Category / Research news

“New” FHSS paper on obesity published July 2017


The American Journal of Men’s Health published our latest paper on obesity prevention in men.  The paper ‘Clinical Effectiveness of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Interventions for Men: A Systematic Review of Men-Only Randomized Controlled Trials (The ROMEO Project)’ originates from a collaboration between BU and various universities in Scotland, led by the University of Aberdeen [1].

This systematic review paper found that reducing diets produced better weight loss than physical activity alone. The most effective interventions combined reducing diets, exercise, and behaviour change techniques . Group interventions produced favourable weight loss results. The paper reports that once engaged, men remained committed to a weight loss intervention.

The paper concludes that weight loss for men is best achieved and maintained with the combination of a reducing diet, increased physical activity, and behaviour change techniques. Strategies to increase engagement of men with weight loss services to improve the reach of interventions are needed.  This paper is the thirteenth paper from a large NIHR grant [2-13].

The American Journal of Men’s Health is an open access, peer-reviewed resource for cutting-edge information regarding men’s health and illness. It is, however worth noting that although our paper is formally published in July 2017 it has been online for two years!  The journal’s website states clearly that the article was first published online on June 30, 2015 BUT the issue in which it appears is published is July 1, 2017!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2017) Clinical effectiveness of weight loss & weight maintenance interventions for men: a systematic review of men-only randomised controlled trials (ROMEO Project), American Journal of Men’s Health 11(4): 1096-1123.  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988315587550
  2. Robertson, C, Archibald, D, Avenell, A, Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen E, Boyers, D., Stewart, F, Boachie, C, Fioratou E., Wilkins, D, Street, T., Carroll, P., Fowler, C. (2014) Systematic reviews of & integrated report on quantitative, qualitative & economic evidence base for the management of obesity in men. Health Technology Assessment 18(35): 1-424. http://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/118180/FullReport-hta18350.pdf
  3. Stewart, F., Fraser, C., Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2014) Are men difficult to find? Identifying male-specific studies in MEDLINE and Embase, Systematics Reviews 3,78.
  4. Archibald, D, Douglas, F, Hoddinott, P, van Teijlingen, E, Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Boyers, D., Avenell, A. (2015) A qualitative evidence synthesis on management of male obesity. BMJ Open 5: e008372. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008372 http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/10/e008372.full.pdf+html
  5. Boyers, D, Stewart, F, Fraser, C, Robertson, C, Avenell, A, Archibald, D, Douglas, F, Hoddinott P, van Teijlingen E. (2015). A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 9(4), 310-327.
  6. Robertson, C, Avenell, A, Boachie, C., Stewart, F., Archibald D., Hoddinott, P, Douglas, F, van Teijlingen E, Boyers D. (2016) Should weight loss and maintenance programmes be designed differently for men? Systematic review of long-term RCTs presenting data for men & women: The ROMEO Project, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 10: 70-84.
  7. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Boachie, C., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) Should weight loss programmes be designed differently for men and women? The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 374.
  8. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) A systematic review of long-term weight management randomized controlled trials for obese men. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 374.
  9. Robertson, C., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D. (2015) A systematic review of weight loss interventions in the UK. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 375.
  10. Boyers, D., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., (2015) A systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of non-surgical obesity interventions in men, Appetite 87: 375.
  11. Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E., Boyers, D., Avenell, A., Stewart, F., Robertson, C., (2015) A qualitative evidence synthesis on the management of male obesity. The ROMEO Project, Appetite 87: 381.
  12. Avenell, A., Robertson, C., Boachie, C., Stewart, F Archibald, D., Douglas, F., Hoddinott, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2016) Sex based subgroup differences in randomized controlled trials: empirical evidence from Cochrane meta-analyses BMJ 355:i5826 http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i5826/rapid-responses
  13. Avenell, A., Robertson, C., Stewart, F., Boyers, D., Douglas, F., Archibald, D., van Teijlingen, E., Hoddinott, P., Boachie, C. (2016) Sex can affect participation, engagement, and adherence in trials, BMJ 355:i6754 http://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/355/bmj.i6754.full.pdf

Week 1 – Laurie Emerson working with ADRC as a Student Research Assistant

Having just completed my Undergraduate degree in Psychology, I have embarked on a summer Research Assistant position working with the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) here at Bournemouth University. I will be working closely with an expert team within the research centre – Dr. Michele Board, Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Michelle Heward, and Ashley Spriggs, who have all dedicated their careers to this particular field.

Our current project focusses on ‘Dementia Education Through Simulation’ (DEALTS), a dementia care training program for healthcare professionals, which has previously been delivered in a ‘train the trainer’ format to healthcare trusts. The current program, DEALTS 2, aims to build upon the previous DEALTS, and provide an up to date evidence-based framework. This updated program signifies the importance of empathy and humanised care when training, which aligns closely with Tier 2 .The current training program utilises simulations including videos, case-studies, and role-play to help increase relatability to the patient.

My role within this project is to support the team within the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences on an evaluation of DEALTS 2. Initially I am expected to analyse the feedback questionnaires taken from the DEALTS 2 sessions. Other responsibilities include helping Dr. Michelle Heward deliver a presentation at the BU Humanising Caring, Health and Wellbeing Conference, 29th – 30th June. You can register for a place at https://humanisation.eventbrite.co.uk

I will also be conducting a literature review, and help out at one of the DEALTS 2 training sessions. This will enable the foundations for the team to eventually create an up to date evaluative research paper on DEALTS 2.

So far, I am excited by the responsibilities given and organised work structure. Not to mention feeling incredibly welcomed by the team, which has lead me feeling immersed in this project. After having previous experience with research assistant roles, this project has so far exceeded my expectations in terms of my roles and responsibilities. I feel excited enthusiastic for the scope of opportunities this project could bring.

I intend to report my experience at the end of my work placement, and hopefully will finish with some significant data to report, and greater insight into DEALTS 2. I look forward to what the next four weeks may bring!

Laurie Emerson

New BU publication: Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research &Education

Congratulations to Dr. Sam Rowlands, Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, who published an interesting Commentary in the BJOG together with Prof. Roger Ingham from the University of Southampton.  Their paper ‘Long-acting reversible contraception: conflicting perspectives of advocates and potential users’ argues that a patient-centred approach to contraceptive care is fundamental to women’s autonomy.  The authors remind the readers that it needs to be appreciated that unintended pregnancy is most likely to be reduced by fulfilling the unmet need for contraception and encouraging those not using any form of contraception, or  condoms only, to use a method of their choice accompanied by adequate instruction (where necessary) in correct usage.

 

BU Senior Academic in Events Management Presents at Sussex Impact Day

Images from the Capturing Event Impacts presented by Dr Nicole Ferdinand at the Sussex Impact Day

Dr Nicole Ferdinand, Senior Academic Events Management, was one of the presenters at the Sussex Impact Day, at University of Sussex, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Falmer, Brighton, June 13th 2017. Her presentation on Capturing Event Impacts by Developing an Event Profile was one of three sessions which were dedicated to Understanding Event Impacts. It was praised for providing useful “practical information” to University of Sussex Academics, who were increasingly “using events to accelerate the impacts of their research” by Megan McMichael, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Project Manager at Sussex University. Key insights from her presentation included: the need to have a dedicated budget to capture impact; the increasing importance of capturing social media impacts and incorporating automation or e-evaluation tools to make event impact capture easier. 

Images from the Plenary Session at the Sussex Impact Day

The University of Sussex Impact team also invited Dr Ferdinand to join other sessions at the Impact Day, including the plenary session featuring external organisations who have first hand experience of working with academics. The speakers were Mr Antonio Capillo, Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager at The Fairtrade Foundation, Ms Tao-Tao Chang, Research Grants manager at The Victoria and Albert Museum, Dr Penny Hawkins, Head of Research Animals Department at the RSPCA and Dr Malcolm Skingle, Academic Liaison Director at GSK.

For more on the Sussex Impact Day have a look at a summary of the day’s events and Dr Ferdinand’s session on Capturing  Event Impacts on  Storify.

HE policy update w/e 16th June 2017

New Parliament – On Monday we sent out a special edition policy update to keep you current on the political arrangements as the new government is formed. If you missed it you can read it here. Locally, all the incumbents were re-elected, meaning the whole of Dorset continues to be represented by Conservatives. A breakdown of the local MPs, the profile of their vote share, and current political interest areas is available here. It has now been confirmed that the Queen’s Speech and state opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 21 June. Since Monday’s update it has been confirmed that Jo Johnson remains in post as Universities Science Research and Innovation Minister. Anne Milton is the new Apprenticeships and Skills Minister. Locally Tobias Ellwood will move to the Ministry for Defence.

  • Student voting preferences: YouGov’s post-election poll states that 64% of full time students voted Labour, 19% for Conservatives, 10% Lib Dems. For graduates Labour got 49% and Conservatives 32%.
  • Effect of age: The survey states that young turnout was not as high as the media initially reported – 59% of 20-24 year olds voted. The survey highlights that age is a new dividing line in British politics. For every 10 years older a voter is, the likelihood they will vote Conservative increases.
  • Effect of education: The survey reports that education is also an electoral demographic divide with support. In the recent election support for the Conservatives decreased the more educated a voter was, with the reverse for Labour and the Lib Dems. Age is a factor, the young have more qualifications than the old, however YouGov report even accounting for this the Conservatives still have a graduate problem.

Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data – The full longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) data was released this week. It shows graduate earnings and employment outcomes from 2014/15 taking data from the students graduating 1, 3 and 5 years before 2014/15. The methodological of how the data measured prior attainment has changed and ethnicity identifiers have been removed from the dataset for this release. LEO will be published alongside the Key Information Set on Unistats. Wonkhe ran a live LEO blog on release day (BU got a mention) and have an assortment of articles discussing the LEO findings as well as university rankings for each subject area. Polar data is available so comparison of the class effect on graduate earnings is possible even at a subject level. BU is generally positioned well within the LEO data, which is consistent with our DLHE outcomes data.

Gender pay gaps: Wonkhe reported on the first trial release of LEO data highlighting that the pay gap between women and men is visible from graduation. Wonkhe have explored this gender pay gap through the full LEO dataset released this week. Their new article identifies that, while the gender gap remains, subject area has an affect and where there are lower numbers of men than women on a subject, e.g. nursing, the men outperform the women’s pay by an even greater margin. The article questions whether universities are failing to prepare women to enter the most well-paying graduate jobs, and failing to encourage women’s aspirations on the same par as men. The article also anticipates that when the pay data can be cut by ethnicity that further gender racial divides will been seen. The Guardian also report on the gender pay gap.

Brexit – residency rights for EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit are not as black and white as it seems. This report from Migration Watch UK on the EC’s negotiating position explores the shades of grey. There are ongoing rumours of pressure to soften the approach to Brexit but no indication of it – the formal negotiations with the EU start on Monday.

Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) – With Jo Johnson, Justine Greening and Greg Clark’s continuation of their cabinet roles the sector anticipates that both TEF and the HE and Research Act will move forward with more certainty now. UUK have published a briefing on the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. UUK remain positive in their approach to the act whilst acknowledging the potential risk to institutional autonomy. The act replaces HEFCE with the OfS, establishes the combined UKRI, and begins to establish the new regulatory system for the sector. UUK call for universities to engage and influence how OfS and UKRI approach their remit and to consider the implications of these split bodies with reference to the relationship between teaching and research within universities.

Regulation: The sector will be regulated through the register of HE providers. The OfS can vary the conditions applied to providers (as the pool of providers will be wider) and requirements relating to access and participation. A technical consultation on registration fees is expected during autumn 2017. Student protection plans will be a requirement of registration, including transparency in enabling provision for student transfers. The OfS will consult on whether there are appropriate bodies that could perform quality assessment and data collection in advance of April 2018 and that would command the confidence of the sector.

Teaching quality: During amendment through parliament conditions of registration relating to quality and standards of teaching meant conditions should relate to sector recognised standards. The detail and ownership the sector will have over the definition of standards is unclear. However, amendments within the Lords ensured that ‘quality’ and ‘standards’ should be properly defined and separate and the independent ability of institutions to set their own standards was protected. The UK-wide standing committee on quality assessment is working to coordinate a shared regulatory baseline and is also reviewing how the quality code, including standards, may need to evolve in the context of the new regulations. HEFCE is also expected to conduct a review of the Annual Provider Review in the autumn.

Degree awarding powers: will be subject to independent quality advice from either the designated quality body or an independent committee, and replicates much of the role of the QAA’s Advisory Committee on degree awarding powers (Section 46). A consultation on how the OfS should exercise its new powers, including ‘probationary’ degree awarding powers, and the removal of degree awarding powers is expected. There are additional conditions to be met before OfS can vary or revoke degree awarding powers or university title, royal charters cannot be revoked in full. There is to be additional ministerial oversight of new providers without a validation track record. Amendment discussions secured tightened regulation around degree awarding powers and university title to protect both students and the sector reputation on sector entry for new providers.

Financial powers: OfS will have the ability to make grants or loans to a HE provider, replicating HEFCE’s powers to provider funding for high cost or strategic/vulnerable subjects. It’s likely any support for providers in financial difficulty would require DfE and Treasury input.

Fee limits & TEF: Fee limit changes require (active) approval by both Commons and Lords, even if the increase is below inflation. An approved access and participation plan is required. There are three levels of fee limits:

  • the higher amount which will ordinarily increase by inflation (LINKED TO TEF)
  • an intermediate cap LINKED TO TEF (but won’t be implemented before 2020)
  • a basic cap (currently set at £9,000)

Until the academic year 2020/21 all providers participating in TEF with approved access plans will be permitted to charge the full inflationary increase up to the higher amount. Before differential fees determined by TEF rating can be implemented an independent review of TEF must take place. The review would need to take place in winter 2018/19 for differential fees to be implemented in 2020/21. The review will cover:

  • the process by which ratings are determined under the scheme and the sources of statistical information used in that process
  • whether process and statistical information are fit for purpose in determining ratings under the scheme
  • the names of the ratings under the scheme and whether those names are appropriate
  • the impact of the scheme on the ability of higher education providers to which the scheme applies to carry out their functions (including in particular their functions relating to teaching and research)
  • an assessment of whether the scheme is in the public interest
  • any other matters that the appointed person considers relevant

Subject level TEF have been delayed by an additional year but will be piloted in 17/18 and 18/19.

UKRI: will operate from April 2018 and is expected to commence by drafting its research and innovation strategy in collaboration with the sector. Research England will have to consult on the terms and conditions attached to the quality-related funding it provides. The government must publish details of the funding provided to UKRI, the terms and conditions attached, and the amount granted to each of the seven councils. This is designed to give public oversight of the process, and to encourage responsible allocation of funding to the different councils. The dual support system will not be undermined. The Act enshrines the Haldane principle within the legislation ‘decisions on individual research proposals are best taken following an evaluation of the quality and likely impact of the proposals (such as a peer review process)’. UKRI should give equal regard to all nations of the UK.

Widening Participation – The Social Mobility Commission have published the Social Mobility Barometer surveying the public’s attitude towards UK social mobility. The Barometer is new and there will be follow up polls each year until 2021. It was run by YouGov. Press coverage: BBC; TES focus on the belief education will be better in the future.

  • 48% of the public believe that where you end up in society today is mainly determined by your background and who your parents are; 32% believe everyone has a fair chance to get on regardless of their background.
  • 79% believe that there is a large gap between the social classes in Britain today.
  • A large majority of people believe that poorer people are held back at nearly every stage of their lives – from childhood, through education and into their careers.
  • 71% believe opportunity is dependent on where a person lives (something the government’s intended Industrial Strategy aims to tackle)
  • Young people increasingly feel they are on the wrong side of a profound unfairness in British society. The report links this dissatisfaction with the recent election where record numbers of young people voted.
  • Personal finances, job security and housing are key issues.
  • 76% of the public say poorer people are less likely to attend a top university and 66% say poorer people have less opportunity for a professional career.

Fees and Funding

The House of Commons Library have published a clear briefing paper on HE funding in England. It covers the 2012/13 higher fee increase, removal of maintenance grants and student loan repayment threshold decisions. It also summarises the public spend on HE (within England) and the impact of student loans on the national debt.

Jane Forster                                   Sarah Carter

VC’s Policy Adviser                                    Policy & Public Affairs Officer

New BU publication in Public Health

This week the Oxford Encyclopaedia published our contribution on religious organisations and health promotion [1].  The paper in question ‘Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion’ is co-authored by scholars based in England, Scotland and Canada. This new publication is part of a growing number of publications at Bournemouth University on the contribution of faith communities to public health.

Faith communities often have multiple resources, existing networks and an infrastructure that can be applied to health promotion programmes for their own membership or as an outreach to the wider community. Health programmes in a faith community in high-income countries may include targeted initiatives, ranging from walking groups or weight checks, health events, or health assessments, to diabetes self-management. These activities can be organised by charities and NHS organisation and held at local churches, synagogues or mosques which is referred to as faith-placed health promotion.  If the health promotion is part of the ministry of the religious organisation it is referred to as faith-based health promotion.

On top of this encyclopaedia entry, the Open Access journal African Health Sciences [Impact Factor 0.66] accepted our paper in the same field a few weeks ago.  This  paper ‘Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review’ formed part of the first author’s M.Sc. in Public Health [2]. Our previous papers reported on a study of faith-based and faith-placed health promotion in and around Dundee [3-4].

 

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Prenatal Health

 

References

  1. Kiger, A., Fagan, D., van Teijlingen, E. (2017) Faith Communities and the Potential for Health Promotion. In: Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design & Processing, Parrott, R. (ed.) New York, Oxford University Press. (http://communication.oxfordre.com/).
  2. Ochillo, M., van Teijlingen, E., Hind, M. (2017) Influence of faith-based organisations on HIV prevention strategies in Africa: a systematic review. African Health Sciences (accepted June).
  3. Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen E. (2010) A survey of faith leaders concerning health promotion and the level of healthy living activities occurring in faith communities in Scotland. Global Health Promotion 17(4): 15-23.
  4. Fagan, D., Kiger, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2012) Faith communities and their assets for health promotion: The views from health professionals and faith leaders in Dundee, Scotland, Global Health Promotion 19(2): 27-36.

FMC will be a hosting a series of researcher skills development training in June

The Faculty of Media and Communication will be welcoming Dr. John Willison from the University of Adelaide for a series of researcher development training open to all academic staff, PGR’s and colleagues in RKEO.

Dr Willison is a highly engaged and widely published academic whose expertise include the creative blending of teaching and research, researcher development and the evolution of research-oriented curricula. He is a senior lecturer in the Department of Higher Education, School of Education at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, where he coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) for academics from all faculties. He is currently leading a major initiative funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching considering Research Skill Development (RSD) and assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across disciplines from all faculties.

Dr Willison’s principal research interest centres on the ways that academics conceptualise and implement the development of their students’ research skills in content-rich courses. He examines the close conceptual connection between the skills associated with research in a discipline, and the skills required and developed in problem-solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and Work Integrated Learning. His research with graduates from various disciplinary contexts is pointing to the value graduates place on research skills once they are employed.

Click here for further details and a range of resources.

FMC have scheduled a series of tailored training events. The faculty are keen to hear the discussion and share new thinking widely across BU.

All events will take place in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus – Room F201

The sessions are outlined below:

Thursday 29th June

Session 1: 10.00-12.00: Research Skill Development First Year to PhD

This workshop will be of interest to all academics at BU. It provides an introduction to the Research Skills Development (RSD) framework, which provides a systematic approach to the scaffolding of research into learning for students at all levels. The session will also look at how RSD can be integrated into and complement the Research Development Framework developed by Vitae, which is currently used at BU for PGT and PGR training

Session 2: 14.00 – 16.00 Enabling Research Skill Development for Higher Degree Researchers and Early Career Academics

This workshop will be of primary interest to Deputy and Associate Deans, Heads of Department, Heads of Research, Research Centre Directors, and colleagues in RKEO, amongst others who have a role in the support of postgraduate students and early career academics. It examines how the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework can be used to assist PGR students and ECRs to achieve successful outcomes at these most crucial stages in their academic careers.

Friday 30th June

Session 3: 10.00-12.00: Models for Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT): MELT your students’ minds

This workshop will be of interest to all academics at BU. It provides an introduction to the Research Skills Development (RSD) framework, which provides a systematic approach to the scaffolding of research into learning for student at all levels. Its main focus is on the adaptation of the RSD framework to meet the particular needs of different disciplines. It will demonstrate how this adaptation can be carried out to enhance the student experience in different disciplines without losing the core strengths and consistency that the framework provides for scaffolding student learning.

Session 4: 14.00 – 16.00 Engaging teachers to enable dynamic student learning

This workshop will be of primary interest to Deputy and Associate Deans, Heads of Department, Heads of Education, Programme Leaders, and colleagues in CEL, amongst others, who have a role in the support of curriculum design, the enhancement of the student learning experience, and the conduct of research into university education. It examines how the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework can be used to scaffold learning and assessment design across curricula at all course levels. It will use data from a series of large-scale research projects that provide a critical analysis of the use of RSD in a wide range of disciplines.

BU awarded research grant to improve nurse retention

Researchers from Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences have received a grant of £140,000 from the Burdett Trust for Nursing. The researchers will be working to study and improve registered nurse retention in collaboration with our practice partners at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH).

This exciting project launches on 1st June 2017 and will run for two years. Led by Dr Janet Scammell, working alongside Professor Stephen Tee and Dr Sharon Docherty, RBCH staff and service users is an exciting, collaborative, nurse-led project that will test an innovative evidence-based model for improving nurse retention known as TRACS (Transition, Resilience, Authentic leadership, Commitment, Support).

Retention of nurses within the UK is a grave issue with approximately 10% of the nursing workforce in England seriously considering leaving the profession. This has significant implications on the care provided to patients within the NHS.

Working with a large NHS Trust, a ‘bottom-up’ co-created retention strategy and tool-kit, based on principles underpinning TRACS will be developed and implemented in one high-risk Directorate. A robust evaluation will run alongside. The project will develop and refine an adaptable and evidence-based retention model, acting as an exemplar that will be transferable to any healthcare setting where nurses are employed.

Dr Scammell said “We’re excited to be working on this project and collaborating with local partners to improve retention within the healthcare workforce.”

A project website will be developed in the near future to host information as well as useful resources

Policy and political scene this week: 8 June 2017

Welcome to this week’s political scene.

Its been a relatively quiet week in policy land with the main focus on today’s general election, however, gender equality for female academics and the student academic experience survey have hit the news.

2017 Student Academic Experience Survey

The 2017 Student Academic Experience Survey results have been released. Wonkhe succinctly summarise the findings here, and there has been press coverage on the findings from the BBC, Guardian, and The Times.

In brief: teaching is perceived more positively, learning gain has been reported positively (although Wonkhe disagree), and student wellbeing remains a concern. Most interesting is the consideration of the results dissected by student residency, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Students who live at home and commute score lower on satisfaction and wellbeing than students that relocate and live in. There are also clear ethnicity differences, in particular Asian and Chinese students rate teaching staff and value for money of their degree lower; and non-straight students score lower across the board on wellbeing. As Wonkhe suggest the interplay between race, commuting, attainment, wellbeing, learning gain, part time employment, and student support may make for some interesting personalisation interventions within the sector if the data can be sufficiently interpreted.

For more detail on the findings see this week’s policy update.

 

Rankings

The QS World Rankings have been released today. Paul Greatrix writes for Wonkhe noting that while the UK still places 4 institutions in the top 10 the majority of UK HEIs have dropped lower in the rankings (including 11 of the 16 Russell Group institutions). Paul reports that QS highlight weaker research performance and reputational decline as the reason for the UK institutions ranking drop, and he anticipates further falls as the Brexit gloom descends.

Furthermore, following a complaint to the advertising watchdog Universities are carefully considering their marketing messaging around rankings position. The BBC report the University of Reading will remove their claim to be within the top 1% of the world’s universities after the watchdog stated the figure could not be substantiated and could be misleading. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on recruitment, particularly for international students.

 

Academic Gender Equality

This week the Guardian reports Patricia Fara’s (Cambridge historian) call for universities to invest more money in childcare if they want to see gender equality. The Guardian writes that childcare is the single biggest problem for female academics and cites the 2016 report from Institute of Fiscal Studies into pay inequality which found the pay gap widens steadily for 12 years after the birth of a first child, leaving women on 33% less pay per hour than men.

The topic of female academics is also picked up by HEPI this week who discuss the expectation and difficulties of mobility in relation to career progression.

 

Consultations and Inquiries

There are no new consultations or committee inquiries this week. The new parliament will convene on Tuesday 13 June.

You can read BU’s response to past consultations and inquiries here. The response to the European Commission’s Erasmus+ consultation has recently been added, read it here.

To sign up to the separate weekly general HE policy update simply email: policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

Sarah Carter
Policy & Public Affairs Officer

A day in the life of a smart-city commuter – and why it’s not so far from reality

The alarm on your smart phone went off 10 minutes earlier than usual this morning. Parts of the city are closed off in preparation for a popular end of summer event, so congestion is expected to be worse than usual. You’ll need to catch an earlier bus to make it to work on time.

The alarm time is tailored to your morning routine, which is monitored every day by your smart watch. It takes into account the weather forecast (rain expected at 7am), the day of the week (it’s Monday, and traffic is always worse on a Monday), as well as the fact that you went to bed late last night (this morning, you’re likely to be slower than usual). The phone buzzes again – it’s time to leave, if you want to catch that bus.

While walking to the bus stop, your phone suggests a small detour – for some reason, the town square you usually stroll through is very crowded this morning. You pass your favourite coffee shop on your way, and although they have a 20% discount this morning, your phone doesn’t alert you – after all, you’re in a hurry.

After your morning walk, you feel fresh and energised. You check in at the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled bus stop, which updates the driver of the next bus. He now knows that there are 12 passengers waiting to be picked up, which means he should increase his speed slightly if possible, to give everyone time to board. The bus company is also notified, and are already deploying an extra bus to cope with the high demand along your route. While you wait, you notice a parent with two young children, entertaining themselves with the touch-screen information system installed at the bus stop.

Bus stops of the future.
from www.shutterstock.com

Once the bus arrives, boarding goes smoothly: almost all passengers were using tickets stored on their smart phones, so there was only one time-consuming cash payment. On the bus, you take out a tablet from your bag to catch up on some news and emails using the free on-board Wi-Fi service. You suddenly realise that you forgot to charge your phone, so you connect it to the USB charging point next to the seat. Although the traffic is really slow, you manage to get through most of your work emails, so the time on the bus is by no means wasted.

The moment the bus drops you off in front of your office, your boss informs you of an unplanned visit to a site, so you make a booking with a car-sharing scheme, such as Co-wheels. You secure a car for the journey, with a folding bike in the boot.

Your destination is in the middle of town, so when you arrive on the outskirts you park the shared car in a nearby parking bay (which is actually a member’s unused driveway) and take the bike for the rest of the journey to save time and avoid traffic. Your travel app gives you instructions via your Bluetooth headphones – it suggests how to adjust your speed on the bike, according to your fitness level. Because of your asthma, the app suggests a route that avoids a particularly polluted area.

Sick ride.
Mr.tinDC/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

After your meeting, you opt to get a cab back to the office, so that you can answer some emails on the way. With a tap on your smartphone, you order the cab, and in the two minutes it takes to arrive you fold up your bike so that you can return it to the boot of another shared vehicle near your office. You’re in a hurry, so no green reward points for walking today, I’m afraid – but at least you made it to the meeting on time, saving kilograms of CO2 on the way.

Get real

It may sound like fiction, but truth be told, most of the data required to make this day happen are already being collected in one form or another. Your smart phone is able to track your location, speed and even the type of activity that you’re performing at any given time – whether you’re driving, walking or riding a bike.

Meanwhile, fitness trackers and smart watches can monitor your heart rate and physical activity. Your search history and behaviour on social media sites can reveal your interests, tastes and even intentions: for instance, the data created when you look at holiday offers online not only hints at where you want to go, but also when and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

Personal devices aside, the rise of the Internet of Things with distributed networks of all sorts of sensors, which can measure anything from air pollution to traffic intensity, is yet another source of data. Not to mention the constant feed of information available on social media about any topic you care to mention.

The ConversationWith so much data available, it seems as though the picture of our environment is almost complete. But all of these datasets sit in separate systems that don’t interact, managed by different entities which don’t necessarily fancy sharing. So although the technology is already there, our data remains siloed with different organisations, and institutional obstacles stand in the way of attaining this level of service. Whether or not that’s a bad thing, is up to you to decide.

Marcin Budka, Principal Academic in Data Science, Bournemouth University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

What if opinion polls had been banned during this election?

When the prime minister, Theresa May, called a general election back in mid-April it was widely assumed she would easily win a large majority. The Conservative leader was far more popular than her Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn, and had a clear path back into No 10. We know this because the voters themselves told us – through opinion polls.

Six weeks later, the narrative is rather different. Labour’s manifesto has been praised while the Tory campaign has stuttered. Though a Conservative majority is still the most likely outcome, Corbyn appears increasingly confident while May seems more worried. But again this is largely down to the polls.

Like it or not, opinion polls are a staple part of an election campaign narrative. The media often obsesses over the slightest swings, enquiring of their readers and of party leaders: why, what have you done to increase or lose support?

But what if the media was not allowed to report on such polls during an election campaign? It might lead to a renewed focus on policy issues instead of “who is winning”. But banning polls may also hand even more power to political parties and media gatekeepers.

The influence of polls

Polls can drive campaigning style and substance. A leader buoyant in the polls will appear more confident and relaxed, so fulfilling the prophecies of the polls by delivering more assured performances. A leader lagging may seem edgy and nervous about answering questions, constantly second guessing how the media will replay their words and how the public will respond. This can lead to the sort of less assured performance that voters can find a turn off.

But an impact on substance matters. A struggling campaign will seek magic bullets to secure victory, which may simply mean candidates repeat slogans they think have traction, or focus on negative messages and image building exercises. As polls narrow, so does the debate, and candidates will completely avoid getting drawn into debates on policy detail that might obscure their message. Without the distraction of headlines based on polling, however, campaigns may feel more able to engage in serious and detailed policy debate.

Polls also influence voters. There has long been talk of polls creating a bandwagon effect, with voters flocking to support the party or candidate who is the most likely winner. This might explain the recent surge in Labour support, or the landslide victory in Scotland for the SNP in 2015. In both cases polls suggested the tide was moving one particular way, which can drive the decision making of undecided voters.

Alternatively poll predictions can mobilise or depress activism and voter turnout. If activists believe their party is doing well they may not feel the need to do as much door-knocking, while if a party is doing poorly they may feel disillusioned (though the reverse can be the case for both scenarios).

Similarly on election day voters can look at the polls and form the belief their vote does not matter or that they will get the outcome they want without making the effort to vote. Hence polls affect the nature and levels of engagement of an election campaign.

Polls provide transparency

But polls will be commissioned regardless of coverage, and many parties rely on pollsters to give an indication of how their campaign is going. If polls go unreported citizens will not be aware of why the focus of a campaign is shifting.

Voters may attribute a less than assured performance to poor poll performance and be sympathetic. Similarly they may see an act as desperate and driven simply by the polls and so grow cynical. Without the polls a vital sense of transparency of process is lost, and voters would only be able to speculate at what is driving campaign strategies.

So a campaign without polls could allow leaders to be themselves, unaware of the public reaction beyond that from the audience immediately in front of them. Leaders may also feel they must get more into the detail, persuading through the use of facts and costed promises that can be interrogated, rather than resorting to headlines or negative attacks in order to draw in the least engaged voters. Parties may also court activists more, in the hope that every leaflet or phone call can make a difference.

While many of these things happen in the course of a campaign anyway, the focus can be skewed by the erroneous notion that polls are shifting for or against a party. Comparing the performances of May and Corbyn one might attribute some of their performance style and communication strategy to perceptions of their relative standing in the polls.

All this relies on party leaders and strategists also being unaware of their standing with the public, however. And with pollsters in the business of making news and attracting corporate clients, it is hard to imagine an election truly without polls.

But what if polls were treated with greater caution and scepticism? If reporters were more clear about margins of error, or the difficulty of factoring in underrepresented groups, then both parties and citizens may not be so ready to be influenced by each percentage point change. In turn elections may be less negative, more substance focused and leaders could perform with fewer worries about the next day’s headlines.

The ConversationPerhaps reporting of polls simply needs to be better – not banned.

Darren Lilleker, Associate Professor of Political Communication, Bournemouth University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.