, I was credited twice in one evening on Channel 4. Firstly on an episode of Supervet: The Bionic Story where I had


spent the last couple of months before my break and then on 999: What’s Your Emergency - my first freelance job as an Edit Assistant. The next day I received a very interesting email about a programme I have loved for a long time and may soon get to work on. Exciting times!

NADIA YUNIS LLM International Human Rights, 2011 Hi y’all! Since graduating from my Master’s degree I have been running multiple brands and my consultancy. My first brand launched in 2008 - an online blog - and currently I have 13 active brands. I’m an entrepreneur, mindologist, author, writer, speaker, personal peak performance and mindset transformation mentorcoach-consultant. I love helping people create positive changes in their lives so they too can live their best life full of purpose now. I’m looking forward to taking my seminars and workshops global. I will also continue my education further with a PhD in Human Rights law. We can all make a positive difference in our own lives and become assets to humanity now!

SYED NADEEM ABID ZAIDL MA Textiles, Fashion and Surface Design, 2011 Hello everyone! Hope you are all fine and in the best of spirits. Presently, I am teaching Art and Design in Westminster school validated by Cambridge University examinations. I am also counselling some of my ex BA Fine Arts students from the art college in Pakistan, for UK MA studies in Art and Design. Furthermore, I have made new textile prints and searching for a gallery to exhibit my artwork, and also helping poor people in their studies free of cost who cannot afford it. I always miss England when I think about it, especially Birmingham where most of my time was spent, and it’s always a pleasure hearing from you. Love you all.

MANIZA AHMED BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography, 2012 When I graduated I didn’t know I would end up working at Russells Hall after training at the Q.E. Being a much smaller hospital I felt the unity between the staff and got to know other health professionals well. After 3 years I felt competent in all fields especially theatre and working independently during night shifts. So this January I started a postgraduate course in mammography and should complete that by November. It was a part-time post so I make up my hours in general. I feel I have the best of both worlds and the variety will help me keep all the skills I have gained so far. To sum things up...going to BCU to do radiography was the best decision in my life!

to my home country and I got a very good job here. I am very happy I have this job because it all happened due to my degree and I expect that I will get more and more.

LUKE BOWES BA (Hons) Community Applied Theatre, 2013 I have been shortlisted in the 2016 Essex Big Business Boost Awards for my entrepreneurship, setting up outdoors and fitness brand, Energise Outdoors. I’m also in development with several other companies and freelances in website construction. I have also completed several running events including the 2016 London Marathon, raising money for Mind, the mental health charity.

Chapter and also Chairing the Education and Research Committee.

STEVE SMALL PgDip Multi Unit Leadership, 2013 After 30 years I moved on from casinos and opened my own business, Great Oak Equestrian, Norwich. I am loving it. Now in my second year of trading and all is going well.

DAVID ENU MSc Management and Finance, 2014 I am now working as a senior consultant with a consultancy/research firm in Nigeria. Thanking BCU for the opportunity to gain wide experience in my career.

OLEKSANDR PIROHOV MSc Management, 2012 Hello from Shanghai (China)! After completing the course in 2012 I went to Shanghai (China) and living here till now. Happily married with a great son. I’ve been working for four years as a project manager for different industries and companies from all over the world. China is the best place for fresh graduates with lots of opportunities in different professional fields. Come and feel it yourself. Welcome to China!



MA Visual Communication, 2013

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing, 2014

Currently living in Thessaloniki and working as an illustrator. A couple of months ago (June 2016) I presented ‘Places’ a solo art show (both contemporary art and illustration) in Teloglion Foundation of Art, which is one of the biggest and most important art institutes/ museums in my city Thessaloniki and I was really excited about it!

Following graduation I got my first post qualification job as an ED nurse. The transition from student to qualified practice was difficult but so worth it. I love my job. I am currently on maternity leave after having met my partner in my dept and now we have a little boy.

ALI REHMAN AQEELA ASLAM MSc Management and Finance, 2013 After doing my degree I came

MSc Audit Management and Consultancy, 2013 I was recently appointed as Board of Director (Board Member) for Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Oman

GEORGE CUTLER BA (Hons) Business and Finance, 2014 Since leaving University I have set up my own business ‘George John Funeral Directors’. We have just completed our second trading year and have reached 290 funerals under our belts. With other independent funeral

directors selling out in our local area we are expecting to get busier and busier. We are averaging 16 funerals per month now.

ABHILASH S DOIJODE MSc Project Management, 2014 I was working with Openprovider company as Marketing Manager for Asia and USA. My Master’s dissertation work got published as academic book from Germany, Lambert Publications. Book is available worldwide online and at stores also. For more details you can google Marketing Strategies written by Abhilash Suresh Doijode. Recently, I have started my own company in marketing and branding/ advertising industry as well as real estate. Company names are Flamingo communications India Pvt.Ltd and Flamingo Realty. Expanding this business in various countries with the help of my old BCU classmates. Looking forward to get into more different segments like hospitality, manufacturing, fitness, infrastructure development, etc. and will create Flamingo as group of companies. Thank you BCU for giving me such wonderful platform to grow in all sectors and specially talent and ideas to manage all the companies with different partners.

NARINDER DOSANJH PGCE, 2014 Under my stage name, Kriss Dosanjh, been starring in BAFTA awarding winning ‘This is England’, attended premiere of new movie. Appearing in Holby end of September and also producing for Funki Funki Productions Ltd.

SARAH FORTES MAYER MA Fine Art, 2014 Since graduating I have produced Age Yard Shift supported by Arts Council England. Been part of exhibitions in the West Midlands. Started a collaboration with Ian Andrews called In-Public: creating with the community,

a diverse art programme for everyone. Spent a week at Castle Foundry making bronze sculpture. I was part of Eastside Projects Summer Camp. I continue to make art relating to my body and the invisibility of the older person. Also, researching other people communities who feel invisible. I have continued with performance using the spoken word.

TAMSIN SANKEY BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS, 2014 I’m travelling at the moment and writing a travel blog tamisankey.blogspot.com

JONO HOGG BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Production, 2014 Following my first postgraduate role with Supergroup Plc, I spent a month’s break skiing in Austria. On my return, I secured a fantastic position with Hays as an Associate Consultant. This role has opened my eyes hugely to a completely new industry with endless opportunities, consulting businesses HR needs for their short and long term strategic growth plans. Having had to leave for personal reasons at the end of 2015, I am now mid-way through a long term trip in Asia, taking advantage of my availability whilst out of work. I am hoping to re-join my previous position when my trip has come to an end, either in the UK or abroad.

ESTHER MOLLOY LLM International Human Rights, 2014 I volunteer at amnesty international in London. A dream come true. My other dream job - the United Nations - yet to be fulfilled.

SIMONE VERNEY BSc (Hons) Psychology, 2014 Since graduating in 2014 I have not had any luck in finding any work related to my first degree (psychology). Due to this I am now enrolled on the learning disability nursing degree which I am very happy about. I will also be studying back at BCU.

JASEEM JAMAL ABDULLA BA (Hons) Communication Design (Visual Effects), 2015 I have worked in IZMO Ltd, a virtual automotive software, designing images with high visual impact. Now I have come to UAE in search of a job that will help me grow in this field.

update on recent work and shows. www.lorrainefossi.net

SIAN HOLT PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training, 2015 Since graduating with nothing but full-time education behind me, I was apprehensive but excited to delve into the working world. Despite struggling to find teaching roles in my specialism, I had the pleasure of working with the elderly in a residential care home as a Recreation and Leisure Organiser. This put the planning and preparation skills I had gained in my teacher training to good use, only the activities were much more fun! Recently I have had a long-term cover role in a secondary school as an art teacher, which has been both challenging and valuable. I look forward to getting my foot in the education door permanently!



I have just finished and passed my NQT year! Been given opportunities for subject leadership and cannot wait to see what this year brings!

MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management, 2015

LORRAINE FOSSI MA Fine Art, 2015 Since I graduated with an MA Fine Art, I’ve had the opportunity to work and meet with amazing people in the art industry. Right after I graduated I won the Turps gallery first Open Call with an exhibition shaped on architectural discourse, bringing together the work of two artist/architects: Celia Scott - I met in the MA course - and myself. My work was selected in the Young God annual exhibition, curated by Zavier Ellis. The exhibition showcased a selection of artwork from the ‘best’ graduates from the London Art Colleges. It was good to be chosen. Alongside these events I am making work in my studio in South London. Please visit my website if you want to see what I am doing and add your email to my mailing list to get my latest

range of academic articles and books that explore a range of criminological topics and issues - most notably I have recently gained confirmation that my PhD will be published into a book at a highly regarded publishing house.

VITALIS MADANHI LLM International Human Rights, 2015 I am now working as a solicitor in Birmingham at Genesis Law Associates solicitors. The Masters in Human rights was indeed crucial to my employment achievement.

SABILA SAJED BA (Hons) English, 2015 So it has been a year since I graduated, and I’m hoping to do so again as I just have handed in my thesis for MA Criminology!

ARIBA SUHAIL BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Graphic Design), 2015

My life after graduation is unique, dynamic and successful. Today I can stand in front of hundreds of students in my country tertiary institution to deliver a unique lectures on business research and entrepreneurship education with full confidence. Cheers to BCU.

Since graduating I have gotten married. I have also started working as an Art Director at an amazing advertising company MullenLowe and Rauf in Karachi, Pakistan. I really enjoy working on some of the biggest brands in the country, handling print media for Unilever and Knorr to name a few.



PhD Criminology, 2015

BA (Hons) Popular Music, 2016

I began my academic journey at BCU in 2011 when I enrolled on the Master’s criminology degree. During this time I was supervised by one of Britain’s leading criminologists, Professor David Wilson, who suggested that I should undertake a PhD in order to further explore the topic of my MA thesis: the significance of driving as an occupational choice to serial murderers. Under the supervision of Professor Wilson, I spent the next four years working on my PhD thesis and during this time, was employed as a fulltime lecturer in criminology and have also published a

Graduated from my BA Popular Music course at South and City College. The support I received from BCU meant the only natural choice was to enrol upon a PGCE PCET course to enable me to enter the teaching profession. This began in Sept 2016! Here’s to a productive year for my ex fellow students, and new students and colleagues! To get back in touch with anyone listed here, email alumni@bcu.ac.uk and we will try to reconnect you!



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Graduate Labour Market Statistics, 2015


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Aspire Autumn 2016  

Aspire Autumn 2016