Category / Events

Humanising SIG meeting 5th April 2018

  A river moment in time

We are a group of scholars and practitioners who have an interest in what makes us Feel Human and how this is linked to Health, Wellbeing, Dignity and Compassion. As part of the Centre for Qualitative Research CQR we use Lifeworld approaches, embodied knowing and subjective experience as the basis for our understanding. For more information please click here

At meetings we discuss issues following two presentations, and share our on-going work into humanising practice in education, practice and research.

Our next meeting is

On April 5th 2018,  From 2pm to 4.30 pm, 

At EB303 Executive Business Centre Lansdowne Campus, Bournemouth University, 89 Holdenhurst Rd, Bournemouth BH8 8EB

The two presentations are

  • A hermeneutic phenomenological study of stroke survivors’ and healthcare practitioners’ lived experience of the acute stroke unit – Dr Kitty Suddick –Senior lecturer in Physiotherapy, Brighton University For more detials click here
  • Experiences of Humanising Care –  Caroline Bagnall -Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, and Stroke Research Practitioner at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth For more details click here

All staff, students and visitors are welcome

If you are not already a member of the Humanising SIG e-mail list and would like to be informed of future events, or would like to know more about this event,  please contact Caroline Ellis-Hill

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Research Photography Competition

This year marks the forth year of our annual Research Photography Competition at BU. We received 31 submissions from BU academics, students across all levels and professional services.

Sharing research through photography is a great opportunity to make often complex subjects much more accessible to all.  This year over 1,500 people from all over the world voted in the competition, showing the power of images to engage and inspire.  The research behind photos this year included areas such as archaeology, dementia and forensic science, among others.

The photography theme this year was people.  The theme was open to interpretation, with photographers choosing to take an image of their research team, show people who might benefit or be affected by the research or even take a point of view shot.  This year’s winners were announced in the Atrium Art Gallery on Tuesday 20 March, with prizes presented by Professor John Fletcher, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation.  Details of the winners can be found below.

The photos are currently displayed in an art exhibition in the Atrium Art Gallery which demonstrates the creativity of our BU researchers and the diversity of research being undertaken. It’s a really enjoyable way to find out about research in areas within and outside your discipline or interests, and value the work and efforts.   Do drop in and see the images, if you have a few minutes to spare!

The winners of the 2018 Research Photography Competition are:

1st place: Virtual Reality: The best way to train surgeons of the future?

By Shayan Bahadori (Orthopaedic Project Manager) and Mara Catalina Aguilera Canon (Postgraduate Researcher, Faculty of Media and Communication). 

In recent years we have seen a decline in theatre operating training time for junior surgeons. Simulators have subsequently been increasingly integrated as training, selection and evaluation tools. To fully formally integrate simulation into orthopaedic training we require evidence that the simulators are valid representations of the operations they seek to replicate. This is one the current research focus at Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) and we pursue to validate and develop virtual reality orthopaedic simulators so that they may be adopted into mainstream clinical practice.

2nd place: Soil micro-organisms

By Hai Luu (Postgraduate student, Faculty of Science and Technology).

Ciliates protozoa are a distinct group of unicellular organisms. They are abundant phagotrophic micro-organisms in soil, playing important role in food webs by controlling the abundance of smaller microbes and recycling organic matter. Ciliates are characterised by some specific traits. Firstly, ciliates are dikaryotic organisms due to having two different cell nuclei; one is responsible for reproduction; the other one carries out cell functions. Secondly, they use cilia for locomotion and feeding. Interestingly, ciliates can reproduce asexually and sexually. From an ecological and functional point of view, ciliates can be used as bioindicators of soil quality – and this is the aim of our research. We are investigating the species richness and abundance of ciliated protozoa in natural and agricultural soils in order to assess their potential as bioindicators of soil quality. Soil quality plays an important role  in agricultural production in terms of both quantity and quality, this links closely to quality of human life. This image shows Colpoda cucullus, a terrestrial ciliate commonly found in soils around the world, which was taken as a point of view shot through a microscope.

Research group: Hai Luu, Professor Genoveva Esteban, and Dr Iain Green (Senior Lecturer in Biological Science). Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology.

3rd place: The birth of Carnival U

By Dr Nicole Ferdinand (Senior Lecturer in Events Management) and her MSc Events Management student researchers: Diane Nthurima (pictured on the left), Cindy Chen (pictured on the right), Taylor Treacy, Desislava Pasheva, Amelia Lonia, Rui Boa, Nguyen Phuong Mai and An Thu Pharm.

The photo is a joint entry by the co-creators of the Carnival U which consists of 10 enthusiastic and one BU academic. Together they are embarking on a journey to create a unique a fusion project. The students are working together with BU academic, Dr Nicole Ferdinand, CEL Learning and Teaching Fellow 2017/18, to create 4 workshops which target other university students interested in Carnival. They will engage in action research as part of the development of their workshops as well as evaluate the overall effectiveness of their co-creation efforts which will form the basis of an academic research paper. The project will also leave an educational legacy for other students wishing to develop event management, marketing and digital literacy skills.

The exhibition will be open until Thursday, 29 March at 2pm, in the Atrium Art Gallery on Talbot Campus. Please do fill in one of our feedback cards in the gallery after visiting the exhibition.

Preparing for Brexit – join in the discussion

It is just over a year until the official Brexit date. 

You are invited to attend an informal discussion group on Wednesday, 28th March 2018, to explore what is known about the impact on research and share ideas to mitigate this impact at BU.

During this session, we will consider the latest government updates, keeping up with announcements from UKRO and actions that can be taken now to plan for research activity in this changing environment.

Reserve your place now!

This session will be jointly hosted by Jane Forster (the Vice-Chancellor’s Policy Adviser) and Emily Cieciura (Research Facilitator)

Research Photography Competition awards ceremony today!

The awards ceremony for this year’s Research Photography Competition is taking place on Tuesday, 20 March from 1-2pm.

The winners that you’ve been voting for will be revealed and awarded prizes by Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor John Fletcher.

Come along to the Atrium Art Gallery to see all the photographs in person and find out about the fascinating research behind each one, undertaken by our academics, students across all levels and professional services.

The exhibition is open to all and free to attend so please do come along with colleagues and friends. Nibbles and refreshments will be provided.

Click here to register to attend.

If you’re unable to join us today, the exhibition will be open from 20 March – 29 March (weekdays only) from 10am – 6pm.

Don’t miss out!


BU hosts international conference on the state of the world, fifty years after it was turned inside out (circa 1967) and upside down (circa 1968)

Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference

Bournemouth University, 5th-7th April 2018

‘Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of Cultural Revolution’

A half century after the hippie counterculture of 1967 (‘the summer of love’) and the political turbulence of 1968 (‘May 68’), one aim of this conference is to stage a psychosocial examination of the ways in which today’s world is shaped by the forces symbolised by those two moments. It will explore the continuing influence of the deep social, cultural and political changes in the West, which crystallised in the events of these two years. The cultural forces and the political movements of that time aimed to change the world, and did so, though not in the ways that many of their participants expected. Their complex, multivalent legacy of ‘liberation’ is still developing and profoundly shapes the globalising world today, in the contests between what is called neo-liberalism, resurgent fundamentalisms, environmentalism, individualism, nationalisms, and the proliferation of identity politics.

A counter-cultural and identity-based ethos now dominates much of consumer culture, and is reflected in the recent development of some populist and protest politics. A libertarian critique of politics, once at the far margins, now informs popular attitudes towards many aspects of democratic governance; revolutionary critiques have become mainstream clichés. Hedonic themes suffuse everyday life, while self-reflection and emotional literacy have also become prominent values, linked to more positive orientations towards human diversity and the international community.


The programme is now available on the conference website:

There are five keynotes and eighty papers, with presenters from all continents, as well as a number of experiential workshops. As well as examining the main theme of societal change, there is an open stream of papers on a wide range of topics. Methods of psychosocial inquiry are applicable to most topics. As an academic community, the psychosocial is a broad church defined only by a commitment to exploring and linking the internal and external worlds – the deeply personal and the equally deeply societal as sources of experience and action.

BU colleagues can attend the whole conference at the hugely discounted rate of £40, or £25 per day.



Speed Collaboration – Interdisciplinary – Think Outside the Box! Find New Research Partners! Your funding will depend on it!

We are running an exciting Speed Collaboration session on Thursday 22 March, starting at 11.30 and including a networking lunch. It is part of a stimulating Interdisciplinary Research Week program starting next week.

Comments about Speed collaboration/networking events from all over the world:

It was kind of fun, it was kind of light, it wasn’t highly pressured… It was just ‘Lets see if we can make a connection and then take it further if we need to’.”

“What appealed to me about speed networking was the opportunity to meet a lot of people within a short space of time.”


On 31 January 2018, I attended a Speed networking event run by Innovate UK in London to see what the fuss is all about. They have gone for the structure where there are 5 Challenge Proposers – Siemens, Deloitte, European Space Agency, Jaguar Land Rover and Reed Smith. The Proposers list their challenges and organisations (about 30 reps attended) apply to pitch their ideas to each Proposer. The Proposers are set up in 5 tables and each organisation is given 5 minutes to present. The Hostess rings a bell and they have to move on to  the next Proposer.

There was fantastic energy and buzz floating around; and I can feel that definite connections were made. Attend our RKEO Speed Collaboration event and you will find out for yourself how we will be running it and what you can take away from it.



You have to be in it, to win it! A last comment to leave you with:

It’s a research project that may never have come together, or at least come together as quickly, if it hadn’t been for the speed-networking event. The bottom line is, if you don’t meet people, you will never find someone who can find you new information and a new vision. Breakthroughs can only happen if you acknowledge you don’t know everything.”

All you have to do to book your place is to click here and see what happens next!

Enhance your Impact in Preparation for the REF

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) through the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) has a number of workshops in the coming months to assist you in developing and enhancing the impact that you can make with your research, with particular reference to the REF.

Please follow the links above to find out more and to book. You will then receive a meeting request giving the room location. Many of these events have input from external presenters; please ensure that you are in the room and ready to commence at the given start time.

If you would like to discuss impact outside these workshops, please contact the RKEO Knowledge and Impact Team.

Board the Pre-Award Omnibus on 18th April 2018

Do you wonder how best to engage with pre-award processes at BU?

Are research application finances a bit of a mystery?

Does the costing side of your research application deter you from applying?

Are you not quite sure where to start?

If so, then come along to these sessions on Wednesday, 18th April at Talbot Campus:

Please follow the links above to reserve your place at as many of these events as you are able to attend. You will then receive a meeting request confirming the location of each session.

If you need help outside these workshops, please contact relevant member of the Funding Development Team in the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office.


Wellcome Trust Visit – 9th May 2018

As part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, we are excited to announce that Wellcome Trust will be visiting BU on 9th May 2018.

This visit from Wellcome Trust will provide an overview of who they are, their remit, types of funding offered, their decision-making processes and timeframes and planning a Wellcome Trust application.

The session will be held over lunchtime. Book your place here.

NIHR Fellowships Event 21st March 2018 – LAST CHANCE TO BOOK


As part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, RKEO are holding a session on NIHR Fellowships.

The NIHR Fellowship Event will provide information about NIHR’s Fellowship schemes, and offer some hints and tips for a successful application. We are pleased to welcome the following speakers:

  • Dr Gordon Taylor, Research Design Service South West, NIHR Doctoral Panel Member & Reader in Medical Statistics, University of Bath
  • NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre (TBC)
  • Clare Gordon, BU NIHR Fellow

Date: Wednesday 21st March 2018

Time: 12:00-13:00

Venue: Lansdowne Campus

The session is open to all academics, researchers and clinicians who have an interest in applying for NIHR Fellowships.

Please book your space through Eventbrite.

About the NIHR Fellowship Programme: The NIHR is the UK’s major funder of applied health research. All of the research it funds works towards improving the health and wealth of the nation. The NIHR develops and supports the people who conduct and contribute to health research and equally supports the training of the next generation of health researchers. NIHR training programmes provide a unique opportunity for all professionals to improve the health of patients in their care through research. Training and career development awards from the NIHR range from undergraduate level through to opportunities for established investigators and research leaders. They are open to a wide range of professions and designed to suit different working arrangements and career pathways.

HE Policy Update w/e 9th March 2018

While we’re all excited about Sam Gyimah’s visit to BU next week, policy continues to develop in HE.  If you haven’t booked your ticket for Sam’s audience yet, please do.  Here’s your weekly summary.

Universities Minister visiting BU!

On Thursday 15 March Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation will visit BU. During the evening he will host An Audience with Sam Gyimah MP. This is a rare opportunity for students and staff to quiz Sam through an interactive question and answer event. Sam will take questions from the audience on HE matters and wider political areas that are of interest to students. He will then invite the audience to discuss and engage with him on topics he will pose. There will be food and refreshments served after the event to enable networking and discussions to continue.

We are pleased to invite staff members to book onto this event – click here to book your place.

Doors open for the event at 17:30, the event will commence at 17:45 and finish for refreshments at 19:30. Colleagues and students must book a ticket to access the event and bring their ticket with them.  Please circulate the details of this event to your colleagues and the students you interact with – all BU staff and students welcome!   Please also encourage students to attend – Sam really wants to hear from and engage with students   – you will have seen he has described himself as the “Minister for Students”, so this is a chance to inform his thinking.

Earlier this week Sam gave an interview to The Student Room, it’s a lengthy 12 minutes, but very interesting to hear Sam’s responses to the student posed questions on a good range of topics. Last week Sam spoke at the Office for Students’ inaugural conference. The contents of his speech come under fire from Andrew McRae (Exeter) in Where’s the minister’s vision focused? The article implies the Minister is looking at  the obvious rather than getting to grips with complex HE issues. Come and find out for yourself when Sam comes to BU.

Sam was also criticised in the news this week because he declined to attend the Commons Science and Technology Committee research integrity inquiry. He did subsequently attend. Colleagues interested in the research integrity inquiry can read the proceedings here or watch the session on Parliament TV here.

Non-continuation rates

HESA released non-continuation performance indicator data this week. There are yearly fluctuations in the data, and in general there is a downtrend trend across the years. However, non-continuation has been increasing since 2012-13 and the most recent data published shows a further slight rise in the rates for young, full time first degree students. Part time mature students also have higher non-continuation rates than the part timers aged under 30.

View the HESA tables here.

WP student non-continuation rates dropped slightly. OFFA welcomed this but urged caution as it’s only a slight change (8.8% in 2014/15 to 8.6% for 2015/16). Press interest has mainly focussed on the Scottish Universities and their slightly lower drop out average (BBC, Times). Wales and Northern Ireland continue to perform better than Scotland and England.

HESA also released HE income and expenditure (16/17) details this week. In England tuition fees accounted for 52.2% of the sector’s total income. Across the whole of the UK 54.7% (£18.9 billion) was spent on staff costs. Read more in Research Professional. 

International Women’s Day

Wonkhe interview four leading HE women. Hear from: Clare Marchant, Valerie Amos, Maddalaine Ansell, and Alison Johns.  Jess Moody of the ECU blogs in a personal capacity encouraging us to Look again at International Women’s Day. And Shân Wareing (LSBU) reflects on the moment she became a feminist and what it means for the proportion of women in senior HE roles today.

U-Multirank announced a new ‘gender balance’ indicator on International Women’s Day. It notes that imbalances can be seen in the ratio of women to men studying in Europe across nine subjects. This gender gap widens as students move from bachelor and master studies to PhD. In all nine study subjects, women dominate at the bachelor/ master level at 60-80% (varies across the nine subjects) but at PhD level female representation is 39-63%. At PhD females within the fields of nursing, political science and social work all fall below 50%. In commitment to International Women’s Day U-Multirank pledged to press for women’s progress in HE by analysing the gender balance across all subject areas. They state:

“the new indicator on ‘gender balance’ in higher education will be a ranked indicator. It will measure the share of women studying in higher education across various study subjects, levels as well as the gender make-up of academic staff. It aims to give an insight into the university’s overall gender balance.”

National Apprenticeship Week

We’re all familiar with the Government’s stance on vocational alternatives to HE study, degree apprenticeships and shifting thinking away from a HE ‘default’. This week was national apprenticeship week and a plethora of case studies and articles have reinforced the Government’s messaging.

HEFCE have blogged Why degree apprenticeships are vital to the local economy

Anne Milton, the Skills Minister, speaks passionately of apprenticeships as a real alternative for students of all abilities.

Disappointingly the case studies tend to focus on FE level training. Adam Evenson, law graduate, talks of his apprenticeship with Gordon Marsden (shadow minister for apprenticeships) while he completes his level 3 in business administration. And Jack Brittain talks of his engineering apprenticeship.

Clamp down on Alternative Providers

The Public Accounts Committee published Alternative Higher Education Providers calling for improvements in the regulation of alternative providers. This is set within the regulatory context of the OfS removing the ‘Basic’ category from the HE register.   Here are the headlines and recommendations:

  • The Office for Students must prioritise action on malpractice and honour their commitment to protect students’ interests.
  • There are still too many students dropping out of their courses.
    Recommendation: The Office for Students should set out what more, beyond the existing approach to imposing sanctions, it will do to ensure that non-continuation rates reduce further year on year, and confirm by when it expects to reduce non-continuation rates for alternative providers to the same level as for the rest of the HE sector.
  • How, in practice, will the OfS protect and promote students’ interests at the centre of its regulatory system?
    Recommendation: As the OfS develops, we will be looking to see it demonstrate that protecting student interests is indeed central to its approach, effective representation for students on the Board, mechanisms for consulting students, and raising standards for students across the whole HE sector, irrespective of whether they study at traditional or alternative HE institutions. The OfS should set out a clear strategy, with timescales, on how it will promote student interests.
  • The Department isn’t producing sufficiently timely data to allow robust oversight of providers. It has also failed to recover student loan payments it made to ineligible students.
    Recommendation: By September 2018, the Department, the SLC and the OfS should develop a more ambitious plan for what data they will collect to monitor provider performance and to avoid further ineligible payments. This plan should set out how they will collect data including the development of better data systems akin to those used in other parts of government and in the private sector.
  • The Department doesn’t have sufficiently effective systems in place to identify promptly where it needs to intervene to address fraud or emerging issues.
    Recommendation: By the end of 2018, the Department and the OfS should develop a more systematic and proactive approach to identifying problems emerging in the sector so that it can take prompt action to deal with failing providers and protect the interests of learners.
  • By the end of 2018, the Department and the OfS should develop a more systematic and proactive approach to identifying problems emerging in the sector so that it can take prompt action to deal with failing providers and protect the interests of learners.
    Recommendation: By the end of 2018, the Department and the OfS should develop a more systematic and proactive approach to identifying problems emerging in the sector so that it can take prompt action to deal with failing providers and protect the interests of learners.
  • The alternative provider sector still presents too many opportunities to fraudsters.
    Recommendation: As one of its first tasks, the OfS should set out how it will investigate and clamp down on recruitment malpractice, faking attendance records and coursework, and opaque arrangements for validating degrees, and produce a robust plan for remedying these problems across the sector.

Parliamentary Questions

The pension strikes continue to be major news this week. Sam Gyimah responds to a strike related parliamentary question and a wide selection of other topics.


Q – Jo Swinson (Lib Dem): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on students of the loss of teaching hours as a result of the university lecturers’ pension strike.

A – Sam Gyimah (Con):

  • Universities are autonomous institutions and it is for them to assess the impact of the strike action on their provision. While the Department for Education has not made its own assessment, we remain concerned about any impact of the strikes on students and expect universities to put in place measures to maintain the quality of education that students should receive.
  • We note that the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, which represents UK higher education organisations as employers, polled the 56 universities, which were the focus of strikes on 22 and 23 February 2018. Results of this polling indicate that the overall impact in four out of five institutions was between ‘none’ and ‘low-medium’.

School leavers progressing to HE

Q – Douglas Chapman (SNP): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of school leavers have participated in higher education in England in each year since 2010.

A – Sam Gyimah (Con):

  • The department has two principal sources showing participation in education and other activities by young people as they transition between ages 16 and 19. Destination measures show the activities of young people in the year following their completion of key stage 4 (GCSEs) and key stage 5 (A-levels and other Level 3). The 16-18 Participation Statistical First Release (SFR) shows snapshot estimates of participation in different activities at each of academic ages 16, 17 and 18.
  • Destination measures show the percentage of students with sustained participation in education or employment over six months following the end of their phase of study. Information on pupil destinations is published annually on GOV.UK at
  • The table in attachment one shows the proportion of students in sustained study at higher education institutions since 2010 following their completion of 16-18 study (state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in England). See table NA10 in the ‘Key stage 5 –national tables: SFR56/2017’ document for full breakdowns:
  • Estimates of national participation rates in England at academic ages 16, 17 and 18 are provided in the department’s SFR ‘Participation in education, training and employment: 2016’ published here These differ from the destination measures estimates provided, because they are not linked to previous study and provide estimates for the whole population, and they are based on a snapshot of activities at the end of the calendar year (rather than over a six-month period).
  • The table in attachment two shows estimates of the proportion of young people participating in full-time education, by institution type, at academic age 16 and 18, at the end of 2016.
  • Proportion of students in sustained study at HEIs (Word Document, 13.88 KB)
  • Participation in full-time education by age (Word Document, 12.8 KB)

Video game art & animation

Q – Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of students who have graduated with a degree in video game art and animation in each of the last three years.

A – Sam Gyimah:

  • The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on enrolments and qualifications obtained at UK Higher Education Institutions. The Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2016/17.
  • The table attached shows the numbers of first degree qualifiers in computer game design and graphics subjects.

Full-person-equivalent1 First degree qualifiers in computer game design and graphics – Academic years 2014/15 to 2016/17

Academic Year Number of qualifiers in computer game design2 Number of qualifiers in computer games graphics2 Total qualifiers in computer game design and graphics
2014/15 240 45 285
2015/16 430 60 485
2016/17 550 95 640
  • Counts are on the basis of full-person-equivalents. Where a student is studying more than one subject, they are apportioned between the subjects that make up their course.
  • We have included qualifiers in Computer game design (I620) and Computer games graphics (I630) as the most appropriate JACS codes for “video game art and animation”. More information on JACS codes can be found at the following link:


Mental Illness

Q – Richard Burden (Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of people who left their undergraduate degree course for mental health reasons in each of the last five years.

A – Sam Gyimah (Con):

  • Mental health is a priority for this government. The Children and Young People’s Mental Health green paper outlines the government’s plans to set up a new national strategic partnership focused on improving the mental health of 16-25 year olds, encouraging more coordinated action, innovation and robust evaluation of mental health services. One recommendation in the green paper is for the partnership to provide a systematic strategy to improve what we know about student mental health by encouraging improvements in data linkage and analytics. Data is available from the Higher Education Statistical Agency on the number of higher education students who leave their course early for health reasons, but the data does not make it possible to distinguish mental health reasons specifically.
  • The department is working closely with Universities UK on the programme of work on Mental Health in Higher Education, which has included work with the Institute for Public Policy Research to strengthen the evidence-base on mental health in higher education.

Brexit and Overseas (EU) Students

Q – Daniel Zeichner (Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Education:
(Q1) whether the Government has undertaken an assessment of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the ability of universities to attract EU students at (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate levels.

AND (Q2) whether EU students starting courses in English higher education institutions in 2019-20 and 2020-21 will be eligible for (a) home fee status and (b) student loans and grants under the current eligibility criteria.

A1 – Sam Gyimah (Conservative):

  • The government is undertaking a comprehensive and ongoing programme of analytical work across a range of scenarios for EU exit. As part of this, we are engaging closely with the higher education (HE) sector, including through my High Level Stakeholder Working Group on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation.
  • The UK is a highly attractive destination for EU and international students, second only to the USA in the numbers we attract, and we recognise that student mobility is a key issue for our world-class HE sector. The government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to provide an objective assessment of the impact of EU and international students by September 2018. This provides an important opportunity for the sector to share evidence, and the MAC’s independent advice will help inform decisions on the future migration system.
  • To help provide certainty, we have also announced that EU students starting courses in England in the academic year 2018/19 or before will continue to be eligible for student loans and home fee status for the duration of their course, and will remain eligible for Research Council PhD studentships on the current basis. These students will also have a right to remain in the UK to complete their course.

A2 – Sam Gyimah:

  • The government has taken action to provide greater certainty about student funding for EU students. We have confirmed that current EU students and those starting courses at an English university or further education institution in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years will continue to be eligible for student loans and home fee status for the duration of their course.
  • Future arrangements for EU students starting courses after 2018/19, and who are not settled in the UK or on a pathway to settled status by the specified date, will need to be considered as part of wider discussions about the UK’s relationship with the EU.
  • Applications for courses starting in 2019/20 do not open until September 2018, and we are working to ensure students applying have information well in advance of this date.

Sharia Compliant Student Finance

Q – Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether a sharia-compliant alternative student finance system will be available for people beginning university courses in September 2018.

A – Sam Gyimah:

  • We understand the concern that some prospective students may be deterred from pursuing higher education because they are unable to use loans that bear interest.
  • We are therefore continuing to work on an alternative student finance product that would avoid using interest. We have appointed specialist advisors from the Islamic Finance Council to help design a new system that can make maintenance and tuition fee payments and collect repayment contributions in a way that is both equivalent to the current system and compliant with the requirements of Islamic finance.
  • This a complex area requiring careful consideration of a range of technical issues, including the nature of the accounting for the new arrangements, the degree of legal separation required for any fund, the treatment of cashflows, the nature of the commitments that a student will make under the new system, and the method for establishing equivalence of outcome, amongst others.
  • This work is being undertaken at pace and we will be in a good place to provide an update in the summer. I will set out our planned timetable at that time. I note that it typically takes two years to introduce a new student finance product, which would rule out launching for academic year 2018/19.

Post-study Work Visas

Q – Stuart C. McDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of ending the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) visa on the ability of businesses to recruit people with the necessary skills.

A – Caroline Nokes:

  • The Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route was closed in April 2012.
  • A published assessment of Tier 1 migrants in October 2010 found that three in five users of this visa were in unskilled work and we also saw a large number of fraudulent applications. This undermined our work routes and damaged the reputation of our education system. We have no current plans to re-introduce a post study work route that does not lead to skilled work.
  • We already have a comprehensive offer for graduates seeking to undertake skilled work in the UK after their studies. Students studying courses lasting 12 months or more are given 4 months leave at the end of their course to look for a job and those with an offer of a graduate-level job, paying an appropriate salary, may take up sponsored employment through Tier 2. Many of the requirements for a Tier 2 skilled work visa are relaxed or waived for those applying to switch from the Tier 4 student route within the UK. This includes exempting switching students from the Tier 2 cap of 20,700 and allowing employers who wish to recruit them to not carry out the Resident Labour Market Test.

Widening Participation & Student Success

The All Party Parliamentary University Group met to discuss fair access this week. Chris Millward, the incoming Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students stated success in widening access to higher education would depend on how universities and colleges work with schools and employers, and how they support students “through all stages of the lifecycle”.

Scotland continues to be vocal on WP matters. Scottish Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville launched a major speech on Tuesday expressing her support for contextualised admissions and bridging programmes and calling for systemic change:

  • “..for anyone in the sector who may be thinking that there is a short cut to achieving our targets through a drop in demand elsewhere then let me be very clear.
  • There is no short cut. .No silver bullet. Widening Access will require systemic change.”

Other news

STEM: The Guardian analyses the STEM gender gap. The article cites data to negate the biological and social/cultural answers instead looking at the influence of ‘social belongingness’ and childhood gender stereotypes.

EU Research News: Research Professional describes this week’s EU research news here.

Spring Statement: If you’re interested in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement that will be delivered on 13 March political monitors, Dods, have prepared an overview of what to expect. From their overview:

“There will be no red box, no official document, no spending increases, no tax changes,” a spokesman for the Treasury told the Financial Times last month. “The Chancellor will publish updated economic forecasts; we expect the speech to last between 15-20 minutes.” … Ministers have repeatedly stated that the Statement is not a “fiscal event” so few are expecting many policy announcements, however the Chancellor should set out some thinking about longer term economic priorities.

The statement is expected to focus predominantly on the economic outlook for the country, and the review panel on Land Use (chaired by local MP Sir Oliver Letwin) will report before the economic outlook is delivered.  Dods also note:

Public Sector Leadership Academy – The taskforce is due to provide an initial update with a full report on their remit and responsibilities due for the Autumn Budget 2018. The Cabinet Office have indicated a chair has been selected and will be formally announced shortly.

Grade inflation: The Conversation have a clear and balanced article setting out the reasons behind increased number of good degrees, explaining the Government criticism and considering the way forward.


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Postgraduate Research Showcase

Join us for this showcase exhibition and explore the latest postgraduate research emerging from BU. 

This year the Doctoral College hosted its 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference. The popular event provides a valuable platform for postgraduate researchers from across different years and disciplines to present posters and photographs explaining their research projects in a clear, concise and creative way to a public audience.

Further information about the conference and details of this year’s winners is available on 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference webpage.

An exhibition of postgraduate researchers’ posters and photographs will be on display at the Atrium Gallery, Poole House, Talbot Campus, from 12 – 16 March 2018, 10am-4pm. Free to attend, all welcome.

If you have any questions, please contact

Congratulations to the following winners of the Doctoral College 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

On Wednesday 7 March 2018 the Doctoral College hosted the 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference which was a huge success with lots of positive feedback from students and staff alike. We are happy to announce the category winners below. Well done to everyone who took part!

Oral Presentations:

1st Prize Mark Stevens (Advancing a social identity approach to understanding physical activity: preliminary evidence from parkrun, Faculty of Management)

2nd Prize Stephen Allard (The intimate masses: poetry and emerging new concepts of ‘Netiquette’ in online environments, Faculty of Media and Communication)

3rd Prize Louise Oliver (Child-parent-violence and abuse: lifting the veil of secrecy, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)

Poster Presentations:

1st Prize Giulia Levi (Between silence and agitation – coping strategies and third-party interventions in divided societies: a comparison between post-conflict Bosnia and post-referendum UK, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)

2nd Prize Amal Musa Almoualed (Saudi women journalists – an exploration of their roles and practices in an age of social media, Faculty of Media and Communication)

3rd Prize Ejike T. Ezeh (Shared decision-making: web-based information tool to support treatment choices of people with advanced pancreatic cancer, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)


Winner Nurist S. Ulfa (The paradox of Muslim girl’s freedom of experimentation in girl games: when the digital virtual consumption practices and the religious norms are predominantly discordant, Faculty of Media and Communication)



We would also like to say a special thank you to the following people for their invaluable contribution to the day.

Opening Remarks
Professor John Fletcher, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation (Office of the Vice-Chancellor)

Keynote Address
Professor Lee Miles, Professor of Crisis & Disaster Management (Faculty of Management)

Guest Speakers – Deputy Deans for Research & Professional Practice
Professor Vanora Hundley (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Professor Michael Silk (Faculty of Management)
Professor Iain MacRury (Faculty of Media and Communication)
Professor Tiantian Zhang (Faculty of Science and Technology)

PGR Chairs
Clare Gordon (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Sara Glithro (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Ella Onyinye Ejime (Faculty of Management)
Duncan Ki-Aries (Faculty of Science and Technology)

Judging Panel – Oral Presentations
Professor Alison McConnell (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Dr Sue Way (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Dr Vanessa Heaslip (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Professor Adam Blake (Faculty of Management)
Dr Daniel Lock (Faculty of Management)
Dr Einar Thorsen (Faculty of Media and Communication)
Professor Marcin Budka (Faculty of Science and Technology)

Judging Panel – Poster and Photography Exhibition
Jane Healy (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences)
Professor George Filis (Faculty of Management)
Professor Candida Yates (Faculty of Media and Communication)
Dr Christos Gatzidis (Faculty of Science and Technology)