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Top 50 University in the UK

Summer 2016 • northumbria.ac.uk •

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NORTHUMBRIA Forecast: A Bright Future

Issue 10

UNIVERSITY NEWS £52m investment to build a better Northumbria

18th for outstanding student experience

One of the world’s 150 best ‘young’ universities

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University named top 50 in the UK

Northumbria soars in rankings T Northumbria University is celebrating after a series of impressive gains across a number of key league tables. he most recent achievement saw Northumbria among the UK’s biggest climbers in the 2017 Guardian University League Table. The table ranks the country’s 119 universities by scoring each institution for aspects of the student experience that matter most to students, such as high-quality teaching, staff to student ratio, spend per student, entry tariff and employability.

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Northumbria University has climbed 18 places from last year – the seventh largest improvement of any other UK institution – and is now ranked in the top 50 UK universities, with eight of its courses featuring in the national top 30. The Guardian’s league table ranks Northumbria’s Architecture, Design and Crafts, and Education courses top 10 in the UK. A number of other

courses are in the top 30, including Building, Town and Country Planning, Criminology, Nursing and Midwifery, Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations, and Sport Science. This latest result marks the University’s highest ever position in this league table and follows a series of accolades and achievements in the past year. Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Northumbria is changing the world

Interview with Professor Jon Reast

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of Northumbria University, said: “This result recognises the progress that we are making and reflects our clear focus on quality and putting our students at the heart of the University. It is also a reflection of the investments the University has made to improve the overall student experience and the environment in which excellent teaching can take place. It shows we are achieving what we set out to do,

REVEAL launches across campus 26

through a planned programme of development. Following a position in the top 50 for research power in the 2014 REF, a place in The Guardian’s top 50 UK universities will further cement our growing reputation in the UK and internationally.”

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

CONTENTS

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News 1-3, 8, 20, 33 Building a better 4-5 Northumbria Health 6-7, 36 Alumni 9 Northumbria is changing 10-15 the world The Big Interview: 14-15 Professor Jon Reast Postgraduate special 16-19 Environment 21 Business and Law 9, 22-25 Culture & Health 26-32, 34-35 Feature: Reveal 2016 26-31 Best of The Conversation 37 Sport 38-40 384753/6/16

Staff from each area of Student and Library Services with their Customer Service Excellence award

Only the best for Northumbria students!

Northumbria students officially receive some of the highest standards of customer service in the UK, after the University achieved top marks in the Government’s national accreditation for providing customer service excellence.

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number of key services including the University Library, Careers and Employment, Student Support and Wellbeing and the Ask4Help one-stop-shop, were assessed in an external inspection which measured almost 60 elements of service excellence standard. These include the timeliness and quality of service provided; how services are delivered; and what insights the department has into its customers – our students. The University passed all components with flying colours and was particularly praised in four areas – including the Ask4Help service. It was described as having “exceptional behaviours or practises that can be viewed as an exemplar for others.” The department was also praised for its work in putting students at the heart of its service and for its “passionate, warm and friendly” staff, who were described by students as going “above and beyond” to help them. Professor Jane Core, Director of Student and Library Services, said:

Our library is ranked joint 1st in the UK for Student Experience* *Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015/16

Access to more than 1.3m books* *University Library: books and eBooks combined

“We are absolutely delighted that the full service has secured Customer Service Excellence accreditation. Working in partnership with students is at the heart of our ethos, so we are particularly pleased that the assessor praised the positive experiences enjoyed by users of our Ask4Help service for student enquirers, as well

as the work we undertake to map how students use our services to deliver many of our service improvements.” Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Francis, added: “Student and Library Services has led the way in evidencing how we put customer service excellence at the heart of what we are doing to bring improvements to our services for students. We are delighted that this hard work has been recognised with this national accreditation.” Customer Service Excellence accreditation is a trade mark of the Cabinet Office. The University received this award shortly before the latest Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey ranked Northumbria in the UK top 20 for providing an outstanding student experience. These successes point to Northumbria’s overarching ambition of being ranked in the top 30 UK universities.

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NEWS

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Northumbria rises to record league table position ‘‘

FROM COVER

It shows we are achieving what we set out to do, through a planned programme of development. Following a position in the top 50 for Research Power in the 2014 REF, a place in The Guardian’s top 50 UK universities will further cement our growing reputation in the UK and internationally.

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Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University

Northumbria University’s impressive rise in The Guardian’s league table result follows a series of accolades and achievements in the past year Northumbria achieved the Business School of the Year award at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards and in the summer 2015 International Student Barometer survey, rose 26 places to third spot in terms of satisfaction levels among overseas students. In March, Northumbria also achieved its best ever position in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey. The survey rated Northumbria as the 18th best university in the UK and the second in the North-East for student experience.

More than 15,000 students from 117 UK universities took part in the Times Higher Education’s annual survey and were asked to rate how their universities performed in 21 different areas. These included the quality of the lecturers and facilities, library provision, accommodation, the oncampus environment and community atmosphere and the welfare support made available to students. The University scored particularly highly in a number of key areas, with the Library now rated joint first in the UK. The survey also praised Northumbria’s high-quality facilities, atmosphere and environment on campus and social life. Once again, sport at Northumbria

Top 15 in the UK*

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Design and Crafts *Guardian University League Table 2017

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Education



was highly rated, ranking joint fourth in the UK. This, combined with Team Northumbria’s outstanding performance in this year’s BUCS national league table in which the University reached eighth position, further cements the University’s sporting reputation. Northumbria also lifted the Stan Calvert cup once again this year – beating rivals Newcastle University for the third year running. Professor Wathey added: “Northumbria’s rating reflects our staff ’s continued commitment to putting students at the heart of the University. It is also a reflection of the investments the University has made to improve the student experience and the environment in which cutting-

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Architecture

edge research-rich teaching can take place.” Northumbria was also recently named in the world’s 150 under 50 list against universities from 39 countries. The list ranks universities established after 1966 on their teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income. Northumbria joined 24 other UK institutions in this group, further demonstrating the institution’s growing reputation as a global university.

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Nursing and Midwifery


NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

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FEATURE

Building a better Northumbria Over the next two years Northumbria’s city campus will be transformed into a dynamic new hub for staff and students, thanks to a major £52 million investment. Northumbria University News previews some of the University’s exciting new plans…

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ver the past ten years, more than £200 million has been invested in developing outstanding new facilities for students at Northumbria’s City and Coach Lane campuses, and over the next two years, a further £52 million is being spent to build an even better Northumbria to transform the student experience. The University has now announced new plans to bring all student-facing services together into the heart of the City Campus by summer 2017. Based around the University Library, the Students’ Union, Shop Central and Sport Central, the new Student Central area will bring all of the core services students need in one place. To create this dynamic new student-facing hub, Pandon Building, on the other side of the central motorway, is being reshaped and refurbished to provide a new home for staff working in the University’s professional support services. There will also be a major investment in the creation of new state-of-the-art facilities for

Engineering and Environment students in both Ellison and Sutherland Buildings in the heart of City Campus West. A new four-storey building for computing subjects will create a landmark to open up the west side of the campus from the bridge, and plans are also afoot to redevelop Lipman Building for Arts, Design and Social Sciences students. Work on all of these projects will begin over the coming months, with most expected to be complete and ready for teaching from September 2018. A number of Northumbria’s current students and graduates who are working in leading architecture and construction firms regionally and nationally will be involved in bringing these developments to fruition. Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, said: “In recent years we have launched an ambitious new strategy to transform the University, and have made radical change in our research performance, our student recruitment and experience, alongside significant steps in our

partnerships regionally, nationally and internationally. Now is the time to create the environment we need to achieve our vision for 2025, and beyond. “This investment will sustain a world-class campus for Northumbria that will lead to improvements in student satisfaction and more effective ways of working, and support our evolution into a new kind of excellent university.” As the projects draw to completion, the University will begin working on the next phase of its estates masterplan to develop world class new buildings for 2025 and beyond. Discussions on these plans have already begun with a number of leading architectural practices and with honorary graduate and wellknown architect, George Clarke.

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Architecture and Built Environment We’re already known for having some of the best architecture and built environment courses in the country (we’re ranked 10th in the UK according to The Guardian University Guide 2017) and our reputation is set to get even better with the creation of a brand new, world-class School of Architecture and Built Environment. To create this, we’ll be merging old with new by transforming our historic Sutherland Building with a contemporary, yet sympathetically designed, extension incorporating bright and airy new studio spaces with one of our most inspiring buildings. We’re working with our architects on the plans to create a unique, state-of-the-art home for students on these popular courses over the coming months. Construction will begin in 2017 and we’ll be open for teaching by the end of 2018.

Student Central We’re bringing all of our student-facing services together in one area, as part of an initiative known as Student Central. This will allow students to access the University library, Sport Central, Shop Central, the Students’ Union and services, such as Careers and Employment, Student Support and Wellbeing, and international advice all in one central zone. In summer 2016 Student Central will be extended into Squires Building and the current Library ground floor area will be opened up to create more flexible spaces for social and learning use. Summer 2017 will herald the most visible change with the installation of a striking new façade wrapping around the Library towards Newcastle Civic Centre to create a new gateway to Northumbria University from the Haymarket. All of this space will be designed with full involvement of our students to ensure that we create outstanding learning, teaching and social spaces that will meet their current and future needs.


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FEATURE

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Computing and Information Sciences The world of technology moves at pace, and students need facilities that are ahead of the game. That’s why we’re creating a state-of-the-art new building equipped with the very best industry-standard computing and information technologies. With a contemporary glass façade inspired by the father of the computer, Charles Babbage, the new building will be low carbon and sustainable, featuring intelligent lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling. Construction is already underway and we expect this building to be open for teaching early in the 2017/18 academic year.

Timeline By end of 2016 • Construction underway for new Computing and Information Sciences building. • Start work on Student Central by expanding University Library into Squires Building. • Agree designs for new extension to rear of Sutherland Building to create a School of Architecture. • Develop designs for new Lipman Building, with further details on this project to be confirmed following this. Artists’ impression of the new Computing and Information Sciences building

By end of 2017 • Student Central developed around University Library.

Lipman Building State-of-the-art STEM facilities Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facilities at Northumbria are undergoing a stunning transformation this summer thanks to a £6.7m investment. Construction work is currently underway in Ellison Building at City Campus on refurbished laboratories and facilities which will introduce new cutting edge technology to the University and also support the launch of new degree programmes, such as Automotive Engineering, Civil Engineering and Physics. The significant investment will also enhance research and teaching for the University’s current 3,500+ STEM students and strengthen links with industry. New technology will include a bespoke engine test cell facility, wind tunnel, scaled tutorial mock-ups of working automotive systems, 50-tonne test frame and actuator, scanning electron microscope and improved 3D printing facilities. The current phase of construction is due for completion in September 2016.

• New Computing and Information Sciences building complete and ready to be used for teaching.

Currently home to many of our Humanities and Social Sciences courses, Lipman is one of Northumbria’s oldest buildings. We’re intending to create new world-class learning, teaching and research spaces for our Arts, Design and Social Sciences students. Right now, we’re talking with students and staff about what might be included in this new space and we’ll share plans on what this might look like later this year.

• Construction begins on new extension to Sutherland Building to create School of Architecture.

Pandon Building

• Work to commence on the proposed refurbishment of Lipman Building.

Our professional support staff are currently based in numerous buildings across the City Campus, which can make it more difficult to work in collaboration. The creation of a new building for Computing and Information Sciences frees up Pandon Building, which benefits from large floor plates that can accommodate open plan working. After refurbishment, Pandon will create a dedicated base for all of our professional support staff that will provide a flexible, modern approach to working with improved collaboration between services.

• All professional support services moved into Pandon Building.

By end of 2018 • New School of Architecture and Built Environment complete and ready to be used for teaching.


NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

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HEALTH

Northumbria leads the way in training nurses Northumbria University has joined forces with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to develop an innovative new way of training nurses.

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s a result of the recruitment challenges facing the whole of the NHS, Northumbria Healthcare has invested £1million in a bespoke Adult Nursing Studies course for staff who already have substantial healthcare and academic experience. Believed to be the first partnership of its kind in the country, the Trust and University are working together to deliver the new work-based course that will train 20 members of Trust staff to become nurses in just 18 months. Successful completion of the course will lead to an honours degree in nursing, as well as guaranteed employment at Northumbria Healthcare. The bespoke course – which meets the requirements of the professional regulatory body the Nursing and Midwifery Council – combines classroom-based teaching, simulated clinical skills and hands-on practical experience in Northumberland and North Tyneside hospitals and the community. Debbie Reape, Interim Executive Director of Nursing at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like every NHS organisation in the country, we continue to face real recruitment pressures and must continually look at innovative ways to secure our future nursing workforce. We have an unparalleled track record

of devising our own tailor-made solutions which fit our needs and bring benefits for our patients, and this is an excellent example of coming up with ideas which truly work for us. “We have vast experience of working in partnership with other organisations and we’re delighted to be running this unique programme with Northumbria University and leading the way nationally on an innovative new way of nurse training. By working in partnership with Northumbria University to train our own nurses we will not only be growing our own workforce and creating opportunities for our own staff, we will be able to have nurses who share our values and put patients at the heart of everything they do.” Professor Pam Dawson, Associate Dean for Strategic Workforce Planning and Development in Northumbria’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare on this innovative new programme. This is a new way of educating and training future nurses using a workplace-based coaching model to support their teaching and learning, keeping quality of patient care at the forefront. “The Trust is a front-runner in looking at new ways of working to develop the workforce they need for the future and this innovative

The first cohort of nurses from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to study on the University’s new course

programme has been designed to fully meet its needs. It will enable motivated people with healthcare experience already working within the sector to step up and become fully qualified nurses and we hope that this will be the first of many such arrangements with other trusts across the country.” Northumbria’s nursing courses are among the most highly rated in the country, ranked 15th in the

UK according to the The Guardian University League Table 2017 and applicants were put through a rigorous application and assessment process before being shortlisted for the programme. This included assessments by both the Trust and the University, and a full-day workshop where they dealt with the different scenarios that they may experience. The opportunity proved so popular with the Trust’s existing employees

that it received almost six times the number of applications than there were places and a second cohort will begin the course later this year. Scan code to watch video

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JENNI AND OGECHI’S STORIES

J (L-R) Ogechi Okore and Jenni Thompson

enni Thompson and Ogechi Okore are two members of the first cohort of students on the course. They spoke to Northumbria University News about the opportunity they have been given. Jenni, who previously worked as a nursing assistant in Hexham General Hospital’s maternity unit, explained why she decided to apply. “I was working in pharmaceuticals before having my children and wanted to work part-time so changed career,” she said. “I trained

as a breastfeeding volunteer after having my first child and then became a breastfeeding support worker in Northumberland. This grew my interest in healthcare and I planned to do a nursing degree in around five years, but this opportunity came up and it was too good to miss. I love it so far. It’s so interesting and the teaching team have been fantastic. I couldn’t ask for better support.” Mum-of-three, Ogechi, added: “I’ve always had an interest in caring for people and have been supporting patients as a nursing assistant at

North Tyneside General Hospital until this opportunity came up. “The course has been so interesting. I already have experience of a lot of the practical elements but didn’t know the theory behind it, so doing the research and reading the journals has been so empowering. “When it finishes I’d particularly like to specialise in alcohol nursing, given the amount of NHS spending in this area, and help people to get the right information they need to make a real difference in their lives.”


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HEALTH

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The herbs that can boost your mood and memory New research from Northumbria University has revealed that peppermint, chamomile, rosemary and lavender have an impact on mood and memory, with significant benefits displayed for older people.

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esearchers from the University’s Department of Psychology have undertaken a number of studies into the effects of herbs and substances on mood and memory. Previously, they have found that sage, ginseng, lemon balm and gingko biloba can all have positive effects on improving mental performance, and their latest research has found that drinking peppermint tea improves alertness, while chamomile tea has a calming effect. They have also found that smelling the aromas of rosemary and lavender impacted on memory in people over 65, with the scent of rosemary enhancing their memory, while lavender impaired it. Dr Mark Moss, Head of the Department of Psychology, said: “Peppermint has a reputation for being psychologically or mentally alerting. It picks you up and makes you feel a little bit brighter, so we endeavoured to test this out by giving people peppermint tea, or chamomile tea, which is a more calming drink, and then put them through some computerised tests. We found that those people who had drunk the peppermint tea had better long-term memory. They were able to remember more words and pictures that they had seen. In contrast, the people who had the chamomile were slower in responding to tasks. “Rosemary, meanwhile, has a reputation about being associated with memory. Even Shakespeare

Chamomile tea

said ‘rosemary is for remembrance,’ and it’s also associated with being invigorating. We have found that people are more alert after being in a room that has rosemary aroma in it. We tested prospective memory – our ability to remember to do something – on people over 65 years of age, to see if we could improve their ability and we found that rosemary could do that. This is potentially very important because prospective memory, for example, enables you to remember to take your medication at certain times of the day. “It is interesting to see the contrasting effects that different herbs can have on both mood and memory, and our research suggests that that they could have beneficial effects, particularly in older age groups. If you were otherwise healthy then this research suggests that there is an opportunity to have an improved memory.” The findings were presented at the annual British Psychological Society Conference and received widespread media coverage. They are further evidence supporting Northumbria’s top 20 ranking for its research in psychology in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which measures the quality of research undertaken at UK universities.

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Montmorency cherry juice

Health research with a real impact With over five million people in England suffering from high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke or dementia, researchers from Northumbria University have been looking at how natural products might be used to treat the illness.

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n recent years the University has undertaken a number of studies into the health benefits of tart Montmorency cherry concentrate. Northumbria researchers have found that drinking the concentrate improves the quality and quantity of sleep. It also significantly reduces the symptoms associated with gout and enhances the recovery of muscle function after intense exercise, probably due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. They have now found that the juice can also reduce high blood pressure at a level comparable to that normally achieved by medication. As part of the study, half the participants were given 60ml of a Montmorency cherry concentrate and the other half received the same amount of a commercially available fruit-flavoured cordial. Blood pressure, blood samples and other cardiovascular screening tests were taken before and after the drinks were consumed. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg. All participants in the study had readings of at least 130/90 mmHg,

meaning they were at higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular related problems. The researchers found that those who were given the cherry concentrate saw a 7% reduction in blood pressure when compared to those drinking a fruit-flavoured cordial. This reduction is comparable to the level achieved by antihypertensive medication. Past studies have shown that a reduction of between 5-6% over a sustained period is associated with a 38% reduced risk of stroke and 23% reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Lead author and lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Karen Keane, explained: “The majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes. Raised blood pressure is the leading cause of deaths from cardiovascular disease, yet relatively small reductions in blood pressure can have a large impact on mortality rates.

“The magnitude of the blood pressure lowering effects we observed was comparable to those achieved by a single anti-hypertensive drug and highlights the potential importance that Montmorency cherries could have in the effective management of high blood pressure.” The study, published in the worldleading American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is yet another example of Northumbria University’s impressive track record of conducting groundbreaking multi-disciplinary research projects. The University is committed to undertaking research has impact, which contributed to Northumbria achieving the biggest increase in research power of any university in the UK, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Scan code to watch video

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

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NORTHUMBRIA NEWS

Banking on benefits from new partnership Northumbria has signed a new partnership with Santander Universities that will bring a significant number of benefits to students including scholarships, internships and work placements.

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he three-year partnership with Santander Universities has led to a branch of the bank opening within the Students’ Union. This will make it easier for students and staff to access banking services, and Santander will fund a package of annual scholarships, worth at least £40,000 per year, to help to support students’ international mobility and entrepreneurship activities. Santander Universities is also funding three £5,000 international scholarships for postgraduate Northumbria students to encourage them to travel overseas, with a particular focus on travel to Latin America, as well as 15 scholarships of £1,000 to enable students or staff to travel to any of the 20 countries where Santander has a higher education partner. Entrepreneurial activities are being supported with a three-day business start-up weekend, enabling up to 60 students to develop their enterprise skills and improve their employability and Santander will also support the Students’ Union with its fundraising activities, for example, providing opportunities to match-fund donations made to charitable causes such as RAG Week.

Northumbria’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, said: “This agreement cements our ambition to collaborate with leading organisations to benefit Northumbria’s academic community of students and staff. It will enable the University to provide further support and opportunities for research activities, an area where we are gaining significant strength and international recognition. This agreement will add significantly to the range of our students’ educational experiences and employability prospects. I am confident that this partnership will continue to develop and have a positive impact on our students and staff for many years to come.” Robin Foale, Managing Director of Santander Universities, said: “At Santander we want to support students and academics with the funding we provide, building long-standing relationships between Northumbria and more than 1,200 universities in our network. Our branch on campus will be the perfect point of contact for anyone who wants to find out more about what Santander has to offer to the community, whether it is to apply for a scholarship or internship or to open a bank account or apply for a mortgage.”

Adam Crawley, President of Northumbria Students’ Union, added: “Santander has an excellent reputation for providing banking services to students and in particular supporting international students to open bank accounts efficiently when they arrive on campus. Having a branch of Santander based in the Students’ Union will make this essential part of student life so much easier and provide a great shop window for students to find out about the Santander scholarships and internships that they can apply for. The Students’ Union is excited by the University’s partnership with Santander and look forward to working with them to promote the opportunities they will bring.” A division of the Santander organisation aimed at supporting the communities in which it operates, since 1996 Santander Universities has donated over €1 billion, to universities in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and the UK through scholarships, research grants and mobility awards designed to enable internationalisation and innovation.

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Northumbria University SU Santander branch manager, Tom Stead (right) with Northumbria’s Marketing Director, Adam Dunlop, who was the first person to open an account at the new branch

The Brain Zone exhibition at the Life Science Centre

Academics help to uncover the secrets of the brain If you’ve ever wondered exactly what is going on inside your head, a new exhibition at the Life Science Centre, co-produced by leading Northumbria University academics, will help you to answer that question.

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sychology academics have contributed to The Brain Zone exhibition, which tells the story of the brain and how it works, revealing some of its secrets and exploring the techniques scientists use to study it. Using hands-on exhibits and activities to engage visitors, the exhibition explores everything from how messages are relayed in the brain to the role of emotions. One of the highlights is the opportunity to view a real human brain from Dr Gunther von Hagens’ Institute of Plastination in Germany. Northumbria University has worked in partnership with the International Centre for Life for a number of years to draw the public into the world of science and encourage them to think about science in new ways. Both institutions work together on research projects and exhibitions, with students benefitting from placements and access to Life’s facilities. Through the University’s partnership with the Centre, Psychology academics were members of the specialist group which advised Life on the scientific content of the £1 million exhibition, and students were able to participate in developing the content. Professor Greta Defeyter, from the Department of Psychology at Northumbria, said: “The exhibition has been designed to get science out into the real world, but also allowing the real world to come into academia.

It shows the public how the brain functions, develops and encompasses the senses, with lots of experiments for people to participate in.” PhD Psychology student, Louise Harvey Golding, added: “From my perspective, the partnership with the Centre for Life has enabled me to gain skills in research that are really essential to my PhD role, which I can take forward to help my career in the future.” The exhibition was funded by the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest biomedical research charities in the world. The Trust is one of the UK’s leading funders of public engagement with science activities and aims to improve health by supporting science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement. As well as this public exhibition, Northumbria is also playing a major role in encouraging young people to consider careers in science. It is currently leading the £1.2 million Think Physics project which aims to inspire young people – particularly girls and those from underrepresented groups – into studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicines subjects. Scan code to watch video

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NORTHUMBRIA NEWS

Law blog goes global

Your lifelong link to Northumbria University

A student-led law blog has been shortlisted for an influential teaching award, after attracting readers from over 45 countries around the world.

(L-R) Victoria Gleason and Elaine Campbell

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laine Campbell and Victoria Gleason, academics and supervisors in Northumbria Law School’s multi-award winning Student Law Office, designed and created the We Take Care Of Business blog, which provides a valuable insight into clinical legal education. Based around company, commercial and intellectual property law, the blog provides Northumbria students with a fantastic opportunity to impress future employees through their posts about their legal interests and learning experiences. It has proven hugely popular among both law students, who benefit from the practical hints and tips it publishes, and with business students. As a result, it was shortlisted for the 2016 Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize. Elaine said: “The blog was set up within the Student Law Office to provide students with a platform to write about whatever law-related topic they chose. Northumbria Law School has one of the longest running business law clinics in the UK and the blog is a unique opportunity for our students to develop commercial awareness and digital skills, as well as provide information to businesses.”

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Law graduate James Warnock said: “Contributing to the blog proved invaluable in terms of boosting my employability. In interviews, I was able to demonstrate my business development skills by speaking about the client publicity that I had written. My blog posts showed firms that I was able to nurture client relationships, whilst providing added value and marketing services in an effective and client-focused manner.” The Student Law Office has managed more than 3,000 enquiries, represented more than 1,000 clients and secured over £1 million on their behalf since 2008. In 2014, the University was presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the outstanding community work of the Student Law Office.

To visit the blog and discover more scan the code

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Contributing to the blog proved invaluable in terms of boosting my employability. In interviews, I was able to demonstrate my business development skills by speaking about the client publicity that I had written.

Northumbria University Alumni Association has over

186,000 alumni across the world

located in

167

countries

Don’t want this to end? Northumbria Alumni Association provides a lifelong link to your University and the friends that you have made during your studies. As a graduating student, you are a member of our Alumni Association Membership is free and gives you access to a range of benefits and services, including: • 20% discount on postgraduate study; • Ongoing access to the University’s Careers and Employment Service; • Discounted membership of the University Library and Sports Centres; • Free subscription to the Alumni and Friends’ e-newsletters; • Lifetime membership of the Students’ Union; • Invitations to social and professional networking events; • Opportunities to support the University through volunteer schemes such as the Alumni Ambassador Programme.

More information available at northumbria.ac.uk/alumni facebook.com/NorthumbriaUniAlumni

uk.linkedin.com/in/northumbriaalumni

instagram.com/northumbriaalumni

@NorthumbriaAlum

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

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GLOBAL

At Northumbria University, our pioneering academics strive to make a real difference on a global scale. Their world-class research and the highest-quality academic work is responsive to the societal needs and demands of the world. Northumbria University News takes a look at some of the international issues that our staff and students have been actively engaging with this year.

Northumbria is changing the world BREXIT: an academic view Speaking before the EU referendum vote, Professor Ignazio Cabras, Faculty Director for Research Ethics at Newcastle Business School, gave his views to The Journal on what a ‘Brexit’ might mean for the UK.

leaving the EU will inevitably create some resentment among member states toward the UK, and this will inevitably affect renegotiation.

Professor Ignazio Cabras

Q: Can businesses take practical steps to prepare for a possible exit? Are there things they could be doing now? A: There is basically nothing that businesses can do now in order to prepare themselves in view of the referendum results. However, I do not believe that productive processes will be affected even in the case of Brexit, at least in the short term, as firms will still need to meet a number of standards in order to place their products in the EU market. Something that businesses will need to consider, however, are the effects on the availability of workforce from the EU.

Q: What are the most likely immediate economic impacts of the UK leaving the EU? A: The most immediate economic impact will definitely be associated with the situation of uncertainty that a Brexit will create in the markets. International investors will need significant time to understand their options with the UK, and in the meantime many will prefer to invest their capital and effort somewhere else. As a result, there will be a period of re-adjustment which will affect large companies as well as small ones, with effects on many segments of the population.

Q: Is it likely that stock markets have already ‘priced-in’ a possible exit? Or are we likely to see wild fluctuations in the UK markets if there is an exit? A: I think stock markets will react quite quickly to any result the referendum will produce, but it is too early for making plans and pricing/costing on a possible exit. This is a unique situation for which no evidence can be used to make reliable analysis. However, an exit will again determine uncertainty, and since financial markets hate uncertainty huge fluctuations for the UK economy are highly predictable.

Q: Will these impacts happen quickly, or will it be several years before we see any real change as the full withdrawal will be a lengthy process?

‘‘ The EU is our biggest market, and leaving the EU will bring several issues for international companies which have their main offices in the UK, not to mention their main factories and production processes

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A: It is difficult to predict, but I do not believe this will be an easy and quick process. After the Brexit, the Government will have two years to renegotiate our relationship with the EU. The vast majority of British laws and systems are compliant with EU standards due to our membership, but any small change proposed and discussed in a hypothetical new agreement will need to be approved and ratified by the other 28 members. This is the real challenge, and two years may be enough to achieve ‘satisfactory’ deals, but not the best ones. In addition,

Q: Can the UK survive in isolation from an economic point of view? What are the likely Pros and what are the Cons here? A: In such a globalised and interconnected world, economic isolation is hard to hypothesise. However, being part of the EU gives us access to a large free-trade market which actually accounts for about

half of the total UK trade balance. The EU is our biggest market, and leaving the EU will bring several issues for international companies which have their main offices in the UK, not to mention their main factories and production processes. What if the EU imposes tariffs on imports from the UK? Companies will find this inconvenient and may have to relocate somewhere else, with significant consequences in terms of business and employment. Q: Are there any parallels between the UK and, say, Norway and other non-EU European countries? Is the UK a special case? A: I don’t believe we can compare this situation with anything we have seen before, and the comparisons made with Norway, Switzerland and other countries are simply odd. This is because many of the countries which operate in the European markets have to accept several conditions without having the opportunity to intervene in the formulation of policies and strategies. The cost of benefiting from the EU without being part of it seems higher than staying in it, for example Norway. It pays higher fees per-head compared to the British average, with just a fraction of our population. Q: Could the UK’s exit threaten the whole EU – particularly if the UK thrives outside the EU? A: I fear so, as it may set a precedent to which other member states may look with interest. It will also provide a fertile terrain to strengthening many populist parties, particularly in the smallest countries.

Following the publication of this article in The Journal, Britain voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016.


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Northumbria academics on the Iraq Inquiry Leading academics from across the UK travelled to Northumbria University to discuss the legal and political consequences of military action in Iraq between 2003 and 2011.

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(L-R) Professor Yu Xiong and Professor Kevin Kerrigan, (Newcastle Business School), SuNan Jiang (Minister Counsellor for Science & Technology at the Chinese Embassy), Professor Andrew Wathey CBE (Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University) and Nick Forbes, (Leader of Newcastle City Council)

Northumbria’s Far East connection High ranking officials from organisations including the Chinese Embassy, UK government, and the China Britain Business Council gathered at a special event organised by Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School earlier this year to discuss trade opportunities.

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he North East China Business Forum offered help and expert advice for regional businesses looking to enter new markets in China. The event was held at Newcastle Civic Centre and attracted a large and diverse audience. Event organiser Professor Yu Xiong, Chair of Technology and Operations Management at Newcastle Business School, has played a leading role in advising the government on UK-Chinese relationships. Earlier this year, he was invited to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on his recent state visit to the UK.

Professor Xiong said: “Events like this can progress innovation-sharing partnerships. They can also show businesses in the region how they can collaborate with Northumbria on commercial opportunities in China. The same also goes for our entrepreneurial-minded students and graduate start-ups looking to open trade links in China.” Newcastle Business School has worked extensively with China for a number of years. Each year, around 700 students come from China to study law and business-related courses and around 800 are currently studying Northumbria courses with partner institutions in Hong Kong.

t is now more than a decade since the controversial deployment of British troops in Iraq in March 2003, with this military action raising a range of significant political concerns at domestic and international levels at the time. Experts across a range of areas including human rights, international law, constitutional law, legal theory and history spoke at the Iraq: Legal-Political Legacies conference which was hosted shortly before the publication of the Chilcot Report; a British public inquiry into the nation’s role in the Iraq War and chaired by Sir John Chilcot. Rebecca Moosavian, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria Law School coorganised the event with fellow Northumbria Law Lecturers Dr Conall Mallory and Dr David McGrogan. Ms Moosavian, who is researching the dynamics of power and knowledge during the Iraq War, presented her findings at the conference. She said high-impact research around this subject could not be timelier.

Professor Xiong added: “We hope to use these events to progress innovation-sharing partnerships and to show businesses in the region how to explore opportunities in China. Professor Xiong’s contribution to China UK Innovation collaboration made him a 2012 London Olympic Torch Bearer.

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“The timing is critical for research of this sort, with the Chilcot Report due out,” she commented. “It reflects expertise from across the University to look at the legacy of Iraq, which raises a range of significant political concerns, from prime ministerial power to international law and human rights.” Dr Mallory added: “This line of research further establishes the University as a powerhouse in particular areas, bringing in academics from law, politics, geography, history and art. It shows that the University is not just evolving in one area but across a series of different areas.” Running to two million words, Sir John Chilcot’s review into the Iraq War was completed in April 2016 and will be released this summer after a team of officials have carried out national security checking. The main focus of the Iraq Inquiry is on the events leading up to the 2003 invasion, including the legality of military action, the intelligence and whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair gave an early undertaking to then US president, George W Bush to support the invasion. Scan code to watch video

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Why don’t we wipe mosquitoes off the face of the earth? Earlier this year, Mike Jeffries, Teaching Fellow in Ecology at Northumbria University, made international headlines after writing about mosquitoes for news outlet The Conversation following the emergence of the Zika Virus. Mike’s article, previewed below, was republished by The Washington Post, El Pais – South America’s biggest news publication – and many other news outlets, helping position Northumbria as a leading commentator on global issues.

A Understanding the burden of Global Disease

blood-sucking, diseasespreading, whining creature is always going to be a hard sell, even to nature lovers. And the dreaded mosquito is now the prime suspect behind the sudden arrival and explosive spread of Zika virus in Central and South America. Zika is transmitted by a mosquito vector Aedes aegypti, a pan-global tropical species already well known for spreading diseases such as yellow and dengue fever. Mosquitoes are credited with

whining, their larvae infesting miasmas and dismal swamps. And under the right conditions they are mobile and expansionist pioneers, perfectly at home in the disrupted habitats we create. Which begs the question: what good do they do – and if we could wipe them from the face of the Earth should we? causing more misery and loss to humanity than any other organism (with the obvious exception of ourselves). Mosquitoes are unlovely creatures, all twitchy legged and

To read Mike’s full article scan the code

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Burden of Disease Study is the largest and most comprehensive international research study which aims to benchmark emerging health issues worldwide.

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ore than 1,600 researchers from 120 countries are collaborating on the study, analysing data to compare changes in health over time, across countries, age groups and genders. The study builds a complex picture of what conditions are most likely to lead to disability or death in different regions and groups. It looks at human disease incidence, prevalence, mortality and risk factors, as well as years of life lost due to premature mortality and time lived in states of less than full health. It is the main source of health information for governments of 188 countries, providing them with detailed data on the conditions they can expect to see in their populations. This allows them to plan initiatives for health improvements and drive funding for research and health programmes to the right areas. Dr Ivy Shiue, a senior research associate in Northumbria University’s Department of Public Health and Wellbeing, is one of the researchers contributing to the study. To date, her research has helped to reveal that while more cases of cancer are emerging, the death rates are declining; that

while life expectancy across the world is growing, these extra years are not spent in good health; and that air pollution accounts for approximately one third of strokes recorded across the world. Speaking about her involvement in the study, Dr Shiue said: “My studies have focused on investigating human disease incidence, prevalence, mortality and risk factors, and I also have an interest in environmental health at an individual level. My expertise falls into the area of disease surveillance research, and when the Global Burden of Disease team put out a worldwide call for experts in this area, I joined the study and contribute on human disease monitoring and prevention at the global level. “Many of our findings are published in The Lancet, which is one of the oldest and best known general medical journals in the world. These have very high impact factors for the University and my involvement in these papers with worldwide citations can help increase the quality of research outputs. In addition, these international and global collaborations help to spread the name and reputation of the University.”

Top 20 in the UK for global disaster and development research

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ollowing the Research Excellence Framework 2014 – the national exercise to assess the research quality of all UK universities – judges singled out work by the Disaster and Development Network (DDN) at Northumbria. The study was judged by the UK Collaborative on Development Science, a group of 14 UK Government departments and research funders. Northumbria’s Disaster and Development Network’s key research influenced the disaster strategies of local governments in Southern Africa and South Asia, giving community groups a central role in risk

identification and management. Since its foundation at Northumbria in 2004, the DDN has been researching and facilitating the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies to improve community resilience in some of the world’s poorest communities. Researchers from the University have worked with communities in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan and Zimbabwe to gauge ideas and perspectives on the risks they face. The DDN at Northumbria was the first, and for a long time the only, UK university research group to be an official partner in the United Nations process to decide a global agreement on disaster

risk reduction. Northumbria’s contribution to this field is supported through its global MSc and doctoral alumni and annual Dealing with Disasters conference. The University runs Disaster Management and Sustainable Development courses as part of its Geography department, which recently achieved 91% ‘Overall Satisfaction’ in the National Student Survey 2015 – highlighting Northumbria’s focus on ensuring its students learn from the best in their fields.

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Northumbria Sport makes a global impact

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in brief Northumbria students join debate at United Nations A group of Northumbria students have contributed to the United Nations’ plans to prevent future global disasters by attending an international conference in Geneva. The four MSc and two PhD students, all from the University’s Geography department, were part of a delegation invited to Switzerland as part of Northumbria’s Organising Partner role for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). It was the first time a student-led delegation had attended. The event saw more than 900 delegates come together from the world’s leading public, private and academic organisations working on Disaster Risk Reduction and marked the launch of the UNISDR Science and Technology Partnership and the Science and Technology Road Map to 2030.

Multicultural Britain under threat?

Going for gold in Rio

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wo of Northumbria University’s recordbreaking swim team will go for gold in Brazil this summer after claiming their places at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. Students Harriet Lee and Taka Suzuki – based at Sport Central – made their respective squads earlier this year. The pair will fly out to South America next month seeking to better their bronze medal hauls at London 2012. Lee has Beckwith-

Wiedemann syndrome – meaning the left side of her body is shorter than her right. The Northumbria student first represented Great Britain in 2010 at the World Championships in the Netherlands where she won silver in the women’s 4x100 individual medley 34-point relay and gold in the 100m Breaststroke SB9 – a swimming classification for disabled swimmers. She was named in the Great Britain team after winning a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the

2016 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming European Championships. The 25-year-old claimed bronze in the same class at London 2012 and will be hoping to go one better in Rio. Suzuki is set to be one of the stars of Rio 2016 and is part of Team Speedo – a group of more than 200 of the world’s very best able bodied and disability swimmers. Paralympic swimming takes place at Rio’s Olympic Aquatics Stadium from September 7-18.

Volleyball wins European vote

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orthumbria University will fly the flag for student sport in Croatia this summer following another hugely successful domestic season. Both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams are representing British Universities at the European Universities Games. Bringing together the very best in student athletes from across the continent, Northumbria’s head coach, David Goodchild, said: “It will present our players with a very different challenge. Both the men and the women have been challenging for honours in this country for a number of seasons now and they need a new focus.

We are very proud to be able to represent Northumbria University on the international stage and show the world how far our volleyball programme has come.” The Games will be held in two Croatian cities - the capital Zagreb and the coastal city of Rijeka – and will promote the event slogan, Heart Believes-Mind Achieves. The European Universities Games will feature competitions for men and women in 21 sports, with table tennis and swimming featuring competitions for students with disabilities. Northumbria’s volleyball teams will be in action in July in Zagreb.

The impact of immigration legislation on the UK’s ‘everyday borders’ was among the topics discussed at a special panel and film screening at Northumbria University recently. The panel, featuring Northumbria’s Dr Kathryn Cassidy, Don Flynn, Director of Migrants Rights Network, and Clare Hurst, a senior solicitor at Newcastle Law Centre, was chaired by Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah, who also introduced the documentary film, which preceded the debate. Directed by Orson Nava, Everyday Borders explores whether the peaceful coexistence of multi-cultural Britain is under threat as more members of the public are being asked to perform what amounts to the role of UK border guards.

Students and staff impress in the Ukraine Northumbria staff and students recently attended a national event in Kiev to mark the culmination of the three-year IMPRESS project. Led by Northumbria’s Professor Rebecca Strachan, Associate Dean (Business and Engagement) in Engineering and Environment, the IMPRESS project was designed to modernise student services across the Ukraine. Funded by EU Tempus, the project drew on Northumbria’s expertise in providing an outstanding student experience and focused on four main areas: student recruitment, student placement, development of soft skills and student-led initiatives.

Science and innovation workshop in Brazil A Geography academic will help lead a workshop in Brazil after being awarded a share of a prestigious £375m fund. Dr Bronwen Whitney, from Northumbria’s Department of Geography, and Professor Carlos Saito, University of Brasilia, have been awarded a Newton Researcher Links Workshop Grant to host the workshop in July 2016. The workshop will bring together UK and Brazil-based researchers to form new international partnerships and increase capacity for science and innovation in these partner countries.

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The Big Interview: Professor Jon Reast

With a vision to be known as a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence, Northumbria University is working to transform its global reach. Although Northumbria already recruits students from more than 130 countries, it does not rest on its laurels. A new international strategy will lead to the University developing more global partnerships, recruiting students from more countries and developing new courses specifically designed for an international market. Professor Jon Reast, the University’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for international activity, worked in marketing for multi-national companies before moving into academia. Northumbria University News met with him to find out more about what it means to be a global university… Q: You have worked in both global industry and academia before joining Northumbria back in October. What have you found to be the most interesting things about the University? A: I think that Northumbria is on a ground-breaking path. We are very much one of, if not the leading post-92 universities, which means we’ve got no one to follow and we’re developing our own strategy for this new kind of excellent university. This is an exciting journey to be involved with. It’s really refreshing to find a university that’s openminded, innovative, entrepreneurial and willing to look at doing things differently, or feeling that it doesn’t need to be following the path of others. I’ve also found that there are absolutely excellent people here, in the faculties, the directorates, at the centre, academic and professional support colleagues alike. I’ve worked in a number of different universities in the UK and I’ve been incredibly impressed with the commitment of people here, with their positive approach, and the amount they’re willing to put in to see the success of Northumbria. Q: What exactly is a global university? A: For me, a global university is one that has global reach and presence, but one that also thinks globally in terms of providing an international experience for its students on campus. That experience might be the nature of the teaching, learning and research material that they come into contact with, or it might be the fact that they have access to a network of partnerships so they can go and study abroad or go on an exchange visit. Of course, global reach and presence also mean having excellent research links which support the development of strong research. This in turn leads to cooperation on research papers and funding applications.

papers and grant applications, as well as afford the potential for staff and student mobility.

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Professor Jon Reast, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International)

Q: Why is it important for Northumbria to be a global university? A: It’s important to understand that strong universities do tend to have a well-developed international presence, particularly in terms of their research links and student mobility. For Northumbria, being a global university is important in terms of reputation and standing internationally, and of course, is important for revenue generation. We also know that developing our position globally will bring many positives and also strengthen our position in our own domestic market. Being a strong global university means successfully recruiting international students to our campuses here in Newcastle and London. We have in recent years been very successful in recruiting large numbers of final

For me, a global university is one that has global reach and presence, but one that also thinks globally and provides a global experience for its students on campus, and for its staff to network across.

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year international students, but as part of the new international strategy, we are, in addition, looking to encourage an increased number of students to come into the first year of our degree programmes. A further aspect of being a strong global university is ensuring that your programmes reflect the needs of that global market. The new international strategy puts a renewed focus on making sure that we are indeed market-led, and resist the temptation to merely sell UK centric programmes to overseas markets.

Q: Northumbria has a number of international partnerships with leading universities. What benefits do they bring? A: People very often say that you’re judged by the company you keep and you can position yourself by working alongside others. To a certain extent, by working with high-quality partners, we will be seen as equals. Working with some exceptional universities starts to present us in a certain way internationally. In a very practical way, these partnerships also give us the opportunity to collaborate on research

Q: Are there any universities with global impact that we aspire to be like? A: I don’t think there are particular universities that we’re trying to mimic. In terms of student recruitment, some have laid out their stall to focus on a particular market and some have very high proportions of international students and we don’t see ourselves in that realm. We want to have a really positive mix of international, European and UK students, so that it gives our students a really good experience wherever they come from in the world. Some universities have thousands and thousands of students from China, which I believe is not ethical in terms of selling a UK educational experience. On the research side, we position ourselves as being a new kind of excellent university, and we don’t want to be copying the Russell Group universities. We see ourselves as being different – we’re very much trying to plough our own furrow and develop our own position. Much of our research, although world-leading, tends to be highly relevant and applied. Q: How do factors such as our REF success, winning UK Business School of the Year, securing AACSB accreditation and league table improvements impact on our reputation? A: The Research Excellence Framework is not conducted everywhere around the world so it sometimes needs explanation, but the fact that we’re now in the top 50 in the UK for research power definitely does make a difference in terms of the partnerships that we can form. Our performance in things like AACSB or ‘Business School of the Year’ enables us to enter certain ‘membership clubs’ of universities where quality is a key requirement. So, for example, as a result of these successes, the Faculty of Business and Law has been very


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successful in terms of working to develop partnerships with some top North American institutions, such as the University of Alberta in Canada and Northeastern University in Boston, USA, both very well ranked globally. Q: What are our global aspirations and which countries are we looking to expand into? A: We are well covered in China, South East Asia, India and Pakistan which have been long-term markets for us. To further develop our position, we have a strategy to increase activity in the Middle East, Africa, North and South America. North America is seen as a particular priority, this is not only because of the size of the market, but also our success with AACSB accreditation, which represents a really strong currency in that marketplace. North America is home to many of the top global universities, so if Northumbria want to be working with really strong international universities, and build a strong and credible global presence, then North America is an obvious location to have partnerships. Q: How will our global impact improve if we are able to extend our reach in these territories? A: It will strengthen our profile, research and joint working position with institutions in other markets in terms of international research publications and joint grant applications. And obviously, having students from other countries can only enhance the student experience because we’re not a monoculture. Another potential benefit is increasing the number of European and international staff that we employ. Many strong universities in the UK and around the world have a high proportion of international academic staff, and it’s not too surprising that these colleagues would publish and go for grants with other overseas based international colleagues. It would also add to the internationalisation experience of students if they saw more staff from different parts of the world. It goes back to the very nature of internationalisation – what you do on your home campus is of equal importance to what you do for your students overseas, in terms of quality and nature of delivery, richness of experience and outcomes.

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US Election Special Over the past few months, academics from Northumbria have been working with The Conversation to give their views on the US Election race. Northumbria University has one of the largest History teams in the UK dedicated to the study of the United States. Here are some of the key pieces of election analysis from the team and other colleagues...

Embracing the ‘silent majority’ – Donald Trump brings back the worst of 1960s America Violent outbursts and angry shouting matches at Trump campaign stops are just one sign of how sharply divided Americans are today. Dr Randall Stephens, Reader in History and American Studies, compares the modern violence to that of 1960s America.

Ted Cruz, not Donald Trump, is the scariest candidate standing With his outrageous statements and shock success in the polls, it’s no surprise that Donald Trump has dominated headlines throughout the US presidential race – overshadowing his rivals on both the Republican and Democratic sides. Dr Stephens explains why his rival Republican candidate Ted Cruz is just as dangerous.

How Donald Trump’s shock politics are stalling his ambitions in world golf

The Trump Organisation owns 18 golf courses in the US, Scotland, Ireland and Dubai. William Walton, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria Law School, looks at how Trump’s presidential ambition could affect the golfing world.

Why the US presidential primary system is no way to run a democracy

Dr Michael Patrick Cullinane, Reader in US History and Programme Director for History, argues that America’s way of choosing its president is marred by murky voting methods, a warped calendar, and too much hype.

Trump crushes Rubio, but fails to shut down the race Dr Cullinane also discusses Trump’s cemented status as Republican frontrunner – but argues he still hasn’t sealed the deal.

Sounds presidential: 2016’s candidates are struggling with campaign songs

The US has a long history of inventive political campaign soundtracks. Brian Ward, Professor of American Studies, looks at how this year’s main contenders have tried to align themselves with particular songs or artists that they believe will increase their appeal – and how they have fallen short of the mark.


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POSTGRADUATE

WANT IT. MASTER IT.

Postgraduate education will take you and your skills to the next level. Whether you want to get the professional and practical experience you need to progress in your career, the research skills you need to drive your discipline, or you simply want to build your confidence and pursue your passion, a Masters qualification will take you there. Northumbria’s postgraduate-taught courses are co-created with students and employers to give you all of the skills and attributes you need to succeed. Over the following pages, Northumbria University News explores how we are ‘masters’ of postgraduate study…

INVESTING IN KNOWLEDGE Research plays a vital role in the student experience and the wider life of a university.

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cross UK universities, research is currently assessed through a system known as the Research Excellence Framework. It’s the means by which higher education institutions are ranked in terms of ‘research power’, a key contributor to a university’s reputation, influencing the amount of state funding it receives. A good research ranking can be, in every sense, a big deal. In the last assessment, carried out in 2014, Northumbria University jumped 30 places up the research power rankings to 50th place, the largest rise in the sector. Such a giant leap wasn’t easy; it required £17 million of investment in order to bring in more research-active staff and development

of a strategy focused on growing high-quality research. Professor George Marston, Northumbria University’s ProVice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), explains why the institution worked so hard to power up its research. “There’s quite a lot more to a university than teaching undergraduates,” he says. “Of course that’s our main activity, but there is also the creation of knowledge and the dissemination of that knowledge.” The University has identified eight multidisciplinary research themes which will be the focus of its work (and on the receiving end of £2.5million of investment

per year) over the next few years. The aim is to attract top-level staff, students and funding, but that’s not all. “The breadth of the themes allows us to tackle challenges that are of societal importance,” says Professor Marston, explaining that research takes universities out of the academic bubble and places them in the wider world. “These activities have a huge impact on our economy, society, health and culture.” What does this mean for students? At undergraduate level, it will help them make the step up from school. “You’re operating at a higher level and it’s important you’re being taught by people who don’t just understand their subject, but are leading it,” says Professor Marston. “It’s not just

learning from a book, it’s a researchrich, more engaged method of learning.” Postgraduates can expect an even richer and more complex experience, says Professor Marston. “At postgraduate level there will be a significant research component; and of course this is vital in research degrees.” Contributing to research can be its own reward as well as leading to high-level qualifications and career opportunities, but there are short-term benefits as well in terms of enjoying your study time at university. “From the student perspective carrying out research as part of their programmes is really important,” says Professor Marston.

“More broadly though, they will get more of a buzz from having academics around who are really excited about the research that they’re doing in their subjects.” With benefits to the institution, its students and – hopefully – the wider world, it’s no surprise that universities such as Northumbria are putting their weight behind research activities. It’s an ongoing commitment, says Professor Marston. “We’re in the process of ensuring that research-rich learning is a core component of all the degree programmes we deliver.”

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NORTHUMBRIA REVEALS ITS MASTERS PLAN Want to master your future? When it comes to postgraduate study, the time is now.

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orthumbria University is thrilled to announce its brand new ViceChancellor’s Masters Scholarship Scheme. Northumbria is offering 100 scholarships worth £2,750* off selected full-time on campus postgraduate courses starting in September 2016. Students will also be eligible to apply for a government loan of up to £10,000 to support postgraduate study – meaning there has never been a better time to continue your education. Postgraduate education will take you and your skills to the next level. Whether you want to get the real world experience you need to progress in your career, the research skills to excel in your discipline, or simply want to build your confidence and pursue your passion, a Masters qualification will take you there. Northumbria’s Masters courses are co-created with students and employers to ensure you graduate with the skills and attributes needed to succeed. With 96% of Northumbria’s Masters students going on to work or further study within six months of graduation, you can look forward to a bright and exciting future.

rated top 50 in the UK for research power. The University showed that it had made a major step forward, reporting the largest rise in research rated as world-leading and internationally excellent by the REF. Northumbria nearly tripled its share of research rated in these categories, clearly demonstrating the worldclass academic staff it has working across its multidisciplinary research themes. Whether you want to make the next research breakthrough, further enhance your career prospects, or simply continue to study the subject you love, Northumbria offers a range of exciting postgraduate courses. MBA graduate Yvonne Gale was already a chartered accountant when she came to Northumbria to further her career through postgraduate study. She is now CEO of NEL Fund Managers Limited and a non-executive director of a

number of the boards of our funds and our investee businesses. She said: “I was drawn to the structured approach within the MBA. As a part-time student with a demanding career, I felt the structure was needed to ensure I succeeded. “The academic staff put significant effort into making the study material relevant to the students using practical examples. Years later, I’m still greeted with enthusiasm by staff who remember my studies. I loved the library too – the knowledge available was phenomenal.” MSc Multidisciplinary Innovation graduate Jonathan Otter, meanwhile, chose postgraduate study at Northumbria to help launch his career.

He said: “It fitted exactly what I was after and, after speaking to previous students and members of staff, I knew it would be the best opportunity to expand my industry learning. The academic staff are extremely approachable and helpful.” Jonathan added: “Postgraduate study was an incredibly worthwhile investment – 100%! I raised and sacrificed everything to come here and it has paid off tenfold. Being on a Masters of this calibre allows an interaction and volume of learning that is what you make of it. Get out of it what you put in – the rewards are epic.”

Northumbria’s Vice-Chancellor Scholarship Scheme has been created to help more students move to the next level. To apply visit: www. northumbria.ac.uk/vc-scholarships. The scheme closes on 1 August 2016.

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Northumbria’s Masters courses are taught by world-leading experts in their respective fields. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the national assessment of research quality, Northumbria was

*Originally published as sponsored content by The Independent.


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BUSINESS SCHOOL SHARES THE SECRETS OF ITS SUCCESS The thriving Newcastle Business School has entirely reinvented itself in the past eight years.

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hen Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School picked up the top business education prize at the Times Higher Education Awards last November, it was the culmination of an eight-year journey that saw the institution almost entirely reinvent itself. Small wonder that the award means a lot to Executive Dean, Professor Kevin Kerrigan, and the Business School as a whole. “This is the Oscar of the HE world,” says Kerrigan. “It’s a real boost to our profile and sends a strong message about the quality of the work we’re doing.” To get to the top of the pile the School focused on securing accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) and is now the only business school in Europe (and one of only 10 in the world outside the US) to be AACSBaccredited in both Business and Accounting. According to Professor Kerrigan the process fundamentally changed the School’s approach to business education. “For example, the AACSB requires high levels of doctoral qualifications within the academic staff,” he says. A training and recruitment drive saw the number of teaching staff holding doctoral qualifications leap from 20 to 70 per cent. “What that means is

that the staff are much more research active, internationally aware and capable of producing excellent work.” Successful accreditation also demands relevant, professional programmes that demonstrably produce employable graduates. At Newcastle Business School that includes an entrepreneurial business degree where students run their own limited companies; and offering a student business consultancy clinic, which sees students offer free advice to more than 50 local SMEs, charities and local authorities. These innovations led to both graduate prospects and average salaries increasing. They succeed by placing students in an authentic business environment, says Professor Kerrigan. “Students won’t be buried in a book for three or four years. They’ll be engaged with real-world learning, meeting and serving professional clients and building employability skills.” The results of the clinic are also clear in both student feedback and grades. “Many of our students love it,” says Professor Kerrigan. “Students taking part get an average mark of 72 per cent, which shows that if you challenge them to be professional, they really engage with the experience.” This close integration of theory and practice lies at the heart of the

Comedian Rory Bremner presenting the award to Professor Kevin Kerrigan (centre) and Atul Chauhan, Chancellor of Amity University

Newcastle Business School success story, says Professor Kerrigan. “Take those things in isolation and you have an incomplete picture; combine them, and you get a much more holistic experience and students who can really make a difference to the workplaces they enter,” he adds.

Next on the agenda? Further accreditation (the School’s MBA programme is eyeing the Association of MBAs), a greater postgrad provision and more international partnerships. “The challenge is to go further and to meet the needs and expectations of our students, academic colleagues and

partners,” Professor Kerrigan concludes. “What they can expect from us is continual innovation and creativity.”

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POSTGRADUATE

19

DESIGN FOR LIFE Mark Bailey, director of innovation design at Northumbria School of Design, on how the Masters course benefits from strong industry connections.

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orthumbria School of Design draws on a rich heritage. Alumni include Sir Jonathan Ive, the chief designer at Apple and Rob Law, the founder of Trunki. The School has formal links with global businesses including Unilever, Philips, Nike, Mulberry and Abercrombie & Fitch. Mark Bailey is Director of Innovation Design at Northumbria. He also leads the University’s partnership with Unilever and other companies. Bailey says: “One of our key strengths is our exceptionally strong connection with industry and our industrial partners. Our postgraduate programme in Multidisciplinary Innovation attracts graduates from many disciplines, not just art or design. We have engineering and marketing graduates, for example. “Our aim is not necessarily to turn engineers into designers, but to develop their creativity, which can be used to make positive changes in their profession. The course enables students, through creative, collaborative practice, to add value to other professions and have a real impact on society. The key elements of the Masters course is innovation across sectors.” Students are able to work in collaboration with local businesses, charities, SMEs and household names. At the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead, students work in studios, which Bailey says are “a professional working environment. It’s fast-paced, creative and relevant. The Masters course is about change: changing students to think creatively, changing organisations or products and ultimately, changing society.” The School of Design has led the Salon project, an initiative focused on reducing global waste in a world where the population is rising but resources are diminishing. Students have been redesigning consumer products, like the kettle and toaster, so they are repairable or have longevity. Bailey explains: “It’s an authentic learning experience, addressing real world problems. Although aspects of the course are theoretical, our connections with industry give students a strong sense of reality. Design-led approaches can solve problems. On this Masters programme, students develop a sense of maturity and self awareness. They know their strengths, how to negotiate and develop a sense of purpose.” Bailey sees his purpose as “launching graduates into the world where they can bring about positive change”. On graduation, students have excellent employment opportunities: some start their own businesses, others go into innovation-focused roles in industry and an increasing number go on to study PhDs. “If you want to make a difference in the world and learn how to do it in a safe environment, then this is the place to be,” maintains Bailey.

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THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

Hannah Marshall

MSc student Hannah Marshall maintains that Northumbria University is the ideal place for her personal development and love of football.

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annah Marshall is about to complete her postgraduate degree in International Sports Management at the Northumbria University. She was Northumbria’s Sports President from 2013-14. “I’m a northern girl and wanted to study in the north. I looked at several universities, but was incredibly impressed with what Northumbria offered; it’s ranked in the top 30 in the UK for this course. After completing my undergraduate degree in sports science here, I wasn’t completely sure what direction I wanted to pursue but one important consideration was that I could continue to play football. I play for Newcastle United women’s team. “One of the great things about this university is the opportunity for volunteering in the local community. I did some football coaching in my third year here and really enjoyed it and I’ve continued to coach now that I’m on the Masters course. I see it as a

means to develop people. I’m part of Northumbria’s Sports Development programme, which includes Football Future where volunteers from the University go into local clubs to coach young people. I’m also involved in raising money for Zambia’s Ideals project.” Hannah saw this Masters course as a means to develop a deeper understanding of the subject, as well as developing herself as a person. “It’s great to achieve your degree at the end of any course, but personal development, which enhances your career prospects, is just as important,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from some financial support from the University and also working as an intern in the department. This means taking on a professional, paid role, albeit part time, alongside my studies. “I’m very interested in sports development and one of the attractions of this course is its

international focus. We have students from all over the world – from 10 countries. I’ve been able to learn about how sport is managed and developed in different countries because all the students on this course have different backgrounds. The course covers many aspects of sport, including sports management, business and marketing. “One of the main aspects of the course here at Northumbria is that it gears you up for work – it’s a very vocational course. I’ve been to Lausanne on a week-long field trip where I met members of the International Sports Federation, which taught me a huge amount about working in the sports industry. I’ve now been offered my first job when I graduate: a sports development role in Malaysia, which is my dream job.”

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*Originally published as sponsored content by The Independent.


NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

20 NORTHUMBRIA NEWS

WELCOME TO THE HUB

Seeds of a great idea

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Introducing The Hub – Northumbria University’s brand new online site where everything you see is made by students for students. Read about life as a student, life on campus, and all things Northumbria. ead about soon-to-be graduate Alya Omar’s tips on how to get graduate job ready and Steph Williams’ helpful advice on the best student accommodation available to suit every new student’s needs. This invaluable online platform includes everything from the real cost of city living to settling into a new country. Northumbria University News has selected a few of The Hub’s best student contributors and would encourage you to see what fellow students are saying at northumbria.ac.uk/the-hub Name: Louisa Ruster From: Frankfurt, Germany Studying: Marketing Management “By creating digital content on behalf of Northumbria University I feel like I am not only adding value to the institution but also being able to help potential students to make the right choice.”

Name: Mihail Pandrea From: Brăila, Romania Studying: Architecture “I have chosen to study in Newcastle, considering it the right place to be at the right time for a person to develop properly, especially as an architect.”

Name: Alya Omar From: Malaysia Studying: English Literature with Creative Writing

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“I want to be able to show others that Northumbria is a wonderful place if one’s looking to make good memories whilst at university. Additionally, I want to help both prospective and current students in their university journey.”

A new exhibition at the National Trust’s Gibside property in Tyne and Wear has showcased a range of illustrations created by Northumbria’s interior architecture students. eimagined: ‘Seeds for an Idea’ took place in Gibside’s Walled Garden and featured illustrations, designs and models created by 17 second year Northumbria students. Each student was challenged to create an imaginative response to the environmental concerns of this Grade 1 listed Georgian estate. One of the students’ ideas could now be further developed into a potential installation in the Walled Garden. Peter Dixon, Senior Lecturer in Northumbria’s Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, said: “The opportunity for the students to work within such a beautiful setting for an organisation such as The National Trust is a real privilege. “The Seeds of an Idea project has offered real-life scenarios for the students to tackle and consider within their design proposals, such as pragmatic issues to resolve given that it is a public place and social agendas to consider to ensure their designs are accessible to all. For students to be able to respond to such things can be difficult to replicate in a studio/ classroom environment – with the National Trust acting as a real client with real demands offers an invaluable experience towards the students’ learning. In addition, it offers the National Trust an engaging way to resolve their brief.” The partnership between Gibside and Northumbria allowed the students to create designs for real clients while meeting the needs of their course and providing them with an opportunity to see their work on display at a popular visitor attraction.

Reimagined: Seeds for an Idea and the designs created form part of Gibside’s Walled Garden: Redesign Renew Revive project, a Heritage Lottery-funded initiative that aims to encourage new ways of seeing and learning about the history of Gibside estate. Deborah Hunter-Knight, Walled Garden project officer, said, “We would like to thank the University and all of the students who took part in this collaboration project. They have all worked to a high standard and produced thought-provoking designs that are a catalyst for further conversations with the potential for an inspiring installation within the Walled Garden. “The aim of these projects is to encourage interaction and fun in the Walled Garden and Seeds for an Idea is one of many this year, so it’s an exciting time,” continued Deborah. Northumbria’s Architecture courses are among the best in the country

with a strong focus on working with real clients such as the National Trust on live projects. Architecture is currently rated top 10 in the UK, with 99% student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey and an excellent track record of graduate employment. Northumbria’s Interior Architecture course has a 100% satisfaction rating for teaching, with 95% of graduates going on to work or further study within six months. The University’s newly validated, professionally accredited PG Cert Interior Architecture topup course, which is accredited by Architects Registration Board, is the only programme of its type in the country and allows our BA Interior Architecture graduates to achieve Part I status for Architecture.

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ENVIRONMENT

21

Building students’ skills in the Land of Oak and Iron Northumbria students have been given the chance to become the architects of a new heritage centre for Derwent Valley.

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rchitecture students from the University unveiled their concepts for the new Land of Oak and Iron heritage centre at a public event in Gateshead recently. Northumbria is part of the Oak and Iron Partnership, run by Groundwork North East and Cumbria, a £3.4m scheme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to highlight Derwent Valley’s natural, cultural and industrial history. The Land of Oak and Iron centre will act as a gateway to the valley and surrounding area from County Durham to the Tyne in Gateshead and could include an exhibition, a café serving locally sourced produce and office space with a meeting room. The Land of Oak and Iron centre is being developed at Winlaton Mill, Gateshead, on the site of Ambrose Crawley’s iron works; arguably one of the birth-places of the industrial revolution. The proposed facility has been designed by students of the Master in Architecture course at Northumbria, who took on the challenge as a live project. Professor Paul Jones, who is leading this initiative, believes this engagement with authentic and socially-oriented projects reflects the department’s teaching, service and research philosophy. He said: “Working with the Land of Oak and Iron and Gateshead Council has been fantastic for the students.

Designs by Northumbria’s architecture students

These partners have welcomed the collaboration and have been extremely generous and supportive of the students’ endeavours, describing their work as exemplary. “At Northumbria we are committed to developing projects that support and enhance the built environment within the region, whilst giving the students authentic real-life scenarios as vehicles for their learning. The more authentic opportunities that we provide for our students to engage with clients, consultants, and the realisation of high quality architecture, the more effective they will operate in future professional practice.” Architecture and Built Environment at Northumbria encompasses architecture, interior architecture, building surveying, quantity surveying, real estate, and housing programmes. The University’s Architecture course is currently ranked 10th in the UK. Professor Jones added: “Our department is simultaneously developing design inquiry as a strand of practice-based research; involving our students with real-life research projects is fundamental to how we conceptualise our curriculum. We currently have a number of ongoing, regionally-based projects where our students are working side by side with the architectural staff as co-creators of knowledge. “This diverse and rich set of projects includes; the design of an innovative

Architecture designs by Northumbria students

eco development in Sunderland, which is about to start on site; the restoration and refurbishment of 28 World War II bunkers in Durham; and the design of a cultural quarter in Kiev for the Izolyatsia Art Foundation. “This collaborative approach is part of the reason why our course has achieved the highest average National Student Satisfaction scores in the country for architecture since its inception in 2007, as well as our outstanding employment statistics for graduates of our programme.” Groundwork North East and

Cumbria’s development manager, Lisa Stephenson, said: “The designs at the exhibition give people an initial flavour of what a centre could look like. It is an exciting idea and could act as a gateway facility which brings everything together and tells people what is on offer in the valley.” The Oak and Iron Partnership also includes Gateshead Council, Durham and Northumberland County councils, DEFRA agencies, the Pont Valley Network, North East Cultural Partnership, Durham Wildlife Trust, SCA Hygiene and

publicrelationsconsultancy.com. Northumbria’s Architecture course is one of the most respected in the UK, with a 99% student satisfaction rating in the latest National Student Survey and an excellent track record of graduate employment.

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

22

BUSINESS

John Clayton of Innovate UK, Michelle Rusk and Fraser McLeay of Northumbria University, Andy Goodwin, Commercial Director at Thomas Swan and Hazel Juggins of Northumbria

Let’s get graphene global Northumbria University’s award-winning Newcastle Business School has formed a unique partnership with a leading chemicals firm to help generate new markets for its revolutionary products.

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ounty Durham-based company Thomas Swan wants to improve its understanding of potential new markets for a new range of advanced materials. These include graphene which is 200 times stronger than steel, thinner than a sheet of paper, and more conductive than copper. Scientists are only just beginning to explore the many possible uses of graphene. These include the ultra-fast charging of batteries, faster flash memory, bendable batteries and bionic devices that can connect directly to your body’s nervous system. Thomas Swan is a family-run business with a growing presence in the UK and international chemicals market. The company wants to capitalise on the graphene industry, which is recognised as having significant potential, but currently has no welldeveloped markets. The manufacturer chose to work with Newcastle Business School for the first time to transfer these new technologies into the marketplace. The project is supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, which is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation

and Skills. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to develop and drive the science and technology innovations that will help grow the UK economy. Michele Rusk, Enterprise Fellow and Academic Supervisor at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, said: “This is a hugely exciting project looking to market a product with genuinely transformative properties across many different applications. As a region looking to make its mark in the emerging Northern Powerhouse we need to show entrepreneurial ambition – a partnership of Government, industry and universities all working together. Our collaboration with Thomas Swan is very much a part of this approach.” Andy Goodwin, Commercial Director, Advanced Materials, at Thomas Swan, said: “This is a great opportunity for both Thomas Swan and the research associate to jointly develop our strategic marketing skills for the commercialisation of new materials such as graphene with the fully engaged support of a leading UK business school.” Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) at Northumbria help to

Transparent future mobile phone made of graphene

support businesses wishing to make a strategic change requiring expertise not currently available in-house. By participating in a KTP, businesses collaborate with the University to improve competitiveness, productivity and performance. KTP partner companies typically report an increase in before-tax profit in the hundreds of thousands and generate at least two new posts plus new skills for existing staff. Fraser McLeay, Professor of Strategic Marketing Management and Associate Dean of Business Engagement at Newcastle Business School, added: “Newcastle Business School collaborates extensively across university disciplines in a host of KTP initiatives for industry. This way we can provide an incredibly strong offering to business partners – the average KTP results in an increase in profits of £1 million per annum after the project has been completed. This particular KTP aims to bring a revolutionary new product to market, with huge potential and impact for Thomas Swan and indeed consumers across the world.”

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Summer 2016 • northumbria.ac.uk •

Business students spread life-saving message in Cumbria

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LAW

23

Big deal for law graduate A lawyer from Saudi Arabia who has worked on some of the world’s largest corporate deals attributes his international career success to Northumbria University Law School.

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(L-R) Camilla Shirley, Malcolm Wigham of North West Ambulance Service, Laura Botham and Danielle Broad

Students from Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School help the North West Ambulance Service in Cumbria to increase public awareness of life-saving defibrillators.

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he School’s innovative Business Clinic, where students provide consultancy advice to real clients, enabled a group of students to develop a marketing strategy to support the North West Ambulance Service’s Cardiac Smart campaign, with the aim of reducing mortality associated with out of hospital cardiac arrest, by raising awareness of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). Students Camilla Shirley, Laura Botham, Bentley West and Danielle Broad focused primarily on how to change public perceptions. Their team, Pioneer Consultancy, looked at ways to educate people about how easy AEDs are to use, and that without any training, ordinary members of the public could save a life. They were also asked to assess the feasibility of an interactive map highlighting where defibrillators were located, by analysing the cost of implementing recommendations, and identifying funding streams, potential business partners, and ways to drive visits to the Cardiac Smart website.

After undertaking extensive research, the team came up with almost 30 recommendations, which included; setting up a strategically targeted Facebook page as part of a social media strategy, staging a family fun day to raise the profile of the services and help with fundraising; and working with schools raise awareness of the defibrillators. Camilla said: “Working with an organisation as forward-thinking and pro-active as North West Ambulance Service has been a superb learning experience for us, and really enjoyable. Our brief was effectively to provide non-financial support to help boost basic life support skills among the general public – hopefully giving people the awareness and confidence to become potential life savers. “Our initial research showed that 78% didn’t think their communities had enough awareness of AEDs and almost 60% didn’t know where their closest defibrillators were located. To overcome these challenges many of our recommendations focus on changing perceptions and tapping into education; the younger generation are

always great for leading behavioural changes among the older generation.” Lauren Watson, from North West Ambulance Service, said: “We are already running a number of initiatives in this area, but this excellent work by Newcastle Business School students has laid the ground work to both support these and take things to a new level. Given its rural landscape and relatively isolated communities we have some unique challenges here in Cumbria. Pioneer Consultancy has understood this perfectly and we will be studying their recommendations in detail.” The Business Clinic provides students with career-enhancing experience by working with all types of businesses from SME’s, multinational through to not for profit organisations. They are encouraged to get to the root of the problem, deliver results and provide a detailed report and presentation of their recommendations.

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ultan Akbar graduated from Northumbria in 2011 with a LLB (Hons) degree. He now works for Hogan Lovells, one of the world’s top 10 legal firms. The company provides a diverse range of legal expertise and employs 2,500 lawyers based in offices on six continents. Today, Sultan is an Associate based in Hogan Lovells’ Jeddah office. Last year he provided legal assistance on General Electric’s acquisition of French energy giant Alstom for around $18 billion – one of the largest corporate deals of 2015. With broad-ranging experience of corporate and commercial transactions within the Saudi Arabia, and specific experience in employment law and litigation, Sultan also works closely with major investment authorities in the Kingdom. He says much of his success is due to the support and help of the academics and the facilities at Northumbria, especially at the beginning of his studies when, as an international student, he faced some early challenges. He said: “Looking back, I probably didn’t have all the language skills I needed in 2007 and I had to re-take my first year. However, the academics were very supportive and understanding, and provided all the guidance I needed to navigate through the initial challenges. The quality of the lectures, the learning materials and IT support were also excellent. In 2007 the Law School also moved into its striking new city campus building with its fantastic facilities, which was an experience in itself. “Graduating from Northumbria provided me with an ideal platform for employment and career development, culminating in the past year with Hogan Lovells. Working on some of the largest corporate mergers, acquisitions and shareholder agreements in a law firm with a genuinely global reach has given me a very rich experience, and one I am grateful for.” Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Executive Dean of Northumbria

Sultan Akbar

Law School, added: “Providing our graduates with the best possible career prospects is a key priority for us. At the same time, we want to ensure the time they spend with us here as students is both academically and socially rewarding, and an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives. Hearing of the success enjoyed by Sultan and many other alumni is wonderful and means a great deal to all staff. Graduating in law is not easy so success is richly deserved.” In the latest Destination of Leavers in Higher Education figures for those who graduated in 2013/14 Northumbria University is ranked 7th for the number of graduates in professional employment.

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

24

BUSINESS

Business students rise to bakers’ challenge Business students won the chance to spend a day with the marketing department of Greggs, the UK’s largest bakery chain, after pitching an awardwinning promotional idea to the company.

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orthumbria’s undergraduate students beat off stiff competition, including postgraduate students from Newcastle, Teesside and Sunderland universities, to win the annual Greggs Marketing Challenge. They were asked to develop ideas on how to ensure the Greggs’ brand remained relevant at different consumer life stages and then pitch their ideas to an audience of almost 200 marketing experts, regional business leaders, academics and fellow students. The Northumbria team’s pitch involved the creation of an app named Greggs Go which would enable customers to use a click and collect service using the strapline ‘skip the queue for a healthier you’. Matt Sutherland, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Business with Marketing Management, said “This is one of the region’s top

student business competitions. Our competing group put in a great deal of effort, working on a brief in their own time outside their core modules while in the final year of their degree. “Winning this competition emphasises the type of well-rounded and skilled students we produce at Newcastle Business School and spending a day with the marketing team at Greggs will be a hugely valuable learning experience. The students demonstrated creative thinking and were extremely comfortable presenting in front of some of the region’s top business people. I am very proud on what they achieved.” Graeme Nash, Head of Customer and Marketing at Greggs, said: “The Greggs Marketing Challenge was once again hugely successful, with impressive presentations from all of the students involved. It was difficult to pick a winner, but all the judges

agreed the Northumbria team’s Greggs Go idea was the most thoughtprovoking. “We were delighted to welcome them here at Greggs. I’m sure they gained first-hand experience and valuable insight into working for a national business – which we hope will be useful for their future careers.” Entering competitions such as this and presenting to highly experienced business leaders is an integral part of helping students put theory into practice at Northumbria. The experience enriches learning and can enhance graduate opportunities and salary prospects.

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Claire Bright, local marketing manager for Greggs; students Ed Shepherdson, James Grant, Rachael Parker, Priya Chowdhry, Emily Booth, Danni Parkes, and Graeme Nash, Head of Customer and Marketing for Greggs

Radical marketing comes under the spotlight One of the most influential and prestigious marketing conferences in the UK is being held at Northumbria this summer.

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he Academy of Marketing will this summer bring together the world’s brightest and best marketing experts to discuss ‘radical marketing’ and the changing consumer environment. Radical marketing is an emerging area; combining and challenging established marketing practice with innovative, cutting-edge new theories. The conference will be held at Newcastle Business School, which was recently named UK Business School of the Year in the Times Higher Education awards. One area of research concerning radical marketing is being conducted by Dr Prabash Edirisingha, a lecturer in Marketing at Newcastle Business School. He is exploring how routine practices such as preparing breakfast or doing the weekly family shop, which are considered to be mundane consumer behaviours, are essential to long-term family wellbeing and happiness. His research has found that this so-called mundane behaviour helps to reinforce family interactions and bonds. Fraser McLeay, Professor of Strategic Marketing Management at Newcastle Business School, said: “There is evidence emerging from family and medical research suggesting the importance of family happiness and satisfaction

to personal health and wellbeing. However, there is little academic insight into how ordinary consumption behaviours contribute to family and individual wellbeing. Therefore, a perceptual shift in how we engage with mundane consumption behaviours is increasingly important. How marketing is evolving in the light on new research like this will be just one of the fascinating topics debated are argued over at this conference.” Speaking about the conference, Professor McLeay explained: “The Academy of Marketing annual conference is the showcase event of the year for our discipline. It provides a platform for leading international academics to present and discuss their research, and for colleagues and students alike to gear and learn from the very best. We are honoured to be hosts in 2016.” Newcastle Business School is among the top business schools anywhere in the world, boasting a double AACSB accreditation in business and accounting and with more undergraduate programmes accredited by EPAS than any other UK university.

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NORTHUMBRIA NEWS 25

Achieving justice for children and families A Northumbria University academic is taking a leading role in the family justice field, after publishing a new book looking at how complex child protection decisions are made within the family justice system and organising a major international conference on the topic.

Marketing Management student Bethany StoppardWood spent a year working in Northumbria University’s Marketing department with Media and Communications team. Northumbria University News spoke to her about her experience.

My year on placement By Bethany Stoppard-Wood

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ntering the world of work can be daunting for any person; especially a current student. However, my year on placement turned out to be the most rewarding and beneficial experience I have ever had. I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to do an internship here at the University, and as someone who is passionate about being a Northumbria student, I was really pleased to land a role in the Marketing Department as a Media and Communications Assistant. As a third-year Marketing Management student, I’ve found that these past 12 months have equipped me with a better understanding of marketing and helped confirm what I would like to do in my future career. I have had the opportunity to develop my skills, and I have a newfound confidence which helps prepare me for the next stage of my degree and beyond. I have also been able to do all sorts of fun activities that will benefit me in the long-term, including; attending

film and photoshoots, conducting interviews, writing press releases, and helping out with the general promotion of the University in the media. I have even been down to London to take part in an industryleading marketing conference! Fancy, eh? I have gained valuable knowledge and insight through working in a professional environment, and I would strongly recommend that if given the opportunity, students should grab the chance to do a placement. If they are not on a course that includes a year in industry, a short internship over a summer would be a great opportunity too good to turn down. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience over the past year and I’m grateful that I’ve been in an environment working alongside some fantastic professionals who have helped reaffirm my passion for marketing.

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Professor Kim Holt

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rofessor Kim Holt, Head of Northumbria’s Department of Social Work and Communities, is a unique expert in the field of family justice. She spent 20 years as a social worker specialising in the area of child protection, before retraining as a barrister specialising in family law, then moving into academia in 2004, where she is now a Professor of Social Work and Family Law. Her new book, Contemporary Family Justice: Policy and Practice in Complex Child Protection Decisions, provides a critical account of current family justice

policy and the issues which are commonly presented in the courts, such as neglect, child sexual exploitation and pre-birth assessments. The book has been praised by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, who described it as: “very interesting, important, challenging and in places appropriately provocative,” adding that it is something “everyone involved professionally with the multi-faceted challenges of child protection would do well to read.” After ranking in the UK top 20 for its research power and

impact in the areas of Social Work and Social Policy in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the University has organised the gathering of 400 leading academics and practitioners from the fields of law, social work, health and mental health. Professor Holt is chairing the organising committee which will share the latest research and policy decisions impacting on cases relating to family justice.

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NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

26

CULTURE

REVEAL

architecture arts design media

Creative talent revealed

Northumbria opened its annual degree show recently with a stunning launch event across campus. REVEAL features the creative work of talented graduating students from the University’s Architecture, Arts, Design, Fashion and Media courses. Fine Art

3D Design

Architecture

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orthumbria’s global reputation for creativity and innovation can be seen first-hand in the exceptional work on display at REVEAL, with many of the awardwinning students going on to exhibit at high-profile shows in London. The exhibition took place at Northumbria’s city campus in the heart of Newcastle and showcased student work to an audience of creative professionals, industry experts, VIPs and the public. Among the students displaying work was final year Interior Architecture student Alasdair Graham. He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Northumbria, it has been without a doubt the best thing I have ever done. The Interior Architecture course is very well respected and has made a name for itself. Studying here has given me the best start to enter a career in architecture practice, which is my goal now that I have completed my studies.” Kelly Mackinnon, principal lecturer of Architecture, said: “Northumbria Architecture Degree Show 2016 showcases the talent and dedication of this year’s graduating architects and Interior Architecture. This year’s show was another visual delight evidencing the commitment to the highest standard and quality of architectural education. The show was packed out with an exciting mix of visitors, including practitioners, alumni from

the university and current students. We are extremely proud of the high levels of dedication, enthusiasm and support from both students and staff resulting in an outstanding show evidencing highest quality work and creativity.”

Fashion

Fine Art students also showcased their creations. Daisy Cockle said: “Studying at Northumbria University has been inspiring, challenging and rewarding. I have had the opportunity to make some amazing connections in the arts community in the North East. I would definitely recommend the Fine Art course to anyone who is looking to enter the world of art. Students from Northumbria’s award-winning School of Design also displayed their work on campus ahead of upcoming appearances at highprofile London shows, New Designers, New Blood, D&AD and Free Range Interiors. Two final year Design For Industry students, Callum Smith and Poppy Crow, have already won major awards ahead of London after winning the Royal Society Awards student design awards – the same prize formerly won by Northumbria alumni and Chief Design Officer at Apple, Sir Jonathan Ive. Callum, who won the Philips Internship Award, said: “I was thrilled to even be considered for the award, getting the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the past prestigious winners is extremely exciting.

Design

Fine Art


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Northumbria Performing Arts students gather on stage at Northern Stage, Newcastle

Students take centre stage for Oklahoma memorial performance Performing Arts students from Northumbria University have honoured the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing with the UK premiere of In the Middle of the West.

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group of 19 final year students performed In the Middle of the West at Newcastle’s Northern Stage during a week of theatre, which also saw Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children brought to life by Northumbria students. The performances were staged as part of REVEAL, the University annual end of year events by students on Arts, Architecture, Design, Fashion and Media courses. Written and directed by Steve Gilroy, Director of Performing Arts at Northumbria, In the Middle of the West was written to mark the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing – the worst domestic terrorist attack in US history. The UK premiere took place in May, with one of the performances attended by a US delegation including representatives from Oklahoma City

University School of Theatre. Award-winning playwright Steve was commissioned to write the play by Oklahoma City University (OCU) based on his experience in verbatim theatre – a form of documentary theatre based on personal interviews and transcripts. As part of the creative process, he conducted interviews with family members of victims, survivors, local officials and first responders of the 1995 attack. These interview recordings, as well as the portraits of different characters involved in the bombing, were then developed as an integral part of the play. In the Middle of the West was first performed in the US by OCU students in April 2015 as part of OCU’s anniversary project to remember the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. It has since been adapted to reflect the current US political environment,

with a special focus on the presidential elections and the MidWest. Steve Gilroy said: “The Oklahoma City bombing may seem a distant event, but there are still lessons that can be learnt from such a terrible tragedy. Some people I interviewed during the creative process last year expressed concerns that the current atmosphere and political climate in the US is such that a domestic attack of this kind might be imaginable again. Some of the extreme rhetoric that has characterised the presidential nomination campaigns makes the play feel particularly relevant right now.” Mark Parker and Brian Parsons, Dean and Associate Dean respectively at Oklahoma City University School of Theatre, attended the performance and afterwards said: “We were delighted

that Northumbria University’s performing arts department produced the European premiere of the verbatim play commissioned by OCU to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. “The stories of the victims, survivors, first responders and those others affected by that fateful and tragic event, are given voice in Steve Gilroy’s beautiful and, at times, harrowing play. We were honoured to have the opportunity to visit Newcastle to see young British actors tell the stories of those we hold so dear in our community.” Steve Gilroy’s previous works include the award-winning Motherland, which toured the UK in 2009 and shares the stories of women whose everyday lives were touched by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also wrote The Prize,

in collaboration with Northumbria senior lecturer Richard Stockwell, portraying true stories of Olympic successes to coincide with the Olympic Games in London 2012. Following the premiere of In the Middle of the West, a second group of students performed the play Mother Courage and Her Children at Northern Stage, directed by senior lecturer Fiona MacPherson. This contemporary adaptation, translated by Lee Hall, tells the story of Mother Courage, as she haggles and barters across the battlefields of Europe losing her two sons and one daughter along the way. Mother Courage is played by nine actresses, who explore different interpretations of the eponymous lead bringing to life a new imagining of this complex and fascinating play. Northumbria Performing Arts were also celebrating after winning a prestigious prize at the Dionysus International Student Theatre Festival in Croatia earlier this year. The students won the festival prize for best overall performance at the event, which is held annually in Dakovo, Croatia, and hosted by the Academy of Arts in Osijek.

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A scene from In the Middle of the West

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Inspired outfits by 20 of Northumbria’s most innovative fashion students wowed audiences at this year’s London Graduate Fashion Week – the world’s leading event celebrating the creativity of fashion graduates. The collections of six different catwalk outfits per student, consisting of a combination of womenswear, menswear and constructed textile designs, took the catwalk by storm winning rave reviews and awards throughout the week.

Fashion students conquer the London catwalk

Image courtesy Christopher Moore

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Outfit by Dora Nachilima

mong this year’s top 20 graduates and future trend-setters were Samuel Beaumont Perkins, Alex McMullen and Courtney Simon who recently featured in The Sunday Times as an emerging fashion star. Courtney Simon’s SIMON.C collection was inspired by not only The Apartheid but also her Caribbean heritage. Her highly personal womenswear collection highlights key quotes from the Apartheid period and Caribbean culture, including mirror image detail, African print and garment inspiration from African robes. Samuel Beaumont-Perkins’ menswear collection was inspired by the darker side of the mind, representing erratic behavior through texture and the use of minimalistic red to portray anger/red mist. His creativity and originality have already secured him a full-time position at Old Navy in San Francisco, adding to a string of successes including being shortlisted in the Graduate Fashion Week Topshop competition. Finally, Alex’s collection drew on from the influence of Dutch painter Kees Goudzwaard, who creates still-life representatives using tonal block colours. Janine Hunt, Director of Fashion at Northumbria, said: “We were thrilled for our students to be part of London Graduate Fashion Week once more. Our graduates have shown a tremendous creative flair during this year that has translated

Work by Samuel Beaumont-Perkins


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Backstage at Graduate Fashion Week, London Images courtesy Neil Hall

She’s in Fashion! Collection by Alex McMullan

in impressive and striking collections. The event is a great opportunity for them to showcase their talent, create interesting relationships within the industry and open new doors for their future career. We are very proud of their work and we are certain that they will achieve success going ahead.” Students from Fashion Design and Marketing and Fashion Communication also showed their final year work throughout the week. Seven were shortlisted for awards with Northumbria students winning three awards and a scholarship.

Northumbria University News speaks to Dora Nachilima, Fashion Design student, about her collection and her experience of Graduate Fashion Week.

Collection by Ellen Crabtree

Nuala Convery was announced as the winner of the Marketing Award, Genevive Devine won the Sainsbury’s TU Scholarship and two Fashion Communication students also won prestigious awards: Erika Bowes won the Fashion Photography Award and Hollie McCartern-Donnelly took the DiversityNOW People’s Choice award in collaboration with i-D magazine. Northumbria is internationally recognised for nurturing the talent of its fashion students, ensuring they develop their creativity and reach their full potential, so that they are equipped to enter such a

highly competitive industry. Previous alumni have joined the ranks of international fashion houses and companies, including Burberry, DKNY, Lanvin, Paul Smith, Karen Millen, ASOS, and Zara among many others.

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Collection by Dora Nachilima

Describe your final collection in a sentence: Translation of the male movement onto the female form in order to show women’s desire to wear men’s clothing. What was the inspiration? The 1940s Zoot Suit movement along with the 1992 Malcolm X movie, which illustrates the vibrant and flamboyant nature of the Zoot Suit look and movement. What’s been your fashion school highlight? Definitely getting as far as I have with my final collection. I had so many doubtful moments so it’s a delightful to see it all come together and even be shortlisted for the top 25 at Graduate Fashion Week. Did you always want to be a fashion designer? No, animation was my first choice in regards to career prospects but, with time, my mind was converted to fashion because I enjoyed doing the work and it felt natural. What was the first thing you ever made? Probably Barbie doll outfits in my aunt’s sewing studio. If that doesn’t count, I would have to say a children’s play mat in GCSE textiles.

Collection by Courtney Simon

Collection by Megan Bramhald

What’s next? A little time off I think would be desirable! But soon after, I am determined to improve my pattern cutting skills. The plan is to work alongside a pattern cutter or find a position as a junior pattern cutter.


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Artists unveil their islands Eight graduating artists from Northumbria have launched a stunning group exhibition built around the metaphor of a river estuary as a site of shifting and concealed meanings.

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here Were Islands brings together work by final year students from the Master of Fine Art degree, a unique two-year course run by Northumbria University in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. This collaboration, known as BxNU, is based in the vibrant studio culture of BALTIC 39 in the centre of Newcastle. The artists, who all come from islands (United Kingdon, New Zealand, Cyprus and Ireland), have pursued their own personal and artistic interests throughout this innovative course, but brought their work together at the end of their degree for a unique group exhibition. As part of the exhibition, visitors enjoyed Cat Auburn’s sculptural installation, film and photographs that unearthed the architectural remains and myths surrounding the Royal Arcade in Newcastle. Demolished in 1963, The Royal Arcade was the only Tyneside Classical building ever to be pulled down – its façade was catalogued and the stones and pillars buried throughout the city with the idea of future resurrection. Visitors also discovered Alexandra Brunt’s sound recordings and film that placed the viewer/listener in an intimate and poetic relationship with a female protagonist, exploring ideas of agency, the female voice and touch. James Ellis-Clark became part of his own artworks during the exhibition as he occupied the gallery, skilfully planing wooden chairs until they disappeared or working on a home-made potter’s wheel.

Philip Larry questioned the audience’s perception of authenticity and humour within his work, using stretched canvases or cardboard boxes. Philip uses topical images from national news outlets and social media and combines them with heckling slogans to create a sense of confusion and disquiet. Visitors were also invited to confront the intense authenticity of David Longwill’s large canvases that addressed themes such as the body, the symbolic gesture and the gaze. Alex Harmon highlighted the subtleties of everyday human interactions through objects and film installation. Suffused with the idea of transit – epitomised by the presence of an airliner’s flight data recorder – his work plays on our generalised anxiety about the impenetrability of technology played out in personal acts of communication and miscommunication. James Watts brought together objects that have become distressed through prior performances and that speak of the physicality of sound making and the genre of ‘extreme’ music. A piano carcass, strung from a pulley and rope system to the gallery ceiling, groaned with the sounds of its own journey as it was pushed through the

Artwork by Alex Harmon

Work by James Watts

Newcastle streets and a hand-crafted clay saxophone lay on the gallery floor, shattered as the result of an intense, live performance. By contrast, Markos Sotiriou, used his Cypriot homeland as a site for a seemingly playful act story-telling. His work becomes manifest in multiple films, performances and drawings that move between an individuated psychology and a more generalised cultural or political sense of identity. Fiona Crisp, Reader in Fine Art and BxNU course leader said: “It has been an extremely rewarding experience seeing these eight artists create and develop their work during the past two years and to witness it to come to fruition in such a successful exhibition. There Were Islands provided a rich and complex experience for visitors to BALTIC 39 to enjoy and we look forward to the impact that our graduates will continue to have on the contemporary art world.

Sarah Munro, BALTIC Director said: “For the second year running, we were proud to host the BxNU Master of Fine Art exhibition at BALTIC 39 showcasing the talent and development of the graduating cohort. Watching the development of these artists as they progressed through the two year programme reminds us of the important role the BxNU partnership plays in supporting and nurturing artistic practice at postgraduate level. This course is producing young artists who are contributing challenging, discursive work to the art world and beyond.” The BxNU Master of Fine Art, a collaboration between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University, is unique for its innovative approach and the high-level professional and creative environment the students experience.

Based in BALTIC 39, the students follow their own personal research interests whilst also working collectively to produce a professional exhibition on graduation. There Were Islands was part of REVEAL 2016, Northumbria’s annual celebration of its creative courses, including Architecture, Art, Design, Fashion and Media.

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James Ellis-Clark


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Media and animation students wow audiences Edgar Allan Poe, drag queens and a fencing champion were just some of the inspirations behind this year’s graduating Film and TV Production students. Their final year films were recently screened at a special Media Gala at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, before an audience comprising leading members of the film and TV industry.

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he Gala offered students the opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity and forge connections with industry experts, professionals and critics. This year’s films included documentary and drama that presented creative angles and an innovative approach to film recording and editing. As part of the screening, the audience saw Venus, a film by Faye Carr-Wilson and Magenta Sharp about a faux drag queen with a physical disability. Jordan Calvert and Ellie Deighton also explored the world of drag queens in their movie, Fluid. Dementia and its impact on people’s lives was explored in two different movies: Away for a While by Lauren Byrne and The Last Thing We See by Jack Colvin. Richard Hewitson centred his drama around the interface of technology with humans, while Tommy Germaine decided to adapt the classic Edgar Allan Poe story The Tell-Tale Heart. Robert Jefferson, Programme Leader, Film and TV Production

at Northumbria, said: “I am really impressed by the quality of the films our students have created this year. They have shown they don’t conceive limits when it comes to filming, which allows me to anticipate a brilliant and successful future for them in whatever aspect of the movie industry they want to pursue.” Northumbria’s Media Production degree, founded in 1986, has earned a solid reputation for the quality of its graduates. The course’s leading alumni includes cult-director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Centurion, Game of Thrones), producer Samm Haillay (Better Things, Self Made) and writer Sean Conway (Ray Donovan). At the screening graduating students were also presented with awards. Jordan Chang received an award for best editing, Ali Hutchinson for best cinematography, Alex McGee for best screenplay and Faye Carr-Wilson and Magenta Sharp for best film for Venus. Graduate Faye Carr-Wilson was presented the best film award by Charles Martin, director of British teen

Award-winning students from Northumbria’s Media Gala

drama Skins and crime noir detective series Marcella. Faye said: “After the recent tragedy in Orlando, we are proud to have made a film which celebrates the LGBT community and to have received this award for our work. Overall our experience at Northumbria has been very rewarding.” This event was closely followed by Northumbria’s Animation Gala, also held at Tyneside Cinema, which presented the final year creations of graduating animation students. The audience saw the premiere of Stephen Stephenson’s Fragments of Familiarity, a videogame about the fragility of memory. Another animation, James Evan’s Dreamtime is a painstakingly hand-drawn and coloured creation, based around the aboriginal myth of how the world began. Paul Dolan, Senior Lecturer in Animation at Northumbria, said: “It’s one of the highlights of the year for us to see student work on the big screen. This is the third year we’ve shown Animation BA and MA work at the Tyneside Cinema, and the students love it. It’s a great way to celebrate three or four years of hard work; alongside friends, family and members of the animation industry. “There’s an interesting mix of 2D, 3D, game and experimental projects this year which we’re proud to put our names to and unleash into the world. We are also very impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness of some of the game projects being developed on the course, which feed into the indie game community and help expand the boundaries of what videogames can do.”

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REVEAL

architecture arts design media

(L-R) Khoo Teng Koom, Jordan Wilson and Stephen Stephenson.

northumbria.ac.uk/media


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Record number of applicants for prestigious art prize The 10 finalists for this year’s Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize have been announced after a record number of applications. Almost 300 artists submitted artwork for this year’s prize – the highest number since its launch in 2012 – with two Northumbria Fine Art students making the final shortlist.

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elivered jointly by Northumbria University and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the Woon Foundation Prize is one of the UK’s most generous prizes for artists – greater in value than the Turner Prize. Launched in 2012, it offers a £20,000 Fellowship for the first prize, with additional prizes of £9,000 and £6,000. The winning Woon Fellow is awarded dedicated studio space at BALTIC 39 during the year-long Fellowship as they work toward a solo exhibition and publication. This year’s shortlisted artists have been selected by Turner Prizenominated artist Christine Borland; Karen MacKinnon, Curator and Director of Artes Mundi and BALTIC’s

Chief Curator, Laurence Sillars. Northumbria students Hannah Barker and Sheyda Porter have been shortlisted alongside other students from some of the UK’s leading arts institutions. Hannah said: “To be nominated feels like a dream come true and I’ve enjoyed every second so far. My degree has brought me the knowledge, practical skills, and confidence necessary for future success, with the Woon Foundation Prize exhibition being my first exciting step into the professional art world.” Sheyda added: “During this academic year, I have received so much support from my tutors. They always encouraged me to take risks and push my ideas further, which I believe

Sheyda Porter’s artwork

Artwork by Hannah Barker

ultimately led to my nomination for the prize.” Professor Christine Borland, who teaches in Northumbria’s Arts department, said: “It has been a very exciting year to be involved in shortlisting the Woon Prize, with a record number of entries and a really high standard. “It’s particularly gratifying that the applications have represented all the countries of the UK; north, south, east and west. We are looking forward immensely to seeing the shortlisted work take shape in the exhibition and to choosing a winner to follow in the footsteps of the 2015/16 Woon Fellow, Kayt Hughes who has really made the most of her year.” Sarah Munro, BALTIC Director added: “The Woon Prize is fast gaining

a reputation as the most important award for graduates in Europe. “It’s wonderful to see a prize that truly puts the needs of emerging artists at its centre. It will be exciting to see this new generation of talent exhibited in the project space at BALTIC 39. We also look forward to welcoming the new Woon Fellow into the region and vibrant artistic community in the North East.” Northumbria offers a range of courses in the arts and was recently rated top 10 in the UK for Arts and Design research power following the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

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WOON PRIZE 2016 FINAL SHORTLIST Hannah Barker, Northumbria University BexIlsley, Manchester School of Art Joseph Davies, Slade School of Fine Art Jake Grewal, University of Brighton Rebecca Halliwell-Sutton, Manchester School of Art Melloney Harvey, University of the Arts, Camberwell College of Art Holly Muir, Ruskin School of Art Sheyda Porter, Northumbria University James Trundle, Slade School of Fine Art (L-R) Northumbria Fine Art students and Woon 2016 finalists Hannah Barker and Sheyda Porter

Jake Vella, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham


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NORTHUMBRIA NEWS 33

Meet the new Executive Dean

A new Executive Dean has joined Northumbria University to lead its largest academic Faculty, Health and Life Sciences.

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ith extensive expertise in the health and life sciences disciplines, Professor Dianne Ford has joined Northumbria from Newcastle University as the Faculty’s new Executive Dean. The Faculty has a diverse portfolio of 250 courses, teaching almost 12,000 students across the subject areas of applied sciences, education and lifelong learning, psychology, social work and communities, sport exercise and rehabilitation as well as healthcare and public health and wellbeing. A large number of the Faculty’s courses are accredited by leading government and professional bodies, meaning many students graduate with professional accreditation in their chosen field.

Northumbria’s Health and Life Sciences courses have a strong reputation for excellence. All courses in Initial Teacher Education have been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for 14 consecutive years – Northumbria is the only university in the UK to repeatedly hold this accolade for so long. The Faculty has been named UK Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Postregistration) for three consecutive years by the Student Nursing Times and its courses in Physiotherapy, Nursing, Food Science and Sport Science all feature in the top 40 of The Sunday Times league table. Professor Ford is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and has published extensive research into understanding how our diet interacts with cellular

function and the ways in which cells subsequently use or store energy. She has worked collaboratively with numerous international universities including Melbourne’s Deakin University and Aachen University in Germany. Speaking about her appointment, Professor Ford said: “I have been so inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of everyone in the University, and particularly in the senior team, to drive and develop research at Northumbria. I am very much looking forward to helping the Faculty further develop its already strong research activity and areas of specialism.”

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Professor Dianne Ford

northumbria.ac.uk

Top Gear? Top career!

A Northumbria graduate currently working with Chris Evans says his career is literally in ‘Top Gear’ thanks to the skills and experience he gained during his time at university.

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Tom Gent (R) with The Stig from Top Gear

om Gent graduated from Northumbria’s Media Production degree in 2003 and went on to work for BBC Sport as a trainee producer following a work placement in TV organised by his tutor. A high-profile career at the BBC followed, with Tom winning a Royal Television Society award in 2014 for the closing montage to the BBC’s Rugby World Cup coverage. Tom now works as a producer on BBC’s Top Gear with Chris Evans and recently told graduate recruitment agency BrighterBox about his time at Northumbria, the impact the University had on his career, and his top tips on standing out in the graduate jobs market. Speaking about his time at Northumbria, Tom said: “It was absolutely key to putting me on my current career path. I had a real passion for script-writing and there was a significant part of the course dedicated to it. That was a really good learning experience. Another segment of the Northumbria course was a work placement on Byker

Grove, organised by the course tutor. That eventually led to me being put in touch with CD:UK and SM:tv (which first brought me down to London) and put me on my career track. Meeting the right people and getting a bit of luck were also a big part of it.” Tom recalls how his big break took place shortly after he graduated and how it led to a career with the BBC. “My big break was probably being introduced to an exec at MTV when doing work experience in London just after graduating” he said. “He helped me land an interview there for an internship and from that I progressed to a full-time role and eventually ended up, three years later, with a job interview as Junior Assistant Producer at BBC Sport. There had been 300 people going for one job so I never expected to get it. This helped as I was totally relaxed for the interview and went in and the answers kept flowing. I got the job and eight years on was making sport documentaries and I won an RTS Award for the BBC World Cup closing montage which was my second big break I guess.”

Tom was interviewed about his career by BrighterBox, a company created to help ambitious graduates kick start their careers in media, digital and entrepreneurial businesses. They asked Tom to give graduates his top tips for standing out from the crowd. He said: “If someone is prepared and has clearly done their homework, whether it’s new ideas or having some intelligent constructive comments, that kind of thing can really help. Persistence also pays off. Some people nag and become annoying, but they stay in your mind. As long as you’re personable, go about it the right way (and stay the right side of annoying!) you’ll be fine. “It’s a cliché but don’t give up on what you want to do. Getting on with people is a big part of the media industry. It’s a very sociable line of work so if you’re enthusiastic and easy-going you have every chance.”

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HEALTH

Northumbria leading fight against dementia Dementia arguably presents one of the greatest health and social care challenges that we face as a nation. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today and that number is expected to rise to two million by 2050. As a result, there is an urgent need to develop better treatments and improve early diagnosis. Northumbria University News examines two ways in which the University is helping to support the fight against dementia.

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‘‘ The Sea Hero Quest game has been an incredibly exciting project to be part of. It is designed to create the world’s largest crowd sourced data set to establish the normal range of human spatial navigation ability.

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orthumbria academic Professor Ruth Dalton was one of the architects behind an innovative new mobile game designed to help early diagnosis of dementia. For many people living with dementia, one of the first effects they experience is a loss of spatial awareness, as they lose the ability to navigate their way through even well-known places and environments. The mobile game, Sea Hero Quest, will advance understanding of spatial navigation and how this aspect of our brain works in an effort to find essential information which can be used in dementia research. The game was specifically designed to help generate data from its players that will be used to benchmark human spatial navigation. This is widely acknowledged as one of the key steps towards developing new diagnostic tests for the diseases that cause dementia. Just two minutes of gameplay on Sea Hero Quest can provide five hours’ worth of essential dementia research and brings science one step closer to developing new diagnostic tests for dementia. Every aspect of Sea Hero Quest has been designed jointly by game developers and scientists to provide insights about the way we navigate every day. As players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, every second of gameplay can be translated into scientific data by experts exploring this area of our brains. The game features levels designed by Northumbria Architecture academic, Professor Ruth Dalton, who provided unique insight into how people navigate buildings. Professor Dalton, who teaches in the University’s Architecture and Built Environment department, is also a world authority on wayfinding, and

Professor Ruth Dalton

worked on the level design for the innovative game, which was designed in collaboration with University College London, University of East Anglia, Alzheimer’s Research UK and game designers from Glitchers. Professor Dalton said: “The Sea Hero Quest game has been an incredibly exciting project to be part of. It is designed to create the world’s largest crowd sourced data set to establish the normal range of human spatial navigation ability. If we can benchmark this range of ability, we have the potential to develop novel and innovative navigational tests for dementia, since one of the early symptoms of dementia is having increased difficulties in finding your way around, a symptom that is often intangible and hard to pick up.” Speaking about why an architect was chosen to help design a mobile game, Professor Dalton explained: “I am an expert on wayfinding in the built environment. As an architect, it is important to understand how to design environments that are easily comprehensible, so that people do not get lost. I know a lot about the relationship between the design and layout of a building or neighbourhood

and how easily people can find their way around it. It was therefore fairly straightforward to take the kinds of design skills and analytic methods that I would normally apply to the design of buildings and instead apply them to the design of the Sea Hero Quest levels. “Since we wanted to test people’s navigational ability in the game, we needed to ensure that we designed levels with different degrees of layout difficulty. This meant designing ‘simple’ levels through to ones which were much more challenging. Some of these contained visual landmarks to aid navigation and some didn’t, so I also advised on both the level layout and the selection and placement of different types of landmarks.” Sea Hero Quest is available globally for iOS and Android and can be downloaded now for free from the App Store and Google Play.

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HEALTH

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Emmerdale actor John Middleton meeting students during Dementia Awareness Week

Emmerdale actor tells students about dementia experiences Northumbria students had the opportunity to meet with an Emmerdale actor as part of their learning during national Dementia Awareness Week.

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ith 850,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia, the popular ITV soap opera Emmerdale is helping to shine a spotlight on the condition, having recently diagnosed one of its main characters, the Reverend Ashley Thomas, with vascular dementia. As a result, the team behind the show have worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure they show a realistic representation of someone living with dementia. Northumbria academic staff also work closely with the Alzheimer’s Society and the University took the opportunity to showcase its vast range of research and dementia-related work during Dementia Awareness Week. Carers and delegates from regional organisations who support people

with dementia, as well as actor John Middleton, who plays the vicar in the soap, visited the University to hear about the latest research and activity to support those living with and supporting those with the condition. Northumbria’s activity around dementia is wide-ranging, covering all areas of academic expertise. In health and wellbeing, they are working with a community organisation to bring together older people and hen-keeping to combat loneliness and depression. In the arts, the University has led on the development of a critically-acclaimed play which has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival. The play encourages the audience to think about how they live and work alongside those who have been diagnosed with dementia.

After hearing about the University’s work, John Middleton spoke to students and staff, explaining how he felt about the storyline and how he is working to handle it sensitively. “When I first heard about the storyline my first reaction was that it was a fantastic story that will give me an amazing, dramatic opportunity,” he said. “I knew a little bit about dementia, but then I started doing a lot of research and realised what a huge, huge issue this is and not only that, but that we had to get it right. If we didn’t get it right, it would be an immense disservice to people with dementia and their carers. “The extraordinary thing is in terms of the reach that we have is that we are watched by six million people six times a week. That’s a huge number of people so I’m privileged in

many ways that I can raise awareness of this issue and not only that, but on a show like ours we can take the time that it deserves, and I’m delighted to be part of that.” Professor Dianne Ford, Executive Dean of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, said: “We were delighted to be able to host this event, and particularly to welcome John Middleton, who is doing much to raise awareness of this condition. Dementia is devastating not only for the individuals diagnosed, but also for their families and friends who try to support them through this difficult time. “Although there is currently no cure for dementia, there are many ways that we can work to make the condition more comfortable for those living with it. This is the fourth year that we have held a week of

activities to showcase the multidisciplinary approach we take here at Northumbria towards helping to improve the lives of those who are coping with dementia on a daily basis.” Students, staff and visitors were encouraged to give their opinions on what they think can be done to confront dementia in a video vox-pop booth. Their responses will be used by academic researchers to create a report on approaches to challenge the condition.

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Westminster Abbey

Northumbria students at Westminster Abbey

Nursing students celebrate the life of the Lady with the Lamp

Nursing and midwifery students from Northumbria were invited to take part in a national ceremony commemorating the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

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nown as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ after tending to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale established the world’s first nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1860. She is remembered for recognising that hygiene and sanitation were essential for good healthcare and her school informed and inspired the future education of all nurses. As Northumbria is the largest provider of nurse education in the North East of England, the Florence Nightingale Foundation approached the University to invite nursing and midwifery students to take part in a Westminster Abbey service celebrating Nightingale’s life. Emma Sebag-Montefiore, who specialises in child nursing, was one of the students chosen to be involved. She said: “It was a privilege to be selected, especially as the only students involved in the ceremony and procession are from Northumbria. Westminster Abbey is so beautiful –

it’s the same building where William and Kate were married – so one of the extra benefits of going is that I can say that I have walked up the same aisle as her!” Amanda Clarke, Professor of Nursing and Head of the Department of Healthcare, added: “Florence Nightingale is renowned for introducing the caring standards and evidence-based principles that lie at the foundation of nursing today. She was – and remains – an inspiration to all nurses and we are honoured to have been asked by the Florence Nightingale Foundation to take part in this special commemorative service.” Northumbria University’s nursing courses were the first in the UK to be accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and rank in the top 20 in both the Sunday Times and Complete University Guide league tables.

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Emma Sebag-Montefiore (right) helps a fellow student get ready for the procession


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FEATURE

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The Conversation is a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary that’s free to read and republish. At Northumbria, our academics have been working with The Conversation to produce independent, quality current affairs journalism on some of the latest topics to hit the news. Here are some of our top picks… What is news in the 21st century? Professor Bruce Mutsvairo, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and former Associated Press journalist, takes a look at how the industry has changed in an age of social media, bloggers and citizen journalism. He argues that combining the interest and expertise of both the news professionals and the informed citizenry can only make the quality of news better.

Hirsutes you sir: but that beard might mean more to men than women Beards have been bang on trend for the past couple of years – but what is the point of a beard, evolutionarily speaking? Dr Tasmin Saxton, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, explains her recent research study which found that beards probably evolved at least partly to help men boost their standing amongst other men, rather than attract the opposite sex.

Why we are secretly attracted to people who look like our parents Have you ever thought there was an uncanny family resemblance between your friend and her partner? Dr Tamsin Saxton, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, explores the psychology behind attraction and why we often go for an other half who looks like a parent.

Cherry concentrate can lower blood pressure as much as drugs, our study finds In recent years, Northumbria has undertaken a number of studies into the health benefits of tart Montmorency cherry concentrate. Dr Karen Keane, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, explains the latest findings which show that drinking cherry concentrate lowers systolic blood pressure for up to three hours – a revelation that could save the lives of those at risk of cardiovascular disease.

What the U-turn on academies means for Conservative education policy The secretary of state for education, Nicky Morgan, has backed down on plans to force all schools in England to become academies by 2022. Michael Jopling, Professor in Education, dicsusses how this change of heart affects the Conservative policy on education.

Want to build better computer games? Call an architect Ruth Dalton, Professor of Building Usability and Visualisation, has been working alongside neuroscientists, psychologists, doctors and programmers to produce a computer game that could lead to better diagnoses for dementia patients. Here, she explains how architects can be vital to computer game design.

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Here’s what architecture can teach us about building the Northern Powerhouse George Osborne’s vision for a “Northern Powerhouse” will see new mayors, improved transport links and a cultural and economic resurgence in northern cities over the coming years. Sebastien Messer, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, writes about what we can learn from architecture to help with this grand scheme to reinvigorate the North of England.


NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY NEWS

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UNIVERSITY SPORT

Senior sports lecturer receives Royal honours

Northumbria courts double success

Northumbria University cemented its reputation as a centre for sporting excellence following victories in two national finals on one day.

A Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching has received an MBE for his leading work in coaching gymnastics.

Team Northumbria’s Abi Asoro

Sports Coaching lecturer Karl Wharton, who has been awarded an MBE

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arl Wharton, who leads the University’s undergraduate Sport Coaching course, received the award of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his outstanding service to coaching gymnasts, both internationally and regionally. A former national coach with British Gymnastics, Karl is one of the country’s leading academics in coaching education, producing several chapters for recent sports coaching books on athlete development, growth and maturation and working with elite young athletes. Alongside his teaching, Karl remains a highly respected international gymnastics coach, judge and administrator, serving on the International Federation of Gymnastics, where he is about to undertake his third successive Olympic cycle. In his spare time, Karl also oversees the running of the Deerness

Gymnastics Academy in Durham. The community club has produced more than 100 gymnasts who have represented Great Britain, producing 15 World and European champions. Students on Northumbria’s sports courses benefit from Karl’s national and international coaching roles. He regularly brings gymnasts into the University to work with coaching, strength and conditioning students to give them hands-on experience of applying training techniques in reallife situations. Speaking about the honour, Karl said: “The sport of gymnastics has developed greatly over the past few years and it has been a privilege to have been a part of this success at a local, national and international level. A lot of my academic colleagues say they don’t know how I manage to combine everything – and it is hard work with very long days – but for me it is very important to continue working as a practitioner with athletes at every level. It enables me to apply academic theory to real-world

practice, which is a huge benefit to both my students and my athletes.” Professor Dianne Ford, Executive Dean of Northumbria’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see Karl’s commitment and dedication to his sport recognised in this way. We are proud to have Karl in the Faculty. His experience and esteem in gymnastics brings a unique and highly valued perspective to his teaching, from which our students get great benefit.” Northumbria University was one of the original providers of sport degrees in the UK and its sport science courses are currently ranked 25th in the country in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Graduates of the University’s sports courses include Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton; track and field athlete Steve Cram and former England rugby captain Martin Corry.

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eam Northumbria women’s volleyball players claimed a fifth successive playoff title with a convincing win against London Polonia. Hours later the University’s women’s basketball team triumphed in front of 3,000 fans at London’s O2 Arena to lift the 2016 WBBL playoff title. Director of Sport, Colin Stromsoy, said: “We welcome students from all over the world to play sport at Northumbria and we are fortunate that our talent pool grows year on year. During those two finals we had players representing the University from as far afield as the United States, Bulgaria, Belgium, Sweden and the United Kingdom. “For our homegrown students it’s an excellent opportunity to mix with like-minded young people from a range of different countries and cultures and for the overseas players we can help to develop their game on the court and offer them a first class education off it.” Sweden international Abi Asoro was named Most Valuable Player

at the WBBL final following Northumbria’s 75-68 win against firm favourites Nottingham Wildcats. The forward suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept her out of basketball for almost two years but a remarkable turnaround saw her recover to help the University claim its first ever WBBL play-off title. “It felt so good to bring home our first championship,” said the 22-year-old. “It was a once in a lifetime moment – it was the biggest and the best game of my career so far and it felt fantastic to win especially after Nottingham Wildcats had beaten us a few times. “We weren’t the favourites but we stuck together and showed how a good defence can win games. “It was a big honour to be named most valued player but I was really pleased with how well we all played as a team.”

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Summer 2016 • northumbria.ac.uk •

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UNIVERSITY SPORT

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National championships make their way to Northumbria The Association of Colleges held its 2016 national championships in the North East, with Northumbria’s impressive £30m Sport Central featuring as the home venue.

A Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the strongest of them all?

lmost 1,800 college students came to Northumbria to take part in the major national three-day sporting event, covering15 different sports, including badminton, football, swimming, tennis, cross country, cricket and golf. As well as Sport Central, the students also used the University’s sports centre at Coach Lane Campus and the outdoor pitches at Bullocksteads, which were also used last year by the Tongan national team in preparation for their Rugby World Cup matches at St James’ Park. Colin Stromsoy, Director of Sport at Northumbria University, said: “We are now firmly established as one of the UK’s leading universities for sport, and accordingly, we were delighted to host the Association of Colleges’

Experts at Northumbria University are working with Newcastle Clinic to explore how innovative new research on muscular strength in healthy adults could be used to accelerate recovery from strokes and limb fractures.

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esearchers within the University’s Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation have gained valuable insight into the way muscles are strengthened. In research potentially pivotal to the future of stroke rehabilitation, fractures or other unilateral clinical injuries, Northumbria researchers have found that when standing in front of a mirror exercising a muscle on one side of the body, the muscle on the opposite side can also get stronger due to the reflection stimulating a specific area

in the brain. The illusion excites the untrained muscle on the opposite side which stimulates and, as a result, strengthens it. Northumbria experts are now working in collaboration with Newcastle Clinic to analyse sports injuries using the clinic’s state-of-theart MRI equipment. Glyn Howatson, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology, explained: “We are very excited at the potential application of this work in athlete injury management and, perhaps more importantly, in clinical populations, such as stroke and

fractures, that require rehabilitation.” Rated the best university in the North East of England for sport and exercise research, the University boasts a range of specialist strength and conditioning, physiology, biomechanics and nutrition labs in its £30 million Sport Central. These state-of-the-art facilities are used by students to develop their knowledge and insight into health, performance and wellbeing.

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National Sporting Championships. The event was an exciting opportunity to bring some of the country’s most talented young athletes to the University and to showcase our sporting facilities and services.” Northumbria University has a strong reputation for sport. It is ranked as one of the UK’s top sporting universities by Which? and Team Northumbria has finished in eighth place in the BUCS national league for two years running. In addition, Northumbria’s sporting facilities are ranked joint 4th in the UK, according to the Times Higher Education’s Student Experience Survey 2015-16. The flagship Sport Central boasts a 3,000 seat arena, swimming pool, running track and a huge multi-station gym. Memberships are open to students, staff and members of the public.


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UNIVERSITY SPORT

SPORT

Top 10 university in the UK for sport and facilities

Hat-trick of wins for Team Northumbria Northumbria has made history after beating Newcastle University to take the Stan Calvert Cup for the third year in a row.

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tan Calvert is a week-long varsity competition in which students from Northumbria and Newcastle Universities compete in sports including fencing, netball, hockey, volleyball, table tennis, squash, show jumping, cricket, rowing, water polo, basketball, badminton and skiing, before gathering for a grand finale. This year’s event was one of the closest ever, with Northumbria retaining the trophy for the third time after scoring 73.75 points, versus Newcastle’s 67.25 points.

Northumbria’s Student Sport President, Brogan O’Connor, said: “We had to win as many games as possible and it was a difficult week, but we came through it and our hard work really paid off in the end. We did our predictions and it looked like we might lose by a point, so to come out with the win – our third in a row – is brilliant. It was probably the best week of my life. We’re all ecstatic!” Northumbria’s Director of Sport, Colin Stromsoy, added: “I’m enormously proud of all of the students and the staff who have done a phenomenal job.

Newcastle pushed us right to the limit but we’ve got confidence in what we do and we’ve proved it time and time again. This is an elite, high performance competition. There have been some absolutely phenomenal performances and I’m just delighted that we’ve come through it with a win. Everyone pulled together to pull it out of the bag. “In 2012, Northumbria lost the Stan Calvert cup by 50 points – we’ve turned that right around. We’ve done that not by spending money but because of the students who have proven they are capable time and time again.”

The win cements Northumbria’s reputation as being one of the best sporting universities in the UK. Team Northumbria is ranked 8th in the British Universities & Colleges Sport national league table and the University’s sports facilities are rated joint 4th in the UK in the Times Higher Education’s annual Student Experience Survey 2015-16.

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Northumbria University News - Summer 2016 edition