Student leaders: democracy in action

Students voting

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Really excellent to see the effort which has been made to promote voting in this year’s University of Nottingham Students’ Union elections. There are good numbers of candidates for all positions and some really excellent promotion work including this splendid Students’ Union elections website.

There is also a handy stats page which not only counts down the days, hours and minutes of voting left but gives you live presentation of votes cast and percentage turnout:

Voting stats

It’s dangerously compelling. In addition, you can tell which Halls have the highest turnout (Southwell miles ahead at time of writing but do check back) and which Schools:

school votes

It’s all really great to see and terrific that the Union is seeking to get more and more students involved in its democratic processes. All of this has to be positive for the future development of the SU but also for enhancing the role it plays in the life of the University.

Keep on voting!

True Crime on Campus §34: voodoo

New year true crime on campus

Some odd things can happen on campus. Fortunately, our unflappable Security staff are more than capable of responding to any situation:

010 Report of a group of youths on Jubilee Campus. The youths were spoken to by Security and told to leave Campus. The youths ran into Exchange Building and then off the Campus shouting and Swearing at the Officers.

0210 Report of a Conference Delegate lying on the ground adjacent to Cavendish Hall. Security attended the male was found to be so drunk he could not stand without assistance and was resident in Willoughby Hall. Security Officers took the delegate back to his Hall a further check on him was made later in the night to confirm he was well.

cherry picker

1520 A Patrol Security Officer observed a Cherry Picker being manoeuvred on the Science Site. The Officer watched as the Cherry Picker drove into a parked vehicle causing damage to the rear of the vehicle. The driver of the Cherry Picker was stopped and spoken to by the Officer. The owner of the vehicle a member of Staff was informed and attended. Both parties exchanged details.

1845 Security spoke to two youths who refused to leave Jubilee Campus. The youths are part of the larger group that has been causing issues on the Campus. The Police were called and on arrival they spoke to the youths and took them home to speak to their parents. Security are to follow up.

2028 Report of two suspicious males sitting on a vehicle adjacent to Newark Hall. Security attended and spoke to the males who were found to be students.

1740 Report of a suspicious male on Beeston Lane. Security attended and spoke to the male who was identified as a Conference Delegate.

1635 Report of a male on the roof of Trent Building. Security attended and spoke to the male who stated he was free running. The male was told to leave and not to go back on the building roof.

2030 Report of a Student with an injury to her hand in Hall. Security attended. The Student had bruised one of her fingers while “fooling around” with a friend.

0100 Report of a dispute between a Pizza delivery driver and a Taxi driver outside Willoughby Hall. Both Drivers stated that they had been sworn at by the other. Both drivers given advice.

Digital-clock-alarm1240 Report of an alarm clock sounding in a room in Hugh Stewart Hall. Security attended and turned the alarm off.

0010 Report of a disturbance at the Mooch. Security attended. It was reported that a group of Students had stolen a box of Cider from a Beer festival. Students who organised the festival had recovered the Cider but two of the group had been punched while recovering it. Security to follow up. Police not involved.

1545 The Porter of Willoughby Hall reported that a sofa was on the roof of the Porters Lodge and that Estates would remove tomorrow.

2315 A member of Staff from Starbucks cafe reported that they had left two grills on in the Cafe. Security entered Starbucks and turned the Grills off.

0255 Patrol Security Officers stopped two males who were running from Hugh Stewart Hall. The males were stopped by Cripps Hall. Officers stopped one of the males who is a guest of a Student staying in another Hall. The male had taken a tin of food from a student’s room in Hugh Stewart Hall. The Warden is to be informed.

1140 Report of a male by Highfields Lake with a Sword. Security attended. On arrival Officers spoke to a number of Students from a re-enactment Society and informed them of the concerns which had been raised. Students’ Union to be informed of Police request to be notified of any further such meetings in this area.

16:35 Security received a report of a cigarette bin on fire outside the entrance of Humanities. On arrival, the fire had been put out with water by a member of staff. The Helpdesk were already aware.

Vudu1510 A member of the public contacted Security to report that there was a Voodoo doll on the Headless Statue adjacent to Built Environment. The member of the public was concerned that Satanic Practices may affect Students. The person was given reassurance Officers attended the Statue and removed a doll with a pin through its head.

2245 Report of a dead body on the footpath adjacent to the Swimming Pool. Security and Police attended. On arrival a male was found to be drunk and unconscious. The male was woken up and spoken to. He confirmed his details and stated that he had been to a works party on Campus and had far too much to drink. This was confirmed by his line manager. The male was taken home for his own safety by the Police.

Dead wood

Not very environmentally friendly

Back in April 2008 I planted a tree at Lenton Rec as a mark of the University’s sponsorship of the park. There was lots of other activity too as part of the support for Nottingham in Bloom.

The report on the event includes a comment from the University’s Off-Camous Student Affairs Manager, Melanie Futer:

“There is a lot of pride in the fact that the Recreation Ground is a Green Flag award-winning park and our hope is that by enhancing it still further we can encourage more people to use the park this summer and in the years to come,” said Melanie.

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Me. Beside the tree (still alive at this point) [picture from the Parkviews blog ]

The Council was equally positive:

Councillor Malcolm Wood, Chair of the Nottingham in Bloom Working Group, said: “This new sponsorship will bring benefits specifically to the people of Lenton, who live alongside many of the University’s students and who enjoy the park all year round.”

A further comprehensive report on the event can be found on the Parkviews blog 

Lenton Rec is still sponsored by the University and heavily used by students. Whilst the rest of the park looks great, unfortunately, the tree did not prosper, despite my expert digging. That was the first, and I fear the last, time I’ve been asked to plant a tree.

It is an ex-tree. It has ceased to be.

Sorry about that everyone.

The 2013 International Leadership Conference: Managing Global Universities

A report on the conference held at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

global

Last November delegates from UK, Australia, Middle East, China, India gathered in the unique setting of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China to explore the challenges of managing universities in an era of globalization.

The conference, supported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, was organized to bring together senior managers and leaders to share best practice around developing and operating campuses abroad, and builds on Nottingham’s strengths as a successful research-led UK university with an excellent reputation for international leadership and management.

The conference opened with an overview (from me) of Nottingham’s experience of operating campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

This first presentation led on the benefits for both universities and their students of opening campuses abroad, highlighting Nottingham’s strengths as a successful research-led UK university with an excellent reputation for international leadership and management. Clarity of vision, long-term commitment and a detailed understanding of the local context were crucial to success.

The session outlined the programme for the event which covered every dimension of international higher education leadership, from strategy development to global branding, virtual provision to researching in China and many aspects of student and staff experiences.

The four-day specialised conference offered speakers from many other international institutions with expertise in globalising higher education. These included  senior managers from i-Graduate, Benoy, The Parthenon Group, The Association of Business Schools, the British Council and other universities, Murdoch University, the University of Liverpool and the University of the West of Scotland. Nottingham’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, as well as the University’s the Director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment, the Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning and the Deputy Director of Human Resources all participated in speeches and workshop sessions. Nottingham’s international leaders, the Provost and CEO of The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), the Provost and the Vice Provost of UNNC were also involved.

Full details about the International Leadership Conference can be found here.

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China as an exemplar of global higher education leadership

Professor Nick Miles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, launched proceedings and spoke passionately of the successes of UNNC and the enormous opportunities for further growth and development in China. The campus had achieved much and staff had overcome many challenges and now occupied a prominent position in the Chinese Higher Education system. In addition to exploring the local, regional and national context, he addressed strategic issues, the quality of the education provided and the high calibre of students, graduate employability (which sees 100% progress into jobs or higher level study), quality assurance, cultural issues and staffing matters.

Context

Nottingham represents a new model of global higher education. Students and staff are offered study and travel opportunities to help position them for success, and Nottingham conducts coordinated research on some of the most pressing global human concerns and social problems simultaneously in three different but complementary national contexts.

The University established its first overseas campus in Malaysia 13 years ago and has since won two Queen’s Awards – one for Enterprise in International Trade in 2001 and another in 2006 in recognition of Nottingham’s position as the world’s first foreign university to receive a licence to open a campus in China.

The University has been building international links for decades. In 1950, the first group of Malaysian students arrived in Nottingham, beginning an over 60-year association with the University which has seen Nottingham graduates such as YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, become leading members of society. In 2000, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus first opened its doors to just 90 students in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, our student body in Malaysia has grown to almost 5,000 – including more than 70 nationalities – based at our 125-acre dedicated campus site in Semenyih.

The University’s links with China also date back many years, featuring well over 90 collaborations with Chinese universities. In 1999 the University elected academician Professor Yang Fujia as its Chancellor. With the then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Colin Campbell, they developed a vision for a new hybrid style of university in China. In July 2003, new legislation in China was passed permitting the establishment of foreign campuses in China. The University of Nottingham was the first university to receive a licence to operate a campus under this legislation. The result was the opening in 2004 of the campus in the prosperous and successful city of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province. The University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus now has over 5,800 students.

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Strategy development

David Wright, Senior Advisor to the Parthenon Group explored the full range of issues involved in developing a global strategy for higher education institutions. Delegates considered key dimensions of strategy and discussed the continued growth in student numbers, the operation of international offices in universities, the emergence of the ‘Agent Corporation’ as a major player in the global student recruitment market and different aspects of channel management for institutions in developing their strategies.

The Chinese higher education market

Understanding China’s market for higher education was the theme for Jeremy Chan Regional Head of Research and Consultancy in East Asia for the British Council. Jeremy set out a comprehensive picture of China’s economy, demographic and political developments. Although he noted that population changes had led some to suggest that the appetite for higher education for students within China and those who wished to travel abroad it was his view that the growing affluence of the population overall meant that student numbers would continue to grow in the coming years. The UK remained the top partner for transnational education in China although its activities were heavily biased towards undergraduate provision unlike, for example, the US and Australia which had larger postgraduate numbers involved. Branch campus operations, where the University of Nottingham Ningbo China had led the way, were also being pursued by an increasing number of other leading Western universities.

Routes to internationalisation

Professor Christine Ennew, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, explored the motivation of universities in mapping new routes to internationalisation in higher education across academic, cultural, political and economic dimensions. She argued that higher education has always been international in character and unconstrained by national borders but the challenge now was to deal with the sheer scale of such activity and to manage internationalization effectively. A range of different models of international engagement were explored and the many challenges, pitfalls and benefits considered.

Global reputation, branding and communications

Emma Leech, Director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment at the University of Nottingham UK explored the challenges faced by higher education in establishing global branding and reputation and informed delegates of the approach which had been taken by Nottingham in developing its position. The challenges of plotting a distinctive course and sustaining reputation were discussed. A further session looked at transformational communications and the need to harness engagement across institutions to support change with specific reference to online opportunities. A range of possibilities were explored including social media, which, whilst challenging to manage effectively,  could be used creatively to engage students and to assist with change management. At the heart of such activity though was the need to communicate with clarity and to ensure transparency.

Making teaching count

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland offered a passionately delivered case for the fundamental importance of teaching within higher education and for its thorough professionalization. Noting that all too often academic staff tended to rely on their own, often extremely dated, student experience as the basis for their teaching methods, he argued strongly that all teachers should be trained to teach. Not only did they need to understand and build upon the experiences of today’s school children, tomorrow’s undergraduates, but all teachers had to be accustomed to exploiting technology in order to enhance the learning experience. Professor Mahoney went on to propose a European or even a global academy for teaching and learning in order to support, promote and reinforce the vital status of teaching.

Student matters

Student satisfaction, benchmarking the global student experience, data and feedback were covered in whirlwind presentation by Will Archer, Chief Executive of iGraduate, which tracks student views across the globe. Drawing on the example of one leading university he explained how Student Barometer data could be used to drive change and improvement in the student experience.

Professor Julie Sanders, Vice-Provost for Teaching and Learning at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, and Professor Wyn Morgan, Assistant Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham UK, discussed approaches to developing and delivering an international student experience. Covering issues around changing student profile, promoting global citizenship, the challenges of internationalizing the curriculum and creative approaches to classroom activities, the presenters offered a comprehensive picture of the student experience in a very different context. Hot topics such as blended online and face to face learning, use of social media in teaching and the rise of MOOCs in China were also the subject of debate.

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Online learning

Virtual spaces as places for learning and the role of postgraduate online global higher education communities was the topic for Professor Clare Pickles, Academic Director (Education) for Laureate Online Education and Director of Online Studies for the University of Liverpool’s Professional Doctorate in Higher Education. Clare provided a comprehensive overview of the ways in which her students work and collaborate online and how they are aided by faculty and student support advisors located around the globe. Delegates also learned about the development of an online graduate school and Clare’s own YouTube channel through which she provided updates to students on current higher education issues as she travelled round the world.

The business end

Paul Marshall, Chief Executive of the Association of Business Schools (ABS), explored the challenges of running business schools in a global higher education environment. Noting the remarkable fact that 90% of MBA students in the UK were international he went on to observe that too many business schools looked too similar and offered the same provision. Whilst 16 business schools in the UK and 59 worldwide had triple accreditation, which was seen as a major selling point, it was not clear that students valued accreditation at all. All faced major challenges, wherever in the world they operated, and ABS was undertaking a range of activities to support and guide change in the sector.

Research in China

Undertaking research in China offers huge opportunities for new areas of work but also some challenges. Professor Fintan Cullen, Dean of Arts and Education and Acting Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China., led a lively session involving academic colleagues from English and Contemporary China Studies and three current PhD students from Education, the Business School and Economics. The major attraction for researchers was the fact that many areas of activity in many disciplines had not been subject to serious investigation and therefore the territory was very open for all kinds of research. Delegates were fascinated to hear the research students outline their studies in consumer behaviour, international university branch campus leadership and the import challenges for foreign companies operating in China. All agreed that the unique opportunities offered by the presence of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China made research activity hugely attractive. Such research would often push against boundaries but care was required to avoid breaching them. Further discussion covered the training provided for new PhD supervisors and the progress in building a graduate community in the University.

People

The many challenges of international staff recruitment were covered in a session led by Peter McCracken, Deputy Director of Human Resources at the University of Nottingham.  Addressing everything from contractual issues, tax matters, visas, the particular complexities of operating in China and the importance of pre-interview campus visits and comprehensive induction arrangements, the session gave rise to a whole host of detailed questions from delegates. The make up of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China’s staff was also explored and the presenter acknowledged that the challenges faced continued to change and evolve although huge progress had been made.

Leading in global higher education

Changing patterns of leadership in a global higher education environment was the theme for Jon Baldwin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Professional Services) at Australia’s Murdoch University. In an entertaining survey of different models and structures of leadership in universities from the collegial to the bureaucratic, all of which were in some way contested he noted that a recent study published by the UK’s Leadership Foundation had concluded that “nothing efinitive can be said about leadership in higher education”. One key example he explored was the different leadership approaches which had been taken by different universities to the establishment of overseas branch campuses. The most insightful analysis of HE leadership though he attributed to a taxi driver who, after hearing a detailed explanation of the Registrar’s role, summarized it in a distinctively positive way: “all indoors and no heavy lifting”.

Striking parallels

Graham Cartledge CBE, Chairman of Benoy, the major international firm of architects, provided a distinctive angle on the issue of global leadership in taking delegates on a tour from “Cowsheds to Kowloon, beyond and back” which set out Benoy’s international

Graham Cartledge

Graham Cartledge

growth story. The journey since the early days of the company in Newark in the 1970s and a difficult set of circumstances in the recession of the early 80s led to a number of breakthrough moments over subsequent years including the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the redevelopment of the Bullring in Birmingham, the creation of Media City in Salford and the Westfield shopping centre in East London. Since then the company had grown hugely and internationally and undertaken major projects in Hong Kong, China and Abu Dhabi. Benoy realized early on the opportunities provided by the growth of China’s economy and now had a major presence there and over 300 staff based in East Asia. The company retained a strong entrepreneurial ethos and sought to move staff around its offices to ensure a sustained culture and that the company could respond in a consistent manner. Thinking internationally and acting locally was a key feature of Benoy’s strategy and the effective sharing of knowledge across the organisation was seen as an essential success factor. Delegates were hugely impressed with the presentation and the many parallels with global higher education developments.

Leading the global university

In a keynote presentation the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor David Greenaway, set out the origins of the University’s internationalization strategy and the recognition that the future was in Asia which ultimately led to the establishment of campuses in Malaysia and China. He stressed the long term commitment to continuing to work in both nations and the development of new research strands – including in global food security via the Crops for the Future initiative in Malaysia and the new International Academy for the Marine Economy and Technology in Ningbo, the fourth largest port in the world. Clarity of vision, integration of systems and processes across three campuses and the strength of local leadership were highlighted as key success factors.

Conclusion

Overall, conference participants enjoyed an outstanding and diverse range of sessions and the lessons learned for leading global universities. Delegates were thanked for their contributions and it was hoped that they had benefitted from exploring these major strategic themes across higher education in the unique and real context of the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Varsity on ice

The Big Match: University of Nottingham v Nottingham Trent University

Earlier this week I attended the annual Nottingham v Trent Varsity ice hockey match. It really is a fantastic sporting event and must be the biggest of its kind in UK higher education. With a sell-out crowd of over 7,000 the atmosphere was terrific.

Facing off

Facing off

It was a pretty good game too. Some of the rules remain a little unclear to the uninitiated but the level of enthusiasm from both sets of fans was a constant feature.

IMG_1026

Under way

Trent Students’ Union magazine has a full match report. It’s not entirely even-handed about the outcome:

All we did know is, Trent lost. Not only that, but Trent lost by a solitary, lonely, tear-inducing goal, 4-3… having raced into a three-nil lead.

But, as disappointing as that is, is the ice hockey Varsity ever really about the result? Well, yes, I guess it is. It’s also about the occasion though, and, as ever, the Varsity event of the year delivered.

IMG_1027

The celebrations begin

The infamous chanting didn’t take long to get going at the start of the night. The ever graceful University of Nottingham fans greeted the announcement of all the Trent players with a delightful, “SHIT!” but hey, as their favourite and not-in-any-way-shape-or-form irritating chant of “UNAAAAY” proves, ingenuity is not their strong point.

The chanting did get more creative (and boorish) and the cheerleaders did some pretty spectacular gymnastic routines to sustain the feverish excitement but the game was only going to end one way after that amazing comeback by the University.

The Nottingham Post has a slightly more balanced report on the match.

It's a win!

It’s a win!

There are of course many Varsity competitions around the UK but I do think this one is rather special.

Sustainability charts: Latest UI GreenMetric World University Ranking

Now out : the new Green Metric World Ranking

This world university league table first appeared in 2010 and was headed by the University of California, Berkeley. Two years ago the University of Nottingham led the field (down to second to Connecticut in last year’s ranking). This year though Nottingham is back on top:

The top 10 is follows:

1 University of Nottingham UK

2 University College Cork National University of Ireland Ireland

3 Northeastern University US

4 University of Bradford UK

5 University of Connecticut US

6 Universite de Sherbrooke Canada

7 University of Plymouth UK

8 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill US

9 University of California, Davis US

10 North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State Univ US

UI
The details of the table can be found at UI GreenMetric site. The aim of the ranking is, at least in part, to promote sustainability in universities:

The aim of this ranking is to provide the result of online survey regarding the current condition and policies related to Green Campus and Sustainability in the Universities all over the world. It is expected that by drawing the attention of university leaders and stake holders, more attention will be given to combating global climate change, energy and water conservation, waste recycling, and green transportation. Such activities will require change of behavior and providing more attention to sustainability of the environment, as well as economic and social problem related to the sustainability. We believe that the universities that are leading the way in this regard need to be identifiable and so we have decided to make a start in doing this. Initially, we will collect numeric data from thousands of universities world wide and process the data provided to arrive at a single score that reflects the efforts being made by the institution to implement environmentally friendly and sustainable policies and programs. Universities will be ranked according to this score. We hope that the rankings will be useful to university leaders in their efforts to put in place eco-friendly policies and manage behavioral change among the academic community at their respective institutions.

The methodology, criteria and scoring can be found here but in summary the approach is as follows:

We selected criteria that are generally thought to be of importance by universities concerned with sustainability. These include the collection of a basic profile of the size of the university and its zoning profile, whether urban, suburban, rural. Beyond this we want to see the degree of green space. The next category of information concerns electricity consumption because of its link to our carbon footprint. Then we want to know about transport, water usage, waste management and so on. Beyond these indicators, we want to get a picture about how the university is responding to or dealing with the issue of sustainability through policies, actions, and communication.

Overall a good result for UK institutions and Nottingham in particular (as well as for Bradford and Plymouth in the top 10 and Bath in 15th and Bangor in 19th place). The number of institutions participating this year has again increased and it does rather look as if this league table is becoming more established.

Pop Art to Brit Art

A great exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside

E00002396

This exhibition is undoubtedly the highlight of Lakeside’s winter season and is the first outing of a terrific collection of contemporary art:

The guiding principle behind the David Ross collection is of art produced during his own lifetime, and it is particularly rich in paintings by artists associated with the Pop Art movement of the 1960s including David Hockney, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and Patrick Caulfield. The legacy of these artists and their engagement with commercial and popular forms of visual culture is also apparent in more recent works by Young British Artists – Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Gavin Turk.

Other painters who came to prominence in the 60s but who worked in a more expressionist manner, such as Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff, are also richly represented.

This exhibition also includes: Derek Boshier, Gilbert & George, Howard Hodgkin, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, Michael Craig-Martin, Bridget Riley, Mario Testino and Joe Tilson.

There really is some fantastic art here, with my favourites including the Riley, Quinn and Caulfield pictures and the Testino photos.

Further details of the (free) exhibition can be found on the Lakeside website and it is on until the 9th of February. Go and see it if you are in the Nottingham area.

True Crime on Campus §33: Best of 2013

True Crime on Campus §33: Best of 2013 and vote for #1

It’s the time for some reviews of last year’s stuff and 2013 has been another busy year for our hard working Security staff. Here are some of my true crime on campus favourites from the year together with an opportunity to vote for the report you think is the best.

 

13:50 Security were called to the Trent Building as a staff member reported two parts missing from a coffee machine. Security to follow up.

0345 Security received a complaint from a Med Link Delegate in Hall complaining that they were too hot in their room. Security attended and turned the radiator down and moved the bed away from the radiator.
radiator-classic-heating

2140 Report of a “smelly blower “at DLRC. Security attended. The hot air curtain at the entrance to the building was thought to smelling. Officers could not detect any issue with it.

1950 Report from a member of Staff that they had dropped their keys down the lift shaft in the Sir Colin Campbell Building. Security attended and were able to recover the keys.

1641 Patrol Security Officers asked a group of people who were in the Lake at Jubilee Campus to get out and leave the Campus.

2316 Report that a Tutor had been Rugby tackled by a student outside the Hall. The Student was part of the American Football team who were having a Social event. Details of two of the group have been taken and will be passed onto the Warden.
tackle

08:51 Security received a fire alarm activation from Computer Science for a room that did not exist. The Porter has reported this problem and the Helpdesk informed. The building was checked and the alarm panel was reset.

 

1200 Report of a male hiding in bushes. Security attended and spoke to the male. As he had no connection to the University and had been drinking he was told to leave the Campus.

swan
A swan? Go on!

1720 Report of a distressed swan in the Road adjacent to Melton Hall Security attended and moved the swan onto the grassed area. The swan appeared to be uninjured and was eating the grass. Officers checked later on the Swan it had left the area.

0905 Report that Conference Delegates in Hall had items stolen from their rooms. Security attended – it was discovered that the Delegates were on the wrong floor of the Hall. All items were safe in their rooms.

1332 Report of a dog running loose on the grassed area adjacent to DHL. Security attended and an Officer caught the dog but the Council were unable to collect the Dog until Monday. The Officer who caught the Dog decided to take the animal home until it could be collected by the Council.

Very dangerous indeed
Very dangerous indeed

1225 Report of a person with a suspected broken ankle on the Downs. Security attended. While dealing with the injured person another person fell injuring their ankle. Both Students were taken to Hospital by Ambulance. Both Students were injured while playing Quidditch.

1950 Request from resident regarding birds in his chimney. Security attended and the bird – a Jackdaw – was apprehended by Officers. The Jackdaw was released by Officers after being removed from the House. At the request of the occupant Contractors were called out to board up the fireplace.

0115 Report of two residents with painful ankles following dancing in the Mooch bar. The residents asked if Security could take them back to the Hall in a Security vehicle – both residents taken back to the Hall.

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1750 Report of children swimming in the fountain adjacent to the Humanities Building Security attended and asked the children to get out of the water and not to swim in there.

1415 Report of a male urinating onto the rear of DHL Building. Security attended and spoke to the male. He stated that he needed he needed to urinate and the toilets in DHL were too dirty to use. The male was given advice and told not to do it again.

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1220 Patrol Security observed a small child on a tricycle fall into the Lake at Jubilee Campus. The child’s Grandfather got the child out and the Officer was able to get the child’s cycle out of the water. The child was unhurt, just wet. They were taken home by the Grand parent.

2354 Intruder alarm Hallward Library. Cause of activation due to a bat having flown into the area. Security attended. Officers were able to get the bat to leave the Building.

20:50 Security provided access for a student who was locked in the Hallward Library as the Library staff had gone home.

Lift_symbool_(NS)-1

1235 Report of a person trapped in the lift in Tower Building. Security attended. The person trapped was the lift engineer who had attended to repair the lift. A second engineer was able to rectify the fault.

1340 Report of a male strangling Ducks at the Jubilee Campus. Officers attended and spoke to the male who denied it. There was no evidence to confirm the report. The male was told to leave Campus.

5474155241_4918b47ea6Update:‘Report of Theft of £1000 by a Student from his room in Hall on 28/09/13’. A Security Officer from the Covert Team visited the student in his room to conduct further enquires. The student informed him that he had left the money in a top drawer in a bag. The Officer pulled the drawers out and found the money at the back of the drawers. To say the student was elated would be an understatement and he gave the Officer a big hug. Police and Hall Management updated.

0020 Patrol Security Officer observed a male attempting to break into a house. The Officer spoke to the male who stated that this is where all the drugs are. The male then ran from the area and was detained by other Officers who attended. The male was found to be a student from Derby University who was staying with a friend in Hall. This was confirmed by our student. Wardens to be informed. The student from Derby University was extremely drunk.

446707751_e6ed02a1d92145 Report that a student had his hand stuck in a vending machine in Sir Clive Grainger Building. Security attended the Fire Service were called out. The Student managed to free his hand and went to the QMC to be checked due to pain in his wrist.

2120 Report that people were giving out free cider to students in the car park. Security attended. Those who were handing out the cider stated that they had been given permission to do so but had no proof of this so were told to leave Campus. Security are to follow up.

2230 Report that a student thinks they may have Flu in Hall. Security attended.

iphone1130 Report that a mobile phone had been stolen from the Chemistry Building and the owner was tracking the phone. Security attended the Science Site and with the owner concentrated on the area where the phone was tracked too. As Officers closed in on the area the signal from the phone was lost. While making enquires in the area Officers discovered that the owner had in fact purchased lunch in the Coates Cafe and left his phone at the till. The cafe staff had waited for a short period to see if the owner returned when they did not they placed the phone in their safe which was when the signal to it was lost. The phone was retrieved and returned to the owner.

2150 Residents of a Flat contacted the Control room asking for help as their baby would not stop crying. Officers gave the contact number for NHS Direct and attended the flat.

1310 Report that there was a dog in Highfield Lake in distress. Security attended and on arrival Officers observed a male with the dog. The male was spoken to and confirmed he was the owner and he had jumped into the lake to save his dog.

Never a dull moment on campus.

So which is your favourite? I’ve got a selection of the special ones for you to vote on below for no real purpose. Or you could suggest your own. You can choose three.

Let’s hope for more of the same in 2014.

Lift symbol: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Lift_symbool_%28NS%29.jpg

What about a university professional services NOOC?

A post just for University Nottingham (UK, China and Malaysia) colleagues: what about a university professional services NOOC?

Following the success of the first NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course) on Sustainability in, among other things, involving staff and students from the UK, China and Malaysia campuses in shared learning it occurred to me that it might be an idea to use a similar model to offer a course for staff in professional services.NOOC_Logo_RGB

A group of colleagues have had an initial discussion about what such a NOOC might look like and come up with a number of interesting ideas for subjects it could cover. However, before going any further I wanted to test some of these thoughts on colleagues.

What might a professional services NOOC look like?

If we did develop such a NOOC it would probably be similar in structure to the Sustainability NOOC (do have a look at it here) but would only be open to University of Nottingham staff in the UK, Malaysia and China.

The course would last perhaps 10 weeks and each week would provide a new activity through which key themes for Nottingham professional services would be explored.

So, thinking about such themes – could you select all from the list below which you think should be part of a professional services NOOC.

Would you be interested in taking such a course?

Would you think formal assessment for academic credit should be an option?

Could you imagine such a course forming part of your annual professional development and personal review (PDPR) or equivalent?

Any other comments or ideas for topics do add to the comments box below.

Global Employability University Ranking

Global Employability University Ranking 2013

A new Global Employability University Ranking has just been published by Times Higher Education.

The list is compiled by French human resources consulting group Emerging Associates along with Trendence, a German polling and research institute:

It is based on responses from 2,700 recruiters in 20 countries, who were asked which of their local universities produced the best graduates.

According to Emerging Associates, the performance of smaller northern European countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries had surprised this year.

“In a general way, those universities that specialise in business tend do well, which is understandable, but what is evident in a number of countries is that the universities that do best are those that have managed to adapt themselves to recruiters’ expectations – irrespective of their specializations,” said Sandrine Belloc, director of Emerging Associates.

The top 20 is headed by Oxford with Cambridge 3rd with heavy representation from  US institutions in the upper reaches although there is some variety in here too:

1 University of Oxford, Great Britain

2 Harvard University, USA

3 University of Cambridge, Great Britain

4 Stanford University, USA

5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

6 Princeton University, USA

7 Columbia University, USA

8 Yale University, USA

9 California Institute of Technology, USA

10 The University of Tokyo, Japan

11 Technische Universität München, Germany

12 University of California, Berkeley, USA

13 University College London, Great Britain

14 University of Toronto, Canada

15 University of Edinburgh, Great Britain

16 École Polytechnique, France

17 HEC Paris, France

18 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

19 École Normale Supérieure, France

20 Australian National University, Australia

There are 14 UK universities in the top 150 but universities in the US dominate the table, securing 45 places in the ranking overall, including seven of the top 10.

1 Oxford University

3 Cambridge University

13 UCL

15 Edinburgh University

21 Imperial College London

27 Manchester University

37 King’s College London

41 LSE

45 University of Nottingham

Good to see Nottingham in there too.

Developing higher education in Kurdistan

Vital developments in an emerging nation.

Back in 2009 one of the University of Nottingham’s senior academics took on an unusual new role. Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen was appointed as Higher Education Minister and began to draw up plans to improve the quality of and to internationalise higher education in Kurdistan.

The post-Saddam university system he was taking on was described by Professor Ala’Aldeen as “grossly outdated” and designed for a closed, centralised country.

The BBC News report on his reforms tells how he had tomatoes, stones and apples thrown at him in response to his attempts at changing Kurdistan’s universities. However, he did make progress:

Within a week of being appointed, Prof Ala’Aldeen had written up a radical vision document and it was quickly endorsed by the cabinet.

Higher education in Kurdistan was suffering a major crisis of quality, capacity and infrastructure.

There was a consensus in support of reform and it helped that Prof Ala’Aldeen had been very critical of the government in the past.

Flag-map of Iraqi Kurdistan

The reforms, which planned to improve the quality and accreditation of university teachers, brought considerable opposition from student and teacher organisations as well as businesses linked with the burgeoning market in private universities.

Several new private universities were threatened with closure, much to the anger of their staff and prospective students who had paid fees for their courses.

“Many teachers had been licensed prematurely. There were 11 private universities when I started with 18 more waiting to be opened. These mushrooming private colleges were relying on the same pool of resources as the public universities which lacked staff and facilities,” Prof Ala’Aldeen says.

The problem of staffing was particularly acute in medicine, pharmacy and dentistry and in postgraduate studies.

But Prof Ala’Aldeen faced protests and opposition.

He was accused of trying to transplant the UK system onto Kurdistan, something he vehemently denies since he was educated and worked in his home region, before coming to study in the UK.

There was opposition but he did make some major changes to higher education in Kurdistan. It really is a great story.

True Crime on Campus §32: not vending

All new True Crime on Campus.

More extracts from real Security reports. The challenges are never ending for our hard working and extremely helpful Security staff:

21:20 Security received a report of an alarm activation at the Blackwells Bookshop on Jubilee Campus. On investigation, all of the doors were secure and the cause of the activation was cobwebs at the alarm sensor. The key holder met with Security and removed the cobwebs.

5474155241_4918b47ea6Update:‘Report of Theft of £1000 by a Student from his room in Hall on 28/09/13’. A Security Officer from the Covert Team visited the student in his room to conduct further enquires. The student informed him that he had left the money in a top drawer in a bag. The Officer pulled the drawers out and found the money at the back of the drawers. To say the student was elated would be an understatement and he gave the Officer a big hug. Police and Hall Management updated.

2120 Report that a kitchen cupboard had fallen off the kitchen wall while full of food items on Greenfield Street. Security attended and assisted the resident in moving the cupboard. Estates Help Desk and Housing to be informed.

0020 Patrol Security Officer observed a male attempting to break into a house. The Officer spoke to the male who stated that this is where all the drugs are. The male then ran from the area and was detained by other Officers who attended. The male was found to be a student from Derby University who was staying with a friend in Hall. This was confirmed by our student. Wardens to be informed. The student from Derby University was extremely drunk.

446707751_e6ed02a1d92145 Report that a student had his hand stuck in a vending machine in Sir Clive Grainger Building. Security attended the Fire Service were called out. The Student managed to free his hand and went to the QMC to be checked due to pain in his wrist.

2120 Report that people were giving out free cider to students in the car park. Security attended. Those who were handing out the cider stated that they had been given permission to do so but had no proof of this so were told to leave Campus. Security are to follow up.

2230 Report that a student thinks they may have Flu in Hall. Security attended.

2352 Report of a mattress being thrown out of a room in Hall. Security attended and the Hall Porter confirmed all the items were back in the room. There is some damage to the window of the which will need to be reported. The Hall Warden and Manager are to be informed. At 1550 a report from the resident of the room was taken by Security that items are missing from their room. Security to follow up.

0035 Patrol Security Officers stopped a group of Students on East Drive. One Student was climbing a lamp post and another was on the top of a bus shelter. One student was very abusive towards the Officer and will be reported to the Compliance and Investigations Manager.

iphone1130 Report that a mobile phone had been stolen from the Chemistry Building and the owner was tracking the phone. Security attended the Science Site and with the owner concentrated on the area where the phone was tracked too. As Officers closed in on the area the signal from the phone was lost. While making enquires in the area Officers discovered that the owner had in fact purchased lunch in the Coates Cafe and left his phone at the till. The cafe staff had waited for a short period to see if the owner returned when they did not they placed the phone in their safe which was when the signal to it was lost. The phone was retrieved and returned to the owner.

2150 Residents of a Flat contacted the Control room asking for help as their baby would not stop crying. Officers gave the contact number for NHS Direct and attended the flat.

2324 Request for assistance to Hallward Library as a drunken student kept running into the Library and shouting. Security attended. On arrival the student had run away.

1310 Report that there was a dog in Highfield Lake in distress. Security attended and on arrival Officers observed a male with the dog. The male was spoken to and confirmed he was the owner and he had jumped into the lake to save his dog.

Never a dull moment on campus.

Working with Young Carers

New activities to support young and young adult carers.

The University of Nottingham’s Impact Campaign is supporting a range of activities involving work with young and young adult carers.

Britain’s ‘invisible army’ of young carers and young adult carers provide unpaid care to family members.

As well as caring for loved ones who are ill, disabled or have mental health issues or other needs, these young carers face their own challenges, such as education, employment and developing adult relationships. We want them to get the support they need.

As part of a recent university event we heard a bit more detail about this terrific project which covers a huge number children and young adults acting as carers:

The numbers:

There are 11m children under 18 in the UK. A quarter of these live in families where there is chronic physical or mental health problems, illness and disability.

Of these, as many as 700,000 children (eight per cent of all children) and 250,000 young adults (aged 18-24) have unpaid caring roles within their own families.

Many provide more than 20 hours of care per week; some, including very young children, care for more than 50 hours a week.

Our solution

The University is working with young carers and young adult carers to improve their quality of life. Thanks to our research, ­their role in UK society and internationally is increasingly being recognised. We will investigate the barriers that restrict their health, well-being, development and education, and identify policies and services that empower them and work best for them and their families.

It’s great work and this brief video (it is brief) shows just what can be done – it has highlights from a recent Young Carers Open Day at the University of Nottingham which was all about showing young carers the possibilities offered by higher education. This should be part of every institution’s widening participation programme.

All of this work is winning greater recognition for young carers, increasing their support networks and helping reduce the amount of caring they do, thereby giving them greater life opportunities. It really is hugely impressive.

True Crime on Campus §31: no dead ducks

It’s all new and all real: more true crime on campus

There can be some strange and often challenging incidents on campus sometimes. However, our outstanding Security staff are ready for anything and always there to deal with the problem- no matter how odd:

20:50 Security provided access for a student who was locked in the Hallward Library as the Library staff had gone home.

23:00 Security were called to a possible intruder into Flat at Sutton Bonington Campus. No damaged caused although TV was found in the oven and a sofa has been put on its side with various cleaning products scattered across the floor. All doors locked but a window was found propped open with a TV remote control.

18:50 Security attended a report of three youths throwing water balloons on the lakeside of the Trent Building who had ran off in the direction of Florence Boot Hall. On arrival there were no youths found.

cut finger1625 Report of a Student with a cut finger in the Opal Office Sutton Bonington Campus. Security attended – the Student was advised to attend the local NHS walk in centre.

2155 Report of Students being too loud while watching a Rugby Match in Hall. Security attended and asked the Students to keep the noise down.

0830 Report of the theft of a Motor Cycle from the EMCC car park. Security attended Police informed. Patrol Security Officers located the cycle hidden in bushes adjacent to Lenton and Wortley Hall. The Owner and Police have been informed.

1911 Request for Security to attend the Swimming Pool due to a possible dispute between a Swimming Coach and a parent. Security attended – no issues were reported.

1629 Report of two males with Dogs attempting to get the animal to fight each other at the rear of the Sir Colin Campbell Building. Security attended but on arrival the males had left the area.

1520 Report of a male attempting to steal seats from Pedal Cycles on Jubilee Campus. Security attended – the male had left the area. Security Officers are to follow up.

1640 Report of a couple having sex on Nightingale Field. Security attended, the area was checked but no one was found.

19:00 Security were made aware of smoke coming from behind Melton Hall, Jubilee Campus. On arrival it appeared to be coming from a garden – residents were burning their things in their garden. Police attended and stopped the residents.

Lift_symbool_(NS)-1

1235 Report of a person trapped in the lift in Tower Building. Security attended. The person trapped was the lift engineer who had attended to repair the lift. A second engineer was able to rectify the fault.

1340 Report of a male strangling Ducks at the Jubilee Campus. Officers attended and spoke to the male who denied it. There was no evidence to confirm the report. The male was told to leave Campus.

1415 Report of a male urinating onto the rear of DHL Building. Security attended and spoke to the male. He stated that he needed he needed to urinate and the toilets in DHL were too dirty to use. The male was given advice and told not to do it again.

Lift symbol: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Lift_symbool_%28NS%29.jpg

International agents: regulation required?

Do we need to regulate universities use of international recruitment agents?

A new publication from the Leadership Foundation, called Using International Recruitment Agents: Risks and Regulation? argues that we do need more regulation in this area. It’s an interesting report on an important area of activity:

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The expansion of the international student market has coincided with a ‘dramatic proliferation’ of universities using agents to recruit international students. This practice is controversial due to the apparent conflict of interest between prospecting for students for a particular university, and advising students on that university’s suitability. Our paper analyses the challenges that arise from using agents. We find that there are examples of unethical practice, such as misselling and financial fraud. Yet we also explore the services that agents provide to students and universities, and find that they cannot easily be replicated by organisations that do not face the same inherent conflict of interest. The paper goes on to discuss the current picture in terms of regulation, both in the UK and further afield, and a range of other regulatory options. We conclude by recommending that the UK moves towards a sector-wide system of self-regulation to improve the quality of advice to potential students and reduce the risk of unethical practice.

This proposal though is to set up an organisation to regulate universities use of agents, linked to Highly Trusted Status (required for international student recruitment), and drawing on the sector’s experience of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (the OIA, the independent ombudsman which deals with unresolved complaints from students about their universities).

ukba_pass

According to the paper this new organisation would establish “ethical principles which institutions would have to comply with in order to recruit international students”, would licence agents and would also adjudicate on complaints made by students.

Universities need to and should behave ethically in recruiting international students. As the paper notes there aren’t any better alternatives to using agents and simply arguing for discontinuing use of them is not going to work. Institutions though should be transparent about agent arrangements and the fees they are paid (as the University of Nottingham has done) and respond properly to complaints.

However, we really do not need a new regulatory body to do this. At a time of ever more regulation plus the impositons of the UKBA and the challenging and costly bureaucracy around international student visas, the last thing universities need is self-imposed costly and restrictive regulation.

So, interesting report but no thanks.