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news &views THE UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER MAGAZINE

January 2010

In this issue:

Unison praises graduate internship scheme More praise for innovative salaried scheme p.3

Campus winter wonderland Business as usual, despite the weather p.8

International scholars honoured

Ceremony celebrates scholarship achievements p.2

High praise for Student Services Team achieves coveted Matrix standard p.4


FEATURE

INTERNATIONAL

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This year has seen the University of Worcester award more international scholarships than ever before, with students from as far afield as Azerbaijan, Tanzania and Brazil.

he University has awarded 24 scholarships this year, compared to eight last year, and to celebrate held an International Scholarship Reception.

The event was held to congratulate the students on being awarded scholarships and recognise their achievements. The scholars heard speeches by Vice Chancellor, Professor David Green, and the Head of the University’s International Centre, Lorraine Gaytten. Mrs Gaytten said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the arrival of our international scholars. “The international scholarships are attracting high calibre applicants from across the globe and their presence is adding to the

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internationalisation of the University. “We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with our scholars as they will be at the cutting edge of their chosen professions.” The scholarships are generally awarded for academic excellence. Students on the International Scholarship scheme are awarded up to £2000 to help them study at the University. They were joined at the reception by students funded by Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships. The University has also awarded its first European Postgraduate Scholarship this year.


COVER STORY wELCOME

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elcome to the New Year and the January 2010 edition of News & Views.

It’s been a frosty start to the new decade, but that hasn’t stopped us putting together another exciting issue of achievements, launches, milestones and your news. Nor has snow, which has brought much of the country’s schools and institutions to a standstill, stopped the University of Worcester from running as usual, not closing for a single day.

We’ve even found time to bring you pictures of Worcester’s winter wonderland which you’ll find on page 8. Elsewhere you’ll find high praise for our student services; how our innovative new centres will achieve the Culture Minister’s vision of the future of libraries; and a call from the Vice Chancellor for the government to invest in students and widen access to higher education. As always, we need your news, so please keep us informed via: newsandviews@worc.ac.uk

GRADUATE INTERNSHIP SCHEME

The scheme, which has also won support from the Director-General of the CBI and the General Secretary of the TUC, provides four days paid employment plus a £2,400 bursary to spend one day a week studying for a postgraduate certificate in Applied Business Management. Adrian Gregson, branch secretary of the Worcestershire Unison branch, said: “I welcome the Salaried Graduate Internship Scheme from the University of Worcester, as it is providing high quality work placements for graduates from all universities. “These graduates are paid at least the minimum wage, giving them the chance to enter the

COVER STORY Campus winter wonderland

UNISON LEADERS PRAISE INNOVATIVE Unison leaders have praised the University of Worcester’s innovative salaried graduate internship scheme, which is providing paid employment and a postgraduate qualification to recent graduates.

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employment market, at a difficult time, as well as increasing their skills and qualifications.” The University has teamed up with employers from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire to offer paid internships to graduates from any university. So far almost 50 graduates are now in employment as a result – 17 of which are employed at the University itself. Francesca Fairhurst, Unison representative at the University, said: “This scheme provides real jobs for graduates, with a real wage and the opportunity to study for a postgraduate degree. “It enhances their employability for the future, providing vital experience and a higher level qualification. The strength of this scheme is the links with local businesses,” she added. “It benefits not only the intern, but also the firm employing them, which gets a top quality graduate with all of the accolades that brings.”

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feature International scholars celebrated

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news Unison leaders praise innovative internship scheme Vice Chancellor’s criticism of freeze on student numbers High praise for Student Services University footballers in  national tournament Culture Minister’s vision to  be achieved at library and history centre Recycling bins take up position in city Business leaders discuss  economic recovery Professor of Tissue Viability calls for better care of patients Family’s donation in honour of former student Worcester drama students support fellow thespians New orchard goes for world record Support February’s Open Afternoon

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news

High praise for criticism of Student Services freeze on student vice chancellor’s

numbers

The University of Worcester’s Student Services department has been highly praised in an external inspection.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Green has described the Government’s freeze on student numbers and more than £500 million in funding cuts as short-sighted and irresponsible.

Following a three day assessment Student Services was awarded the matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance. The matrix is the national standard for such work and to date only around 25 whole student services departments in UK universities have achieved the standard.

“Thousands of people wanting to go to university next year will now be denied that opportunity,” he said, “and universities, like ourselves, who have tried to help people during the recession will now be fined if we do so again.”

Roger Prout, Head of Student Services, said: “This is a great result for the Department and the University and a true reflection of the hard work, commitment, skills and expertise of staff in Student Services.”

Professor Green highlighted the student numbers freeze together with cuts of more than 50 per cent in capital grants and almost five per cent in teaching resources as the most significant impact of Lord Mandelson’s festive blow to the higher education sector. “What people must realise is that these teaching cuts will come in from April and so we will have to revise our budgets now,” he said. “We will also have to significantly slow down our capital developments. This is short-sighted, irresponsible and will do nothing to widen access to higher education.” Lord Mandelson’s letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England calls for universities to be fined for over-recruiting full time undergraduate and PGCE students. “Universities are now going to be fined for educating students, which is a very odd situation,” Professor Green said. “With regard to PGCE students, the Government is particularly short-sighted, given the growing birth rate and those school children who will need additional teachers in the coming years. “The abject mismanagement of the student loans system is now spreading to higher education in general and threatens a real fiasco as would-be students, young and old, scramble for scarce university places next September.”

As part of his initial report the assessor drew particular attention to the competency levels of staff and the “exemplary” levels of support provided to disabled students.

Assessor Barry Kinsella’s report highlighted “a forward-thinking department, where success is measured in the retention achievement and progression of the students it assists”. The Student Services department encompasses the careers service, welfare and finance service, disability and dyslexia service, University nursery, counselling and mental health team, student experience and student achievement teams, and chaplaincy.

university footballers in national tournament

Three University of Worcester recently represented the Midlands in a national football tournament. The English Universities Regional Football Tournament pitted teams from the Midlands, North and South against each other. Dale Williams, aged 21, Tom Thorley, 19, and Tom Warmer, 25, were selected for a team of the best footballers from universities in the Midlands. Glyn Harding, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science, is coach of the Midlands team. He said: “There are fewer universities in the Midlands so we could be seen as underdogs, but the team won it last time so we hope to be competitive this year. “Every game that we go into we try to win and do the best we can. Previous tournaments have shown that players from the University of Worcester are as good as anyone in other UK universities.”

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NEWS

culture

minister’s

vision to be achieved at library and history centre

BUSINESS LEADERS DISCUSS ECONOMIC

RECOVERY Local business leaders and academics gathered at Worcester Business School for December’s Business Voice West Midlands event to debate the future of the local economy.

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Europe’s first fully-integrated public and university library will be a model of the new era of libraries called for by Culture Minister Margaret Hodge recently. he Worcester Library and History Centre, an innovative joint project between the University and Worcestershire County Council, will see members of the public share facilities with students and academics.

Publishing a far-reaching consultation paper on the future of libraries today, Ms Hodge said libraries must offer new structures, new services and new ways of working in order to fit in with modern society.

Worcester’s new library promises to have all of this and more, being the first in Europe to be fully integrated, allowing members of the public access to resources usually only available to university students. The new Library will put in place use of new technology and new ways of working which are currently being piloted throughout Worcestershire’s Library Service and will become a flagship for the county.

The attendees were welcomed by Mark Richardson, Head of Worcester Business School, who in his opening address touched upon the opportunities for businesses and education to work together in regenerating the local economy.

Anne Hannaford, Director of ILS at the University and a member of the joint project board, summed up the new building as “an exciting combination of facilities that, as the first of its kind in Europe, will attract international attention as well as serving the local, regional and national community”.

This was followed by an address from James Watkins, from Business Voice West Midlands, who talked about the role of his organisation in bringing businesses together to overcome the problems caused by the recession.

She said: “The use of space targets different users’ needs, with an outside area to teach young children; a place to experience touch and sound through the latest audiovisual technology; a section to read and study quietly with research books and laptops; somewhere to sit and chatter and grab a cup of coffee; a room to meet with business colleagues to discuss and present ideas.”

John Duckers, former Business Editor of the Birmingham Post, put the recession into a historical perspective and asked what lessons could be learnt to facilitate a sustainable recovery in the region.

RECYCLING BINS TAKE UP POSITION IN CITY A joint initiative between the University and Worcester City Council has seen a number of new recycling and litter bins installed in the City. The bins are located along the new walking and cycling path along the river Severn and aim to encourage residents and students to recycle more. Katy Boom, Head of Sustainability and Development, said: “The University is continuing to educate both its students and staff in recycling and the City Council has kindly allowed us to place poster points on the new bins, to help with raising awareness. We know how important it is to show people very small steps, like remembering to recycle water bottles, all add up, which is why the posters contain tally charts.” Students at the University took part in a project to design posters for the new bins, led by Andy Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Design.

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news

Professor of Tissue Viability calls for better care for patients

People living with leg ulcers and pressure ulcers are getting a raw deal from the NHS, according to Professor Richard White, the UK’s only Professor of Tissue Viability. Wound care is one of the top 10 purposes for visits by district nurses and accounts for approximately 70 per cent of their total time expenditure. Yet, although 2-3 per cent of the total NHS budget is allocated to this area of care it is largely neglected at the national level, says Professor White. “The predominant demand for care lies with the elderly population,” he said. “The predicted increase in the over-60s indicates that agerelated healthcare requirements will continue to increase. Tissue viability (wound care) will continue to be a substantial drain on NHS funds and this needs to be addressed.” Professor White has headed up a response to the Government’s Framework for Quality Accounts consultation, which closed on Thursday, December 10, on the issue of tissue viability. The response is signed by some of the UK’s leading tissue viability nurses, consultants, academics and managers and identifies the need for more joined-up working and investment. “Tissue viability links to all areas of care where a patient has a wound,” the response says. “The link between MRSA and ‘open’ wounds

is established but rarely acknowledged publicly. This should be made a priority in order that MRSA-infection rates be further reduced, and the appropriate resources be dedicated. It will, however, require investment into tissue viability in both Acute and Primary Care.” It continues: “The inclusion of pressure ulcer prevention and management strategies into the national Quality Accounts requirement is also essential in our opinion. Attention must be given to other, often neglected, key areas such as wound pain, pressure ulcer prevention, and nutrition. Lymphoedema services and pathways of care are currently not getting the required levels of education and resources to meet the demands of patients. This is a large contributor to morbidity in primary care, proving expensive when infections occur through (avoidable) hospital admission.”

Family’s donation

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in honour of former student

he family of a University of Worcester student who died shortly before finishing his course has donated £250 to the University’s Charity of the Year.

Tom Adamson was just one assessment away from completing the Graduate Diploma Nursing course when he passed away at the age of 61.

delighted with the posthumous award that we wanted to do something in Tom’s memory and to thank the University.” Tom Adamson, a qualified certified accountant joined the University as a mature student in February 2007 after deciding on a change of career. Mr Michael Adamson said: “Tom was such

He received a posthumous award of Graduate Certificate in Health Care Studies at the University’s graduation ceremonies in November, which was collected by one of his three sons. In recognition of Mr Adamson’s time at the University his family has donated £250, which the University has donated to its Charity of the Year, the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign. Mr Adamson’s brother, Michael Adamson, who lives in Essex, said: “We were so 6 / JANUARY 2010 / newsandviews@worc.ac.uk

a caring person that we always thought he would be better suited to teaching or nursing rather than accounting, and I think those last couple of years were his happiest. He had finally found his calling in life.” Head of Pre-Registration Nursing at the University of Worcester, Robert Dudley, added: “Tom had finally found his niche in life. He loved nursing and on his placements he was a firm favourite with all the patients and staff. He was a real character and would sometimes take his guitar to play tunes and have sing-a-longs to cheer up the patients.” Mr Tom Adamson fell ill in the summer of 2008 and in the October of that year he was taken to hospital. He passed away in early December 2008. During his illness, Mr Michael Adamson kept in contact with the University’s registry department keeping staff regularly updated on his condition.


NEWS

worcester New orchard goes for drama students world record support fellow

thespians Worcester drama students have donated £80 to fellow thespians.

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potlight, a student-led drama company, raised the money through ticket sales from recent productions. The money has gone to Dreamcatcher, a theatre company for people with learning disabilities, based at the University.

A new orchard has been created at the University with the planting of 12 fruit trees.

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he trees – four apple, four pear and four plum – have been planted between the new halls of residence and homes on Himbleton Road.

They were planted as part of the BBC’s Tree O’Clock campaign – a world record attempt to plant the largest number of trees at the same time.

Grounds Manager Jamie Hill said: “We had planned to plant trees in this area anyway, but thought it was ideal to get involved in the Tree O’Clock campaign. Chairman and student Simon de Garis said: “Spotlight decided that we should support Dreamcatcher as they are a university-based drama group who we believe deserve a large amount of praise and support for all of their hard work. It is a pleasure to give the group a portion of our ticket money. From each ticket sold £1 goes to Dreamcatcher.

“The University is committed to increasing biodiversity and improving the surroundings for both the students and residents and these latest trees are a welcome addition.”

“Our next show, The Beggars Opera, is looking to raise much more for Dreamcatcher and so the more support we can get the better. The show will be performed on March 11, 12 and 13 at Bishop Perowne school, the University and also the Conquest Theatre. Tickets are available now by calling 07769170254.”

“For home and international students, in particular, the feeling of knowing that their time here has made a positive and enduring difference to the experience of future students is something special they can hold on to.”

The trees were planted by staff and students on Saturday, December 5. Community Development Worker Yinka Alli-Balogun said: “The project offered a great opportunity for students to get together and be active in shaping the future of the University landscape.

Francesca Leighton, drama lecturer and coordinator of Dreamcatcher, said she was delighted with the donation. She added: “Dreamcatcher is planning on using the money either to fund our next performance, A Christmas Carol, at the end of January 2010, or to increase the profile of the company by commissioning an appropriate person to develop a website.” Dreamcatcher allows performers of all ages to come together in a relaxed environment to express their feelings and attitudes through drama and to have fun. They meet every Sunday morning from 10am to 12.30pm. To join, or for more information, call Francesca Leighton on 01905 855291. The cost is £2 a week.

Our next Open Afternoon takes place on Wednesday 17 February and we want you to help ensure it’s our best ever. If you would be interested in helping out on the Welcome Desk, or just generally making the event as successful as possible then we want to hear from you. Contact Annabel Kray on a.kray@worc.ac.uk to find out more, including rates of pay.

OPEN AFTERNOON 17 February 2010, 1pm-5pm

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snow gallery

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News and Views January 2010