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UNIVERSITY OF WALES INSTITUTE , CARDIFF

ATHROFA PRIFYSGOL CYMRU, CAERDYDD

ISSUE 2

Revolutionary design delivers forceps into the 21st Century PAGE 13


Page 8: Expert discovers knees have potential to re-grow

Page 5: Pioneering centre set to support food industry in Wales

Page 10: Passionate about design

contents UWIC RANKED AMONG THE BEST IN THE UK THOROUGHLY MODERN MANAGEMENT PIONEERING CENTRE SET TO SUPPORT FOOD INDUSTRY IN WALES INDIA EXCHANGE MEANS BUSINESS EXPERT CRITICISES TRAVEL INDUSTRY FOR ‘SEXUALISING’ WOMEN EXPERT DISCOVERS KNEES HAVE POTENTIAL TO RE-GROW GOLD RUSH FOR STUDENTS PASSIONATE ABOUT DESIGN 2 |focus

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UWIC GAINS RECOGNITION FOR WORLD-CLASS RESEARCH FIRST MINISTER SUPPORTS ‘INNOVATION THROUGH CO-OPERATION’ REVOLUTIONARY FORCEPS DESIGN DELIVERS SAFETY FOR BABIES AND MUMS LIFE CHANGING DECISIONS ACADEMICS FORGE GROUND-BREAKING RESEARCH VENTURE CHALLENGING ATTITUDES TOWARDS YOUNG PEOPLE STUDENTS BRING EXAM TEXT TO LIFE AWARD-WINNING ALUMNI

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Focus Magazine is produced by UWIC’s Communications, Marketing & Student Recruitment Unit. UWIC Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 2SG Tel: 029 2041 6044 Edited by: Communications Team Tel: 029 2041 7115 Design: UWIC Creative Services Tel: 029 2041 6056 If you require further copies of Focus magazine or a welsh language version please contact Ruth Walton, UWIC Publications Officer, on either Tel: 029 2041 6294 or email: rwalton@uwic.ac.uk


UWIC ranked among the best in the UK

A survey of students at more than 80 universities has ranked UWIC fourth in the UK and top in Wales for the quality of its international student experience. The International Student Barometer (ISB) survey canvassed international students for their views on living and studying at UWIC and was conducted at universities across the UK including high ranking traditional universities such as the University of Manchester and Bristol University and six fellow universities in Wales. Almost 200 students, from all five of UWIC’s academic schools, completed the satisfaction survey with representatives from India, Oman, China, and Brunei making up the largest national groups. The survey also reported that UWIC’s international students would be more likely than students at any other university in Wales to recommend their university to friends and family back home.

“To achieve such high satisfaction ratings, and amongst strong competition from universities across the UK, really does highlight our commitment to providing a first-class experience for our international students and is a true testament to the hard work of all our staff,” said John Phillips, Dean of International Students, UWIC.

UWIC achieved a top five ranking in 21 categories, including:

“With students from more than 125 countries currently studying at UWIC the findings of the ISB survey will help us to build on our success and ensure we remain at the fore-front of international student recruitment,” he added.

• 1st UK - worship facilities

Conducted by I-Graduate, which is an independent research service specialising in the international education market, the survey is now the largest study of international students in the world and has been adopted by universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Europe and the USA and attracts feedback from over 400,000 students.

• 1st UK (1st Wales) - university accommodation • 1st UK - International clubs and societies offered at the institution • 2nd UK (1st Wales) - immigration and visa advice offered by UWIC • 2nd UK- general services provided by UWIC’s International Office • 2nd UK(1st Wales) - transport provision and UWIC’s Rider bus pass scheme • 2nd UK(1st Wales) - cost of living in Cardiff • 3rd UK (1st Wales) - support services offered to students • 3rd UK (1st Wales) - enrolment and application process • 3rd UK(1st Wales) - living arrangements • 3rd UK(1st Wales) - careers service

What the students say: ”UWIC is a very friendly place, you can study with a free mind and there are always plenty of people to help you.”

Anita Setarhnejad, PhD Food Science & Technology student from Iran

“I really like UWIC, the student lecturer relationship is very good. My supervisor is the main reason for me deciding to continue my studies here. ” Suleiman Ahmed Isa, PhD Biomedical Sciences student from Nigeria

“The way of teaching at UWIC is very different to India. You have more freedom to study the way you want. I love the school and the supervisors are very helpful.” Rohit Naspal, MBA student from India

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First Minister for Wales, Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan at the Launch of UWIC’s new Food Industry Centre.

Thoroughly modern management

Left to Right: Ceri Preece (Vice-Chair, UWIC Board of Governors), Adrian Brewer and Gareth Turner (Willmott Dixon), David Pritchard (Dean, Cardiff School of Management, UWIC) and Pam Ackroyd (Director of Operations, UWIC).

Work is underway on the new £20m Cardiff School of Management building at UWIC’s Llandaff campus. The state-of-the-art building will enable the institution to become a leading centre in the UK for teaching and research in subjects including Business, Hospitality, and Tourism. It will provide new facilities for more than 100 staff and 2,000 students over four floors and 7,800 square metres. It will include a 200 seat lecture theatre with audio visual systems, breakout spaces, a range of formal and informal learning and teaching areas, a café with garden terrace, a training kitchen, restaurant and bar and cutting-edge research and enterprise facilities. As well as teaching the managers of the future, it is planned that the building will be a resource for the present business community.

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Left to Right: Professor Antony Chapman, (Vice-Chancellor, UWIC), Dr Maureen Bowen, (Dean, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, UWIC) with the First Minister for Wales, Rt. Hon Rhodri Morgan who officially opened the new centre.

Its conference and meeting rooms can be hired for conference use and courses on leadership and management will be offered to businesses and organisations. Ceri Preece, Vice-Chair, UWIC Board of Governors, said: “This great new building will give us the opportunity to innovate and develop an exemplar of what a modern management school is all about - strong in learning and teaching, research and enterprise and accessible to the local community. “Part of our master plan for the institution, which will see more than £50m invested in improving our estates, the new Cardiff School of Management will allow us to continue to attract students and staff of the highest calibre.” This building will replace the present Cardiff School of Management’s home at UWIC’s Colchester Avenue campus, and is set to open for business in Autumn 2010.

The first Sensory Suite in Wales.


Pioneering centre set to support food industry in Wales A pioneering new Food Industry Centre at UWIC, which is set to be at the forefront of supporting the food industry and improving food safety in Wales was officially launched in April by the First Minister for Wales, the Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan. The new centre will make an impact on the knowledge economy through applied research, knowledge transfer and the provision of graduates and postgraduates with the skills demanded by employers. It will also help food businesses to put in place the robust processes they need to meet global food safety standards.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: “The tragic consequences of the E.coli outbreak and the findings of the Pennington inquiry show clearly how important these developments in food safety management are. “Having had a tour of the facilities it is great to see the range of work that takes place and the links with the economy through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, for which UWIC is very strong.” “It gives me great pleasure to open this centre, which will also provide support for the Welsh food industry through its cuttingedge research and technology,” he added. The centre will also provide practical courses on assessing and managing food safety risks to industry, Local Authority food agencies and food science and environmental health students.

“We have to eliminate the poor practices highlighted by Professor Pennington in his recent report on the E.coli outbreak in Wales,” said David Lloyd, Director of the Food Industry Centre. “As well as working with a range of organisations to help them improve their processes we will also continue to conduct cutting-edge research into controlling contamination and food safety management and work with industry on adopting best practice in the production of safe foods and controlling microbial levels in foods,” he added. It will also support the food industry through providing state-of-the-art new product development and testing facilities including the first Sensory Suite in Wales where new food products can be taste-tested under strictly controlled conditions. Added to this, a hi-tech video and sound link between the boardroom and the kitchen will allow food company representatives to interact with the chefs to assess how their new products are prepared and cooked in a controlled environment. Research at the centre, which is part of UWIC’s Cardiff School of Health Sciences, will also push forward the understanding of diet and lifestyle on the ageing process and many of the diseases that are common in Wales including Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity and Asthma.

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India exchange means business “I have made life-long friends, had unforgettable experiences and have a fresh lease of energy for setting up my own business.” What have you gained from this experience? It was an amazing opportunity to study at one of the top business schools in the world. It was also a fantastic networking environment; I now have friends in many areas of businesses and in many different countries.

Robert Jones, UWIC MBA student, during his study exchange in India.

Robert Jones, an MBA student at UWIC, has recently had the opportunity to study at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIMB) in Bangalore which is ranked among the top 100 Business Schools in the world. Robert, who was the only student from the UK accepted on to the programme, joined 90 fellow students from around the world on the three-month study exchange.

We interviewed Robert to find out more about his experiences of studying in India. What assistance have you had with funding for this exchange? The Welsh Livery Guild awarded me an Entrepreneurial Travel Scholarship of £1,000. I have also been fortunate that my parents have supported me to further my education and career. Were there any differences in the way you were taught in India? At the IIMB there is a heavy emphasis on case study analysis and I really enjoyed the level of class participation; no one hesitates to speak up and share ideas. Interestingly, 10 percent of the students’ final grade is based on their levels of class participation and attendance. What has been the highlight of this exchange? The highlight was actually my time studying at IIMB, it was incredible. Campus life, the professors and general atmosphere on campus made me feel very welcome. Outside of the learning experience the highlights were visiting a friend’s family run business in Mumbai and seeing the positive impact it is having on the city.

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Would this be something you would recommend to other students? Absolutely! Studying in another country opens your eyes to new ideas, you meet new people and it gives you time to think about your future. If the opportunity arises, take it, you never know what doors it could open. What is the most valuable thing you have taken from this experience? Spending time in India has really improved my understanding of differing cultures and work ethic. I have also enhanced my communications skills and gained an appreciation of setting goals for sustained growth and building long-term business relationships. What are you doing now and what are your future goals? Having been amazed by the welcome I received in the rural villages I visited, I’ve been exploring ways in which we could let other tourists see the ‘untouched’ India whilst maintaining its innocence and not spoiling it in any way. I have carried out extensive research and started developing relationships which could encourage tourism to India whilst improving infrastructure, security for travellers and standard of living in rural villages. As for the future, I hope to become a business analyst on completion of my studies. My long-term goals include becoming a successful entrepreneur by the age of 35; being a director on a decision making board during a merger or acquisition within a multinational corporation and then becoming a management consultant.


Expert criticises travel industry for ‘sexualising’ women travel programmes or exposes - women are sexualised,” said Professor Pritchard. Examples that she highlights include a banned Ryan Air press advert which used an image of a sexually provocative woman wearing a revealing school uniform with the strap-line, “Hottest back to school fares.” Professor Annette Pritchard.

A leading tourism expert has criticised the travel industry for its sexist attitudes towards women in their advertising campaigns. Professor Annette Pritchard of the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research at UWIC has accused the industry of the ‘sexualisation and objectification’ of women during a lecture she gave at a conference of female world leaders in Iceland, which was organised by the country’s Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir. The academic believes that magazine and press adverts, holiday brochures, and TV shows all use the ‘unattainable perfect female body’ to sell everything from rental cars to resorts and airlines. “Everywhere you look in tourism media whether it is holiday brochures, TV adverts,

“In travel brochures men are active, swimming or cycling, while women are always passive, they sit by a pool reading a book,” added the professor. “They present a uniform view of what a tourist is. What if you are black, overweight or older? Where do you fit in? “I want people to think about the sort of images that are being sold to them, in magazines, brochures and on TV screens and to reflect on how these adverts portray the same stereotypical ‘looks’ and outwardly perfect beach bodies. “Such sexualisation and objectification undermines confidence in and comfort with one’s own body, leading to a host of negative emotional consequences for women and girls,” she added. Professor Pritchard also believes that the sexism in travel adverts reflects the masculine and macho environment in advertising firms where most senior roles are still held by men.

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Expert discovers knees have potential to re-grow A leading medical expert based at the Cardiff School of Sport has made a discovery which could revolutionise the way that knee pain and arthritic conditions are treated. Professor John Fairclough has shown for the first time that the knee has the ability to heal itself and that it could be capable of regrowing damaged parts of its surface. The breakthrough could mean that patients will not have to undergo major surgery or have knee re-placements and that knee

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cells could be encouraged to re-grow and heal the joint internally.

goal re-grow any damaged part of the joint surface,” he added.

“As we all know, growing old is not easy; the athletic body of our youth transforms, no longer able to tolerate the vigorous exercise of our early years. We get stiffer, we slow down we begin to ache. For many our joints begin to become painful and start to first reduce our ability to exercise easily and then cause pain and limit function.”

It was previously thought that damage to the surface of the knee joint caused through wearing away was irreversible, but Professor Fairclough’s discovery has shown that living cells on the bone have the capability to re-grow the surface that was lost and that it is possible for joints to recover.

“Each year in the UK there are over 5 million consultations related to knee pain and the Holy Grail for all medical and sports participants is to be able to measure joint wear and to stop its progression and as a

News of the breakthrough and a reputation for being at the fore-front of treating sports injuries has recently led to England Rugby star Jonny Wilkinson receiving treatment from Professor Fairclough to help correct a recurring knee problem which has plagued his career.


Gold rush for students

Taking home the gold - UWIC Women’s Basketball team.

UWIC is celebrating more national sporting success after scooping five gold medals at this year’s British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships in Sheffield. Those crowned champions were the Women’s Football team, Women’s Basketball team, Sean Kilroy (Boxing), Bryony Raine (Pole Vault) and Francis Baker (Long Jump).

‘Archers’ and Sean retaining their titles but the success of our Women’s football, Athletics, Judo and Water polo teams demonstrates the strength in depth that our clubs have,” said Adam Painter. SU President, UWIC. “I was there throughout the championships and in addition to the medals and high performance I have to say that our students were exemplary in their approach to the championships throughout the event. They are definitely a credit to UWIC,” he added. With more than 180 students representing UWIC, it was among the largest teams taking part in this year’s BUCS Championships.

Francis Baker, Long Jump gold medallist. Professor John Fairclough from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Sport

Proving the dominant position they continue to hold in their sports both the Women’s ‘Archers’ Basketball team and Sean Kilroy celebrated victories at the championships for the second year running. “Sending more than 180 students to the championships was a major undertaking by the Students Union and the results have been absolutely tremendous, not only with the

In its second year, the BUCS Championship takes place over five days and is the highlight of the university sporting year. In 2009, more than 5500 student athletes competed in 24 sports at 14 venues making it the UK’s biggest multi-sport event. UWIC Women’s Rugby team also successfully defended their BUCS Champions title at Twickenham. After a phenomenal season, which saw them concede only two tries and one penalty in the league programme, the team went into the final as hot favourites and did not let the pressure get to them on the big day, beating Leeds Met Carnegie 32 points to 12, and were crowned BUCS Champions for a fourth consecutive season.

UWIC Women’s Rugby team crowned BUCS champions.

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Passionate about design

Another hurdle was that she felt that for some people there is a lack of understanding of what design actually is. “When the term product designer or graphic designer is used, it is usually met by a blank look. A simple explanation of the term designer would be those involved in branding, but even this leads people to assume it’s all about marketing; however design companies are actually businesses, they have more in common with business than they do with the arts,” said Olwen. “They are as crucial to a business as a solicitor or an accountant. In a nutshell, designing is solving a problem for a third party and getting that point across is one of the reasons why I set up the design festival in the first place,” she added. The initial remit of the festival was to engage with the design industry; Olwen and UWIC’s Cardiff School of Art and Design were ideally placed to orchestrate such an initiative from inception as the staff involved all had knowledge of the local design scene, but were seen as neutral partners in the design community.

Olwen Moseley, Director of Enterprise at UWIC’s Cardiff School of Art and Design.

Olwen Moseley has an impressive CV; Director of Enterprise at the Cardiff School of Art & Design, founder of the Cardiff Design Festival and most recently named as one of the 50 most influential people in the UK art and design industry.

Olwen’s passion for design is clear; she founded the Cardiff Design Festival in 2004 after it was felt that there was a gap in the support for those involved in the Welsh design industry, a sense of missed opportunities, an invisibility of talent present and a desire to be part of a professional community. There was work of considerable quality being produced in Wales and particularly in Cardiff which had seen a proliferation and growth of design companies, but was not getting the attention it deserved.

The most recent festival, which made it into Design Week Magazine’s Hot 50, stated a long-term aim of bringing Welsh design to a wider international audience. This was achieved by incorporating the prestigious Design Management Europe Awards, which were hosted by UWIC and staged at the Wales Millennium Centre, into the Cardiff Design Festival programme of events. In doing this the festival was able to build on the relationships it had already made with the international design community. With Olwen at the helm, a growing international reputation and a commitment to recognising talent and providing Welsh designers with great opportunities to showcase their work - the Cardiff Design Festival is set to go from strength to strength.

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Here are just a few of the events planned for the festival in October 2009. (Dates to be confirmed). The Launch Taking place at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, the launch will showcase the best of Welsh Design. Ignite Cardiff #3 Hosted by Cardiff Web Scene and Nocci at the WMC, this event for creatives, web enthusiasts and entrepreneurs will see anything from typefaces to surviving a zombie invasion open for discussion. Type Talks - Dalton Maag Celebrated typographer Bruno Maag will give an entertaining and inspirational talk on Typography.

The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) recognises UWIC’s success in supporting the development of world-class research, particularly in art and design.

Greyworld Andrew Shoben of Greyworld will give an insightful talk about his company’s past and present projects. May you live in interesting times A joint venture between Cardiff Design Festival and Festival of Creative Technology 2009 the event will focus on the presentation of innovative work in and around Cardiff. The two-day programme will include a conference, new commissions, residencies, screenings, and artists’ projects in public sites across the city. Design Circle, Reflecting Wales 09 An exhibition of innovative works in the built environment in Wales. Submissions will be invited from architects, designers, artists, theorists and students whose work critically challenges or engages with the build environment in Wales. For further information contact exhibition@designcirclersawsouth.co.uk.

The Exercise, which assesses the quality of research in institutions throughout the UK, rated 95% of research jointly submitted by UWIC’s Cardiff School of Art and Design, its PDR centre and the University of Wales Newport’s School of Art, Media and Design as being of ‘International Standing’. Ranked by the Times Higher Education magazine as the leading centre for art and design research in Wales and in the top 12 in the UK, an impressive 70% of art and design related research submitted has been rated as ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading’. Sport and Tourism at UWIC also performed strongly in the assessment, each with 25% of

Life form BioArchitecture Foundation presents Life Form, their first conference exploring biological architecture, holistic building systems and geomantic built environments followed by workshops in constructing energetically harmonious landscapes and life-supporting architecture. Thanks to early contributors: Hoffi, Elevator, Design Tribe, Sequence, Freshwater. Early supporters: David Worthington, Chairman of Media Square’s design division, who has committed to judge the festival awards; Creative & Cultural Skills and Design Circle, the South Wales Branch of the Royal Society of Architects Wales. For further information about the Cardiff Design festival or how to become involved please contact info@cardiffdesignfestival.org

research submitted by the institution rated as Internationally Excellent or World Leading and over two thirds of research submitted rated as being of International Standing. Professor Antony Chapman, Vice-Chancellor, congratulated all staff involved, saying: “This achievement is a clear demonstration of the hard work and dedication of our staff and it highlights UWIC’s commitment to investing in world-leading research.” Just over 28% of research submitted by UWIC was rated as Internationally Excellent or World Leading and 64% of research submitted by the institution rated as being of International Standing. focus | 11


Dale Harper with his revolutionary forceps design.

First Minister supports ‘Innovation through Co-operation’

Left to Right: Professor Antony Chapman (Vice-Chancellor, UWIC), First Minister for Wales, Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan and Dr Pat Frain (Chair, ProTon Europe).

The Rt. Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, First Minister for Wales welcomed Europe’s most successful knowledge transfer practitioners and key players working at the interface between public research and industry to this year’s ProTon Europe Conference. Hosted by UWIC, the prestigious two-day event, entitled ‘Innovation through Co-operation’, focused on how to improve co-operation and partnership working between research organisations or universities and industry and business. “The timing of this conference could not have been better,” said the First Minister. “The economy is in a bad-way and co-operation between universities and business has become vital if we are to find a solution to this global economic crisis. “Over the years, there has been enormous progress in universities in Wales in terms of

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the amount of world-leading research being conducted which can be easily transferred into the working world. “Through focusing on innovation, research and development and getting the right marriage between education and business we can generate jobs and pull ourselves out of this recession,” he added. The flagship conference, which is being supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Institute of Knowledge Transfer, also explored ways to further develop successful knowledge transfer and to promote innovation and thus provide benefits for research teams, universities, industry and society at large. The international speaking panel included representatives from industry, public administrations legislating in the sector and knowledge transfer practitioners from universities and research centres across Europe. ProTon Europe is Europe’s leading association representing knowledge transfer practitioners in universities and research centres across Europe.


Revolutionary forceps design delivers safety for babies and mums A breakthrough product which brings the traditional forceps used to assist difficult births into the 21st century is set to save the lives of mothers and babies. The Safeceps™ are a revolutionary version of current obstetric forceps which measure the amount of pressure exerted on the baby’s head, reducing the risk of serious injury and trauma to mother and child. The fact that traditional forceps have been linked to death and long term damage has been blamed for more and more mothers-tobe opting for often unnecessary forms of assisted childbirth, such as caesarean sections. It is hoped that the new Safeceps™ which ensure safety to both mother and baby will restore confidence and transform how instrumental deliveries are perceived. The company behind the product, PMI (PRO Medical Innovations Ltd), is a spin-out venture of UWIC, with recent graduate Dale Harper (MSc) at the helm of the project which he started working on as part of his BSc Product Design. Dale, who has since been appointed at UWIC’s National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR), said:

“There is a clear need for this product and our biggest market driver is safety. The interest of the child is everything and Safeceps™ will protect them by preventing against excess trauma, brain damage or death. Then there is looking after the mother and how an instrument is used has implications on her body. Finally, Safeceps™ is also making it safe for the obstetrician who put their jobs on the line every time they use an instrument in assisted child delivery.

The Safeceps™ are a plastic version of obstetric forceps which connect to a monitoring computer through a flexible cable. When in use the Safeceps™ measure the key forces being exerted upon the foetal head and present this information through a computer screen with the option of audible warning sounds. The system can be integrated into existing maternal computer systems and be customised to meet the needs of individual users.

“The design of current forceps have not really evolved in centuries and if the obstetrician pulls too hard with the current instrument during birth, it can kill the child in extreme cases, while even normal use causes facial damage and trauma. These cases have left mothers very fearful and clinicians are now more aware that failure to achieve a successful instrumental delivery is one of the important factors in the rise in caesarean section rates.

PMI, which as well as product designer Dale, includes senior consultant obstetrician Dr Khaled Ismail (North Staffordshire NHS Trust) - the medical authority of the team, plus two electro mechanic engineers. The company was formed in March 2008 and strategically chose to partner with UWIC as they have the industrial knowledge and expertise needed.

“Obstetricians want the tool they use to be safe, reliable and give certainty in what they are doing. They want to know that nobody is going to come back and sue in five years time, as obstetricians have been taken to court in the past over damage caused during a forceps delivery. Because our instrument takes a record of the force used, it mitigates that risk against the obstetrician but in no way takes responsibility away,” he added.

In the 10 months since its conception, PMI has come runner up in a national business plan competition and been awarded £10,000, and are now in a position to see the Safeceps™ fully commercialised and taken to market. As the purpose of the Safeceps™ is to save lives around the world, Dale already has ideas in place to eventually launch them in African and Eastern European countries as non-computerised, mechanical versions.

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Life changing decisions - UWIC’s adult learners UWIC is set to launch this year’s edition of ‘Journeys’. The book features inspirational stories told by adult learners who have succeeded in higher education despite facing many significant barriers to learning. The learners are excellent role models for future adult learners and they are proof that you can really take control and develop the learning path that is right for you. Below is an extract from one of the personal accounts featured. Sue Abram.

My Journey: My name is Sue Abram. I am 48 and married with two grown up children. I can’t believe I am sitting here writing a profile of my learning journey for UWIC as someone who left school with a handful of CSE’s and an English O level. I was the student that had school reports saying “Susan has the ability but doesn’t use it”. My ambition when I left school was to become a nursery nurse. I achieved my ambition and worked in my chosen profession for 23 years giving no thought to furthering my education. I took the first step back into education and enrolled on the Initial Stage Teaching Certificate course and my thirst for learning began. Following completion of the course I got my first teaching post. As time progressed, teaching opportunities increased and I made the decision to give up my crèche work to take on more teaching hours. To become a Community Education Officer I needed to complete the PGCE/Cert Ed in Community Education. It was in 2005 that my journey with UWIC began. I didn’t let my lack of achievement in school stand in 14 |focus

my way and applied to study at UWIC. The decision I made to go to UWIC has been life changing and I am now a Community Education Officer. Even though the course was part-time, going to university as an adult is totally different from studying as a teenager as you have so many balls to juggle. I had a family to look after and a job to manage as well as having to dedicate a substantial amount of my time to writing assignments. It seemed like I was permanently rooted to my dining room chair writing assignments or working in the UWIC library. However hard, it was worth every minute and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWIC. Support offered by the tutors was second to none and I was never made to feel any different from some of my peers who had degrees. Their door was always open. As Community Education Officer at Gabalfa Community Education Centre, I work in partnership with UWIC to offer outreach summer courses. I am in a position to signpost learners to progress onto courses offered in UWIC, as I have first hand experience of returning to education as an adult learner. I feel well placed to offer

advice to learners and to allay any fears they may have about taking that first step back into learning. The day I stood on the stage at St David’s Hall in my cap and gown is a day captured in my memory forever. My parents, husband and two sons were there to support me and whilst the day belonged to me and my own hard work, their support throughout my learning journey was invaluable. My advice to anyone who is considering furthering their education is to go for it. Reach out and embrace every opportunity that is offered to you. You will never know what you can achieve unless you try. I embraced it and it has changed my life forever. Be prepared to work hard, don’t be afraid to ask for help and adopt strategies to help you manage your time effectively. Buddy up with one of your peers and support each other. They will be feeling the same as you are and will be going through the same challenges and fears as you. Above all enjoy the experience. Being a student at 45 is quite novel!


Academics forge ground-breaking research venture

Q & A with: Tim Andradi Chief Executive, London School of Commerce. Recent London School of Commerce graduates.

An innovative new partnership in academic research between UWIC and the London School of Commerce (LSC) is set to bring a further boost to the institute’s growing international profile. Under the agreement, which has been designed to attract high quality research students from around the globe, the LSC will now enrol and deliver research degrees for UWIC at its Business Research Institute on its London campus. The new Institute will be treated as a research institute of UWIC for the purposes of administration and quality assurance. UWIC will franchise LSC to offer University of Wales PhD, MPhil and also professional doctorate degrees in accordance with UWIC’s quality assurance relationship with the University of Wales. The Vice-chancellor of UWIC, Professor Antony Chapman, said: “This groundbreaking new partnership will add another

quality dimension to our relationship with LSC. It will grow UWIC’s research global outreach and will attract high calibre international students to research globally important topics. This will be highly beneficial to UWIC, to Wales and to the UK.” The CEO of LSC, Tim Andradi, said: “We are a strongly focused operation and specialise in business related disciplines. We have an excellent professional relationship with UWIC, based on mutual respect and underpinned by strict quality compliance. The establishment of the Business Research Institute provides all involved with new opportunities to compete successfully in what is an increasingly tough international operating environment.” UWIC’s relationship with the LSC, which is its only Associate College, dates back to 2004 and together they now collaborate on an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. The success of the unique partnership continues to grow with double the number of students from around the world attending this year’s graduation ceremony in Cardiff than just a couple of years ago.

1. The LSC offers the opportunity to study British degrees in the UK, Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur, but what prompted you to start up the school? There has been a vacuum in the educational market to provide cost effective quality British Education. LSC fitted into a natural niche in fulfilling this objective. 2. The LSC joined forces with UWIC in 2004, how did this collaboration begin? LSC was looking for a University partner who shared the same vision as LSC, with a particular interest in students from developing and less developed countries. The fact that LSC also had colleagues who had close contacts at UWIC helped cement this relationship. 3. UWIC and the LSC enjoy a close relationship, what is the next development for the partnership? Collaborating and offering innovative programmes of study that are in demand by worldwide students has been one of the key areas in development of the partnership. But the main thrust will be to take British education to student overseas enabling them to study without having to leave their home countries. This would lead to the true globalisation of education.

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Challenging attitudes towards young people Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, spoke at the Child Well-Being: Early Years to Adolescence conference hosted by UWIC recently; with a view to challenging societies’ attitudes towards young people. The conference brought together researchers, policy makers, practitioners and young people to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate regarding the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents from a range of perspectives - social, educational and health. With a particular focus on ‘How do we work holistically with children and adolescents to promote health and well-being?’

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“I was glad to give conference delegates an insight into the life of a Children’s Commissioner and to share with them information about children’s rights,” said Mr Towler.

“One-third of our children in Wales who live in poverty also generally do poorly in education. This is a personal and societal tragedy that Wales as a nation must address.”

“I also wanted to draw attention to some specific areas of work, including a project I’ll be undertaking to undermine the hardening of attitudes towards children and young people.”

Shirley Hinde, a lecturer in Nutrition at UWIC and a registered dietitian said: “My presentation was on the links between behaviour and nutrition, and especially about the role of fish oils in disruptive behaviour/behavioural problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Other expert speakers throughout the day delved into a range of subjects relating to the wellbeing of children and young people including ‘nutrition and behaviour’ and ‘emotional literacy’. Professor David Egan, who is Director of UWIC’s Centre for Applied Education Research, hosted a session entitled Child Poverty, Wellbeing and Educational Attainment in Wales. “Achievement in education is essential to individual wellbeing,” explained Professor Egan.

“I provided an analysis of the studies that have been done on fish oils supplementation and behaviour; considering some of the other nutrients involved, such as zinc, in the processing of these oils within the body; why these nutrients are in short supply in the diet of today’s young people and asking whether we should be trying to solve such a multi-faceted problem with a pill.”


Students bring exam text to life

UWIC’s Secondary Education Drama students.

Student teachers from UWIC took to the stage to assist pupils from all over South Wales understand a complex exam text. The Secondary Drama students from UWIC’s Cardiff School of Education performed Bertolt Brecht’s Fear and Misery in the Third Reich as part of the annual Theatre In Education project. Following the performances pupils from schools including Chepstow High, Glyncoed Comprehensive and St David’s College, took part in interactive drama workshops with UWIC’s students to explore the text further. The group of 20 students have masterminded the entire production and been working hard for more than two months working on costumes, lighting, sets and props, as well as rehearsing and planning the post-performance workshops. Bryan Shuman, who along with Camille Black form the successful Marketing team said:

“It has been really hard work but is great fun and quite rewarding. The whole process is perfect preparation for our school placements as pupils get to see us perform the play before we workshop it with them afterwards, and we can draw examples from the play they have just seen.” The students aim was to make Brecht’s most famous play about life in Nazi Germany more accessible to pupils and explore the Epic theatre techniques he uses to create drama that the audience feel detached from. Lecturer Meryl Hopwood said: “This year’s TIE has been very popular and sold out quickly to schools as they are very enthusiastic about Brecht and his pieces we had to turn schools away. “This is such a beneficial project for the students who are training to be teachers as it is an opportunity for them to work closely on a set text. In this case, they studied one of the practitioners they will certainly encounter in school with their pupils. It was also an opportunity to develop their skills as technicians and in production roles so when they go out to school placements and in their careers, they are better equipped to put on a school production.”

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Award-winning alumni With a reputation for nurturing talent and producing outstanding graduates across a broad range of disciplines, we are proud to feature some of our most recent alumni achievements.

Graduate BAFTA success Richard Jenkins, a BA Broadcast Media graduate from UWIC is celebrating small screen success after scooping a prestigious BAFTA Cymru award, recently. Having won the award for interactive work on hit BBC TV show ‘Merlin,’ Richard is currently the Interactive Producer behind several hugely popular TV programmes including Ashes to Ashes, Mistresses and Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and has previously worked on Doctor Who and Torchwood. As Interactive Producer, he is responsible for producing all of the video, audio and images for the programme’s interactive platforms including the Web, Mobile phones, Red Button interactive, itunes, iPlayer, BBC Youtube and BBC Bebo.

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“This can include anything from producing web games, creating behind the scenes content to shooting scenes specifically for interactive content. My day can range from being on set, to writing ideas for future commissions to balancing my budgets,” explained Richard. Commenting on his career plans for the future, he said: “At present I want to stay with the BBC. I’m lucky enough to work with a great team and Wales is becoming the BBC hub for exciting interactive content. We’re also lucky enough to have a stream of outstanding network shows that are made here at BBC Wales.” Highlighting his growing status in the broadcasting industry, Richard, who graduated in 2005, was also part of a team nominated for a main UK BAFTA for his work on Merlin and has previously been nominated for an International Emmy and a main BAFTA for his work on Doctor Who.


Laura crowned UK Sommelier of the Year A graduate from UWIC has been crowned the UK Sommelier of the Year 2009 following a tense final held at the Tate Modern in London. Laura Rhys, who graduated in 2004 with a BA International Hospitality Management and is now the Head Sommelier at the renowned Hotel TerravVina in the New Forest, beat off strong competition from the UK’s best sommeliers to win the prestigious competition which is organised by the Academy of Food and Wine. The day started with the 15 semi-finalists (all winners of their regional competitions) being judged on numerous technical skills including a blind tasting and a written exam.

Following the announcement in the afternoon that Laura had won her place as one of the three finalists she had to compete in a series of tasks including a realistic roleplay restaurant scenario which tested the sommeliers ability to deal with customers, their management skills and their ability to cope under pressure; a blind tasting; a food and wine matching exercise and an against the clock wine list error spotting exercise. The grand finale saw Laura and the other two finalists, both of whom were French, having to pour a single magnum of Champagne into 16 glasses, filling each equally without returning to any of them. “Winning the award has given me recognition within the industry and from my peers and because so few people have won it, it has put me into a very select group,” said Laura.

More alumni news... The UWIC Alumni Society is set to reach new heights following its recent re-launch as part of the institution’s charitable trust the UWIC Foundation. If you are interested in finding out more about the Alumni Society please contact Claire Grainger, Alumni Officer on either Tel: 029 2020 1592 or email: cgrainger@uwic.ac.uk

Graduate awarded Welsh Artist of the Year

The winning entry ‘Hidden System’ beat 500 other entries to win the title and features a photograph of huge industrial pipes running through the tranquil setting of the Lake District.

UWIC Cardiff School of Art and Design graduate, Tim Freeman, has won the prestigious Welsh Artist of the Year 2009 award.

This is the second year running that UWIC has had a direct connection to the winner of the award with Phillipa Lawrence a Contemporary Textiles lecturer at the Cardiff School of Art and Design being crowned Welsh Artist of the Year in 2008.

Tim, a digital artist who studied Fine Art at both degree and masters level at the school, received the award and £2000 at a ceremony at St David’s Hall in Cardiff.

Tim’s artwork formed the centrepiece of an exhibition featuring all the prize winners and more than 80 short-listed entries at St David’s Hall.

Claire Grainger, Alumni Officer.

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