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Life

University of Wolverhampton alumni magazine

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Celebrating 21 years as a university Alumni of the Year Nominations now open!

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Issue 04 Winter 2012/13

A place to go from Graduate to Great Every great story has a beginning

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Life. At Wolverhampton. After Wolverhampton. For Life. Welcome to the Winter 2012/13 edition of WLV Life – the magazine for graduates and former students of the University of Wolverhampton. Turning 21 is a special moment in life; a time to reflect on what you have achieved so far and look ahead to the future. In 1992, Wolverhampton Polytechnic was granted university status and this year will be our 21st anniversary. Our roots actually go back over 170 years, to the Mechanics Institutes of the 19th century, and we are proud to have a long history of creating opportunities for people from the West Midlands and beyond. To celebrate this special birthday we are planning a number of events under the banner of ‘21 and Proud’ (page 11). We hope to involve as many people who have contributed to our success in the celebrations as possible and our alumni are a key part of our plans. Whenever you started your journey with Wolverhampton, we hope you will join us in marking the University’s anniversary. As part of our celebrations, we will also be hosting our first ever Business Acheivement Awards recognising the outstanding success of talented individuals from the University’s alumni community, the local business community, and the region’s 13-16 year olds.

We are immensely proud of the achievements of our alumni, and on page 10 you can find out more about the alumni awards category and how you can nominate one of your fellow graduates – or even yourself. Also in this edition, we introduce our Graduate to Great 2013 participants (page 7), including reptile expert and TV presenter, Mark O’Shea, who we ask about his big new projects (page 8). Plus, we talk to two budding entrepreneur graduates about their first year as managing directors of their own company (page 16). With all the latest alumni and University news, including our brand new Students’ Unions (page 18), and a look at how the European Erasmus Exchange programme helped our UK and overseas graduates (page 20), you’ll be sure to find something of interest. I hope you find WLV Life an entertaining and informative read – please do let us know your thoughts via email: alumni@wlv.ac.uk Best wishes

professor geoff layer Vice-Chancellor

Written by: Amy Roberton & Leigh Joslin

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03 Contents o 08 18 20

02 03 04 07 08 10 11 16 20 22

President’s column

Meet your new WLV Alumni Association President

Alumni news and events

Reunions, new arrivals and dates for your diary…

University news

Top headlines from the past six months

A place to go from graduate to great Every great story has a beginning…

Graduate feature: Mark O’Shea

From a passion for reptiles, to exploring the globe

Alumni of the Year awards We’re now seeking nominations

21 and Proud

We’re celebrating 21 years as a university

Graduate feature: Matt Weston and Mike Chinn A stone’s throw away

Passport to success

European Erasmus Exchange Programme

My Life

Victorine Ngamsha, BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems, 2012

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Alumni news and events President’s Column Ken Harris, History and Deaf Studies (2010) / MA Conflict Studies (current)

Hello everyone! Thanks for taking the time to check out WLV Life magazine. Some of you may already know me from the past five years I spent at the University, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick introduction. I came to the University as a mature student in 2007 after taking a break from education and developing a career in sales. I chose to study BA (Hons) History and Deaf Studies after I started learning British Sign Language at the Birmingham Institute for the Deaf and realised that a career linked to deafness was what I wanted to do. During my three years here I got heavily involved with the University, becoming a School Rep and then President of the Students’ Union, which I was elected for two years running – only the fifth person since 1931 to do so at the University. I am a proud graduate and was honoured when I was asked to become the President of the WLV Alumni Association. Over the next year, there are five key areas that I would like to focus on – these are based on my personal ideals and experiences while at the University, and I hope you agree that they are important, especially in these times of increased student debt, high unemployment and global economic uncertainty.

I also feel that the relationship between the student and the University should not end at the last exam or the graduation ceremony, but be a lifetime partnership. This is why I want to develop a network of Alumni Mentors that can support, motivate and inspire the next generation of graduates. As President of the WLV Alumni Association I am here to help you voice your thoughts and opinions, so your comments and feedback on my five points, even if you disagree with any of them, are warmly welcomed. We hope you will join me in celebrating your success and helping to shape the future for University of Wolverhampton alumni. Contact Ken at: alumni@wlv.ac.uk

Please stay in touch, Thank you.

The five areas are: 1. Graduate employability. 2. Improved relationships and communication between the University and graduates. 3. The creation of an alumni benefit card. 4. Mentoring opportunities between alumni and current students. 5. More alumni events, including a bigger alumni reunion event in 2013. Graduate employability is a top priority for me. In the current employment market it is crucial that the University’s degrees and awards are shaped to ensure that our students have the skills and attributes needed to make them competitive and desirable to today’s employers.

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Reunions BA Modern Languages (BAML) Over 50 graduates and staff from the then Wolverhampton Polytechnic’s first ever BA Modern Languages (BAML) course in the early 1970s, were reunited after 40 years at a reunion event held in Wolverhampton. Held on Saturday 6 October at the Goldthorn Mercure Hotel, graduates (pictured above) travelled from across the UK, Europe and as far as Hong Kong and Afghanistan to be part of the event. The weekend activities also included a tour of City Campus and the many new buildings and facilities that have been developed since the Polytechnic days in the 70s. Organised by graduate, Keith Evans, he says: “It seemed as if everybody had only been apart for a few days! The spirit and camaraderie were still there and we all still retained fond memories of the Poly and BAML.”

Diploma of European Languages and Institutions (DELI)

The group (pictured right), who went on to enjoy a celebratory night at The Mount Hotel in Wolverhampton, have gone onto a diverse range of careers using their language skills, including working in international business and as translators and teachers.

New arrivals

Events Alumni Reunion 2013 Claire Shaw, Head of Alumni and Development

Having grown up in Wolverhampton, Claire joined the University in October. She has spent the last 11 years working in various university Alumni and Development Offices, including Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; Goldsmiths College London; and De Montfort University.

Former students, who graduated in 1968 from what was then the Wolverhampton College of Technology, were reunited 44 years after completing their course.

Claire takes responsibility for the strategic and operational direction of the department and works with colleagues across the University to identify funding opportunities and ways of enhancing our alumni relations activity.

11 alumni from the Diploma of European Languages and Institutions (DELI), including one who had travelled from Canada and one from Germany, were amazed to see how much the University campus had changed when they returned for a guided tour.

Claire is an avid Wolverhampton Wanderers fan, and a keen violinist, playing in both the Wolverhampton Symphony Orchestra and the Bardi Symphony Orchestra.

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Saturday 20 April, 7pm-1am WV1 suite, Molineux Stadium Tickets: £10 per person (£7.50 if you book before 1 March 2013). See page 25. Book your place at: www.wlv.ac.uk/reunion2013 Twitter: #reunion2013

Postgraduate Open Evening Tuesday 14 May 2013, 5pm-7.30pm Harrison Learning Centre, City Campus Pre-register at: www.wlv.ac.uk/opendays See pages 14-15 for more events taking place as part of our 21 and Proud celebrations.

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Contact Claire at: claire.shaw@wlv.ac.uk, or tel: 01902 321 108.

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University News Here are some of our top headlines from the past six months...

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Honorary graduate elected President of India

Scholarships awarded to new students

Honorary graduate, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, was elected the 13th President of India. He took oath as the new President on 25 July 2012 at a ceremony also attended by the University’s Chancellor, the Rt Hon Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone. Mr Mukherjee received an Honorary Doctor of Letters in 2011 when he was the Finance Minister of India and Leader of Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian Parliament.

We were delighted to offer more than 600 scholarships to new first year students to help them financially through their studies. Scholarships were awarded to high achieving students and those whose household income is less than £25,000. Worth up to £3,500, they are made up of: £1,000 in cash, £1,000 discounted fees and a further £1,000 fee waiver or £1,500 off accommodation fees.

Governor of the Bank of England visits Wolverhampton

Olympic inspired artwork on show

The Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, visited Wolverhampton to present a talk on the economy, as part of a new series of talks titled ‘Wolverhampton Debates’. Sir Mervyn spoke about the city’s economic future, and took part in a question and answer session with the audience at the University’s City Campus.

A new piece of Olympic inspired artwork featuring over 200 photographs of University students and the local community has been unveiled. The photo montage featured images of statements of what the Olympics have inspired people to do and was displayed in Wolverhampton Art Gallery and various locations around the University, before reaching its permanent home in the Students’ Union at City Campus.

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Top marks for Students’ Union Our Students’ Union (SU) received recognition for being an excellent employer when it secured Investors in People (IIP) Bronze Standard, which recognises quality employers. The SU had to meet 65 requirements to achieve the award, including demonstrating the manner in which it offered its staff the opportunities to further themselves and increase their personal competencies while working within the organisation.

Graduation celebration We celebrated as over 4,000 students graduated at our 2012 congregation. The 18 ceremonies were once again hosted at The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton and included a procession across the city by the Vice-Chancellor and members of academic staff. We also conferred honorary degrees to 12 prominent figures within their fields including artist David Watkins, who designed the Olympic medals, and co-founder of Poundland, David Dodd.

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Wolverhampton host annual Nursing lecture

New £4 million project for budding entrepreneurs

Plans for City Campus redevelopment revealed

The School of Health and Wellbeing was this year’s host for the prestigious Winifred Raphael Memorial Lecture. Run by the Royal College of Nursing’s Research Society, the lecture was given by Professor Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu who is the first ever UK sickle cell/thalassaemia nurse counsellor. The annual lecture attracts nurses of all disciplines and other healthcare professionals from across the country.

Entrepreneurs in the West Midlands will now receive help getting their businesses off the ground through a £4 million project led by the University. SPEED Plus gives students and graduates the opportunity to launch a business idea and receive financial support, access to business facilities and mentoring. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the project is open to 600 students and graduates from the University of Wolverhampton, as well as those from Coventry, Keele, Staffordshire and Birmingham City universities.

The University of Wolverhampton has announced plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of its City Campus. The plans involve an investment of around £45m on its North and South campuses in Wolverhampton City Centre. It is all part of the University’s plan to improve facilities and the student and staff experience. There are also plans to continue to develop the campuses at both Walsall and Telford.

University to boost research investment The University of Wolverhampton has made a multi-million pound investment as part of its commitment to research. A funding pot of £6m has been set up with the aim to bolster the research profile of the University and make it sustainable for the long-term, with the vision of increasing the world class work it produces.

New exhibition of glass art Glass art from internationally renowned Chinese artist and Wolverhampton graduate, Professor Zhuang Xiaowei, was featured at an exhibition in Wolverhampton Art Gallery entitled Poetics of the Handmade. Professor Xiaowei is a Master’s graduate and the Director of The Glass Studio at the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University.

Student acts go Live Students from the University of Wolverhampton shared the bill with some of the UK’s top music acts at Free Radio Live 2012. From the LG Arena in Birmingham and with a crowd of 15,000 people, headline acts included Leona Lewis, JLS, Scouting for Girls, Labrinth, McFly, Stooshe, Little Mix, Lawson and Amelia Lily. The event was sponsored by the University and featured nine student acts performing live in the Forum Live area.

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Do you have what it takes to be a

student mentor?

Can you spare just a couple of hours a month to help final year students prepare for life after graduation and enhance their CV as well as yours?

We’re seeking dedicated and enthusiastic alumni to join our new alumni-to-student mentoring scheme launching September 2013. By sharing your insights, experiences, knowledge and skills, you can give current students a better understanding of the world of work and help equip them to succeed in a competitive jobs market.

You can help with: • job searching, CV writing and interview tips • work experience and placement opportunities • organisation, communication and presentation skills • sharing contacts from within your professional networks.

All we ask is that you commit 1-2 hours per month over the course of 9 months to meet with your mentee(s) face-to-face. We will give you full training from one of the University’s mentoring experts and match you with mentees based on your location and your individual goals and expectations.

Interested? For more information about becoming a mentor email: alumni@wlv.ac.uk

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A place to go from graduate to great

Every great story has a beginning... and great people started their story at the University of Wolverhampton. As citizens of the world, our graduates work across the globe, holding leading positions in some of the world’s top companies and contributing to shape society.

Meet our Graduate to Great 2013 alumni Julian Ryall

Sandy Clayton-Kent

From writing essays, to writing world news.

From nursing student, to healthcare entrepreneur.

Tokyo Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph BA (Hons) European Studies

Practice teacher, School Nurse and Health Entrepreneur Postgraduate Diploma, School Nursing

“It gave me a great deal of self-belief; previously perhaps I’d lacked that. I didn’t know how I was going to really make it…”

“It gave me key components for my nursing practise now, to be innovative and creative.”

“If I had not gone to the University of Wolverhampton, I really don’t know what I would be doing. I certainly wouldn’t be doing this job.”

“Once I qualified as a nurse, I never expected all the opportunities that would be available to me – I’ve worked around the world.”

Lauren Smith

Phil Roscoe

From a big dream, to team GB.

From football supporter, to Premiership club.

Former Captain of GB Synchronised Swimming Team and Commonwealth Bronze Medallist BSc (Hons) Sports Studies

Head of Education and Welfare and U15’s Coach, Liverpool Football Club Academy PGCE Post-Compulsory Education

“It really made me a more organised and motivated person.”

“Fantastic university and a place that I would definitely recommend.”

“Standing on the podium, winning that medal, is something I will never, ever forget.”

“The support was there and the focus was maintained.”

Michael Salu

Milissa Chesters

From design ambitions, to big commissions.

From building skills, to building careers.

Artistic Director, Granta Publications BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

Human Resources Vice President, Fruit of the Loom Europe MA Human Resource Management

“You have a lot of freedom but you have a lot of guidance as well.”

“It gave me the confidence to do my job on a day-to-day basis.”

“Given the opportunity to work with Tricky, an artist I’ve loved for many years, was a real jump-out-of-my-seat moment.”

“My greatest personal achievement is helping develop the people at Fruit of the Loom.”

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From a passion for reptiles, to exploring the globe Graduate, Mark O’Shea, is a busy man at the best of times. As an herpetologist, his passion for the study of reptiles has led him to a career as a curator, photographer, author, and most notably, presenter of his own TV show: O’Shea’s Big Adventure. We talk to him about his current projects, experiences of field research and expeditions.

What is a typical day for you? Well it really depends on where I am or what I’m doing – there is no typical day in the field! But when I’m not out I spend much of my time writing and I’m often on the computer within 10 minutes of waking up. I’m involved in several big projects at the moment so days simply fly by – it’s evening before I know it! What projects are you working on at the moment? Two projects mainly; for the past five years we’ve been conducting a survey of all reptiles and amphibians in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste. Right now I’m working on a large update of the survey, which consists of expanding the district records for species we’ve found previously and writing species accounts for any new ones. This also involves comparative research of specimens so that we can determine which are new to science, and this takes me to various museums and institutions around the world, which will hopefully include the Smithsonian in January. My other main project is in Papua New Guinea, a country desperately in need of reptile research and where venomous snakebites are a serious public health problem. I’ve been involved in research there for over 20 years. Why have you chosen these countries to conduct your research? Much of the research I carry out is in areas of the world where reptile documentation is scarce, and the herpetological survey of Timor-Leste is the first of its kind in the country. We’ve identified 25-30 new species already and will be writing accounts for these over the coming years. In Papua New Guinea we’re working with the Australian Venom Research Unit to produce antivenom for Papuan taipan, a dangerous

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snake that kills hundreds of people a year. It’s not often you get the chance to contribute towards conservation of humans as well as wildlife – that is a great feeling. What are the most rewarding aspects of your projects? My projects are all designed to be educational and to provide further research opportunities. In Timor I came up with the idea to use photographic cards as a method of interviewing locals so that we can compare our documented species with what they know, and determine whether we have overlooked any. The cards educate the people about these reptiles and demonstrate which snakes are harmless or even beneficial. They are also great teaching aids for our research students. What do you find most challenging? Research can be time-consuming and, at times, frustrating – but that’s part of it; it’s a constant search for knowledge and information. For example, I’m interested in how species interact and their distribution, and when we find something unusual in the field it often throws up more questions that need answering – which I find very exhilarating. This happened recently with a snake in Timor, from a genus I knew well… from Papua New Guinea! What do you do with all the information you collate? My recordings are published in books, papers and research publications, including some of my own such as A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea; I’m currently writing the second edition. I also write expedition accounts for the website and use Google Earth to plot the locations of specimens we find, which is a very useful way to visualise the distribution of species, genera etc.

You graduated in 1985 with a BSc (Hons) Applied Science. What are your memories of studying at Wolverhampton? I remember that my lecturers were very supportive of me taking a sabbatical after my second year so that I could organise an expedition into Borneo. I don’t think anyone had gone off to do an expedition from Wolverhampton before and once I came back I was able to use my experiences, and the knowledge I’d gained of the rainforest, to get more involved in the coursework. I even taught some classes on the same course. How long have you been at West Midlands Safari Park? I’ve been there 25 years now. I used to be the Curator of Reptiles and did a lot of the husbandry, but when I started doing Big Adventure I became Consultant Curator, which I have continued alongside my other research projects. It’s a pleasure working at the Safari Park and I really enjoy doing my Reptile Encounters for the visitors. It gives me a nice balance between field research, writing, filming and meeting people.

It’s not often you get the chance to contribute towards conservation of humans as well as wildlife – that is a great feeling.

Contents page image: Papuan taipan, David Williams, 2006 Small image: Borneo blood python, Hinrich Kaiser, 2009 Large image: Ottoman viper, Øyvind Syrrist, 2012

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A place to go from graduate to great

And now the reptile house has been rebranded ‘Mark O’Shea’s Reptile World’! The theme running through the reptile house is of species I’ve either worked on or filmed in the wild. Most of them are captive-bred specimens or have come from other collections, as my capturing wild reptiles for the Safari Park would not be right – but they’re the same species, such as Papuan taipans, King cobras and Green anacondas. What do you enjoy most? I love my field work and I’m happiest when I’m in the field, making discoveries. The feeling of being somewhere remote, out in the jungle, listening to all the sounds, is fantastic. It can be dangerous too: in 1987 I was bitten on my thumb by a rattlesnake in the Amazon jungle whilst on a Royal Geographical Society expedition. Back then, communications weren’t as quick as they are now (no mobiles, sat-phones, internet)

and I had to hold on through the night before my colleagues could even inform base, five hours away, that I had been bitten and have them send a medivac. It was a serious bite which could have turned out worse. There are many dangers in my line of work but I love what I do. What would you say to today’s graduates of the University? Don’t lose sight of your goals or get tunnel vision, you can always specialise later. Get

yourself a broad church of knowledge. If you want something so much you can taste it, if you try hard enough, you ought to be able to achieve it. Find out more at Mark’s website: www.markoshea.info Watch Mark’s Graduate to Great video: www.youtube.com/uniwolverhampton

Mark O’Shea

Herpetologist, photographer, author, lecturer, TV presenter and Consultant Curator of Reptiles. BSc (Hons) Applied Science, Honorary Doctor of Science.

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of the

Alumni Year

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21 and Proud Achievement Awards Do you know an alumnus who deserves recognition for their amazing achievements? Nominate now! As the University begins its celebrations marking 21 years as a university, we’re on the hunt to find three Alumni of the Year. We’re hosting our first ever Achievement Awards recognising the outstanding success of talented individuals from the University’s alumni community, the local business community, and the region’s 13-16 year olds. We are enormously proud of the achievements of our alumni who enter all walks of life, reach the top of their professions, and make a real difference all over the world. At this prestigious awards ceremony, three alumni awards will be given out in the following categories: Emerging Alumnus of the Year; Alumnus of the Year: Enterprise and Leadership; and Alumnus of the Year: Contribution to Society.

Award categories We’re now seeking nominations – and we want to hear from you! Do these describe anyone you know? Do they describe you? 1. Emerging Alumnus of the Year

2. Alumnus of the Year: Enterprise and Leadership

3. Alumnus of the Year: Contribution to Society

A graduate from the last five years who has made a significant impact in their industry or profession.

A graduate who has made an important contribution to the local, national or international community through an enterprising business venture, or has improved the way business is done through innovative leadership.

A graduate from any year who has enriched or transformed the lives of others, or has overcome significant personal adversity. This can be either within their professional career or personal life.

The awards are open to all graduates from the University of Wolverhampton (or any of our predecessor institutions). Nominations are welcomed from graduates, staff and students, as well as colleagues, employers, families and friends of alumni. You can also nominate yourself.

So, who do you think deserves to be one of our Alumni of the Year? Nominate now by visiting: www.wlv.ac.uk/alumniawards

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21and Proud

We’re celebrating 21 years as a university Birthdays are a great time for celebration and few are more special than turning 21! On the 17 June 2013, we will have had the title ‘university’ for 21 years. We felt we should take the opportunity to celebrate, recognise and reflect on the University’s achievements over the last 21 years and so between January and June we’re hosting a series of events to recognise our heritage. You can find out what we’ve got planned on pages 14-15. Our history extends further of course; in fact it goes back 170 years and on pages 12-13 you can read about some of our major historical moments. You’re invited It’s going to be a busy year. If you want to participate, have a memory you want to share with us, or want to attend one of the events, contact the Alumni and Development Unit for details. You can also check the 21 and Proud website at: www.wlv.ac.uk/21andproud for further information, or email: 21andproud@wlv.ac.uk Follow us on Twitter: @wlv_uni

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#wlv21

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As the higher education institution with the largest number of profoundly deaf students in Britain, we are awarded almost £200,000 to improve educational and career opportunities for the deaf community.

2000

Harnessing the potential of learning via the internet, our first online degree is launched.

1999

We are the first university to establish a Virtual Learning Environment – WOLF.

1997

The University of Wolverhampton Science Park opens to forge links between local businesses and the University’s research.

1995

We are the first UK university to receive the Government’s prestigious Charter Mark for excellence in customer service.

1994

Our History

1992 We officially become the University of Wolverhampton after being granted university status.

Walsall Campus hosts the Australian Olympic judo team in the run-up to the London 2012 games – the campus is a British Judo Association High Performance Centre.

2012

The Performance Hub – a multi-million pound performing arts facility – opens at our Walsall Campus.

2011

We recieve £2 million in research funding – recognition that we are one of the leading new universities in the West Midlands for research.

2008

Regional offices open in Nigeria, Poland and China to increase our international relations.

2007

A state-of-the-art Technology Centre is established with specialist labs for software games development, mobile computing, virtual reality, and rapid-prototyping resources.

2004


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The first graduate students are accepted by the Technical College to begin research into engineering.

1936

The foundation stone of the Wolverhampton Staffordshire Technical College buildings in Wulfruna Street (now MA Building) is laid by Prince George.

1931

We begin offering student scholarships to ‘prized students’, who would not otherwise be able to access higher education.

1905

The School of Art is developed into the Municipal School of Art, with new buildings on Darlington Street.

1885

The University’s roots lie in Wolverhampton’s Mechanics Institute and School of Art, both of which are established in the 1800s.

1800s

career opportunities for the deaf community.

Walsall Campus grows with the acquisition of the West Midlands College of Higher Education.

1989

Wolverhampton Polytechnic is formally opened, having been designated by the Secretary of State on 1 September 1969.

1970

Construction of a purpose-built Arts building (now MK Building) is underway.

1967

One of the first digital computers, WITCH, arrives at the Technical College and is used to teach computing until 1973.

1957

Our annual statement to government records 2921 students, a third of which are women.

1939

2012 games – the campus is a British Judo Association High Performance Centre.


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Alumni Stories Our graduating class of 1992 have gone onto fantastic things. Amongst them are the head of a leading Midlands law firm and Walsall’s first ever Poet Laureate, the UK Director of Islamic Relief and Facebook’s Global Account Manager. Read the stories from our Alumni... Helen O’Donnell

Stefan Ziegenhagen Wolverhampton excelled the most where it really counted; dedicated staff, lecturers and tutors who wanted you to learn no matter what.

The most important skills I’ve needed throughout my career have been communication and the ability to get a message across - that skill certainly came from the University.

Marcus Wareham

Tim Wood Wolverhampton was everything I hoped for and it was where I started on the track I have followed ever since.

I really had the most fantastic experience, enjoying my course, meeting great people, and the Students’ Union was the best.

Ian Henery

Jehangir Malik Going to university was a major milestone within my community and one that made my family and friends alike very proud of me.

Wolverhampton’s facilities and technology were all very good, as well as conducive to us mature students trying to transform our career paths to a life in law.

Key highlights between January and June 2013 include: Launch of our 21 and Proud web portal: www.wlv.ac.uk/21andproud

11 January

21 hour International Festival at City Campus

14 March

Students’ Union Comedy Night as part of Red Nose Day

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21 March

Winners of our poem competition will be announced as part of World Book Night

20 April

23 April

Annual alumni reunion with special guests from our graduating class of 1992

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21 facts from 1992

Do you remember any of them?

• The cost of petrol was 40.3p/litre. • The population of the Black Country was 121,700 (1.09 million in 2012). • The population of England was 48.38 million people. • The Prime Minister of Britain was John Major. • The highest rated TV show was the 22nd January Coronation Street episode with 22.45 million viewers. • The highest grossing movie was Disney’s Aladdin. • Liverpool won the FA Cup for the fifth time. • The bestselling single was I Will Always Love you (Whitney Houston). • Actor Frankie Howerd died. • Great Britain placed 13th on the Olympic Games medal table with 5 Gold, 3 Silver, and 12 Bronze.

• The winner of the Grand National was Party Politics. • The average house price in Britain was £61,300. • The FA Premier League began. • The European Union was formed with the signing of the Maastricht treaty. • The Queen began to pay income tax for the first time. • South Africans voted to end apartheid. • McDonalds opened their first restaurant in China. • Windows 3.1 was released. • The first Nicotine patch was released to help stop smoking. • The radio station Classic FM began broadcasting. • Euro Disney opened.

We celebrate 21 years of Enterprise and Employability at Telford Campus

25 April

We celebrate our heritage at a special event at City Campus

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8 May

We will also be: • Burying a time capsule containing messages from students and staff past and present. • Planting 21 trees across all our campuses to mark our celebrations. • Installing 21 and Proud benches on all our campuses. • Unveiling 3 sculptures from our School of Art & Design students to mark our achievements over the last 21 years. • Publishing a book on our history and in particular the last 21 years.

21 and Proud Business Acheivement Awards

18 May

Family fun day at Walsall Campus

12 June

17 June

Closing ceremony at City Campus

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A stone’s throw away Budding graduate entrepreneurs, Matt Weston and Mike Chinn, are the managing directors of their own production company, Stone’s Throw Media. We talk to them about where it all began, what it’s like being your own boss, and how, with the help of the University’s SPEED programme, their dreams really were just a stone’s throw away.

So, where did it alll start? Matt: We met in 2008 and first worked together during our second year project where we had to create a practical piece of TV journalism. We teamed up to produce a news broadcast on a Question Time style event about the General Elections. We had so much fun that we started on more video projects, both in and outside Uni, and it was the starting point for where we are today. Mike: We produced about 50 videos, including some for the University and Students’ Union, and one Olympic inspired project which was shown in Leicester Square. We also worked together on our dissertation, producing a video tour for the University, including student facilities, the campuses, and the city of Wolverhampton. Whose idea was it to set up your own business? Mike: Definitely Matt’s – I hadn’t even considered it as a career route. To be honest, I never thought I had the skills to do it. I was hesitant, but we both agreed that it was a natural step to turn what we loved into a business so I decided to take a leap of faith and what I didn’t know I would learn. Matt: I’ve wanted to run my own company since I was at school, though I didn’t think it would happen by the time I was 23! It was while we were working on our dissertation that we were encouraged to apply for the SPEED programme – and we knew it was the catalyst we needed. In what ways did the SPEED programme help you? Matt: I can honestly say that getting involved with the SPEED programme was the best decision we’ve ever made. Alongside taught classes on how to set up a business, they gave us practical support on actually running the business – for example, establishing business

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processes and knowing the true financial value of the service you’re providing. They helped us develop our brand name, logo, company email addresses and business cards, which are all important if you want to be considered a professional business. Mike: For me, it was the fact that we were never alone. Sometimes you need reassurance that what you’re doing is right and the team were always available for direction and advice. They really do care. Without SPEED I’m not sure where we would be right now. What does a typical day look like for you? Matt: We get into work about 8am, check emails and then plan what we are doing for the day. The bulk of the day is editing footage for completion, but some days we need to be out networking to secure new business. Mike: Every day is busy and when we are out filming it’s like a treat for us! We also have a list of our own videos that we want to make, so there is never nothing to do. What challenges have you faced? Matt: There are naturally a lot of hurdles but the biggest challenge was access to equipment because when we started we had nothing. We got some financial support from SPEED, but we also had to invest our own money. It was a risk because we didn’t know if the business was even going to succeed, but it was one we had to take if we were going to get off the ground. Mike: Life also gets in the way. When the head gasket on my car blew up, all of a sudden our top priority was to find a new car, because without one the business couldn’t function. It was a big set-back, as we had just started making money and then had this unexpected expenditure – but these challenges happen in business and you have to pick yourself up and keep going.

Fact File Name: Matthew Weston Degree: BA (Hons) Media and Communication Studies with Sociology, 2011 Age: 24 Home town: Newton Abbot, Devon

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What is the most rewarding aspect of running your own business? Matt: It definitely has to be that everything we achieve is down to us and no-one else. Mike: I agree; you get an immense feeling of pride and satisfaction in that. What do you consider your greatest achievement to date? Matt: Last year we won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award which was awarded by SPEED. That really boosted our confidence as it represented recognition from people who know what they are talking about. Mike: We were also really proud to do a project with Aston Villa FC where we filmed a charity football match, sold the DVDs and donated the money to charity. That led to more work from the club and it’s great to have such a big name as one of our clients. What are your aspirations for the future?

What top tips would you give a graduate thinking about setting up their own business? Matt: 1) Have an idea of what you want to do and make sure it is something you enjoy doing. 2) Get as much experience as possible before you start so you can make the mistakes beforehand and learn what you’re good at. 3) Contact SPEED – it does what it says on the tin; it sped up our ambitions to create our own business. Mike: The SPEED programme turned our ideas of making videos for a living into reality. It’s the best tool you’re going to get. Find out more about SPEED Plus at: www.wlv.ac.uk/speed

Matt: We’re always looking to expand into new media – for example animation, illustration, photography, apps and eventually television. We’ve already made a documentary that was shown in America, but to get something on UK television would be our ultimate dream. Mike: We’re also looking to increase the team with other graduates wanting freelance work. In the long term we’re aiming for a team of maybe 20-30 employees.

Find out more about Stone’s Throw Media at: www.stmedia.co.uk

fact file Name: mike chinn Degree: BA (Hons) Media and Communication Studies with Creative and Professional Writing, 2011 Age: 27 Home town: Wolverhampton

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New look Students’ Unions The past year has been an exciting time for the University and its students, as a series of refurbishments have transformed the two Students’ Unions at City and Walsall Campuses. Students at both sites can now enjoy a new Squeeze Box venue which serves food, coffee and a variety of cold drinks in a vibrant and lively space where they can socialise and relax. The much needed space at Walsall Campus has also been further enhanced with the introduction of an evening bar service and the provision to sell hot food. In the Ambika Paul Students’ Union on City Campus, the lounge area has been expanded and equipped with a large screen TV to create a modern and comfortable space to meet friends. A new events venue, complete with bar and stage area, has also been opened, giving student societies the opportunity to host their events on Campus. The President of the SU, Dan Batchelor said: “Our students asked for improved facilities in the Students’ Unions and we are pleased to have been able to respond to their feedback with such impressive developments. The new spaces are

proving popular and are already evolving into a focal point for student life at the campuses. The SU is grateful for the continuous support that we receive from the University, which has made it possible for the improvements to take place.”

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United Kingdom France

Cyprus

Passport to success:

Qatar

Nigeria

25 years of ERASMUS ERASMUS is an international exchange programme offering higher education students the opportunity to study and work abroad as part of their degree. The University of Wolverhampton is proud to have been part of ERASMUS since it began in 1987, and over the past 25 years we have welcomed students from more than 20 countries across Europe. Forming part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, ERASMUS is the European Union’s flagship educational exchange programme. It was introduced to enhance student mobility within the European Community by giving university goers the opportunity to complete part of their studies at an overseas institution.

Since then it has developed beyond simply an educational programme for students, expanding to incorporate opportunities for academic staff to teach and train overseas, and collaborative partnerships between universities on transnational projects. Today, ERASMUS operates across 33 countries and involves 4,000 higher education institutions. The University of Wolverhampton enjoys partnerships with over 100 institutes across Europe, including those in Paris, Stockholm, Nicosia, Madrid and Amsterdam. The programme plays a key role in developing the University’s global reputation – diversifying the University’s international student community and giving our UKbased students the opportunity to travel overseas to other higher education institutions.

Mauritius

cultures, meet new people and improve their language skills that make the exchange so valuable. The benefits to ERASMUS students’ CVs are also apparent, with figures showing that they not only achieve better degrees, but also go on to earn higher salaries. This is in part due to their increased employability within the international jobs market, in particular through the gaining of additional language skills which are now seen as critical for business success, and offer graduates a much needed competitive advantage.

The advantages of taking part in the scheme are also much wider than just enhancing a student’s learning. Over the years ERASMUS has grown into a social and cultural phenomenon, and for many it is the chance to experience new

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itius

Russia

China

Hong Kong Julija Kuras

Agata Wasiewska (left)

Malaysia

Sri Lanka

Singapore

Here’s what some of our graduates say about their ERASMUS experience at Wolverhampton: Julija Kuras, germany to uK BA (Hons) Humanities “I think back on my time as an ERASMUS student in Wolverhampton with a smile. I had always wanted to visit the UK, and ERASMUS meant I could live there at the same time as studying. Living in Wolverhampton as a student was an unforgettable experience; the city is a fun place to be and everything you need is within easy reach. What I found special about my experience was watching local and international people growing together as a group. It was something we all shared and I loved it so much that I decided to extend my stay with further study at Wolverhampton.” manon lecomte, france to uK BSc (Hons) Psychology “The year I spent in Wolverhampton was amazing. I experienced a new way of learning, where the classes were smaller and more interactive and this gave me the opportunity to view my subject from different perspectives. Since then I have gone on to study a Master’s degree at Sorbonne University in Paris, one manon lecomte (centre)

of the world’s leading universities, and my ERASMUS exchange played a big part in my successful application. I will always have fond memories of my time in Wolverhampton and I highly recommend ERASMUS to everyone. It really is a life changing experience.” Alan rownan, ireland to uK BA (Hons) Journalism and Editorial Design “The college I attended back in Dublin had enjoyed close links with the University over previous years and it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I met a large mix of people and made some great friends from all over the world who I still keep in contact with today. My lecturers were experts in their field and their constant guidance throughout my project ensured I never hit a wall with my research. The knowledge I gained through studying and living in Wolverhampton has been invaluable and something that I don’t think I could have attained through studying at home. My only regret is that I didn’t study at Wolverhampton for my whole course.”

Agata Wasiewska, uK to Spain BA (Hons) Media and Communication Studies “I was a student at the University of Wolverhampton and I decided to take part in the ERASMUS programme so that I could pursue my passion for the Spanish language. I spent a year in A Coruna in Spain and, for me, it was the opportunity to become independent. Studying in a foreign language was sometimes difficult, but overall it gave me huge satisfaction. The experience not only enriched my personality, it was also an unforgettable adventure. I was able to exchange opinions and thoughts with people from all over the world and every single person that I met has taught me something. I also realised how significant having language skills are and how valuable it is to travel and enjoy different cultures. Above all though, this international experience made me believe that with a bit of luck and determination we can achieve whatever we want to. All we have to do is try!”

Alan rownan (centre)

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My Life Victorine Ngamsha

BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems, 2012 Cameroon born mature student, Victorine Ngamsha, graduated last year and already has a formidable CV, the likes of which is only obtained through hard work and, in Vicky’s case, generous work. Like many students, Vicky seized the opportunity to enhance her skills and experience by teaming up her studies with volunteering projects, and in 2011 she won the University of Wolverhampton Volunteer of the Year award.

Above and below: Victorine in Cameroon carrying out voluntary work for Banin UK.

A passion since childhood “I have been volunteering in various ways since I was a little girl and so it was important to me to be able to continue my efforts while at university. I am very much a people person and have always found joy in giving something back to others. Soon after enrolling I decided to join the University’s student volunteering programmes and became a Student Envoy, a Student Mentor and a Student Representative. “I found the experience very rewarding. As a Student Representative I was able to help other new students who, like me, were adjusting to university life and the mentoring scheme gave me the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and share some of my own experiences. “I was also eager to get involved in community-based projects outside of the University. I approached the Active Volunteers Centre and the Industrial Placement Unit who arranged a placement at The Haven in Wolverhampton – a local refuge for women and children who are subject to domestic violence and homelessness. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to help others and at the same time get experience in people management, leadership, team working, and help an organisation achieve its objectives.

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recognised for what you do “It was for my placement at The Haven that I was nominated for the University Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is a joint initiative between Active Volunteers and the Students’ Union and recognises an individual’s contribution to the local community through voluntary work. “I felt honoured to even be nominated and so when I won I was extremely flattered. Although I strongly believe that volunteering is about having the willingness and the desire to help others in need, and not about self-gain, it is rewarding to be recognised for what you do. making a difference “After I won the award I was invited to speak about my achievements on national television and radio in my home country of Cameroon. I appeared on Hello TV, Vision 4, and Morning Safari as an example of a Cameroonian who had moved to the UK and gone on to succeed. While I was there I got the chance to work with the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Musicians and use the IT skills I had gained through my degree to train 70 artists on how they can use social networking to promote their music. “I also visited an orphanage to deliver goods on behalf of Banin UK, a charity organisation which I have served as their vice-chair for two years, and which deals with the issues of welfare and development for Nso people in Cameroon and the UK. I’m also the vice-chair of Nso Family Union (NFU), a European branch of Banin UK that oversees all of the Nso people in Europe promoting charitable works in Cameroon and the UK. “As vice-chair for both organisations, I work hand in hand with my team to organise events in Cameroon, as well as in several countries across Europe. The events bring together Nso people for meetings of reflection and discussion, and are full of fun activities such as sports, singing, dancing and traditional Cameroon games. It is so rewarding to see the smile on people’s faces and the difference it makes to their lives.

A place to be proud of “I enjoyed my time at Wolverhampton so much that I now work here as part of the Careers and Employment Services team. I have always loved being part of the University and getting this job is one of the greatest things to happen to me. A university like Wolverhampton is a place to be proud of and I am definitely proud. I love my uni.”

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Where are you now? We love to hear about where life has taken our graduates – the next steps they have taken and the joys and successes they are experiencing. Why not tell us where you are now and be featured on our alumni website or maybe even in future editions of WLV @lumni e-zine and WLV Life magazine. You could write about your: • career success or further study since graduating • travel experiences and adventures • hobbies and interests • personal life such as marriage and children • any other fantastic experiences you have had! To find out how to send us your story, and to read where some of our graduates from the past 50 years are now, visit: www.wlv.ac.uk/alumnistories

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Puzzle Page We know that you all have busy lives, but why not take a five minute break from it with these quick puzzles. Answers and solutions will be published in the next edition of WLV Life.

Quick crossword 1

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1 Prank (5) 4 Small community (7) 8 Everlasting (7) 9 Accolade (5) 10 Wear away (5) 12 Voter (7) 13 Alter or regulate (6) 14 Refuge (6) 17 Repossess (7) 19 Travel lodge (5) 21 Mound of stones used as a marker (5) 22 Sincere (7) 24 Latticework (7) 25 Herd or flock of animals (5)

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crossword answers Across: 6 Hissed; 8 Oracle; 9 Kerb; 10 Terrific; 11 Boredom; 13 Pleat; 15 Pearl; 16 Asunder; 18 Thank you; 19 Erse; 21 Au Pair; 22 Gander down: 1 Dime; 2 Edition; 3 Sorry; 4 Magic Lantern; 5 Ultimate; 7 Subterranean; 12 Overhaul; 14 Assuage; 17 Myrrh; 20 Suet Sudoku solution

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8

1 Subject (5) 2 Frozen water (3) 3 Dog houses (7) 4 Smooth fabric (6) 5 Letting contract (5) 6 Flat (9) 7 Senior (7) 11 Target (9) 13 Fruit (7) 15 Stuck (7) 16 Hot fragments from a fire (6) 18 Declare invalid (5) 20 Supple (5) 23 Self (3)

Summer 2012 answers and solutions

Sudoku 2

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Alumni Reunion 2013 it’s back – bigger, better, and this time with birthday cake!

Saturday 20 April 2013 7pm–1am WV1 suite Molineux Stadium The evening includes a complimentary drinks reception, hot buffet dinner, live entertainment, dancing, and late bar – all set within panoramic views of the stadium pitch and the north of the city.

As the University of Wolverhampton celebrates 21 years as a university, be part of our celebrations with graduates at our Alumni Reunion 2013. Certain to be the birthday party of the year, join us as we celebrate in style at the city’s newest hotspot, WV1 at Molineux Stadium.

This glittering night of celebration is the perfect opportunity for you to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and see how the University has changed since you left us. The event is open to all graduates of the University of Wolverhampton (or any of our predecessor institutions) and you are also welcome to bring guests who are not alumni of the University.

2012 in pictures

So what are you waiting for? tickets Tickets cost £10 per person (£7.50 if you book before Friday 1 March 2013) and are available to buy online at: www.wlv.ac.uk/reunion2013 All ticket proceeds will go towards a special 21 and Proud student hardship fund. We anticipate this event to be hugely popular and places are limited so buy your tickets today!

Follow us on Twitter: @wlv_alumni

#reunion2013

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WLV Alumni Association – benefits and services We offer you great benefits and services long after you’ve left the University. • • • • • • • •

WLV Life alumni magazine and WLV@lumni e-newsletter Alumni reunions and social events Careers advice and guidance from our dedicated team Access to our online jobs database Professional development workshops and networking opportunities Discounted fees on taught postgraduate courses* Discounted library and sports centre memberships Volunteering opportunities

* Terms and conditions apply

Join us online You can join thousands of fellow alumni online. www.wlv.ac.uk/alumnifacebook @wlv_alumni www.wlv.ac.uk/alumnilinkedin

Life by email If you have an email address and would like to receive future editions of WLV Life by email let us know at: www.wlv.ac.uk/life

University of Wolverhampton Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton West Midlands, WV1 1LY United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1902 323 056 Email: alumni@wlv.ac.uk Fax: +44 (0)1902 322 099 Website: www.wlv.ac.uk/alumni MAC1368

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WLV Life issue 4  

WLV Life – Issue 04. Welcome to WLV Life, the alumni magazine for graduates and former students of the University of Wolverhampton

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