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issue 4 n september 2013 n


saving Asia’s great apes

creating a connected university village MORE THAN MORTAR BOARDS

mad about maths

john lennon comes home to liverpool college of art

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LJMU students are held in high regard by NHS stakeholders...


the university experience is more than just bricks and mortar...




...the boiling of kettles synchronises across the nation - all because people are watching television



28 MAD about maths


Creating a connected university village 4

More than mortar boards FEATURES

Saving Asia’s great apes

Putting university within reach addressing and dressing the NHS

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Partnerships that put students first

John Lennon comes home Armchair nation

SNAPSHOTS Forging future careers Getting active in the community

Watch this space Galaxy gold

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At the heart of Liverpool life

Everything we do at LJMU is designed to have impact. Put simply this means applying our expertise, academic knowledge and creativity to make a difference; to individuals, like our students, to organisations, who employ our talented graduates, and to society as a whole through the application of our expertise to solve real-world problems. I hope that after reading this edition of ‘think’ you will have a better understanding of the range of social and economic engagement activities that we undertake. By continuing to invest in our campus and improving facilities for our staff, students and other stakeholders, we are also advancing the renewal and regeneration of Liverpool. Our plans to create a connected walkable university village in the heart of the city centre will further improve the public realm, making Liverpool a more attractive place for everyone living, working and visiting the city. Industry, commerce and business need skilled graduates and we know that our graduate talent pipeline is working as employment rates for our students have improved year on year for the last four years. Furthermore our research and consultancy activities clearly demonstrate how LJMU can boost economic recovery.

That’s why I am confident that LJMU can succeed in its mission to be recognised as a ‘modern civic university delivering solutions to the challenges of the 21st century’, providing the insights, innovation and leaders of tomorrow that Liverpool and the UK need to forge a brighter future.

Professor Nigel Weatherill

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive



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saving Asia’s great apes Did you know that orangutans have lost 80% of their natural habitat in the last 30 years. Now efforts to protect these great apes have received an unlikely boost thanks to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles better known as drones.

Serge Wich, Professor in Primate Biology at LJMU, is a world-leader in the field. He commented: “Orangutans live in large areas and to monitor where they are and where their forests are being affected we used to look at satellite maps and walk through the forests. Using drones we can cover large areas in a more efficient way. Every night orangutans make a new nest, which takes them about ten minutes, and the next day they move on in their search for more food. Using the drones we can see where and how many orangutans there are by counting their nests.”

Professor Serge Wich with conservational drone

He added: “There’s a huge global community working on drones. When we started there were virtually no conservation people working with them. We did the first test flights in Indonesia in 2012. It was so much fun to see a plane you had made yourself fly over forest and collect images, it was very exciting. People in conservation have wanted this kind of thing for a long time. Renting real planes is extremely expensive so using drones changes things dramatically.”

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As part of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) project, Professor Wich is also involved in using drones to protect rhinos in Nepal’s national parks. Closer to home, they have just been tested to map the wintering grounds of the barnacle geese in Scotland in collaboration with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. “Drones will probably be a standard tool in biodiversity surveys in the future, so it is important that universities can use this technology and pass on knowledge to students, for future employment,” he said. “Drones will change data collection in huge ways. They have the power to revolutionise ecology and conservation.”

For more information, go to:

creating a connected


university village


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LJMU’s plans to develop a connected university village go beyond just bricks and mortar with the ultimate goal being the creation of a vibrant, welcoming community in the heart of Liverpool city centre. The connected university village would bring a renewed sense of identity and belonging to LJMU’s current portfolio of 37 buildings, from the main science and technology facilities at Byrom Street to the John Foster Buildings on Mount Pleasant and the Redmonds Building on Clarence Street. The heart of the village would be located in Copperas Hill on the redeveloped site of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office. This location benefits from being within walking distance of LJMU’s other teaching and learning facilities, having great public transport links, with Lime Street and Queens Square bus terminal just minutes away, and its close proximity to a wide range of high quality affordable student accommodation. think page 5

LJMU is a complex organisation, which has evolved and grown over time to become one of the UK’s largest universities with over 24,000 students. Over the last decade LJMU has invested over £160million in developing new buildings and refurbishing existing facilities, culminating with the completion of the £38million Redmonds Building in 2012.This investment has transformed the University, enabling it to offer staff and students inspirational facilities for teaching and learning and to further its research and knowledge transfer activities.

LJMU’s plan to create a connected university village in the city centre is a hugely significant step which will make a big contribution to Liverpool’s economic future. Once completed, the University will be a city centre based campus concentrated around a small number of high quality sites, including Byrom Street, Copperas Hill, the Redmonds Building and the John Lennon Art and Design Building, giving it greater coherence, unity, visibility and impact. “Copperas Hill is the missing piece of the jigsaw”, says Colin Davies, LJMU’s Director of Estate Management. “LJMU’s plans to redevelop this strategically important location would act as a catalyst for regenerating the area surrounding Lime Street and help to integrate the Knowledge Quarter with the rest of the city centre. It will also give our students a real base in the city, a place where they can study, socialise and truly connect with everything that this great city has to offer”. A knowledge pathway would also be created from Byrom Street to the John


The acquisition of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office on Copperas Hill and the decision to close the IM Marsh Campus in Aigburth has helped to catalyse ideas on how the University should develop over the next 10 to 20 years. LJMU ViceChancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill explains: “We believe the time is right to undertake the sizeable investment required to transform the University from a fragmented portfolio of 37 disparate buildings into a connected, walkable village, offering facilities that meet the aspirations and needs of students and

staff while also delivering community and civic spaces for the people of Liverpool and visitors to the city.”


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A knowledge pathway would be created from Byrom Street to the John Foster building opposite the Metropolitan Cathedral with Copperas Hill and a revived St Georges Plateau at the centre.

Above: LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill with James Wates, Deputy Chairman of Wates Construction Ltd, pictured during a tour of the £38million Redmonds Building following its completion in 2012. During the construction of the Redmonds Building, which boasts £1million industry-standard TV, radio and news studios provided by Sony Europe Ltd, Wates ran a series of initiatives designed to help local people develop their skills and improve their job prospects. Wates also completed landscaping and other works for the adjacent St Nicholas’ and Pleasant Street Primary Schools.

Foster building opposite the Metropolitan Cathedral with Copperas Hill and a revived St Georges Plateau at the centre. This pathway would pull together the different areas of the University’s campus and connect them directly to many of the city’s great civic institutions. Plans to direct university resources and expertise for the benefit of local people and the local economy have been welcomed by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson. "Liverpool's universities are world famous and play a unique role in many different ways”, he says. “They attract students to the city and educate them to the highest standard with many going on to live here. And they provide a community of research and innovation for the benefit of the city. LJMU's proposals are exactly what Liverpool needs and will help support the city's on-going economic and social development". LJMU is now undertaking a masterplanning exercise to see how it can turn the vision for a connected university village into a reality. Some changes are already underway. LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute has moved from Birkenhead to the Science Park on Brownlow Hill. This relocation not only brings the Institute’s world-acclaimed research into the city’s Knowledge Quarter but will enable the University to better integrate the work of its National Schools’ Observatory with its outreach think page 7

activities with primary and secondary school children across the region. A new Faculty has also been established following the merger of the existing Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences and Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure currently based in IM Marsh campus in Aigburth. The new Faculty of Education, Health and Community will ensure that LJMU continues to work in the vanguard of developments in teaching, nursing and the allied health professions in the decades to come.

It is anticipated that work will commence on redeveloping Copperas Hill in 2014, with delivery of the project expected from 2017.

For more information, go to: university-village




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“I thought university wasn’t for people like me…” With teenagers from poorer families half as likely to progress to higher education, this is the type of comment that LJMU’s Outreach Team is used to hearing. That’s why their work with local schools to give prospective students from all backgrounds the chance to see a variety of courses, facilities and teaching methods, is increasingly important. “Outreach activity plays a fundamental part in raising aspirations,” says Carolyn Williams, LJMU’s Director of Student Recruitment and Widening Access. “Feedback from pupils who have taken part in one of our outreach events indicates a real change of attitude on how they view higher education, with 65% saying that are more likely to apply to university as a result of visiting LJMU.” One such individual was LJMU Graduate Michael Monaghan, who now works as a Student Development Officer at the University after graduating with a BA (Hons) in Marketing. “Growing up in a disadvantaged area and being from a family where no one had ever attended university, or even college before, meant I wasn’t really sure whether I could go to university,” he explains. “I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford it and it wasn’t for ‘people like me’ regardless of my academic ability.” Michael continues: “LJMU organised a campus visit for students in my position who had potential but were faced by a number of social, economic and personal barriers. This experience gave me the information, confidence and motivation to pursue the aspiration of going to university and acquiring a degree; I understood I would have enough financial support to afford university and that the student population is very diverse enabling everyone to fit in, regardless of their background.” Michael isn’t unique. According to a recent report, LJMU met or exceeded its key targets for recruiting students from under-represented groups in higher education during 2011/2012. Under the University’s Access Agreement, LJMU allocated 25% of its higher fee income on measures to improve and sustain access to higher education. Over 9,000 students, 62% of full fee-paying students, awarded an LJMU bursary or scholarship were from an underrepresented group in higher education, such as low income households, disabled people, some ethnic groups and people who have been in care. This is significantly above the sector average of 46.6% students. Over 7,136 students, 47.7% of undergraduate students, received a bursary because they were in receipt of full state support and their household income was less than £25,000. Again this is significantly above the sector average of 35.6% students. The University’s dedicated Outreach Team works with around 300 schools and colleges primarily in Merseyside but also in areas such as Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria, North Wales and Northern Ireland. The Team delivers over 800 think page 9

specific activities, reaching some 60,000 prospective students every year. The Team also works with younger age groups to raise aspirations and improve attainment levels as well as with adults thinking about returning to education. Peter Dolan, LJMU’s Outreach Manager adds: “Working with learners from an early stage, we support schools in raising attainment and motivation levels both on campus and through school activities.”

To find out more, go to:

EDUCATING TO END CHILD POVERTY A recent End Child Poverty campaign highlighted that child poverty leads to underachieving at school and limits future prospects in education and employment. LJMU is developing new strategies to tackle this. Dr Diane Grant, Reader in Community and Social Studies, at the Faculty of Education, Health and Community explains: “Education can help to raise people out of poverty and social exclusion. We are concentrating on areas like poverty measurement, social exclusion and inequalities of access to education and work in our research. One current project with lone mothers in Higher Education is showing how education is a route out of poverty and debt. “We have built up external partnerships including membership of the Liverpool City Region and Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission, allowing us to work with Children Centre Leads, managers and user groups. Students are also undertaking outreach work including home visits to people who were previous Children Centre users, inspiring them to consider university as an option.”


LJMU students are held in high regard by NHS stakeholders for the many roles they undertake in assisting national, regional and local strategies and services. Here are some of the reasons why.


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the national voice of the student nurse

The new three year vision and strategy, aimed at building a culture of compassionate care for nursing, midwifery and care staff, means that nurses are being judged on compassion as well as ability. LJMU students went straight to the heart of the Government with their feedback and views on this agenda, acting as representatives for their profession and communities. As chosen advocates for the strategy, mental health students Simon Nielson and Jessica Partington, work with their local community and organisations to inspire others to embed the vision in everyday practice in addition to having national input. Simon met with the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham to discuss the future of the nation's nursing students and to represent the new vision. This involved detailing how the strategy can be implemented at the front-line of nursing to help to positively change the compassionate culture of care within the NHS. As a Care Maker, Jessica was invited to represent the ‘friendly face’ of the Chief Nursing Officer's Conference, where she met Chief Nursing Officer for England Jane Cummings and the head of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Peter Carter. Both Simon and Jessica were also handpicked to help bring the legacy of the Olympic Games into nursing. Simon explained: “I see how hard our nurses work on a daily basis, so I understand what a demanding job it can be. It’s an honour to be asked to help implement the new nursing strategy for England which I believe will help us continue to deliver high quality, patient-centered care.”

designed for caring Simon Nielson pictured with David Cameron, Jane Cummings and other Care Makers

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH) worked with LJMU fashion students to design their new staff uniforms. LCH embarked on the project to enable staff to wear a modern uniform when working out in community locations across Liverpool and Sefton. Fifteen initial designs were received from the students, which included jackets, coats, fleeces and cardigans using the latest styles and fabrics. Staff from across the Trust were also involved in developing the new garments, from suggesting ways to improve their current uniforms, to voting on their favourite student design. The winning LCH new uniform designs were developed by student Katie Berry (pictured opposite), and were showcased at the Liverpool School of Art and Design’s Degree Show in July. Bernie Cuthel, Chief Executive of LCH, said: “It has been great to develop closer partnership working with LJMU through this project. The students delivered some really innovative uniform designs which are not only practical, but will help enable patients and their families to clearly identify our staff working in patients’ homes and communities across Liverpool and Sefton.” think page 11

forging future careers

fuelling technical innovations

ith council figures stating that Liverpool outranks most of its rival cities when it comes to helping young people into apprenticeships, schemes at universities have also been highlighted as a way of opening up new paths to higher education.


Ten new apprentices started work at LJMU this summer as part of a pilot scheme to boost employment of 16-24 year olds at the University. These appointments also reflect a rapid increase in the number of apprenticeships in England in recent years and they are often credited as one of the key paths to help solve youth unemployment. The LJMU apprentices, who are all aged 16 or 17, are based in the University’s Estate Management department. Over the next 12 months they will work in a variety of roles in administration, catering, computer aided design, facilities management and in LJMU’s print unit.


Julie Lloyd, LJMU’s Human Resources Director, said: " The calibre of the candidates who applied for these apprenticeships was incredibly high. Who knows, some of them could end up studying for relevant degrees at LJMU."


LJMU’s pilot apprenticeship scheme is part funded by Liverpool City Council through the Merseyside Apprenticeship Programme. Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills, said: "This is a great scheme which is giving our young people the opportunity to gain skills and training with an excellent employer. Securing a job is hugely important and that is why in these tough economic times we are committed to helping fund high quality apprenticeships." Kieran Gordon, Chief Executive of Greater Merseyside Connexions, agreed, saying: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the apprentices to work for a major local employer which has learning at the heart of its operations. LJMU offers these young people unparalleled opportunities and they are really pumped up and optimistic about the future. The backing from LJMU and Liverpool City Council shows real faith in their potential as individuals."

Professor David Burton

By working with LJMU’s General Engineering Research Institute (GERI), Biomer Technology Ltd, a biomaterials company based in Runcorn, has been able to secure additional funding to undertake research and development activities. “I have worked with GERI on projects which have been a great benefit to Biomer,’ Managing Director Simon Dixon explains. “We are currently involved with an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded project investigating advanced laser processing techniques, and we look forward to developing new biomedical product lines as a result.” Biomer is just one local company to benefit from GERI’s new outreach project. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the project harnesses GERI’s world-class engineering expertise to support North West companies. Director of GERI, Professor David Burton explains: “We have a history of working with companies all over the world, and this project enables us to continue this work while focusing on supporting local organisations. Our laboratories are available to support businesses to undertake research and development. Our doors are always open to discuss any technological issues.” For more information on how your company can benefit from the Outreach Project, please contact Anthony Walker on 0151 231 2150 or think page 12

James Appleton pictured in LJMU’s Food Academy

a recipe for success

unique collaboration between LJMU and Howdens Joinery, one of the UK's leading manufacturers and suppliers of kitchens and joinery products, has all the ingredients for a successful commercial partnership.


Since 2008, Howdens has installed kitchen appliances worth around £1million in LJMU’s Food Academy at its IM Marsh campus in Aigburth. Feedback from staff and students using this equipment is then used by Howdens to improve or modify appliances and deliver better products to their customers.

Glen Isaacs from Howdens explained: “Having the opportunity to work with the University and the students provides a local environment where knowledge can be grown and exchanged. The partnership fulfils the needs of all concerned; new products with the latest technology for students, a challenging test environment for the University and Howdens can confirm our products perform every day.”

Howdens also delivers master classes at the University and presents an award to the two students who achieve the highest overall grades on LJMU’s food design and technology degree. One of this year’s

INTERNSHIP JOBS BOOST A new internship programme is helping graduates secure full-time employment. The pilot scheme was launched earlier this year by LJMU who employed 50 graduates to undertake a variety of paid roles both within the University and in external organisations.

job at local marketing agency, Ph.Creative. “I would not be in the role I am now without the skills I developed during my degree and internships,” he said. “Every day I do something different and constantly use the experience gained from my time at LJMU.”

Andy Flatman is convinced that his internship helped him secure his current

Ellie Kerr, Operations Manager at Ph.Creative, added: “Internships add real think page 13

winners is James Appleton, who’s just started working for ABP Eatwell, a food manufacturer based in Knowsley. “The insights I’ve gained into modern kitchen technology will help me to design new food products that suit oven and microwave technology developed in recent years,” said James. “I would like to thank Howden's for all their support and the chance to view how our kitchens may develop in the coming years.”

To find out more about the Food Academy, contact the LJMU Business Development Centre (0500 376 543). value to a candidate’s experience, particularly in giving graduates that chance to network and gain contacts in their chosen industry. LJMU gives their graduates every opportunity to stand out and make connections through their internship programme. It has been a huge bonus to have Andy at Ph.Creative and his initiative and skills have greatly added to the team dynamic. He has quickly become a valued part of the Sales department.” Based on the success of the pilot, LJMU will be advertising a further 75 paid internships later this year.



more than mortar boards During Sir Brian Leveson’s first graduation as Chancellor of LJMU, he spoke about how the university experience is more than just bricks and mortar, curricular and exams. His key message to graduates was that a university is about the people. think page 14

“ I share LJMU’s belief

that the University should be a positive force for change, both in the lives of individuals and also in society more generally.” AS CHANCELLOR, SIR BRIAN’S FORMAL DUTIES INCLUDE PRESIDING OVER GRADUATION CEREMONIES AND ACTING AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR THE UNIVERSITY, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD. think page 15

Sir Malcolm Thornton FRSA Ambassador Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding governance of LJMU

Her Honour Elizabeth Steel, DL Services to the legal profession and higher education in Liverpool




The Hon Mr Justice Globe Outstanding contribution to the legal profession

The Rt Hon Lord Heseltine of Thenford CH PC Outstanding contribution to the regeneration of Liverpool

The Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool Services to the people of Liverpool

Dr David J Flavell FRCPath Outstanding contribution to cancer research think page 16

Professor Francisco Sánchez Martínez Outstanding contribution to the field of astrophysics


Stephen Traynor and Rebecca Jones both graduated with Firsts. They came to University as a couple, Stephen opting to study a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Rebecca a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Health. They are getting married in September of this year. Stephen commented: “We moved to Liverpool and have lived together all through our course, and got engaged whilst at LJMU so it has been a very important time in our relationship, which we will remember fondly for the rest of our lives. The University has a real community feel, like the city.”

Nuriya Abbasi graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in Business Studies. During her second year, Nuryia was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Following surgery and radio therapy treatment, Nuriya felt well enough to restart her studies on a part-time basis. “LJMU has done so much to help me graduate.”

Jayne Eaton became a mum in her first year and successfully gained a BA degree with qualified teacher status. “I have loved the university experience especially my placement in Gran Canaria as the opportunity to teach abroad was just amazing.”

Michael Mullins completed a Master of Science in Commercial Building Surveying and is also Head of Property for National Express. “I hadn’t been to university before, so to enter at Masters level was quite daunting but it was a life-changing experience.” think page 17


MAD about maths


s a nation we seem proud to have a problem with maths. According to a report by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, many people see being bad at maths as a "badge of honour". But Paulo Lisboa, Professor in Industrial Mathematics at the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences explains why we should embrace maths as it has such an impact on our everyday lives, from employment opportunities to health, even underpinning some of our most valued commodities, such as mobile phones.


LJMU researchers are applying their maths expertise in a variety of areas. In health they are using it to grade tumours to see how quickly they have developed, how fast they might grow and survival rates following operations to remove them. While in areas like business, retail and football, they are using data analysis to improve business strategies and predict injury risk. “Many reports state that the British are uniquely happy to admit being bad at maths. Yet this isn’t just a question

“The future of our economy depends crucially on how well we can make use of maths.” think page 18

of confidence, it’s one of awareness,” explained Professor Lisboa. “All of us make use of maths every day, each time we visit Google and Amazon for instance. Statistical correlations and algebraic methods select the recommendations made by these providers, whether they refer to other products or websites answering our queries. Maths is equally essential for medical science, not just biomedical instruments that we see everywhere in clinics and hospitals, but also in the development of break-through treatments for cancer.” Professor Lisboa continued:“The future of our economy depends crucially on how well we can make use of maths. A report by the market research company Reform stated that a maths A-Level adds on average £10,000 to an annual salary. Yet it isn’t just about the money and those who take it further in education. It’s the recognition that maths can open up a variety of career choices and also research and development opportunities for companies. No one should fear it when it is part of most things we do and as a University we are keen to help every sector use maths to improve and enhance their businesses.”

EXTENDING THE BOUNDARIES OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN FOOTBALL Maths has a key role in sports science where it is increasingly being used to enhance the support of elite soccer players in areas such as performance analysis and injury prevention. LJMU and Prozone Sports Ltd have been successful in their recent bid for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) funding, enabling them to collaborate on a pioneering two year project that will bring leading edge mathematical modelling techniques and advanced analytical tools to extend Prozone’s current football ‘data analytics capabilities’. The KTP between Prozone, the Football Exchange (an LJMU organisation that enables the football community to directly access academic expertise) and the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, is being applied to performance analysis (match analysis, player recruitment and asset management) and modelling of factors which contribute to injury risk in football. This KTP will result in the use of powerful statistical methods in the Prozone’s consultancy and training. This will be through the use of statistical analysis to generate enhanced and more complex performance insights from the huge amounts of data already available from matches worldwide.


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partnerships that put students first


Links with a range of leading Liverpool-based organisations are opening up new opportunities for students at LJMU to gain invaluable work experience and access the full range of cultural activities on offer in the city. As a new Principal Partner of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, LJMU will be encouraging more students to go to hear concerts by Liverpool’s internationallyacclaimed orchestra though the partnership goes much deeper than offering free tickets or naming a concert series. Students will benefit from being able to take part in Liverpool Philharmonic's learning programmes and both organisations are exploring how best to combine their outreach activities with schools and local communities to make learning and culture more accessible to the people of Liverpool. “Our new partnership with LJMU demonstrates our shared commitment to providing

inspirational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in learning, music and the arts, and that everyone can and should get involved”, says Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, who was awarded an LJMU Honorary Fellowship in 2012 for his contributions to Liverpool and the arts. LJMU has longstanding links with the city’s arts and cultural institutions and in 2012, a partnership with Liverpool Biennial saw the University’s Copperas Hill building being used as a venue for three major exhibitions. Students also gained direct experience of working as part of an international arts festival. think page 20

Links with Tate Liverpool have also been consolidated with the recent appointment of Dr Anthony Hudek to a dual role, which enables him to teach and direct LJMU’s new Exhibition Research Centre and work as a Research Curator at Tate Liverpool. Later this year, fine art students will be working with the gallery as part of the Art Turning Left exhibition, co-curated by LJMU PhD student Lynn Wray and sponsored by LJMU, which opens at Tate Liverpool this November. “Our relationship with LJMU is extremely important to our work at Tate Liverpool, especially the opportunity to engage with student audiences. As our partnership has evolved, this means more than simply

Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko pictured with LJMU Vice-Chancellor Nigel Weatherill and students from the University at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

“Our relationship with LJMU is extremely important to our work at Tate Liverpool...”

attracting visitors to exhibitions and events. Through collaboration, LJMU is able to make a significant intellectual contribution to our exhibitions, supporting the research and development of our projects from conception to delivery”,comments Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool. LJMU, the second highest ranking university in the Stonewall index of Britain's best employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, is the lead partner for this year’s 10th anniversary Homotopia Festival. Homotopia is the UK’s leading queer arts and cultural festival and thanks to the partnership students will be employed as marketing and design interns and taking part in drama workshops, legal debates and master classes. One exceptional student will be employed to manage and curate three exhibitions, two of which will feature materials directly sourced from LJMU’s Special Collections and Archive Department. think page 21

“The true value of our archives is in the imagination and vision embodied in each of the collections. That’s why it’s fantastic that we will be able to showcase some of them as part of the Homotopia Festival and inspire visitors with some of the wonderful images we hold”, says Val Stevenson, Head of Academic Services at LJMU. “This event follows on very well from the Glam! exhibition at Tate Liverpool, picking up themes of gender, identity and sexuality in the youth culture of the 1970s and early 1980s”. Homotopia’s Artistic Director Gary Everett adds: “We have already had invaluable help and academic input from the School of Art and Design, the School of Law and the archives team this year. We want this association to offer students unique opportunities to gain experience whilst offering us practical support”.



John Lennon comes home to Liverpool College of Art


ne of LJMU’s most iconic buildings is to be renamed in memory of John Lennon, a former student at the University. The RIBA-award winning building, which has been known informally as the Art and Design Academy, is home to over 1,000 students in art and design, and will be named the John Lennon Art and Design Building. The building was completed in 2008 and quickly became one of the city’s landmark

locations. The John Lennon Art and Design Building is fittingly located just down the road from where he studied at 68 Hope Street. In addition to supporting the School of Art and Design and the Academy, Yoko Ono has been instrumental in helping the University establish its John Lennon Imagine Awards to support students who have been in local authority care or who are estranged from their parents. Yoko commented: “John studied at the University when it was the College of Art and it provided the springboard for so

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many influential aspects of his life. When the University approached me about naming the building after John I was so touched. I was there when the building was planned and have watched its progress with great interest. It is an enormously fitting tribute to John and our shared connections with LJMU.” The signage for the building will feature the distinctive self-penned line drawing of John Lennon that has become so well known for its use on the John Lennon Airport and the newly released John Lennon Educational tour bus.

merseyside’s musical memories Written memories of music in Merseyside, collected during Liverpool’s In other Words Festival this year, have been placed alongside the John Lennon Time Capsule held by the Aldham Robarts Library. The officially licensed John Lennon Time Capsule was produced with the co-operation of Yoko Ono and it includes John Lennon’s entire output of post-Beatles recordings, newly restored art prints of his LP artwork artworks, rare memorabilia, a newly commissioned essay on John’s career, plus additional key items to help preserve his legacy and spirit for future generations. The Capsule and memories will be opened in 2040 on John’s 100th birthday.

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armchair nation

“ ...the most C

banal and forgettable TV from the past can be extraordinarily evocative.”

an our collective habit of watching TV tell us more about who we are? Joe Moran, Professor of English and Cultural History discusses this viewpoint.

their lives, has left momentary imprints on our retinas and slightly less momentary imprints on our brains before vanishing into the uncaring ether.

“Over the last few years I’ve been writing a book, Armchair Nation, about the British experience of watchingTV, from the first public display of television at Selfridge’s on London’s Oxford Street in 1925 to the switching off of the analogue signal in 2012. One of the myths I kept encountering when writing it was the belief that there was once a golden age of three-channel television, when everyone in the country sat in front of the same programmes.

“And yet the most banal and forgettable TV from the past can also be extraordinarily evocative. Exhaustive websites dedicate themselves to collating and curating the old connective tissue of television, from continuity announcements to channel idents. A group of devotees even meets every Easter in Leominster to share their enthusiasm for the design aesthetic and incidental music of the television test cards.

“Like many myths it says as much about our current preoccupations as it does about the television we watched a generation ago, for it is partly a lament for the seemingly lost capacity of multichannel television to create shared moments of empathy and understanding. And it is part of a wider sense that the nation once possessed a common culture that has now fragmented, a persistent idea in British cultural history running all the way from Piers Plowman to T.S. Eliot. ‘If there is one thing certain about “the organic community”,’ as the cultural critic Raymond Williams argued, ‘it is that it has always gone.’

“My book is called Armchair Nation because I think there was and still is one – not perhaps the homogeneous, countywide family that we think was united round the set watching the same programmes in the 1970s, but a more improvised community of viewers, formed wordlessly and unconsciously through collective habits and behaviours. Aerials and satellite dishes spring up silently on roofs, living room curtains close, streets and roads empty of people and cars, the tills in public houses are bestilled and the boiling of kettles synchronises across the nation - all because people are watching television. Precisely because it is so intangible and demands so little of those who belong to it, the armchair nation can create a sense of commonality among people who may have little else in common. And in my book I try to show how this collective habit of watching TV, which has taken up so much of our waking lives, can tell us something about who we are and the things that matter to us.”


“Another thing I discovered is how rich and deep the history of British television is, although much of it now survives only as listings. Leafing through old copies of the Radio Times and TV Times is a melancholy activity, an entry into a lost world of spent effort, used-up enjoyment and forgotten boredom. Most television, to which talented, energetic people devoted months or years of


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getting active in the community From helping football clubs with their match day warm ups, encouraging the community to ‘rise and shine’, or campaigning for depression awareness, LJMU students are championing health and well-being through an exciting array of projects while also gaining valuable work experience. The additional good news is that students taking internships and work placements are three times more likely to win good jobs according to High Fliers Research in 2013. Thanks to exclusive internships with Everton FC’s Youth Academy, LJMU students are designing and implementing fitness sessions and match-day warm-ups. Dr Martin Littlewood, Programme Leader for Science and Football, explained the value of the internship programme to students: “The students gain a variety of skills including applying their degree knowledge to a practical setting. This instils the confidence for them to progress into different careers from performance analysis to sport psychology." Christina Cunningham, BSc (Hons) Science and Football graduate and former Everton intern, commented: "Being able to learn the basics and develop into being responsible for taking physiological and performance analysis based sessions is something unique to the internship. I believe that without this kind of work experience, it would be very hard to get the knowledge and experience in implementing vital skills that are essential when working within such an elite level of sport.”


John McKeown Head of Academy Sports Science at Everton Football Club, explained the value of the internships to the Club: “The partnership between Everton Football Club and LJMU is mutually beneficial. The students get the experience they need and the Club gains from their assistance and skills across a range of sports science disciplines.”


To hear advice on internships from a student, academic and the EFC Head of Academy Sports Science, please visit Left: Interns in action

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Seeing the brighter side of life A story of two young men battling with depression received online acclaim from celebrities including Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James, musician Toddla T and Sky Sports presenter, Chris Skudder. It was also praised by the charity C.A.L.M (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which was set up in response to the high suicide rate among young men. The film entitled, ‘I’m good, thanks for asking’ was produced by Media Professional Studies students Adam McKinley, Chris McConville,Tom Jennings andTom Munns, as part of their final year module. Suicide rates among young men are continuing to grow and charities like C.A.L.M. are seeing increases in the numbers of men contacting them for advice, guidance and confidential counselling. The documentary features the moving and emotional stories of two men who previously considered suicide and have overcome depression to lead happy and fulfilling lives.

By sharing other peoples’ thoughts on mental health “ issues, this can relate to someone at their lowest and help them realise that they are not suffering alone.”

Student filmmaker, Tom Munns.

TV soaps bad for your health The UK’s favourite soaps are portraying irresponsible lifestyles, with high levels of unhealthy eating and alcohol consumption, and a total lack of exercise. That was the conclusion of a study by the Co-operative Food who worked with Business School students to reveal the full extent of the characters’ unhealthy lifestyles displayed during prime-time TV. The study was intended to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. Keith Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at Liverpool Business School supervised the project. He said: "We worked in partnership with the Co-operative to build up the body of evidence for this study, and we hope this will become part of a longer-term relationship with the company’s Group PR team. The Co-operative was very pleased with our role and this relationship is likely to lead to further research opportunities in the future." think page 27

Coaching Development students encouraged around 4,000 people to ‘rise and shine’ and get active in a local park as part of Liverpool City Council’s 'Love Parks - Play in Liverpool' event. Staff from the Council’s Sport and Outdoor Recreation division praised the students for their organisational skills and professionalism in running activities and raising awareness on how to live healthy lifestyles. Liz Lamb, Liverpool City Council Principal Health and Physical Activity Officer, said: “Without LJMU’s support and coverage, this simply would not have been possible. The professionalism and energy of the students was particularly evident and pivotal in ensuring the day was successful.” LJMU Coaching Development student Jamie Kirkwood said: “Helping with the Big Rise and Shine event was fantastic for my skills development and learning about the complexities and logistics of organising a large sporting event. I felt my own organisational skills have improved in addition to my capacity to think quickly and adapt what I was doing to meet the children’s needs." You can sign up to ‘Love Parks’ through the Liverpool City Council website leisure-parks-and-events/parksand-greenspaces/




Thanks to a new exhibit at Spaceport called ‘The Observatory’ we can find out about thousands of astronomical objects - from planets and stars to nebulae and distant galaxies through a direct download from the world’s largest robotic telescope. Professor Mike Bode, Director of the ARI, explains: "The Observatory allows visitors to explore a large CGI image of the night sky as seen by the Liverpool Telescope, which is located in La Palma in the Canary Islands. “Visitors can interact with the computer generated image using user-friendly interactive touch screen Personal Observation Decks (PODs) to surf the sky to discover and build their knowledge through self-driven investigation. They can join up stars to map out constellations and then drill down for

information of particular stars in addition to viewing objects in our solar system, such as Mars and Jupiter.” The images will also be used by school children from across the country through LJMU’s National Schools' Observatory (NSO), which was initially created to act as a link between schools and the telescope. Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said: “LJMU provided much of the science of space within the Spaceport Attraction so this project

he wonders of the solar system and beyond might seem out of reach to most of us but the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) is giving people the opportunity to interact with the universe we live in, right here in the UK.

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enables links to be re-established with Spaceport and raise LJMU’s profile as being a leading authority in the field of astronomy and astrophysics.” Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee commented on the educational aspect: “The wonders of our universe are a great way to get children interested in science and I congratulate LJMU and Spaceport for their continuing partnership.”

GALAXY GOLD The Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) gained a Gold Medal and creativity award for its Galaxy Garden at the 2013 RHS Tatton Show. ‘Watch this Space’, designed by Howard and Dori Miller, built by Landstruction and developed through the ARI’s National Schools’ Observatory, was an artistic interpretation of a rare and important event that is happening in our own galaxy. It used spiral patterns of planting, sculptures and a Mobius strip of horticultural windbreak on scaffold posts to display how a huge cloud of dust and gas will encounter the super-massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy and be torn asunder.


The University hosts a series of free public lectures on a range of topics. For further information please visit think page 29

Don’t miss the forthcoming

Roscoe Lectures Public Events programme LJMU’s public events programme has something for everyone and covers a wide spectrum of topics, which we are confident will be of interest to you. To find out more, go to:

Wednesday 9 October Mayors and their Cities – The Challenges and Opportunities Joe Anderson OBE, Mayor of Liverpool Monday 11 November Overcoming Disability and Adversity Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Paralympic athlete Thursday 28 November 1914 – Why Remembering the Great War Matters Diane Lees, Director General of the Imperial War Museum

All lectures are free and start at 6pm in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. To reserve your tickets and find out more about LJMU’s public events programme, go to:

Liverpool John Moores University aims to be recognised globally as a modern civic university, delivering excellent teaching and world-leading research that supports wealth creation, social well-being, culture and arts within the city region and beyond. To tell us what you think, contact: E: T: 0151 231 3369 ©

LJMU Marketing and Corporate Communications September 2013

Think September 2013  

Liverpool John Moores University