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Ruth Gunstone

Feature

Furniture archive

Graduate views Graduation supplement The magazine of Buckinghamshire New University


Contents

Message from the Vice Chancellor

Message and news from the Vice Chancellor

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Award wins

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Profile: Ruth Gunstone

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Campus development

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News from the Faculty of Society & Health

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News from the Faculty of Design, Media & Management

10-12

Graduate views

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Sports news

14-16

Crimestoppers campaign

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Fundraising events

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Community news

18-19

Bucks in the news

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Business news

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Research round-up

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Books

26-27

What’s on?

Back cover

Connection magazine was produced by the Strategic Marketing & Communications Directorate at Buckinghamshire New University. Every effort is made to ensure that the information provided is accurate at the time of going to press. If you have any questions or stories, please contact the editor, Anne Whitehouse, on 01494 605 249, email anne.whitehouse@bucks.ac.uk Contributions may be edited for length or style. Buckinghamshire New University Queen Alexandra Road High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP11 2JZ Telephone: 01494 522 141 Fax: 01494 605 023 Web: bucks.ac.uk Designed and produced by Greens Ltd, www.greensdigital.com Front cover image: 2012 Countdown (p14) © Buckinghamshire New University

This publication can be made available in alternative formats; call 01494 605 249.

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The beginning of this academic year saw the opening of the stunning new Gateway building at Bucks New University’s High Wycombe Campus, and a modern new home for our nursing courses and applied health care research in Uxbridge. September also saw students move into our new accommodation in Hughenden, High Wycombe. These developments are significant milestones for the University and testament to our commitment to providing first-class facilities for our students, employees, and the wider community. Since the last Connection, we have merged two of our faculties in a move designed to encourage interaction between students and employees working in differing disciplines, and to streamline some of our business processes. The newly-formed Faculty of Design, Media & Management brings together our creative programmes and applied management courses, and is being led by Prof Chris Kemp. You will find news from the Faculty on pages 10-13. We have also created a new Student Experience Directorate, which brings together, for the first time, all of our student-facing activities. Ruth Gunstone, an employee with over 30 years’ service to the University, has taken on the role of Director of this new area, and you can read more about her role on page 4. Our health care provision has been enhanced by a number of new senior appointments and through the development of new courses such as Working with Bereaved Children and Young People. News from our Faculty of Society & Health is on pages 6-9. At Bucks, we actively encourage participation in sport, and so we marked the official countdown to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by taking part in the ‘Reactivate Bucks Community Challenge’. Our sports news is on pages 14-16, alongside details of activities that have helped support a variety of charities. Research and enterprise continue to be important areas of focus for the University. The University has its origins in the furniture industry in High Wycombe, and a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council has enabled us to create an electronic archive charting the history of the furniture industry in the 20th century. We are delighted to have been able to use modern technology to preserve and reinvigorate this important part of our heritage. I do hope you will want to be part of the continuing success of our University, whether it be through participation in one of our enterprise events, coming along to an open day, or reading one of the books written by our academics. Prof Ruth Farwell Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive

Vice Chancellor appointed to HEFCE Board Prof Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Bucks New University and Chair of higher education representative body, GuildHE, has been appointed to the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Ruth Farwell was one of four new appointments to the HEFCE Board announced by David Lammy, Minister of State for Higher Education. Prof Farwell commented: “The future of higher education, and the public funding it receives, is always a hot topic, as it is critical to the UK’s ability to hold its own against global competition. It is a particularly interesting time for me to take up this appointment as we move into a review of higher education funding and fees. I hope that my experience both as Vice Chancellor of an outward-facing and innovative university, and as Chair of the representative body for some of the most dynamic smaller and specialist institutions, will help me to make an important and lasting contribution to the development of higher education.” David Lammy, said: “The members bring a wide range of business and public sector experience to HEFCE. I am confident that they will be able to provide strategic advice and guidance to the Funding Council in taking forward our ambitious programme for higher education.” Alice Hynes, CEO of GuildHE, added: “We are delighted to hear of Prof Farwell’s appointment - her understanding of the breadth of HE ecology and the range of institutions which the HEFCE supports will provide an invaluable contribution to the Council’s thinking and decision-making.”


Conference Centre celebrates third Gold Award

Bucks New University’s Missenden Abbey Conference Centre has been awarded the Chiltern District Council Gold Award for its high standard of Food Safety for the third consecutive year. To gain the prestigious catering award three times is a very impressive achievement. Steve Crawford, Director of Missenden Abbey Conference Centre, said: “As we continue to raise and maintain the bar it becomes an increasing challenge, but one which we will, of course, continue to rise to. The Environmental Health Officer was particularly impressed with our training and overall management of this area, and I am very aware that it is only by consistent hard work and attention to detail that we continue to maintain this award. Thank you to all who were involved, and in particular to Ron Eaglestone, Executive Head Chef.”

Did you know? Missenden Abbey Conference Centre was originally founded as a working monastery in 1133. It now offers a unique combination of modern residential training facilities and warm hospitality, all set in a 12th century abbey. It has 20 fully-equipped conference rooms and 57 en-suite bedrooms. The Abbey can host corporate events, meetings, training and team building, presentations and conferences, as well as weddings and private functions. Website: missendenabbey.co.uk

University shortlisted for two awards Bucks New University was shortlisted for two 2009 Times Higher Education Awards. Organised by the higher education information magazine, the awards recognise outstanding achievement in 18 specific areas.

Bucks wins Student Choice Award Bucks New University was judged one of the best universities for courses and lecturers, alongside St Andrew’s, Durham and Oxford, by students using the Hotcourses website, Whatuni.com. The University won a Student Choice Award in the ‘Course & Lecturers’ category. The inaugural Whatuni.com award was based entirely on reviews posted by students and graduates. The purpose of the website and its reviews is to help future undergraduate students make informed decisions about which university to attend. To commemorate the award, Vice Chancellor, Prof Ruth Farwell, received an official award certificate signed by former education secretary, Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley, now Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland and Advisory Board Member, Hotcourses Ltd. Prof Farwell said: “Our primary aim is to put students first, and so it is fantastic for us to be recognised by our students for the quality of our courses and lecturers. We have seen the highest percentage increase in applications to our full-time undergraduate honours degree courses of any UK university, and the fact that we are ranked alongside some of the older universities in the Whatuni.com awards, indicates that ‘new generation’ universities are able to compete effectively in the areas that really matter to students.” Baroness Estelle Morris commented: “I think these awards are a highly welcome and important addition to information channels available to prospective students. They can be seen as the ‘customers’ of a university and are uniquely positioned to provide insight and make assessments across a wide spectrum of university life. It is logical that their voice should be heard and be a significant contribution to the wider perception of their institution.”

The University was shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year’ category for its innovative webTV platform, Bucks Television. Launched in July 2008, the site was the first of its kind at a UK university, and has had over 1million views to just one of its videos. The University was also shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ category, for its unique student support package, the Big D£al. Developed jointly by Bucks New University and Bucks Students’ Union, the Big D£al offers a non-means-tested bursary, access to free entertainment, events, recreational activities and sports, as well as provision of, for example, materials and trips that are directly related to courses and for which students might otherwise have to pay. This year’s Awards attracted 600 entries from 137 higher education institutions. The University of Leicester took the award for ‘Outstanding Support for Students’, and the ‘Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year’ category was won by St George’s, University of London. e

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Profile: Ruth Gunstone Experience in the newly-formed Faculty of Design, Media & Management, Julie Irwin, the Co-ordinator for Student Experience and Quality in the Faculty of Society & Health, and Student Services Manager, Bob Cozens, who is overseeing the student-facing services within the University. Top of her agenda is forming close working relationships with Bucks Students’ Union, including responding to the Students’ Union’s Education Campaign, which has set out ten key objectives for 2009-10. Ruth is also keen to make full use of the National Student Survey (NSS), a published survey of the opinions of students in their final year. Ruth said: “The creation of my role and the responsibilities it brings are a sign of the times. Institutions across the country are very concerned about the student experience and their ratings in the NSS. This year it was a hot topic at the Higher Education Academy’s annual conference, one of the biggest conferences for academics in the learning and teaching world.” In the short term, Ruth will also look after the School of Design, Craft & Visual Arts, whilst working on her student experience plan. She already has a range of ideas, including making better use of Bucks New University’s graduates who have gone on to forge successful careers.

Ruth Gunstone has taken on the role of Buckinghamshire New University’s very first Director of Student Experience – and she is relishing the challenge. Bucks New University is focusing on the student experience, and Ruth’s new role is vital to delivering an enhanced student experience for all Bucks students. Ruth now leads a new Student Experience Directorate, in which Student Recruitment, Student Services and Learning Resources are brought together for the first time. She said: “The significant thing for me is that this is a new position, so I am excited at the prospect of making it work. It is the first opportunity to bring together all the important parts of the student experience – never before has one person overseen the whole picture. “Even for me the position is something of a learning experience, but it is key to what we as a University are all about – putting our students first. I would like to think this will lead to greater transparency between the different areas of the University and give an added voice to the students.”

“The creation of my role and the responsibilities it brings are a sign of the times” Much of the success of the groundbreaking role will depend upon Ruth’s ability to influence improvements to the student experience within the faculties, as well as in the central service areas. She will be supported by Lyn Hawkins, Head of Student

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“My medium-term goal is to do some grass-roots work with students and find out what they want and need from us. I am looking forward to the challenge” Ruth said: “My medium-term goal is to do some grass-roots work with students and find out what they want and need from us. I am looking forward to the challenge of the position and meeting the increasingly-changing needs and requirements of our students head-on.” Ruth has held a variety of positions at Bucks, having joined in 1978 as a part-time lecturer in English Language and General Studies for laboratory technicians. A year later, she became a full-time lecturer, teaching A-levels until 1988. She was course leader in Access to Applied Social Science and Humanities between 1988 and 1992, moved on to become course leader for the BA Arts and Society part-time degree programme from 1990-96, and was Head of the Arts & Media Department between 1997 and 2004. Ruth became Field Chair for Drama between 2000 and 2004, Associate Dean progressing to Dean for Applied Social Science and Humanities from 2004-06, and became Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Creativity & Culture in 2006. Among her many qualifications, Ruth holds an MA with Distinction in Drama & Theatre Arts and an MA in Multicultural Urban Education. She is a member of the Wycombe Town Centre Partnership, and the Wycombe Centre for Creative Arts, and is Chair of the Progress South Central Lifelong Learning Network Creative Industries Panel.


New students arrive at flagship building The first students to reap the benefits of Buckinghamshire New University’s new flagship building, the Gateway, arrived at the end of September. The new state-of-the-art complex at the High Wycombe Campus offers a range of new facilities, including an events hall, gym, dance and drama studios, music and video production suites, a high-tech learning resources centre and meeting rooms. Vice Chancellor, Prof Ruth Farwell, said: “Enhancing the experiences of our students is one of our key objectives, and providing first-class facilities will enable us to provide a learning environment befitting a modern, forward-thinking and innovative institution. The Gateway building is a physical reminder of our development as a university over the last couple of years. It also marks our presence at the heart of the High Wycombe community, and we welcome new students and members of the public who will be able to make use of this amazing new facility.”

Did you know?

The University’s vision was to create a sustainable and contemporary building that provides facilities for the whole student body and contrasts with the existing campus architecture to establish a new and distinctive identity. The mix of facilities enables interaction between students from different disciplines, and the building’s architecture creates a memorable ‘gateway’ to the University and High Wycombe. Designed by RMJM Architects, and built by BAM Construction, the new building is part of an extensive programme of rebuilding and refurbishment, which also includes the provision of up-to-date teaching rooms and social space, a Student Centre to deal with students’ queries, and improved resources for the University’s faculties.

Student Village opens its doors The first phase of the University’s new Hughenden Park Student Village opened its doors to students at the end of September, having been handed over to the University by contractor, Galliford Try. The new student accommodation is built on the site of the former CompAir factory in Hughenden Avenue and consists of: 234 student rooms; communal kitchens/lounges; mature and disabled student units; an office; and a launderette. The original keystone of the old Broom & Wade offices on the former CompAir site still exists and is now located at the front of the Student Village. The buildings, which were developed in partnership with H2E Ltd, have a range of sustainable features including sedum roofs designed to help with sustainable drainage, provide natural soundproofing, offer a safe habitat for insects and birds and help decrease CO2 levels; solar thermal panels capable of producing 450 kWh per year to heat hot water; minimal car parking; bike storage spaces; and recycling areas. Hughenden Park Student Village was handed over to Prof Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor, and Tom Foy, President of Bucks Students’ Union, by Farid Safavi, Galliford Try Construction South Director.

With the completion of the Gateway, the majority of the University’s provision is now based in the centre of High Wycombe. The University’s Nursing programmes and applied healthcare research have moved from Chalfont St Giles to a new building in Uxbridge, which also opened its doors to new students in September. For further details see p6.

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Lord Darzi opens new nurse education facility Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE officially opened Buckinghamshire New University’s new Uxbridge Campus in December. Prof Darzi unveiled a commemorative plaque at 106 Oxford Road, Uxbridge, in a ceremony marking the move of the University’s nursing courses and applied healthcare research to West London. Professor Darzi is an internationallyrenowned surgeon and served as the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Health until July 2009. He currently heads the Division of Surgery at Imperial College, and serves as Chair of NHS Global and the Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences. Located within walking distance of the Uxbridge rail station, the new campus

offers easy access to central London and the University’s High Wycombe Campus. Following extensive refurbishment by ITC Concepts, the campus now features cutting-edge facilities, including skills laboratories, a library and cafe. Prof David Sines, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean: Society & Health at Bucks New University, said: “We were delighted to welcome Lord Darzi for this prestigious occasion to mark the opening of our new Uxbridge Campus. We provide nursing education for NHS London, and our new location enables our undergraduate students to be closer to their placement providers and our professional students to study closer to their workplaces. We hope that the new campus will become a beacon for new and innovative methods

of learning, leading, ultimately, to higher standards in health care.“ Lord Darzi said: “I am pleased to be opening Buckinghamshire New University’s new campus in Uxbridge. The University demonstrates excellence in nursing education, an achievement which has been acknowledged by NHS London.”

Did you know? Bucks New University was ranked number one for nursing out of nine universities working in partnership with NHS London, following the introduction of a new measuring system in December 2008.

RCN Student Bus visits Uxbridge The Royal College of Nursing Student Bus visited the Uxbridge Campus in December, providing nursing students with the opportunity to discover how the RCN can help them now and in their future careers. The Student Bus is a brightly coloured, fully-converted double-decker bus with seminar room, cyber cafe, seating section and publication area. It took to the road to visit universities and hospitals around the UK giving students the opportunity to attend workshops on subjects such as CV and interview techniques, accountability, dignity, infection prevention, and the transition to staff nurse. Nicola Neale, senior lecturer, School of Pre-registration Nursing at Bucks, commented: “Over 250 of our current students from first, second and third year diploma and degree courses accessed the RCN student bus visit. They found the one-to-one sessions and seminars extremely beneficial, and the workshop on CV writing and the RCN e-resources were especially well-attended and enjoyed.” James Lee, a second year student and RCN Student Information Officer, said: “I found the RCN Student Bus to be a very valuable student resource, and useful for students at all stages of their courses. I’ll be able to use the skills and techniques I learned both now and when I start to look for a job towards the end of my course.”

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Did you know? The RCN is the largest professional union for nursing in the UK, representing around 400,000 nurses, health care support workers and nursing students, both in the NHS and the private sector. For further information visit rcn.org.uk


Employees take tea with the Queen Bucks employees, Agnes Fanning and Sharon Aldridge-Bent from the School of Community Health, Education & Social Care, had the honour of being invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace to take tea with Her Majesty The Queen. Agnes and Sharon received the invitations due to their work with, and commitment to, the Association of District Nurse Educators (ADNE). The gardens of Buckingham Palace were suitably prepared for the occasion, with an enormous canopy stretching from one side of the Palace to the other. Bands, Beefeaters and red carpets added to the wonderful atmosphere. In attendance with the Queen were fellow Royals, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and HRH The Princess Royal. Agnes is Chair of the Association of District Nurse Educators and Sharon is Secretary. Agnes has also been working closely with the Director of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Rosemary Cook, over the past year, with the aim of raising the profile of the work they do. Agnes has already taken part in a 10-kilometre run to help raise funds; the organisation’s aim is to raise £15,000, with a target of £150 per runner, and so far Agnes has surpassed her target and is still receiving sponsorship.

Did you know? The ADNE is a national organisation which enables district nurse educators from all over the UK to meet twice a year to discuss issues relating to the training and education of district nurses. The Queen’s Nursing Institute is a charity dedicated to improving patient care by supporting community nurses. For further information visit adne.co.uk and qni.org.uk

Uxbridge nurses keep it in the family

New Nursing students arrive

Jackie Malpas from Uxbridge, and three of her daughters, Samantha, Carolyn and Rebecca, have all chosen to study nursing at Bucks New University. Jackie began her nursing career in 1982 and went on to graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Community Health in 2001. In 2004 she gained a BSc (Hons) Nurse Practitioner degree, as well as a qualification in Independent Prescribing. Jackie is currently working as a nurse practitioner in a busy General Practice surgery in Northwood. Three of Jackie’s daughters have followed in her footsteps and gone on to study nursing at Bucks. Daughters, Samantha and Carolyn, graduated from Bucks New University in 2008. Samantha is now employed as a staff nurse in a busy Accident and Emergency unit at West Middlesex Hospital, and Carolyn is a paediatric nurse on the

children’s ward, Peter Pan, at Hillingdon Hospital. Rebecca is in the second year of a Paediatric Nursing qualification and is due to graduate in 2012. Samantha believes that her training in various hospitals, including Hammersmith, Harefield and Hillingdon, has not only broadened her nursing knowledge but has enabled her to gain an insight into various NHS Trusts and help prepare her for her role as staff nurse. Through the University, Carolyn gained experience in the areas of accident and emergency, community nursing, neonatal, and paediatrics and having enjoyed her experience at Bucks, plans to return for postgraduate courses in the future. For more on our range of nursing and healthcare courses, call 01494 603 171, or email health@bucks.ac.uk.

Mental Health Nursing student, Elizabeth Akinyemi, and Adult Nursing student, Laltanpuii Paine, were amongst the first students 0 –1 to arrive at Bucks New University’s new Uxbridge Campus. 09 0 They were welcomed to the campus by Prof David Sines, r2 te in Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean: Society & Health. W e

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New appointments drive innovation in nursing practice Buckinghamshire New University and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are expanding their healthcare teams with a new senior appointment. Professor Christine Norton will take up the new role of Professor of Clinical Nursing Innovation, a joint appointment between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Bucks New University on 1 March 2010. Prof Norton is currently Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, King’s College, London, and Burdett Professor of Gastrointestinal Nursing, at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery. She is also a Nurse Consultant at St Mark’s Hospital where she leads a national service for functional bowel disorders. Prof Norton was one of the first nurse specialists working with incontinence in the UK and the first Secretary of the Association for Continence Advice. She was founder and Director of the UK Continence Foundation for its first five years. She lectures internationally and serves on the editorial boards of a number of publications. The new role builds upon existing links between the two sponsoring institutions, and will be focused upon initiating and supporting further research and clinical practice innovation between the Trust and the University, as well as developing teaching and research activities. The appointment was announced at the official opening of Bucks New University’s Uxbridge Campus, and followed the appointment of two new visiting professors, David Foster and Janice Sigsworth. David Foster, PhD MSc RN RM FCIPD is Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health for England, a role which encompasses responsibility for a broad portfolio including: the workforce, education, leadership, research, international and black and minority ethnic issues. He is also the lead for substantial, national programmes

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of work, including Modernising Nursing Careers, and Midwifery 2020, a review of midwifery services and careers. He has previously been Programme Director for Midwifery Strategy, Department of Health for England, Director of Non-medical Postgraduate Development, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Director of Nursing, Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust. Foster was a nurse member of the Department of Health workforce planning group, the NHS Next Stage Review, and Chairman of the Association of UK University Hospitals Directors of Nursing Group. He is a peer reviewer for two management journals and has previously taught research methods as a part-time visiting lecturer at Bucks New University. Janice Sigsworth RGN DipN BSc MSc is Director of Nursing, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and a former Deputy Chief Nurse (England). She has also served as Executive Director of Nursing and Workforce for North Central London Strategic Health Authority and Executive Director of Commissioning, North Central London Workforce Development Confederation. Her career has included stints for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, the Royal Free Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital Trust, and Charing Cross and University College Hospitals. Janice has been a prolific author for journals such as Professional Nurse and Nursing Management, as well as a range of Department of Health publications. Her professional contributions include serving as Chair of the NHS London Workforce Advisory Forum and Commissioner for the Prime Minister’s Commission into Nursing and Midwifery. Prof David Sines, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean: Society & Health, said: “The appointees have a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise in nursing practice, leadership and management. We look forward to learning from them as they bring their

senior level expertise to the University to the benefit of our students and employees, and all those who benefit from our constant drive to further improve health care provision in London and the South Central region.” Prof Sines has been appointed as an honorary associate director of nursing at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, alongside Susan Aitkenhead, who has taken the role of associate director of nursing for care and innovations. The appointments are designed to strengthen the bridge between nursing practice, education and research, and both roles will focus primarily on encouraging nurses to think innovatively about their practice, to pursue education, take on research projects and keep up-to-date on emerging best practice. Prof Sines will be working alongside the Trust to design and deliver a range of educational programmes to assist the Trust’s workforce in providing excellence in patient care. Specific projects will include the development of the education and research component of the Trust’s new nursing and midwifery strategy. For example, a new maternity support worker role is in development, underpinned by a foundation degree at Bucks New University. Participants will attend university one day a week and receive local supervision from qualified trainers. They will gain the skills and knowledge needed to support experienced midwives, allowing the midwives to spend more time with mothers and babies.

Did you know? Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has a long-standing relationship with Bucks New University, which provides most of its nursing training at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals.


New course to help bereaved children Bucks New University has joined forces with the Child Bereavement Charity to launch a new educational programme, Working with Bereaved Children and Young People. This comprehensive course, which began in December, enables trainees to develop a range of techniques to work effectively with bereaved children and young people. Crystal Oldman, Dean of Enterprise & Business Management at Bucks, commented: “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work in partnership with Ann Chalmers, chief executive, and Julia Lawrance, head of training, at the Child Bereavement Charity, to develop this excellent programme. The charity has a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise upon which this unique course is founded, and is a national leader in this field of practice. “The University is fortunate to have developed a longstanding relationship with the Child Bereavement Charity and its founder, Jenni Thomas, who is also an honorary doctor of the University. Over the last 15 years, the charity has contributed to a variety of professional programmes at Bucks, enhancing the student experience and providing students with an insight into a very sensitive area of practice.” Julia Lawrance added: “We are delighted that our partnership with Buckinghamshire New University continues to go from strength to strength. The University’s accreditation of the Working with Bereaved Children and Young People course will ensure that the high standards of our training are maintained. The course will benefit a range of practitioners, giving them the confidence and skills to help ensure that bereaved children and young people receive appropriate, relevant and sensitive support at a time when they need it most.” For further information call the Child Bereavement Charity Training Department on 01494 479 750, or email training@childbereavement.org.uk

Bucks students join professional association A special lunch was held at the University to welcome 53 Bucks BSc (Hons) Social Work students into membership of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the leading professional association for social workers and social work students in England. Bucks is the only University in the country to support social work students in this way. Bridget Robb, a ministerial appointment to the Social Work Task Force, welcomed the students and praised the unique initiative, which is funded by Bucks’s student support package, the Big D£al. Bridget is a BASW professional officer and a respected figure in the social work profession, with particular responsibility for the Yorkshire and the Humber, South East, and South West regions, the England Committee, the Learning and Development sub-committee and the UK Standards and Ethics Board. She represents BASW and the other professional associations on the boards of the Children’s Workforce Development Council, and Skills for Care. Crystal Oldman, Dean of Enterprise & Business Management, said: “The University was thrilled to have Bridget Robb present to welcome our first year students into this professional association. We started this supported membership last year and now have over 100 Bucks social work students who are members of BASW.” For further information on the BASW, visit basw.co.uk

Celebrating service user and carer involvement A special conference was held to celebrate the first year of the partnership between the Faculty of Society & Health and People’s Voices, a charity providing independent support services to people in the Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe districts. Over 100 people attended the event which took place at Adams Park, including social work students, faculty employees, service users and carers. A number of voluntary sector organisations were also represented, including Carers Bucks, Mothers 4 Mothers, Reading Resource, and Talkback. The keynote speech was given by Peter Beresford, professor of Social Policy at Brunel University and chair of Shaping Our Lives National User Network, and a prominent figure nationally in service user involvement in social work education. A lively programme included laughter therapy workshops and a session with deaf comedian, Steve Day. Workshops included: ‘The career pathway from service user to consultant’, with Brian O’Shea, principal trainer from Equatability Ltd, Steve Shiner, consultant service user, and Julia Wassell, senior lecturer in Social Work at Bucks; ‘Involving service users and carers in nursing education’, with Sheila Rippon, senior lecturer in Mental Health Nursing; and ‘Why involve service users and carers?’ with Brett Wright, management consultant with Skills for Care. Crystal Oldman, Dean of Enterprise & Business Management, commented: “This innovative conference was a real success, with the full involvement of service users and carers. I am very grateful to Julia Wassell and Barbara Poole, director of People’s Voices, for ensuring that service users and carers were supported throughout to deliver such a successful event.”

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David Sines, Peter Beresford, Brian O’Shea and Ruth Farwell

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Student takes top design prize MA Furniture Design student, Sivan Metzer, took the top prize in a design competition organised jointly by High Wycombe companies, John Lewis Partnership, and plastic stockholder, Abbey Distribution Ltd. Sivan won first prize for her design of an acrylic magazine table. She received £500 in addition to the privilege of having her product presented to John Lewis Furniture Buyer, Vanessa Bowerman. Sivan’s table was also displayed on the shop floor of the High Wycombe John Lewis store, alongside the work of the two runners-up. Sivan’s magazine table was designed to meet the requirements of John Lewis customers. Sivan said: “I looked at the John Lewis customer profile and at how people use their living spaces. The shape and colour of the table mean that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of space and light. Big, solid pieces block out light and take up a large amount of space; my table is substantial, but it isn’t visually heavy. I was also interested in using the void in objects, in this case using the space in the table for the magazines.” Runners up prizes of £300 and £200 were awarded to Joe Bray for his small occasional table with six fins each working to support a circular top, and to Nessa Doran O’Reilly for her fluorescent coat stand with coffee table. The judges of the competition were: Vanessa Bowerman, Furniture Buyer, John Lewis; David Myers, MD of Abbey Distribution, and instigator of the competition; David Quinton, Marketing & Events Manager of John Lewis High Wycombe; and Bill Schaaf from Bucks New University.

Bucks hosts African Forum Arts Extravaganza The Red Shed at Bucks New University’s High Wycombe Campus was turned into an exhibition space, when it became host to the African Forum Arts Extravaganza. The event was a platform for artists of African origin, or with an affiliation to Africa, to showcase and sell their paintings, photography or textiles. textiles The exhibition was organised by community based-charity, African Forum, in collaboration with the University. Exhibitors included Bucks students and alumni, as well as independent artists. Renowned Nigerian artist and Bucks alumnus, Babatunde Oguneku, displayed his colourful, abstract and extraordinary representations of the casual things of life. Babatunde studied furniture production and management at Bucks from 1978-81 and from 1985-87, before his personal interest in fine art led him to the work he produces today. BA (Hons) Fine Art student, Raquel Maria Gonsalves, exhibited a video installation at the Arts Extravaganza depicting African Dance and entitled Black or White. White She said: “I created this based on the fact that it does not matter who or what you are; we are all born under one God and we are all beautiful.”

Did you know? African Forum was launched in November 2007, and aims to celebrate African culture and arts. For further information on African Forum visit africanforum.co.uk

Graduate exhibits at FringeMK Festival Fine Art graduate, Joan Skelton Smith, presented two sculptural installations exploring man’s relationship with the natural environment in the foyer of the Milton Keynes Theatre, as part of the FringeMK 2009 International Arts Festival. Based on childhood experiences in the woods of East Texas, Joan’s piece, The Bough, combined sculpture and video to place the viewer in the midst of woodland that was both mesmerizing and threatening. In her second installation, Ne Prilazite, Joan created a memorial to a devastated woodland. Initially inspired by her photographs of Croatian landmine areas, the installation referred more broadly to the impact of man’s actions on the natural environment. Joan said: “I hope to inspire others to see differently, to recognise that we are an integral part of the natural world.” Joan recently joined Remarkable and Curious Conversations, a network of interactions between artists curated by another Bucks graduate, Cally Trench. For further information visit joanskeltonsmith.co.uk or remarkablecurious.co.uk

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Students are inspired by Aladdin Creative students at Bucks New University invited people to take a trip into the land of make-believe last Christmas by visiting their display of work inspired by the pantomime, Aladdin. The work by 35 students studying towards a BA (Hons) degree in Spatial Design was being displayed at the Wycombe Swan Theatre at the same time as the pantomime. The work included paintings, 3D creations, textile designs, and an eye-catching stage set inside a make-believe palace. Student, Alastair Flemming, showed a 3D-effect hexagon-shaped foam board piece he had made, complete with a devilish-looking genie inside. He said: “I enjoyed this project and was keen to make as much effort as possible, knowing that families would be looking at it over Christmas.” Saskia Muench created a multi-coloured fabric made to look like a flying carpet. She said: “This is my interpretation of a flying carpet and I’ve deliberately used colours which are warm and enchanting. The intention is to capture the spirit of Aladdin and it’s great to think so many visitors will see my work over the festive period.”

Alastair Flemming

Radoslaw Olezarczyk made an imaginative wire creation with a ring trapped inside. Radoslaw said: “This has been an excellent project to be involved in because of the range of options we have had for our work. I wanted to expand on the idea of enclosure and Aladdin being trapped in a cave and so his plight at that particular point of the story is illustrated by the ring trapped inside my piece.” Theatre Director, Giles Balliset, and Theatre Manager, Ali Camier, visited the University to select pieces for the exhibition. The display is now an annual event for the Spatial Design course and previous years’ work has included Cinderella and Snow White. David Barras, course leader in Spatial Design, said: “It was a very high standard of work and a bit edgier and more sophisticated than exhibitions of previous years. The display evoked feelings of wishes and wish-fulfilment, as well as enchantment, magic and dreams. “The course offers students the opportunity to specialise in interior design, landscape design, exhibition design and design for TV, and many of the aspects of their study are apparent in this wonderful exhibition.”

Amy Davison-Snowden

Employee retires after 40 years’ service When technician, Dave Collins, retired after 40 years of dedicated service, he was presented with a cheque for £500 by Vice Chancellor, Prof Ruth Farwell, and a garden bench carved by his colleagues. Initially an apprentice student at the institution, then known as Wycombe College of Technology & Art, Dave qualified as a wood machinist and joined as a technician in the Department of Design & Furniture on 4 August 1969. On the evening of 9 May 1974, Dave lost four fingers on his left hand following an accident with a circular saw. Despite the experience, he returned to work and moved to a new role in the machine shop, making components and assisting students with their woodwork requirements. In September 1989, Dave was promoted to senior technician in the Faculty of Design, Informatics & Technology, and remained a senior technician until his retirement. He was widely respected by Bucks students and colleagues. Dave said: “I’ve enjoyed my time here and would do it all again if I had to. In my retirement I’m looking forward to getting my stamp collection sorted, and I hope to travel, perhaps to the Far East or New Zealand.” Prof Farwell said: “Dave was the longest-serving employee at Bucks. It is not every day that you get to say goodbye to someone who has been with the University for 40 years and so it was a very special occasion. Dave’s role evolved considerably during his time here, and it is a credit to him that he was so flexible and adaptable over the years. We are very grateful to Dave for his long years of dedicated service.”

Saskia Muench

New film addresses discrimination Bucks New University Video Production graduates, Mark Allard and Jack Valente, have produced a documentary entitled Mental Health in the Community. Mark and Jack, both from Haverhill in Suffolk, produced the film with the help of mental health charity, Rethink, who helped find participants, and the support of the ‘Time to Change’ campaign, which aims to end discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems. Mark said: “I have a type of bipolar disorder, and I felt I had to prove to the world that people with mental illnesses are exactly the same as ‘normal’ society. Although England is apparently light-years ahead of other countries in terms of breaking down mental health discrimination, there is still a lot of unnecessary and uneducated aggression towards people with mental health issues. This is one of the many things that Mental Health in the Community stands to challenge with its form and content, as well as covering issues such as employment discrimination and the seemingly unexplainable link between mental illness and creativity in the arts.” The team embarked on over 1,500 miles of travelling in the month of shooting, and the project was financed through Mark’s work as a projectionist. The documentary was launched on the Haverhill community website My Haverhill, which is owned and operated by Mark’s friend, Dave Johnson, and received coverage on BBC Look East, in the Haverhill Echo and Haverhill Weekly News. To watch the video visit myhaverhill.co.uk or bucks.tv e

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Top honour for law graduate Bucks graduate, Sobia Nawaz, took a big step forward towards her fledgling legal career when she was awarded the B P Collins prize for top student on her law course. To mark the occasion, Sobia, together with Dr John White, head of the University’s School of Human Sciences & Law, was invited to the firm’s offices in Gerrards Cross, where she was presented with her award, followed by a celebratory lunch. Senior partner, David Stanning, said: “It was a pleasure to share in Sobia’s enthusiasm for the law and we’re delighted to be able to reward her for the hard work and dedication that led to her success. It’s really good to know that we have on our doorstep a University with a growing Law Department that is clearly achieving high standards with its students.” B P Collins is a strong supporter of the University and this is the third year in a row that it has made the award, which it sees as part of its commitment to helping build close links between the University and the local business community. Also present from B P Collins were partner, David Pritchard, who is a member of the University’s Business Advisory Group, Jacqui Symons, human resources manager, current trainee, Usman Khan, and marketing executive, Steve Perry. Thanking B P Collins for its championing of the law course, Dr White said the relationship between the two organisations was extremely valuable and helped underline the importance of the private and public sector working together. A delighted Sobia now intends to use her cash prize to help fund her studies for a Legal Practice Course and hopes to be able to put her hard work to good effect by working for a local law firm.

Bucks hosts first ever Security Week A brand new series of security-related conferences known as Security Week was organised by the University in September, and took place at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre. The first event of its kind, Security Week was supported by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and Skills for Security. It featured a host of renowned industry speakers and the themes of the conferences were safety, sustainability and crowd management. Professor Chris Kemp, Pro Vice Chancellor at Bucks and the inspiration behind the event, said: “The nation’s awareness of security issues and need for crowd safety has grown extensively in recent times and there is an increasing requirement for events such as Security Week. People involved in security, and those from organisations and venues which hold large numbers of people, came to hear about the latest techniques and how they can make their environments safer places to be, which is essential advice in today’s world. “As one of the country’s leading providers of security, crowd management, police and criminology training, the University was ideally placed to deliver this series of events, and I would like to thank all of our partners, both industry bodies and companies, for their support in the development of the programme.” The first conference was suited to anyone involved in education security. Planning for an armed intruder in an educational setting focused on the growing threat to schools, colleges and universities of an armed intruder entering educational premises. The conference featured practical workshops and presentations from senior figures with first-hand experience of tragedies such as Dunblane and Hungerford. There was also a green theme with the Sustainable event management conference. The increasing focus on environmental and green issues was discussed by a range of industry figures, with key topics including emissions from event-related travelling, planning sustainable events, and maintaining and developing sustainable initiatives during an economic downturn. The 8th European Health and Safety Conference was held on the final two days of the conference and comprised two days of presentations, workshops and exercises focused on counter-terrorism, crowd-modelling, simulations and emergency planning. Sponsored by G4S, this conference was key for venue managers, local authority personnel, and event and festival organisers. Security Week was supported by the BSIA and Skills for Security. Bucks New University also worked in conjunction with Yourope, the European Festival Association, who generously supported the Sustainable event management conference and 8th European Health and Safety Conference, and offered Yourope members a discounted rate.

New educational programme launched Bucks New University has joined forces with The Business School, University of Worcester, to launch a new educational programme, Securing the Future.

Sobia Nawaz with Jacqui Symons, Usman Khan, and David Stanning from B P Collins, and Dr John White.

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Securing the Future is a framework of continuous professional development qualifications for the security sector. It links a foundation degree in Business Management for the Security Industries to a third year top-up degree and the Leading to Excellence programme. The launch of this new qualification took place during Security Week. To find out more, visit crowdsafetymanagement.co.uk or contact Phil Wood, principal lecturer, Security on phillip.wood@bucks.ac.uk


Graduate views Graduate wins football award Graduate, Andy Gardner, has played a key role in winning a Football League Award with Milton Keynes Dons FC for an online chat show developed by the Club. The Dons Show, which is presented by Andy, is broadcast midweek through the MK Dons website, mkdons.com and provides the Club’s fans with a unique insight into the team’s action. Andy graduated in 2003 with a Sports Industry Management & Football Studies degree. In his final year, he became the University’s first ever graduate apprentice in Sports Industry Studies, and managed to complete the two-year programme in just 12 months, in addition to combining part-time employment with final year studies. His achievement was recognised at a special presentation organised by SkillsActive at the House of Lords, where he received a certificate from former Olympic champion, Sally Gunnell OBE. Principal lecturer, Francisco Baeza, said: “The graduate apprentice programme was an excellent scheme for sport and football students such as Andrew to gain and develop credible employability skills for a successful career in the football industry.” Andy started work for MK Dons in 2005 as Assistant Club Secretary. After a spell in the media department, he was promoted to his current role, as CRM & Database Marketing Manager, in 2008. The Dons Show was awarded first prize in the Best Digital Communication category of the Football League Awards for 2009. The awards were broadcast on Sky Sports and announced at a gala dinner. Andy commented: “Collecting the award on behalf of the Club was an unforgettable experience and the crowning glory in an amazing few years since my graduation. The award itself was a massive mark of recognition, both for myself and for the Club, but also for the educational background that has taken me to where I am. “I completed my studies at Bucks with a wide range of skills at my disposal, and the variety of tasks and challenges I have already tackled in my short career prove that schemes such as the graduate apprenticeship are invaluable to modern graduates. It is often difficult for students to achieve in the modern employment market with undergraduate degrees alone; it is increasingly crucial to collect other skills and qualifications on the way to stand out from the crowd.”

Sports graduate shares career success James Skitt graduated in 2005 with a BA (Hons) in Sports Coaching Management and has gone on to a very successful career in the sports industry. His favourite aspects of the course were learning about sports management and development, and areas such as sports law. During his course James undertook a placement in the media department of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club, where he worked two days a week. The placement provided material for his final year dissertation in which he studied the success of the club in bringing youth players through to play in the first team. James commented: “This was a fantastic experience and very hands-on. I learnt a lot about the media and press operations as well as writing for the club’s official website and match day programme.” He was offered a full-time job after graduating and stayed at the club for two years before joining the English Institute of Sport (EIS) as web editor in 2007. James said: “I am really looking forward to the next Olympics coming to London and am sure it will be a really special event to witness and experience. The EIS works with a large number of Olympic sports and will continue to do so in the build up to and during 2012, so I’m looking forward to promoting the work our practitioners are doing in supporting the British athletes. I think the sports industry is an exciting place to be at the moment, particularly with London 2012 coming up, and I think the course I did certainly gives students a good platform from which to progress.” Visit the English Institute of Sport’s website at eis2win.co.uk

Graduate is finalist for PR award A Bucks New University graduate had her hard work rewarded after being selected as a finalist for a prestigious PR industry award. Siobhan Sleet graduated with a degree in Public Relations Management in 2008. She now works as a senior account executive at Primal PR in Maidenhead, and was a finalist in the Outstanding Young Communicator category for the Thames & Chiltern region in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ Pride Awards 2009. Siobhan was nominated for her work including generating publicity surrounding the launch of an IKEA store in Southampton and working with client Jackson Square Shopping Centre to manage its Health and Wellbeing Week. Siobhan said: “The category is open to anyone aged 29 or under, so I am still very young and feel extremely proud to have been shortlisted. Primal PR entered me for the award as they were extremely pleased with the work I have done with them during my 18 months with the company. It was a real honour to be put forward. I carried out work experience at Primal PR and that time, combined with the excellent tutoring throughout my degree course, set me in good stead for my career.”

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Sports news Bucks becomes Wanderers’ main club partner

University marks

countdown to 2012 Gamess Saturday 31 October signified the 1,000 day countdown to the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To help mark the occasion, Bucks students took part in a special ‘Reactivate Bucks Community Challenge’. The University organised a multi-sports event during which the Bucks sports teams competed against each other across a variety of sports. The total points scored during the games (badminton, basketball, dodgeball and volleyball) all contributed towards a tally of points with the target of 1,000, and there was also an indoor mini-triathlon with competitors rowing 1,000m, cycling 1,000m and running 1,000m. Ian Barham, the Buckinghamshire Manager for the 2012 Games, said: “It’s great that Bucks New University was able to organise this multi-sports challenge in their new Gateway building to help support our initiative, and even better that so many students got involved and took up the Bucks 2012 Challenge. “The University’s event was covered in the local press and on regional television, and I hope served to inspire many more people across Buckinghamshire to take part and mark this special milestone as we get closer to the London 2012 Olympic Games.” The aim of organisers, the Buckinghamshire 2012 Partnership, was to encourage 1,000 people who live or work in the county to get involved in the Challenge. Whether they ran, walked, cycled, rowed or swum, there was no limit to how people could take part. People could also set a physical challenge for themselves based around the number 1,000, for example climbing 1,000 steps rather than taking the lift, pulling out 1,000 weeds, or completing 1,000 seconds of vigorous vacuuming or polishing. For more on Bucks 2012, visit buckssport.org/2012

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Bucks New University and Wycombe Wanderers FC announced a special partnership which sees sport and education coming together for the benefit of the local community. Bucks has become Wycombe Wanderers’ main club partner, making it the only university in the country to appear on the front of the first team match shirts of a major Football League team. Following the Club’s promotion this season, the University now enjoys even greater visibility at leading football clubs throughout the country. The new partnership also involves: • educational opportunities for Bucks students, including coaching by Wycombe Wanderers coaches for the University’s football students and football teams; • a presence for the University within the home ground stadium and on promotional materials; • access to higher education for Wycombe Wanderers players, enabling them to further their education at the University and prepare for life after their playing careers. Vice Chancellor, Prof Ruth Farwell, said: “We are delighted to embark upon this extended partnership with our local team, Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. This association reinforces Bucks

New University’s ambition to be a University renowned within the region for our support of sport - not only through academic studies, individual participation and achievement, but also through engagement with our community and our partners. “Wycombe Wanderers has gained promotion, and Bucks has also achieved a number of accolades, including recording the highest percentage increase in applications at a UK university for its full-time undergraduate honours degree courses. We are united in our success and we are both very much on the way up! We hope that our partnership will encourage more people to become involved in football locally, and that it will help to generate a sense of pride in High Wycombe, which is now both a university town, and the home of a successful football club.” Wanderers’ Managing Director, Steve Hayes, said: “It’s fantastic news that another local organisation of the calibre of Bucks New University has come on board. We know each other very well and both parties are moving in the right direction. The aim is to grow together and in all our partnerships it’s a case of dual benefit and how each can assist in the other’s development.” For further information on the Club, visit wycombewanderers.co.uk


Motorsport students gain race driving qualification Four Bucks motorsport students have passed the Association of Racing Drivers’ Schools novice race driving qualification which is recognised by the Motorsports Association. The students went to Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire and were required to take a theory test as well as receive in-depth tuition about race driving techniques. The students then completed a driving test around the racing circuit accompanied by a qualified race driving instructor. The experience was part of an industry-focused module in which the students studied how the motorsport industry is governed and areas such as timekeeping and marshalling at events. The students took their driving test in Porsche Cayman cars and reached speeds of up to 120mph around the circuit. Instructors gave the students very positive feedback about their knowledge, practical skills and awareness about safety. The experience added value to the students’ academic course content and gave them an opportunity to gain some hands-on experience in the industry.

Paul Morgan, portfolio leader for Sport & Leisure, said: “The students were very professional and demonstrated some excellent industry knowledge and skills. They are very excited about the prospect of pursuing further driving experiences and developing other business relationships in the industry.” Student, Matt Dawkins, said: “It was more than just a track day experience; it was tuition on racing and the first step on the ladder if we are to go racing ourselves in the future.” Fellow student, Connagh Flynn, added: “The experience was very different and exciting as it carried with it a great thrill factor, but it was also important to me personally to obtain a racing licence. The course was better than many track days as we were encouraged to go very fast but also gain the added benefit of a fundamental insight into the theory aspect of the sport with a professional lecturer teaching the key points.”

Motorsport students: Matt Dawkins, Sam Bloxham, Olivia Wren-Hilton and Connagh Flynn

University launches partnership with US soccer club Bucks has teamed up with the Ocean City Barons, a Player Development League (PDL) football club based in Ocean City, New Jersey, to provide higher educational support for its players, and a unique insight into soccer in the United States for Bucks students. The Ocean City Barons play in the top tier of amateur soccer in America and were named the PDL club of the year in 2008. The new partnership has been developed by Freya Coombe, senior lecturer in Sports Science, and Neil Holloway, general manager of Barons, and it will create a variety of educational opportunities using the expertise of both organisations. The Barons bring a team to England each year and it is anticipated that the club will visit the University to use the excellent sports facilities available, such as the BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) accredited performance

laboratory. The partnership is benefitting Bucks students by providing opportunities for them to talk exclusively with the Barons staff and have behind the scenes access to the operations of the sports franchise. The Barons are also hoping to recruit appropriately qualified football coaches from the University to assist in the delivery of their soccer programmes throughout the South Jersey area. Neil Holloway commented: “Unlike most English football clubs where the aim is to foster professional players, the main focus for our club and most clubs in the United States is for all of our youth players to go on to university. We are excited about the wide range of opportunities for players, students, coaches and lecturers that this partnership with Bucks New University will create. In addition, this partnership demonstrates our club’s interest and desire to expand upon our existing international relationships with

Reading FC and Inter Milan FC.” Freya Coombe said: “I am very excited to team up with such a professional club as the Ocean City Barons in this unique partnership. Developing an association with the club will complement the delivery of our sports courses and provide a number of opportunities for the future. This initiative also furthers our links to the East coast of America, as we continue our relationship with another university, Penn State, which Bucks students from a variety of sport and criminology courses will be visiting in March 2010 as part of a joint school venture.” For more on Ocean City Barons, visit ocbarons.com

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University supports Crimestoppers campaign Bucks New University is supporting a new partnership between Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and the independent charity, Crimestoppers. Using promotional opportunities at the Club, the Crimestoppers message is being publicised to spectators, players and the local community. The purpose of the partnership is to demonstrate the Club’s commitment to helping reduce crime in High Wycombe, so making the town safer for supporters and their families. Thames Valley Crimestoppers chairman, John Gamon, said: “Crimestoppers is a simple and easy facility that enables anyone with information about crime to pass on what they know anonymously and without fear of reprisal. It is a very successful scheme with an average of 350 people phoning the national call centre each day. This leads to the arrest and charge of around 20 people daily across the UK. “To get the message across that Crimestoppers is available to everyone is a huge task and only possible with the support of the media, businesses and organisations such as Wycombe Wanderers. As a charity we have to raise all the money needed to make the scheme work, so this partnership is a very significant development for us and we are grateful to the Club for its generosity.” The first event of the partnership was on 5 December and coincided with the Stockport United fixture. The emphasis was on tackling knife crime and publicity material was handed out to all spectators backed up with on-pitch pre-match activities. The principal aim was to promote the Crimestoppers text messaging facility, which can be used to pass on information about anyone known to carry a knife. Bucks New University is promoting the campaign via the University website and Bucks Students’ Union.

Did you know? Anyone who knows someone carrying a knife, can just text 88551, giving the offender’s name or nickname, the school, the year and their area or postcode. The text messages are routed through special software to ensure they remain anonymous when passed on to the police; Crimestoppers cannot trace the mobile number or any other details about the text message sender. Information about other crimes can also be passed on anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or through the website, crimestoppers-uk.org.

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National Soccer Summer School thrives This year Bucks hosted its sixth National Soccer Summer School for Year 11 students from across the country. The residential football management Summer School is the only one of its kind in the country, and is designed to encourage students from non-traditional backgrounds to consider going to university. The 39 students who attended the Summer School came from all over the UK. Highlights of the week were: an introduction to sport science testing; a visit to Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club; and a taste of Futsal, a variant of football played indoors. There was also a visit to Reading Football Club’s Madejski Stadium, where the students were given a stadium tour and coaching session by Reading FC coaches. Each evening the students took part in a variety of activities including quasar, raft

building, swimming and bowling. On the final evening they attended a celebration dinner at Watford Football Club where they received certificates and prizes in recognition of their achievements. Senior lecturer, Freya Coombe, said: “It is fantastic to be able to provide students with an insight into studying in higher education. We hope that many students may now consider university to be a viable option for their future.” Lee Herron, Community Trust Manager and Academy Coach at Reading FC, added: “It’s really good to see football being used as a means to engage youngsters with university and higher education. Reading FC has a good relationship with Bucks New University as we both value education for young people.”

Triathlon triumphs for trio Duty manager, Nick Barber, faculty marketing manager, Nadine Bar, and international marketing manager, Nicola Bate, competed in a series of triathlons held across the region.

Nick entered the sprint distance at the Mazda Blenheim Triathlon at Blenheim Palace, Oxford, and Nadine and Nicola took part in the Timex Women Only Triathlon at Dorney Lake, Eton. Nick’s event comprised a 750m open swim, followed by 20km bike ride and finished with a 5km run, which he completed in front of family and friends. He said: “I was totally exhausted but at the same time invigorated and ready to do it again!” The event was Nick’s second triathlon, after he entered one with friends last year and helped to raise £2,000 for Cancer Research. His aim is to complete the Olympic distance at either the Windsor or London Docklands triathlons, which, with a 1.5km open water swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run, are not for the feint-hearted! Nick stuck to a strict training regime over the six months leading up to the event, and in the last three months increased his training to five sessions a week. He said: “The hardest

session I did was to run to work, swim at lunch, and then cycle home at the end of the day - and it takes a lot of planning to get ironed shirts to work!” Nicola and Nadine’s triathlon at Dorney Lake was their first and they took part in the novice category which comprised a 200m open water swim, 5km bike ride and 2.5km run. Their pre-event training involved runs, bike sessions and strength training each week, Nicola came first in the 30-34 age category, and overall she finished an impressive third out of a total of 240 participants, also setting a record for the swimming element of the challenge. Nicola said: “This was my first ever triathlon but now I think I’m hooked! I’ve never been a fan of running on its own, because I get bored easily, so triathlon is perfect for me as the training is so varied and if you’re not a great runner, you can make up good time in the other disciplines.” Nicola went on to take part in the Orca Classic Sprint at Dorney Lake, Eton. This triathlon was over a longer distance, 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. She completed it in 1 hour 21 minutes and 59 seconds, and finished second in her age group. She said: “This triathlon was more serious than my first one so I was pretty nervous, but after the swim I settled in to the bike ride and focused on peddling steadily, and conserving some energy for the run, which I was dreading. I’m definitely going to invest in a proper road bike and plan to enter the prestigious Windsor Nokia triathlon.”


Wycombe on ice Bucks New University was turned into a winter wonderland in the run-up to Christmas with the opening of an ice rink outside the newly-opened Gateway building. Bucks Students’ Union stepped in after a planned ice park at Magnolia Park Sports and Social Club in Hughenden Park, High Wycombe had to be cancelled because of adverse weather conditions. The rink was open to students, employees and visitors. Sponsorship was received from businesses in the town, and the University, and the money raised will be donated to the Students’ Union’s RAG charities.

IT team raise £2,500 for charity Employees from the IT department raised £2,500 for Action Medical Research after completing the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge. The challenge involved climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, all within 24 hours, including the time it takes to travel to each of the three mountains. The challenge began with Scotland’s Ben Nevis, a staggering 4,409ft (1,344m), followed by England’s Scafell Pike measuring 3,206ft (978m), and finished with Snowdon in Wales at a height of 3,560ft (1,085m). The climbing team comprised IT department members: Jamie Bateman, Robert Bleasdale, Steve Hoole and Paul Kilgallon, and Nathan Trim, a doctor from Southampton. Dave Bull and Ferrah Orosco drove the team to each mountain destination in a Bucks minibus, provided food and ensured that the team met its schedule. Jamie Bateman commented: “Whilst the physical challenge is not to be underestimated, the mental battle to keep pushing yourself is a significant factor - having a good team of people around you really counts. Often unsung heroes, our drivers also did a great job of getting us ferried between mountains, getting food ready and generally looking after everyone.” The Bucks team also won the ‘Greatest Team Spirit’ award, for their camaraderie and support for each other and for a climber from another team who became ill whilst on Sca Fell. The entire Bucks team remained with the climber until medical assistance arrived for an airlift

from the mountain, despite this causing a delay to their own ascent. Simon Lowe, managing director of Jagged Globe, who organised the mountain marshalling for the event commented: “I was very pleased that the Bucks team was able to complete the Challenge, having made that objective entirely secondary to the wellbeing of a stranger. That is the reason they were awarded the team spirit prize, and it is thoroughly deserved. Well done to you all.” The team raised £2,500 for Action Medical Research, which funds investigations into the prevention and treatment of conditions affecting children and babies across the UK. They received a contribution towards the costs of accommodation and fuel from the University’s Staff Association. Read more about Action Medical Research at action.org.uk

Students present funds to charities Bucks New University’s Students’ Union presented a total of £4,300 to local, national and international charities. The money was raised through a variety of activities undertaken by students through the Students’ Union’s Raise and Give (RAG) programme. Events included a fair at the Brook Street halls of residence, comprising games, inflatables, music and barbeques, and a jailbreak event, as well as numerous collections and raffles around the University’s campuses. Cheques were presented to representatives of the chosen charities by Vice Chancellor, Prof Ruth Farwell, and Chris Miller, Vice President Student Involvement, Bucks Students’ Union, at a reception held at the High Wycombe Campus. The charity representatives were joined by members of the University’s governing body and Wycombe District Council. Prof Farwell said: “I am very proud of all the students that took part in the Raise and Give activities. It is a great way for the University to support charities and for the students to learn more about the work of the organisations for whom they are fundraising.” Chris Miller added: “Fundraising can be great fun, and we were thrilled that so many student volunteers were motivated to undertake RAG activities. I would like to thank all of the students who took part, and our Volunteering Coordinator, Michael Paxman. Raising such a large amount in the first year of regular fundraising activities is a fantastic achievement.” Cheques were presented to: Steve Heyes, LearnAsOne; Jo Kennedy, Meningitis Trust; Ruth Pettit, South Bucks Hospice; Mary Craig, National Centre for Epilepsy; and Janet Hill on behalf of Marjorie Nash Cat Rescue. An additional £400 had already been donated to cancer charities, following fundraising undertaken around awareness weeks. For information on volunteering activities undertaken by Bucks students, call 01494 605 100, email volunteering@bucks.ac.uk, or visit bucksstudent.com.

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University develops training programme for Gypsies and Travellers project Bucks New University is developing the training element of a healthy living and emotional wellbeing project for Gypsies and Travellers living in South Buckinghamshire, which received a Slough Social Fund grant of £10,000 from the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation. The project is a partnership between between One Voice 4 Travellers Ltd, Bucks New University, NHS Buckinghamshire and Uni (South-East BME) Network. The funding is for the pilot stage of a multi-level project which consists of outreach, healthy living advice and support for Gypsies and Travellers across South Buckinghamshire. It will have the potential to be transferred to, and replicated in, other areas of the UK as a ground-breaking good practice model. One Voice 4 Travellers Ltd, the lead partner in the project, already works with Gypsies and Travellers in South Buckinghamshire, East Anglia and Bedfordshire, and its aim is to support, inform, represent and develop the wellbeing of women, children and young people from the Gypsy and Traveller communities who are suffering from, or are in some way affected by, social exclusion, isolation, conflict or violence. Bucks New University and NHS Buckinghamshire are developing the training for health advocates at each of the Traveller sites involved in the pilot. Dr Margaret Greenfields, senior lecturer in Social Policy at Bucks, is leading on this aspect of the project. Dr Greenfields said: “The NHS Primary Care Services Framework recognised the need to ‘fast-track’ Gypsies and Travellers to primary care services in the light of the extraordinary health inequalities experienced by members of these communities. The timing of this ground-breaking project is therefore particularly appropriate”. For further information on One Voice 4 Travellers Ltd, visit gypsy-traveller.org/onevoice4travellers

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University hosts seminar on community cohesion Paul Goodman MP, Conservative MP for Wycombe and Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, attended a seminar organised by the Council for Christian & Muslim Relations for High Wycombe (CCMR) and hosted by the University. He provided his perspective on promoting community cohesion in the current climate, post 9/11 and 7/7. Paul Goodman commented: “Religious extremism is an undeniable cause of many modern problems, but mainstream faith is an irreplaceable part of any solution. Peace, cohesion, understanding and friendship will only thrive at a local level if the great religious traditions work together. The Council for Christian & Muslim Relations is playing a pioneering role in High Wycombe by building up local

cohesion, understanding and friendship.” Other speakers at the seminar included Chauhdry Shafique, Chair of the Council for Christian & Muslim Relations, Dr Khurshid Ahmed, former Chairman of the British Muslim Forum and Chairman of Deen International, Cllr Mohammed Rafiq, and former councillor, Clare Martens. Chauhdry Shafique said: “Working towards the aim of building stronger and cohesive communities is one of the most critical challenges of our time. The Council for Christian & Muslim Relations continues to play a central role in bringing together key stakeholder groups from the public, voluntary and community sectors to promote this immensely important work in High Wycombe and beyond.”

Educational ladder to success Bucks graduate, Karyn Buck, won the Learners Champion Award at the Learning and Skills Council/BBC Big Skill Awards 2009, for her work with Aimhigher on the Mentoring for Progression programme at HMP Spring Hill near Aylesbury. The Big Skill initiative is organised by the Learning and Skills Council, in partnership with BBC East, to recognise people from the region who have improved their own life or the lives of others through learning. Karyn is a director of Aylesbury-based training consultancy, The Learning Ladder, and a consultant for Aimhigher Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (MKOB). Karyn’s work with HMP Spring Hill involves a peer mentoring programme to highlight the educational options each prisoner has, combined with advice and support on how to get there, such as helping people to overcome barriers, access housing and accommodation, and gain financial assistance. So far, Karyn has helped more than 30 people to access university, college and vocational training. Karyn gained NVQ and Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications earlier in life, and in 2006 was encouraged by senior lecturer, Stuart Kirk, to consider a top-up course to add to her existing qualifications and gain a degree. She enrolled in January 2007, and was mentored by Sally Cushing. One year later Karyn achieved a first-class BA (Hons) Professional Studies degree. Karyn commented: “Aged 41, I thought that getting a degree was beyond my capabilities. It was only when Stuart persuaded me to give the top-up course a go that I started to believe in myself and what I might be able to achieve – and I’ve never looked back since!” “Gaining a first class degree was beyond any of my expectations, and I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the support of Sally, my personal learning manager, I would not have achieved it.

Being a mature student was a benefit as it helped me to cope with these challenges and I was able to push myself that extra mile to get the first. I would recommend the top-up course to anyone. It is such a great way of pooling the qualifications you have, and in just one year, they can be turned into a degree. The course is flexible and you can fit it around your everyday work and home commitments.” Sally Cushing is currently seconded to

Aimhigher mentor, Sven De Cauter, with Karyn Buck Aimhigher MKOB and has worked with Karyn and HMP Spring Hill. Sally said: “Karyn is fantastic to work with; she is extremely committed to the concept of widening participation in higher education and has undertaken some ground-breaking work at HMP Spring Hill. The Mentoring for Progression programme which she developed with Stuart Kirk, who at the time also worked for Aimhigher, has been widely used across both the Aimhigher MKOB region and by other Aimhigher partnerships. As a student, Karyn grasped every opportunity to help ensure her success, and proved that determination, drive and personal ambition play major roles in academic achievement.” For further information visit thelearningladder.co.uk and aimhigher.ac.uk/mkob


Carols by candlelight

Summer school graduates celebrate success The Bucks Summer School for Looked After Children culminated this year with a graduation ceremony for nine young people from across Buckinghamshire, aged between 14 and 16.

The event was organised by the University Schools & Colleges Liaison Team and the Bucks County Council Education of Children in Public Care and Social Care teams. The scheme was funded by the University and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Bucks New University’s annual carol service took place at All Saints Parish Church, High Wycombe, in December. A candlelit procession left the Gateway for the church, where traditional carol-singing was interspersed with readings and performances by: the University’s Christian Union Gospel Singers; organist, Graham Davies; student, Tash Kusi; senior lecturer, Jason Schaub; the Street Dreams Urban Choir; and The Wycombe Wassailers. The service was organised by the University’s Chaplaincy, Equality & Diversity team, and Strategic Marketing & Communications Directorate.

The graduation ceremony gave the group an opportunity to wear mortar boards and gowns, and also provided them with a chance to showcase the results of their week. The aim of the Summer School was to raise aspirations and break down barriers to higher education by providing youngsters with an opportunity to see what life at university is like. Attendees came from a range of backgrounds and are all looked after in the care system. According to the book, Going to university from care (Jackson, Ajayi and Quigley, 2005), traditionally just one per cent of children who have experienced life in care go on to higher education, compared with 43 per cent of school leavers. However, by the end of the four days, 67 per cent of the students planned to apply to higher education, and all of the students reported that the Summer School had helped them reach a decision. The project also saw the largest ever increase in students feeling definite about their academic ability, with a 34 per cent increase, and they felt their ability to ‘fit in’ had increased by 22 per cent. The Summer School consisted of a variety of activities, including a trip to the theatre, bowling, and taster lectures covering a range of areas, including

leisure and tourism, spatial design, law, social work, animal behaviour, sports science and psychology. Paul Tear MBE, course leader for Furniture: Conservation, Restoration & Decorative Arts, helped the students make scarab beetle models, applying gold leaf to the surfaces. The group also made several 3D models during a session with Spatial Design course leader, David Barrass. Some of their pieces were inspired by the death of music legend, Michael Jackson. The Summer School for Looked After Children has been running since 2007 and funding has already been secured for 2010. The Schools & Colleges Liaison team are looking forward to working with academic colleagues to continue to provide support for this vulnerable group.

Events including the official opening of the Uxbridge Campus and the visit of the RCN bus were covered by Nursing Times and the Uxbridge Gazette, whilst the Uxbridge Campus’ high-tech learning environment was featured in Metro London and the Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Examiner. Times Higher Education reported on the appointment of Professor Christine Norton as professor of clinical nursing innovation, the ice rink outside the Gateway, and the University’s partnership with Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. Trade coverage

also included articles on Security Week in Info4Security, Police Life, Professional Security Magazine and securityoracle.com. National coverage included mentions of the University in a Times article on High Wycombe, and a quote from Dr Margaret Greenfields in The Guardian. The University’s percentage increase in applications was reported by the Daily 0 Mail, Financial Times, Telegraph, –1 09 Times, and Press Association. 0 2

Bucks in the news Bucks New University’s recent media coverage has included articles in a range of local, regional and national media. The work of the University’s Enterprise Directorate featured in publications including the Bucks Herald, Investment Now and the Thames Valley Business Magazine. Coverage of graduate success stories included articles in the Bracknell & Wokingham Midweek, Bucks Free Press, Lincolnshire Echo, Luton & Dunstable Express, Skegness Standard, South Bucks Star and Western Daily Press.

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Business news

Enterprise Festival inspires innovation Bucks New University’s Enterprise Festival took place over three weeks in November. Its aim was to celebrate entrepreneurship, with talks by high-flying business leaders, practical workshops and enterprise competitions, timed to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week. The events and activities were attended by around 2,000 business people and budding entrepreneurs from across the region. Activities included a session with Jonathan Wilson, Managing Director of 110% Marketing, who looked at the sports industry landscape and the skills needed for success in the business, particularly in the current economic environment. Life coach, David McQueen, co-founder of personal and professional development company, Milestone Unlimited, invited participants of ‘Get Connected’ to polish their networking skills with a fun and provocative talk on this critical business skill. In ‘5% Idea, 95% Effort’, young entrepreneur, Nico Nicholas of

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LetterBoxChocs described his story of transforming an inspired idea into a successful business. Katharina Auer, former Head of Global Internal and Management Communications for Shell International, offered a wealth of experience with global organisations and examined the trend towards corporate and internal communications and why this can fail to deliver. There were also special activities for Bucks students, including the ‘Music Events Management Showcase’ with David Steele from the Embryonic Music Consultancy, a consultancy service for recording artists of any genre, and Emer Patten, producer of Splinter Films, which creates high-calibre performance films for some of the world’s best known recording artists, such as The Cure, Robbie Williams and Britney Spears. Bucks students rose to The Apprentice Challenge, a tough test of business know-how with various tasks and challenges testing competitors’ business

planning, marketing, time management, pitching, negotiation and selling skills. Tasks included selling doughnuts, selling wares on a market stall in Eden, High Wycombe, and finally, staging an event. The winning team was Smarty Pants, who, for their final task, held a James Bond Casino Royale evening in the Bucks Students’ Union, and turned their £250 sponsorship fund into £550. Led by team leader, Chris Bryden, the Smarty Pants team members were business and marketing students, Lynne Carter, John Gidia, Hannah Holt, Ian Nickels, and Francine Pym.

Did you know?

Organisations in over 80 countries ran thousands of events for Global Entrepreneurship Week, to inspire people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity. Find out more gew.org.uk. The next Global Entrepreneurship Week will take place from 15-21 November 2010.


Young entrepreneurs selected as My Great Business Idea winners Seven young Bucks entrepreneurs won awards at Stage One of the University’s annual My Great Business Idea competition. The competition is open to all Bucks students and Bucks students from partner colleges, and is part of an ongoing programme to recognise and develop entrepreneurial ideas which have commercial potential. The award winners were: Mark Player from Greens with James Dawson

Business category: • • •

1st Prize of £1,000: James Dawson for ‘The Elecswitch’, a device used to shut off all electrical units in a house when the home owner goes out or to bed. 2nd Prize of £500: Sander Saar for ‘Students stuff for sale!’, an online service for students to buy and sell. 3rd Prize of £250: Colin McLean for his football training unit for youth football clubs and schools.

Innovation category: • • •

1st Prize of £1,000: Matthew Price for ‘The Reminder Saucepan’, designed to address the problem of people burning food due to losing concentration whilst cooking. 2nd Prize of £500: Benjamin Nichol for his wind-powered street lighting system, designed to improve the efficiency of street lights as well as provide micro-renewable energy. 3rd Prize of £250: Thomas Wiltshire for his novel concept for a folding bicycle brake lever, which can survive crashes as it is designed to move with the force of an impact rather than resist it.

Tony Diment from the IGT Group with Matthew Price

Design category: •

1st Prize of £1,000: Tim Macey for his amphibious vehicle that scans the seabed.

Director of Enterprise, Susan Jones, said: “It’s very rewarding to see that the competition has become so popular with students. We received 126 entries which is a huge increase from last year. Once again the standard of entries was very high, and I congratulate everyone who took part.” An award was also presented to the winner of the Bucks Got Design Talent competition, Digital Animation & Interactive Design student, Kunimori Satoh, for his novel design of a desirable yet saleable t-shirt. Certificates in Enterprise were awarded to Alessandro Tulio Busachi and Kathleen Maria Shaw, who gained the qualification through taking part in the student Enterprise Festival activities. The aim of the Certificate in Enterprise is to encourage students to explore their entrepreneurial flair and turn business ideas into business opportunities. The guest speaker at the event was Allan McCallum-Toppin who, with his two brothers, founded AMT Coffee Ltd in 1993. The company now boasts 60 outlets and is expected to turn over £20 million next year. It was the first UK coffee company to only offer Fairtrade coffee and the first to ensure that all its milk is organic, in response both to customers’ requests and the desire to make a real difference. The My Great Business Idea competition was sponsored by Eden, High Wycombe, Enrichment Technology Plc, IoD Buckinghamshire, and South East Business Innovation & Growth. Details of all of the Enterprise Festival events and activities can be found at open4businessbucks.com

Tim Macey with Nick Warren from Eden

Allan McCallum-Toppin from AMT Coffee Ltd

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Bucks helps businesses survive and thrive Bucks New University is offering assistance for local people and businesses affected by the economic downturn through its Open 4 Business practical help in tough times scheme. Developed with £500,000 of Government funding through the Economic Challenge Investment Fund (ECIF), the project aims to bring together the University’s expertise with that of its partners to help individual workers and SMEs in Buckinghamshire withstand the recession. The project was launched with the opening of Open 4 Business’s new Instant Office in Buckingham House, High Wycombe. Officially opened by Harry Clarke, Commercial and Founding Director of Cobalt Telephone Technologies Ltd, this new facility provides a helping hand for new businesses in need of office space and services, but who find rent and lease commitments prohibitive. Open 4 Business is offering options for desk space, with broadband, phone answering and postal services included, car parking close by at very affordable rates, and a town centre business address for new organisations. The Open 4 Business scheme also provides individuals with free advice, training and mentoring across a wide range of business themes. The emphasis is on helping budding entrepreneurs shape their ideas for investment, supporting locals starting up in business, and giving a boost to anyone feeling anxious about their skill levels in the current job market. A voucher worth £2,500 is available to eligible local applicants so they can pick and mix from the wide range of courses and services on offer, including a wide selection of day, evening or weekend training sessions, covering areas such as presentation skills, project management, psychometric testing, sales techniques, website development, and word-processing. The University’s successful involvement in knowledge transfer is expanding, offering small and medium companies support in tackling their business challenges with bespoke consultancy or applied research. To keep costs low, businesses can win £2,500 towards the cost of their support package. Susan Jones, Director of Enterprise, commented: “We were thrilled to have won funding for this project against very stiff national competition. Our local partner organisations have been a fantastic support, too.

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“They are matching the money we won, so we have over a million pounds to spend on helping people and businesses in our region. We want to hear from businesses and individuals – anyone who’s feeling vulnerable in this recession – to let them see how our programme can help them keep going.” For further information visit open4businessbucks.com, call 0844 357 6564, or email info@open4businessbucks.com

Open 4 Business hosts breakfast meetings Open 4 Business hosted a series of successful breakfast meetings for business people and organisations across the region, with speakers including: • •

• •

Honorary graduate, Dr Ted Hartz of Drexel University, USA, who spoke about ‘Recession as an Opportunity’; Derek Mottershead, former managing director of Bang and Olufsen, Western Europe, who gave a presentation about contrasting business trends in recessionary and buoyant economies; David McQueen, co-founder of personal and professional development company, Milestone Unlimited who spoke about maximising the potential of networking; Bucks Head of Postgraduate & Professional Programme Development, Dr Paul Springer, who gave a presentation entitled, ‘How advertising succeeds in a multi-media age’; Marcus Bicknall, a marketing executive in the television, leisure, internet and consumer products fields, specialising in product positioning and the communication needed in the start-up phase of ambitious and complex consumer projects.


Research round-up Researcher helps audit Romanian university The process of an audit is a broad-ranging, proactive look at the way a business is run. Dr Ioras, a subject reviewer with the Quality Assurance Agency, was recently appointed as external auditor by the European University Association (EUA). In this capacity he has just made his first visit with the The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS) to participate in the institutional accreditation of Cluj University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in central western Romania. Together with a strong local team of 12 ARACIS auditors, Dr Ioras visited the specialist university to ensure that business practices are effective, efficient, and compliant with EUA and ARACIS regulatory policies, as well as assessing risks and analysing control mechanisms. The historic Cluj University dates back to1869, but it took its name as the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine much more recently, in 1995. The University has approximately 7,000 students, of which 700 are postgraduates, and its research portfolio amounts to around €12 million annually. Dr Ioras focused on four key areas while making his assessment: the organisation and culture; people and skills; policies and procedures; and systems and technology. He says: “Our goal as a team was to facilitate USAMV Cluj’s understanding of - and management of - the risks facing their business. While risks can never be totally eliminated, identified risks can be much more easily managed. Rather than looking solely at the mechanics of existing processes, it’s our role to make the university community aware of best management practice and internal control processes. This requires active communication at all employment levels. “It’s always exciting to meet our international colleagues, particularly such high calibre academics, and it’s very rewarding being able to use the skills and knowledge which I’ve built up over my years at Bucks New University to help our peers inform the development of their institutions. I’d really recommend getting involved like this - it’s very fulfilling.” Read more about the EUA, ARACIS and Cluj University at eua.be, aracis.ro/en and usamvcluj.ro

PhD student wins business award Knowledge Chinyanyu Mpofu, a Bucks PhD student and representative of the World Network of Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs (WNYLE), won an award at the internationally-renowned annual conference held by the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE). Knowledge won the 2009 award for the ‘Best academic research paper in ICT, IT and e-business in the small firm sector’ for his submission entitled, ICT adoption and development of e-business among SMEs in South Africa. Knowledge’s paper highlighted the results of his PhD thesis which included case studies from Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Knowledge said: “It was absolutely incredible – undoubtedly the greatest and most unforgettable moment in my life to receive such a prestigious award amongst some of the world’s best researchers and academics from the ISBE community. “The extraordinary experience at the ISBE conference offered me unique opportunities for networking with other academic peers and researchers from different parts of the world. Such networking opportunities will certainly go a long way in supporting future work, research, and dissemination of the findings from my PhD thesis. Being able to present and publish the first award-winning academic research paper in the conference proceedings from my doctoral thesis made it very special at this early stage in my career. The award is dedicated to all the people of Zimbabwe, my country that I love so much and represent at the WNYLE.” Knowledge’s doctoral research was supervised by Dr Lorraine Watkins-Mathys, Head of the School of Business & Management, and Don Milne, School of Computing & Advanced Technologies. Dr Watkins-Mathys said: “The award duly recognises the unique contribution made by Knowledge in the field. To date, there have been no case studies on ICT adoption among SMEs in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The fusion of our respective expertise in small business, ICT and SADC enabled Knowledge to undertake this special research, and we are delighted that this has been acknowledged by ISBE with this special award.” The annual ISBE conference is a key occasion in the business calendar for specialists in the theory and practice of small business and entrepreneurship, from educators, financiers and policy-makers, to practitioners, researchers and SMEs. Knowledge was appointed as the Zimbabwean National Representative to the WNYLE in June 2008, a role that he will hold for two years in recognition of the importance of his research to SADC countries in areas including ICT, SMEs and entrepreneurship.

Visiting professor conducts gerontology research Visiting professor, Carol Cutler Riddick spent seven months at Bucks New University during 2009. She was invited to Bucks by Barbara Humberstone, Professor of Sociology of Sport & Outdoor Education, and Lyn Hawkins, Head of the School of Sport, Leisure & Travel, to participate on behalf of the University in a series of speaker engagements, and to help undertake a mixed-methods study with Prof Humberstone of British women and their participation in yoga later in life. Carol Cutler Riddick is a professor and graduate coordinator at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, and has a specialist interest in gerontology, the study of the ageing process and the elderly. Prof Riddick conducted qualitative research on the motivations of women aged 50+ undertaking yoga and the benefits they gained from participation. Participants cited physical as well as emotional and psychological benefits, and Prof Riddick and Prof Humberstone intend to publish the findings. It is also hoped that the research will be used to initiate further cross-cultural research in this area in the United States, and further research into other benefits of exercise. Results could have profound implications for programmes and services delivered to elderly people. Prof Riddick said: “I had a very positive experience at Bucks, and am indebted to Prof Humberstone and Lyn Hawkins for their hospitality and support for my work and personal wellbeing during my visit to England. I enjoyed many aspects of my stay, in particular meeting with the students and discussing their dissertation subjects. I hope to work with the University again in the future, and also with the Bucks Primary Care Trust, to look at the long-term impact of exercise on the elderly in different cultural community groups.”

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Conference highlights knowledge transfer successes The first international conference, Innovation through Knowledge Transfer: Research with Impact, was held at Hampton Court in December, and provided a welcome opportunity to share knowledge transfer successes. Bucks New University’s Head of Widening Participation, Russell Harbison, and KTP associate, Shilar Bryant, presented a paper based on a recently-completed Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Aylesbury-based SME, Serious Brands. The paper entitled, ‘SME Supplier Management: An exercise in change management’, detailed the two-year project which focused on improving the quality and design of the products made by the lamp manufacturer, and the implementation of a cultural change programme. Russell said: “I really enjoyed the KTP and found it very worthwhile; as well as benefitting the company and the University, it was also useful for my own personal development. The company saved over £57,000 in one year, and decreased failures by 80% - which is an impressive achievement in a recession and testament to the potential of these collaborations between universities, graduates and other organisations. We involved our product design students, and between us were able to look at a range of issues, including the use of new technology, the technical aspects of assembly and soldering, quality control, and the company’s culture.” The conference was organised by knowledge transfer organisation, KES International, and Kingston University in partnership with the Institute of Knowledge Transfer, and attracted over 150 delegates from academia, government and business, with representatives travelling from Brazil, Finland, France, and Germany, as well as the UK. The honorary chairs were Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, and Sir Brian Fender, Chair and President of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer. General chair of the conference, Prof Bob Howlett, a visiting professor in enterprise at Bournemouth University and executive chair of KES, commented: “There isn’t another conference that gathers together such a tremendous range of knowledge transfer experience and expertise. The event has certainly been a success, and we have plans to continue the momentum with a conference series. “We have just agreed a KES book series with the publisher Springer-Verlag on ‘Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies’, which will cover the knowledge transfer area and I am also exploring ways of launching a peer-reviewed journal on the subject.” For more information, visit kesinternational.org, sunalex.co.uk and bucks.ac.uk/ktp

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Universities launch research competition Bucks has embarked upon a joint venture with Coventry, Worcester and Gloucester Universities to hold an applied research competition. Launched in January, the competition will judge research completed between 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010. Two prizes of £500 will be awarded, one for the best piece of applied research and one for the best piece of applied research as part of a PhD. The judging will be divided into two rounds; the first will comprise internal judging by each individual university to select two entries to go forward for the applied research category, and one for the PhD category. The results will be announced on 4 June 2010. A total of three submissions from each university will then go forward to the second and final round of judging, due to take place at Coventry University on 30 June. Finalists will be asked to deliver a 10-minute presentation to a panel of judges and members of staff, and the winners will be announced and presented with their prizes that afternoon.

Dr Anne Evans, Senior Registrar (Research), said: “Bucks has a formal collaborative agreement with Coventry University relating to research degree validation, and is in the process of strengthening its applied research links with other universities. Therefore, this new competition is an ideal vehicle upon which to help move our partnerships forward. We hope that many of our students will rise to the challenge against their colleagues at the other institutions and take part in what will be a most interesting and impressive gathering of research quality.” All submissions will be included in a booklet that will be shared between the four universities to highlight possible applied research links and to promote joint applied research activities. If you are interested in submitting an application, please email anne.evans@bucks.ac.uk. The competition is open to all employees and research students, and the deadline for receipt of submissions is 4pm on 21 May 2010.

Lecturer receives Emerald award Senior lecturer in Operations Management, Wantao Yu, and co-author, Dr Ramakrishnan Ramanathan from Nottingham University Business School, have been recognised for work assessing the performance of retail firms in the UK. Wantao and Ramakrishnan examined the economic efficiencies of 41 retail firms. The work, carried out between April 2007 and April 2008, resulted in a paper which won the ‘Outstanding Paper’ category in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009. The awards by Emerald Group Publishing Limited recognised work included in the International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. Wantao, who joined Bucks in September, said the study was the first to apply productivity analysis to the UK retail sector, using data envelopment analysis (DEA), which is used to calculate efficiencies in companies. It also used two other related methodologies – Malmquist productivity index (MPI) and a bootstrapped Tobit regression model. Wantao said: “It is a great honour to receive this award in such a well-regarded competition and amongst other important works. Such a prestigious award is a milestone achievement for me and encourages me to seek continued research excellence in my future academic career.” To read the paper, go to emeraldinsight.com


Bucks launches electronic furniture industry archive A Resource Enhancement Grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council has enabled researchers at Bucks to use modern technology to preserve over 16,000 images and technical papers charting the furniture industry in the 20th century. Prof Jake Kaner and his colleagues are creating the High Wycombe Electronic Furniture Archive, a unique archive of photographic prints, slides, glass plates and drawings, artefacts which have been recovered as local furniture firms have relocated or been liquidated, as well as reports and minutes from furniture industry societies and trade unions. The first stage, a three-year digitisation project, is now complete, and the new website was launched at the High Wycombe Library in November. The benefits of the new archive are far-reaching. Prof Kaner said: “The High Wycombe Electronic Furniture Archive” will be of interest to social and local historians, those interested in the history of art, design and interiors, as well as furniture students and researchers. There are also very practical applications;

G-Plan Danish office furniture, c1963

some of the furniture that was made by Ercol in the 1950s is now being re-produced, and the archive will help provide accurate information about 20th century furniture that is now being sold at auction – and we have been preserving the original archival items as the digital copies have been made. “It would be nice to see a revival of the furniture industry in High Wycombe. Although the number of furniture businesses is now tiny in comparison to the industry’s heyday, there is still the infrastructure for design and manufacture. We make sure that our students leave the University with strong design and making skills, and we hope that the Archive will also help to breathe new life into the industry by increasing awareness of the impact that furniture-making in High Wycombe has had on 20th century design, both nationally and internationally.” Working with primary sources has provided the archive project team with the opportunity not only to preserve some of the furniture industry’s heritage for posterity, but also to gain new

Ercol craftsman at work, c1993

knowledge and develop new networks across the industry and the academic community. Visit the High Wycombe Electronic Furniture Archive at http://hwfurniturearchive.bucks.ac.uk

Did you know? Bucks New University has a long tradition of providing skills relevant to the furniture industry. The University developed from a School of Science and Art that was founded in 1893. After the First World War, the institution began to provide disabled veterans with skills such as cabinet-making, carving and polishing, to help them find work in the numerous furniture factories for which High Wycombe was famous. Today, Bucks New University offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in furniture design and conservation, and despite the decline of furniture manufacturing in the area, still has strong links with well-known furniture designers and makers, such as Ercol and Verco.

Ercol employee assembling Windsor chair, 1976

Images courtesy of the High Wycombe Electronic Furniture Archive

Prof Jake Kaner, with Jonathan Arnold from the Parker Trust, Sally Scagell from Brunel University, honorary graduate and former Council member Tom Dean, and Sharon Grover from Bucks New University e

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Books Profiting from Diversity Edited by Gloria Moss

Frequent reference is made to the importance of workplace diversity but the remarkable and specific benefits it can bring to organisations are often overlooked. A new book, edited by Gloria Moss of Bucks New University, examines the business advantages of a strategic approach to the implementation of diversity. Written by experts in the field, Profiting from Diversity shows how national culture, gender and personality can impact on teamwork, management style, design and marketing preferences. It offers solutions that can be delivered to match customer preferences. Reference is rarely made to the problems of introducing a diversity action plan into the workplace, although these problems may prevent it taking root in an organisation. As well as discussing the specific benefits, the book alerts readers to the many obstacles that can impede diversity. Examples include an exploration of the practical obstacles that stand in the way of achieving greater diversity in design. Research by Gloria Moss and colleagues looks at the practical case of grocery websites that fail to address differences in male and female aesthetic preferences and therefore fail to maximize their impact. The benefits section includes a comparison of teamwork amongst academics in collectivist and individualistic cultures, revealing higher levels of productivity and teamwork in the collectivist culture of Slovenia in comparison to the individualistic culture in Australia. Whilst female managers in the UK often struggle to reach their full potential, barriers to progression for women managers in Latvia are less pronounced. Research undertaken by Gloria Moss and colleagues showed that Latvia had the highest proportion of female managers in the EU and that the concept of the glass ceiling was largely unrecognized. Gloria Moss says: “Although organisations are legally bound to consider issues of equality and diversity, many still struggle to embed diversity in all their activities. We hope that this book will encourage organisations to move beyond a ‘tick-box’ approach to recognising the importance of embedding diversity in organisational strategy, and to seeing the positive business benefits of adopting a more holistic approach.”

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Profiting from Diversity: The Business Advantages and the Obstacles to Achieving Diversity, is published by Palgrave Macmillan, price £55.

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Sharon Edwards Mimma Sabato

A Nurse’s Survival Guide to Critical Care By Sharon Edwards, senior lecturer, Faculty of Society & Health, and Mimma Sabato, barrister A Nurse’s Survival Guide to Critical Care is a pocket-size book providing a practical introduction to aspects of care and management in critical care. Aimed at students gaining critical care experience at undergraduate level, and postqualification/graduate nurses undertaking related courses, the book contains information on common conditions, critical care interventions, emergencies, patient assessment, and pharmacology. It also covers professional practice and psychological issues, as well as looking at palliative care and caring for relatives, in order to help nurses provide holistic care in the critical care environment. The pocket-size format makes the book portable and user-friendly. Pull-out boxes highlight hints and tips for practice, and diagrams are used to explain difficult concepts. The book follows a previous book co-authored by Sharon Edwards, A Nurse’s Survival Guide to the Ward, and is part of the Nurse’s Survival Guide series, which includes A Nurse’s Survival Guide to Drugs in Practice and A Nurse’s Survival Guide to Acute Medical Emergencies. A Nurse’s Survival Guide to Critical Care is published by Elsevier, price £19.99.

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The New Bears for the 21st Century

Voices Past

A former Bucks New University senior lecturer is hoping to follow in the steps of JK Rowling after having his second novel published. Jojo Gould taught Music Industry Management at the University’s Wellesbourne Campus for three years until 2003. In July 2008, his first book, The Bear in a Safari Hat, was released; his second, A Bear’s Adventure Tale, hit the bookshelves in September 2009. Jojo, who now lectures at Cumbernauld College, near his native Glasgow, says he was inspired to begin the New Bears for the 21st Century series when living in High Wycombe. Jojo said: “I used to live in Windsor Drive in the Terriers district of High Wycombe, and being far from my home and family, I had plenty of spare time to write and think of ideas. I was fortunate to be so close to Roald Dahl’s home town of Great Missenden and visited his old house. Who could fail to be inspired by that? “People will recognise plenty of areas of local interest including Frogmoor, Kingshill Road, Old Amersham, Hazlemere and Flackwell Heath. I used the Wellesbourne Campus as one setting, changing the name to the Wellesbear Hotel, and around half the book is fictionally set in and around High Wycombe.” Jojo’s books are aimed at young adults and use bears to illustrate the rise to power of US President, Barack Obama. Jojo said: “The books surround the character of Brosnan, the main bear, and his adventures, as he eventually becomes president of the world’s honey supply. Brosnan is a young bear who wears a red body-warmer and a maroon tie. He goes on missions, accompanied by a faithful companion bee called Chiwi.” Originally from Jakarta, Brosnan travels west to study honey production becoming an MBA (Master’s in Bear Administration) student. Jojo’s connections with Bucks New University continued after his departure in 2003. Between September 2006 and September 2009, he was an external examiner at the University, and he retains a great fondness for the area. He added: “For many years I had wanted to write a book, but it was only through living in High Wycombe that I made it happen. The aim is to write seven books about the adventures of Brosnan and other bears, much like the Harry Potter series, and of course I would love to be just as successful!” The Bear in a Safari Hat and A Bear’s Adventure Tale are published by Secret Pockets Entertainments Limited, and are available from leading bookstores. The third book, The Bear on Top of the World, will be set in Norway. Read more about Jojo’s work at jojogould.com

A novelist who has experienced life as both a tutor and a student at Bucks New University is celebrating the publication of her first book, Voices Past. Susan Rollinson studied ‘Writing a Novel’, a Bucks New University Combined Studies Programme, at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames from 2007-08, and she is “hugely proud” of her literary achievement. Susan said: “I would say it is thanks to Bucks New University that I was able to write this book. My tutor on the course, David Grubb, was second to none, and helped me gain the all-important tools I needed to write a book. If people are fans of books like Twilight, The Winter Ghosts or The Time Traveller’s Wife, then they will enjoy Voices Past. It is the first of a trilogy and I am already working on my second book.” Voices Past is set in an historic village in rural Buckinghamshire and sees main character, Fee Hunter, unearthing evidence of unusual practices and events dating back to medieval times. She finds evidence of her ties with previous occupants of the house, and uncovers details of turbulent events, which drag Fee into a whirlwind of events as she seeks to uncover the truth. There are many elements to Voices Past. Susan said: “There is the historical aspect which involved detailed archaeological research, and there are also religious undertones as well as witchcraft and the supernatural. The book took about 18 months to finish and I spent around four months reworking it many times. I am pleased with the end result and book sales are going well.” Susan taught at Bucks from 1984-1990, teaching students aged 16-19 on basic skills programmes, as well as teaching on teacher training programmes. She has been signing copies of her book at well-known outlets in Aylesbury, Berkhamsted and Oxford and intends to arrange book-signing sessions in High Wycombe. Voices Past is published by Troubador, price £7.99. For further information visit susanrollinson.com or troubadour.co.uk

By Jojo Gould

By Susan Rollinson

www.troubador.co.uk/matador

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What’s on? Public rehearsed readings Drama Studio, The Gateway, High Wycombe Campus, Friday evenings at 6.30pm

The benefits of colour analysis High Wycombe Campus, Friday 5 March, 10.30-11.30am A talk by Helen Wilson of House of Colour, to mark International Women’s Day, and aimed at employees and students. Coffee will be served beforehand from 10am. To book, please email equalities@bucks.ac.uk.

Safeguarding Children Conference The Gateway, High Wycombe Campus, Thursday 15 April, 9.30am-4.30pm

A series of public rehearsed readings covering a selection of well-known works from playwrights as diverse as Shakespeare and Bond. Part of a new student Learning Enhancement Project, the readings are performed by students working together with professional directors and actors. Readings scheduled for 2010 are: 5 February: Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle 19 February: Samuel Beckett, All That Fall 5 March: Heiner Müller, Medeamaterial Trilogy 19 March: Joan Littlewood, Oh What a Lovely War The readings are free to attend and there is no need to book places. For further information email pedro.desenna@bucks.ac.uk

Equality & Diversity events Diversity is the solution, not the problem High Wycombe Campus, Thursday 25 February, noon-2pm A lunchtime seminar for employees presented by Dianna Yach from Ionann Management Consultants Ltd.

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Sir Roger Singleton, the Government’s chief adviser on the safety of children, will be the keynote speaker at a one-day conference aimed at practitioners in the Thames Valley and West London areas. The conference aims to provide an opportunity for professionals from different areas to come together to increase interprofessional communication in safeguarding children and young people. For further information email senior lecturers Jason Schaub or Carol Rogers at jason.schaub@bucks.ac.uk or carol.rogers@bucks.ac.uk

Bucks 3rd Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2010 High Wycombe Campus, Wednesday 23 June This conference is for all employees who wish to share their experiences, or find out more about effective ways of giving feedback to students, to enhance the student experience. For further information email learningandteaching@bucks.ac.uk

Open days An opportunity to sample the Bucks experience, talk to employees and students, find out more about our courses, and look round our facilities. High Wycombe Campus: Wednesday 24 February, 11am-4pm Saturday 24 April, 11am-4pm Wednesday 16 June, 11am-4pm Uxbridge Campus (Pre-registration Nursing): Saturday 17 April 2010, 11am-2pm To find out more and to register, visit bucks.ac.uk/open_days

Connection Issue 10  

Bucks New University Connection Winter Issue 10

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