Page 1

Magazine

Spring/Summer 2018

Met Magazine

Solutions focused

FOR BUSINESS

HELPING BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY WITH INNOVATION AND SKILLS

SETTING

creative

STANDARDS

Email: i.christon@mmu.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2169 mmu.ac.uk/metmagazine

Spring/Summer 2018

If you would like to be part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s exciting and ambitious future we’re always happy to discuss ways in which you can be involved.

GLOBAL PLAYERS IN ARCHITECTURE, POETRY AND LITERATURE

SHAPING

the economy

Manchester Metropolitan University Met Magazine Bellhouse Lower Ormond Street Manchester M15 6BX United Kingdom

This publication is available in alternative formats. Please telephone +44 (0)161 247 3405

leading the digital

Issue 5

mmu.ac.uk

NEW UNIT INFLUENCES ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE

REVOLUTION

AHEAD OF THE FIELD IN 3D PRINT AND INDUSTRY 4.0

MANCHESTER EDITION


64

12

16

20

32

Met Magazine

Met Magazine Spring/Summer 2018 Met Magazine is published by Manchester Metropolitan University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press

Foreword 3 Vice-Chancellor’s message

News 4 Architecture School among world’s best 5 Top 20 employer in Stonewall rankings 6 Leading the way with Degree Apprenticeships 7 Manchester Metropolitan preserves landmark buildings using VR 8 Success for Manchester Writing School

Features 10 Developing the leaders: The alumni who have gone on to great success in their fields 12 Focused on the future: Sir Howard Bernstein discusses the challenges and opportunities for Manchester 16 As Manchester is named a UNESCO City of Literature we look at the University’s place in Manchester’s literary and cultural scene 20 With some of the country’s leading poets in our Writing School, we look at the exciting plans for a Poetry Library 22 Shaping the economy: The new University research centre looking at business and work in the decades ahead 26 From green energy and legal advice to elite sport and business development – the University partnerships that are delivering real impact

Editorial team

Design

Ian Christon Chris Morris Ian Proctor Dominic Smith Michael Taylor Jessica Marsh Maryam Ahmed Daniel Cottam

Steve Kelly

Photography Ade Hunter

Contact us metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk

38 Second chances: The trailblazing partnerships transforming the lives of vulnerable young people 42 What is it in the DNA of Manchester that makes it special? Our research and projects provide some of the answers 48 The University’s research touches every part of our lives – from early years education to the health of the elderly 56 The revolution will be digitised: Looking at Industry 4.0 and the role the University is playing in plugging the digital skills gap 60 How being the first generation of a family to go to university can lead people to be captains of industry 64 Building for the future: We look at the University buildings that have been, or will be, built that are changing the Manchester skyline

Views 9 Student Union President Hussain El-Amin on how students are part of what makes Manchester great 52 Lord Mandelson, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Chancellor, on the challenges and opportunities of the industrial strategy 53 Marketing Manchester’s Sheona Southern on the aim to become a top 20 global city 54 Labour MP Lucy Powell on what Manchester means to her 55 Tech entrepreneur Jamil Khalil on the shape of the digital industries in Manchester

32 Making the impossible possible: Our new world-class digital printing hub is opened 36 The Big Data number crunchers whose analytical work is improving understanding of people and processes

2

Met Magazine issue 5

MASTER YOUR SUBJECT #MCRMET POSTGRADUATE COURSES Become an expert in your field.

Met Magazine: Winner of Best Publication at the CIPR NW Pride Awards 2017

mmu.ac.uk/postgrad


FOREWORD

shaping our city:

TOGETHER. A message from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Press

Manchester: world-class thinking

Manchester is a city like no other; it brims with energy, drive, creativity and confidence. The city region is central to our University’s identity, and place is a principal element of our strategy, playing a defining role in how we carry out teaching and research that is impactful and relevant.

A connected city

Manchester Metropolitan is a vital part of the city ecosystem, we are an anchor institution. We were founded from the city’s drive for skills and innovation during the first industrial revolution and can trace our roots back to 1824. Today we remain ever committed to providing the capacity and capabilities needed to shape the city’s agenda and keep Manchester at the forefront of thinking: fuelling devolution; advancing the Northern Powerhouse; and promoting our take on Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. We are a major player in the regional economy, we are proud to be an integral part of city life, and we add immeasurable value by assisting individuals, businesses and communities to achieve their potential. This edition of Met Magazine celebrates these partnerships and our reach across the city region, focusing on exceptional achievements and showcasing the value of collaborative endeavour. We think to the future, reflecting on how our distinctive collaborations not only result in international

the Green Challenge for Greater Manchester through our hydrogen fuel cell technology centre.

recognition, but how they serve to set a shining example for other cities; we like to think that where Manchester leads, others follow. In this edition, we speak to leading Manchester figures Sir Howard Bernstein and Lucy Powell MP, as well as a number of individuals from business and industry. But at the heart of this edition, we acknowledge the achievements of our dedicated staff and students, and show that members of the University place collaboration at the heart of their endeavours.

Advancing the knowledge economy

Over the past year we have created 13 new research and knowledge exchange centres. A large part of their work focuses on the ideas and innovation necessary to keeping Manchester at the forefront of invention. Manchester Metropolitan has the highest number of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships of any university in mainland Britain. These are projects between the University and businesses, 75% of which are in the North West and the majority with SMEs, funded by the Government agency Innovate UK to create solutions that drive growth, productivity and exports. We work directly with businesses, social enterprises and third sector partners in other ways too, for example, with all ten of Greater Manchester’s youth justice boards as part of our studies on increasing life chances for young people. We also work closely with Mayor Andy Burnham and his office, for example, by supporting

Digital arts: the future is Manchester

We are a major player in the regional economy, we are proud to be an integral part of city life

Our world-class Screen School will open in 2021, bringing together expertise in art and design as well as science and technology. Manchester Metropolitan will contribute to the largest growth area in the North West, training the professionals of the future and contributing to research and development in the digital and creative industries. The Screen School will be part of our Arts and Humanities Faculty, already home to some of our greatest strengths including architecture, poetry and creative writing, and fashion, as you’ll see from the pages that follow.

Working together to shape our world

Here at Manchester Metropolitan, we are proud of our collaborative spirit. We are ambitious for our students and staff, and we strive to strengthen our partnerships for the good of our communities, the economy and society. I am confident that the passion, creativity, and commitment that we hold central to our activities will be evident in each and every article. I hope that you’ll especially enjoy this issue of Met Magazine and that it will stimulate you to want to build closer relationships with us.

Spring/Summer 2018

3


METNEWS

Architecture School among world’s best

Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) features in the top ten of the world’s best in the QS Subject Rankings 2018 for its third consecutive year. The MSA, an innovative collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester, is ranked 7th in the world, and 2nd in the UK for graduate employability. The prestigious rankings highlight 200 of the world’s topperforming universities in each academic area and include 42

different countries from across the globe. They are based upon academic and employer education and research impact, and are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject. The MSA offers a range of professionally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and has been continuously in the top 10 in the QS Subject Rankings since entering in 2016. Professor Tom Jefferies, Head

of MSA said: “We are delighted to be placed 7th in the world – the MSA is rightly recognised as an innovative place for students to study architecture, one that actively connects research and practice. Our graduates and academics are seen as amongst the best professionals in their field by their peers. “The QS World Subject ranking demonstrates the strength of teaching, research and professional collaboration in the MSA and is a testament to the exceptional work of our staff and students.”

According to the IPPR North, the region has the biggest digital skills gap across the North. The IoC is aligned to Manchester Metropolitan’s vision to make the North West a leader in ‘industrial digitalisation’. Funding will develop new undergraduate and postgraduate courses, attract new staffing talent, encourage more women into the sector, address challenges experienced by mature students and students from ethnic minorities, create new pathways to transfer knowledge to industry and inspire a new generation of tech leaders

through community outreach. Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The North West has a proud tradition as a place of innovation. “We want to make sure it remains at the cutting edge of technological developments, aided by our education provision. Here at Manchester Metropolitan, we are ideally placed to deliver the greatest possible impact; engaging with employers through our existing networks and delivering industry-relevant education.”

University to lead in tackling the North West’s digital skills gap Manchester Metropolitan University will be leading the charge to train the North West’s future digital workforce as part of the new £40 million national Institute of Coding (IoC). Launched by Prime Minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum 2018, the IoC will bring together universities, large corporations, SMEs and industry groups to tackle the skills shortfall in the digital sector. The University will spearhead the development of the IoC locally, backed by a £3m portion of the funding. The aim is to deliver industry-focused education in strategically important areas to ensure graduates are equipped for tomorrow’s digital challenges and become leaders in cyber security, software development and data analysis.

4

Met Magazine issue 5


NEWS

Top 20 employer in Stonewall rankings

Manchester Metropolitan UK’s greenest university Manchester Metropolitan University has been named the greenest university in the UK, ranked in first place in the People and Planet University League – the only university to retain a top three position for five consecutive years. It is the only comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance, compiled annually by the student network and People and Planet. It assesses a range of environmental and ethical factors, management practices and policies, and performance in carbon reduction, energy sources, waste and recycling, and water reduction. Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I

1st PLACE

am incredibly proud that our work on environmental sustainability has resulted in us being ranked ahead of every other university in the country. Being ranked first is testament to the continued commitment of staff and students to addressing the key sustainability issues we face both locally and globally.” Manchester Metropolitan scored 77.6% overall and was awarded maximum marks for environmental policy, auditing and environmental management systems, sustainability staff, and education for sustainable development. Dr John Hindley, Assistant Director of Estates Management and Sustainability at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have topped the league again in a sector that has responded so strongly to the sustainability challenge, where energy reduction and recycling schemes have become standard. “A key area of innovation has been a more systematic and effective engagement with the student journey, training and funding students as ambassadors of carbon literacy to train fellow students.”

Boost for swimmers with new British Swimming agreement Support and opportunities for student athletes will be boosted after Manchester Metropolitan University and British Swimming signed a memorandum of understanding. The University already holds a longstanding partnership with British Para-Swimming but hopes this formal agreement will enhance student’s opportunities, help drive forward the University sport initiative to develop sports education and research and develop world-class athletes in Manchester. The document was signed by Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Richard Greene, and British Swimming’s Chairman Maurice Watkins CBE. Watkins said: “I am pleased to have a memorandum of understanding signed that will continue our strong working

relationship – it renews our commitment to working together and finding new and innovative ways of supporting our athletes to achieve their dreams.” Manchester Metropolitan’s Performance Sport Manager, Jérôme Read, added: “This partnership will not only provide student athletes opportunities to compete but also extends prospects for our wider student and academic population with the potential to include volunteering and research with elite sport.”

We are incredibly proud to have been ranked as one of the UK’s most inclusive employers

Manchester Metropolitan University is ranked as one of the UK’s top 20 best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff – and joint second for education institutions. The Stonewall Top 100 Employers list in the Workplace Equality Index 2018, places the University in 16th position, marking a considerable rise from 41st last year. Professor Jean-Noel Ezingeard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been ranked as one of the UK’s most inclusive employers and it is wonderful recognition of the hard work from colleagues who ensure we are an open, supportive and inclusive organisation. “However, we won’t stand still and will continue to strive to make Manchester Metropolitan a place that always celebrates and welcomes diversity.” Over the last year, the University has been involved in several successful inclusivity programmes including: a series of events for the Superbia weekend, the University’s bestever attendance at the Manchester Pride festival and a successful LGBT allies recruitment campaign. Darren Towers, Executive Director, Stonewall, said: “Manchester Metropolitan and all those who have made this year’s Top 100 Employers list have done a fantastic job. Taking part in our Index shows real commitment to understanding and advancing LGBT equality.” Stuart McKenna, Equality and Diversity Manager at Manchester Metropolitan, added: “The 2018 Index marks the second consecutive year we have climbed the table, testament to the hard work of colleagues who help to embed inclusivity throughout all of our working practices.”

NEWS

Visit mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events to read more news about Manchester Metropolitan

Spring/Summer 2018

5


New partnership to improve mental health care

Degree Apprentices from the Chartered Management degree programme

Leading the way with Degree Apprenticeships Two bespoke Chartered Degree Apprenticeships have launched at Manchester Metropolitan University, creating the next generation of managers in top retailers, McDonald’s and Asda. The programmes are designed to build the skills and knowledge for a successful career as well as complete a full honours degree. Andrew Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Retail Operations and Programme Director at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “We are delighted to be working with McDonald’s and Asda on these new Degree Apprenticeships, which provide an immersive learning experience and supports their colleagues to thrive. “We have been very impressed by the drive and enthusiasm the apprentices are already displaying and look forward to working with them over the next four years.” A new MBA Degree Apprenticeship programme will also launch this year, which means for the first time,

employers of all sizes will be able to use apprenticeship funding to contribute towards the cost of developing their senior colleagues with a Masters degree programme. The University is one of the UK’s leading providers of management Degree Apprenticeships, and is part of an elite group of AACSB-accredited global business schools. According to latest Department for Education statistics from July 2017, one in seven of all Degree Apprentices in the UK study with Manchester Metropolitan. Third year student, Digital and Technology Solutions apprentice Ryan Coram, came out top in the ‘Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year’ category at the National Apprenticeship Awards North West 2017. Ryan is employed by AstraZeneca and was among the first cohort at Manchester Metropolitan back in September 2015 – he combines his full-time role as a Project Support Officer with his part-time studies.

One in seven of all Degree Apprentices in the UK study with Manchester Metropolitan

Poverty and social media can increase loneliness in youngsters Poverty and social media can increase loneliness in youngsters to make them feel awkward and anxious, according to new research by Manchester Metropolitan University with mental health charity 42nd Street. The new study into young people’s experiences reveals a mixture of factors that can influence and affect youth loneliness, including: feeling isolated or different; pressures from social media or the transition from childhood to becoming a teenager. One participant, age 21, from Manchester explained: “Social media is social pressure...

6

Met Magazine issue 5

people posting fake happiness. That has to be one of the loneliest places.” It is hoped the findings, will help young people and those working with them to reduce the problem. Dr James Duggan, Research Fellow in the School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “There are so many definitions, interpretations and understandings of loneliness. It is something that is perceived and felt, rather than simply a description or the experience of being alone. We wanted to establish a clearer picture.”

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, a leading provider of community and mental health services, and Manchester Metropolitan University are collaborating to shape future community healthcare and education. The University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Trust, which serves a population of 1.3 million across six boroughs in Greater Manchester. This new partnership will bring together academic and clinical professionals, to apply research to clinical practice and catalyse innovations. It ensures that the workforce is equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and qualifications needed to deliver healthcare excellence across Greater Manchester. Professor Alison Chambers, ProVice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The University is delighted to have signed a memorandum of understanding with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. “We look forward to strengthening the alliance between the University and Pennine Care to create a progressive mental health and community wellbeing agenda. Combining our academic expertise with Pennine’s clinical expertise will provide opportunities to develop joint research as well as tackling the workforce challenges together.” Dr Henry Ticehurst, (pictured below with Professor Chambers) Medical Director at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “This partnership supports the longer term vision of Pennine Care to foster a culture of research and innovation. It will help provide education opportunities for our staff which in turn will help improve the standard and quality of care provided to our patients.”


Manchester Metropolitan preserves landmark buildings using VR

Some of Manchester’s landmark architecture could be forever preserved in virtual reality. Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, working

with The Modernist Society and Manchester Central Reference Library, are looking to create 3D virtual buildings on their original sites – letting people walk through rooms and hear stories hidden

in the walls through wearable devices. The programme will start with a virtual reproduction of the Jackson’s Row synagogue in Manchester. Jack Hale, from the Modernist Society, said: “Sometimes buildings are demolished and elements that have touched the lives of its inhabitants are lost. With this project we hope to capture and incorporate part of the spirit and the life of some of the people who have passed through its rooms.” Richard Brook, Principal Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University and lead researcher, added: “A 3D virtual model could contain surviving architectural drawings of the buildings – a viewer could walk at a scale of 1:1 through the drawings, and listen to oral histories literally within its walls.”

Students raise £1.3m for British Heart Foundation Students have raised £1.3 million by donating unwanted items over the last six years to support the British Heart Foundation through a ‘Give It, Don’t Bin It’ initiative. Student residents have donated goods when they leave their accommodation, reusing the items rather than putting them in the bin. In 2017 alone, donations could have raised as much as £318,000. The campaign was set up

by Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008, and after great success, it now forms a partnership with the University of Manchester, Manchester City Council and Manchester Student Homes. Dr John Hindley, Assistant Director of Estates Management and Sustainability at the University, said: “We are incredibly proud that the Manchester partnership has worked so successfully. From

humble beginnings when it was established at Manchester Metropolitan, we are delighted that the campaign has gone from strength to strength.” Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, added: “Thank you and congratulations on this remarkable achievement. The donations and amazing volunteering has supported vital life-saving research.”

We are incredibly proud that the Manchester partnership has worked so successfully

Dramatic shift in drug use caused by growth of former legal highs Drug support services need to adapt to the new substance use landscape as homeless users shun injecting drugs for smoking ‘Spice’, while those who engage in ‘chemsex’ are now routinely injecting crystal meth and mephedrone, a new study shows The radical change has coincided with the growth of New Psychoactive Substances. Criminologists Dr Rob Ralphs and Dr Paul Gray from Manchester Metropolitan University, who

carried out a six-month study in Manchester, say that treatment services need to respond to this significant shift and out-dated views of users. Services need to ensure that appropriate provision is available to these user groups. The authors recommend a threefold approach to improving engagement that focuses on improved integration of services, the need for clearer referral pathways, and treatment services to develop engagement strategies.

Dr Ralphs said: “Drug users should be treated holistically, requiring substance use services to work more closely with mental health, sexual health, supported housing and homeless services.”

Spring/Summer 2018

7


Old age muscle decline linked to loss of nerve signals Muscle wasting in old age is caused by a loss of nerves, new research shows, opening the prospect of reversing the condition in the future. As people grow older, their leg muscles become progressively smaller and weaker, leading to frailty and disability. While this process inevitably affects everyone living long enough, until now the process has not been understood. The research from Manchester Metropolitan University, suggests that muscle wasting follows on from changes in the nervous system. By the age of 75, individuals typically have around 30% to 50% less nerves controlling their legs. This leaves parts of their muscles disconnected from the nervous system, making them functionally useless and so they waste away. However, healthy muscles have a form of protection, in that surviving nerves can send out new branches to rescue some of the detached muscle fibres. Professor Jamie McPhee, from Manchester Metropolitan and senior study author, said: Our research helps to explain why muscles decline with advancing age and this new knowledge will help in the search for effective countermeasures.”

Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE and Dr Helen Mort

Success for Manchester Writing School Manchester Writing School has had a lot to celebrate over the last six months, receiving or giving a host of awards and commendations. Two leading poets from Manchester Writing School have been named in the world’s top 10 ‘women poets to read now’. The Poetry Book Society’s rankings place Poet Laureate Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE and Dr Helen Mort among the top mustread female poets in the world currently. The success continued with Manchester Writing School alumna Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi receiving the call of a lifetime to tell her that she’d won a £118,775 prize to support her writing. The Ugandan novelist, who lives in Manchester, was one of eight winners of the 2018

Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage launches The new Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage (MCPHH) has launched at Manchester Metropolitan University. The MCPHH aims to bridge the gap between academia and the public, and become internationally recognised for excellence in publicly engaged research. It was launched at a special event at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in April as part of its first conference on the history, memory and politics of public sculpture. The conference involved twenty-five speakers from across the UK, US, Canada and Europe, and included representatives from Historic England, the Parliamentary Art Collection, and the Musee Bourdelle in Paris. The MCPHH builds on the longestablished work of the Manchester Centre for Regional History, established in 1998.

8

Met Magazine issue 5

The Centre will undertake research that engages with the local region and its multicultural population, broaden its geographical horizon to incorporate local and regional histories in other parts of the world, and enhance the University’s reputation in community archaeology. Associate Lecturer Michala Hulme will hold public talks on the history of Manchester, and Centre Deputy Head Dr Craig Horner on early motoring and cycling. The new Centre also offers expert-led training in oral history as well as a dedicated MA in Public History and Heritage. Dr Sam Edwards, Head of MCPHH, said: “This is an exciting time for public history at Manchester Met. The new MCPHH is built on the solid foundations established by its predecessor, whilst also finding new energy and purpose in the sheer breadth and depth of expertise

Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction – one of the most prestigious and lucrative of literary prizes. The success across Manchester Writing School serves to reinforce the creative writing excellence across the School, which benefits students’ learning and is a reflection of the literary strength in Manchester, recently designated a UNESCO City of Literature. The Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University once again successfully organised the Manchester Writing Competition – the UK’s biggest prize for unpublished writing. American writer, Sakinah Hofler was awarded the £10,000 Manchester Fiction Prize, and the Poetry Prize judges awarded £5,000 each to joint winners Romalyn Ante and Laura Webb.

Oxford Road, Manchester 1929

among Manchester Met historians. “With research-active scholars examining everything from the Ancient World to the 21st century, and with noted strengths in the history and heritage of Britain, Europe, Asia and the Americas, the MCPHH looks forward to renewing its commitment to the city and region whilst also becoming a high-profile advocate for the value and significance of public history.”


VIEWS

The student citizens making a real impact Students’ Union President Hussain El-Amin discusses how students are an integral part of what makes Manchester great 2017 is known as the year of the Snowflake Generation. The term refers to young adults (particularly students) as a generation quick to take offence and too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own. Consequently, many now believe that students need a trigger warning before you say anything to them. I’d like to dispel this misconception, and replace it with a true understanding of the huge contribution that students make to society. Manchester is one of the most popular student cities in the world and has the largest student population in Europe. It is home to three excellent universities. But, Manchester has a lot more to offer than its great universities. It’s one of the fastest growing economies outside of London, an always-on cultured city and the greatest sporting city in the UK. Nothing however says more about a place than the people who live in it. Mancunians are a fiercely proud, funny and friendly bunch. I would argue that the ‘Snowflake Generation’ makes a huge contribution to the city’s dynamic vibrancy and economic success. Often thought to be ‘low on money’, students bring a range of economic benefits to the city. It might be something of a surprise that their presence in Manchester is worth millions of pounds to the local economy and a net contribution to the UK economy of around £80bn. Their purchasing power is considerable. The average student spends £43 a month on going out and socialising and an average of £14 on hobbies and other interests. Their presence supports the viability of certain sectors of business in Manchester, and they play a role in the type of retail and entertainment services available within the city. Take Manchester’s booming property market for example. It is now the third most valuable in the country and key to this boom are students. They equate for around 25% of central Manchester’s population. Students add value to the city in indirect ways too. They are central to the success of the

Northern Powerhouse proposal. The existence of a skilled graduate workforce will support the development of the city’s knowledge economy. Manchester Metropolitan is already playing an important role in retaining a highly skilled workforce; 68% of our graduates stay and work in the North West. Their presence helps to attract other young professionals who want to live and work with likeminded people. In the era of globalisation, recruiting international students and staff is core university activity. International student and staff mobility has created multicultural international campus environments that have permeated the city. Such international student presence has created a critical mass and demand for a diverse range of cultural facilities and events. These diverse cultures help Manchester retain its reputation as a vibrant and dynamic location. Three quarters of students are worried about money whilst at university, so many (around 50%) work during term time to make ends meet. It did not surprise me that recent research found that students equate for approximately 75% of the night time economy workforce in Manchester. They are the backbone of many of the city’s night-time commercial activities. Students are at the forefront of volunteering and advocacy in Manchester. Their contribution to their local communities is exceptional. On top of their lectures, deadlines and parttime jobs, so many students still find the time to campaign for good causes and raise enormous amounts of money for charity. Their activities range from working with the elderly and the homeless to sport, health and artsbased activities. There is no such thing as a good or bad generation. Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses, and as you may have heard before ‘no two snowflakes are alike’. Therefore, we need to stop focusing on the negative traits associated with students and concentrate on the positives. When students arrive in their thousands at the start of the

academic year, they should be seen as citizens who are key to the city’s success, and be welcomed with open arms and adopted as fellow Mancunians. Just as there is no good or bad generation, no two generations are the same – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Spring/Summer 2018

9


DEVELOPING

the leaders

Manchester Metropolitan alumni have gone on to achieve great success. Here Met Magazine catches up with a few of them to learn how the University helped them to become leaders in their field

Tim Heatley Studied: Law Co-founder of Manchesterbased regeneration specialist CAPITAL&CENTRIC.

How did Manchester Metropolitan prepare you for your future career? It gave me access to inspirational lecturers who told it like it was. They always instilled in us to be bold and be brave, no matter what career we went on to. Manchester Metropolitan, more than other universities, gets the experience of study spot on. It nurtures talent and puts that into real-life context. I went on to regenerate towns and cities (a far cry from Law), but the foundation I got in Manchester was invaluable. What are your memories of studying in Manchester? I came with a narrow perspective on life growing up in Eccles, and became part of a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds and identities. Based mainly in Rusholme, I loved that we could take Erasmus students out and proudly show them our city. It opened my eyes to the fact that Manchester is, and always will be, a truly international city and we’re bloody lucky to call it home.

10

Met Magazine issue 5

What is the one lesson that you have taken from your time at Manchester Metropolitan that has helped you through your life? Fundamentally, to work hard and be nice to people. It taught me that there’s unwavering value in the opinions and inputs from as diverse an audience as possible, and that you need to be open to embracing this. Do you keep up to date with what is happening at the University and, if so, are there any particular initiatives you have been impressed by that you would like to comment on? Without doubt, the University’s First Generation campaign is something I follow closely and, in fact, sponsor. The support it provides to get young people from diverse backgrounds into university education is something that is, in the truest sense of the word, life changing for those individuals. I always come back to the phrase of ‘leaving the ladder down’, basically making sure that as you accrue successes you make sure others can follow. First Generation is something that does exactly that.

Thomas Heatherwick Studied: 3D design Founded his London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio in 1994. A visionary ‘maker’, some of his works include the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics, the New Routemaster London bus and the UK Pavilion at the United Expo 2010. On the creation of the iconic Olympic cauldron: “I had some really fantastic metalwork tutors in 3D design who really influenced the cauldron. We worked with repoussé hammers and copper to raise shapes. Making the copper elements for the cauldron was the same but on a larger scale. I was very much thinking of Manchester School of Art when I designed it. My time there was a breakthrough for me and I’m enormously grateful.” On his time at Manchester Metropolitan: “There were some tutors who were very open to what their students might do. They let me experiment and sort of hybridise the course. Good tutors give structure, but they also know when to stand back and let you break that structure.”


PEOPLE

Andrew Holgate

Dame Dianne Thompson

Studied: Business Andrew is a Chartered Management Accountant and seasoned banker. He has over 20 years experience in SME finance. Following the financial crisis, he became part of the founding team behind Assetz Capital, one of the UK’s largest alternative finance lenders. How did Manchester Metropolitan prepare you for your future career? My time at the University was when I was already working. I’d quit uni on my first attempt and fell into banking rather than choose it as a career. I was at a crossroads in my life though, with only an ambition to have my own business, but no idea of what and how to get there. What Manchester Metropolitan did during my time at the Business School was to focus on specialisms that I was good at. In my final year I was able to choose which modules fitted my interests and allowed me to shape my next career step. This opened up the possibility of re-training as an accountant, which I duly did, becoming an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. The University helped to guide and steer me towards this path, and it is one for which I am very grateful. What are your memories of studying in Manchester? The staff stand out for me. Always willing to help and passionate about their field of expertise. As an example, I had to do a work-based project in which my employer wanted me to look at how teams can work more effectively. This wasn’t one of my strongest subjects, but I was pointed in the direction of the relevant department and I was able to call on them for help and guidance which came freely and passionately. When I was able to spot trends and relate

Studied: English and French Dianne is former University Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Camelot, operator of the UK National Lottery, for 14 years. Prior to this, she was a university lecturer and worked for brands including the Co-operative, Woolworths and Ratners.

them to the theory, the enthusiasm that came from the staff was brilliant. What is the one lesson that you have taken from your time at Manchester Metropolitan that has helped you through your life? Work hard and listen to people who are more knowledgeable than you. I don’t know everything and I have to listen to those who know more than me. That allows me to make better decisions and, hopefully, avoid or mitigate the many risks involved in business. Do you keep up to date with what is happening at the University and, if so, are there any particular initiatives you have been impressed by that you would like to comment on?

“UNIVERSITIES SUCH AS MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN ARE ENGINES OF LEARNING AND ENTERPRISE FOR THEIR REGION. THE UNIVERSITY HAS HAD A VERY POSITIVE IMPACT ON ME, BOTH IN TERMS OF MY LEARNING AND IN MY CAREER PROGRESSION.”

I’m a very proud Mancunian, born here and live here. I’ve always viewed Manchester Metropolitan as the university that Mancs will go to. I met the Vice Chancellor, Professor Press, and he told me of his vision for the Metropolitan to integrate more with the city and to become integral to educating future generations of Mancunians. That is something I support. I’m of the generation that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, seeing the decline of Manchester. Since the bomb, Manchester has been re-born. The Metropolitan should be part of that renaissance and the Vice-Chancellor is right to drive that initiative. The Metropolitan is Manchester’s University.

John Bishop Studied: Social Science John Bishop has toured the world with his standup performance shows and was awarded Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the 2010 British Comedy Awards. In 2013, he hosted the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium theatre in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. John is also a well-known philanthropist and has undertaken a range of challenges in support of his chosen charities.

“MANCHESTER MET BROADENED MY HORIZONS SOCIALLY AND MENTALLY. IT GAVE ME A SENSE OF VALUE AND A BELIEF IN MY OWN ABILITIES WHILST RECOGNISING THE VALUE OF OTHERS. I ALSO MET MY WIFE HERE, SO YOU COULD SAY THAT MAN MET ALSO GAVE ME THE SOURCE OF SOME OF MY BEST .” MATERIAL Spring/Summer 2018

11


FOCUSED ON

the future

Sir Howard Bernstein is synonymous with the development of Manchester as a global city. Met Magazine caught up with him to find out what the future holds for him and the city

12

Met Magazine issue 5


FEATURE

F

or someone so closely defined by an immense contribution to Manchester’s recent past, Sir Howard Bernstein is very keen to talk about the city’s future. Having spent the week in Cannes at the international property exhibition MIPIM, he is still full of the zest for life that spurs him ever onwards. In previous years as the Chief Executive of the most fascinating city at the show, he would hold court on the prominent Manchester stand in the exhibition space, welcoming potential investors and co-ordinating a formidable machine to tell the story of Manchester in an intense and vibrant marketplace. This year’s event was the first time he was there as a businessman, working with his new colleagues at Deloitte and the Manchester Life project, a solid partnership between Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City Council, which is building 1000 new homes on a large site that links the city centre to the Etihad Campus. It’s a project he started during his 21 years as Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, but is now carefully tending to full bloom as part of his work with the owners of Manchester City Football Club and their commitment to building in the city. For him, the consistent theme is partnerships and continuing to work hard and raising the ambition. “The strategy of these past 20 years has been about how to build on the excellence of our key assets, especially in globally distinctive sectors, how we connect people to jobs and how we attract new talent,” Bernstein said “Manchester Metropolitan University has always been a key part of Manchester’s strategy. It’s a tribute to the current leadership that you can go to most cities in Britain, and probably Europe too, and nowhere else will you see such the same depth and breadth of relationships between the

city and its universities. What we’ve done all along the Oxford Road Corridor over a period of time, in developing our science, technology and health related sectors, we’re now asking whether the nature of activity in creative industries can match that level too. So, projects like Manchester Metropolitan’s Screen School are very important. A lifelong Manchester City Football Club supporter, he endured the lean years supporting them “through thin and thinner”, but is now not only enjoying the style of football and the winning mentality of the last five years, but also working closely with the owners with their large scale ambitions, backed by substantial investment firepower. “On sport we defined a new platform with Sport City, now of course called the Etihad Campus,” explained Bernstein. “We’ve always seen the opportunity to build an economic profile for that area, a centre of learning and research that can really take off now we already have sports federations and governing bodies in the area, the Manchester Metropolitan Institute of Sport should be driving significant innovation in that broader space. “It’s taken a long time, but the business case for Manchester Metropolitan to expand sports provision started to stack up. It was important to find a better way for the University to achieve what it wants from sport, but also helping the wider city achieve greater status as a centre for global sport. The answer to both of those questions is both the city and the University doing a lot more. So now we’re developing an investment case for a global platform for a sports university, not only in sports degrees, but in post-graduate qualifications too and what this could mean for Manchester Metropolitan University and collaboration with other great sports universities around the world.”

Manchester Metropolitan University has always been a key part of Manchester’s strategy

Sometimes it’s important to be reminded that City Football Group also operates clubs in New York, Melbourne, Japan and Uruguay. The transformation of the East Manchester area has been remarkable. Not just the very obvious hard infrastructure such as a stadium, a training academy, good roads and Metrolink, but the way they have lifted the ambition of the whole area. The ambition of the owners to create something of scale, truly world leading and revolutionary in not only how a professional club organises its affairs, but also in how everything there engages with its surroundings. Bernstein said: “Lots of places I engage with now would love to see this level of investment, but it’s not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. What we have to do is make sure it really works in Manchester. “It would be a space that would be used every day, not just when City were playing 20 odd times a season – you create a day-to-day physical environment with demands for amenities. You will have 3000 students, student accommodation, activity based on the Rugby League setting up headquarters there. We’re talking to commercial leisure operators who are looking to align long term interests with the football club. When we conceived of Sport City, we had to ask, can we align our aspirations with other stakeholders? We then see them take shape. This then becomes a destination centre with a clear commercial profile. The more sports organisations we attract to Manchester, the more pathways to jobs and careers we are able to create.” One of his great skills as Chief Executive was spotting global trends, then weighing up Manchester’s potential to maximise on them. The boom in the UK’s professional and financial services sector has seen the city build a critical mass that has surpassed other cities. He has also been fairly persistent in pursuing

Spring/Summer 2018

13


opportunities to boost Manchester’s wider creative economy, building on the creative legacy of Granada TV and a strong musical and artistic ecosystem. “There has always been a wider creative sector, a community if you like, of which Manchester Metropolitan University has occupied an important place in Manchester. It’s not only been an important influence on the development of the city, but for young people choosing to live within the city, choosing to stay when they complete their studies. It’s been as powerful as the contribution from the University of Manchester in science. Because we’ve got that unique complementarity between two universities working with the support from the wider city, giving them policy support. We’re in a very strong position. We have the potential to be globally distinctive, especially in a postBrexit world, then it’s important to focus on them in order to drive trade and investment,” he said. “Manchester Metropolitan University is currently occupying spaces that are pivotal to the long term growth of the city region.” He sees no upside to Brexit. There are no circumstances which will be improved by leaving the European Union, he feels. But there is a new framework within which cities have to trade with the rest of the world, like it or not. But the one advantage the city does have, he says, is the Northern Powerhouse. Originally conceived and promoted by George Osborne when he was Chancellor, that

14

Met Magazine issue 5

The Etihad Campus

The Future of the City – Trinity Islands: Design proposal by Child Graddon Lewis Architects

powerful level of support within Whitehall made it more than just a campaign slogan, but a strategy. “For me, it is absolutely essential that the Northern Powerhouse has to become even more of a reality. For a city to navigate these huge global challenges, it’s a tough one, even for an optimist like me. It’s still going to be a huge challenge because of Brexit, but if we get the right investment that enables Manchester to link with Liverpool, you get the wider industrial approach that enables

us to better articulate our various industrial strengths. We can ride the storm better than most, but we must make the case for the Northern Powerhouse and for greater devolution, it is absolutely essential. But if we are to have a debate about the future shape of the country, then it needs to be informed by a far stronger all party commitment and if there is a desire to take power from Brussels, then there’s no point simply repatriating that power to Westminster,” he said. As the architect and the driving force between so much of Manchester’s audacious and ambitious case for devolution, he still sees plenty more for the current system to absorb. Big devolution agreements were signed with central government leading up to the biggest deal of all in 2015, for health and social care devolution at a Greater Manchester level. Though he acknowledges that has been a tough challenge for the system, there is still capacity and appetite for more. “I want to see greater levels of devolution to places like Manchester in particular, because of the maturity, the quality of its leadership and the capacity to get things done,” he said. “Where next? I’d like to see greater fiscal devolution; more powers around the benefits system, joining it up;


Manchester Metropolitan University is currently occupying spaces that are pivotal to the long term growth of the city region.

more housing funding; delegation of transport spend, utilising the transport network and how it operates. There’s a whole bunch of radical stuff that we can start getting ourselves into.” His new job with Deloitte takes him all over the world talking to businesses and city leaders about power, economic development and the tensions between central and local governance. He’s more convinced than ever that the case has to be put in new and different ways. “The Northern Powerhouse Partnership fulfils a very important role in that respect, but so too do academic institutions like Manchester Metropolitan University, using evidence, thinking policy outcomes through and building an evidence base,” he said. “I believe the debate postBrexit needs to take place beyond Westminster, and should be more value-driven and be about letting the North of England make a good fist of it, however it turns out. If we don’t say that

we are committed to rebalancing the economy, then I think that’s a flaw. There needs to be reenergisation of the principles that underpin the requirement for devolution. “The case for intrainstitutional support around this whole debate is absolutely fundamental in my opinion. The Northern Powerhouse Partnership will be addressing this over the coming months, it’s got to be a mature debate that’s addressed by civic and political leaders, academics, because the system in the way it is currently configured is not making the right connections between economic growth and reforming public services. “Why was devolution so driven in 2014? That’s because George Osborne drove it. It wouldn’t have happened without that. We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose sight of devolution. Key for this region is making that point that rebalancing is feasible.” The debate about cities and urbanism is as important as ever.

Who gets to live in a city? How people live alongside one another. How cities can attract the wealthy mobile professionals, whilst enhancing opportunities for the people who live there. They aren’t unique to Manchester, but there is a consensus growing that emerging cities have a chance to be more equal than, say, Paris or London. There was always a strange sense that Manchester would never be the same without Sir Howard Bernstein. He has been such a presence, such a force, such a powerful voice that the city could be emptier, somehow. He’s actually managed to pull something off that many thought impossible. He’s somehow still very much all of those things, yet has managed to create enough room for himself that his successors can make their own space. Not an easy task. But then Sir Howard Bernstein never chose to do anything because it was easy, but he always pursued something because it was the right thing to do.

Spring/Summer 2018

15


THE POWER

of Words Manchester’s literary and cultural scene is thriving, and Manchester Metropolitan is right at its beating heart

16

Met Magazine issue 5


FEATURE

“F

or Manchester is the place where people do things.... Don’t talk about what you are going to do, do it. That is the Manchester habit,” wrote Judge Edward Abbott Parry in 1912. Parry was reflecting on his time at Manchester County Court at the turn of the 20th century, but his description has now become a famous passage which neatly sums up the city. “And in the past through the manifestation of this quality the word Manchester became a synonym for energy and freedom and the right to do and to think without shackles,” he continued. That swaggering DIY ethos has underpinned everything the city became renowned for, from being the engine-room of the Industrial Revolution to the capital of music and counterculture in the 1980s and 90s. Manchester is also where Engels and Marx developed their ideas at Chetham’s Library, where Elizabeth Gaskell wrote her campaigning novels and the home of the writings of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. Working class writers as diverse as playwright Shelagh Delaney and novelist Walter Greenwood have all walked its streets. Now Manchester is once again becoming renowned for its thriving literature scene – with Manchester Metropolitan at its very forefront. UNESCO has announced Manchester as one of its global Cities of Literature, with Manchester Metropolitan part of the consortium that pitched to win the prestigious award. Ian Tabbron, Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is delighted that Manchester has been awarded

the prestigious designation of UNESCO City of Literature. “Manchester is a place with a rich literary history and is home to extraordinary and diverse writers in many genres. It is not parochial and looks outward, confidently, in search of new partnerships with other places, countries and cultures. The publishing sector in the city is recognised as particularly strong and innovative and the universities are very actively involved in developing talent among the student body but also, increasingly across wider communities. “The Arts Council acknowledges the healthy collaborative approach underpinning the development of the City of Literature programme and would hope to be actively involved in the coming months and years.” The honour coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan and two decades of the city becoming renowned for the strength of its literature and poetry scene. For Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE, Poet Laureate and Creative Director of the Writing School who has been involved since its inception, the School is part of a rich creative lineage which has culminated in Manchester being celebrated as a cultural hub for the written word. “We can go right back well over half a century to Coronation Street, which radically transformed television drama and opened the way for that kind of realism and authenticity in drama to be something that we respond to and demand. Then we have the use of the song lyric and all the Manchester bands which were

Professor Michael Symmons Roberts

Arts Council England is delighted that Manchester has been awarded the prestigious designation of UNESCO City of Literature.

Manchester City of Literature

very influential. We have novelists – we have the International Anthony Burgess Centre here, the great innovative fiction writer and more,” Professor Duffy explained. “Then the Manchester Writing School which has been going for 20 years is, I think, very much a family of practicing writers and students who come together to create new work.” Over the last two decades, the University’s English Department has evolved into an internationally renowned centre for Creative Writing. With over 200 students enrolled on the MA/MFA programme, the English Department now comprises the largest community of creative writing postgraduate students in the UK. Manchester’s creative sector has also bloomed, contributing over £130m a year to the local economy. As well as being home to the first female Poet Laureate, the Writing School boasts an ever-growing roster of renowned writers across all major literary forms, and over 80 alumni are also published authors. Staff include the likes of Andrew Michael Hurley, who won the 2016 Costa First Novel Award for The Loney, which will soon be adapted for screen, the multiaward winning poets Michael Symmons Roberts, Helen Mort and Andrew McMillan, and the recently appointed playwright Simon Stephens, who adapted the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for the stage to great acclaim. “To commit to rigorous creative work in Manchester at a time when it has just gained UNESCO City of Literature status and has the potential to surpass London as the creative capital of the country is quite thrilling,” said Stephens upon his appointment. Professor Michael Symmons

Spring/Summer 2018

17


“The Manchester Children’s Book Festival is a hugely valued part of the cultural offer of the City of Manchester, enriching the lives of our young people, showing them what they can achieve and inspiring them to excel.” Sir Richard Leese, CBE, Leader of Manchester City Council

Roberts, author of the recently published Mancunia, a poetry collection partly inspired by the city, said: “Manchester Metropolitan was one of the first Writing Schools in the UK, and I was aware of its strength and reputation long before I started to teach there. The roll call of poets and novelists and dramatists who have studied and taught here is hugely impressive and growing year by year. “Although it attracts students from across the world, the Writing School has always been rooted in, and connected to, the city, staging events and forging collaborative partnerships with cultural groups and organisations across the city.” Dr Mort, Lecturer in Poetry, five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award and judge of the 2017 International Man Booker Prize, was also one of the first winners of the University’s Manchester Writing Competition. She said that inspired her to aspire to return to Manchester Writing School as a lecturer, a natural home for poets and writers. She said: “Manchester has got poetry in the fabric of it. I’m always amazed when I walk around the city that I feel like I encounter poetry all the time. You encounter it physically on buildings sometimes, you walk past a cafe and there’s someone writing something secretly or you listen to people speak. There’s poetry in people’s inventiveness of expression.”

18

Met Magazine issue 5

Manchester Children’s Book Festival

28 June - 8 July 2012

The Writing School has never sought to confine its rich talents to within the University walls. Its outreach work with the city’s diverse communities was a bedrock of the successful UNESCO bid, and continues to be the jewel in its crown. “One of our great moves has been to take the Writing School out of the University and into the city so we have a real relationship between what we do in the world of academia and what we bring outwards to the city,” said Professor Duffy. The Manchester Fiction and Poetry Prizes have handed out over £100,000 to budding writers since 2008, and the Rosamond Prize in conjunction with the Royal Northern College of Music is in its tenth year. Manchester Metropolitan has played a central role in the thriving live literature scene in the city, from writers’ events to open mic evenings and talks. The city’s Royal Exchange Theatre hosts the regular ‘Carol Ann Duffy and Friends’ evenings which bring the University’s best writers in front of entirely new audiences, and the Writing School will soon be launching the People’s Poetry Lectures. “So ordinary people can come

and buy a ticket and don’t feel they have to go into a hushed lecture room to learn about poetry. We’re constantly stepping out of the lecture theatre and into the city,” said Professor Duffy. One of its most significant city-wide successes has been the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, launched by Professor Duffy to widen access to reading culture for children, families and carers, and to support new writing for and by children and young adults – the first festival of its kind to be run by a university. The festival’s events and activities have benefited more than 40,000 pupils, teachers, children and families since 2010, and its enduring impact is appreciated by city leaders and cultural figures. Sir Richard Leese, CBE, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Manchester Children’s Book Festival is a hugely valued part of the cultural offer of the City of Manchester, enriching the lives of our young people, showing them what they can achieve and inspiring them to excel.” Those views were supported by Maria Balshaw, CBE, formerly Director of the Whitworth Gallery and now Director of Tate Galleries. She said: “Since its


inception in 2010, the Manchester Children’s Book Festival has been a major contributor to the social and cultural offer in Manchester, drawing in partners from across the City and catalysing the ambition and aspiration of our young people through literature and culture. MCBF has done more than most not just to deliver arts and culture to communities but to support the creativity of children and young people themselves. It is this that makes it stand out, and that is at the heart of its enduring impact.” Professor Duffy describes it as the thing she is most proud of from her tenure at the Writing School. “My own childhood was very ordinary. I didn’t come from a bookish household so all of my books came from a public library and I owe my library and the books that I found there to the fact that I am a writer. In those days though you didn’t have poets coming in. You thought all poets were dead. “From childhood we love reading, and it’s through a love of reading that we learn to write. I’ve always hoped that some of the children who come to us for the MCBF will come on as students and will develop into writers. That connection with a university and childhood through literature is something really important that we can give to our city.” But the 20th anniversary of the Manchester Writing School does not find it or the University’s other creative departments in a reflective mood. In fact, the potential opened up by the UNESCO award has those involved in the bid itching to put new projects into action. UNESCO Cities of Literature are dedicated to pursuing excellence in literature on a local level, engaging as many citizens as possible in a dynamic culture of words and encouraging the creation and sharing of stories. They work together to develop new local, national and international literary links, encouraging collaboration locally and across the world. And though the programme of cultural events and community writing projects developed to celebrate Manchester’s status is still in the early design phases, it is clear that Manchester Metropolitan’s history of engaging the city’s diverse communities will also be a central tenet of its future plans. The University’s first event

to celebrate the UNESCO award was an evening of Urdu poetry on International Mother Language Day, featuring Manchester Metropolitan’s first ever Mushaira in collaboration with the group Manchester Muslim Writers. Zahid Hussain, Founder of Manchester Muslim Writers, said: “When Manchester Metropolitan University proposed the Manchester Mushaira we were thrilled. It was the first time, as far as we know, that a Mushaira would take place at a local university. “This, coupled with Manchester’s newly-won status as UNESCO City of Literature, gave the signal the University was serious about granting unheard voices a chance to find a new audience. The UK’s Urdu poetry scene is vibrant, yet few outside its intimate sphere are aware of it. The Manchester Mushaira therefore blazed a new path for Urdu poetry by offering a mainstream space. This can only build on Manchester’s reputation as a leading city of culture.” Similar events that reflect the distinctive character of reading and writing in a multilingual, multicultural city with 91 ethnic groups and nearly 200 languages spoken will form a central part of the University’s UNESCO programme. Alumnus of the Writing School, author Mark Pajak, has won a place on the UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program in Krakow this summer, ahead of a two-day Polish poetry symposium in Manchester in October. There are wider plans to build on the success of MCBF, the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition and the University’s strength in youth work in planning creative activities with vulnerable communities in Manchester. Those leading the University’s involvement in UNESCO are clear about what benefits this can bring to the institution and the city. It will raise Manchester’s international profile, potentially boosting tourism and the local economy. It also offers an opportunity for Manchester Metropolitan to build networks among UNESCO’s 28 other Cities of Literature around the world and with cultural and creative institutions in the city it has never had the opportunity to link up with before.

“Manchester Metropolitan University plays a critical role in developing the pipeline of talent that supports the continued growth of the creative industries in Greater Manchester and the UK more widely” Dave Moutrey, Chief Executive of HOME

Dr. Adam O’Riordan Senior Lecturer and Academic Director of the Manchester Writing School

The University’s rich programme of literature events have seen increases in audience size and breadth over recent months, and publishing houses have already been in touch with the English department to discuss working closely together. All this makes Manchester the go-to destination outside of London for literature lovers, but it is also just one facet of a burgeoning cultural and creative offer in the city. Alongside the historic Manchester School of Art and School of Theatre, which now stages its productions at HOME, the Holden Gallery whose exhibitions are open to the public, and the rich archives at the University’s Special Collections will sit the Screen School – teaching the digital and creative skills of the future. All these facilities combined will help cement Manchester Metropolitan as a cultural landmark in the city. Dave Moutrey, Chief Executive of HOME, said: “Manchester Metropolitan University plays a critical role in developing the pipeline of talent that supports the continued growth of the creative industries in Greater Manchester and the UK more widely. Not only do they do this via great teaching and learning, they also maximise their impact through working with industrial partners and communities.”

Spring/Summer 2018

19


A CITY OF

Poetry M

anchester’s first ever specialist Poetry Library will open at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2020, building on a rich and historic tradition in the city. Upon his death in 1651, wealthy textile merchant and library owner Humphrey Chetham decreed that future librarians should “require nothing of any man that cometh into the library”. So Chetham’s Library opened its doors to the people of Manchester and became the first public library in the Englishspeaking world. Since then Manchester’s library scene has flourished to become its flagship cultural offering to tourists and locals alike – from Chetham’s to the John Rylands and Portico and the city’s library and information services headquarters at Manchester Central Library. This heritage formed a key plank of Manchester’s successful UNESCO City of Literature bid. And Manchester Metropolitan’s flourishing contemporary poetry scene makes it an obvious choice to host the city’s first Poetry Library – just the fourth in the UK and first in the North West.

20

Met Magazine issue 5

The city’s first Poetry Library will open in the University’s new Arts and Humanities building in 2020. Met Magazine previews this exciting new venture

The library will be housed on the ground floor of the new £46m Arts and Humanities building, alongside the Manchester Writing School led by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy DBE and home to an ever-growing number of other internationally renowned poets. One of those, Michael Symmons Roberts, winner of the Forward Prize, Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, as well as a Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “I’m very excited about the new Poetry Library, not just because it will build on the Writing School’s longstanding reputation as a key international centre for poetry, but also because the Library will face out into the city, beyond the University community. “Like the specialist poetry libraries in London and Edinburgh, we hope it will become a focus for anyone interested in poetry, from researchers and writers to curious readers from Manchester and beyond.” Professor Jean Sprackland, academic lead on the project and chair of the Poetry Archive, said: “Our postgraduate creative writing community is the largest in the

country, and from the beginning we have always had a unique strength in poetry. “The Poetry Library has grown organically from these deep and spreading roots. It says something about the University’s confidence in this field that it has grasped the opportunity to take the lead on creating a new jewel in the crown of Manchester’s literary life.” The Poetry Library will be open to the public, with the ambition of it also being a lending library. There will also be exhibition spaces and areas for working. Those managing the project are starting to grow its collection – aimed at eventually being 30,000 books, which like its counterparts in London and Edinburgh, will focus largely on contemporary and 20th-century poetry. But there is also a clear focus on making the Manchester Poetry Library distinct and able to truly reflect the diversity of the University’s poets and the city itself. The ambition is to build a collection of audio and visual recordings of poetry alongside the written word, mirroring the multifaceted talents of the University’s


FEATURE

Professor Jean Sprackland

A selection of books produced by the award-winning poets based in The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University

“The vision and ambition for this is remarkable, promising a previously unimaginable range of opportunities”

poetry staff – between them, they write for theatre, radio and opera, and are exceptionally active in taking poetry beyond the page. As with the University’s UNESCO City of Literature programming, there will also be a focus on poetry in languages other than English, to reflect the varied linguistic landscape in the city itself. The Library has already been gifted poetry books in Urdu from the Manchester Muslim Writers group following the first UNESCO City of Literature event on International Mother Language Day. Helen Mort, five-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, said: “The Poetry Library is going to be a really great meeting point and focus for all the many disparate activities that were already going on, both in the University and across the city. “That’s the nice thing about the UNESCO status as well. There’s a real sense of bringing people together. We’ve had a Mushaira event in Urdu poetry that brought together Manchester Muslim Writers and Manchester

Ian Tabbron, Arts Council England

Dr Helen Mort Lecturer

Met. We’ve had events on translation too. It just feels like it’s starting to pull together things already going on. It will be such a great asset that is a space to use for poetry events that everyone knows.” Ian Tabbron, Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England, said: “One particularly exciting project is the Poetry Library, which is due to open in 2020. The vision and ambition for this is remarkable, promising a previously unimaginable range of opportunities because of the intended use of new technologies and the active targeting of many different participant groups. For instance, the long-running Manchester Children’s Book Festival has partnered with Manchester Libraries, the City Council and others including the Portico. The University is supporting the Manchester Libraries Festival project, coordinated by Manchester Literature Festival in conjunction with the British Council and others, to celebrate the role of public libraries in civic life. That ethos of collaboration will be a key tenet of the Poetry Library. Neil MacInnes, Manchester City Council’s Strategic Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture, said: “Our libraries team has a longstanding history of working in partnership with other libraries in the city, including Manchester Metropolitan University, to build on the wider cultural roles libraries have in the city and look at how we develop and retain audiences – particularly in relation to promoting reading, literature and information. This includes reciprocal access agreements to widen participation. “We’re really looking forward to the University’s new Poetry Library and to exploring how we can continue to work with Manchester Metropolitan University to increase audiences for poetry, both written and performed, right across Manchester.” “The big ambition is that the library doesn’t just stand in isolation, but that it also draws attention to the poetry offer in Manchester as a

whole,” explained Martin Kratz, Project Manager of the Poetry Library project at Manchester Metropolitan. “This is a poetry city. We’ve got ancient poetry in the John Rylands, an extract from The Epic of Gilgamesh on a stone tablet, to the 19th-century Portico collection, Chetham’s, the Working Class Movement Library. While they’re not specifically dedicated to poetry, they have amazing poetry holdings and part of what we’re doing is drawing attention to those and working with them to make a bigger offer.” As well as having lauded poets on its writing staff, Manchester Metropolitan has sought to make poetry part of its outreach activity outside of the University walls. A public lending Poetry Library would follow in this rich vein. For instance, poetry is one part of the Manchester Writing Competition, the UK’s biggest literary award for unpublished writers. The University also runs national Laureate Education Project Mother Tongue Other Tongue, a multilingual poetry competition celebrating cultural diversity and the languages spoken in UK schools, which has been publicly endorsed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Future plans are to link up with the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies at the University to develop creative new youth outreach and engagement activities in Greater Manchester, including an online poetry resource by young people for young people. The Poetry Library’s exhibition and performance space will enable them to showcase their work and also host a creative writing Saturday Club. “The library and its collection will be accessible to all – the project is built on an outwardfacing philosophy of engagement, access and participation, and it will be designed not only to be invaluable to students and researchers but also to make a real difference to the life of the city and the region,” explained Professor Sprackland. “This means it will emerge from, and respond to, Greater Manchester’s rich diversity of language and culture, and will be open to collaboration and partnership with the many poetry and spoken word groups which thrive here, as well as with the other libraries. Manchester is a city of libraries!”

Spring/Summer 2018

21


SHAPING THE

economy

Under the banner Future Economies – Professor Donna Lee is assembling a stellar team at Manchester Metropolitan to research and better understand business and work in the decades ahead. We spoke to her and the team’s newest recruit Christian Spence to crunch the numbers.

22

Met Magazine issue 5


FEATURE

M

Professor Donna Lee

anchester is a city of firsts. The first programmable computer. Where the atom was first split. The first commercial television station. And politically, the city region that first embraced devolution in the modern era. Professor Donna Lee’s team, one of the key new multidisciplinary Research Centres at Manchester Metropolitan, has grasped the scale of this latest challenge and is focused firmly on shaping economic thinking so the inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs of the next generation can be the game changers of their era. “With Future Economies we’re aiming to look at creating research that looks at influencing economic policy and governance, especially here in Manchester,” said Professor Lee. “How can the city region develop a zerocarbon economy, when most of the growth of Manchester comes through the airport? There’s no doubt that Manchester is one of the most exciting and dynamic economies in Europe, but not without its problems.” The prize, the great opportunity, is to weld some of the intellectual hard thinking and foresight into the civic sphere, to help politicians like Greater Manchester’s first directly elected Mayor, Andy Burnham, as the city region takes responsibility for adult skills, as part of a devolution deal with central government. Is it realistic then for Greater Manchester to create a new economic paradigm within the rest of the UK? “I think it’s clear that it’s more likely than it’s ever been since the Thatcher settlement of the 1980s,” said Professor Lee. “I think opportunities to genuinely transform the economic model locally here in Greater Manchester remain strong, and arguably if we can’t do it here, then nowhere can. The city region is clearly still settling into the new governance model of a directlyelected mayor; it’s a very different model to the well-established political consensus of the past couple of decades, and the first few months of Andy Burnham’s leadership has shown just how

strong the ‘soft’ powers of a single, electorally-accountable person can be: he’s made strong headway in a number of areas outside his official brief.” Key to it, she says, will be to look beyond short-term electoral cycles and to take a city-wide scan of the horizon. “As Andy Burnham looks to an election for a second term in 2020, he is likely to be increasingly focused on ensuring that there is tangible evidence of his first term, and this will likely mean we can expect to see some quick wins delivered between now and then,” she said. Professor Lee believes that Burnham has brought a fresh approach to many policy areas: property-led regeneration at the heart of the city, moving people to the jobs rather than looking to grow and better connecting the geographically outlying economies, as well as working out where to build all the new houses, if not on the green belt. “At the heart of all of these issues is place, and, whilst the evidence is clear that there are significant benefits of agglomeration, more and more commentary is turning to the issues of inequality, unequal growth and left-behind communities. It seems that, for the first time in many years, some are beginning to openly question whether the Manchester model of the past twenty years is now the right one for the next. There’s no easy answer to this question, as so much of the evaluation would have to balance the counter-factual: what would have happened to those communities, those towns, under a different form of economic regeneration.” However, the questions now being asked by politicians also apply to economists: what does economic regeneration of the city centre mean for Stockport, Bolton and Tameside and the other outer boroughs, and why has the status quo failed? Is a growth at all costs model even sustainable or desirable? And can the government’s industrial strategy work to accelerate the Northern Powerhouse?

Could a better understanding of data, and a clearer understanding of what that data was saying, have improved the government’s industrial strategy? “To be fair,” Professor Lee said, “the research that sits behind the industrial strategy is good; it clearly highlights the problems within the UK economy but, that’s not too hard, as we’ve known fundamentally what those are for decades. We have a skills system that seems unresponsive to the future needs of business. Where a focus on higher-level skills is needed, but has failed to deliver visible pathways in vocational skills that allow young people to attain them and secure successful careers that depend more on an apprenticeship-style system than a conventional academic university route. There have been relatively low levels of investment in skills and training by both government and business. We also have an over-centralised economic and political model that removes both incentives for central government to best support the regions outside of London and the South East, which simultaneously ties the hands of local government when they want to make better decisions for their local area.” But while she welcomes the rhetoric of the government’s industrial strategy, she does feel it reflects a traditional way that many nationally-designed strategies have fallen short, mainly in pigeonholing of the economy, dividing it up into manageable, bite-sized chunks. She fears that too much focus on sectors or technologies runs the risk of missing the bigger picture, or of the potential of places like Manchester. “There is a significant opportunity for local economies to decide better how and where that money is spent. I’m reminded of something the leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, once said: ‘devolution is not about creating postcode lotteries – the current nationally-driven system has created those’. Local areas have their own needs and, to eliminate a postcode lottery, what you

“Manchester Metropolitan has a really important part to play in how Manchester redefines its values and shapes our economic strategy.” Mike Blackburn, Chairman, Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

Spring/Summer 2018

23


really need is different models in different places, so each area can respond in the ways that are best suited to its own unique environment.” Mike Blackburn, chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, believes the expertise that the University is bringing to this area could prove invaluable. He said: “Manchester Metropolitan has a really important part to play in how Manchester redefines its values and shapes our economic strategy. Not just in providing skilled people into the economy, but in contributing to the deep thinking our future leaders need to be doing.” One of the policy issues the team are looking at is the “skills base” of Greater Manchester. Even the question is loaded with double meaning, depending on who you talk to. One of the problems for analysts, economists and policymakers is that they’re currently only able to know what the market can provide through qualifications data, which is different to knowing what skills people have. To Christian Spence, who has joined the University’s Future Economies team from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce where he has been running the research and analytics team, it’s not enough. “Many people, particularly in cities like Manchester, have degrees, but these are rarely connected to what people go on to do,” Spence said. “A common question I ask at skills conferences of the audience is how many of them have a degree in a subject related to what they do now, and it’s rare that even half the audience raise their hands. For those of us who seek to describe the world through data, this is a huge

24

Met Magazine issue 5

Christian Spence, Head of Future Economies Analytics

challenge. Because if we can’t identify the skills that people have, how do we create the policy arguments for resourcing particular areas of skills and education provision better? If someone is employed in a role, they unquestionably have skills, but it’s hard for us to identify what those are, and how to benchmark them. “This goes beyond the world of economics and policy, and right to the heart of what we would call an efficiently clearing market: how do people market themselves and look for work, and how do companies know how to find them, if the skills they are looking for are not easily quantifiable or verifiable? Online platforms like LinkedIn may be a way to better understand the labour market and its skills, but they’re not perfect. But at a time when the skills system is not held in high regard by employers, how do you best shape what it should be doing without knowing precisely what everyone needs it to do?” In his previous role at the Chamber, Spence co-developed the Greater Manchester Construction Pipeline Analysis which provided insights into the construction sector in three different ways. It highlighted future demand by deeply examining the planning system, forecasting the skills the sector needs by aggregating projectlevel workforce requirements to a whole city or region, and then looking in detail at the skills the education system was bringing forward to the labour market. He says it was invaluable to then work out what capacity the sector had for years ahead. “This granular level of analysis allows you to really focus in on the parts that need urgent change. Shortage of new labour coming out of the education system is limited to just a few occupations, so it doesn’t need wholesale change. It’s all about getting underneath the

aggregate,” he said. For Professor Lee, there are hidden strengths to the Greater Manchester economy that this research, using these kind of data analysis methods could expose. “In many ways, the strengths of the economy are in advanced manufacturing, creative and digital, health and bio-science – these are the areas where we think that the greatest aggregate uplift in productivity and economic output could come from. But, like the government’s industrial strategy, the danger is we focus too much on these small areas that make up less than a third of our economy, and ignore the rest where there’s still so much opportunity for doing things better. “Retail, hospitality and tourism are enormous parts of not just Greater Manchester but the wider economy, and they are rarely mentioned. There’s opportunities for growth, for improvement, for better employment, in so many parts of the city, and we’ve got to weave a more inclusive narrative that doesn’t just focus on a small sub-section. We must be wary of spreading the jam too thinly, but if we’re to successfully respond to the cries of the public for a more equal society, we must paint a broader picture of success.” Already it feels like the message is getting through and that economic planners at a national and regional level are deeply engaged with Future Economies. “It already feels like we’re having real impact on the UK’s Industrial Strategy and Greater Manchester’s economic strategies as well as debates around Brexit,” said Professor Lee. “We have built research partnerships with HMRC and others in Whitehall as well as policy strategists in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The quality of our work and our ambitious plans have helped us recruit world-class academics in economic analytics, the green economy, regional economic development, Brexit and the EU, sports economies, urban and regional development, and devolved governance. It feels like we have built a dynamic community of world-class researchers here in Manchester. Our ambition is to put Manchester Metropolitan at the centre of key policy and business debates around core global economic questions affecting Manchester, the Greater Manchester Region, and the UK.”


Scanning the horizon Mike Blackburn is the chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. His job is to provide strategic oversight for the economy of the city region. As an honorary Doctor of Business at Manchester Metropolitan University, the former BT boss pulls together key minds around the Greater Manchester family to do some hard thinking about the future. He’s gathered an eclectic group of people together with an expansive and ambitious agenda to think about the future. This group, including Manchester Metropolitan’s Chancellor Lord Mandelson and property developer Gary Neville, is called the Foresight Group and is loosely inspired by a project Blackburn was part of at BT called Vital Vision, which took public sector leaders from around the UK to top American institutions MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Berkeley. “Where do leaders get a real sense of vision from?” he asked. “Institutions like universities are important, from their own networks of colleagues and contacts, occasionally from thought leadership in other organisations.” The first nettle the group has grasped has been the challenge of ageing and what a city region can do differently by recasting priorities and values. “We looked at ageing. Not just about ramps and handles, but how we can think about change in society. Are we building for the last generation, or those in 20 years’ time? People who might want more purposeful, tech-enabled homes. How do they make connections? The conversation then takes us on to how or whether we are making strategy, or changing it?” In the future the group will look closely at the potential impact of artificial intelligence and how Greater Manchester can apply some of the more immediate grand challenges of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. They are also planning a session on mobility – a word that means many things to different people – but examining it as a concept that affects not just transport and communications, but personal mobility and social mobility. And the big theme that keeps coming back to the fore is ‘value’ – how it is created, and what we mean by it. “Is there work to do in re-assessing the care industry, for example? Health and social care devolution offers us the challenge how we measure value, how we regard work done in sectors like adult care. Manchester could really lead the way on that,” he said. But it is his work as chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership that gives him remarkable insight into the challenges ahead. Predominantly a strategic body of mainly businesses, small as well as large. He also thinks it’s important for the city region to maintain speed, momentum and boldness and for a much sharper clarity on what the city’s brand stands for in the rest of the country. “Manchester is an international city, we have an opportunity to benefit from the ports and our airport, to use the brand of Manchester overseas. Brexit might mean Britain doesn’t have trade deals, but it doesn’t mean we stop trading. We can lead the North in some ways.”

Spring/Summer 2018

25


PARTNERSHIPS

reaping rewards

26

Met Magazine issue 5

From single individuals to million pound multinationals, wherever you look in Greater Manchester you can see the positive impact the University is making on the region

B

eyond the walls of the lecture theatres and laboratories, academics and students are helping others make major strides in the areas such as science, business, sport and the environment. By sharing and applying their specialist knowledge and skills with the community, they are able to instigate the development of new commercial products and services, inspire and educate schoolchildren, provide a vision

of a more sustainable future and assist some of the most vulnerable members of society. Manchester Metropolitan’s influence and impact extends to an ever-growing range of partnerships with companies, public sector bodies, sports teams, charities, grassroots organisations and collaborations. Many of these would not be able to progress in the same way without the University’s contribution.


Hydrogen Fuel Cell

FEATURE

O

ne of society’s biggest dilemmas is how to meet the increasing demand for energy in a way that is sustainable, cost effective and environmentally friendly. For many, part of the solution is the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells – an alternate power source with lower emissions that is expected to one day be found in everything from homes to cars. Locally, it is the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership, established by the University four years ago, that is helping push the green power agenda. It has transformed from a forum to discuss theoretical ideas about hydrogen fuel cell use into a practical way to engage the 2,300 businesses in Greater Manchester’s low carbon environmental goods sector and shape the region’s Energy Plan. The opening of the £4million Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre at the University allows researchers to not only conduct their own investigations, but work on research and development and manufacturing projects with companies in the areas of advanced materials and surface engineering. Teaching rooms will enable staff to introduce and explain the concept of fuel cells to visiting schoolchildren.

This complements the existing educational outreach programme named HySchool that brings the use of hydrogen to the classroom by making available resource packs, experiments and online media to secondary school pupils and teachers. Mark Atherton, Assistant Director of Environment at Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “Through the coordination of the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership and the launch of the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre, the University is leading the charge towards a hydrogen economy in Greater Manchester. “The partnership has brought

together a consortium of experts from local authorities, business and universities to establish opportunities for hydrogen energy deployment. “The Hyschool project has influenced the curriculum and worked within Greater Manchester schools to help inspire the next generation to develop scientific thinking, experimental skills and strategies for the future use of hydrogen as a fuel source. “Together we can link academic research with a network of fuel cell businesses, to realise the longer term ambition for hydrogen and fuel cell projects in our region.”

Degree Apprenticeships

L

earning while working is a key tenet of the University’s undergraduate Degree Apprenticeship offering that enables employers to train their staff. Tailored sector-relevant courses have been designed and delivered for high street restaurant chains, pharmaceuticals companies, technology firms, banks and transport companies among others. Not only do the programmes help employers fill current and future skills gaps and define a structured career path for younger workers, but it means they can invest in existing talent to accelerate their progression and improve their professional practice. Employers report that apprentices are able to integrate into the business not just in terms of getting on with their day job,

but becoming involved in more complex and longer-term projects. Apprentices’ enthusiasm and fresh input can open the eyes of managers to the idea of changing established ways of working for the better. It is this kind of success in developing the next generation of industry leaders that has led the University to introduce an accredited MBA Degree

Apprenticeship, designed to bolster senior managers and strategic thinkers. Claire Findlay, Head of Resource Management in Global Technology Infrastructure Services at Barclays, said: “This was a pioneering approach, with no guarantees of how the collaboration would work. However, the results from the students and for Barclays have been outstanding, cementing our commitment to Degree Apprenticeships and our partnership. “Our apprentices join us right at the entry level of our career pathways at Barclays, but with the development of the Degree Apprenticeship, their progression is unlimited. We really do strive to push our apprentices to achieve their ambitions. “Our apprentices love being on the degree course at Manchester Metropolitan. They are really excelling, it’s stretching and challenging them, and they are really motivated to do well.”

Spring/Summer 2018

27


Pro Bono

R

estriction to access to legal aid for people wanting to contest the withdrawal of aspects of their welfare benefit has left some locals seeking support and guidance if they cannot afford a lawyer. In desperation, they turn to services such as Greater Manchester Law Centre as a last resort. As a result of a new partnership between the Pro Bono Community Charity and Greater Manchester Law Centre advice clinic – the charity’s first project outside London – law students from Manchester Metropolitan give up their time to assist those with legal problems. Specialist training prepares the volunteers to gain useful hands-on experience collating and assessing evidence while practising their interpersonal and practical skills. In a separate Legal Advocacy Support Project with the same law centre, a team of 16 undergraduates and postgraduates have compiled appeals and represented clients at tribunal. It has led to the overturning of a number of decisions and

to the reinstatement of benefit entitlement. Thousands of pounds in back payments have been secured for the law centre’s appreciative clients. Ngaryan Li, Supervising Solicitor at the Greater Manchester Law Centre, said: “The team has helped the most vulnerable people in society to

achieve access to justice and increase their financial security.

“As welfare benefits is no longer covered by legal aid, many people are unable to access legal representation. “These people are often the most vulnerable, and so by providing this service free of charge to their clients, the students work is often life changing. “Several of their clients have said that they ‘could not do it without you’.”

The team has helped the most vulnerable people in society to achieve access to justice and increase their financial security

Greater Manchester High Growth Network

S

maller businesses that think they are ripe for expansion often find it difficult to fulfil their potential. Entrepreneurs and shareholders have to begrudgingly pass up opportunities or ditch enlargement plans due to struggles with capacity, finance and knowledge. But proving progress need not be a pipe dream is the European Union-funded Greater Manchester High Growth Network programme

run by the University’s Centre for Enterprise. It consists of a series of free expert-led workshops and one-toone coaching that paves the way for small companies to increase revenue, improve staff recruitment, and retain or embed leadership. Attendees get to network with their peers and Centre for Enterprise staff help them translate their acquired insight into practical action plans. Moulded to the needs of

“Attending the programme at Manchester Metropolitan gave me the light bulb moment I’d been waiting for.” Tony Millar, Founder Great Grounds landscaping company

28

Met Magazine issue 5

the business, these can address anything from communication and networking to sales and finance – with participants often taking away with them a new-found sense of direction or appreciation for strategic thinking. Course graduate Tony Millar founded his landscaping company Great Grounds in the early 1980s. After initially engaging the University through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, he sought advice on support on managing business expansion. Mr Millar said: “Attending the programme at Manchester Metropolitan gave me the light bulb moment I’d been waiting for. “I realised that perhaps franchising wasn’t the answer and I should instead be focused on streamlining the business and our ongoing projects. “Since attending the programme and receiving the advice and coaching from Manchester Metropolitan, we’ve been able to create two additional job roles at Great Grounds working on new projects and a new area of operation in Staffordshire.”


Triangulum

T

he University is a key partner in Manchester’s role as one of three testbeds – alongside Eindhoven in The Netherlands and Stavanger in Norway, a trio collectively known as Lighthouse Cities – demonstrating how technology can improve sustainable mobility, energy, IT and business opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses. Named Triangulum, the project is a five-year €25 million Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Union for the roll out of proven cutting-edge technological urban enhancements across the world. Marrying the University’s green credentials – it is ranked number one in the People and Planet University League – with its research prowess, nearly 600

solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Brooks Building on the Birley campus. These will be linked to an on-campus innovative lithium-ion battery, all controlled by an intelligent central system to store electricity and reduce reliance on more expensive peaktime energy. Triangulum has also supported Manchester Metropolitan in expanding its electric vehicle fleet through the provision of two electric vehicles used by staff on a daily basis for business travel through its pool car scheme. The commitment and investments exemplify what practical steps can be taken by public and private bodies to reduce carbon footprints at the same time as invigorating the local economy, with knowledge-

led solutions at the core. In the wake of the success of what has been achieved by the University and other consortium partners in the Lighthouse Cities, other places across Europe, namely Leipzig in Germany, Sabadell in Spain and the Czech capital Prague, have begun to replicate the tried-and-tested strategies and infrastructure. “Manchester Metropolitan University is a key partner in the Triangulum project and we have been delighted with the progress in all five of the energy work streams, helping to create a smart energy network for the corridor” Carl Ennis, Managing Director at Siemens Energy Management

Spring/Summer 2018

29


Toronto Wolfpack

“The University’s positive engagement in Rugby League across a number of fronts was particularly impressive. The partnership with Toronto Wolfpack for the club to use the Platt Lane Sports Complex as their UK base and the newlyannounced player development programme to nurture talent from both Canada and the UK, and the fact that RFL’s relocation of its offices to the Etihad Campus in 2021 where the University is proposing to site its Institute of Sport, will further enhance the relationship over the coming months and years.” Tony Sutton, Director of Finance and Facilities of Rugby Football League

N

ot all of the influence radiating out from the University can be found in laboratories, on balance sheets or refreshed public services. Even the sport of rugby league has been changed for the better by embracing what Manchester Metropolitan can do. High-flying transatlantic club Toronto Wolfpack uses the University’s Platt Lane Sports Complex in Fallowfield as its UK training base when playing a block of away fixtures in the second tier of English rugby league. Since last autumn they have been taking advantage of worldclass indoor and outdoor facilities at their new home away from home. Backroom staff at the promotion-chasing club will take over the running of the University’s rugby league team and instigate a new player

30

Met Magazine issue 5

development system that will give youth talent from both Canada and Britain a chance to grow and compete for spaces in the side. As well as supporting the individual club, the University is delivering a leadership course for the sports’ governing body, the Rugby Football League (RFL), which will relocate from Leeds to new headquarters besides the planned Institute of Sport as part of the ongoing regeneration of the Etihad Campus in East Manchester. The proximity of the Institute and the RFL’s new offices will only serve to strengthen ties between the two and will hopefully fashion opportunities for future students and staff to learn from and potentially influence the sport at every level from executive to grassroots. Tony Sutton, Director of Finance and Facilities of Rugby Football League, said: “The Rugby

Football League embarked on a leadership project in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan in early 2018 with a view to growing and developing its next generation of senior leaders. “In engaging the University in this process the RFL was keen to partner with an organisation that both understood the professional sporting environment and excelled in its own field. “The Rugby Football League has already seen and felt the benefit of this programme both to itself and the individuals participating on it, even at this early stage.”


Aqua-Check Engineering

T

he University has helped nearly 30 companies – many based in Greater Manchester – sharpen their competitive edge via a scheme designed to bring academic acumen to the warehouses, factories, laboratories and offices. Under these Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), the University staff’s expertise and skills are parachuted into the various operational areas of a commercial enterprise such as product development, business management and research. This typically comes in the form of a funded researcher, a KTP associate, being placed directly with the employer and working alongside existing staff. Aqua-Check Engineering is just one of those companies to have benefitted from the interventional work of Manchester Metropolitan. It developed a standpipe containing a GPS-connected real time smart water meter that helps utility companies more accurately monitor water usage and automatically generate bills, reducing the amount of water wasted and potential income missed.

The KTP has done a lot for us in terms of helping fund projects we could have never have afforded ourselves and making us think about our business in a totally different way. It’s been a breath of fresh air

The fact that more than 90 per cent of the UK’s water suppliers are queuing up to introduce the device shows how revolutionary and important the product is to what is an archaic sector dominated by – but not for much longer – geographical monopolies that led to innovation complacency. Through a second KTP, also led by Dr Bamidele Adebisi of the School of Engineering, the sensors will be evolved to chemically analyse the water to allow suppliers to remotely check the quality of the flow. Rochdale-based Aqua-Check Engineering is well on its way to inventing and monetising smart water meters with the ability to capture all kinds of detailed data that will help water companies more efficiency manage their network and supplies. The same transferable technology could ultimately be applied to domestic meters in the way families routinely monitor and programme their gas and electricity usage via a smartphone. The end goal is to educate and encourage customers to change their habits and to inform the next

generation of household appliance design – all helping save water in the face of rising demand but finite resources. Paul Carrington, Chief Executive Officer at Aqua-Check Engineering, said: “We didn’t have the capacity, personnel or cash to invest in the business and so the KTP has done a lot for us in terms of helping fund projects we could have never have afforded ourselves and making us think about our business in a totally different way. It’s been a breath of fresh air. “We’ve moved from being a jobbing engineering workshop to a R&D company in two years and we’re now part of the disruptive technology revolution, supported by the University. “There’s a buzz about the place and staff have renewed confidence and interest in getting involved in new technology. “We’ve taken on five new staff and we have grown into a £4million company. “In over 35 years of trading we have just had our most profitable year to date and there are serious, big companies looking over their shoulder at this little Northern business.”

L to R: Dr Bamidele Adebisi, of the School of Engineering, Dario Chiantello, a KTP Associate embedded in Aqua-Check Engineering, and Paul Carrington, CEO of Aqua-Check Engineering

Spring/Summer 2018

31


MAKING THE

impossible possible Full of state-of-the-art kit, the University’s world-class digital printing hub PrintCity is set to revolutionise 3D production and learning

32

Met Magazine issue 5


FEATURE

I

f you can imagine it, you can make it. That is the maxim behind the University’s digital training centre, called PrintCity, that aims to close the gap between design and manufacturing. Hoping to shake up the industry, the staff at the hub want to show that harnessing the power of 3D printing can save businesses and artisans time and money, and can help engineers, artists and product designers shake off the limitations of restrictive traditional processes. In the same space companies can learn to move on from a reliance on enduring tried-andtested methods at the same time as students are equipped with the skills to operate a range of devices and computer programmes they may encounter in the workplace. The PrintCity workshop, located on the University’s Manchester city centre campus, has an almost unparalleled wealth of equipment which can create virtually anything by either

building it up layer by layer with liquid from a nozzle, known as additive manufacturing, or whittling, melting and sculpting a design into a block of material, called subtractive manufacturing. Essentially the state-of-the-art equipment means enlightened producers are freed from the shackles of convention to be able to unleash their imagination. There is a realisation of the scope for making items with improved functionality, detail and aesthetics, as well as the opportunity for unlimited experimentation at one end and mass production and customisation at the other. The result is beautiful jewellery created by 3D printing novices; tailored prosthetic arms created for babies; and organiclooking polymer artwork that could simply not be produced any other way. Making the impossible possible, as the mantra of PrintCity goes. Edmund Keefe, 3D Print

Services Manager, said: “3D printing enables bespoke creativity and it lets people do it themselves. We’re ahead of the disruptive curve with next generation 3D manufacturing. Everything from fashion prototypes to vehicle parts and medical devices. Our advanced technology is truly life-changing.” The centre welcomes students from across the University whom staff will teach how to use software to design and print in 3D. It is attracting not just those from the obvious engineering or digital courses but fashion, art, computer games design and health where the ‘disruptive’ thinking of the type imbued by PrintCity pushes boundaries and helps set the students apart from their peers. Businesses will be able to call on the expertise of the technicians and academics to develop fresh products and establish new projects. Examples of products already produced include a lampshade

Spring/Summer 2018

33


rendered from the physical shape of a soundwave, and 3D-printed moulds used to create nose and ear prosthetics made out of biomaterials. The whole ethos of the workshop is captured in the PrintCity slogan: Innovate. Educate. Collaborate. Craig Banks, Professor of Electrochemical and Nanotechnology and the academic lead for PrintCity, explained: “Our key words are 3D, because we work in the additive manufacturing space; innovative, because people come in and work with us and we help them become more innovative and creative; collaborative, because we are open for business and we want to work with others; and finally at the heart of everything we do is educate. “That is why we pitch ourselves not just as a print shop, but a digital training centre that is bridging the skills gap between what graduates have and what industry needs. “We are teaching students CAD (Computer-aided Design) and they are picking up this software, running with it and being disruptive. “That is our USP – we will teach anyone CAD and digital workflow, from fashion and healthcare to fine art, and we will get their items printed rapidly.” Steven Parkinson, UK Education Manager for leading CAD software supplier Autodesk, said: “Having worked with universities across the UK, and into Europe, PrintCity is something which is incredibly unique, and what I would say is ‘ahead of the disruption curve’. “Only Manchester Metropolitan has a vision to move forward to really create something special. Other universities have a fragmented approach to additive manufacture, but Manchester Metropolitan’s centralised vision, encapsulating a multidisciplinarian approach will be hugely powerful. “We genuinely believe that PrintCity will bring together the best research and expertise nationally, subsequently accelerating developments in the additive manufacturing industry for the benefit of both education and commercial customers.” The strength of PrintCity’s draw is further underlined by a partnership with 3D printer manufacturer Robo to give

34

Met Magazine issue 5

PrintCity has very quickly established itself as a world-class facility

“PrintCity is something which is incredibly unique, and what I would say is ‘ahead of the disruption curve’. Only Manchester Metropolitan has a vision to move forward to really create something special.” Steven Parkinson, Autodesk

workshop visitors access to the company’s equipment, deliver training modules, demonstrate small-scale additive manufacturing, initiate protoyping and development projects, and provide guest speakers and site visits for Greater Manchester schools. Managing Director of Robo, Ryan Legudi, said: “PrintCity has very quickly established itself as a world-class facility with deeply integrated strategy to develop and promote the benefits and use of additive manufacturing technologies. “At the core of their offering is a well-structured education platform for a broad range of skills. “We are humbled to be associated with PrintCity and are excited about the many possibilities that exist for the benefit of both of our organisations, and the broader Manchester community.” Building on the expectations and excitement around the first hub, the University has agreed to open by 2019 a Cheshire 3D Hub (C3D) on Tatton Estates’ land, off junction 7 of the M56 near Altrincham. It will support businesses that need advanced manufacturing facilities such as robotic printing lines, industrial-scale milling machines and hi-spec metal printers. Professor Banks said: “Some companies are already tinkering with 3D printing but then cannot afford the equipment to scale up. “They will be able to come to us to rent the equipment, use the equipment or re-locate into the hub. “It’s a great location because it will feed into the LiverpoolWarrington-Manchester triangle, and is near Manchester Airport and HS2, and a science park will be co-located on site. “The hub can be as big as your imagination and will keep growing. It will be the go-to place in the North West for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. “People are starting to get into digital technologies quickly so we’re ahead of the curve yet again.” Henry Brooks, Tatton Group Managing Director, said: “C3D is a very exciting prospect regionally, nationally and internationally. “It will help contribute to the global imperative for the UK and the North West to increase

manufacturing, to create wealth, jobs and social cohesion. “It will also become an integral part of Cheshire’s international corridor of science and innovation.” Inquisitive companies and individuals are able to consider adopting 3D printing for a number of reasons. Increasing awareness of the medium’s advantages has helped de-mystify the whole idea and convince newcomers it is a plausible and accessible option. The once prohibitive high costs of specialist printers, software and supplies have fallen away with the arrival of upstart manufacturers and at the same time the quality and ease of use of the equipment has increased. And the expansion of a formerly limited range of materials available for printing has boosted the potential applications of 3D-printed devices, goods and components. With 3D printing now within reach, businesses have noticed rivals adapting within the changing landscape of their sector and feel compelled to review their own competitiveness. Smaller experimental workspaces have popped up to meet demand but what sets PrintCity apart from rival offerings is the comprehensiveness of the services it can offer businesses and students, and the vision of the team to anticipate and respond to emerging trends and needs. Keefe said: “The two areas of growth are – which we embrace as a University – addressing the skills gap and advancements in material science. “There’s a global lack of people who understand the tools and know how to use them and work with them. “FormLabs, the company that has sold more 3D printers than any other, is recruiting for chemists. “They already have the necessary designers and engineers to make the equipment but what they are focusing on now is materials – making new resins to print with. “Over the next five years you will see real exponential growth in materials and processes, and the people who can use them. That’s our business.” The Faculty of Science and Engineering has a launched an MSc in Industrial Digitalisation to


address the skills shortage. The course will take advantage of all the equipment and expertise PrintCity has to offer and will be used not only by those students studying engineering, but medical science, fashion, photography and art among other topics. Graduates will be prepared to the level businesses need by learning CAD, ‘generative design’ in which software mimics the evolutionary approach to design seen in nature, quality control and project management. Professor Banks said: “The course is going to deliver core skills in CAD up to a very high level and around the Internet of Things, and students will undertake project management, and learn about trademarking and patenting. “They will learn about generative design, where software can really be intuitive for you, and industry figures will be teaching on the course. The students who will come out of this MSc will be the entrepreneurs of the future and will be highly employable.” What will happen at PrintCity and the Cheshire 3D Hub is exactly the kind of intervention foreseen by the Government’s Industrial

Strategy and the independent-led Made Smarter Review to improve the productivity and profitability of the UK. Besides the instructive side of the lab, there will be a more holistic consultancy-style element on offer. Keefe said: “Companies, certainly the SMEs, are looking at this technology and seeing that it is going to cost them in the region of £100,000 to introduce and they question whether a certain brand is going to be the right one for them, and they are not at all sure. “We will fill that knowledge gap for them: they will come in and use the different technologies and see which one fits their needs or actually confirm that traditional manufacturing is better for them. “We are impartial, we are not resellers of machines and we can “C3D is a very exciting prospect regionally, nationally and internationally. It will help contribute to the global imperative for the UK and the North West to increase manufacturing, to create wealth, jobs and social cohesion.” Henry Brooks Managing Director, Tatton Group

identify workflows for companies coming in to see us. “And we can advise that they need to be watching this or that in the industry and need to make sure they are prepared to meet challenges five years from now. “It is a strategic planning insight that is invaluable to small companies and so you have with PrintCity and Cheshire 3D Hub, in effect, a state-of-the-art research and development facility that no small company could afford to replicate and which all the big companies take for granted.” From the sheer number of enquiries, students and businesses alike are chomping at the bit to get started on exploring just where their creative power can take them. It is clear PrintCity and Cheshire 3D Hub’s unique position at the forefront of digital industrialisation will foster the talented and visionary professionals at the heart of the future of manufacturing. We are talking about the progressive creators and managers who will envisage and realise the inventions, adaptations and goods that are currently just a twinkle in the mind’s eye.

Spring/Summer 2018

35


BIG DATA, bigger

opportunities Information is power as the saying goes – but only if, like Manchester Metropolitan’s academics, you can interpret data to effect change

U

nderstanding how people and activities operate – and what actually works – is crucial if you want to make improvements to businesses and services. Almost every interaction with an organisation creates or updates a computer record, such as when a public transport passenger taps through a ticket barrier with their smartcard, or a patient visits a hospital for treatment or a victim reports a crime. But the sheer volume and complexity of behavioural information collected by Government bodies and companies, often in real time, can be so overwhelming that to the untrained eye it is unfathomable. The art form of deciphering this information is known as Big Data: using a series of advanced methodological techniques to process incredibly large sets of data with the help of superpowerful computer programmes. The University’s cross-faculty Crime and Well-being Big Data Centre – a £1 million state-ofthe-art secure data facility – has partnered with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to provide intelligence that can be used to inform strategic and operational decision-making and support improvements in the wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s citizens. Professor Jon Bannister, Director of the Crime and Wellbeing Big Data Centre, said: “Our partnership with GMP is focused on advancing appreciation of the drivers of both crime and non-crime demands. We are

36

Met Magazine issue 5

currently engaged in projects examining domestic abuse, missing persons and mental health.” The approach of the centre is one of co-production, working hand-in-hand with the police, from the development of research questions to the interpretation and dissemination of findings. Considerable effort goes into visualising data and analytical outputs to ensure they are presented in formats that are easy for policy-makers, practitioners and the public to understand. Professor Bannister said: “Police forces collect vast amounts of data as part of their statutory responsibilities to record calls for assistance and crime. Decreasing resource and increasing public expectations have provided impetus to explore how these data might inform more efficient and effective decision-making. Indeed, the UK Government encourages the public sector as a whole to make better use of existing data. “The Big Data Centre has made a considerable investment in collecting data about the people and communities of Greater Manchester that is vital to interpreting police data, to understanding the drivers of crime and non-crime demands. “In short, to understand crime, we need to understand the city. Many of the factors driving crime and non-crime demands fall outside the responsibility of the police to address. Thus, our research supports not only the direct interventions of the police, but also the establishment of partnership working.”

The Big Data Centre’s research, which is thanks in part to Economic and Social Research Council funding, extends beyond Greater Manchester to include partnerships with the West Midlands Police and Police Scotland. “The quantity and qualities of policing data we now host extends beyond that held by any institution internationally,” Professor Bannister explained. “This opens up the great prospect for the Big Data Centre to undertake world-leading comparative research – to explore whether crime patterns and crime causation are particular to individual cities or are universal in nature. In this sense our work with Big Data opens an opportunity for theoretical innovation.” The work with GMP is having positive benefits for the force by providing the data necessary to ensure resources are allocated on the basis of statistical evidence. Sergeant Ben Brunt-So, GMP’s Business Change Manager for Data Science said: “The landscape of policing is undergoing dramatic change. We now need to address calls for assistance based on public vulnerabilities and not just crime related demands. Moreover, as is well known, policing budgets have undergone significant decline over recent years. In short, we require to

“The Data Science Partnership is helping Greater Manchester Police appreciate the factors driving crime and non-crime related demands, such as domestic abuse, mental health and missing persons” Sgt Ben Brunt-So, GMP


TA A D G BI

do more with less! “Making better use of our data is fundamental to meeting this challenge. To this end, GMP are working with the Big Data Centre to support the development of more efficient, effective and legitimate policing interventions across a range of priority areas. “Currently, the Data Science Partnership is helping GMP appreciate the factors driving crime and non-crime related demands, such as domestic abuse, mental health and missing persons.” Crime is only one of the areas where Big Data can help open people’s eyes and shape priorities and performance. Retail experts within the University’s Institute of Place Management (IPM) are helping traders, planners and politicians better understand how people use and move through neighbourhoods, towns and cities across the city region. In Altrincham town centre their evaluation fed into a plan that has regenerated the area and made it a more welcoming and prosperous place. Counters capture large amounts of hourly pedestrian data that academics can combine with retail sales data, vacancy levels and other information to advise Altrincham’s stakeholders on how to position and promote the destination. They can also measure the

effect of any actions or campaigns launched. Cathy Parker, Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise and Director of IPM, said: “Having real-time data means Trafford Council, the Business Improvement District and other stakeholders who are designing interventions can see how these are impacting on activity levels. “Altringham serves an ‘urban hinterland’ with important services – education, transport, employment, retail, leisure and so on – and having the ambition to be a ‘modern market town’ fitted well with how the town was used.” Elizabeth Faulkner, Altrincham Business Improvement District Manager, said: “The University, through the High Street 2020 UK project, provided an academic and scientific analysis of all the factors contributing to a town’s success and future sustainability. “This reassured Altrincham stakeholders that the vision for ‘the modern market town’, providing a whole destination experience and combining quality community facilities and events, leisure and entertainment, commercial services, heritage, good access and links across the town as well as an excellent and varied food and drink offer, could meet the needs of consumers and create sustainability.” The ongoing research is part of Bringing Big Data to Small Users (BDSU), a collaborative research

FEATURE

and development project, funded by Innovate UK, using a decade’s worth of national footfall data from retail performance intelligence company Springboard. Manchester City Council was impressed enough to join the project and to learn how footfall data could be used to understand performance across 10 of its district centres in order to develop appropriate rejuvenation policies. Professor Parker said: “BDSU is developing evidence-based dashboard tools that can be used by retailers, the retail property industry, local authorities and town centre partnerships and policy makers to enable better decision making in respect of town and city centres.” Professor Parker and the team developed four activity-based town centre classifications that will help stakeholders move away from a retail-orientated trajectory and develop alternate approaches that play to a place’s strengths. Their influential work has not only caught the attention of local authorities and communities but they have presented at the Future of Towns Conference and the Landscape Institute Conference and have briefed the Scottish Towns Partnership, the Welsh Government and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Spring/Summer 2018

37


SECOND

chances

Vulnerable young people’s lives in Manchester are being transformed due to a trailblazing partnership led by University researchers

A

my was excluded from school, had a history of violence, and was coming to terms with the recent death of her mother. Subject to a Community Order and under the supervision of a Youth Offending Service, she was referred to a pioneering new Manchester Metropolitan University project striving to turn around the lives of vulnerable girls in Greater Manchester. Funded by Comic Relief, Getting Out For Good is a grassroots intervention for teenagers across the city at risk of exploitation, youth violence or crime. It supports young people to take part in confidence-boosting activities which help develop their self-esteem and provide positive influences. Amy was enrolled into boxing and drama classes led by expert tutors and given her own

38

Met Magazine issue 5

personal mentor. The impact on her attitude and behaviour was profound. “Getting Out For Good is definitely a positive influence on me,” Amy said. “It fits with my life and where I am at and as long as I like going and I like my mentor and if I feel happy with it, then I will keep going. It helps me speak to people properly.” Several of the dozens of participants have gone on to achieve AQA qualifications. Getting Out For Good is one of several ground-breaking projects led by the University’s Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS), delivered through a collaboration with local service providers, that has made Greater Manchester a beacon for innovative and effective approaches to youth justice. The MCYS’s ethos is to enable and create youth-informed

and youth-led research. They are guided by the principles that young people should be listened to, their often complex family and lifestyle situations understood, and solutions co-designed with their input. Dr Deborah Jump, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Head of Youth Justice at MCYS, who established Getting Out For Good, said: “This is about raising aspirations and increasing young people’s social capital. As much as you have an open sports session, some of the girls may not be able to afford the bus fare, or feel too nervous or too vulnerable to go alone and so can turn up with a mentor, or might not be attending school and so with the programme have the opportunity to accrue the qualifications that some other young people might be getting.


FEATURE

Dr Deborah Jump

“We’ve created this wraparound service where we embed them in open, local provision and they benefit from additional support from the Getting Out For Good project.” As well as providing positive activities for young people, MCYS is also the catalyst for changing policy and practice in Greater Manchester. The Centre established a unique partnership with Youth Justice Services in Greater Manchester. Launched in 2014, the Greater Manchester Youth Justice University Partnership (GMYJUP) involves the Youth Justice Board and the ten Youth Justice Services across Greater Manchester. “We talk about it being a bi-directional transfer of knowledge,” explained Hannah Smithson, Professor of Criminology and Youth Justice

and Head of MCYS. “It is an innovative model linking effective practice, research capabilities, and collaborative approaches to delivering effective practice in youth justice.” Marie McLaughlin, Head of Service at Manchester Youth Justice Services, said: “The great thing about the partnership between the Greater Manchester Youth Justice Services and Manchester Metropolitan University is that it is a living example of how research shapes practice and how practice influences research. “Youth Justice Services need to be dynamic in order to respond effectively to the changing needs of those children and young people. New trends in criminal activity are a constant and the opportunity for practitioners to discuss these challenges with

academics means that our joint approach to practice and research is informed, fresh and evidencebased. I would recommend this approach to all Youth Justice Services.” A two-year AHRC and ESRC funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), the first of its kind in the field of youth justice was established with Positive Steps Oldham, one of the partnering Youth Justice Services. The purpose of the KTP was to engage young people in the development of creative approaches to manage their behaviour, giving them a voice in the dialogue around how youth justice services should operate and pioneering the application of a Youth Participatory Action Research (or YPAR) approach to youth justice service redevelopment.

The great thing about the partnership...is that it is a living example of how research shapes practice and how practice influences research

Spring/Summer 2018

39


Picture posed by models

Professor Hannah Smithson

Paul Axon, Director at Positive Steps Oldham, said: “The KTP has had significant impact in contributing to the Greater Manchester Strategy for youth justice. “The KTP has enabled us to take a ‘gold standard’ approach to participation through the triangulation of service user, service provider and academic partner contributions to the development of the Youth Participation Action Research framework. “Overall the project has strengthened the strategic commitment across Greater Manchester to deliver a youth justice system based on principles of inclusion, participation and desistance.” GMYJUP’s KTP developed the Participatory Youth Practice (PYP) framework which was rolled out across Greater Manchester youth justice services in 2017; a transformative model of working with young people in the criminal justice system developed in collaboration with young people based on their experiences. A series of boxing, grime and urban art workshops were co-produced with young people allowing them to share experiences. An engaging animated video was produced to illustrate the model in the young people’s own words, using the medium of grime. Eight principles were established to underpin an effective youth justice system – including the likes of ‘let them participate’, ‘acknowledge limited life chances’ and ‘develop their ambitions’. Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan wrote educational resources for professionals on

40

Met Magazine issue 5

each of the eight principles, which can be used by practitioners to put the model into practice when working closely with young people. The model is already having an impact in Greater Manchester – each youth justice team has a participation champion who has been trained in PYP. The organisations are also in the process of writing their own participation strategy directly influenced by the University’s approach to co-created research. MCYS researchers will be working closely with youth justice services to monitor their impact. But GMYJUP is already being heralded as the model to be replicated and Professor Smithson is working with colleagues from the University of New South Wales in Sydney around a similar model to be implemented there. MCYS researchers are also advising the Ministry of Justice on how to adopt PYP within the new framework of youth custody. Other projects led by MCYS are also having an impact on practice in Greater Manchester. Manchester Metropolitan linguist Dr Rob Drummond, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Head of Youth Language at MCYS, developed a resource to be used with young people and staff in Greater Manchester’s Pupil Referral Units that is based on communication and language issues that arose during a research project he conducted. Professor Smithson is cleareyed about the reason that Greater Manchester has been able to set the pace in youth justice innovation. She said: “The beauty of the KTP is how you transfer

the academic expertise and knowledge [at Manchester Metropolitan] and be guided and informed by youth offending service practitioners to apply it in the best way in practice. “There is no point us doing something that is great from an academic point of view if practitioners think it will have absolutely no bearing on the work that they do. “This wouldn’t have worked if we didn’t already have GMYJUP. The heads of service that we work with are very supportive of the notion that academia can inform practice and practice can inform academia. “So the fact that we’d already got that partnership was absolutely crucial in youth offending services signing up for this.” And the motivation for continuing to develop to blaze a trail in youth justice in Greater Manchester is apparent. “The majority [of those in the youth justice system] tend to be young people who have already been marginalised,” explained Professor Smithson. “A great many of them will have been excluded from school, may have been out of education for some time, been victims of crime themselves and been through the care system. They are, a population of young people who often get overlooked.” “The project has strengthened the strategic commitment across Greater Manchester to deliver a youth justice system based on principles of inclusion, participation and desistance.” Paul Axon, Positive Steps Oldham


GAIN YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Create Degree Apprenticeships for your organisation Support and develop your staff to meet your business needs. We’re the sector leading university for degree apprenticeships, working with more than 140 employers. Find out how we can support you to establish degree apprenticeships at your organisation. mmu.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call us on 0161 247 3919


42

Met Magazine issue 5


FEATURE

THIS IS

Manchester Met Magazine looks at what makes Manchester such an amazing place in which to live, work and study

M

anchester. It’s a place where according to the oft-repeated quote we ‘do things differently’. It is a city that inspires passion. It is inventive, entrepreneurial, forward-thinking, collaborative, resilient and friendly. It is a truly global city, with its own unique identity and home to an incredibly diverse population. Having built its reputation during the industrial revolution, Manchester is perhaps best

known today for its football teams, fashion and music. But while those have huge cultural significance, Manchester is more than that. It’s about a spirit, a togetherness, a ‘we will get things done’ attitude. But what is in Manchester’s DNA that makes it so special? Manchester Metropolitan is at the heart of the city and involved in a diverse range of research and initiatives exploring what shapes this fantastic city.

Spring/Summer 2018

43


It’s the way we talk “Accent and dialect are two of the most important tools for aligning ourselves with some people, and differentiating ourselves from others,” said Manchester Metropolitan University sociolinguist Dr Rob Drummond. Whether someone orders a ‘barm’, greets a passer-by with ‘areet’, or describes themselves as ‘skriking’ could also determine how strongly a person identifies with the Greater Manchester region. There is no one Greater Manchester dialect, with most of its ten boroughs home to a distinct and proud way of speaking, according to a research project exploring how Mancunians talk. Dr Drummond and his fellow sociolinguist Dr Erin Carrie run the Manchester Voices project, which looks at the ways in which our use of language makes us who we are and explores perceptions of the way people speak across the region. Dr Drummond said: “In terms of different accents within small spaces England is just incredible because we have so much variation over such a geographically limited area. Even within Greater Manchester people up in Bolton and Bury speak very differently from people in Stockport and Tameside. “Our project looking at

44

Met Magazine issue 5

Manchester Voices is really just as much to do with what people say about their accents as what we hear because that’s equally as important. It’s the whole idea of identity – whatever identity you think you are performing only matters, is only real, when it is being perceived by other people. Identities are constructed within interaction, so the way people feel about their accents, the way they feel about how they speak is just as, if not more, important than what comes out of their mouth.” Last summer, Dr Carrie and Dr Drummond travelled the entire city-region in their ‘Accent Van’ and recorded over 100 interviews with people on how they speak, their local area, and what it means to be part of Greater Manchester. This even included now Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who they ran into while he was on the campaign trail. An interactive online ‘dialect map’ has also gathered information from Greater Manchester residents on how people speak pinned to a specific place. Dr Carrie said: “Our findings show that despite variation in dialect and accent, people in the city-region are bound together by their strong Northern identity. “The work we have done so far showcases the fascinating range of accents and dialects spoken across the Greater Manchester area and allows us to continue investigating precisely how they differ in terms of pronunciation, words and use of grammar. “Most people were extremely

Dr Rob Drummond and Dr Erin Carrie explain their project to GM Mayor Andy Burnham

proud of their linguistic and cultural heritage and we were interested to see how intuitively aware they were of how they use language to represent who they are and where they’re from.” The research indicates that Northern boroughs of Greater Manchester identify strongly with the traditional county of Lancashire, north-eastern boroughs express an affinity with Yorkshire, and southern boroughs associate with the county of Cheshire. Linguistically, there are some differences from region to region: e.g., ‘barm’ in the central boroughs, ‘lickle’ in Bolton, ‘skriking’ in Oldham, ‘cruckled’ in Rochdale and ‘areet’ in Wigan. There are also many linguistic features that are shared across the city-region, including the pronunciation of ‘bus’ and ‘bath’, and terms such as ‘angin’’, ‘ginnel’ and ‘our kid’. Dr Drummond added: “What’s particularly clear to us is that there is more than one Greater Manchester dialect, and more than one associated identity. These range from traditional to modern, and everything in between, and have been shaped by each borough’s regional history and cultural icons. “People had mixed feelings about the use of the term ‘Greater Manchester’, although it is clear that there are many ways of speaking and ways of being that bind people together across the city-region.”

We’re a creative bunch MANCHESTER

2

LARGEST

nd CREATIVE

CAPITAL

IN EUROPE

Manchester has always been a city of creativity. The Institute of Public Policy Research said in 2014 that Manchester was the second-largest creative capital in Europe. University researchers are harnessing their expertise to boost the North West’s emerging creative and digital sector. Professor of Design Martyn Evans is leading an ambitious project to broker a strong relationship between academia and the region’s advertising, games and media industries. The Creative North West Research and Development Partnership, led by Manchester Metropolitan in collaboration with the region’s other universities, has been shortlisted for the


A city of languages

Professor Martyn Evans

£80m Creative Industries Cluster Programme by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which will announce the funded projects in July. Professor Evans and his team have spent time engaging with a range of industry players – from small start-ups based at digital incubator The Sharp Project to the likes of the BBC, ITV and Warner Games. Despite an upward trajectory in the number of creative businesses and a now globally recognised creative cluster in the North West, research found that companies struggle to focus beyond the ‘here and now’ and there is an increasing need to attract and retain world class talent that are able to innovate by fusing creative and digital expertise. Professor Evans identified six areas to focus on – vision, markets, business, technology, skills and community. The partnership would seek to position the University’s research as responsive to these challenges, to provide a platform for collaboration and to test new products, technologies and services. This would then feed back into the University in its new Screen School to teach cuttingedge skills to future generations of creative graduates. Professor Evans said: “Outside London, Manchester has the largest and fastest growing creative industries sector in the UK and we are truly enthused by the desire that the industry has demonstrated to become trailblazing innovators through engagement with this R&D programme.”

200

DIFFERENT

Languages ARE SPOKEN WITHIN THE CITY

Research has shown Manchester is the most linguistically diverse city in western Europe, if not the world. It is estimated that 200 different languages are spoken within the city – which for a population of around 480,000 is remarkable. Celebrating such linguistic diversity was the catalyst behind the University’s Mother Tongue Other Tongue project. The national competition aims to encourage children who don’t speak English at home to celebrate their mother tongue, while at the same time providing an exciting opportunity for native English speakers to learn a second language. The competition has been championed by Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai and boxing champion Amir Khan. Malala said: “Our cultural heritage, identity and languages are all important to us and poetry is a great way to express these – I am inspired by my father, who is a great poet.” While Khan said: “I would have loved to have entered a competition like this, because it would have given me the chance to learn a little bit more about my mother tongue. “Speaking another language, some people might feel shy about it, but they shouldn’t – they should have confidence and be able to talk about what other languages they speak. I think it’s definitely going to boost everyone’s confidence by having this competition.” Mother Tongue Other Tongue takes the form of a series of regional competitions, which are split into two parts. ‘Mother Tongue’ will see children who do not have English as a first language write about what a lullaby, poem or song in their native language means to them, while as part of ‘Other Tongue’ pupils will create an original poem in a second language that they are learning at school. The competition was first launched by the Poet Laureate,

Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE, in 2013. Professor Duffy is also the Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan. Professor Duffy said: “The competition is a unique opportunity for pupils whose first language is not English and those learning another language at school to showcase their creative and linguistic talents and to have their work published in an anthology.” The project is run by Manchester Metropolitan University and Routes into Languages, in partnership with The Poetry Society, Scottish CILT, The Poetry Book Society and the Poetry Translation Centre. Yasmin Hussain, Project Manager, Routes into Languages North West, said of the competition: “Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a fantastic project. The competition is unique as it allows pupils to use their bilingualism creatively. “The project has allowed pupils to explore their multiple identities through culture, poetry and language. Being multilingual has many advantages and it’s great that pupils learn to value this early on in their lives.”

Spring/Summer 2018

45


Future sporting stars

Manchester is the home to world-class sport. From the footballing giants of City and United to the base for sporting bodies like British Cycling, the city can justifiably use the term a sporting capital. With plans well developed for an Institute of Sport to be based on the Etihad Campus, Manchester Metropolitan plays its part in putting the city on the sporting map – delivering talented athletes, shaping sporting governance and providing the environment for world-leading research. The University is a talented athlete delivery site under the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), with the aim of supporting talented athletes to study an academic course of their choice while receiving services such as physiotherapy, lifestyle support, nutrition, strength and conditioning and psychology to enhance their athletic performance. A record number of 60 scholars and five sport ambassadors were selected to benefit from a tailored financial and sporting support package provided by MMU Sport. Current scholars include double Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox and swimmer Chloe Golding, who competed for England in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Mark Rose, Head Coach of City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team said: “The unique relationship between Manchester Metropolitan University, City of Manchester Aquatics Swim Team and the Manchester City Council has led to a fantastic environment focused on the athlete’s development as a person as well as a student and elite performer. “This has helped Chloe to develop into the high performing

46

Met Magazine issue 5

individual she is and make the performance improvements needed to make a major games team.” The University’s reputation for developing young athletes has also seen it named as one of only eight Football Association high performance centres for women’s football. The new initiative from the FA will provide an educational and community-based setting to recruit, develop and deploy coaches, who will lead and inspire player development specifically in the women’s and girls’ game. Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Head of Women’s Football said: “The establishment of these centres is a further proof point of The FA’s commitment to transform the future of women’s football in England. They will ensure aspiring coaches and talented players in all parts of the country have access to the best training and support possible, providing us with the greatest opportunity for success at all levels of international football.” As well as developing talent on the field, the University is also developing talent for the boardroom. Its pioneering Master of Sport Directorship (MSD) course equips its graduates for sporting director and other sports leadership roles and has attracted some high profile names. And it has launched a groundbreaking scholarship programme aimed at boosting the number of women in top UK sports jobs The scholarships provide much reduced fees for two female MSD students and were launched in 2017 in response to a survey by the Women in Sport organisation, which found that the number of women in top jobs at UK sporting bodies was falling. Dr Sara Ward, programme

director for the MSD course at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “There is a palpable momentum for change now, and the new rules upping female representation on the boards of national sports bodies will be pivotal in ensuring that we go beyond the 30% threshold of female board members that has been stipulated. As we see more women in sports leadership roles, the aim is that diversity will become integral to sports organisations, rather than an afterthought.”

Dress to impress

LARGEST

CONCENTRATION OF SPORTING VENUES

IN EUROPE

Fashion says a lot about an individual. And Manchester has its share of individuals – those who use clothing as a means of self-expression. Whether it be goth or flared jeans and floppy hair it is about displaying an identity or affiliation to a tribe. Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan has been involved in an exciting project that explores the individual and civic identities of Greater Manchester’s young people through style, fashion and dress. Academics Jo Jenkinson, John Earnshaw and Zoë Hitchen have been working with young people to establish how clothing can be used as a catalyst for self-awareness and personal expression, capturing portraits of each participants’ identity. The Portrait Youth project featured participants who were asked to style themselves using their own clothing or artefacts in a way that represented their identities and to reflect upon, and articulate, their current, past and future selves. Portraits of 14 members of the Manchester Youth Council (MYC) who were the first group to be photographed for the project, featured in an exhibition at Manchester Central Library. Zoë Hitchen, Lecturer in Promotion, Film and Photography, said: “Working with the individuals from Manchester Youth Council has been really inspiring. They are an amazing group of young people that are actively involved with their city, campaigning at a national and local level on issues that impact on the region’s youth.” The portraits – or visual narratives – were supported by a series of interviews, providing insight into how it feels to be a


It’s the buzzing city life

young person in Manchester, and how a young person’s sense of identity interacts with geographical, cultural and social environments. John Earnshaw, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design and Technology: Womenswear, added: “Speaking to the members of the MYC through our workshops and interviews has proved the powerful role clothes play in enabling exploration and articulation of personal identity. “We were able to capture a snapshot, a social history, of this group of young people, at a specific moment in time.” The project grew out of Manchester Fashion Institute’s Fashion and Business Saturday Club, which welcomes young people between the ages of 13 and 16 into the University on a Saturday morning to learn about and practise fashion. Jo Jenkinson, Principal Lecturer in Fashion Design and Technology, said: “We noticed the impact the club was having not just on the members’ creativity and fashion awareness, but also on their ability to articulate their personal identity and beliefs through creative interactions with fashion and dress. “These initial observations sparked an idea. With Manchester approaching devolution and increasing political awareness in the nation’s young people, maybe the universal language of fashion and dress could be used to capture and articulate the hopes, concerns and vision of the region’s diverse youth networks.”

30,000

PEOPLE LIVING IN

MANCHESTER

CITY CENTRE

There’s an indisputable buzz around Manchester’s vibrant city centre these days. But this isn’t an overnight boom, nor is it a happy accident of history; it’s been long in the evolution of a city that is undergoing rapid demographic and social change. It’s also been as a result of a relentless focus on creating special events and reasons for different people to visit the city centre. Vaughan Allen is the chief executive of CityCo, the city centre management company for Manchester and Salford, working with businesses to create a better physical environment, but also offer expert advice, solve problems and take action to make the city more prosperous and vibrant. He has his finger on the pulse of the city, but also on international retail and leisure trends, so Manchester can continue to excite visitors and citizens alike. He’s been working alongside Professor Cathy Parker and the Institute for Place Management (IPM) as the University supports efforts to lead thinking in how cities are run and places are developed through their curation of the Business Improvement Districts partnership, sharing best practice and ideas. BIDs are formal networks of businesses who come together through local ballot to agree a levy to fund actions to make specific areas more successful. They can be a powerful tool for directly involving businesses in local activities, allowing the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the

trading environment. Allen said: “Every weekend people come into the city centre because something very interesting, very authentic and very Mancunian is happening. We have to work very hard to stay fresh all year round. The Christmas markets and the biennial Manchester International Festival are obviously times in the course of a year when they city has that attraction and dynamism, but equally the team here could be working with Manchester Metropolitan University colleagues on the Gothic Festival or the Children’s Book Festival which have an important role.” The food and drink scene in the city is also shifting, catering for different tastes, and popping up in unlikely quarters of the city. Partly this is down to demographic shifts. “There are soon to be 30,000 people living in Manchester city centre and that changes the dynamic of what restaurants and bars open here,” Allen said. The shape of the city’s urban geography is changing too with the footprint of what we think of the city spreading southwards down Oxford Road Corridor, eastwards through Ancoats and towards the Etihad campus and westwards through Chapel Street in Salford. “Ancoats is fascinating, it’s unleashing the Northern Quarter spirit across Great Ancoats Street, bringing a different food offer to its new and established residents. Sure there have been tensions, but we have the opportunity to really create exciting mixed communities.” It’s clear that the city has to work hard to keep fresh, but there’s also no such thing as an idea too wacky to be considered. “All we need now is a zoo,” Allen said.

Spring/Summer 2018

47


A COMMON

thread How Manchester Metropolitan strives to make a difference at every step in our lives

F

rom the first baby steps through to retirement, the human journey is one of discovery. But it is tough to grow without the support of our families, friends, neighbours, teachers and society. We are interconnected, better able to fulfil our potential and contribute to our world with these networks. Those around us guide, teach, and provide as we mature. This support can often be apparent but sometimes there are less obvious – more invisible – forces at work. Manchester Metropolitan strives to provide the invisible and visible hand to its students, community, business partners, stakeholders, society and the world at large. Its research, partnerships, teaching, outreach, facilities and industrial knowledge coalesce into a powerful force for good. The University partners with small and medium-sized enterprises, develops next generation technologies and works with schools to raise aspirations. It creates teachers, drives unhealthy habit changes, tackles ageing challenges, supports healthcare innovation, trains nurses and leads innovation in the creative sector, to name but a few. The University seeks to have a positive impact wherever needed: it is a common thread throughout people’s lives.

48

Met Magazine issue 5

Classroom creators The formative years are shaped by family or guardians, but the next biggest influence is likely to have been one’s teachers. From early years through to secondary education, Manchester Metropolitan is one of the region’s leading providers in teacher training. More than 1,000 teachers are trained in the Faculty of Education each year. In the formative years, the Faculty has a prominent impact – there’s a good chance you’ll have been supported by a Manchester Metropolitan education graduate during these years. Dr Valerie Butcher, Head of the School for Teacher Education and Professional Development, said: L to R: Glen Jones, Managing Director of Cyber Coach, with Manchester Metropolitan academics Sarah Lister and Dr Pauline Palmer

“There are around 200 trainee teachers in each undergraduate and PGCE cohort studying Primary Teacher Education and Early Years and over 400 on our PGCE Secondary programme. “They go on to work within the region in a variety of fields including schools, colleges, health centres, children’s centres, youth projects and social services. Their impact on Manchester and the region is invaluable.” But the influence is woven deeper into the city’s education sector. The Faculty has developed an ongoing partnership with Manchester-based Co-op Academies Trust (CAT). The Trust is responsible for 11 academies and is sponsored by the Co-op.


FEATURE

The CAT wanted to identify a strong provider of local teachers to help tackle a recruitment crisis in 2010. Manchester Metropolitan was the obvious choice. The partnership provides staff governors, Masters degree programmes, placements for University trainee teachers, research projects and teaching staff development days. The numbers are impressive: more than 10,000 pupils have directly benefited and 200 staff in CAT have been professionally developed through Manchester Metropolitan. Frank Norris, Director of CAT, said: “Initially, the Trust thought that a relationship with Manchester Metropolitan would help resolve any future recruitment issues for our Manchester-based academies. This did a disservice to the University because it became clear there was so much more both parties could get from the relationship. “A key contribution has been the deployment of senior Manchester Metropolitan staff to the local governing bodies of our academies. These colleagues are active participants and open access to University resources when required for the academy. “Working with the University is a genuine pleasure. There are no redlines so we can put forward a suggestion for how we might work together and it is discussed, adapted and then agreed.” Additionally, the Faculty’s expertise has been driving local SME growth, supporting the UK’s export agenda – and helping youngsters learn in innovative new ways. Education academics Sarah Lister and Dr Pauline Palmer developed Emile, an online-games portal underpinned by their educational research, with Cyber Coach, a Bolton-based educational resource company. The platform

provides more than 200 games that draw on the national curriculum to captivate its target audience of pupils aged between six and nine. The games teach subject content – in this case mathematics – through a second language, such as English or French, in an approach called Content Language and Intergrated Learning. Glen Jones, Managing Director of Cyber Coach, said the product has been showcased to Mexican education officials as part of a UK government trade mission, as well as being sold in Brazil, Chile and India, and is currently in 500 primary schools at home. “Working with the University means the product is backed with the latest pedagogy and educational research,” he added. “It’s been great working with Manchester Metropolitan and we’re looking at what more we can do together.”

Home is where the art is Situated in the city centre, the University’s Manchester campus is recognised as a welcoming home for its neighbours. The responsibility to the community extends beyond the simple provision of facilities; outreach

work welcomes young and old alike. Two initiatives run by Manchester School of Art and the Manchester Fashion Institute are part of the free National Saturday Club programme (pictured above, images courtesy of The British Fashion Council), helping to provide local youngsters with the opportunity to meet new people and nurture their talents in fashion and art. Plans are being developed for a Writing&Talking, and Science&Engineering Saturday Club too. The Saturday Club was started by British designers Sir John Sorrell and Lady Frances Sorrell to ensure youngsters aged 13 to 16 had access to art, design and fashion – regardless of their school or background. In total, 150 teenagers have been through the Art&Design Club at Manchester Metropolitan since it began, while the Fashion&Business Club has welcomed 65 youngsters. Its success in Manchester has not gone unrecognised. Lady Sorrell, Co-Founder and Trustee of the Saturday Club Trust, said: “Nurturing young people’s talent, building their confidence, skills and self-esteem, and showing

Spring/Summer 2018

49


them what student life is like at University is what the National Saturday Club is all about. “Our partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University has been truly excellent over the last four years. Everyone we have worked with has given 13 to 16 year olds a very ambitious and exciting experience. “We are grateful to Clare Knox-Bentham, Elle Simms and Kate Dunstone (Art&Design); Kelly Joseph and Jo Jenkinson (Fashion&Business) and Kaye Tew (Writing&Talking). Their commitment and hard work in making each Club as brilliant as it is, is exceptional and we really appreciate it. “When we unpack the Manchester Saturday Clubs’ work for our Summer Show we all gather round – we know it’s going to be good – and our visitors are always so impressed. “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the new Science&Engineering Club starting soon.” Clare Knox-Bentham, Outreach Manager at Manchester School of Art, added: “It’s about raising their aspirations; they get to meet like-minded people from their peer groups and it gives them a voice to discuss issues that are important to them.” Kelly Joseph, Programme Support Tutor in Fashion Promotion, has organised the Fashion&Business Club, operated in conjunction with the British Fashion Council. “The Saturday Club gives young people the experiences they might not otherwise be able to get,” she said. “We have just completed workshops with Nike on redesigning trainers, welcomed visual merchandisers from Jigsaw, upcycled denim and conducted fashion shoots.” The British Fashion Council (BFC) said the country “is known for nurturing the best emerging talent and creatives and has become a global leader in fashion

50

Met Magazine issue 5

With the help of Manchester Metropolitan University, we aim to inspire 13 to 16 year olds to pursue their dreams and inform them on the endless opportunities available in the creative industries

and education”. The BFC added: “We are delighted to work with Manchester Metropolitan University on the Saturday Clubs launched in 2016, an initiative that aims to provide opportunities for teenagers to go on to further education in the creative industries. “It’s important to encourage creativity at an early age and together with Manchester Metropolitan University we are able to create an amazing opportunity to let young people study fashion at their local university for free. “With the help of Manchester Metropolitan University, we aim to inspire 13 to 16 year olds to pursue their dreams and inform them on the endless opportunities available in the creative industries.”

Birthplace of IVF Greater Manchester is where it all began: in vitro fertilisation (IVF) science. Almost 40 years ago, the first baby born from IVF treatment was welcomed into the world. Louise Brown was born on July 25, 1978, in Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester, where the IVF technique had been mastered. Since then, an estimated seven million babies have been born worldwide using IVF. Greater Manchester is now one of the leading UK centres in reproductive science, with a particular strength in IVF science, helping would-be parents from all over the country. Back in 2013, the University was named an official NHS partner to train reproductive scientists in the UK, so that every new IVF scientist who helps start pregnancy through the treatment will be graduates of Manchester Metropolitan. All reproductive scientists are trained through the official cellular scientists’ programme and the trainees will have to pass the threeyear Scientist Training Programme (STP) to earn their final MSc.

This means that the next generation of IVF-nurtured babies – 1 in 50 births in the country – will have been facilitated by a University-trained clinical embryologist. Dr Michael Carroll, Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Science at the University, leads the programme and works closely with St Mary’s Hospital Department of Reproductive Medicine, part of Manchester University Foundation Trust. Dr Carroll said: “There is a massive requirement for these trainees to fulfil the workloads at clinics around the country. The number of IVF cycles needed increases every year, with around 70,000 cycles currently taking place. “You can go from an entrylevel job in the NHS right up to consultant grade through Manchester Metropolitan training. We are the only place that delivers science training for the whole reproductive science pathway. “The delivery of the MSc is helped by scientists from all over the country as guest lecturers, which exposes the trainees to a wide variety of speakers and potential employers.” The programme has since expanded to include andrology – male fertility science – as well as embryology. An important, yet underdeveloped, area for focus with male sperm counts across the world dropping 50% over the last 40 years. So, the city and region remain at the forefront of the science, drawing on its rich heritage in the field. Dr Carroll added: “How does Greater Manchester have an impact nationally and internationally in IVF? We’re the leaders in the UK and the world in IVF clinical embryology training. There is a very strict and stringent training programme through the NHS, partnered with the University. “The region is a pioneer in IVF: Dr Patrick Steptoe, Sir Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy led the


way, here in Greater Manchester. “They were the first IVF scientists, the first clinic was set up in Cambridge and the IVF work carried out in Oldham. “Now, the first national training scheme has been set up and the masters degree part of it is delivered from Greater Manchester – where Louise Brown was born almost 40 years ago.” Professor Daniel Brison, clinical lead for the MSc and Scientific Director in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, added: “The Scientist Training Programme at Manchester Metropolitan is a very well targeted course, I don’t think there is anything to rival it. “I am delighted to work with Dr Carroll at Manchester Metropolitan to help deliver one of the best – if not the best – training courses in reproductive science in the world.”

Future proof As the population ages, so the challenges and opportunities increase. How can we live longer but remain healthy? How can we make sure our cities and homes are age friendly? Jamie McPhee, Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiology, and his team are analysing how the body’s muscles and bones change as we age – and what we can do to keep them strong. Their research has shown that exercise in youth can build bone up to 40% bigger and that muscle wasting in old age is caused by a loss of nerves, leading to frailty and disability. The research can open new avenues to explore how to slow – or even stop – the ageing process. Understanding the causes provides a roadmap to alleviate ageing’s most pernicious effects. Colleagues at the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Southway Housing Trust to make the region age-friendly – our homes, streets, transport, and amenities, and how we interact with them. It is part of the Big Lottery-funded

Ambition for Ageing project and the wider Manchester Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods Network. The result of these partnerships is already making a difference to people’s lives within the city. Dr Mark Hammond, Ambition for Ageing Coordinator at MSA, said: “We specialise in communityengaged research practice. We are collaborating with residents, community groups and public institutions to develop ways of making our neighbourhoods more age-friendly.” The researchers and the community create action plans that can result in identifying agefriendly needs: new transport, community groups, facilities or access to activities. For example, a new mini-bus service and bespoke route was created in Manchester’s Moss Side district to provide access to others who would otherwise struggle to get to the city centre’s amenities. Another element has worked at identifying loneliness in older groups, particularly men, to tackle social isolation. It was found that using a more familiar space would help overcome any reluctance – new groups were set up in local pubs, which increased attendance. Additionally, a project had run with Southway Housing Trust in 2012. It produced 120 adaptations for housing and streets in the Old Moat area of Manchester, which were then adopted by Southway Housing Trust. This can be something as simple as a bench close to a bus stop to allow older people to wait and rest. Paul McGarry, Head of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “The Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods scheme is a key part of Manchester’s and Greater Manchester’s approach to improving the quality of life of people as they get older. It is

important because it’s testing new forms of participation in decisionmaking and giving groups of older people – many of them living in disadvantaged areas – opportunities to lead projects for the first time. “We’ve been working with the School of Architecture for a decade. We’ve also worked with colleagues in the Art School and with a group also working on ageing in place in the humanities. You expect researchers to bring academic rigour, be critically minded and challenging to the kind of work we do – that’s a given. But to develop successful partnerships, researchers need to be committed and passionate and share the vision for an age-inclusive city. “We’ve spent time in each other’s worlds, and right now Professor Stefan White and Mark Hammond are working with me in the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – a critical planning document for the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities – to ensure it includes an accurate account of the needs of our ageing population. It’s really exciting stuff.”

Spring/Summer 2018

51


VIEWS

An industrial strategy for Manchester Manchester Metropolitan University’s Chancellor, Lord Mandelson, on the challenges and opportunities of the industrial strategy

I

n my lifetime in politics I have always tried to demonstrate that we can advance as a country by mobilising the strengths and disciplines of the market as well as by using the unique capacity of government. Those things go together, stimulating enterprise with a sense of responsibility and having rewards with fairness. We have to adapt our economy, our whole economic model, so as to restore faith in it. That is why industrial strategy is important for the future of our country, but it’s also important for Manchester Metropolitan University. As a Cabinet minister until 2010 I had responsibility for universities and had a number of aims, which I stated clearly at the time: to continue the expansion of higher education; to widen its accessibility and social diversity; and to commercialise better the science and technology developed in our universities. I was keen to bring the German Fraunhofer concept to Britain and we now have what we call Catapults. These are charged with injecting innovation, research and development from the higher education sector into the private sector. Here it can be successfully commercialised, allowing the UK to benefit rather than seeing research taking place in Britain but with the businesses built on its back taking place in America, China or elsewhere. I also introduced a system of modern apprenticeships, as I called them, and got Treasury funding for an initial rollout of 20,000 places so that young people could eventually find themselves in university via their workplace and undertaking degree apprenticeships. It has been particularly gratifyingly to meet rooms full of degree apprentices at Manchester Metropolitan who are bright, ambitious, very motivated individuals. These are people either starting out in their career or

52

Met Magazine issue 5

with jobs already, keen to upskill and develop, who are studying and working simultaneously. Now, the Government has presented those of us working in Manchester with a new challenge. While they are right to highlight the contribution of ideas, technology and infrastructure, there is also a key focus on place. This means universities playing their role as major employers and important drivers of the local economy. But we also have to get another fundamental right, providing a continued free flow of talent into and out of our country to be educated here and to make connections in Manchester. In our University we attract some of the strongest talent to our areas of strength, including architecture and design. It is the design and application of technology to how we live that is central to what we will produce and market in the future, and to our whole competitive advantage as a country. There are clear global industrial trends where Britain must participate. They include artificial intelligence and data analytics, cyber security, clean growth, medical science in the context of the ageing society and the transformation of mobility. Britain is present in these trends, but it is not present enough. In the FTSE 100, oil, mining, finance and retail companies dominate; few advanced technology companies and businesses are emerging to scale. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of my first industrial strategy in 1998. Yet one central element that has not been properly resolved in those that followed it is the tension between a national, centrally planned approach and doing the job instead through devolution of power and resources to regions and communities.

In my view, the Northern Powerhouse initiative was an attempt to combine industrial strategy with devolution, but it was an incomplete one and it is important that all of us work hard to ensure it is not discarded. This leads me to three concluding points based on my experience of industrial strategy. First, the research budgets, procurement plans and regulatory frameworks of all departments need to be used to build the markets and competitive advantages of businesses based in Britain. The Prime Minister needs to take some responsibility in driving this, otherwise it will not happen. Second, the hard work starts now. There must be hard evidence, not wishful thinking, in implementing tough decisions. Third, there must be continuity of policy. To be effective, industrial policy has to be sustained through political cycles, not just through one government. It is one thing having a long time horizon – the government’s present White Paper’s horizon is 2030 – but quite another to develop a genuinely long-term approach, one that will take us well beyond 2030, which is not actually very far away. Look at Germany and France; there is continuity in their systems when it comes to business and investment policies, which permits long-term planning and the development of competitive advantage over many decades. I am confident that we as a nation can succeed and that our universities have a leading role to play in this critical agenda. Lord Mandelson has been Manchester Metropolitan’s Chancellor since April 2016. He is a former European Trade Commissioner, Government Minister and Secretary of State. He is now a working peer in the House of Lords.

Industrial strategy is important for the future of our country, but it’s also important for Manchester Metropolitan University


Help Manchester to become a top 20 global city Sheona Southern looks at how universities are a key part of Manchester’s story

M

anchester has stated its bold ambition to be ranked as a top 20 global city by 2035 – the key objective of an internationalisation strategy launched by the city’s leaders at the Manchester International Festival in 2017. Our four universities are helping us to fulfil one of the eight pillars supporting that strategy. By 2035, Manchester wants to achieve recognition as the best UK destination for international students. The strategy includes a target for 20 per cent of students studying in Greater Manchester to be from overseas by 2020. Currently, 15 per cent of Greater Manchester’s 99,000 students are from outside the UK, originating from over 150 countries. But we know that student numbers are only part of Manchester’s academic success story and independent accolades already demonstrate the city’s global standing. Manchester is 23rd in the QS Best Student Cities guide – recognition among peer cities that Manchester is a first-rate place to study. Our role at Marketing Manchester is to encourage people from around the world to invest, study, visit and meet in Manchester. We do that in partnership with organisations across Manchester, including Manchester Airports Group, the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Manchester’s academic institutions. Manchester Metropolitan University is a vital part of the story that we share with the world. We also know that Manchester alumni go on to become our ambassadors. It is exciting to think that Manchester Metropolitan’s 280,000 alumni are living and working in 144 countries, and sharing their experiences of the city. Worth an estimated £810m to the Greater Manchester economy

Manchester Metropolitan University is a vital part of the story that we share with the world

each year, business tourism is another vital way in which Manchester Metropolitan works alongside Marketing Manchester in supporting the city’s economic ambitions. Manchester Metropolitan is a business tourism venue in its own right. The Business School, School of Art and Brooks Building are part of a diverse range of conference facilities across the city, that also include Manchester Central, our international convention complex. On the horizon are exciting new developments which will further enhance Manchester’s standing as a global business tourism destination. It is estimated that Manchester Metropolitan’s Screen School will generate £13m for the local economy annually and attract 1,000 students every year. Manchester Metropolitan’s new Poetry Library will be another significant boost for the city’s cultural offer, while further boosting the potential to attract international conferences and events. The great wealth of academic knowledge and research within the city is another major advantage for Manchester in attracting speakers and delegates to business tourism events. It also draws business opportunities and investment, nationally and internationally, to Manchester. We know that securing academic support in bidding for international conferences makes a significant difference, helping to demonstrate that Manchester has history, passion and expertise in the themes that will be explored by speakers and delegates. Our bids to host conferences and seminars have a much higher success rate (16% v 76%) when there is support from one of our Manchester Conference MBassadors, who are influential academics from the city’s universities. The benefits of business tourism to the regional economy

are significant. A recent success story is the bid to host the European Sociological Association (ESA) conference that will take place from 20 to 23 August 2019. The biannual conference will bring more than 3,000 delegates to Manchester and will boost the local economy by an estimated £6.9m. In 2019, Manchester will welcome thousands of delegates to World Healthcare Congress Europe. A major theme for the congress will be arts and health, a movement which can trace its roots back to Manchester Metropolitan 30 years ago. In a virtuous circle, attracting delegates to Manchester provides further benefits for academics and academic institutions, providing them with an opportunity to talk to an international audience in their own city. Manchester has a successful standing as a conference city and is also proud of its reputation as a city of innovation and progress. As well as talking to the organisers of established conferences about the benefits of bringing their speakers and delegates to Manchester, we want to hear fresh ideas from the academic community. I am confident that discoveries made by Manchester academic institutions today will be the subject of conferences and conventions in years to come. People at the cutting edge of research are those best-placed to identify the new movements that are worthy of discussion and debate. We’re standing by to work alongside you in ensuring as many people as possible are aware of Manchester’s positive contribution to the world, and supporting our mutual interests in ensuring that Manchester achieves its ambition to become a top 20 global city by 2035. Sheona Southern is Managing Director of Marketing Manchester

Spring/Summer 2018

53


My politics have been shaped by Manchester Lucy Powell, the Labour member of parliament for Manchester Central on the character of her home city and how it has shaped her

W

hen I grew up in Manchester in the 80s it was not renowned as “the place to be.” The collapse of traditional industries and a decade of Government under investment saw Manchester struggling to find its place in the world. Unemployment was high and young people were keen to leave. Manchester had been cast adrift by Government and it has led to my conviction that places like Manchester know what they need better than Whitehall and should be able to plan their own future. Fast forward 30 years and we have a city that is – in some respects – thriving, and setting its own agenda. Manchester’s devolution agenda is the first transfer of power from Whitehall to a city region and has been hard fought. Our universities have been central to the growth and regeneration of our city. Manchester is a place that people want to come to and want to stay – we have two of the three most popular universities in the country by applications. The concentration of students in Manchester means the city is able to provide a world-class educational offer and a breadth of graduate roles to encourage graduates to stay. Universities continue to be a key partner in changing the shape of the city. The extension of Manchester Metropolitan’s campus has stimulated the Hulme area of my constituency and the plans for a sports campus in East Manchester provide a fantastic opportunity to connect the area’s reputation for excellence in sport to the local community. Whilst Manchester is thriving and growing, it is still marked

54

Met Magazine issue 5

by inequality. My constituency contains two major universities and one of the main centres of employment for the country providing 20,000 jobs for the region. At the same time however, there is deep and persistent inequality – nearly half of the children in my constituency grow up in poverty. Children growing up in poverty arrive at school less prepared to learn than their peers, with additional challenges and barriers which mean they are less likely to succeed in their adult lives with corresponding effects on their health and wellbeing. Tackling child poverty and its impact on the early education of our children should be the priority for all levels of Government. I am pleased to have been asked by the Greater Manchester Mayor to lead work on school readiness in Greater Manchester, pulling together research and good practice under a single strategy for the region. Manchester has a progressive history and remains a progressive city today. This year marks two key anniversaries of Manchester’s fight against inequality – the 100 year anniversary of (some) women getting the vote, and the 150th anniversary of the first Trades Union Congress. As the first female Labour MP for a Manchester constituency I feel indebted to these movements and the anniversaries give us a chance to reflect on their contribution. Women’s suffrage would never have happened without Manchester women being prepared to make sacrifices and to fight for their rights and those of others. The partial nature of that success is a perfect message for our fight for equality which still goes on. In today’s Manchester, women still face injustice – from

Universities continue to be a key partner in changing the shape of the city

under-representation, unequal pay, through to domestic violence and human trafficking. Equality for women remains a partial victory and one which should spur us on to demand more. 150 years ago, trade unionists from across the country came together in the Mechanics Institute in my constituency for the first Trade Union Congress. Over that 150 years the TUC has been a collective voice for working men and women campaigning for safety at work and proper pay and conditions. Whilst the city and the country have changed beyond recognition over those 150 years, our need for collective organisation has not diminished. Our union movement is needed more than ever to guarantee our hard fought rights in the face of the Brexit challenge and protecting those working in the gig economy or whose jobs are threatened with automation. Like many Mancunians, either adopted or by birth, I am proud of my city. I am proud to see the progress of those who have worked for its improvement and to the fruits of that collective endeavour. Last year we had a glimpse of Manchester’s unique spirit in the aftermath of the devastating attack at the Arena. In the hours, days, weeks and months that followed we saw the best of Manchester – a collective, progressive spirit committed to equality in the face of division and hate. Manchester has always been a unique place, and I am excited about a future which is increasingly in its own hands and I am ready to play my part in its next chapter. Lucy Powell has been the Labour and Co-operative MP for Manchester Central since 2012


Playing catch up in the digital world Jamil Khalil, CEO and Founder of Wakelet, looks at what Manchester can do to support the digital industries

M

anchester is renowned for its friendly and vibrant culture. Our heritage has had a big impact on the new generation of entrepreneurs and the way we conduct business. There are three large universities, relatively good national and international connectivity, and the cost of living is still reasonable. This makes the city an attractive place to start a company. Over the past five years, there has been surge in start-up activity, but the businesses that have succeeded have largely done so despite the current eco-system rather than because of it. There are also an increasing number of incubators, accelerators, workspaces and organisations across the city that promise to support and mentor entrepreneurs looking to build the next generation of companies. In order to develop an ecosystem that can compete with leading ecosystems outside the UK, for example Silicon Valley, Berlin and Israel, we need to change our business culture in Manchester. This means being more open to risk, especially when it comes to supporting and investing in early stage startups. A place like Silicon Valley is successful because it has created a culture that embraces risk and failure. There’s a system in place, which fosters collaboration between businesses and academic institutions, giving entrepreneurs the best chance to succeed; often multiple times over. Whether it’s through financial investment or support networks, businesses all work together to preserve this culture and give back. I believe this is part of a winning formula. There isn’t much point having lots of tech accelerators and incubators in Manchester if we cannot get behind them and financially support the startups

Manchester Metropolitan is doing some good work to plug the skills gap

that come out of them. The tech and digital world moves very fast, and as a result, cities including Manchester have not been able to keep up. This is part of the reason why we see a gap in digital skills, lack of highspeed connectivity, inefficient or expensive transportation systems and lack of funding. These issues make it difficult to attract, retain and cultivate talent in the city, preventing the ecosystem from growing organically. There are short to mediumterm reactive solutions to these issues, but if we want to be worldleading, we need to start being even more proactive, anticipate and invest in future needs, and re-examine our reserved attitude towards risk-taking and failure. The Tech Nation report showed that approximately 41% of digital jobs exist in traditionally nondigital industries. I don’t even see a line between digital and non-digital anymore – there is just business. Digital technology has become a necessity for every business, from a sole trader selling their art online, to major corporations processing millions of transactions a day. It runs through everything – payment handling, marketing, logistics, and much more. Using the right technologies and applications across a business can really help it increase its visibility and communication internally and externally. In addition to this, great tech can help streamline operations, develop products and services faster and lay the foundation for a culture that encourages creativity and innovation. Data and analytics will also help improve decision-making – enabling companies to provide a better customer experience, enhance brand reputation and help them retain and attract new customers.

The educational system is the backbone of society. In early education, curriculums are designed to help students build skills and knowledge around various key subjects like Maths, English and Science, and that model has worked well for decades. However, and partly due to the wider access of computers, smartphones and the web, the way students now consume and process information has changed. To make things even more complicated, new innovations are now created at an extraordinary rate. The companies that are leading the way want individuals that can adapt to their needs by combining technical expertise, or having the ability to quickly acquire it. In their current form, many educational institutions are not able to react to these needs at the same rate and as a result, we will always find a new skills gap. Manchester Metropolitan is doing some good work to plug the skills gap. They are providing a wider range of courses, career advice, collaborating more with colleges and schools, and engaging more with industry to create courses together. This is something everyone in the education system should be looking to do. I believe we should try to develop a system that encourages learning responsiveness and teaches people how to quickly adapt and drive self-directed learning through technology. This way, people will be able to adjust faster as new needs and skills arise. Jamil Khalil is the founder and CEO of Wakelet, a free to use content curation platform that lets you save articles, videos, images, tweets, and pretty much anything you find on the web.

Spring/Summer 2018

55


THE REVOLUTION The ambition is for Manchester to be one of the best places in the world for developing and harnessing digital technology. Manchester Metropolitan is playing a key part in making that happen.

A

lan Turing, the father of modern computing once said: “We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” It is a comment that applies now, when the original vision of Turing to create a digital brain has exploded into a fourth industrial revolution – and this time the revolution is digital. Digital shapes everything around us – shopping, travelling, working, how we meet people. But the pace of change means that while the future has already arrived there is a huge amount of work that needs to be done to catch up before we can realise the full potential that digital offers. Technologies such as 3D printing, data analytics, cognitive computing and augmented and virtual reality have real potential to make organisations more efficient and respond to changing demand. But the technology is outstripping the skillsbase – and for the revolution not to falter there needs to be coordinated effort to deliver education and research. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I don’t want Greater Manchester to be just a smart city – I want it to be the smartest city.” And the city that has always been known for being inventive, creative and doing things differently is now recognised as being a key centre of digital industry. According to the Greater Manchester Digital Strategy 2018-2020, there are almost 8,000 digital and digital-intense creative businesses in Greater Manchester, employing more than 82,000 people and generating £4.1billion of economic growth. That puts Greater Manchester second only to London in terms of digital hubs in Britain.

56

Met Magazine issue 5

But despite this success the North West still has the largest skills gap of any region. Digital skills can mean anything from basic literacy to advanced professional skills such as writing code. This is where Manchester Metropolitan is working on several fronts to help Greater Manchester and the North West region maximise its potential. From an Institute of Coding to a new Screen School producing digital professionals of the future, the University is delivering the skills and technology needed to tap into the digital revolution. Paul Bason, Director of Digital Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan said: “I think there is a huge potential for economic, social and educational change in technology and we’re probably only at the beginning of that. We’re talking about the fourth industrial revolution around 3D printing and AI (artificial intelligence) and the excitement for me is partly about being in this city. “Devolution has created a lot of opportunity for us to rethink services that are delivered and how they are delivered and clearly technology is going to be part of that.” The University has seized the challenge laid down by Industry 4.0 – the development of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies – and launched a whole range of projects to assist students, businesses and the wider population. Bason said: “It’s about the future of work and the future of education and those are changing. I think Manchester Metropolitan is better placed than most to recognise what those changes are and to act on the potential. “I believe Digital Innovation has established us in a much more credible position where we’ve been seen to reflect the culture of

We need education to create skills for jobs of today and tomorrow, not jobs of yesterday. Manchester Metropolitan understands that Alice Webb Director of BBC Children’s and BBC North

digital, which is different from the discipline of digital. “What I hear very often from people like the BBC is we are breaking down barriers. We are in comparison to other universities easy to talk to and navigate. It’s all about changing people’s ambitions, supporting bright young people on that route into digital jobs or to setting up their own technology businesses. “They still need to know elements of coding, they need to know what’s the business model if they are in an e-commerce company, need to know who are the customers, what are we selling, Caption what are the profit margins. I’d like to see that people come to Manchester Metropolitan and they have the right balance in all of those for giving them a career. The emphasis there is not necessarily on skills, skills are part of that, but how do we develop the whole creative potential in somebody?” Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s and BBC North said: “We have a great relationship with Manchester Metropolitan – it is a dynamic and ambitious university. We need a talent pipeline in Greater Manchester that delivers the creative and digital skills of the future. We need education to create skills for jobs of today and tomorrow, not jobs of yesterday. Manchester Metropolitan understands that and is developing initiatives and creating spaces where businesses, academics and students can collaborate to do exciting things.” The University already has Innospace, which provides a supportive and collaborative environment for small digital companies, but has now added


FEATURE

will be digitised major initiatives like the University’s 3D printing hub PrintCity (see the feature on page 32), the Institute of Coding, advancements in augmented and virtual reality and the plans for a Screen School. All of these initiatives are catching the eye of the digital industries. Bason said: “We’re at the forefront. Autodesk, makers of many types of software, are really excited by PrintCity. Usually things like PrintCity happen in an engineering department. What Autodesk see is fashion meets architecture meets engineering meets art meets product design – and that in a way is the fourth industrial revolution. Autodesk is excited by that sort of approach and they have told us it is unique. “We also had someone come over from one of the New York universities and we’d looked to them as leaders in their field. He was hugely impressed by the openness and our whole approach and everything he saw.” Bason himself sits on the board of Manchester Digital, the independent trade organisation for the digital and technology industries, and he’s excited about the future pathways opening up in the city. He said: “The fact that we (Manchester) have devolved powers, that we have an elected mayor that is as dynamic as Andy Burnham and that he has taken this agenda on in a way that central government hasn’t, I think those are really, really important markers. I think the fact that we are aligned with (Andy’s) agenda and he is aligned with ours – and the City Council are very supportive of the Screen School – it becomes about economic policy in city. That feels like a very positive ecosystem.” Greater Manchester Combined Authority Lead Member for Economic strategy Sir Richard Leese said: “With more than 55,000 jobs generating around £3 billion a year, the creative and digital industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the Greater Manchester economy. Manchester is Europe’s second largest creative, digital and media hub and the

Spring/Summer 2018

57


sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the UK. “Greater Manchester is determined to build on this success by working with industry and academic partners. The Screen School will be a creative and digital skills powerhouse, supporting the creative and digital industries to secure the skills needed to drive innovation, growth and transformation.” The Screen School, which is expected to be ready by 2021, will provide courses in film, animation, applied games, special effects, sound design, software design for screen, user experience design and immersive media content production for more than 1,000 students every year. It is estimated that the Screen School will generate an annual £13 million boost for the local economy. Senior figures from film, media and commerce have already agreed to be part of the Screen School’s Industry Advisory Board. The group will be co-chaired by Danny Boyle, director of films such as the Trainspotting series, Slumdog Millionaire and the creative force behind the opening ceremony at the London Olympics, and producer Nicola Shindler, founder of awardwinning RED Productions. Oscar winning director Boyle said: “Manchester is a prolific centre of media production already and the Screen School will create the talent needed in the north to create even more success. “I’m really keen to see young people from all backgrounds given the opportunity to learn to be the filmmakers and media producers of the future, and to have the opportunity to tell their own stories – but in ways that we’ve never experienced before.” One of the key drivers behind all the University’s digital initiatives is to work in partnership with business to

58

Met Magazine issue 5

develop and deliver the skilled workforce that is urgently required. Bason said: “Many companies tell us that students, wherever they come from, take six months to be trained up. If we and the students are having the conversation with these firms about what they need, then we can bring that timescale down to probably four weeks. That’s how we start to deal with the skills gap. “I think the way in which we innovate in the curriculum, the way in which the curriculum relates to research and knowledge exchange – the boundaries between those will be less distinct than they currently are and I think it’s at that point where new opportunities and new products and services emerge as well as the well-rounded people.” Darren Dancey, Interim Head of the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital and lead for the University on the Institute of Coding (IoC), agreed: “Part of the IoC is in partnership with industry and that comes through everything we do. The digital skills gap is in many ways a gap in expectations. It’s a gap between the expectations of industry and the expectations of the University. The IoC is trying to bridge that expectation gap and make sure that we’re aligned and are working together to produce graduates that have the skill set that industry wants, while also informing industry around what are realistic expectations and giving them other options as well, such as degree apprenticeships. “Part of the problem we have is because the industry is expanding so quickly it’s struggling to have the capacity within its existing staffbase to train up the next generation, so employers are

Dr Darren Dancey, Interim Head of the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital

asking why haven’t the graduates got the specific skill set they need. Traditionally graduates wouldn’t have that skill set after three years. You would expect them to get some in-house training but the industry is saying it hasn’t got the resource to do that. We’re looking at how we can address that. We need to look at a range of options including traditional degrees, degree apprenticeships, Masters level courses, placement schemes, but also CPD programmes. It’s a group of initiatives not just trying to claim one thing will fix it.” Bason agreed: “There are some businesses where digital technology could transform what they currently do. And then I think there are other e-commerce businesses who already have that foundation and they’re looking for other kinds of innovation around AI and stuff like that. There are opportunities for us to work with both of them but I think in the latter case we need to understand the pace and direction they are moving in. “Sometimes we will provide insight they don’t have because we have resources. For example they’re moving at a pace and recognise a skills gap – could we offer CPD for them? If it is about increasing the quality of their management and enabling them to reflect on where that business is going and where the new products are then that is a valuable thing. It’s tailored CPD for an individual business.” The University is spearheading the development of the IoC locally, backed by a £3m portion of the overall £40m funding, and delivering industry-focused education in strategically important areas: data science, artificial intelligence and cyber security. The IoC is aligned to Manchester Metropolitan’s vision to make the North West a leader in ‘industrial digitalisation’ by transforming traditional manufacturing into a bespoke industry capable of tailor-made products at the click of a button. The aim is to ensure graduates are equipped for tomorrow’s digital challenges so the UK remains a world leader in computer science, cyber security, software development and data analysis. Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: “A world-class pipeline of digital skills are essential to the UK’s ability to shape our future. By working together, universities, employers and industry leaders can help graduates


build the right skills, in fields from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to industrial design. “The Institute of Coding will play a central role in this. Employers will have a tangible input to the curriculum, working hand-in-hand with universities to develop specialist skills in areas where they are needed most.” Dancey said: “We stand at the start of a new industrial revolution, a revolution in industrial digitalisation. Digital technology will infuse all parts of industry, from manufacturing to the service sector. We want the North West’s companies and our graduates to be ready to excel in this future. “At Manchester Metropolitan, we are at the vanguard in creating productive and multifaceted partnerships in the digital and technology sectors, as demonstrated by our KTP partnerships and sector-leading Degree Apprenticeships, to address the skills gap.” The University will build upon its existing structures, such as the Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) – working with outside businesses to build and develop new products. It also plans to introduce a Masters in Industrial Digitalisation, expand its apprenticeship programmes as well as continue its renowned public engagement events such as Raspberry Jam, held in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. All these are about educating people about the digital world and allowing them room to invent and innovate. Dancey said: “I would expect in digital and technology there are very few universities with the range of links to companies that we have. In terms of our engagement with industry, we are at the forefront. We are in the top five nationally for knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs) and digital technology is central to most of those KTPs.” The partnership approach is endorsed by Barclays, who have worked with the University on the

trailblazing Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions Lesley Clarke, Apprentice and Graduate Programme Manager, Barclays Technology, said: “Our apprentices have always been in a huge variety of different roles across technology so it has always been a challenge to find a one size fits all qualification. The flexibility that we’re able to build into the programme, working in collaboration with the academic team at Manchester Metropolitan, has been invaluable. We are able to give apprentices a broad base of digital and technology skills, but they will then be able to specialise in areas such as cyber security, which most closely align with their job role.” It seems times have changed massively from when being interested in computers was seen to be for ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’. Now it is the future and everyone wants to be part of it. It may well be that the

geeks will finally inherit the earth. Dancey said: “I think there was a perception that computing was for nerds hidden away in basements. But now we’re seeing the mainstream impact of computing. The creative aspects of computing are also being much more widely recognised. “Computing and the various related disciplines are without question changing the world. I remain excited by that and always have been, but it’s nice to see we’ve now reached a tipping point where it has gone into the mainstream. The applications of that are being seen more widely. What was science fiction is now reality and we take it for granted. “We are now experiencing Industry 4.0. It is accepted now that manufacturing will change due to digitalisation and that will require a new skillset and we’re making sure we’re prepared to deliver that skillset.”

The Screen School will create the talent needed in the north to create even more success Danny Boyle

“The important thing about the Screen School is that it is going to draw on the combined talents in the creative and digital sectors. It is not only going to create real opportunities for the individuals who benefit from learning at the school, it is going to make a much broader impact on the economy of the region as a whole.” Lord Mandelson, Manchester Metropolitan University Chancellor

Spring/Summer 2018

59


LIFE AT the top The First Generation initiative seeks to help youngsters who are the first in their families to go to university. Met Magazine meets two Manchester Metropolitan alumni who made the journey from first generation university entrants to British boardroom leaders.

T

aking those first steps into university to begin the journey through higher education can be a daunting prospect. However, it can also be the start of something special, something new, something exciting. The first step to a rewarding career and personal development. Manchester Metropolitan University wants to break down the barriers and ensure youngsters feel able and confident to study within a university environment. This commitment is realised through the First Generation scheme – an initiative to support talented youngsters from Greater Manchester to become the first generation in their families to attend university. The scheme, backed by a £2 million fundraising campaign, provides a tailored package of support to those whose families have limited experience of higher education. The students are benefiting from work experience, financial support, mentoring and guidance. The first cohort – 50 in total – are currently in the final stages of their college studies having applied for university, eagerly anticipating starting their new courses in September.

60

Met Magazine issue 5

While it is not the first time they will have stepped onto a campus, thanks to First Generation, it marks the next phase of their lives as they seek to fulfil their professional and personal potential. Here, Met Magazine meets two University alumni who were exactly that – the first generation in their families to go to university. They provide inspirational stories and lead the way, from being the first in their family taking tentative steps as young students to becoming captains of industry.


FEATURE

Globe-trotting healthcare A chance encounter on the train set Wayne Close on his journey to Manchester Metropolitan, a first generation university entrant starting a globe-trotting career path that would take him to the top of the healthcare business. Having already completed a foundation programme at the University as a youngster, the opportunity to work within an accountancy practice provided an enticing incentive. But the chance conversation on a train back to Atherton, Wigan, would be relayed to a tutor who Close had previously struck up a bond with – and the tutor gently persuaded Close to commit to the degree. He said: “When I got the job at a local chartered accountants in Atherton, part of the reason I wasn’t sure on what I wanted to do was because I enjoyed my foundation course so much. One of the lecturers in corporate finance, said, ‘look, if you want to come back to the University and want to go on to the degree course, I’m sure we can organise that’.” This experience shaped one of Close’s key pieces of advice: to find your ‘advocates’. Whether that be a tutor or colleague, root out those who back you, echoing the First Generation’s ongoing support network. It began a lifelong relationship with education as Close continued to study and learn regardless of his stage of career: BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, Chartered Management Accountant; an MSc in Management; various executive leadership courses through Cranfield and London Business School, and more recently acquiring his Chartered Director qualification. Close recalls: “Mum and dad were a typical working class family and the expectation after school, at 16, was that you would start work, because that’s the way life was.” And that’s exactly what Close did, starting work as an apprentice electrician after his O levels, just before his 16th birthday.

He added: “Having a real sense of what you don’t want to do is really valuable and saying ‘I’m not going to do this, I can be better than this’.” So at 16 he persuaded his parents that A levels would be a better choice for him. It was the most important career choice he made. “Trust your intuition, it will serve you well,” Close said. For several years, Close then learned the ropes in accountancy and auditing across the North West with British Vita and Barlow Handling. In 1992, Close took up a new position with Bupa Hospital Manchester as Commercial Director. An underperforming business, he quickly turned its fortunes around by developing a range of new services and a strong commercial focus across the hospital on creating value. He pioneered hospital costing systems for Bupa and Bupa Manchester was one of the first private hospitals to undertake NHS waiting lists. It was then he recognised he had a flare for sales and marketing as well as finance. Close developed some of the important lessons and advice during these crucial years. He said: “Operating solo doesn’t work, you have got to be a team player and success comes from clear leadership and having a great team around you. Secondly, you are only as good as your team, and you need to provide clear direction and leadership.” His success in hospitals created advocacy within Bupa and Close started to develop his brand as a problem solver and turnaround guy. He was soon offered his next role as Corporate Finance Director in the UK insurance business. Based in Salford Quays, the insurance division, which employs 2,400 people, was another turnaround challenge. Working closely with the sales and marketing department, he built a strong commercial finance team which became central to creating one of the most successful periods of growth in the UK insurance business. But by 2003, Close was on his way to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia with his wife and three children, setting

up a new business called Bupa Arabia as managing director. Another underperforming business soon became a star performer in Bupa’s portfolio with Close’s steady hand on the tiller. The business today boasts a market capitalisation – the company’s total value – of just under $2bn and the largest membership footprint anywhere in the Bupa group, with 3.3 million members. It was a roaring success but making the decision to go to Saudi Arabia was probably the hardest choice he has made in his career. Close said: “It was a big risk. I knew this but it paid off for me and my family who cherish the experiences of Saudi and the Middle East.” Upon returning to the UK in 2007, Close continued to drive the firm’s success around the world as Finance Director and Managing Director of Bupa International, steering the company’s success in markets as diverse as China, Egypt, Russia and Libya. Then in 2014, he began a twoyear stint in North America as Chief Executive of a newly acquired business. Based in Philadelphia, he led the business through its transition into Bupa, developing its strategy and delivering its plans. “Taking risks is part of my ethos, without them there’s nothing to learn,” he said. “Don’t push the risk boundary too far but be calculated in terms of the risk you take. And in taking the risks, be really enthusiastic in the risks you do take.” The incredible globe-trotting journey may have begun back in Atherton and been shaped by the chance meeting on the train. However, it was thanks to support from his advocates, the creation of strong teams and an appetite to take risks that Close was able to grab the opportunities with both hands and make them a success He said: “I love the First Generation scheme, the reason I’m here is because I am first generation. I was very fortunate that I got financial sponsorship from my father’s company.” Close concludes that if he had not found advocacy from that lecturer in 1982, his career may have turned out differently.

Wayne Close, Managing Director at BUPA UK Healthcare Services

Spring/Summer 2018

61


Banking brilliance “There is something about my name – destined for working in a bank.” Indeed the name may have been something of a premonition for Richard Banks CBE whose financial expertise would help steer two of the UK’s most troubled banks through turbulent times. At the height of the 2008 financial crisis and the following recession, Banks, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Business Studies class of 1974, would become the go-to man called upon to manage a vast banking entity – £95bn in mortgage lending – of which the government had stepped in to protect. Banks was handed the unenviable task of ensuring this new organisation, called UK Asset Resolution, and formed from the merger of Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley, could be safely steered through choppy waters. Both Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley had become high-profile victims of the credit crunch thanks to their previous ‘optimistic lending’, as Banks terms it, in the bountiful years leading up to the financial crisis. With such eye-watering numbers at stake and countless people’s mortgages, the new organisation, now one of the UK’s largest lenders, needed a safe pair of hands. It needed someone that could ensure lenders, employees and the government could rest easily. “It had very high mortgage arrears of something like three to four times the national average,” said Banks. “We had to deal with massive mortgage fraud in the

62

Met Magazine issue 5

Richard Banks CBE

Giving a link and bridge to children who haven’t had that experience, whose parents haven’t got that experience to guide them, makes incredible sense. I don’t know why every university doesn’t do the same.

books and had a demoralised workforce. “So we made a strategy which was to repay the government, manage down the book in an orderly way and to do that we needed a motivated workforce. “So the story went: we are all turkeys voting for Christmas, every time we get a mortgage repaid, every time we sell off assets and so on, there’s going to be fewer of us. But whilst you’re with us, we will give you excellent training and development. “Hopefully you will go with better skills, better training, better experience and be able to get another good job after that.” By the time Banks left in 2016, the mortgage book had been cut to £35bn, arrears slimmed to a quarter of their previous levels and many customers rehabilitated. Mortgages were protected and taxpayers’ investment was being repaid. It all began for Banks in Stockport, where he grew up with his mum, dad and sister in a small terraced house. After a false start at university in Cardiff, he returned home and took up the degree course at Manchester Metropolitan. It was there that Banks’ interest and aptitude for banking took off. Thanks to the industry sandwich degree programme Banks was on, he was able to work at NatWest during the course, the first proper step into banking. Upon graduation, job offers flooded in from the sector and Banks chose to work for the Midland Bank where he honed his skills for 11 years. He then began to climb through

the industry: corporate banking in London, the former Girobank in Leeds as it was prepared for privatisation, evolving into the Alliance and Leicester. In 1999, he joined its board. In the credit crisis, Alliance and Leicester was taken over by Santander during which time Banks left. He was soon snapped up to take on the role at what later became UK Asset Resolution. Throughout it all, Banks was able to call upon the knowledge from his time at the University and industry experience. The positive experience at Manchester Metropolitan would run in the family and both his sons later graduated from the University. He says: “It (the University) taught me the discipline of being up on time to go to work. It gave me some basic understanding of how economics, commerce and business work – stuff that I used in my later career on analysing the cost benefit of projects, net present value, internal rate of return. “I think going back to when I was at Cardiff it was too big of a step. Going from a small sixth form of only 10 people in my school, to going to a very big environment. “I hadn’t really got any mentor in the family to say, ‘oh this is how it will be’. “(On First Generation) I was so lucky that my parents had no objection to my further education. Giving a link and bridge to children who haven’t had that experience, whose parents haven’t got that experience to guide them, makes incredible sense. I don’t know why every university doesn’t do the same.”


Catching up with the First Generation students

F

irst Generation students are gearing up for an important few months, busy preparing for exams as they aim to take the next step into higher education. Met Magazine caught up with two of the students who are part of the initial cohort of First Generation. Julan Walters is gearing up for his A Level exams, which are just around the corner. Julan has been through the nerve-wracking process of applying to university. It is the first time anyone from the scheme will have officially applied for university. He was told about First Generation through his college, Xaverian College, based close to Manchester Metropolitan in the city district of Rusholme. “First Generation has been great, it has showed us what it would be like to be a university student. It helped me to make the decision to want to come to university,” he explained. “We had residential days at the University during the summer break which helped to show the students what university life is like, taking away any concerns we might have had.” Julan has applied to study a degree in business and economics, helped by the scheme’s support. He added: “The university application has been straightforward. First Generation showed us what a good personal statement looks like, and also how to research and take notes for when we’re at university. “If I hadn’t been part of First Generation, I wouldn’t be too sure about university.” Julan is now just focusing on the final hurdle for his A Levels and hopes to secure the grades, having applied for several universities, including Manchester Metropolitan. Fellow First Generation student Katie Nolan is also one of the trailblazers as part of the first cohort. She is working towards her final exams in A Levels in history, English literature and sociology at Aquinas College in Stockport, with her eyes firmly on securing a place on a primary education degree course to become a teacher. Katie said: “The residential activities have helped to provide insight into the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) application process. “My first choice university was between Manchester Metropolitan and another. But when you looked at all of the support in the future years as a First Generation student at Manchester Metropolitan, it was a no-brainer. “It’s been great to meet new people through First Generation. On the activities, I met some of the people and found out we went to the same college but we didn’t know each other before. Now, we’re all friends.”

“I APPLIED FOR THE FIRST GENERATION SCHEME BECAUSE I SAW IT AS A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THAT NEXT BIG STEP. I FEEL LIKE I WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST WITHOUT IT. FIRST GENERATION HAS ALREADY PROVIDED ME WITH SUPPORT, GUIDANCE AND A SENSE OF BELONGING.” Firzah Ali First Generation student

FEATURE

The First Generation scheme is one of the first to offer support throughout a student’s whole journey: before, during and after their time at university. It is much more than just financial support and provides students with the self-belief that university is a place where they will thrive and feel welcome. The campaign is to transform 1,000 lives of youngsters who will be the first generation in their family to go to university. First Generation shows young people how universities can change their lives by helping the brightest young people from Greater Manchester – all will have excelled in their GCSEs and have progressed to Year 12 or college. The scheme starts with preentry, including a residential summer school, support with applications and peer mentorship from students with similar life experience. For those who come to Manchester Metropolitan, they will benefit from an academic and professional mentor, the chance to help the next generation as a student ambassador, a Year 1 residential experience and a First Generation scholarship of £1,000. There are many ways for our alumni to get involved with First Generation and help transform the lives of the young people involved. We are calling on our inspirational network of alumni, friends and business contacts to provide mentorships, expertise and professional contacts. You can also provide a gift or fundraising to help fund places on the scheme.

If you’d like to get involved in helping transform young people’s lives through our First Generation scheme, we’re happy to discuss the ways in which you can get involved. Please contact Rachel Charnock or Sophia McNeill Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2158 Email: r.charnock@mmu.ac.uk s.mcneill@mmu.ac.uk To find out more about First Generation please visit: mmu.ac.uk/firstgeneration

Spring/Summer 2018

63


Students’ Union building

Business School building

the future

The University is leading the way in transforming Manchester’s skyline

H

“Having quality development taking place in our region, and publicly recognising it through the Awards process, definitely supports our objective of retaining and attracting talent in the region to support our growing professional community.” Andrew Ruffler, Regional Director, RIBA North West

64

ome to Manchester’s first Poetry Library and a 180seat theatre auditorium, Manchester Metropolitan University’s new flagship £46m Arts and Humanities building will be the latest addition to Manchester’s rapidly changing skyline. Opening in 2020, it will stand eight storeys high at the corner of Oxford Road on the University’s All Saints Campus. The new building is part of a five-year strategic transformation of the city-centre campus, and the latest huge infrastructure project is thrusting the University to the heart of the city’s cultural and community life. And beyond the University walls, the expertise of staff and students at Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) – recently ranked as one of the top architecture schools in the world – is being harnessed to improve the heritage and built environment of the city region.

University estate As part of the thriving Faculty for Arts and Humanities, the new building will support a growing need for training in the expanding creative and media

Met Magazine issue 5

industries in the region, as well as providing a unique cultural hub within Manchester Metropolitan University. Professor Malcolm Press, Manchester Metropolitan University Vice-Chancellor, said: “Our mission is to find and develop talent wherever it lies and produce the next generation of innovators for the expanding creative and media industries in this region and beyond. “Our new Arts and Humanities building will provide fantastic, state-of-the-art facilities including theatre spaces, a poetry library and a new university language centre and be home to the fantastic mix of arts and humanities courses we offer. In the future it will also form part of a dynamic cultural quarter alongside our planned Screen School.” The Arts and Humanities building is the latest in a line of eye-catching architecture projects which have come to fruition on the University campus in recent years. The new Business School, Benzie and Brooks buildings and Students’ Union have all opened on campus since 2012. Analysis in 2015 revealed that Manchester Metropolitan had won more national awards

from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) than any other university. The Business School, Benzie Building and Students’ Union have all received RIBA North West and National Awards since 2013, with Benzie going on to be shortlisted for both the UK and EU’s most prestigious architecture awards – the RIBA Stirling Prize and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award. A 2013 piece in the RIBA Journal described how the £34m Benzie’s “creative freedom, extravagant use of space and enormous doors” were defining features of the building. The Business School also captured the coveted Prime Minister’s Award for Better Public Buildings at the 2013 British Construction Industry Awards. Judges described it as “a masterpiece of simple concept, fine detailing and thoughtful and inspiring layout appropriate for graduates entering the business community”. Andrew Ruffler, Regional Director of RIBA North West, said: “In recent years Manchester Metropolitan University has gathered industry-wide recognition for the quality of


FEATURE Benzie building

Brooks building

its new buildings, with RIBA awarding the equally impressive Business School, Student Union building and School of Art with national RIBA Awards. “The School of Art (which houses the School of Architecture) went on to be shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize for architecture in 2014 alongside the Shard and the Olympics Aquatic Centre, and was only beaten to the award by the fantastic Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. “Each of these new University buildings, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, have clearly added quality of place to everyday campus life, and are seen as a benchmark for future education developments – whether this is in Manchester or further afield. “Having quality development taking place in our region, and publicly recognising it through the Awards process, definitely supports our objective of retaining and attracting talent in the region to support our growing professional community.”

Community facing The Arts and Humanities building’s Poetry Library will be open to the public – just the latest example of the community impact of the University’s sleek new estate. The University has been developing Birley as a community campus, and a blueprint for how

the wider institution can support its local communities in Hulme and Moss Side. Analysis in 2014 estimated that it helped to support over 1000 jobs and £40m GVA for the local economy. Facilities at the Brooks Building are open to the public for community events. That has included hosting the National Big Lunch, an intergenerational poetry competition for the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, working with Manchester City Council and local partners to provide information and advice for National Mental Health Awareness Week and supporting the Manchester Age Friendly Neighbourhoods project with local housing provider Southway Housing Trust. Rupert Goddard, Partner at Sheppard Robson, the architects who designed the building and whose Manchester studio maintains a close relationship with MSA said: “The Brooks Building is significant for us as architects because it represents a new way of thinking about higher education as a force for regeneration and building community. “Its contribution in public realm to Hulme is, we believe, as significant as the dramatic design statement that the building makes on the primary southern approach to the city centre. “We think that Manchester Met reflects the commitment of

Manchester to serve the widest possible community, as well as world leading researchers. We wanted the Brooks Building to reflect this ambition and Manchester’s unique sense of openness to industrial innovation.”

School of Architecture

“Since our arrival in the city over 15 years ago we have had numerous Manchester graduates through our doors, including former students who are now partners leading our 90-strong Manchester studio. ” Rupert Goddard, Partner at Sheppard Robson

The MSA – a partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester – helps to extend our architectural impact into the city itself. It was ranked seventh best architecture school in the world by the QS rankings in 2018, the third consecutive year it has placed in the top 10. Professor Tom Jefferies, Head of MSA, said: “We are delighted to be placed 7th in the world – the MSA is rightly recognised as an innovative place for students to study architecture, one that actively connects research and practice. Our graduates and academics are seen as amongst the best professionals in their field by their peers.” Sheppard Robson is one of a number of sector-leading architecture firms with a base in Manchester who work closely with MSA. It runs the annual Jicwood prize, a portfolio award that recognised concept, development and presentation of students’ ideas. Winners have the opportunity to work within

Spring/Summer 2018

65


Sheppard Robson’s Manchester studio. Goddard said: “Since our arrival in the city over 15 years ago we have had numerous Manchester graduates through our doors, including former students who are now partners leading our 90-strong Manchester studio. The links between Sheppard Robson and the Manchester School of Architecture run deep.” MSA prides itself on harnessing the expertise of its staff to lead innovative projects which have a social purpose. Staff describe their ethos as being ‘global Mancunians’ – proud of the city they inhabit and playing a key role in many regional projects – but always seeking to replicate the work on an international scale. Professor Stefan White is working with Manchester and Stockport councils on their approach to social wellbeing– including contributing to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and developing innovative social care delivery models. Ulyssess Sengupta and Rob Hyde are working on the Synchronicity project, a shared e-governance structure for European Cities funded under Europe’s Horizon 2020 programme that connects 41 partners, eight European Cities and 11 countries over four continents. They are also working on the Project Synergy CAV autonomous vehicle trial project that aims to operate connected autonomous cars in a platoon formation from Stockport railway station to Manchester Airport. Discussions have taken place in China as to how to learn from this project.

66

Met Magazine issue 5

Artists impression of the planned Screen School and Arts and Humanities buildings

Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr Laura Coucill and Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr led a data mapping project of Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands which is to be replicated in Stockport to inform their urban policy. Funded by the Satellite Applications Catapult, the researchers used cutting-edge satellite technology to help plot the best medical trails in these remote locations and influence digital employment strategies. MSA is also involved in the Manchester-wide CityVerve ‘smart city’ demonstrator, using the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve everyday life for its citizens through effective use of data.As one of over 20 partner institutions in the city, Manchester Metropolitan is leading on three projects on green travel, using technology to reduce loneliness among older people, and the Manchester Plinth using augmented reality to show digital museum artefacts. The £10M project involves a strong relationship with Manchester City Council, with Australian cities interested in replicating some of the University’s work.

“Our spiritual home has come to the end of its useful life and is now getting to the stage where it’s no longer fit for purpose. “However the memories we have shared over the last sixty years are not so transportable, so we feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be part of this project with Manchester Metropolitan University.” Danny Savage, President of the United Reform Synagogue

And it’s not just in the construction of new buildings and urban policy where the University’s impact is being felt – but the reimagining of Manchester’s past. Principal lecturer Dr Richard Brook is leading an AHRC funded project to preserve Manchester’s landmark architecture forever in virtual reality to allow people to revisit former buildings where they once stood. Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan, working with The Modernist Society and Archives+ at Manchester Central Library, aim to create 3D virtual buildings that could one day exist on their former sites – letting people ‘enter’, walk through rooms and even hear stories hidden in the walls through wearable devices. The initial project will be a pilot of the virtual reproduction via conventional augmented reality on a mobile device of the United Reform Synagogue in Manchester. Danny Savage, President of the United Reform Synagogue, said: “Our spiritual home has come to the end of its useful life and is now getting to the stage where it’s no longer fit for purpose. “Our eventual move in to the new development in the same place where we are situated now is great as it gives our community some kind of familiarity. “However the memories we have shared over the last sixty years are not so transportable, so we feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be part of this project with Manchester Metropolitan University.”


64

12

16

20

32

Met Magazine

Met Magazine Spring/Summer 2018 Met Magazine is published by Manchester Metropolitan University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press

Foreword 3 Vice-Chancellor’s message

News 4 Architecture School among world’s best 5 Top 20 employer in Stonewall rankings 6 Leading the way with Degree Apprenticeships 7 Manchester Metropolitan preserves landmark buildings using VR 8 Success for Manchester Writing School

Features 10 Developing the leaders: The alumni who have gone on to great success in their fields 12 Focused on the future: Sir Howard Bernstein discusses the challenges and opportunities for Manchester 16 As Manchester is named a UNESCO City of Literature we look at the University’s place in Manchester’s literary and cultural scene 20 With some of the country’s leading poets in our Writing School, we look at the exciting plans for a Poetry Library 22 Shaping the economy: The new University research centre looking at business and work in the decades ahead 26 From green energy and legal advice to elite sport and business development – the University partnerships that are delivering real impact

Editorial team

Design

Ian Christon Chris Morris Ian Proctor Dominic Smith Michael Taylor Jessica Marsh Maryam Ahmed Daniel Cottam

Steve Kelly

Photography Ade Hunter

Contact us metmagazine@mmu.ac.uk

38 Second chances: The trailblazing partnerships transforming the lives of vulnerable young people 42 What is it in the DNA of Manchester that makes it special? Our research and projects provide some of the answers 48 The University’s research touches every part of our lives – from early years education to the health of the elderly 56 The revolution will be digitised: Looking at Industry 4.0 and the role the University is playing in plugging the digital skills gap 60 How being the first generation of a family to go to university can lead people to be captains of industry 64 Building for the future: We look at the University buildings that have been, or will be, built that are changing the Manchester skyline

Views 9 Student Union President Hussain El-Amin on how students are part of what makes Manchester great 52 Lord Mandelson, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Chancellor, on the challenges and opportunities of the industrial strategy 53 Marketing Manchester’s Sheona Southern on the aim to become a top 20 global city 54 Labour MP Lucy Powell on what Manchester means to her 55 Tech entrepreneur Jamil Khalil on the shape of the digital industries in Manchester

32 Making the impossible possible: Our new world-class digital printing hub is opened 36 The Big Data number crunchers whose analytical work is improving understanding of people and processes

2

Met Magazine issue 5

MASTER YOUR SUBJECT #MCRMET POSTGRADUATE COURSES Become an expert in your field.

Met Magazine: Winner of Best Publication at the CIPR NW Pride Awards 2017

mmu.ac.uk/postgrad


Magazine

Spring/Summer 2018

Met Magazine

Solutions focused

FOR BUSINESS

HELPING BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY WITH INNOVATION AND SKILLS

SETTING

creative

STANDARDS

Email: i.christon@mmu.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)161 247 2169 mmu.ac.uk/metmagazine

Spring/Summer 2018

If you would like to be part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s exciting and ambitious future we’re always happy to discuss ways in which you can be involved.

GLOBAL PLAYERS IN ARCHITECTURE, POETRY AND LITERATURE

SHAPING

the economy

Manchester Metropolitan University Met Magazine Bellhouse Lower Ormond Street Manchester M15 6BX United Kingdom

This publication is available in alternative formats. Please telephone +44 (0)161 247 3405

leading the digital

Issue 5

mmu.ac.uk

NEW UNIT INFLUENCES ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE

REVOLUTION

AHEAD OF THE FIELD IN 3D PRINT AND INDUSTRY 4.0

MANCHESTER EDITION

Met Magazine Spring / Summer 2018  
Met Magazine Spring / Summer 2018  
Advertisement