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May 2010

Universities UK Higher Education campaign Universities UK, the official voice of UK universities, is working with the higher education sector to co-ordinate a new pilot project this June, to boost public perception of universities and their contribution to the UK economy and society. Universities Week 2010: What’s the big idea? will challenge public misconceptions and highlight the

essential role of our universities, including their impact on local and national economies, culture, sport, health, the environment and much more. The campaign will centre on a week of activity involving universities across the UK, taking place from 14–20 June 2010. From the training of teachers, doctors and sports professionals, to the development

Centre of the Cell takes the educational initiative

of future fuels, miracle medicines, new technologies, or improved food nutrition – together these stories build a picture of the many and surprising ways that students, academics and other university staff make a difference in the UK. More information can be found at www.universitiesuk.ac.uk

Centre of the Cell, the science education centre at Queen Mary’s Whitechapel campus, has won the Educational Initiative award at the 2010 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence. The ‘Oscars’ of the museums’ world, the awards represent the very best of the sector. Centre of the Cell is the first science education centre in the world to be located within biomedical research laboratories, part of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary. The Centre provides young people with a unique interactive insight into what scientists do and how their work influences real life. Opened in September last year, the Centre has run 340 shows to-date. Professor Frances Balkwill, Director of Centre of the Cell, said: “Centre of the Cell aims to inspire young people to take an interest in science, to improve their knowledge of science and to encourage them to become scientists and healthcare professionals themselves.”


Queen Mary Student: a newsletter for you

Latest news

Mile End Library Ground Floor refurbishment Throughout the summer vacation and at the beginning of the first semester 2010, the ground floor of the Mile End Library will not be accessible to students or staff while phase 2 of the refurbishment project takes place. Mile End Library will continue to operate from the first and second floors during this time, and all the usual services will be available from the temporary Help Point on the first floor. The ground floor will close to students and staff at midnight on Friday 11 June 2010, and will re-open in November 2010. While the ground floor is closed, access to the Library

will be via the south west staircase, opposite the Ground coffee shop. Before making a special journey to the Mile End Library during the summer vacation, please check the Library website at http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk for up-to-date information about access and availability of resources. The ground floor will contain: • A brand new, bigger entrance • A new Welcome Desk • A  Learning Café: a dedicated study area where food & drink will be allowed • The Learning Lounge: an area

equipped with new computers • An expanded collection of the most in-demand books • More Group Study Rooms, all bookable and equipped to enable group work • New Help Zone to deal with enquiries • Printing/copying equipment housed in specially designed pods • A room reserved for use by postgraduate students (this will be in a temporary location until a new room is built in the next phase of the refurbishment). • T  he first and second floors will both be silent study floors

Hundreds attend Science Challenge Day events at Queen Mary The London Excellence Hub, led by a project team in the Education Liaison and Access Office, in the Department of Corporate Affairs, at Queen Mary, hosted a series of Science Challenge Day events for over 300 school children from east London. The events, which took place at the Mile End campus, saw students undertake

three practical challenges which were led by MCS Projects Ltd, a company specialising in delivering technology focused programmes to young people.

to young women who represent successful female leaders in technology. • James Theaker, who graduated from Queen Mary Geography in 2009, has won a Sony Radio Gold Award at NME Radio, for a show he presents. The Sony Radio Academy Awards

recognise the very best of the UK radio industry. • A  cheerleading team ‘QM Angels’ from the Legal Advice Centre in the Department of Law, have been awarded national champions at the British Cheerleading Association University Competition.

The challenges included working as small teams to build a bridge, robotic dog and motor racing car.

CONGRATULATIONS... • Nuzhah Gooda Sahib, Queen Mary PhD student, and BSc Computer Science with Business Management and Accounting graduate, has been awarded the EMEA Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholorship. The Scholarship is offered by Google


Queen Mary Student: a newsletter for you

Research brief Did you hear that deer?

A male deer’s voice changes from one mating season to the next, reflecting his age and rank in society, according to new research led by Dr Alan McElligott, from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. The study, published in BMC Biology, could end the idea that animals’ calls have easily recognisable, enduring features, which allow them to identify one another year on year. “During the mating season, male fallow deer emit loud ‘groans’ to tell nearby rivals and potential female mates about their physical capabilities,” said Dr McElligott, “Our study shows that these calls are surprisingly honest, accurately reflecting the males’ ability to fight off rivals and mate successfully with female deer.” Dr McElligott along with Elodie Briefer and colleague Elisabetta Vannoni from the University of Zurich studied the deer over four breeding seasons, recording the males’ calls, their competition with one another, and noting which had most success with female deer.

First rule of spin Politicians using spin, image overhauls and media manipulation to win ‘hearts and minds’ at election time is nothing new; it is a tactic that dates back to the Tudors, argues Kevin Sharpe, Professor of Renaissance Studies, from the School of English and Drama. In his inaugural lecture on 5 May 2010, Professor Sharpe examined how far British kings and queens of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries depended on their image for their authority. “Image was by no means under royal control,” explains Professor Sharpe, “just as we have 24/7 news via the internet today, 500 years ago there was the explosion of print, woodcuts and later the emergence of cartoons. It meant that monarchs were publicly scrutinised by rivals and critics in every medium of the day,” he adds.

Ron Athey brings his artistic body to Queen Mary Influential American performer Ron Athey visited Queen Mary, as a Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence. Based in the Centre for the History of the Emotions, Athey gave public lectures and talks on his artistic career and reflected on new research from his forthcoming book. Athey uses body art and live performance to tackle taboo subjects like sexuality, the politics of HIV and AIDS, and body modification.


Queen Mary Student: a newsletter for you

Research brief Results of bowel cancer study could save thousands of lives A five-minute screening test could cut the risk of developing bowel cancer by a third and save thousands of lives from the UK's second biggest cancer killer, according to a team of researchers from institutions including Queen Mary. The 16-year study, co-authored by Stephen Duffy, Professor of Cancer Screening at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, showed that a single flexible sigmoidoscopy examination in men and women aged between 55 and 64 reduced the incidence of bowel cancer by a third, compared with a

control group who had usual care. Over the course of the study, bowel cancer mortality was reduced by 43 percent in the group that had the Flexi-Scope test compared with the control group. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and Cancer Research UK, and carried out by at team of researchers from Queen Mary, Imperial College London, University College London, the University of East Anglia and St Mark's Hospital, the University of Oxford.

Forensics evidence could be bruised Criminal cases where forensic experts determine the age of bruises on victims from photographs could be flawed, according to research from the School of Medicine and Dentistry. One of the study’s authors, Professor of Forensic Medical Sciences, Peter Vanezis, at the William Harvey Research Institute, said: “Forensics are often asked to give their expert opinion as to when bruising had occurred on a victim based on photographic images, yet we now realise they can’t accurately determine when the bruise occurred.” In this study, forensic experts looked at 132 photographic images of bruises, ranging from 0 to 209 hours in age. Bruises were produced on the upper arms of 11 Caucasian subjects by a suction pump. Daily sequential photographs were taken until they were no longer visible to the naked eye. Fifteen forensic experts were asked to estimate the age of the bruises and also place them in chronological order.

Lead author, Margaret Pilling, an Honours Medical Student at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “The greatest accuracy, from forensic experts, occurred in very fresh bruises

(between 0 and 12 hours) however there were still a number of significant misjudgements in this age range. The median difference between the estimated age and the real age was 26 hours – a considerable disparity. We conclude that forensic experts’ estimates of bruise age from photographs are, at best, unreliable.”


Queen Mary Student: a newsletter for you

MySIS The new Student Information System

Re-enrolment reloaded Queen Mary is implementing a new and interactive Student Information System (SIS) this summer, causing big process changes. Many of these affect you directly, and Queen Mary Student is letting you know what you need to do. Each month, we’ll take you through what returning students need to know next year. Last issue we told you all about the new module registration process, and today we’re letting you know how to re-enrol online.

What is re-enrolment? Re-enrolment is a process which all students, from undergraduates to research degree students, must complete at the start of each new academic year. It confirms that you have returned to your programme, updates us with key information that might have changed over the past year, and indicates your agreement to follow Queen Mary’s Regulations. Re-enrolment is an essential requirement for your programme, and must be completed by the published deadline. If you don’t re-enrol, your registration as a Queen Mary student will eventually be terminated and you will be unable to continue your studies or use any of our facilities, so don’t forget! If you are waiting to receive funds from the Student Loans Company these will not be issued until Queen Mary can confirm that you

have re-enrolled. Students in debt to Queen Mary from the previous academic year will not be able to re-enrol until the outstanding balance has been cleared. If you fail to progress to the next year of your studies, interrupt studies for the 2010/11 academic year or decide to study abroad for all or part of the academic year you do not need to re-enrol until you resume your studies at Queen Mary in attendance. Queen Mary has provided re-enrolment online for several years, so re-enrolment in MySIS will not be wholly new. We’ll ask you to check and update your contact details, including your home, term-time, and results addresses, and confirm that your programme information and qualifications history are correct. If you’re a research degree student you’ll also be asked to check that any funding information we hold for you is correct. You’ll be able to amend some information directly so that we have the most up-to-date data, and where it can’t be updated directly you can send a query to Academic Registry from within the system.

What’s going to be different? The biggest change to online reenrolment is that you’ll find the facility within your new MySIS online portal, alongside module registration and information on your studies.

How will online re-enrolment work? Re-enrolment will open at the end of August (slightly later if you’ve taken late-summer assessment), and when this happens you’ll receive an email letting you know that you can begin. You then need to follow the link and log-in to MySIS and choose ‘re-enrol online’ from your student home page. When you click on ‘re-enrol online’ you’ll see up to four sections to check and update: personal and academic details, qualification history, address information, and studentship information (research students only). You can save the data and log-in again later if you need to find information from elsewhere to complete the process. Once you’ve filled out the sections available to you, you can select your data consent options and complete the process by agreeing to the College Declaration (this sets out what you can expect of us, and what we require from you as students in return). You must complete the process by the published deadline.4


Queen Mary Student: a newsletter for you

MySIS The new Student Information System

Updating your student visa details If you are studying at Queen Mary and have a Tier 4 General (Student) visa or a Student Visitor visa we will display the information that we currently hold against your visa and passport. If this information is missing, out of date (your visa has expired) or inaccurate (you have changed visa type or category – Tier 4 to Tier 1 (Post Study Work)) then you must bring your new details to Academic Registry (Queens’ Building CB05) so that we can update your record. It is essential that the details we hold on your record are up to date and correct in order to comply with the UK Border Agency and the Points Based Immigration System. If we can

see that your initial visa expired and you have not provided new details then we will limit your enrolment to temporary status until this is resolved.

Why is this better? You’ll be able to re-enrol wherever you are and at any time – just make sure you complete all of the sections and confirm your data by the published deadline. Online re-enrolment saves you time, is more efficient for our staff, and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

What should I do now? You don’t need to do anything right now, but you must check your Queen Mary email account regularly over the coming

months. We’ll be sending you a prompt to let you know when to start re-enrolment.

What else should I know? The new Student Information System is bringing many changes to Queen Mary’s processes. Queen Mary Student is committed to letting you know what you need to do differently this year. We’ll be releasing more information as you need it, but if you have a specific question that isn’t covered you can contact us at sis@qmul.ac.uk. You should also watch for more information in your email account, on posters, and in the Student Guide and departmental handbooks for the new academic year.


QMStudentMay2010