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Bumper new university edition

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Profile

Selina Springbett

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Amanda Tisdale

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Wasps partnership

Special graduation supplement The magazine of Buckinghamshire New University


Contents

Message from the Vice Chancellor

Message from the Vice Chancellor 2

I am delighted to be writing this introduction to Connection in my new role of Vice Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University. Since the last issue, there has been a huge amount of change. Our application for full university status has been approved, and we now have a new name and corporate identity to match our new status.

New student support package

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THES award

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Bucks in the news

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Profile: Selina Springbett

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Video production successes

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4C launch

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Aylesbury Vale University Centre launch

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Investment game

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Degree Show

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Business round-up

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News from the Faculty of Enterprise & Innovation 8-9 News from the Faculty of Creativity & Culture

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News from the Faculty of Society & Health

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Campus redevelopment update

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Wood-carver preserves Redwood tree

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Aimhigher news

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New students get off to a great start

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Music publishing scholarship

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Wasps partnership

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Reviews

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What’s on?

Back cover

Our aim is to be a new generation university, one that is always open to fresh ideas and thinking. Our name and identity are designed to match this vision – modern, dynamic and distinctive. We intend to build upon our successful tradition to create a teaching-led and business-facing institution that is true to its roots, is responsive to the needs of employers and committed to partnership working. The word ‘New’ in our name is designed to capture this, and is not there just because we are literally new. We always want to be ‘new’ in the sense of being up to date. Not only do we have a new name, and a new corporate identity, but we have also been making changes to our academic provision through the Common Academic Framework, and restructuring some of our support departments to ensure maximum efficiency. This issue contains a profile of Selina Springbett, Director of the newly formed Student & Academic Services. We have launched a new business consultancy service and formed a new Enterprise Directorate. We are founding partners in two exciting new collaborative initiatives – the Aylesbury Vale University Centre and the 4C Partnership. The focal point of our activities is the student, and in collaboration with the Students’ Union, we have developed a new student support package that focuses on the student experience.

This issue is packed with success stories featuring our staff, students and graduates, which make me proud to be the Vice Chancellor of such an innovative institution. Change is not always easy and I appreciate that recent months may have been an anxious time for staff, but I hope you will agree that university status is a fantastic step forward for us, recognising the level and quality of work that is undertaken at this new university and the expertise and professionalism of our staff. We hope that the change will help us to attract a wide range of students for all the faculties by making our academic status clear. It should also enable us to define ourselves more clearly, and to achieve the goals set out in our strategic plan more easily. We are making huge strides forward in shaping the institution’s future and being a university is an important part of this. As we look forward to our new beginnings, I wish you all a very happy and restful festive season and good wishes for the New Year. Dr Ruth Farwell Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Honorary Graduate and former Council member, Muriel Pilkington is currently working on a short history of the University, from its origins in the late 19th century to the present day. If any reader is able to direct Muriel to photos, articles or documents relating to any period of the University’s history, please email Muriel at dandm@amade.fsnet.co.uk

Connection magazine was produced by the Directorate of Marketing, Communications & Recruitment 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 HP11 2JZ. Telephone: 01494 522 141 Fax: 01494 605 023 Website: bucks.ac.uk Designed and produced by Greens Ltd, www.greensdigital.com Front cover image: The University’s cheer-leading team in the parade to the Wycombe Christmas lights switch-on © Buckinghamshire New University Printed on a chlorine-free paper from a managed forest.

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

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Great new student support package announced From September 2008, students at Buckinghamshire New University will receive a new support package that provides a student experience which is unique in UK Higher Education. Not only will the majority of our students receive a £500 cash bursary each year, but they will also be entitled to a fantastic package of other benefits, including faculty support which enhances the learning experience and activities arranged through the Students’ Union. Known as the Big D£al, the package will include:

• Faculty support close to the learning experience: support that goes beyond the normal support embedded in course/school budgets, and is linked to fields of study (materials, travel, and external events, for instance), and enhancements to the way students are able to build up a personal record of achievement that helps them move effectively through their course to a final career.

• Free entertainments and events:

free entry to all Students’ Union gigs, club nights, comedy, theme parties and events.

With extra funding, the Students’ Union are providing a wider range of better quality events, so that students can enjoy an active and varied social life, mix with a variety of people and become well-rounded graduates.

• Free sports: all costs associated

with almost 30 different sports played competitively at the University will be covered, including kit and match fees, and transport to matches. Sports help develop a healthy mind and body, and camaraderie and leadership skills.

• Free recreational activities: free

access to a full programme of activities throughout the year, from cooking lessons, motor mechanics, salsa classes and museum trips, to table tennis, poetry reading and potholing, to enable students to try new activities that may not be available to them elsewhere.

• Paid Student Reps and an improved

Student Rep scheme: Student Reps will be rewarded for their hard work and offered enhanced training, so that the network of student representatives can be even more effective than before.

The findings of extensive research among potential students and parents were highly encouraging. An element of cash was welcomed, but this new scheme really scored as it ensures that the generous financial support offered is invested in the best way to make the student experience at Bucks both productive and enjoyable. Matthew Kitching, President of the Students’ Union, commented: “The new bursary package is revolutionary. We aim to provide a student experience which enables all students to become fully integrated into university life from day one. We have taken areas from the wide spectrum of student interest considered important by students and have made them accessible to everyone. The additional funding is really helping us add quality and depth to our programmes. No other uni offers this package!”

Student support package nominated for award Buckinghamshire New University has been nominated for a Times Higher Award for the second year running. The award nomination recognises the comprehensiveness of the University’s support systems, which aim to raise the aspirations of students from nontraditional backgrounds. Initiatives that were highlighted were: the Student Life programme which uses students as ambassadors to answer questions from

school pupils; and Bucks Schools Voice, which brings together pupils from schools with which the University has a formal (Compact) agreement, to share ideas, work on joint projects and engage in active citizenship. Over 90% of UK universities entered for the awards. Bucks was one of six shortlisted for the ‘Outstanding student financial support package’ award, alongside Exeter and Bradford Universities. Last year’s award nomination was for the same category.

Bucks in the news Buckinghamshire New University’s recent media presence has included regular local mentions, appearances on BBC Three Counties Radio from student Rachel Craddock, portfolio leader Ewan Kirkland, Head of Careers, David Shacklady, and the Vice Chancellor who spoke about our new university status, and on BBC South Today TV who covered the Faculty of Creativity & Culture’s degree show and the launch of our partnership with London Wasps Rugby Club. The launch of our new business consultancy had coverage in a range of regional business magazines including The Thames Valley Business Magazine, and the Bucks Free Press’s Business Monthly supplement. Muslim Weekly featured the launch of the Council of Christian and Muslim Relations which was held at the University’s High Wycombe Campus, and the Church Times covered the restoration of carvings from West Wycombe St Lawrence Church. The success of student film-makers appeared in publications from the Weston & Somerset Mercury to the Liverpool Daily Post, and graduation stories appeared in a range of regional publications including the Cwmbran Free Press, Essex Chronicle and Uxbridge Gazette. Advice for prospective students from Buckinghamshire New University’s Head of Recruitment appeared in the Evening Standard. The Corporate Environmental Advisory Centre featured in new magazine Sustainable FM, and staff Graham Harris and Justine Humphrey became the Bucks Free Press’s Green Champions when they took up the newspaper’s challenge to live in a more environmentally-friendly way.

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Did you know? Cuttings relating to Buckinghamshire New University can be viewed at the three campus receptions and copies are held by each of the Faculty Marketing Managers.

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Profile:

Selina Springbett Selina Springbett has worked in higher education for 25 years, primarily in Student Services. She joined Buckinghamshire New University in September 1999 as Head of Student Services, from the University of the Arts where she was Deputy Director of Student Services and Head of Careers.

She took up her new role as Director of Student & Academic Services at Buckinghamshire New University in September 2007, following the merger of Student Services and Academic Registry. The merger is designed to enhance the student experience by bringing a number of student-facing and academic support services together. Selina says: “From September 2008, we will have a ‘one-stop shop’ at the High Wycombe Campus which will allow students to undertake a range of administrative tasks, such as enrolment, obtaining ID cards and sorting out council tax letters. We will be based on A floor and will be more visible. I hope students will feel less apprehensive about accessing specialist services, such as the Disability Service, and that the ability to undertake several transactions in one place will make the administrative experience seamless.” Establishing the Disability Service was one of the biggest changes that Selina has made during her time at the University. Buckinghamshire New University has an above average disclosure rate for disabled students, particularly in the creative areas. Recent legislation has demanded a more proactive approach to disability, and the University has been receiving positive feedback from students for some years. Selina says: “Developments within the University have provided an opportunity to enhance our provision further. For instance, we are working with the Faculty of Society & Health on support for disabled students on professional courses, and the refurbishment work has provided an opportunity to install hearing loops in the

Video Production graduates gain international acclaim Four Video Production graduates received a major international award at this year’s New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, which took place in July.

They won the 2007 Award for ‘Best Short Horror’ in the short film category for their film Blood on the Bath Tiles. Shot on location in West and Central London, the film is a psychological horror which focuses on dramatic tension and terror rather than conventional blood lust. Film-makers Alex Harrison, Andy Laas, Mark Thomas and Shelly Salmon, who graduated in September, attended the festival and were presented with the award in person. Andy Laas, Co-Director/Co-Producer, said: “We are all delighted with the

award and recognition it has brought us. It was a fantastic experience representing the film, ourselves and the University in New York. It has inspired us to continue making films independently while pursuing careers in the film industry.” Module leader for Portfolio Production, Sean Fitzgerald added: “This is a major achievement for anyone, let alone four graduating students. They have done extremely well and the award will prove to be a motivating force for our current video production students. One of the triumphs of this film is the craft and dedication to detail with which it has been produced, and this has been rewarded by the recent international success in New York.”

teaching rooms. It’s an excellent time to make sure that the institutional changes are mirrored by changes in the directorate, so that we are supporting the University’s objectives as we move forward.” Changes in higher education funding have also had an impact; students (and parents) are more conscious of their roles as customers, and more articulate if they perceive any inequality. This has resulted in changes to the administration of the Access to Learning Fund (which provides help to students in financial hardship) so that students can see what they are getting and why, and that the allocation process is fair. Selina says: “We have always had a diverse student body, with students coming from all sorts of situations. Our aim is to provide the most appropriate support, so that they can focus on their academic work. The pride in my work comes from seeing students walk across the stage at graduation ceremonies, and knowing that I have played a part in enabling them to succeed.” Selina’s own study was undertaken at Liverpool and Oxford Universities where she studied Archaeology. She also has a Diploma in Careers Guidance from London South Bank University and an MA in Higher and Professional Education from the University of London. She still visits archaeological sites, and also enjoys theatre, concerts and film.

New collaborative organisation launches A new partnership organisation bringing together businesses, and public and third sector organisations in the Wycombe area, was launched in October. 4C (standing for corporate, community, collaboration and commitment) acts as a broker for businesses and their employees who would like to give time, skills and possibly financial support, to good causes. The organisation aims to inspire and assist businesses of all sizes in meeting corporate social responsibility objectives. It is supported by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and Wycombe District Council in partnership with Business Link and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce. Founding partners include Buckinghamshire New University, Dreams and The Priory Centre. For further information visit 4cwycombe.com

Student videos Education Awareness Week Video Production and Film graduate, Matt Weeks, videoed the work of local school pupils, during his third year, as part of Education Awareness Week. The work of Wycombe schools pupils was on show during a special awareness week designed to raise the profile of the work of local schools. Students displayed their art and put on performances in and around Wycombe.

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Aylesbury Vale University Centre is officially launched A unique and pioneering partnership designed to offer a range of higher level courses to people in the Aylesbury Vale area has been officially launched.

Aylesbury Vale University Centre (AVUC) brings together higher education providers and stakeholders, in order to provide affordable and relevant university education within Aylesbury Vale and the surrounding area, and by so doing, make a significant social and economic contribution to the region. The Centre was launched on 1 October from Aylesbury College. Partners include: Aylesbury College; Aylesbury Training Group; Buckinghamshire New University; and the University of Bedfordshire. The project is supported by Aylesbury Vale Advantage; Aylesbury Vale District Council; Buckinghamshire Lifelong Learning Partnership; the Learning and Skills Council; and the South East England Development Agency. The Centre offers courses validated by universities and national vocational qualifications, so that people of 18 years of age

through to mature students have a chance to study university level courses without having to travel to other regions. Full- and part-time options enable students from a diversity of backgrounds to participate in higher education, and an ‘Access to HE’ course is being offered for those without formal qualifications. Professional development for those in employment is also a key component. Dr Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University said: “As a higher education provider, we are very good at recognising the diverse needs of today’s students. We are committed to partnership working and to helping higher education to grow, and this new Centre is an ideal way for us to do this. It extends our existing partnership with Aylesbury College and our current short course provision, to provide greater opportunities for students and employers in the region. It is also enabling us to play our part in making the UK a world leader in skills – an ambition identified in the Leitch Review of Skills.” For more information visit aylesbury.ac.uk

Procurement officer wins investment game

Procurement officer, John Moore, has won an investment game run by the Financial Times and Barclays Global Investors by making more than one million pounds (notionally, unfortunately) in one month. The game is based on trading investments in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), financial instruments based on distinctive market indices. John attended a working breakfast with the Financial Times’ editor in the FT boardroom to discuss investment strategies and receive his award - and the answer’s no, it wasn’t a million pounds or anything like it!

Degree work from the Faculty of Creativity & Culture goes on show An extraordinary umbrella that changes colour with the weather was among hundreds of exhibits at the Faculty of Creativity & Culture’s Degree Show.

Around 500 students took part, embracing a range of disciplines from fine art and photography to furniture design and metalwork. Among them was third year Textiles & Surface Design student Rachel Craddock whose umbrella is black in the rain,

but blossoms into colour when the sun comes out. Rachel explained: “As our world is gradually getting warmer, I wish to create functional designs that are relevant to the changes that we will experience in the future. My handprinted silk umbrellas are created by the layering of pigments in symmetrical patterns, and the bonding and spraying of plastics and varnishes respectively, before they are coated in a thermo-chromatic ink.

“The ink covers the entire umbrella, making it black in appearance, until the umbrella is used as a parasol to protect the user from the sun. When the surface of the umbrella is heated the black pigment fades revealing the vibrant graphic print underneath.” Many students went on to exhibit their work at New Designers, the foremost event in graduate design held at the Business Design Centre, London.

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Business round-up Bucks launches business consultancy Buckinghamshire New University launched its new business consultancy in October at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre.

Aimed at providing unbiased advice and practical solutions to businesses within the Thames Valley region, the consultancy has been created to support clients in achieving real and sustainable growth of their organisations. It is being managed by lecturers Edward Cahill and Vic Davies, and will utilise the unique ange of skills and experiences found within the University.

Edward Cahill commented: “The world is continually evolving, but the quickening pace of change in areas such as technology and in the dynamics of the UK and global economy is exercising an even greater influence on the success or failure of business. “Rather than a quick fix solution, we are looking to the long term, and as a businessfacing institution we bring practical business experience coupled with an ability to take a balanced view of what these global changes mean for clients. This enables us to develop useable, cost efficient solutions to particular business problems, and key to our offering will

Students make business award trophies The BA (Hons) Ceramics with Glass course was commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council, to submit designs and prototypes for the manufacture of nine blown glass trophies, to be presented by the Council as awards for excellence in business performance and innovation, in Buckinghamshire, during 2006 and 2007. This was an exciting and challenging opportunity for undergraduate students to take on a ‘live’ project, engaging with the local business community. Four students were selected to submit diverse prototype designs for judging by the Council and sponsors of

be knowledge, dispassionately applied, and the use of data and information to provide practical and insightful answers to proposals.” Based at the High Wycombe Campus, the business consultancy has already been working on the area of digital technology and its impact on marketing. According to marketing expert, Vic Davies: “There is a need to separate the reality from the hype when it comes to effectively using digital technologies.” For further information e-mail ecahil01@ bucks.ac.uk or vdavie01@ bucks.ac.uk

© Bucks Free Press

the Buckinghamshire Ambassadors Business Awards. A design by Laura Mckinley was chosen as the winner. The course team then pulled together to produce the nine trophies for a large scale awards ceremony held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Marlow, to which many Buckinghamshire-based businesses were invited. The course has since had interest from other businesses locally, for the design and production of glass artefacts, and it is hoped that this will lead to further locally-based ‘live’ projects.

Enterprise Week 2007 Reggae musician, chef and entrepreneur, Levi Roots, and leading business networking strategist, Andy Lopata, were among the special guests at events organised by the University as part of Enterprise Week 2007. Following the success of Enterprise Week activities over the last two years, another five days of inspirational events were organised for this year’s Enterprise Week, 12–16 November. Events included: challenges for Year 12 and 13 students from West London schools and schools across the area; a presentation on protecting and patenting ideas from London based lawyers Briffa and the Centre for Rapid Design and Manufacture; a session led by alumni Jay and Jade of social enterprise Street Dreams; a look at women in business; and the chance to pitch a business idea in the University’s version of Dragons’ Den.

and runners-up awards going to Susanne Hagedorn and David Pape, Alex Vine, and Lorraine Jones. Sponsors included: Dreams Plc, Enrichment Technology, The Institute of Directors, HW Chartered Accountants, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Softcat.

Awards for the first stage of this year’s My Great Business Idea competition were presented at a Business Club dinner, with first prizes being awarded to: Indrachapa Bandara, Kristina Allison and Greg Carr; Levi Roots

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University gains new KTPs Buckinghamshire New University has been awarded an additional five Knowledge Transfer Partnerships following recent Partnership Approvals Group (PAG) meetings. Since the average first time approval rate for projects submitted to a PAG is 60% Gordon Hooker, Knowledge Transfer Manager, was justifiably delighted with this outcome.

• implementation of a dynamic online remote job scheduling system supporting mobile communications • design and manufacture of an inhaler training device to fit all current inhaler designs with either audible or electronic outputs • analysis of HR packages in order to enhance recruitment, selection and development procedures. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme is a long-established and successful way for UK businesses and organisations to improve competitiveness and/or productivity through the use of the knowledge, technology and skills that reside within academic institutions.

The projects span a range of subjects including: • development of a wireless networking system to monitor animal welfare in harsh environments • implementation of improved manufacturing and quality control procedures for a leading lamp manufacturer

Gordon Hooker said: “Currently we have several projects at various stages of development, from initial meetings and outline proposals, to full applications which are being written in conjunction with members of staff from the faculties. We are continuously seeking partnerships with companies in disciplines across all three faculties and would be pleased to discuss any potential KTPs.”

KTP increases productivity of a local company

Sarah graduated with a first class honours degree in Furniture Production in 2005. In order to design the website and introduce email marketing, Sarah took relevant computer courses at Bucks to give her the skills she needed. Now that the KTP project has finished, she is studying for a master’s degree in acoustic materials.

A High Wycombe manufacturing company has seen productivity rise by 50% thanks to the research efforts of KTP associate Sarah Musselle. Sarah began working at Soundsorba, a manufacturer of acoustic panels around two years ago. In her first year, Sarah made major improvements to production, helping to reduce lead-in times from five to three days. In her second year, she focused on marketing, in particular website development, and the development of new products (including acoustic panels which fit the make-up of a room, and acoustic diffusers which are used in concert halls and studios to distribute sound evenly).

CRDM hosts national conference The Centre for Rapid Design and Manufacture (CRDM) hosted the eighth National Conference on Rapid Design, Prototyping and Manufacture. Jointly organised with Lancaster University’s Product Development Unit, the conference showcased the latest research into the developments and uses of rapid manufacturing. Delegates travelled from all over the British Isles and from Portugal with speakers from academic institutions including the Universities of Portsmouth, Cambridge, Newcastle, Cardiff, Liverpool and Dublin. The keynote address Research Challenges in Rapid Manufacturing was given by Prof Phill Dickens of Loughborough University.

Becoming an academic supervisor to a KTP associate (graduate) based in the partner business provides academics with the opportunity to apply their wealth of knowledge and expertise to important business problems, develop business-relevant teaching materials and gain a relevant and improved understanding of business requirements and operations. Dr Chris Bocking, academic supervisor for a project with Envirotec Ltd., commented: “I have gained a high degree of satisfaction seeing a graduate blossom into a fully functioning manager during the life of my KTP and my project has enabled me to gain a practical slant to areas which were previously just theoretical.” For further information about the KTP process or to find out about the benefits of becoming an academic supervisor contact Gordon Hooker or Carol Greiller on 08450 514900 or email gordon.hooker@bucks.ac.uk An evening seminar focussing on the Faculty of Enterprise & Innovation will take place at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre on 12 February 2008.

Lead academic Sharon Grover said: “This was the first KTP in the Faculty of Creativity & Culture, and it’s been a huge success.” Sarah was the first Bucks graduate to work on a KTP project with Bucks as the ‘Knowledge Base Provider’. Did you know? Prof Derek Godfrey, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and Operations), has taken over responsibility for research and enterprise activity. Look out for news of the University’s enterprise strategy in the next issue of Connection.

Acoustic panels by Soundsorba

Two of the presenters were former students. Dr Philip Reeves presented a paper on A Methodology for the Business Implementation of Rapid Manufacturing. Philip was a student on the very first Bachelor of Engineering course offered at Buckinghamshire College in the early 1990s, and is now managing director of Econolyst Ltd, a UK-based rapid manufacturing consultancy firm. Wesley Brookes presented a paper entitled Design Freedom for Selective Laser Melted Lattice Structures; Wesley is also an ex-BEng student, and is now studying for a PhD at the University of Liverpool.

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Did you know? CRDM has moved to new premises at Wycombe Sands, Lane End Road, High Wycombe. For further information visit crdm.co.uk

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Trainee pilots receive their gold bar epaulettes

New foundation degree takes off A new foundation degree in Air Transport Management with Airline Pilot Training was launched in July. The partnership between Oxford Aviation Training (OAT) and Buckinghamshire New University is being delivered over 67 weeks and is considerably shorter than the two years normally taken for a work-based foundation degree.

The regular monthly intake makes this course unique within the aviation training industry. It is designed to provide students undertaking OAT’s prestigious Airline Preparation Programme Integrated Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence course with both an academic accreditation and an enhanced understanding of the airline business. Anthony Petteford, OAT’s Managing Director, said: “This innovative programme is aimed firmly at addressing the airlines’ increasing need for newly-qualified pilots to be able to demonstrate sound commercial understanding and a good knowledge of the aviation industry,

in addition to the necessary professional flying skills. The Foundation Degree, which can lead to a full master’s degree in Aviation Management, represents a major step forward in preparing newly-qualified pilots for a full, professional career in the industry.” Course leader John Furley added: “The foundation degree will provide students with the knowledge and skills required by airlines, including an understanding of the business and of current topics such as sustainability and growth. “The industry is responding to concerns about its environmental impact, with airlines and airports considering their environmental footprints and manufacturers designing aircraft that use less fuel, which are lighter and more aero-dynamic. External business pressures are not normally part of the curriculum for pilot training programmes, but we thought it was important to address them with this new foundation degree.”

A BRIDGE too far? Buckinghamshire New University and Cabair College of Air Training (CCAT) hosted a ‘Wings Presentation Day’ at the Chalfont Campus in August, which was attended by a group of 20 pilot students and their families and friends. The event marked the success of the Level 1 and Level 2 trainee pilot students obtaining the Commercial Pilots Licence or Private Pilots Licence, and in so doing being awarded a two gold bar epaulette and a set of wings, or one gold bar epaulette respectively. The event included addresses by: Alastair Forbes, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Enterprise & Innovation; Graham Austin, CEO CCAT; and Captain Roger Hensen, Airline Recruitment Management. The closing address was given by Keren Caird, Sales and Marketing Manager, CCAT, and John Furley, course leader.

After winning a British Council BRIDGE (British Degrees in Russia) award for the development of a joint Postgraduate Certificate in International Management with the Saratov State Socio-Economic University, the School of Business & Management wondered whether working with colleagues, based in Saratov on the Volga, was indeed a bridge too far. However, any such fears were soon dispelled when four Russian module leaders and their Business & Management ‘buddies’ met at an intensive staff development workshop held at the Chalfont Campus.

Both sides of the team bonded within hours and worked on some of the challenging tasks planned for the visit. These included working on distance learning materials prepared for delivery via Blackboard, drafting relevant assignments and, thanks to Justin Luker’s input, familiarising the team with Adobe Connect Live (Macro Media Breeze) for face-to-face communications and teaching over the internet. Saratov boasts one of the longest bridges in Europe spanning 2.8 km across the Volga – a bridge too far? Not as far as the Russian colleagues and their Business & Management ‘buddies’ were concerned.

Ade Adepitan inspires pupils at Wye Valley School Pupils of the Wye Valley School in Bourne End are taking part in a pilot programme called Inspire, Motivate and Achieve (IMA). The programme, which is being run in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council, GE Healthcare, Buckinghamshire New University, and performance development consultancy Lane4, started in September, with children organised into groups of ‘families’ comprising pupils from years 7, 8 and 9. The programme itself is divided into three sections – Inspire, Motivate and Achieve. The ‘Inspire’ element of the programme is bringing elite sports people and other inspirational speakers linked to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games into the school to be role models and inspire pupils. Through talks and activities, speakers are using their experiences to highlight the importance of self esteem, motivation, leadership and life skills.

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Olympic medallist Ade Adepitan spoke to over 400 pupils when he visited the school in November. The wheelchair basketball player, who starred in the BBC2 documentary series Beyond Boundaries, visited the school as part of the IMA programme.

the programme offers a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the excitement of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and create a lasting legacy of sporting participation and achievement in Buckinghamshire.”

The ‘Motivate’ part of the programme delivers coaching, mentoring and goal setting skills in the school and takes forward the ideas planted by the sports people during the ‘Inspire’ part of the programme. The ‘Achieve’ part of the programme incorporates the long-term aim for young people to achieve more in all aspects of their lives including academic, sport, volunteering, community activity and the arts. Additionally the programme will help promote healthy lifestyles, confidence and self esteem. Adrian Moorhouse, Managing Director of Lane4 and Olympic Gold Medallist Swimmer said: “I believe

© Bucks Free Press

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Football Association links up with Sports students Students from Buckinghamshire New University have been working with the Football Association in an innovative project designed to encourage greater participation in sport. Through a collaboration with the Football Association (FA) nationally and the Berks and Bucks Football Association Ltd, the students from the Sports Department have been helping develop football in local clubs and schools.

enjoy the sport. A special thanks to the clubs; their enthusiasm and commitment matched that of the students. This is the first project of its kind undertaken by the FA, and we hope to extend the project to other clubs and universities across the country.” The students were selected through an application process, but undertook the work on an unpaid, voluntary basis. All the students have benefited from working on

undertake projects that would not otherwise have been possible. Liz Verrall, County Development Manager for the Bucks and Berks Football Association Ltd, said: “The project was open to first, second and third year students, and involved regular meetings with us to ensure that the students were up-to-date with FA initiatives. There was a great level of commitment from the students and the clubs, which by the

Projects have included: working with the Bucks and Milton Keynes Sports Partnership to set up a futsal league for local secondary schools; creating a five-year development plan for Woodley Saints Football Club, Reading; helping Aston Clinton Football Club, Buckinghamshire to achieve chartered standard status; and supporting Oxford City Football Club through marketing activity and the development of web pages targeted at children, coaches and disabled players. Principal lecturer, Francisco Baeza, said: “The students presented their work at the Football Association’s headquarters in London. It was a great opportunity for the students to celebrate the culmination of this innovative pilot project and to see where the decisions about English football are made.” Dylan Evans, the Football Association’s Regional Manager for the South East, said: “The FA was very impressed with the range and quality of projects undertaken by the Bucks students. The projects have really helped bring football to people who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to

real projects which have enabled them to get an insight into football development, and to develop their communication and organisational skills. They all received letters of recommendation from the FA. The Football Association has benefited from extra help in the development of football, and individual clubs and schools have been able to

end of the first year will result in: four clubs achieving FA Community Charter Standard; working with two clubs to develop two pandisability football teams; the development of a girls’ futsal league for secondary schools; and the formation of a predominately Asian soccer league in partnership with Wycombe Wanderers FC.”

Cross-faculty collaboration in action June and July saw a number of intensive management development workshops being delivered to top-ranking Malaysian civil servants from the Ministries of Interior and Fisheries. Staff from the School of Business & Management and the School of Human Sciences & Law joined forces to design and deliver these specialist workshops. The interactive sessions focussed on leadership and management, aspects of risk and security, and project management. The international context provided a series of challenging scenarios for the participants to use as a basis for their discussions and learning. Staff enjoyed the stimulating exchanges that took place and the opportunity to reflect on global perspectives within their subject areas.

PhD student investigates Russian women entrepreneurs Anna Shuvalova, a PhD student in the School of Business & Management, presented a paper at the annual British Academy of Management Conference held at Warwick Business School in September. Anna’s paper entitled Russian Women Entrepreneurs examines what makes women succeed as entrepreneurs in Russia. Her paper describes the women’s attitude to risk, their particular skills, the impact of changing life events, and the motivations that drive them to succeed as entrepreneurs within a transition country.

Student set his sights on the Paralympics Events Management student Toby Pawson competed with the top 20 Paralympian equestrian riders in the UK and came third in his grade (out of over 1,000 competitors). As a result, he took his horse, Oyster II, to the World Para Championship Dressage competition held at Hartpury College in Gloucester.

in the World Class Start & Potential programme for riders between the ages of 14 and 30 who demonstrate the exceptional talent and dedication to ride and win at Olympic level in dressage, paralympic dressage, show jumping or eventing.

Toby was one of five named riders aiming for good performances to help them qualify for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. The event was the last major para-equestrian competition prior to the Beijing Paralympic Games next year, so it was a key opportunity for the squad to prove themselves and to qualify.

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Toby competes at Grade III out of the five grades for disabled riders. He suffered brain damage in a near-drowning accident as a child, which has left him with impaired coordination. He has ridden since the age of six, and was encouraged in his riding by Olympic gold medal rider Liz Stone who acted as his mentor

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Laser technology helps restore 17th century carving Conservators on the MA in Furniture Conservation & Restoration restored two wooden carvings, dated at c1675, in preparation for the return of the carvings to West Wycombe St Lawrence Church. The carvings are thought to have been made in the workshop of Grinling Gibbons, the 17th century woodcarver who undertook commissions for Charles II, William III, George I and the architect, Sir Christopher Wren. The conservation was undertaken by students Claire Daly and Anthony Baker, under the supervision of course leader Dr Campbell Norman-Smith, and in collaboration with the Council for the Care of Churches and the Rev Nigel Lacey, the rector for West Wycombe parish. Claire Daly said: “We spent around 300 hours working on the carvings. They had been severely damaged by furniture beetle, and were very dirty. There were also three different layers of paint that had to be removed.” The restoration process involved gluing the carvings back together, replacing the rigidity lost through the furniture beetle attack, and

restoring the colour. The students were able to use a laser cleaner on the carvings, thanks to a collaboration with Simon Cane, the Head of Conservation Care at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. The MA course involves undertaking a science research project and Claire Daly is now undertaking research into the use of lasers in the conservation of wood, since they are more commonly used on stone and metalwork. As part of the project, the Bucks team are providing the church with advice about how best to look after the carvings now they are back in situ. The MA Furniture Conservation & Restoration degree show will take place at West Wycombe St Lawrence Church in December. Students on the MA course have also undertaken work at Kentchurch Court, owned by the Scudamore family for over 800 years. Students undertake major conservation work on objects in the family’s collection that were damaged during a major flood. The assignment enables students to undertake onsite conservation work, a growth area for the profession, and to experience life in a stately home.

Students use bread to make artwork

Art and Design Foundation Studies students applied their creative talents to a project based on the theme of bread. The work included a full-length dress made from slices of bread, a fish, text, and a suitcase full of ‘bread’ (money). Course tutor Sarah Wilkes said: “The students were asked to create work that had something to do with bread, but we gave them the freedom to interpret that brief in their own ways. This resulted in diverse work ranging from political commentary to fashion statements. The quality of the work is impressive and reflects the creativity and ambitiousness of the students on this course.”

New perspectives on trees of the Chilterns An exhibition celebrating the trees of the Chilterns toured venues across the area from August–November. Organised by artists, June Kingsbury and Joan Skelton Smith, Perspectives: Special Trees of the Chilterns celebrated the second year of the Special Trees and Woods Project, which aims to record trees and woods in the Chilterns and their social history, so that they can be celebrated and managed sensitively and sustainably. Joan Skelton Smith is a student at Buckinghamshire New University. She works with cut paper, steel, polystyrene and video. June Kingsbury graduated from Bucks in 2006 with an MA in Ceramics with Glass, and has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and won a number of awards.

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June works mainly with glass and ceramics in her studio near Henley-onThames. She said: “I have been visiting special trees throughout the Chilterns for inspiration. I find the beech trees with carvings on particularly thought provoking and have featured a number of them in my work.” The Special Trees and Woods Project welcomed Tony Kirkham, Head of Kew Arboretum and best known for his BBC series The trees that made Britain, to their second annual conference, held at Buckinghamshire New University’s Chalfont Campus in November. Artists are invited to submit artwork inspired by special trees for another exhibition in 2008. Contact Liz Manley on 01844 355525, or email lmanley@chilternsaonb.org

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Ercol hosts student exhibition Ercol, the furniture company famous for steam-bending wood and creating iconic designs, held an exhibition of work by MA and BA Furniture Design students. The show included collaborative design projects with Ercol as well as other creative projects that students have been engaged with during their furniture design courses. It was also the launch of the MA@Ercol initiative.

MA@ Ercol initiative was created, a channel through which to address important issues in design, manufacture and sustainability.

Following a tour of the factory facilities at Ercol, Dr Lynn Jones, MA Furniture Design & Technology course leader, challenged her students with a brief inspired by the design and manufacturing processes they’d seen. She encouraged students to use their instincts and gut reactions when designing their pieces, rather than using conventional methods of design. Selected pieces were fully prototyped by Ercol hand in hand with the student designers, who gained invaluable experience of the production side of the business. It was from this that the

Vicky Tadros from Ercol, said: “It was great to host an exhibition of work from such budding designers with fresh new ideas. We are strong believers in sustainability and practicality, and the collaboration with Buckinghamshire New University enabled us to look at these issues, and other vital questions, without having to focus on the commercial side of furniture manufacturing. This is a partnership which not only benefits the students, but helps us as a business, and one I hope will last long into the future.”

Dr Lynn Jones said: “It was great to see all the hard work the students had put in pay off, and how good the pieces looked standing in the Ercol showroom among their classic pieces. We have had strong ties with Ercol for many years, and are delighted to be able to continue this into the future. The students really benefit from industrial experience, especially from a company as prestigious as Ercol.”

MA student Langton Stead

Research award for textiles project

Dr Andie Robertson, senior lecturer in Textiles & Surface Design, has been awarded a grant of £10,000 by the Higher Education Academy’s Art Design Media Subject Centre in association with SkillfastUK (the Sector Skills Council for fashion and textiles). Andie will investigate student work placement opportunities within the textiles, apparel and accessories small designer-maker community in the UK. This year-long project entitled Learning on Placement will identify examples of standard and best practice in work placements within the textiles and fashion design-maker community. An archive of digital videos will be created that will aid the creation of a tool to enable other higher education institutions and small businesses to develop their own employer engagement, work-related learning and student placement strategies. The project will be delivered collaboratively alongside Northbrook College of Further and Higher Education. Dr Paul Springer, Head of Research in the Faculty of Creativity & Culture was instrumental in the submission of the application.

Students take top BAFRA awards This year’s British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA) – Heath Lambert-Hiscox, Student Conservation Awards were held at West Dean College in West Sussex. Eight students from one University and two colleges competed for four awards, judged by members of BAFRA. Peter White, a graduate student on the BA (Hons) Furniture Conservation & Restoration course won first prize for his conservation/ restoration of a 19th century Boulle ink stand, which he purchased at auction. André Notley won a special prize awarded by the life members of BAFRA for outstanding

achievement, for his work on a 19th century French marquetry commode belonging to Lord Rothschild. Adrian Smith, chairman of the judges said: “The standard of work this year was again very high and the range of objects was diverse, giving the judges a difficult task in choosing the winners.” Paul Tear MBE, course leader for the BA (Hons) Furniture Conservation & Restoration said: “I am very pleased for Peter and André. It is very satisfying to have their work recognized by fellow professionals as being of such a high standard.”

Success for students at D&AD New Blood exhibition Graphic Design and Advertising students won a number of prizes at this year’s D&AD New Blood exhibition. Nick Shay, Anja Muller, Leander Thom and Mauro Rodriguez won first prizes; second prizes went to Livvy Chenevix-Trench, Sarah Bamford, Edward Fisher and Jamie Evans, and commendations were received by Mark Campion, Adam Collins, Robin Warman, Hollie Belton and Lauren Arnett. D&AD is an educational charity that represents 07 20 the global creative, design and r e int advertising communities.

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New course helps stroke patients A new short course for healthcare practitioners caring for stoke patients has been developed by the Faculty of Society & Health and The Stroke Association.

Stroke is currently the third biggest killer and the leading cause of severe disability in the UK. The Stroke Management and Care course is designed to help a range of healthcare practitioners, including nurses, healthcare assistants, social workers and carers, develop their knowledge and skills, in order to enhance the care of stroke patients. Topics include: assessing and managing risk factors for stroke; nutrition; stroke rehabilitation; stroke and sexuality; and end of life care.

Sue Wayne, Head of Training for The Stroke Association commented: “We are delighted to be working with Buckinghamshire New University. There are about 900,000 people in England who have had a stroke. Around half of all stroke survivors are dependent upon others for everyday activities. The needs of a stroke survivor are often complex. This course offers healthcare workers an understanding of the needs of stroke survivors, and solutions to providing best care practices.” Sue West, Head of the School of Continuing & Advanced Practice at Bucks, says: “The Stroke Association wanted to link with a higher education institution to develop a short course looking at the range of issues affecting stroke patients and their carers. We are delighted to be working with the charity on this important

issue which affects so many people, to deliver a flexible course which suits the needs of healthcare workers.” The course is being delivered over seven days on alternate weeks, over three months, and started at the end of September. The programme was launched at a stroke awareness evening held at West Middlesex University Hospital’s Education Centre. Speakers included: Ahlam Wynne, West Middlesex University Hospital’s Specialist Nurse for Stroke Care who recently received an Excellence in Stroke Care Award from the Stroke Association; and Cathy Evans, who qualified as a nurse after studying at Bucks, and having recovered from suffering a stroke at the age of 36.

Bucks hosts Wycombe Community Festival A community festival organised by and for the local community, took place at Buckinghamshire New University’s Wellesbourne Campus in July.

The Wycombe Community Festival was co-ordinated by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2nd Generation (SV2G), the organisation that raises awareness of Caribbean heritage in Buckinghamshire.

Jacqueline Roberts, Chair of SV2G and a Buckinghamshire New University Sociology graduate said: “This was a community event, designed to encourage a sense of belonging, pride and self-worth among community members by providing an awareness of many cultures and filling the gap of knowledge within our community. This was the second year that we have run the event, and it included a diverse range of activities–food, music and dance–celebrating the rich heritage of the community as a whole.” A number of local community organisations took part, including: Wycombe Steel Orchestra; Sri Lankan dancers; and salsa, tango and hip hop dancers. Funds raised on the day were given to the Fire Service National Benevolent Fund. If you would like to be involved in next year’s festival call SV2G on 01494 436 269.

The event was supported by: Buckinghamshire New University’s Faculty of Society & Health; St. Vincent & Grenadines Tourist Office & High Commission; Thames Valley Police; Bucks Fire & Rescue Service; and the Bucks Free Press.

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Students from Boston visit Bucks The Faculty of Society & Health welcomed students from Northeastern University Boston for the fourth year running. The visit gave visiting and home students the opportunity to compare and contrast learning and practice experiences. The students from Northeastern University undertake the visit as an optional module to gain credit, and predominantly have been undergraduate and postgraduate nurse

practitioners, but this year included two students undertaking law and criminology. The aim of the project was to describe the impact of a creative international exchange programme on the awareness of advanced nurse practitioners in the USA and UK, and to demonstrate how collaborative engagement has led to enhanced learning and research. Sue West, Head of the School of Continuing & Advanced Practice, says: “The significance

of the exchange is that if nursing is to develop younger leaders it is necessary to mentor novice nurses into leadership roles early and offer them similar creative learning experiences. Undergraduate and graduate nursing students need to develop broader, more global views of nursing, as well as effective thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills.”

Researchers visit the House of Commons For the ninth year running, Britain’s younger researchers were invited to the House of Commons in UK National Science Week to present posters on their research and discoveries, to meet MPs and to compete for prestigious medals and awards.

brought real UK SET research to the attention of Parliament. Sponsoring MP, Dr Brian Iddon, said that such events helped push SET

research up the Government’s agenda and developed awareness of the enormous value of SET research to the UK economy.

Buckinghamshire New University was one of the best represented higher education institutions with one poster presented at the lunchtime reception (by PhD student Maggie Whoolery) and three posters presented at the evening reception (by research fellow Lynette Hodges, PhD student Glenis Johnston, and Ian Drysdale of DanMedical Ltd). Each reception was visited by about 60 MPs. The standard of entries was very high, and MPs said they were extremely impressed with the high quality of UK research, the topical problems being studied and the enthusiasm and vitality of Britain’s younger researchers – the country’s future scientific leaders. The organiser, Dr Eric Wharton of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) for BRITAIN, commented that these events

Parliamentary research assistant Max Freeman with Maggie Whoolery

Nick Harvey MP, Bucks's Prof David Brodie, Parliamentary research assistant Guy L'Etang, and Glenis Johnston

Viewpoint: My visit to St Thomas’ Hospital All-round teamwork by Amanda Tisdale, nursing student Every university with a nursing programme is able to send up to two nursing students to represent their university at a Students’ Day at St Thomas’ Hospital, and the Annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey. Having responded to an invitation to apply, I was approved to go to both. I made sure I mentioned this to all the student nurses that I knew, so that they could put forward any questions to ask at the panel during the Students’ Day. Therefore, I went with two questions in mind. The panel consisted of a panel of senior nurses from around the UK and also a newly qualified nurse working at a local London hospital who had been elected Student of the Year in her final year. I could not help feeling a bit smug, as this nurse was a Bucks alumna! The audience consisted of my peers, second and third year nursing students from across the UK, who asked the panel questions. This was very informal and relaxed yet informative. I asked two questions: their views on general training versus specialism, as I am training in the child branch (I got a good mix of for and against comments); and also what was to be done about the few people going into nursing now and whether secondment should be highlighted more.

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It seemed that the panel and fellow students alike did not know much about secondment, although they thought it was a wonderful way to begin in nursing. In a developing discussion, I mentioned that seconded students are eligible to rent at a reduced rate under the key worker scheme. This interested someone from the Royal College of Nursing who asked whether I would like to write something for the student section of their magazine – great for portfolio building! After the discussion, we were then given a tour of St Thomas’ Hospital. We also went to the Florence Nightingale Museum, where we were told more about the woman herself and the impact she has had on nursing. We walked over to Westminster Abbey for the Annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service, which is open to anyone to attend. As we arrived early, we were taken into the beautiful Nurses’ Chapel. All in all, I had a lovely day out and came back with a reinforced determination to succeed in the nursing profession. I will only have one more chance to attend the Students’ Day, in my third year, so will be requesting it again. Having enjoyed the service so much, I will attend that next year regardless – and will probably try to do so every year, to honour my profession.

It was a rainy, cold, miserable July day as the faculty of Society & Health held its annual rounders match and BBQ. Teams were made up of a mixture of admin, teaching and research staff (and a few athletic offspring) who had been in training for this prestigious challenge for many months. The referee declared the going good. Nicola Bate and Nonsi Matthu lead their teams out and the match began despite the difficult weather conditions. Nicola’s team steamed ahead leading eight rounders to nil. Nonsi’s team clawed some rounders back in the third innings, but they couldn’t close the gap and eventually lost nine rounders to two and a half. Faculty Executive Manager, Teri McAvoy commented: “Both teams played their hearts out, showing true spirit in spite of the poor weather conditions. The score belies the sheer effort shown by all and the teams 07 0 should feel proud of their achievements.”r 2

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Campus redevelopment Executive Dean (Change Management) Trevor Nicholls updates us on current developments at High Wycombe What has been happening over the summer? Demolition of the front of the High Wycombe Campus began in July. The foyer has been refurbished for use as the main reception area for the next two years, until the new Learning Resources Centre is finished; this will then house the main reception for the University. The refurbishment of Floors D and E in North Block by the contractors, ITC Concepts, took place over the summer months. There are now 25 new teaching and seminar rooms, two new 82-seat lecture theatres, plus social space including computers and vending machines. The counselling and psychology laboratories are also housed here. All the rooms have similar audio-visual equipment so that teaching staff can move easily from one room to another. The Owen Harris building was vacated over the summer, and is now being refurbished to accommodate some of the administrative services currently based in North Block, i.e. Marketing, Communications & Recruitment, Human Resources, Finance, and Business Transformation Services, who will move in after Christmas. What is the next stage of development? The remainder of North Block will be refurbished in the summer of 2008 to provide more seminar rooms, and to provide space for Student & Academic Services and the Students’ Union. Floor D of Main Block will also be refurbished for some staff from the Faculty of Society & Health in January and February 2008. When will work start on the new Learning Resources Centre? Full planning permission for the new centre has been approved, and we are in the process of satisfying the last few minor conditions

and details are being finalised in conjunction with HBG Construction Ltd. We are currently preparing for the construction of the Centre and have set out a new roadway around the building. As we move into the New Year, we will start to see the new building rise from the rubble! What else has been happening? In August, we agreed the sale of about 75% of the former CompAir site. In October we submitted a planning application for around 1,000 student bedrooms on the northern part of the site. This is due to be considered by Wycombe District Council early in 2008. As part of this process we have undertaken a public consultation exercise to ensure that our proposals are clear and to take appropriate account of any concerns. The accommodation will include provision for our mature and disabled students, to match the needs of our diverse student body, as well as providing six incubator units. The site will be developed in two stages, with the first providing approximately 700 new en-suite rooms.

Authority regarding the future contract for nurse education and the associated location are ongoing. Did you know? You can watch the rebuilding work at the High Wycombe Campus live on our webcam; visit the ‘Campus redevelopment’ web pages in the ‘About us’ section of bucks.ac.uk

In September we completed the sale of the John North Halls site. The income from this has funded the acquisition of the land for the student residences mentioned above. Our application for planning permission to redevelop the Wellesbourne Campus in conjunction with George Wimpey Ltd. went to appeal in November 2007, and the Planning Inspector will submit his recommendation to the Secretary of State. The outcome will not be known for a few months. We are progressing with the first phase of the redevelopment of the Queen Alexandra Road site with the income from the sale of the Chalfont site as well as a bank loan. Once the outcome of the Wellesbourne planning appeal is known, we will be able to consider the next stages of our redevelopment plans which will include some more new build as well as more refurbishment. Negotiations with the London Strategic Health

Refurbished faculty reception

Proposed new student accommodation

Gym equipment moves to Wembley Staff at Wembley Police Station are keeping fit thanks to a recycling project which has seen decommissioned gym equipment from the High Wycombe Campus put to good use. Due to the redevelopment work, the existing gym equipment was surplus to requirements. Some of the equipment went to the Chalfont Campus, and six items were installed at the mini-gym at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre. Exercise Facility Manager, John Ide said: “There were several tonnes of equipment left. I was determined that it should not be consigned to the scrap heap – an option which, not only environmentally unsatisfactory, would have cost the institution several thousands of pounds. Fortunately, I received a call from PC Andrew Keighly, an ex-student now working for the Metropolitan Police at their Wembley Station. Andrew had recently suffered an injury playing rugby and was assigned desk duties whilst the injury healed. He had been given permission to convert a storage room at the station into a small exercise facility. I was happy to work with PC Keighly to relocate this equipment, as the

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Chief Superintendent Mark Toland, Andrew Keighly and John Ide budget available to him would otherwise have prevented him from creating a fully equipped exercise facility.” Chief Superintendent Toland, who opened the new facility, said: “The feedback has been tremendous. I’ve spoken to a number of members of staff who say they’ve already been through the induction and are making

full use of the gym every day. One PC told me he liked working here at Brent but was considering leaving the borough as we didn’t have a gym - I’ve since spoken with him and he tells me he’s staying put!” The Metropolitan Police are planning to tie in physiotherapy and occupational therapy with the facility, and the University has benefited from the sale of the equipment.

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Wood-carver preserves Redwood tree The demise of a huge Redwood tree at the University’s Missenden Abbey Conference Centre is being turned into an opportunity thanks to local wood-carver, Dick Onians. The Giant Redwood tree, thought to have been over 150 years old, had died and had to be taken down in order to maintain the safety of the site. Now, it is being made into a seat so that visitors to the Abbey can sit and enjoy the Abbey and its stunning grounds. Centre Director, Steve Crawford said: “Rather than just fell it and remove all sight of it, we decided to create a seat for future generations. The tree, which has given joy to many over the 150 years, will continue to be a part of the Abbey and will leave its own legacy, thanks to Dick Onians’ wood-carving skills.” Dick Onians MA (Cantab), ARBS, is a nationally recognised wood-carver and author. He is also a tutor for the Bucks Adult Learning programme hosted at Missenden Abbey. Dick was shortlisted in 2003 with Anthony Gormley and Anish Kapoor for the sculptural focus for the British Memorial Garden in New York. He was Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Art Society from 1985–1989, and now concentrates on private work, teaching and writing. Dick’s sculptures appear in private collections in Great Britain, Europe, Canada and the USA. Many of the works combine organic and mathematical elements, and are concerned with endlessness and continuous renewal.

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University taster for people in care Six young people in the care of the County Council had a taste of university at a three-day summer school organised jointly by Buckinghamshire County Council, Buckinghamshire New University and Aimhigher South East. The students experienced living in a hall of residence and had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities,

including creative writing, popular media, drama, and film studies, designed to raise their aspirations and boost self-confidence. Two of the students who attended the summer school said that they would probably go on to university and the other four said that they would definitely go; all of them said that the summer school had helped them to reach this decision.

Did you know? According to the Government’s Care Matters Green Paper, only 6% of children who have experienced care go on to higher education compared with 43% of all children.

Students join soccer summer school

34 Year 11 pupils joined a Football Management residential summer school held at Chalfont Campus. During their five days at Bucks the students participated in lectures, practical work and off-site visits. The academic programme was organised by Simon Robinson, the School of Sport, Leisure & Tourism and colleagues from the Football Association. The students also took part in various social events, including a celebratory dinner at Wycombe Wanderers Football Club with Sir Trevor Brooking. Next year’s soccer summer school will run from 7-11 July 2008. For more information email Laura Menzies at laura.menzies@ bucks.ac.uk

6th formers aim higher at summer school 60 students from schools and colleges across the South East joined together to take part in Higher Education: the business!, a four-day residential summer school held at the Chalfont Campus. Academic staff and student ambassadors led an exciting programme of sessions including law, advertising, economics and business strategy. The programme also incorporated a visit to Thorpe Park, as part of an investigation into leisure-based businesses.

A social programme was included to ensure the pupils had plenty of fun, and since no university experience would be complete without gowns and mortarboards, the summer school ‘graduates’ collected scrolls at the end. Clive Lewis, principal lecturer in Economics at Buckinghamshire New University said: “Students got a brief taste of a number of different subject areas and we noticed how they grew in confidence as the summer school progressed."

Aimhigher is a national programme which aims to widen participation in higher education by raising the awareness, aspirations and attainment of young people from underrepresented groups. Jointly funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Aimhigher programme operates across nine regional partnerships and 45 area partnerships throughout England. Summer schools are part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Summer school students

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Local Aimhigher partnership wins two awards Aimhigher staff in Buckinghamshire won two top accolades at the first National Aimhigher Awards – including one for a former prison inmate who’s now studying at college. Aimhigher Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (Aimhigher MKOB) was a winner in two of the six award categories. Senior mentor, Karyn Buck, won the ‘Outstanding individual contribution’ award for the person that has excelled in representing the Aimhigher programme on a regional or area basis. Her work involved setting up and playing a leading role in a one-to-one mentoring project to help adults to consider re-starting their education as a way to advance their careers. The project started in large organisations and has now benefited hundreds of people after being extended to small businesses, young offenders, probationers, the armed forces, schools and colleges. Nathan Cottrell was one of the winners in the ‘Most inspirational student success story’ category which recognises the efforts of an individual who has shown exceptionally strong

Student Associates Scheme enhances employability In a competitive world, a university qualification on its own is not enough to guarantee that a student will get a job in their chosen field. Buckinghamshire New University adds value to the student experience in a number of different ways, offering a range of extracurricular activities designed to enhance employability, including the opportunity to be a student representative, ambassador, or PAL (peer-assisted learning) leader, join a society or sports team, or undertake volunteering or other work experience.

personal engagement in an Aimhigher activity, and has seen significant success as a result. Nathan worked with Karyn as his mentor while he was serving a prison sentence at HMP Grendon. He had no qualifications when he went in, but after overcoming many barriers and knock-backs, was awarded a place at Plumpton College, Brighton on leaving prison, to study for a Foundation Degree in Animal Science. There were more than 150 entries in this year’s awards scheme, which was established to celebrate the most effective and innovative Aimhigher activities across the country.

Did you know? Aimhigher MKOB partners include: Buckinghamshire New University which hosts five Aimhigher staff, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University, the Open University (Southern Region), seven local colleges, local schools, two learning partnerships, Thames Valley Learning and Skills Council, Connexions, NextStep Guidance Partnership, employers and employers’ organisations. For more information visit aimhigher.ac.uk Claire Oakley & Karyn Buck

Aimhigher MKOB Acting Director, Claire Oakley, who is based at Bucks’s High Wycombe Campus, said: “This is a wonderful achievement which reflects the dedication of our staff and partners to helping people from all walks of life achieve their potential. To win two of the six national awards is absolutely tremendous and my congratulations go out to Karyn and Nathan who fully deserve this recognition.”

Two students from the School of Computing & Advanced Technologies have worked hard to enhance their CVs. Business Information Technology students Scott Brewer and Anil Patel won places on the Student Associates Scheme, part of the Aimhigher programme, which gives students with teaching aspirations special training and classroom experience. Scott and Anil completed a three-week work placement in the ICT department at Didcot Girls School, and were rewarded with Teacher of the Week prizes. Head Teacher, Paula Taylor-Moore, commented: “They have been excellent. The girls have two new role models after doing the ‘design a mobile phone’ activity with Scott and Anil. They were popular with both staff and pupils, and have inspired us all greatly. Thank you for all your hard work!” One pupil commented: “I used to find ICT boring because that’s what my Dad does for a living, but I really like it now!”

Undergraduate secures publishing scholarship

Second year Music Industry Management student, Amy Gittens has been presented with the prestigious ‘Richard Toeman Scholarship’ award. The award, which she received at the Music Publishers Association AGM in July, is presented to students or young entrepreneurs who show the most promise for a future career in publishing. The Scholarship will give Amy the financial support to allow her to begin developing a career in music publishing, prior to her graduation next year.

New students get off to a great start New students undertook two programmes designed to help ease them into higher education. For the fourth consecutive year, the higher education academic skills course, Head Start, was offered to students who have been out of education for some time or who may be feeling nervous about their ability to cope with higher level studies. Head Start was introduced by the former Faculty of Leisure & Tourism, but this year, invitations were extended to all students within the Faculty of Enterprise & Innovation as well

as Music Management students based at the Wellesbourne Campus. As a result of the extended brief, two four-day courses ran consecutively at the end of August and the beginning of September and attracted around 50 students. All the students said that their skills and confidence had improved as a result of attending the course. The Flying Start course supports students of all disciplines who need extra help with their maths and English skills prior to commencing their studies. It has been running for two years and student feedback indicates that this year’s

event was an overwhelming success. Many students were motivated and reassured by knowing that their progress through their first year would be tracked as part of the evaluation of the initiative. One student commented: “I am so privileged to have been on this course. It has really inspired me. Nothing is stopping me now from achieving my dream. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.”

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London Wasps and Bucks launch partnership Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson MBE added an honorary degree to his already impressive list of accolades in September, before backing a new partnership between Buckinghamshire New University and his former club London Wasps. The University has worked with Wasps for many years, during which time rugby students have enjoyed world-class coaching from Wasps staff. This new partnership formalises that relationship and will see a range of exciting new initiatives introduced, including: • The establishment of Wasps’ community team on campus in High Wycombe • Easy access to higher education, enabling Wasps players to prepare for life after their playing careers • A presence for the new university in Buckinghamshire on promotional material and match shirts • Coaching of the student rugby team by a Wasps coach. Buckinghamshire New University’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Ruth Farwell said: “Like the town of High Wycombe, we are changing fast.

Becoming a partner to Europe’s leading rugby club reflects the vigour and ambition of the new university in Buckinghamshire. With world champions like Matt Dawson, who we’ve just made an honorary doctor, on our side, we are definitely on course for the Premiership.

Matt Dawson said: “Accepting this honorary degree this morning was a great honour for me. For my family and I to be invited back to my local university, in the town where I grew up, and to be recognised in this way has made a very exciting and memorable day for us all.

“Our High Wycombe Campus is being re-developed to include new sports facilities and performance laboratories, and with partnerships like this we will become one of the leading southern universities for sports.”

“I’m also delighted, as a former Wasps player to be associated with the new partnership between the University and London Wasps. As a local lad it’s fantastic to see my old club involved in offering top class rugby opportunities to an increasing number of young people in the Buckinghamshire area.

London Wasps Chief Executive, Tony Copsey said: “London Wasps are very much looking forward to developing our relationship with the University in the coming years. The new partnership will allow us to introduce some exciting new initiatives in the local area that will benefit young people in education, rugby enthusiasts and the community in and around High Wycombe. “This is very much a three-way partnership, allowing local students, professional rugby players and the residents of the Buckinghamshire area to benefit from the expertise and resources of one of England’s most exciting new universities and the champion rugby club in Europe.”

“This partnership will also offer rugby players improved access to higher education. Throughout my playing career rugby was changing, and it continues to do so. Whereas in the past players may have traditionally completed their higher level education before going into the senior or professional game, now more are turning professional before they have had the opportunity to experience the benefits of a higher education - and not everyone can become a dancer or chef! Working with Buckinghamshire New University will enable players to prepare for life beyond their playing careers, something which I think will be particularly beneficial to them.”

PARTNERS COMMITTED TO PERFORMANCE

Student joins Wasps community team Sports Management & Rugby Studies student Craig Burgess graduated alongside Matt Dawson, having already secured a position as a Community Sports Coach with London Wasps. Craig is responsible for community coaching programmes from primary schools upwards, and for delivering education sessions to teachers. Craig said: “This full time job opportunity has only come through going to Buckinghamshire New University. Being introduced to the community team at

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London Wasps and being provided with the opportunity to work for them part-time whilst at uni as well as other coaching opportunities which I was offered through the lecturing staff and some that I made myself has allowed me to gain the vital experience necessary to gain employment with Wasps.” School of Sport, Leisure & Travel lecturer Paul Morgan commented: “This is a fantastic achievement for Craig who demonstrated all the right qualities and professionalism from the start and it shows what potential there is for students to benefit from the strength of our links with the sports industry.”

Craig Burgess

Connection


Reviews What You Should Know About Wood By Dr Florin Ioras, Faculty of Enterprise & Innovation, and Prof Jegatheswaran Ratnasingam, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Although many authoritative books on wood science and technology are available in the market, none simply explore wood as a raw material or do so comprehensively enough to

Primarily written for those for whom knowledge of the technical properties of wood is essential, the authors’ intention was to avoid all unnecessary technical language

encourage readers to undertake further study into this fascinating material. This book gives an overview of wood as a raw material, to cater for the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises in the wood and wood products industry.

and descriptions, thereby making the subject matter more easily accessible to all those interested in wood.

By Stella Whalley, Faculty of Creativity & Culture.

where women dress as men to chaperone women, where gangsters loiter on street corners framed against a backdrop of the most futuristic, complex, high ordered but chaotic city in the world. Wild monkeys scramble over rooftops and vending machines dispense live crabs.

Manga, anime and the traditional world of the Geisha and Samurai collide in a unique collection of drawings, photographs and screen prints. In Tokyo Tales, Stella travels to the dark heart of a complex society,

Her highly personal book references her intriguing work as a performance artist during a residency in Tokyo. Characters such as her male escort visit hostess bars and she mingles with yakuza (organised crime groups).

The book is available in two editions – a special artist edition with beautiful personalised Japanese silk or satin covers or flocked Japanese wallpaper patterns, and a bookshop edition with silver foiled faux-silk covers. The satin covers are from the material used for the Beatles’ costumes in their Sgt. Pepper publicity images.

Throughout the developing world, especially in South East Asia, wood remains one of the most widely used materials. Yet, its utilisation is marginalised and confined to non-structural applications. Contrarily, in the developed Western world, wood as a raw material is regarded with deserved high-esteem and used equally well in both structural and non-structural applications. This extraordinary difference in wood utilisation arises from the contrary appreciation of wood materials in these two regions.

Tokyo Tales

Where East Meets West

What You Should Know About Wood is a Tropical Resources Network Publication.

Tokyo Tales is published by design united and distributed by Art Books International. For further information visit stellawhalley.com

Reader Says Returned: A New DVD for Libraries By Sean Fitzgerald, Faculty of Creativity & Culture, and Jon Taylor, filmmaker and former librarian Reader Says Returned is a DVD designed to support the training of frontline library staff in everyday issues of customer care. The first in a planned series of DVDs from Westgate Films, Reader Says Returned delivers its training points in a stylish 23minute movie, performed by professional actors in a real library location. The scriptwriter draws on two decades of service in public libraries, giving the film an authenticity – and a quirky sense of

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humour – that will appeal to library staff everywhere.

Lending itself to a broad range of training styles, Reader Says Returned can provide an entertaining springboard for discussion on subjects such as: telephone enquiries; difficult customers; disputes over charges; plain English; complaints; and public computers. The DVD also contains a folder of supporting material, including a fully annotated transcript of the film and a slide presentation. “Libraries place a high value on customer care,” says Jon Taylor. “When it comes

to training, though, it can sometimes be difficult to make the subject interesting and relevant. There are some excellent DVDs and videos around, but they tend to be about general matters of customer service, when often what you really need is some help with situations that are specific to libraries. This is where Reader Says Returned really scores. We think this is the first DVD of its kind to be released in the UK.” For more information email Jon Taylor at jon@westgatefilms.co.uk

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What’s on? Prospective students had the opportunity to find out more about Buckinghamshire New University at University Open Days held in June and September. Staff and students were on hand to talk to prospective students and their families, and activities included interactive workshops. Our next University Open Day will be on Saturday 9 February 2008, from 11:00am–4:00pm.

INFX Live events

The live arm of INFX Productions, the not-for-profit initiative designed to give Bucks students the opportunity to develop real music industry experience, will be organising a range of events for April and May. Events will include: a ‘battle of the bands’ competition open to local talent from the Wycombe area; a jazz, dinner and dance evening to raise money for the Dreams Come True charity; a sponsored event at the Royal British Legion in High Wycombe, including a champagne reception, classical acoustic duet and covers band, to raise money for the Buckinghamshire Foundation; an all-day music workshop in London for schools, colleges and music groups; and an event to promote the issues someone with a disability meets at a live event, run in conjunction with the charity Attitude is Everything and the Disability Service at Buckinghamshire New University.

Courses starting in January A range of work-based learning, postgraduate, professional and short courses will start in January. Short course topics range from Ceramics and Upholstery to Graphics for the Web and an Introduction to IT. Other courses include: the BA (Hons) Professional Studies (Top up), which enables students to convert an HNC/HND/FdA/FdSc to an Honours Degree; the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma; PG Cert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; MA in Music & Entertainment Management; and the Foundation Degree in Community Development. For a full list of courses starting in January visit bucks.ac.uk, call 0800 0565 660, or e-mail advice@ bucks.ac.uk

Staff development courses Courses for the Spring and Summer include: Appraisal Skills for Appraisees; Blackboard - A Basic Introduction for Beginners; Collaborative Partnership - Review and Development Day (9 July); Disability Awareness; Dyslexia Awareness; Equal Opportunities in Staff Selection and Recruitment; Health & Safety Induction; Induction Day (13 February & 12 May); Introduction to Islam & the Muslim Culture; Introduction to Learning Resources; Mental Health Awareness; Mentoring New Staff; Preparing for Teaching; Project Management; Stamp Out Negativity; and Thinking Fast Under Pressure. Check Bucks Extra for details, or call Wendy Lennon on 01494 522141 x3228.

Dates and times are to be confirmed; contact Rikke Østergaard at rikke_oestergaard@ hotmail.com for details.

Staff Association events

The Staff Association organises a range of events throughout the year, from theatre trips, music and exhibitions to expeditions organised by the Outdoor Walking Group. Forthcoming events include a ceilidh supper to be held at Chalfont in February, a night at the dogs in May, and walking group trips to Scotland, the Peak District and Exmoor.

For further information visit the Staff Association pages on Bucks Extra, email bcsac@ bucks.ac.uk, or sign up to one of the dedicated email lists: theatre@ bucks.ac.uk; events@ bucks.ac.uk; or outdoor@ bucks.ac.uk.

Connection

Connection Issue 6  

Bucks New University Connection Issue 6