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Nigel Farage’s UKIP Conference speech

Does Nigel Farage need a crash-course in EU law?

One of the things that struck me about the recent coverage of the UKIP conference (which, as I will explain, is not entirely unrelated to the pamphlet that struck Michael Crick) was that many UKIP members complained that the controversy surrounding Godfrey Bloom’s comments overshadowed their emergence as a real political force.  It seems certain that at the next European and local elections, and possibly even at the general election, UKIP will be a major player.  My research background in EU law means I am interested in how the political world frames and explains EU issues, and particularly the extent to which political positions reflect the laws underpinning them.  UKIP’s manifesto is a rich source here, and this is the perhaps tenuous connection to the document that played such a starring role in the Bloom-Crick kerfuffle.

Reading through Nigel Farage’s keynote speech – with the intention of writing a post about the EU laws underpinning his comments on immigration – I stumbled across this statement: ‘our laws have come from Brussels – and what laws. What directives. What a list of instructions. How this shall be done. How that shall be regulated’.

This struck me for several reasons.  Much of my research is concerned with the relationship between EU law and EU democracy (I’m sure many readers would argue that it is now my phrase that is striking, even an oxymoron – without wishing to go into too much detail, the EU does have democratic processes, even if their effectiveness and suitability is questionable).  Because of this background, whenever a politician talks about ‘Brussels’ or ‘EU laws’, I am put slightly on edge.  They are broad terms that risk oversimplifying a complicated area.  Debates about EU democracy need to be based on clear understandings of the underpinning laws; otherwise one risks, in Mr Farage’s words, ‘playing the man and not the ball’.

With that in mind, I’d like to look at two aspects of the quotation I highlighted above – the references to ‘Brussels’ and ‘laws’ – and explain that the situation is not quite as simple as the speech makes out.  My analysis is going to be a brief one focused on the relevant legal procedures – Channel 4’s FactCheck blog has some interesting posts on the statistical side of the speech.


It is very common to hear politicians talking about Brussels as an umbrella term for the EU, either positively or negatively.  But what does it mean? When ‘Brussels’ makes law, who is actually making them?

The answer is lawyerly: it depends.  The EU acts on the principle of conferred powers.  This means it can only legislate in areas mandated by the Treaties – if it enjoys a so-called ‘legal basis’.  For example, the EU has some environmental law competences because of Articles 191-192 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.  Each legal base found in the Treaties requires a particular legislative procedure, and each process calls for different involvement from the Council (made up of elected national ministers), the European Parliament (directly elected MEPs) and the Commission (an appointed body but one which typically proposes laws rather than passes them).

Broadly speaking, since the Lisbon Treaty most EU laws have been made using the ‘ordinary legislative procedure’.  This was previously known as ‘co-decision’.  Under this procedure, the Commission proposes legislation (sometimes prompted by the Parliament or national ministers), but it is not a legislative body.  A majority of votes in the Council and the European Parliament must agree on the final draft of a particular proposal before it becomes law.  Less frequently there will be a ‘special legislative procedure’, which normally means the Parliament is just consulted by the Council; on rarer occasions it sees no role for the Parliament or gives the Parliament a veto.

So, does a monolithic ‘Brussels’ pass these laws? Not exactly.  EU laws are passed through a process of negotiation and bargaining amongst elected national ministers and elected MEPs.  Even if the MEPs are sidelined, promulgation remains the responsibility of elected national ministers.  This may be imperfect, but it perhaps differs to the common perception.


It is interesting that the speech uses the words ‘directive’ and ‘regulated’.  This is because Directives and Regulations are two different kinds of EU law, and each works in a different way.  This doesn’t mean that the EU is not passing laws which affect the UK, but it does mean that EU laws are not diktats.

A Regulation is binding on Member States from the moment it is passed: it has ‘direct effect’.  Those laws do indeed tell Member States ‘how this shall be done’ – for example, a common customs code – although one might point out that laws tend to tell people what to do.  As noted above however, it is the Member States themselves, and usually elected MEPs, that have agreed to whatever course of action is proposed.

A Directive on the other hand gives far more discretion to Member States.  Directives set out a certain goal – for example, make sure EU citizens can move and reside freely across the EU (with certain caveats) – but it is only the goal that is binding.  Member States can pursue that aim however they wish, and it is not unheard of for a given state’s domestic law to already comply with the Directive.  In that regard Directives certainly do not tell states ‘how this shall be done’.

Once again then, the situation seems more complex that it has been made out.  The image of ‘Brussels’ telling states ‘what to do’ is not necessarily accurate.

Final thoughts

There is an understandable and important debate occurring about whether the UK should remain in the EU, but it should be based on a clear picture of how the EU operates.  Phrases such as ‘Brussels’ and ‘EU laws’ are commonplace, but they risk oversimplifying the issues.  Decisions and policy ought to follow from a more solid basis.  A clearer understanding of the law leads to a more informed debate.

About David Yuratich

David Yuratich is a lecturer in law at Bournemouth University. His research interests include the constitutional law in the UK and the EU law, and the relationships between courts and democracy.

Bournemouth University represented at the Launch of International Sport Coaching Framework in Durban, South Africa

Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences, Emma Kavanagh was recently present at the launch of the International Sport Coaching Framework at the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) 9th global coaching conference in Durban, South Africa.  This marked a worldwide initiative to launch the ICCE global coaching strategy and standardise the practice of sports coaching across the world.


Whilst attending the conference as a delegate, Emma also presented a research paper in collaboration with Dr Abbe Brady from the University of Gloucestershire entitled “Humanization in High Performance Sport: Introducing a Value-based Framework for Coaches and Practitioners”.  This paper provided a vocabulary for articulating one of the foundations of the international coaching framework; creating an athlete centred coaching environment.


The paper was well received by both national and international delegates including some of the world’s leading experts in the field of sport and coaching sciences.  The paper was described as an area of fruitful and exciting opportunity for future research in coaching and performance. This has further enhanced Bournemouth Universities reputation as an emerging centre of innovative research in sport and coaching sciences.  In addition the conference has provided opportunity for further external collaborations with a number of national and international partners.

Reminder – CEMP open meeting this Thursday

    Reminder about this Thursday’s meeting which is an open invitation for people to come along, have a coffee and tell us how we can support collaborative approaches to pedagogic research & innovation.

The background:

This academic year CEMP will continue to publish a fortnightly research & innovation funding bulletin via this blog, like so:  CEMP bulletin 26.9.13

The Research & Innovation meetings will also continue, but we want to invite colleagues from the rest of the Media School and across BU to tell us how we can increase engagement and collaboration in all aspects of pedagogic / educational research and innovation related to media / technology.

Previously, the model has been like this –

The bulletin is posted on a Thursday – this contains information about funding calls and also monitors live projects and reports on the outcomes of all bids.

The next Thursday, we meet to discuss the calls in the bulletin and report on bids in progress.

The next Thursday, the updated bulletin is posted

….and so on.

So far, we’ve been successful in one of our two key objectives – increasing CEMP bidding activity, but less successful in the other – developing collaboration with other people in BU, either in response to the funding calls in the bulletin or to try to match peoples’ ideas for projects / innovation to funding opportunities. This second objective is a service / function CEMP can offer to the University, and we’d like more colleagues to access this.

So – we’d like to review how we do this, in order to get better at the second objective, and to this end the first R&I meeting of this year is an open forum and everyone is invited to either come along and contribute to the discussion or to add a comment to this post if you have ideas but can’t make the meeting.

Meeting details:

Thursday 26th September 10-12

CEMP’s new office (CAGO2) – with tea, coffee and pastries!!!

Key issues for discussion:

  • How can CEMP support people in developing research / innovation projects?
  • What are the structural obstacles and how can we overcome them?

When we’ve got everyone’s ideas / requests for how to proceed, we’ll decide how to go ahead.

I hope we’ll see you there or read your ideas on the blog.


An Appetite for Research in the Undergraduate Population

For the past four years we have run Research Assistantship Schemes in the Psychology Research Centre. These schemes, both voluntary and paid (fusion-funded), have lead to both expected and unexpected benefits. Read on to find out more.

The 2nd year Psychology undergraduate voluntary Research Assistantship Scheme received 45 applications this year which represented 25% of the eligible year group. This represents an almost 50% increase on the year before. Prior to formalising the scheme numbers were much lower than that. Formalising the scheme has helped reveal an amazing appetite for research in the undergraduate population, but our schemes have had further reaching benefits. One benefit has been that our accrediting body, The British Psychological Society, has commended the RA scheme. We have also learned that some students applied to our undergraduate course because of the RA scheme.

The related Fusion-funded Research Assistantship Summer Scheme received 37 applications for the 7 paid positions. Two of the positions were advertised to completed 3rd year students. Advertised as prestigious positions and a potential platform to MSc level study, all of the 3rd year applicants went on to apply for our research MSc in Lifespan Neuropsychology. This year the number of BU students recruited to the MSc has doubled (acting as somewhat of a buffer against the sector-typical drop in external applications). Furthermore, 66% of the unsuccessful applicants volunteered as RAs with us over the summer instead of missing out. Some of these applicants joined our RA schemes in their second years as volunteers meaning that we have provided them with a pathway for research training from early in their degree through to MSc; for some this has lead to their names’ inclusion on submitted papers.

For the first time this year the summer scheme positions sought sponsorship. Non-financial sponsorship came from three local charities alongside which the RAs worked giving them further invaluable experience. At least one of these is now considering providing financial sponsorship for summer 2014; we hope to introduce matched- or fully-funded sponsorship options in the near future. In sum, the RA positions are a useful route route to engagement with local, external bodies and could entice first-time funders, representing first-step funding, and potentially leading to funding for matched- or perhaps fully-funded PhD positions and beyond.

The RA schemes have been running in the Psychology Research Centre for four years. Increasing formalisation has led some important benefits for students and staff and revealed an appetite for for research in the undergraduate population that previously could only have been guessed at. For sure, some of this represents the desire for more general experience for CVs but most are genuinely interested in the outcome of the research. Students learn the difficulties involved in research and begin to better understand and appreciate what academics spend their time doing when they are not teaching. Staff are learning more about the utility of involving fresh, eager minds in their research. If wielded properly, RA schemes have the potential to meet student demands, increase MSc level study here at BU and as a consequence prevent the loss of our best students, and help build future researchers. We are happy to report all of these outcomes in the four years the schemes have been running. We aim to continue the formalisation and offer Certificates for newly defined stages of Research Assistantship, which involves combining our up until now separate voluntary and paid schemes. We have spoken to at least one head of group who is interested in porting this formalised scheme to their discipline and to allowing our RAs to interact in the hope of fermenting interdisciplinary discussion and research and the undergraduate level. We hope that this blog entry will spark more interest.

Interdisciplinary Seminars on Cyber Security

I am delighted to announce that we will shortly be launching a new interdisciplinary seminar series on Cyber Security.  Our invited speakers will give interesting, thought-provoking talks on a variety of topics related to security and privacy.  Although some of these speakers will be academic, their talks will be approachable and require nothing more than a general interest in security, and an enquiring mind.

The seminars will take place at the Executive Business Centre on Tuesdays from around 5pm and will last for approximately an hour.  The seminar series will also be an opportunity for like-minded folk to come together and build connections to start tackling the issues discussed.  Therefore, after each seminar, we will convene at a nearby pub for more networking and discussion.

We will announce details of our first seminars soon.  In the meantime, please get in touch if you have suggestions for possible seminar speakers and topics.

Find out more about the Technology and Design research theme

Renewable Technology cross-School events were held during last academic year (January 2013 and Feb 2013), these were well attended. Presentations were led by academics and Local Government Representatives including from Poole Borough Council. Additional meetings took place in the area of medical engineering in collaboration with local Health Trusts with excellent attendance cross school and the medical professions. Internal cross school meetings were also organised in the area of creative design and design business. During BU’s Festival of Learning a number of public engagement events were held in June 2013. These events provided a networking opportunity for public engagement, local/regional businesses, government, community and local council representatives, academics and researchers. This included a “question time” activity, one day course in sustainable design and “let’s take pride in design and engineering”  In addition the theme exhibited with cross-school academics at the GovToday Carbon Reduction 2012 event in November 2012 at London and delivered a master class. Attendees included representatives from relevant government departments, agencies and other public sector organisations.

Future plans include international networking and extending our public engagement activities at the next BU Festival in 2014. In addition we will develop initiatives around the computing/engineering interface. This will include autonomous systems, robotics and intelligent manufacturing. 


Sign up to the Technology and Design BU Research Themes here:

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your School / Professional Service (required)

    Staff or PGR student? (required)

    Please select the themes that you are interested in (required)

    Bangkok conference plans progressing well

    Planning for the 1st International Corporate and Marketing Communication in Asia Conference to be held in Bangkok on November 18-19 is progressing well, reports Prof Tom Watson.

    He has just returned from meeting his co-organisers Assoc Prof Jirayudh Sinthuphan and Assoc Prof Saravudh Anantachart of Chulalongkorn University.

    The conference, organised in collaboration by Chula’s Faculty of Communication Arts and BU’s Media School, has attracted interest from across Asia and the Middle East. BU’s involvement is supported by FIF.

    The international review panel has chosen 30 abstracts from ten countries with a broad range of topics and approaches.

    “At our meeting in Bangkok, the conference schedule was finalised and other arrangements confirmed. The facilities at Chula are very good and enable us to run parallel streams of papers on both days”, said Prof Watson. “We are really pleased with the response which is far more positive than expected. Already almost all speakers are confirmed to attend and registered.”

    The audience will also include Thai and regional academics and representatives of the national advertising, marketing communications and public relations sectors. The conference schedule will be published shortly on the conference website:

    Tom Watson (l), Saravudh Anantachart (c) and Jirayudh Sinthuphan (r)


    Conference venue at Chulalongkorn University

    Academic writing workshop in Bangkok

    As part of his visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to plan the FIF-supported conference that will be held in November, Prof Tom Watson of the Media School delivered a well-attended workshop on Academic Writing.

    Four leading universities – Chulalongkorn, Assumption, Mahidol and NIDA – sent over 40 academic staff and doctoral students to the workshop held in the host’s Faculty of Communication Arts building on September 3.

    “There is a strong push to develop research and publication outputs in Thailand, so the workshop was well-timed to catch that wave,” said Prof Watson. “Our colleagues at Chulalongkorn did a first-rate job in organising and promoting the event.

    “The workshop was also excellent public diplomacy by BU to support so many academics in such a targeted manner. It helps build our reputation in Thailand which is sending more Masters and doctoral students to the UK. Previously Australia and the USA were the main destinations.”

    The workshop also gave an opportunity to experience one of the venues to be used by the 1st International Corporate and Marketing Communication in Asia Conference on November 18-19.


    Being Creative?

    Some would say, me included, that BU has until recently been rather insular and not very well embedded within its region.  We have often viewed with suspicion requests to collaborate and seen our region simply as a source of enterprise income rather than a source of fruitful collaboration.  During the last year we have spent a huge amount of time and effort in changing this and embracing the true concept of knowledge exchange as a real, meaningful and two-way exchange of information.  As a result our influence within the region is growing and we are seen by many key stakeholders as crucial to generating regional economic growth, something which is a mirror of current government policy.  As a Member of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), where I represent both our region’s Universities, I have used my position to promote a more open and accessible HE sector willing to engage and invest in our region’s growth.  The LEP is currently working on its Local Growth Strategy, along with a regional Skills Plan and a strategy to underpin its future management of EU Structural Investment Funds (EUSIF).  Graduate retention and the creation of high skills jobs are keys to continued economic growth within Dorset.  BU believes that the Creative and Digital, along with the Health and Social Care sectors are crucial to achieving this and we are actively promoting these areas along with more traditional ones like advanced manufacturing and big data. 

    By way of illustration, in June this year we helped to orchestrate the signing of a regional Manifesto for the Creative and Digital Economy which brought together private and public bodies, as well as the regions’ politicians, in a commitment to support and grow the creative and digital sector.  The long-term vision is to establish Dorset as an international hub for creative and digital businesses.

     A key outcome from the manifesto was the creation of a working group tasked with turning the manifesto’s vision into a reality.   The working group, chaired by David Ford, Chief Executive of Bright Blue Day, is made up of senior representatives from business, the public sector and education.   BU is wholly committed to driving delivery of the manifesto’s vision and we have made a number of commitments (both financial and in-kind) to support the work.  One of these was a commitment of staff time from BU and Samantha Leahy-Harland from OVC is spending half her working week supporting David Ford on taking forward the manifesto.  Currently the team are finalising the brand for the initiative which I hopefully will be able to share very soon.  Another commitment made by BU and Bournemouth Borough Council was to support Matt Desmier, a creative consultant, in the creation of Think Create Do, an online portal to support the creative and digital media economy locally.  Think Create Do will include a jobs board with opportunities for students, a news feed, events diary and a directory of local businesses.  The site goes live in the autumn and I’ll post with more details in due course.  Matt Desmier is of course also behind the annual Silicon Beach Conference [], now in its third year, and of which BU is proud to again be a sponsor.  Longer term we hope to support the creation of Dorset’s own creative and digital village.  I will keep you posted and would be happy to discuss our regional agenda with groups of interested staff over the next few months.

    On My To Do List

    Do you have an ever growing list of things that you need to do?  Do you keep it written down or like me swirling in your head?  In truth, I have in recent years had to resort to using a list of actions that sits alongside my email and have various jotted notes as well.  Anyway my point is?

     My point is that sitting at the top of my ‘to do’ list this week is to complete the mandatory ethics module for all researchers at BU [Research Ethics].  The clock is ticking and this needs to be completed by the end of September by all academic staff.  This includes all BU employees who supervise students on dissertations/thesis, part-time hourly lecturers who supervise students, academic staff who are not research active and demonstrators/technical staff who assist with dissertation supervision; everyone in fact!  It is also mandatory for all new starters and PGR students.  So why, I hear you ask?

     We all face ethical questions within our research, even those like me that like to work on inanimate rocks!  Should one collect a rock sample, pocket that fossil and what are the implications of doing so?  Ethics impacts on all research and understanding the basic issues and when formal approval is needed and when it is not, is vital for all researchers.  Our Ethics Policy and procedures are still relatively new which reflects our institutional history and the fact that we don’t have a large medical faculty.  However, most of our research does involve people and ethics can’t be ignored.  A year ago we tightened up our procedures around ethics, introducing the online ethics checklist, and are currently revising our ethics codes with the intention of making further changes to procedures this autumn.  This reflects a growing institutional maturity and also, disturbingly for me, a growing body of case law. 

    Raising institutional awareness of ethics is therefore both timely and, in my experience over this last year, much needed.  Completing the course ‘Ethics 1: Good Research Practice’ and passing the online test is mandatory for all staff including myself!  There is also a second module ‘Ethics 2: Working with Human Subjects’ that is recommended for those working with human participants (directly or indirectly) in research projects.  You gain access to the modules by logging in to myBU and clicking on ‘Research Ethics’ under the ‘My Communities’ tab. 

    I would encourage you all to complete the module, since the draconian bit – yes sorry – is that staff who don’t complete the training will be excluded from applying for BU funding (e.g., Fusion Investment Funding and BU Studentships) and participating on BU development schemes.  So I had better stop writing and get on with doing the module!


    BU researcher in most-cited lists of world’s top two journalism journals

    Media School scholar, Dr An Nguyen, has been featured among the most-cited authors in both of the world’s top journals in journalism studies, according to the latest data from Google Scholar Metrics. 

     Dr Nguyen has two sole-authored articles — both on the diffusion and impact of of online news — that are among the most cited papers of Journalism Studies and  Journalism, the only two journalism journals in Google Scholar’s top 20 communication journals.

     Google Scholar Metrics, which aims to help scholars to assess the visibility of journals and to consider where to publish, ranks journals according to their recent citations. The 2013 data were based on citations during the five full years between 2008 and 2012. 

     They cover eight broad areas of research: Business, Economics & Management; Chemical & Material Sciences, Engineering & Computing Science; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Literature and Arts; Life Sciences and Earth Sciences; Physics & Mathematics; and Social Sciences. Each broad area is divided into a good number of sub-categories, each featured with its top 20 journals. 

     Journalism Studies and Journalism ranks 6th and 16th in the sub-category of Communication Studies. The former also stands at 12th in the broad field of Humanities, Literature & Arts. 

     An Nguyen joined BU in 2011 from the University of Sussex, where he headed its journalism programmes. His main research interests include online journalism, news audiences and citizenship,  science journalism, and the globalisation of news. 

     For further information on Google Scholar Metrics, visit

    HSC student wins Santander Travel Grant to go to Yale

    Mrs. Anita Immanuel has just been awarded a travel award from Santander to visit the Yale Cancer Centre in the USA. Anita studies the quality of lives of adults in Dorset who have survived cancer of the blood or immune system. Cancer is a devastating disease and with the advances in treatment patients are living longer, however left with debilitating side effects which can negatively affect their quality of life.

    Anita’s research will identify any unmet needs in this group of patients and will give a better understanding into comprehensive survivorship care thereby maximising quality of life. This study uses a mixed methods approach in examining the quality of lives of these patients who have been treated for a haematological cancer. Data will be collected across three Dorset hospitals: The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospital.

    Dr. Helen McCarthy, Consultant Haematologist at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Anita’s clinical supervisor, highlighted: “At Yale Cancer Centre Survivorship Clinic, Anita will be introduced to their comprehensive survivorship care programme which can help improve the quality of lives of adults treated with cancer in Dorset.

    Dr. Jane Hunt, the lead supervisor and senior lecturer at Bournemouth University’s School of Health & Social Care added: “The survivorship programme at the Yale Cancer Centre Survivorship Clinic integrates a multidisciplinary approach for following up patients treated for cancer by leading experts, which differs significantly from our own. I am convinced Anita’s PhD study will benefit from collaborating with the Yale experts.

    BU Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Anita’s third supervisor, commented “We are grateful to Santander for this funding. We know Anita’s research will significantly contribute to the underdeveloped area of research on adult haematological cancer survivors”.

    For more about Santander Awards see:

    eBU is now live with papers for comment!


    eBU can now be accessed

    I am delighted to announce that eBU, the online BU journal that operates on the basis of immediate publication and open peer review, is now live with two papers ready for comment.

    Jane Murphy (HSC), Louise Worswick (HSC), Andy Pullman, Grainne Ford (Royal Bournemouth Hospital) and Jaana Jeffery (HSC PhD student) suggest that e-learning is a great way to deliver nutririon education and training for health care staff who are involved in the care pathway for cancer survivors. The abstract can be found below:

    Health care professionals are in a prime position to provide diet and lifestyle advice, but there are gaps in their own knowledge and education highlighting the need for improvements in teaching and learning approaches. This paper presents the rationale for the design, implementation and evaluation of an e-learning resource to deliver nutrition education and training for health care staff who are involved in the care pathway for cancer survivors. The findings of the evaluation are discussed and the importance of the resource in terms of its impact upon the provision of nutrition, diet and lifestyle advice in practice for the delivery of care and support of cancer survivors.

    This paper can be accessed here –

    Dorothy Fox (ST) uses original research to discuss the dynamics of doctoral supervision and provides recommendations for improving supervisory practice. The abstract can be found below:


    This article reports an exploratory study of the professional relationships between supervisors who co-supervise management doctoral students in England. It draws on the concept and theoretical framework of emotional geographies (Hargreaves 2001) to understand the affective elements of these relationships. Team supervision has become mandatory in many Western universities and whilst the advantages and disadvantages of this development have been identified, the relationship between supervisors has not received the same attention. This is despite the evidence from students that positive or negative relationships within the supervisory team are of critical relevance to a successful outcome. Data from 13 in-depth interviews with supervisors was analysed and the emotional geographies are revealed. Further analysis showed that differences within the relationship are resolved in ways that are either ‘autocratic’, ‘overtly democratic’ or ‘covertly democratic’. With the aim of improving the quality of supervisory practice, the implications for doctoral supervision are discussed.

    This paper can be accessed here –

    I’ll bet you it’s a baby!



    The new royal baby has been born.  Good news for Kate and William and also for the betting shops.  Apparently a large number of people bet on a girl being born on the estimated due date July 13th, and the punters seem to believe the gender would be female.  As a consequence, a large amount of money was made by UK betting shops.   The next bet is, of course, on his name.  Some websites seem to suggest the bookmakers favoured the name James, such as a website in the Netherlands (  A Canadian website suggested a few days before the birth that “James or George were the favourites” for a boy (  On the webpages of one of the UK’s larger betting shops today’s  (22nd July) top 13 boys’ names were: George, James, Alexander, Louis, Arthur, Henry, Phillip, Albert, Spencer, David, Thomas, Richard & Edward.


    Betting on aspects of the royal birth and baby is a way of being involved in the same way that betting on your football team to win its first away-game of the season is part of being a supporter for some.  Luckily, there are many more options to waste your money, punters can also put money on the colour of his hair, baby’s first word, and if you want to wait a little longer for your money:  the name of his first love, age of first nightclub visit photograph, first official visit overseas, whether the prince will ever compete in the Olympics, and the university where he will study.



    Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

    Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

    School of Health & Social Care

    Bournemouth University, UK






    A Women’s Academic Network at BU

    This September marks the launch of a Women’s Academic Network here at BU. The launch event will be hosted by Professor John Vinney  and Sue Sutherland, OBE and is open to all BU academic staff.

     Why do we need a women’s academic network?

     Bespoke networks for women are common across business and within the media, both in the UK and across Europe and the USA.  Within the profession, there are networks for women in science and philosophy (for example). These bespoke networks exist in recognition that professional women regularly face gender related challenges in the workplace. Thus women’s networks also function to support women  and  to raise their profile within organisations and beyond, as well as to lobby on gender inequality issues. Despite decades of lobbying and the notable achievements gained by women in the workplace, women in academia have not managed to make significant gains across the sector.  This extraordinary situation has recently been highlighted in Nature and most recently, in the Times Higher Education through a series of features highlighting the seriousness of multiple career obstacles impacting on female academic staff in particular.

      How did we create WAN?

    The network we are developing here is informed by work I undertook at UEA, as co-Chair of a Research Network for Women. I began by approaching a number of women across the University, and our initial meeting began with a discussion as to how we would envisage such a network and what its purpose would be We then ran a University wide survey, again to establish demand for such a group. We relied on the survey being passed forward and while we recognise that not everyone may have been able to participate, there was sufficient response from colleagues to identify a demand and need for such a forum to be established (see here for results). 

     What are our aims?

    The aims of WAN are to support women and women’s interests, in all their diversity, across BU. 
    As a distinct and separate entity we will also work alongside and support, Athena Swan, DDE and the Equalities Office.

     How will we do this?

    Through a programme of events we will be seeking to:
    Raise the profile of women across the University
    Create a regular networking forum
    Identify important career issues for women academics with a view to further consultation


    What does WAN look like?

    Our current committee (based on attendance at the last committee meeting) is as follows:

    Co-Convenors (elected for one year in the first instance)

    Amber Burton
    Sara Crabtree
    Heather Savigny

    Committee Members

    Carrie Hodges
    Vanora Hundley
    Julie Robson
    Elizabeth Rosser
    Chris Shiel
    Gail Thomas
    Shelley Thompson
    Kate Welham
    Amanda Wilding
    Huiping Xian
    Tiantian Zhang


    How can you get involved?

    Come to the launch event and learn more about WAN and how you can contribute to the network.


    When is the launch?

    September 26th
    Where: venue tbc
    What time: 5-7pm. Children and other dependents are welcome
    To help us with catering and room bookings, please register by contacting Jo Downey (

    Further details including room and speaker information will be provided nearer the time

     If you would like to offer an event, please contact Sara Crabtree, Amber Burton or Heather Savigny (;; )