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Writing English as a Foreign Language

On Wednesday 23rd July 2014, 12:30-14:00, taking place at the Russell Cotes Museum, in Bournemouth.

A Writing Academy Lunchbyte session where Prof. Matthew Bennett will talk about his personal publishing experience, his approaches to research and writing, how to develop a publication strategy and the challenges of working with colleagues and dealing with both reviewers and editors.  He will talk about all type of publishing from journal articles, to books via edited compilations.  Drawing on personal experience he will also focus on how you target high impact journals.   After the presentation, attendees are invited to stay and discuss the topic with the speaker over lunch.

Facilitated by: Professor Matthew Bennett

To book on please visit our Staff Development & Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

South Asian midwifery at ICM 2014

Photo from UNFPA Lao PDR

In early June I published a short overview of Bournemouth University’s contribution to the ICM (International Congress of Midwives) conference in Prague (Czech Republic) (see: ).  In addition we highlighted the Nepal contribution in a separate BU Research Blog ( ).   Today a belated update of our presence at the Special Session on South Asian Midwifery at the ICM conference last month, as I just received photos from our friends at UNFPA Lao PDR.

South Asia posters at ICM conference (photo: UNFPA Lao PDR)

One of the speakers at the South Asian Midwifery session was our friend Kiran Bajracharya, president of the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON).  Several of our posters describing our work in Nepal were on display.  Bournemouth University friends were involved in the organisation of the event, such as Swedish midwife Malin Bogren and the editor of the newly launched midwifery journal Journal of Asian Midwifery, Dr. Rafat Jan. The session was concluded by another BU collaborator Petra the Hoope-Bender of Integrare.

Professor Edwin van Teijlingen


HE Developments from last week




According to the High Fliers report the graduate job market has recovered to its pre-recession peak but competition for these graduate jobs has remained high, with 39 applications per vacancy.

·         Graduate jobs recover to ‘pre-recession peak’ (BBC)

·         Employers receive 39 applications for every graduate job (Telegraph)

·         Nearly 40 graduates fighting over each job (Times)

Student Loans

Over 5,000 over-50s have taken out up to £67 million a year in student loans in order to undertake university degrees, despite concerns that they will never repay. Rising numbers of over-50s taking out student loans (Telegraph)

University Enterprise Zones

The four new University Enterprise Zones have been announced in Bradford, Bristol, Nottingham and Liverpool. New University Enterprise Zones launched (THE)


DfE figures have shown a 15% increase in the number of school leavers undertaking apprenticeships. More pupils taking apprenticeships straight from school (Telegraph)



University Alliance launches Job Ready report. 

Today University Alliance will launch its new report Job Ready: Universities, employers and students creating success publication at the House of Commons.  This is a new study based on in-depth interviews with small and large employers, including  British Airways, IBM, Marks and Spencer and Bank of America, shows employers are putting graduates at the heart of their strategies to innovate and grow. The report will be launched with speeches by Universities Minister Rt Hon David Willetts, University Alliance, CBI, and British Airways.

Technical Degrees

Ed Miliband will announce today in a speech to the Sutton Trust that young workers would be able to “earn and learn” by studying for a degree for part of the week and working for the rest. The Government would subsidise the new technical degrees to meet the demand for hundreds of thousands of STEM technicians needed and employers would design and sponsor them. Mr Miliband warns the country risks “going into decline” unless it creates greater opportunities for the so-called “forgotten 50% of young people who choose not to follow a traditional academic route. 

·  Labour to offer ‘earn and learn’ technical degrees (Independent)

·  Ed Miliband unveils plan for technical degrees if Labour wins 2015 election (Guardian)

·  Labour will introduce ‘technical degrees’, Miliband to say (FT)

·  Labour proposes ‘technical degrees‘(BBC)

·  Labour plans to introduce German-style degrees (Telegraph)

·  Labour launches Technical Degree Policy (THE)


Interestingly UCU have published the results of poll showing that more than half of young people would rather do an apprenticeship than go to university, if there was an apprenticeship in a job they wanted to do. UCU says the poll highlighted the desire for more high-skilled apprenticeships and the support for higher level apprenticeships as a credible alternative to a degree. UCU


Further coverage calling for the Russell Group to open up their data on offers following the publication of figures from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge showing the British ethnic minorities are significantly less likely than their white British peers to be offered places. Today’s Guardian piece is a breakdown of Russell Group offers and in the Telegraph piece, Prof Les Ebdon, the Government’s fair access tsar said universities should be committed to “searching out academic potential wherever it is found” to create a better social mix on campuses. 

·  Show us the data on Russell Group offers to ethnic minority students (Guardian) 

·  Access tsar: admit university students based on ‘potential’, (Telegraph)


Student Loans

The chairman of the Student Loans Company (SLC), Christian Brodie, has apologised to ministers and offered to resign over ‘misleading’ “Wonga-style” letters demanding repayment from graduates that were in arrears. In a written statement, the Universities Minister, David Willetts, said he and Vince Cable did not accept his offer to stand down and that the government believed Brodie had a “very important” job to do at the SLC and it would be unfair for him to take the blame for a practice that was nearly 10 years old.

·  Student Loans Company chief offered to resign over ‘misleading’ debt letters (The Guardian)

·  Student loan boss ‘offered to resign‘ (BBC News)

·  Student Loans Chief Offered to quit over Wonga-style letters (Telegraph)

·  Student Loans Chairman offered to resign over debt letters (FT)

·  Ministers back Student Loans chief over ‘Wonga-style’ debt collection (Daily Mail)

·  SLC chairman offered to step down over ‘Smith Lawson’ letters (THE)



The ICO have ruled that King’s College London should publish details of staff who earn more than £100,000 a year. Salaries of high-earning professors may be disclosed (THE)

International Students

According to an Observatory on Borderless Higher Education report new policies in Asia aimed at stemming the brain drain of students and expanding domestic HE will lead to stagnation or decline in the number choosing to study in the UK. Stronger Asian systems could reduce student numbers in UK (THE)



UCAS figures – University applications

Widespread coverage of UCAS figures that show applications for university places are up by 4% on last year, with 659,030 submitted by the end of June. They also show that more women have applied than men and that more Scots than ever before have applied to study at university. 

·  UCAS: women more likely to apply to university than men (Telegraph)

·  University applications rise 4% in the UK (BBC News)

·  University applications up 4% to over 650,000 (Guardian)

·  Boys losing out in university gender gap (Daily Mail print and online edition) 

·  University applications hit new high (Daily Mail – online)

·  University applications up 4 per cent at final deadline (THE)

·  University applications are rising (Yahoo)

·  Free tuition hailed as student numbers rise to a new high (Times – Scotland section (subscription))

Writing English as a Foreign Language Workshop

A Writing English as a Foreign Language Workshop is Taking place on the Wednesday 16th July 2014, from 12:30-14:00 on Talbot Campus.

Presented by Paul Barnes from the Library this Writing Academy lunch byte session will look at;

Academic style, levels of formality (register), grammar – including tense usage, passive voice, prepositions and relative clauses and vocabulary choice.
After the presentation, attendees are invited to stay and discuss the topic with the speaker over lunch.

One to one appointments with Paul are also available for attendees.
These are available between 13.00 – 14.00, to book a slot please email Shelly Stringer.

To book on to the above workshop please visit the Staff Development & Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.

Grading and Online Feedback with Turnitin

A Grading and Online Feedback with Turnitin Session is taking place over several dates; Thursday 10th July 2014 11:00-12:00, Monday 14th July 2014 10:00-11:00 & Tuesday 22nd July 2014 all in The Octagon, Sir Michael Cobham, Library  Talbot Campus.

These sessions are aimed at academic staff who are using or considering using Turnitin online submissions and would like to know more about how to mark and provide online feedback using the tools available in Turnitin via a computer or an iPad.

No need to book, just come along on the date and time that suits you best.

For more information please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Associate Conference 2014

I recently travelled to Brighton for the annual Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Associate Conference.  This conference is designed for all KTP Associates with a view to share experiences and celebrate successes.

The conference welcomed circa 50 delegates of both current and past KTP Associates and people like me who wanted to find out more about KTP.  The day started with a series of presentations from past and current KTP Associates about their experiences and achievements.  The scope of the projects talked about were broad and it was down to former Associate, Jugal Desai to open the conference and talk about his KTP experience and how it changed his life and made him reach his career goal.

Before lunch, 30 KTP Associates were given 2 minutes each to give an overview of their project and invite delegates to view their poster following lunch.  This continued into a poster competition where delegates formed part of the judging panel to highlight the top 3 posters in a ballot.  BU was represented by one of our KTP Associates, Neil Smiley who is working on a classic KTP with a local security company.

It was great to see the variety of topics supported by KTP and demonstrated the scope of innovation in this country.

The next KTP Associate conference will be held in Glasgow in 2015.

HE Policy and Press Summary – last week



The launch of University Alliance’s HELP UK proposals was picked up in the Conversation last week:


Social Mobility

The persistent focus on getting disadvantaged pupils into ‘top universities’ continues after research looking at the educational trajectories of disadvantaged children by the IFS is published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. 


The report suggests that “nearly 2,200 fewer poor children are attending elite universities than would be expected if they followed the same educational trajectory throughout secondary school as their better-off peers with similar levels of attainment at age 11.”


International & Immigration

HEPI have today released results of a survey which indicates that 78% of Conservative candidates think international students should be excluded from any target for reducing migration. 


Sascha Auerbach, a lecturer in modern British history at the University of Nottingham comments in the Guardian that teaching at US universities is “broad and superficial compared with the UK.”


Teaching & Learning

A report, by scientific bodies including the Academy of Medical Sciences, says the quality of graduates is under threat by universities undervaluing the importance of teaching in academic careers.


Whilst an analysis of previously unpublished surveys of students and reveals that many tutorials and lectures are being taken by postgraduates rather than lecturers and professors. 




Widening Participation

The Department of Education has released official date showing that disadvantaged pupils in inner London are more likely to go to university than much better off youngsters outside the capital.


Dr Sarah Lewthwaite, an independent researcher in disability, accessibility and higher education, warns in The Guardian that “cuts to the Disabled Students’ Allowance have repercussions for higher education as a whole, not just students.”



Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice Provost of UCL argues, “for commercialisation to thrive it is vital that the UK invests appropriately in the entire pipeline of development, from early-phase frontier research through to technology development and thereafter commercialisation.”



Staff pay

Peter Scott, Professor of higher education studies at the Institute of Education, complains that “Universities have avoided financial crises by skimping on wages and outsourcing jobs while vice-chancellors’ pay has soared.”




Value for Money

A new survey by Which? Has found that nearly half of 1st and 2nd year students don’t think their degree is worth the money they’ll pay back, although nearly three-quarters say it will get them the career they want. University value for money questioned by students (Which?)


Election Policy

Lord Adonis has asked for a Labour government to set a science and research budget for the entire Parliament, and to give universities a bigger role in driving local growth. Labour should set science budget ‘for full Parliament’ (THE)


Women in STEM

A new study has revealed that women are massively underrepresented in the laboratories of the highest-achieving male biology professors in the US. Prize-winners’ labs ‘least likely to hire women’ (THE)


Careers Services

In a comment piece a 2nd year undergraduate has written about the need for university style careers services to be extended into schools. He also calls on other universities to follow the example of institutions such as Oxford Brookes and offer entrepreneurship focused modules. The ‘real world’ needn’t be so daunting (Telegraph Comment)


Comparison Test

Oxbridge and other UK universities are opposing attempts by the OECD to introduce Pisa-style tests to compare students from HE institutions around the world. Top UK universities oppose global comparison tests, says OECD (FT – Attached)





The a HEFCE study of the NSS has shown that UK students in general are more satisfied with their university experience over the past decade, with overall satisfaction levels having risen by 5 percentage points between 2005 and 2013.

–       Student satisfaction ‘is on the rise’, survey shows (BBC)

–       Student satisfaction with university education on rise (Guardian)


The study was released alongside a review of the NSS which has recommended adjusting the NSS questions to counter a trend in students giving the same answer to every question. Spike in NSS ‘yea-sayers’ could weaken survey data (THE)


Student Visas

In a comment piece John Gill of THE argues that universities must take responsibility for oversight of international students. Leader: Visa issues at heart of problem (THE)


Fears that London branch campuses run by UK universities could have been targeted by criminals running visa scams have arisen as the Home Office investigation begins. Visa fraudsters ‘preying on’ London branch campuses (THE)


Government Policy

A survey of vice-chancellors has revealed striking levels of anger and frustration with the government and their policies. Vice-chancellors voice frustrations with policies (THE)


Future Graduates

David Sweeney, director for research, innovations and skills at HEFCE, has urged the sector to focus on producing graduates who will engage with society. University still a bastion of social elite, says Hefce official (THE)





HESA employment PIs, released earlier in the week, have shown that on average 92% of students were in employment 6 months after graduating. 8% of UK graduates still unemployed six months after finishing university (Independent)


Maths Education

A Nuffield Foundation report has found that changes to GCSE and A-level maths might put students off the subject. Maths changes ‘may put students off’, warns report (BBC)


IHPRC celebrates 5th birthday

The International History of Public Relations Conference (IHPRC) celebrated its fifth birthday on the first day of the 2014 conference on Wednesday, July 2.

The conference chair, Prof Tom Watson, was joined in cutting the celebration cake by Prof Don Wright (BostonUniversity), Associate Professor Meg Lamme (UniversityofAlabama) and Associate Professor Natalia Rodriguez Salcedo (UniversityofNavarra), who were members of an advisory panel consulted on the establishment of the conference in 2009.

 The conference, which was opened by the Dean of The Media School, Stephen Jukes, has been attended by delegates from more than 12 countries. Some 33 papers and a Keynote Panel have been presented.

More than 150 papers have been offered by delegates from 30 countries in the past five years. The conference has established the field of PR history and spurred a big growth in journal and book publishing, with two more books launched at the 2014 conference.

 Planning is already beginning for the 2015 conference to be held on July 7-8.

(L-R) Prof Don Wright, Prof Tom Watson, Assoc Prof Meg Lamme & Assoc Prof Natalia Rodriguez Salcedo


Latest HSC Midwifery paper in Open Access

Our latest paper in Midwifery ‘Translation and validation of the German version of the Mother-Generated Index and its application during the postnatal period’ is now freely available through Open Access on the Midwifery (Elsevier) webpages.


The lead author Susanne Grylka-Baeschlin, together with my colleagues Kathrin Stoll and Mechthild M. Gross, secured funding from COST to make this paper Open Access. The paper was part of Susanne’s M.Sc. project at the Midwifery Research and Education Unit, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


We would like to thank the ISCH Cost Action ISO907 (Childbirth Cultures, Concerns, and Consequences: Creating a dynamic EU framework for optimal maternity care) for funding the Open Access.   COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) is one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. For further information on COST in general see:   UCLan lead this particular COST Action and Prof. Soo Downe is the Chair of the Action (


For my colleagues at Bournemouth University please, note there is also funding available for Open Access publishing within the university:



Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen


Today’s slides from ROMEO project


Thank you very much for all of you who attended today’s presentation of the joint project between the University of Aberdeen, Bournemouth University and the University of Stirling.  For those who missed the session or who asked for a copy of the slides after the session, please find these included in the BU Research Blog.

ROMEO Edwin June 2014

The project was funded by National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme (09/127/01).  Therefore, I must point out that “views and opinions expressed therein (and here) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HTA programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.”


As with all HTA reports the final report and a ten-page summary are both freely available online, see:


Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health.


National Security: Advancing Capabilities to Meet Current and Future Threats


On Thursday 3rd July, the BU Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) will be exhibiting at the National Security: Advancing Capabilities to Meet Current and Future Threats conference in London.

The conference will offer delegates an opportunity to investigate the key threats and risks to the UK’s national security. They will also learn of the latest developments in developing the UK’s cyber security and the role technology can play in protecting infrastructure and ensuring business and service continuity.

Facing the issue of developing the UK’s cyber security, there are two important areas which need to be tackled – the shortage of security practitioners and the increasing skills gap between existing knowledge and new cyber threats.

In response to these issues, BUCSU will be launching at the conference its ‘job retention through education plan’.  The unit is already working closely with the Police and there is traction to work with other government agencies too; this conference will provide an excellent opportunity to engage with these agencies and UK businesses.

Teachers’ Pension Scheme for Academic Staff

Craig Tiley from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will be visiting BU on Monday 7th July 2014, 10:00-11:00, Talbot Campus to give a presentation on pension provision for staff.

All Academic staff are welcome to attend, regardless of whether they are already members or are thinking of joining the scheme.

The presentation will be approximately 45 minutes with some additional time available to ask questions.

You may also be interested in the following websites for more information:

To book on or for more information please visit the Staff Development and Engagement Pages on the Staff Intranet.