Yesterday CoPMRE welcomed 30 colleagues to our Visiting Faculty bi-annual event showcasing the exciting medical developments at BU from the new Bournemouth Gateway Building to the Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation. The key priorities to support delivery of BU2025 were presented by Dr Clare Wedderburn, Interim Head of Department of Medicine & Public Health presented. Juan Campos-Perez, Clinical Research Co-ordinator, BUCRU spoke about Biobanks which were highlighted in Professor Emma King’s research presentation on immunotherapy. Professor Jeffrey Wale, Lecturer in Law encouraged innovative medical cross faculty collaboration demonstrated by his recent research collaboration with Professor Sam Rowlands, Visiting Professor resulting in four co-authored papers. The main focus of the meeting centred around Visiting Faculty engagement in research and education to help us achieve our aims. The audience reported that they were ‘very excited’ about these new developments at BU and were keen to support this vision.
Tagged / Fusion
Mary Beth Gouthro PhD of the Faculty of Management was invited to join an expert panel for the MICE Leadership Summit 2019 this September at the May Fair Hotel (Edwardian Hotels Group) in London. Now in its second year, the one day Summit was attended by 200 agents working in the event industry and came from UK, South Africa and Israel.
The MICE (Meetings Incentives Conferencing & Exhibitions) Summit consisted of speakers, the panel and workshop content that addressed the opportunities and challenges of the industry go forward, through to 2025. The events sector is worth £39.1 billion to the UK economy in terms of direct spend by event delegates, attendees and organisers (BVEP). Nurturing talent in the workforce as well as issues related to sustainability were key themes covered on the day.
Joining Mary Beth on the panel providing insights to the future proofing for the events sector were Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events for London & Partners; Jamie Vaughan, Head of European Sales for Cvent and Michael Begley, Managing Director of venuedirectory.com. The panel was chaired by Max Fellows, Director of Client Services at MCI Experience. The value and role of degree education in the field of events management was furthermore highlighted. Post-secondary education in the field underpins the economic sustainability of the International Business Events Action Plan published by DCMS alongside of the Tourism Sector Deal in summer 2019.
The next Summit is planned for September 2020 and plans to incorporate a bigger presence of HE education in event management, ie to include BU students & alumni.
Dr Huseyin Dogan and Dr Paul Whittington from the BU Human Computing Interaction Research Group, hosted the second Assistive Technology Symposium at Talbot Campus in support of the BU2025 Strategic Investment Area of Assistive Technology. The Symposium was a fusion of research domains, including digital health, education technologies and user experience.
The Symposium was opened by a keynote presentation by Steve Tyler, Assistive Technology Director at Leonard Cheshire, who discussed the current developments in Assistive Technologies and the potential challenges. Steve also described the Leonard Cheshire projects, including MySense, a Predictive Health Analytics system that non-intrusively monitors to provide a holistic view of the person.
Other presentations during the day included the current BU research projects of SmartAbility and FACETS, as well as by the BU Additional Learning Support department, who discussed learning strategies through metacognition. We also welcomed speakers from the Dorset Integrated Care System, London Grid for Learning and Diversity and Ability. The Symposium was concluded by a panel discussion with the speakers, to discuss the developments and challenges of assistive technology.
The Symposium delegates have expressed positive feedback from the event, including “a number of very useful and insightful presentations”, “the Symposium was beneficial because it was an opportunity to meet like-minded people” and “good to know what is going on at BU”.
BUHCI would like to thank all of the speakers and delegates for a successful Assistive Technology Symposium and we will host the third Symposium in 2020.
The presentations from the Symposium can be downloaded here.
Flourishing with Fusion is the theme for this year’s research showcase for Mid-Career Academics.
This event will explore how fusion works in practice, and how engaging with research at BU can enhance your career. It will showcase the exciting work of a number of BU academics, and there will be a panel for Q & A.
POSTPONED from Wednesday 4th September – a new date will be announced shortly. Contact RKEDF for more information.
Denyse King from the Centre of Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal (CMMPH) recently presented her CILVRS Project at a Parliamentary event. The CILVRS Project is a Virtual Reality Learning Environment (VRLE) to improve healthcare education. Denyse presented this at the Further Education for Leadership symposium on Ed-Tech at Parliament on July 17th 2019. She introduced a VRLE on ‘safeguarding’ to share with delegates there who then experienced the VRLE through immersion with Oculus Quest headsets. The response from symposium delegates to the VRLE was overwhelmingly positive and with excellent discussions regarding the possible content of future VRLEs. Denyse has written this VRLE content as part of her role as a lecturer in midwifery. This was subsequently built to her specifications by a company called Daden Ltd. The VRLE are designed to be profession generic and topic specific, which ensures that the majority of healthcare students can use each VRLE. Denyse King is sitting on the far right of the table of experts for the Further Education Trust for Leadership (photo).
VRLEs offer healthcare students access learning materials in ways which enhance their student experience. Use of VRLE mean Bournemouth University can offer students clinical experiences which cannot otherwise be guaranteed as routine part of their healthcare education. In addition to this, Continuous Practice Development (CPD) is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council [1-2] and the World Health Organization (WHO)  have highlighted that learners globally have limited access to Higher Education. The WHO also state that educators internationally lack skills and necessary equipment as well as a lack of access to practical skills teaching. Therefore, VRLE also have a place in offering realistic clinical experiences for CPD nationally and internationally. One example of the latter would be through Bournemouth University a close working relationships in Nepal: (1) where midwifery students can also benefit; or (2) in the development of CPD in nursing and midwifery in Nepal as recently presented on the BU Research Blog (click here).The CILVRS Project is another excellent example of the BU FUSION with Research resulting in improvements in Education, which in turn are leading to better Practice.
The response from symposium delegates to the VRLE was overwhelmingly positive and with excellent discussions regarding the possible content of future VRLEs. Denyse is very active in this field. She has created a VRLE for urinalysis training as well as three VRLE related to safeguarding (which are nearly complete) as part of the CILVRS Project. She is developing further VRLEs I: two for perinatal mental health which I am creating in collaboration with University of Newcastle (Australia), Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. Some of this is being trialled within the BU midwifery programme in the forth coming year 2019/2020, and this exciting work is part of her doctorate research: Towards more holistic clinical practice: exploring the impact of virtual reality learning environments on healthcare education.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- NMC 2018a. Standards for competence for registered midwives. London: NMC
- NMC 2018b. Future Nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses. London: NMC
- World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), UNICEF, and International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). 2019. Framework for Action: Strengthening Quality Midwifery Education for Universal Health Coverage 2030. Geneva: WHO.
Following the government’s industrial strategy grand challenge on Ageing Society, this year’s conference will be exploring the theme of frailty. The key areas will be:
- Current health needs – the demographic and societal challenge
- Predicting transition to frailty
- The role of digital technology in maintaining independence
Professor Martin Vernon, National Director for Older People, NHS England
Professor Mark Hawley, Professor of Health Services Research (ScHARR), Director Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Care (CATCH), University of Sheffield
Sixteenth Annual Symposium, Frailty: Enhancing Lives, Wednesday 9 October, Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre (EBC), Lansdowne, Bournemouth.
Register now for your free place
BU is going through a process of re-commissioning its research centres this month. Existing centres, like ours CMMPH (the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health) were required to submit evidence of their contribution to BU’s research capacity to deliver our strategic plan BU2025.
This process was an interesting stock-take exercise and offered an opportunity to reflect on our successes. Our friends and associates will be aware of some of our work through our collaborations, joint publications, posts on BU’s award-winning Research Blog as well as our newsletter three times a year. The phrase commonly heard on the television programme Love Island, “You’re my type on paper”, reflects the notion here that a description on paper never quite reflects reality. The same goes for the research centre description of CMMPH, on a structured application form some of the subtle success can be overlooked. First of all, being a research centre is the main function of CMMPH, but certainly not the only one.
CMMPH is much more a university centre in the sense of FUSION, bringing together and creating a synergetic effect between research, Education and Practice. This FUSION enables research to be meaningful and has the ability to impact on the student experience through education as well as ‘real life’ issues and challenges in midwifery practice. This notion of being more than a research centre is reflected in our newsletters which always have sections on Research, Education and Practice.
To highlight this synergetic effect of being a properly fused centre, CMMPH has built a reputation for developing innovative student-led clinics: i) Student Midwife integrated Learning Environment (SMiLE) postnatal clinic in collaboration with Portsmouth NHS Trust; and ii) Newborn infant feeding clinic, in collaboration with the AECC University College. These clinics are underpinned by a growing body of evidence (=Research) from studies undertaken within CMMPH, which identifies their effectiveness in terms of a unique learning environment (=Education) to offer women better maternity care (=Practice). Both student-led clinics are being evaluated by PhD students at BU, one being match-funded with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the other a self-funded chiropractic student.
On a different note, in the past four years our academics have been involved in organising five international conferences. CMMPH held two, high profile, international conferences focusing on research in midwifery education (2015, 2018); it organised the BNAC (British-Nepal Academic Council) conference at Bournemouth University in April 2017 (https://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2017/03/24/nepal-conference-at-bu/ and CMMPH staff co-organised a conference in India on Mixed-Methods Research at the Mahatma Gandhi University (2019), and an education conference in Nepal (2018). Prof. Steve Tee, FHSS Executive Dean and National Teaching Fellow, gave a key note speech at the 2018 International Conference on ‘Challenges and Prospects of Quality Education in Nepal in Federalism Era in Nepal’.
CMMPH was on the BU Research Blog this week celebrating its latest media and midwifery publication (to see click here!). This paper is paper of a growing body of interdisciplinary research at BU across faculties and across the UK (see photo left). In addition last month Dr. Chris Chapleo from the Faculty of Management submitted a grant application to the ESRC under the title ‘Rebranding childbirth: understanding the role of marketing in influencing uptake of health services’, a joint application with CMMPH staff (Hundley & van Teijlingen) and Dr. Ann Luce in the Faculty of Media & Communication.
CMMPH is internationally recognised for its midwifery and maternity care research, education and publications. It has strong international links which includes active partnership agreements (MoA) with the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Nepal and University of Texas Health Science Centre, School of Nursing in the USA.
Did I mention that CMMPH academics sit on the editorial boards of (or are editors of) all top four world-leading midwifery research journals: Birth, Midwifery, Women and Birth and BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. Not only is this unique in the UK, as no other midwifery research group can claim this, it is also unique at BU as no other research centre can claim this kind of global coverage! And, last but not least CMMPH staff can claim to have written the eighth most quoted article in the international journal Midwifery (out if 2,626 published papers over the past 35 years).
All in all, on paper, 100% a centre to be proud of.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
This week Evidence-Based Midwifery published the latest article from the BU team working on the portrayal of midwifery and maternity in the media. This qualitative paper ‘Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it?’ is co-authored by a multidisciplinary team including the disciplines of Midwifery, Sociology and Media. The lead author is Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), one of longest established centres at BU, her co-authors are Dr. Ann Luce in the Faculty of Media & Communication, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen director of CMMPH and Sophie Edlund, who was based at BU at the time of the research but who is now at Malmö University in Sweden.
The paper addresses societal’s interest in all aspects of childbirth, which is reflected in both social and traditional media. Stories often focus on dramatic, risky and mostly unrealistic events; misrepresenting childbirth and maternity care professionals. The authors raised the question: “Whose responsibility is it to ensure accurate representations of childbirth?” Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with ten midwives working in the UK some working in the NHS, some in Higher Education or independent practice, the authors distilled four separate but inter-related themes:
(1) not my responsibility;
(2) fear of retribution;
(3) power balance; and
(4) social media.
The themes sat within two wider societal issues that reflect the current challenges for midwifery, these were (a) the ongoing battle between the social and the medical models of childbirth and (b) the impact of gender. Finding that midwives fear the media resonates with experiences from a number of countries and professional groups. There is a need to change media discourse in both fictional and factual representations of childbirth and midwives have a critical role to play in this, but to do this they need to equip themselves with the skills necessary to engage with the media. Guidelines on responsible media reporting could ensure that media producers portray pregnancy, midwifery and maternity care as naturally as possible.
This paper is paper of a growing body of interdisciplinary research at BU across faculties, which had already resulted in six earlier publications. [2-7] In addition last month Dr Chapleo from the Faculty of Management submitted a grant application to the ESRC under the title ‘Rebranding childbirth: understanding the role of marketing in influencing uptake of health services’, a joint application with CMMPH staff (Profs. Hundley & van Teijlingen) and the Media School (Dr. Luce).
- Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E., Edlund, S. (2019) Changing the narrative around childbirth: whose responsibility is it? Evidence-based Midwifery 17(2): 47-52.
- Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C. (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
- van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2016) Media, Health & Health Promotion in Nepal, Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences 2(1): 70-75. http://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JMMIHS/article/view/15799/12744
- Luce, A., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (Eds.) (2017) Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hundley, V., Duff, E., Dewberry, J., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Fear in childbirth: are the media responsible? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 24(4): 444-447.
- Hundley, V., Luce, A., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) Do midwives need to be more media savvy? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 25(1):5-10.
- van Teijlingen, E., De Vries, R., Luce, A., Hundley, V. (2017) Meer bemoeien met media (In Dutch: more engagement with media). Tijdschrift voor Verloskundigen (in Dutch: Journal for Midwives), 41 (6):28-29.
Great project meeting and presentation of research findings on Hybrid Warfare, Political Warfare and how adversaries threaten international institutions. Prof Håkan Gunneriusson Swedish Defence University and Researcher Bournemouth University CROLS presented his research on how Hybrid Threats can be used to undermine international institutions. The work is being undertaken with a view to bring the findings of the joint Nordic Hybrid Threat network into the Asia-Pacific realm by Håkan Gunneriusson and Sascha-Dominik Dov Bachmann
The Spring newsletter of the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) is available online now, click here! Also you can read more about our Centre on our webpages. CMMPH embraces the notion of FUSION as a key Bournemouth University centre. This is illustrated in each newsletter which always has sections on the three segments of Fusion: Education, Practice and Research.
CoPMRE held its Spring Visiting Faculty Morning at the EBC with a theme of Surgical Futures. One of our guest speakers was Dr Jason Moore, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University (USA) who presented his research on how robotics can enhance the training of future surgeons. He discussed the mechanical development of an advanced robotic medical simulation training system which allows the user to virtually practice on a diverse number of human anatomies whilst offering guided feedback. . A full report for this event can be found here VF Report Spring 2019
The next event will be held on 3rd December 2019.
The Universities Minister, has delivered the first in a series of four planned speeches on how the UK can best achieve its ambition to invest 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027. It was a surprising speech in some ways, short on announcements, although there were some, and long on wishful thinking. We’ve pulled out some bits below. For a healthy dose of cynicism/realism we recommend the annotated version by HE for Research Professional.
Investment – To achieve our target of 2.4%, total UK R&D investment would need to rise to around £60bn in today’s money. More than double our current investment levels. This would require us to have invested an additional sum of over £80bn cumulatively each year from 2017 across the public and private sectors.
People – It doesn’t matter how much money we pump into R&D over the years ahead, it won’t make the intended difference if we don’t have the right people in place. Ensuring a strong pipeline of talent will be essential for bolstering the UK’s research prowess. We are also going to have to substantially increase the numbers of people we have working in R&D in the same period – perhaps by as much as 50%. To put that in figures, that means we need to find at least another 260,000 researchers to work in R&D across universities, across business and across industry.
International staff and students – We are making it easier for international graduates to move into skilled work. International students studying for undergraduate level and above will be able to apply for a visa three months before their course finishes – enabling them to take up skilled work after their degree. They will also be able to apply for a skilled work visa out-of-country under the same preferential conditions as they would experience if they were to apply for a visa in-country. In addition, a reformed sponsorship system will provide a simplified and more streamlined system. This will be less burdensome for employers and will enable businesses to harness the talent they need more easily. We set out a clear ambition in our International Education Strategy earlier this spring: to grow the numbers of international students studying in UK universities to 600,000 by the end of the next decade.
Our current research culture relies on dominant power structures, where doctoral candidates and post-docs are largely dependent on supervisors or PIs for references and progression. This puts the power firmly in other people’s hands. Is it any wonder, then, that less than half of doctoral researchers report they would be likely to disclose any mental health and wellbeing issues to their supervisors? This closed culture urgently needs to change. So, I hope future joint work by the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England into the mental health and wellbeing of doctoral researchers can identify good practice to take forward in this area.
….the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, first launched in 2008. …I am pleased that an independent review of the Concordat has just taken place to ensure it is up-to-date to meet the needs of today’s researchers. And I look forward to seeing the revised version of the Concordat when it is published later this summer. As Universities and Science Minister, I am serious about taking the Concordat forward. And I am pleased to be hosting a high-level meeting with the Chair of the Concordat Strategy Group, Professor Julia Buckingham. Alongside Sir Patrick Vallance and other key sector leaders, to discuss how we can further improve research careers in the UK.
I also encourage the OfS, Research England, and UKRI as a whole to look more widely at how the implementation of current policies affect researchers on the ground. The three higher education excellence frameworks – namely the REF, TEF and the KEF – are all integral to the way we govern and fund higher education, science, research and innovation. But we need to make sure they are not disproportionately affecting early career researchers and putting extra strains on their work. The recent headlines about universities spending around £87m on non-disclosure agreements since 2017 doesn’t help us to project an image of a sector that cares for its employees.
Academia in industry
For too long, there has been a stigma in this country around pursuing non-academic research careers. So, we should never look down on early career researchers if they opt for a career outside academia. Rather, we should actively encourage our PhDs and post-docs to see the merits of pursuing an R&D career in other sectors and industries. For one, we need to stop talking about jobs outside academia as being ‘second choice careers’ or ‘Plan B options’. For our 2.4% target to work, we need people to be actively considering research careers across the entire science and innovation system.
So, isn’t it high time we start to better connect graduates with the evident skills gaps we are experiencing right across our labour market? Yet, this isn’t going to be easy when many of their main role models inside universities know very little about careers in industry. And are themselves either unaware or unconvinced of the strength of research positions outside academia. There are schemes that aim to address this issue – such as the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Visiting Professors scheme. This funds senior industry practitioners to participate in course development, face-to-face teaching and the mentoring of Engineering undergraduates at a host university. It is a great programme, but it is not widespread practice. The difficulties aren’t just on the side of universities. Some employers are unused to recruiting PhDs and don’t fully understand the benefits that those with higher academic qualifications can bring to their workforce. I think of this as the ‘graduate paradox’ – the higher the academic qualifications you have, the less professionally qualified you may seem. This, I feel, is a particular UK problem we need to address.
Gaps – We still have some way to go to eradicate gender pay gaps in the sector and increase the proportion of women in academic and research leadership. Not to mention the number of Black and Ethnic Minority role models that will inspire others and show them a research career can really be for people like them.
- The 41 winners of the first ever Future Leaders Fellowships have been announced. The fellowships aim to develop early career researchers who will become world-leaders in their fields, intending for their research to maintain the UK’s reputation for being at the forefront of science and innovation. The winners share £40 million, with the scheme costing £900 million over 3 years. The projects funded include using cloud computing to monitor changes of all glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic and how children’s adventurous play can lower levels of anxiety in young people.
- First call for the new Stephen Hawking Fellowships issued. Working with the Hawking family, UKRI will support up to 50 postdoctoral scientists in theoretical physics over the next five years.
Italian Partnership – Research England have announced their partnership with the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems, ANVUR, which will support research assessment and the evaluation of knowledge exchange in English and Italian universities. David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England commented: “ANVUR is at the leading edge in the international landscape of knowledge transfer assessment and it was very helpful to discuss Italy’s research evaluation.”
The DfE have published the Postgraduate Master’s Loan evaluation. The Master’s Degree Loan Scheme was launched by the Government in June 2016, and was the first time that Government provided finance to contribute to costs for postgraduate master’s study. The aims of the loan were to:
- Increase take up of master’s courses
- Enable progression onto master’s courses for those who could not afford to self-finance or would have to delay starting to save up for a master’s course
- Improve the supply of highly skilled individuals to the UK economy
The evaluation follows up the first cohort of master’s students who started in 2016/17 with the new loan and found positive outcomes.
- Data from the HESA Student Record shows that there was a substantial increase in the overall number of Master’s students enrolling at English HEIs. This growth was driven by a 36% increase in enrolments from England-domiciled loan eligible students. (However, these figures may be overinflated as 2015/16 master’s students may have deferred starting their study a year to benefit from the loan in the following year. The report notes BAME students were particularly likely to do this with 61% reporting they deferred entry specifically for this reason.)
- Most HEIs interviewed (75%) said the number of enrolments from students onto courses eligible for postgraduate loans increased in 2016/17. Among those which reported an increase in numbers, the majority (84%) attributed this at least in part to the introduction of the Master’s Loan.
- Students themselves confirmed the importance of the Loan in enabling them to study. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of students starting their course in 2016/17 felt that they would have been unable to undertake their specific Master’s course without the Master’s Loan, while around a third (36%) agreed that they would “never even thought about studying a Master’s” if the Master’s loan had not been available.
- While there were no substantial changes to the age or gender profile of students, the proportion of Black students increased substantially between 2015/16 and 2016/17 (but see above).
- Quicker – Analysis of the HESA student record indicates a trend towards a greater proportion of full-time study. While the proportion of loan-eligible England-domiciled students studying full-time remained relatively constant in the period prior to the introduction of the loan (at 54-56%), this proportion increased to 62% in 2016/17.
- Sooner – 90% of master’s loan recipients “agreed that the Master’s Loan had enabled 14 them to begin postgraduate study sooner”. Students in receipt of the Loan were more likely to have progressed from undergraduate to postgraduate study within a year (48%) than those not in receipt of the Loan (23%). The main reason for this given by students in the qualitative interviews was that without the Master’s Loan, they would have had to spend several years building their savings in order to afford it
- Students in receipt of the Loan were more likely to say that their main reason for studying was to improve their employment prospects (20% compared with 12% of those not in receipt of the Loan). Prior to loan introduction (2013/14 cohort) more stated their main motivation was interest in the subject.
- Almost all students (94%) expected to receive at least one benefit as a result of their programme, five years after completing their study. 74% believed they would be earning more money, and a similar proportion (73%) expected to have more job choices. Being in a more senior role and being in a more specialist role were each mentioned by 70% of students, and 68% anticipated they would be in a higher pay band.
- There was no change in the proportion receiving either funding from their HEI or funding from their employer to pay for tuition fees. Hence, so far, there is no indication of the Master’s Loan ‘crowding out’ other sources of funding.
- 70% of Master’s starters in 2016/17 also worked (35% FT, 35% PT) – it was only 58% that worked in 2013/14. The evaluation notes a higher proportion of starters in 2016/17 funded all or part of their tuition fees through employment than the comparator group of 2013/14. 52% of students stated that without the loan for their living expenses or fees they may not have been able to undertake the course. However, 46% would have self-funded or found other methods to fund their course leading to questions on whether the loan is providing funding for those who could have afforded the course anyway.
- Interestingly (messages for UG differential fees perhaps?) were that 41% of loan students would have changed their study to afford a masters (a) 25% choosing a cheaper course, (b) 19% choosing a different course, (c) 22% choose same course but at a different institution. BAME students were most likely (33%) to change their plans.
- The master’s loan contributes up to £10,000 towards the fees/living expenses of master’s study. However, most respondents stated it was not enough and the difficulties of working coupled with the intensity of master’s study meant they had to rely on parents to top them up financially. There are potentially messages in here about inclusivity, hidden barriers to disadvantaged students, and potentially an influence on dropout rates.
- The evaluation suggested there is evidence that the Loan will help the sustainability of the HE sector. Most HEIs benefited from increased student volumes in 2016/17 and half reported that they believe the Loan will lead to increased revenue for them. There is evidence to suggest that it has benefitted medium-tariff institutions in particular.
- There is some evidence that the Loan has had an effect of increasing fees for Master’s courses (HEIs more likely to report increases on these courses (57%) than on courses not eligible for fees (41%)). DfE note this may warrant further investigation.
Do you know your pilot from your parliamentary review? What are the metrics used in the latest version of TEF and did you know that the criteria have changed? We’ve been updating staff at BU on the latest on the TEF, and on the staff intranet policy pages you can find links to our latest slides and a more detailed briefing note, as well as a link to BU’s submission to the Parliamentary review call for views.
Everyone has a view on what happened in the local elections and what it means for national politics – it means get on with Brexit, it means abandon Brexit, it means everyone is just fed up and protest voting for smaller parties and independents…. Your policy team are a bit idealistic sometimes (despite watching a lot of politics), and we are subscribers to the “people are probably generally voting on local issues locally” theory. We hope so – because these local politicians will be responsible for things that will happen locally for the next 4 years. So feelings about the council mergers and hospital changes, for example, will have had an effect in Dorset and BCP.
Of course national politics will have had an impact. There may be a general dissatisfaction with the Conservatives and some of that may be Brexit-related, but it could also be driven by concerns about social care and local authority funding more generally. It doesn’t seem to make sense that across the country many people abandoned the Tories for the Lib Dems if they genuinely want a no-deal Brexit. They may have been formerly disaffected Lib Dem voters going home – but in that case they almost certainly don’t want a no deal Brexit. The focus on climate change recently will of course have helped the Greens – people voting for green candidates who will drive local changes.
If you want to look at trends, the Commons Library has a lovely map. Otherwise we suggest there is a huge risk in leaping to too many conclusions and we recommend everyone turns their mind to who they will vote for in the EU elections. There is still a chance that MEPs will take their seats and keep them for some time so they could have a voice in the EU Parliament. And here in the South-West we have some sparkling candidates. You can’t vote for them, though – because of the list system (see this Research Professional illustration if you missed it before). Tactical voting will be a thing in these elections.
Brexit is still missing
The impasse continues. It seems unlikely that there will be a breakthrough in the short term. It could be a long summer of speculation and not much happening until another frenzy of last-minute-itus breaks out in September ahead of the Halloween deadline.
Last weekend Theresa May came under further pressure to resign, or to state a specific date for her departure. TM at least thinks that the local election results were a verdict on how she (and Parliament) has handled Brexit. She apologised for poor Conservative local election results (the Conservatives lost 1,300+ seats) stating: It is clear that the voters delivered their judgment in large part based on what is happening – or not happening – at Westminster. And, as Prime Minister, I fully accept my share of the responsibility for that. Meanwhile Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab appeared in high-profile newspaper profile pieces over the bank holiday weekend with their families – not too subtle positioning for an upcoming leadership contest. The PM continues to refuse to set out a timetable for her departure and is unlikely to step down until the Withdrawal Agreement is passed. Her spokesperson said she is here to deliver Brexit in phase one and then she will make way for phase two.
It has been confirmed that the UK will participate in the EU elections. However apparently Theresa May intends to make a fourth attempt to pass her Brexit deal through Parliament ratifying the deal by end of June so that UK MEPs do not take their seats in July. Maybe.
Theresa May is expected to offer a customs union offer to Labour (for a temporary period); however, the Labour/Conservative front bench talks have extended beyond the original timescale and the issue of a second referendum continues to be a sticking point. There has been no breakthrough with the Government insisting the negotiations have been constructive and detailed, however, Rebecca Long Bailey (Labour) was critical stating the Government had made no movement on their red lines. Talks continue…
In the meantime:
- The UK Government has signed a deal with Ireland to guarantee reciprocal Irish and British citizens rights are retained in each country in the event of no-deal.
- EU Settlement Scheme: The EU settlement scheme is now fully open and live. The Home Office communications state that during the testing phase 95% of EU citizens were able to use the mobile app to prove their identity remotely within 10 minutes. The application link is here.
Mental Health & Well-being
HEPI have issued a policy note Measuring well-being in HE covering HE staff and students. They argue for a differentiation between mental health and well-being so that the sector can better consider and understand the broader overall health of staff and students. They recommend more data is collected and published, ideally the markers being consistent across the UK and multi-year for applicants and graduates (as well as students and staff):
“Consistency across the UK allows for comparison in well-being between the different regulatory and funding systems across the four countries. International measurements would similarly allow for comparison between different models of higher education. Data collectors should work together to enable tracking of cohorts, allowing us to track the same cohort of students and staff over time.”
Rachel Hewitt, HEPI, author of the Policy Note said: ‘If we are to get a grip on the mental health crisis in young people that is heavily impacting on universities, we need to be collecting the right information to understand it. At the moment statistics on well-being and mental health are often combined, despite these being two separate issues with different ways they can be tackled. For universities to take the necessary action to address this issue, they need to better understand what they’re dealing with.
It is shocking that we have no public information on the well-being of staff that work in our universities. If universities are collecting this information, they are not being open about what the results are showing. This is at a time when staff in universities continue to be under pressure, with increasing workloads and insecure contracts rife. We need a consistent, public dataset on the well-being of university staff.’
In the meantime, the role of sport at university has been highlighted: Wonkhe has two articles on sport via its new Student Union service. Ben Vulliarmy, CEO of the SU at the University of York, writes about their Varsity programme with Lancaster (by the way, congratulations to BU for this week’s resounding win against Solent in our own Varsity event – well played all). And Richard Medcalf of the University of Wolverhampton writes about the need for evidence if sport is to be taken seriously as a contributor to student (and staff) outcomes:
At Wolverhampton we’re trying a few small steps to make this happen. We’ve developed a university sports board to connect this agenda into the decision making bodies of the university. We’ve combined the academic provision of sport with the participatory and performance arms of our offer to students and staff, to align the intentions of both under one organisational framework. And, importantly, we’re attaching student sport engagement to our student records system so we can see if there’s any relationship between students who participate and the wider university KPIs.
Care Experienced Students
The Centre for Social Justice have released 12 By 24 revealing that despite 10 years of intervention still only 6% of care leavers are attending University. It states: Looked After Children aren’t less clever than other children they are just less lucky and a care leaver is more likely to end up in a prison cell than a lecture theatre. The publication aims to increase care leavers at universities to 12 by 24.
This report shows that too many young people growing up in care feel university isn’t for them. They told us it is simply not what happens when you leave the care system…Improving attainment at school will always be the best thing we can do to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds get on. This report sets out the extent to which care experienced children still fall behind their peers. The message from a roundtable of experts conducted during this report was clear: If we want to see more children from disadvantaged backgrounds accessing university and higher education, we need to engage our young people in care much earlier to ensure that where they have fallen behind, they are given the help they need to catch up. The evidence contained in this report shows that if we act early enough, we will see more young people leaving the care system and entering higher education. Among all the facts and figures, this report presents a simple challenge to government and the higher education sector to do more to help young people who have had the worst start in life to have the best future. Many universities are working hard to improve these figures, but this report shows that barely a third of universities have set out detailed plans to take action to change the number of care leavers on their courses.
The report goes on to state there is too much variability in the focus and efficacy of Universities care leaver support schemes. Pages 15 and 38 are key reading, chapter 6 sets out what support mechanisms universities are currently offering and chapter 7 describes the ‘gold standard’ the Centre propose and call on the DfE to endorse. Read more here.
There’s a HEPI blog by Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University about their approach to care leavers (and estranged students).
Still no news from the Augar team
A Parliamentary question this week confirms (again) that it will be released “shortly”. We predict (based on our own speculation rather than inside knowledge) that it won’t be until after the EU elections. It could come quickly as a major distraction from the mess after that. Or not.
Q – Gordon Marsden: whether postgraduate (a) loans and (b) other financial assistance will be included in his Department’s response to the review of post-18 education.
A – Chris Skidmore: The government’s review of post-18 education and funding is looking at how we can ensure there is choice and competition across a joined-up post-18 education and training sector. The review’s focus includes how we can encourage learning that is more flexible (for example, part-time, distance learning and commuter study options) and complements ongoing government work to support people at different times in their lives. The independent panel will report shortly, and the government will then conclude the overall review later this year. We will not speculate about potential recommendations, as we do not wish to pre-judge the outcome of the review.
Welsh PG student finance: Wonkhe report that postgraduate students domiciled in Wales will benefit from the most generous postgraduate student finance package in the UK, according to a Welsh Government announcement this morning. The variable mixture of loans and grants available has risen from £13,000 last year to £17,000 from August this year. All eligible students will receive a non-repayable universal grant of £1,000, plus a means-tested grant of up to £5,885 for students with a household income of up to £18,370. A loan will also be available, taking the total support up to £17,000, and funds will be available pro-rata for part time students.
Consultations and inquiries
New consultations and inquiries this week: UUK and Guild HE consultation on the draft Knowledge Exchange Concordat, linked to the KEF. RDS will be leading on preparation of a BU response.
Financial Deficit: BBC report that the number of English universities in financial deficit increases.
Unconditional Offers: The Times reports that some universities have taken legal advice following Damien Hinds’ calls to stop “conditional unconditional” offers and reduce the number of unconditional offers made overall. HE policy legal commentator Smita Jamdar confirms that Ministers can guide but not instruct the OfS in this area and that guidance must not relate to the criteria for student admissions – something Sarah has heard the Universities Minister confirm in person. Some Universities are calling on UUK to seek a judicial review. The Guardian story is here and includes a defence of the practice as well as attacking Damien Hinds for his intervention.
Industry input: The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has announced that employers are being surveyed on what sorts of courses and skills they wish to see as part of ongoing plans to develop the University of Peterborough. The vision for the University is to be a trailblazer for other higher education institutions by embedding advanced technical learning within the curriculum. The aim is for the University to provide both the skills that local businesses urgently need, while also giving young people better access to well-paid, secure jobs and improved career prospects.
Mayor James Palmer said: “For the University of Peterborough to deliver on its ambition to be aligned with the needs of the local economy, we need to ensure we are reaching out to the business community to see what their demands and skills challenges are. The Combined Authority and its partners want the University to be turning out the kinds of skills that will allow our young people to hit the ground running in the 21st Century workplace. We know our economy has significant skills shortages, and a productivity gap, and so the input of local employers will be crucial in shaping the future of the University”.
Economic Justice: The Institute for Public Policy Research has published their economic justice report Prosperity and Justice – A Plan for the New Economy. It sets out a 10 point plan for economic reform and argues that economic policy should aim for both prosperity and justice. You can read a short summary of the report here. There are four recommendations relevant to the HE sector:
- The government should introduce a ‘Technology Displacement Fund’ to support workers displaced by technology to be retrained and supported back into the labour market. diffusion of digital technologies across the economy.
- Apprenticeships are important, but firms need to be able to deploy funds for a broader range of approaches to develop the skills of their workforces. They therefore propose that the current apprenticeship levy is abolished, and replaced by a ‘productivity and skills levy’
- At the same time, there is an important opportunity to give workers a better means of increasing take-up of skills training by giving them more autonomy. They therefore recommend the introduction of Personal Training Credits, to provide low-paid workers and unemployed adults with up to £700 a year to invest in their own skills.
- The adoption of a new immigration framework aimed at supporting the UK’s economic strategy as well as the vitality and cohesion of our communities and the dignity of migrants
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BU’s researchers Dr. Pramod Raj Regmi and Dr. Nirmal Aryal have recently visited Malaysia for a consultation meeting. They organised meetings with stakeholders working on migration health related and Nepali migrant workers as Public Patient Involvement (PPI ) in Malaysia. These meetings discussed risk factors for sudden nocturnal deaths and kidney disease among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia.
More than 350 Nepali migrant workers die in Malaysia every year. Nearly one-fourth of them die from cardiovascular problems often during their sleep, many without previous signs or illnesses. This also seems to be the case in South Asian workers in the Middle-East. The cause of death is hitherto unknown. During a consultation meeting on 19th April, participants suggested several possible causes of these deaths and strongly supported the idea of carrying out verbal autopsy with close friends, employers, roommates, etc. The emerging health issue of kidney health risk among Nepali migrant workers and its risk factors were also discussed. A total of 25 participants attended the meeting. Participants from many different disciplines , including from migration health researchers from several universities, migrant workers’ non-governmental organizations (NGO), the Malaysian Ministry of Health, and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Malaysia. FHSS’s Drs Aryal and Regmi facilitated the consultation workshops.
On the same day, Dr. Regmi and Dr. Aryal met with the Nepali ambassador to Malaysia Mr. Udaya Raj Pandey and his team and discussed migration issues. The Nepali Embassy in Malaysia is aware of these health problems and the ambassador committed to provide any support required for further investigation in these issues.
On 20th April, another PPI was carried out among Nepali migrant workers at their living quarters. Around 20 Nepali migrant workers participated. During this meeting, issues of sudden nocturnal deaths and acceptability and feasibility of verbal autopsy tools, problem of kidney disease and its possible triggers were discussed. The research into the usefulness of verbal autopsy tool as a good example of BU’s FUSION, since research can lead to a change in practice regarding health of migrant workers through better education of the migrant community, their left-behind families and NGOs working in the field.
These consultation meeting and PPI were intended to develop basis for further research in these area and build collaboration in Malaysia. The NGOs North-South Initiatives (Mr. Adrian Pereira and his team) and Migrant Workers’ Health Alliance (Dr. Erwin Martinez Faller and his team) have locally co-ordinated these events. These activities were conducted from the QR pump-priming fund awarded to Dr. Aryal this year in FHSS.
Finally, on 21st April, Dr. Regmi and Dr. Aryal were invited to the Philippine Embassy to share knowledge on mental health risk among migrant workers. They have presented findings of previous BU’s research on it as well as existing evidence on mental health risk on migrant workers and their left-behinds. More than 60 Filipino migrant workers attended the event.
As Malaysia is a popular destination for migrant workers from Asia Pacific and South Asia (there are currently more than 700,000 Nepali workers in Malaysia), these consultations will play a significant role in designing and developing grant applications to promote health and wellbeing of migrant workers. This consultation meeting builds on recent work on the topic conducted at BU [2-14] as highlighted in the recent Research Brief Migration and Health (Jan. 2019).
- van Teijlingen, E., Regmi, P., Adhikary, P., Aryal, N., Simkhada, P. (2019). Interdisciplinary Research in Public Health: Not quite straightforward. Health Prospect, 18(1), 4-7.
- Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Mahat, P. (2019) Adolescents left behind by migrant workers: a call for community-based mental health interventions in Nepal. WHO South East Asia J Public Health 8 (1): 38-41.
- Adhikary P, Sheppard Z., Keen S. van Teijlingen E (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, Int J Migration, Health Social Care 14(1): 96-105
- Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, ER., Gurung, M., Wasti, S. (2018) A study of Health Problems of Nepalese Female Migrants Workers in the Middle-East & Malaysia, BMC Int Health Human Rights 18(1):4.
- Adhikary P, Sheppard Z, Keen S, van Teijlingen E (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10
- Simkhada P, Regmi, P, van Teijlingen E, Aryal N (2017) Identifying gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health & well-being: A review of literature J Travel Med 24(4): 1-9
- Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, YKD., Mann, S. (2016) Injury & Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific J Public Health 28(8): 703-705.
- Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Dhungel, D., Ghale, G., Bhatta, GK. (2016) Knowing is not enough: Migrant workers’ spouses vulnerability to HIV SAARC J Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases HIV/AIDS 8(1):9-15.
- Joshi, S., Prescott, G., Simkhada, P., Sharma, N., Bhurtyal, Y. (2014). Knowledge and Risk Perceptions about HIV/AIDS among Nepalese Migrants in Gulf Countries: a Cross-sectional Study. Health Sci J, 8 (3) pp 350-36
- Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Sci J 8(1):57-74.
- Joshi S, Simkhada, P, Prescott, G (2011) Health problems of Nepalese migrants working in three Gulf countries, BMC Int Health Human Rights, 2011, 11:3
- Adhikary P, Keen S, van Teijlingen E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Sci J 5: 169-75.
- van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P, Adhikary P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in UK. BMJ Rapid Response www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
- Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Raja, A. (2008). Health and Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK; BMC Int Health Human Rights, 8(6).
Two Bournemouth University students, Matthew Dray and Amelia (Mimi) Simpson have presented their undergraduate research in Parliament last week, to parliamentarians, policy makers and fellow undergraduates at the annual ‘Posters in Parliament’ 2019 event.
This year’s event was organised by the University of Sussex and showcased more than 50 undergraduate students from around the UK. Now in its sixth year, BU has participated from the start. The annual event is an exhibition to allow MPs and policy makers learn more about the innovative undergraduate research being undertaken in various disciplines by undergraduates from a number of institutions. Other uni’s participating on the day were: Aberdeen, LSE, UCL, King’s College London, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, Exeter, Plymouth, Sheffield, Reading and Portsmouth, etc.
Matthew Dray, a BSc (Hons) Computing student in Faculty of Science & Technology presented his research on IoT (The Internet of Things)-Enabled Landslide Monitoring System. Under the guidance of his tutor Dr Marios Angelopoulos, Matt offers up an innovative landslide monitoring system that combines state-of-the art Internet of Things and Data Analytics and an intuitive front end interface, with the main emphasis of his work on the latter. In collaboration with Bournemouth Borough Council, a pilot of the system has been deployed at East Cliff landslide. Matt says ‘the system was able to provide local authorities with a new means of efficient and remote monitoring, whilst also being a cost effective solution’. Speaking about taking part in Posters in Parliament, Matt said ‘it was an amazing experience to be apart of and was an honour to co-represent Bournemouth University at the event, even more so to be shortlisted for an award’.
‘It was great to see what other research was being done around the country and to hear about that research from other passionate students, and to talk to other students and MP’s about my own project and get their thoughts’. Matt found the experience to be an beneficial one, ‘I found it both educational and beneficial to me, and allowed me to develop key skills both professionally and personally’.
Mimi Simpson, a BA (Hons) Advertising student in Faculty of Media & Communication, shared her research on how Generation Y mothers participate in Online Mothering Communities (OMCs) as a Platform for Breastfeeding Information and Support.
‘My research developed from UNICEF declaring that improving breastfeeding rates was a national priority. As an Advertising student, I was interested in the influence that Facebook communities have on supporting and advising breastfeeding mothers. The research concluded that participating mothers have a more successful breastfeeding experience when supported by life-experienced mothers in social media communities’. Mimi also expressed the benefit of taking part in the event on the day ‘Speaking to other academics at Posters in Parliament helped me in considering future lines of research, specifically in the role social media communities play in supporting other medical areas and needs’.
Both Matt and Mimi will be presenting their research at the upcoming SURE 2019 conference in Fusion Building on March 20th. More information about BU’s undergraduate research conference can be found on the SURE website. Staff and students are welcome to take in the conference March 20th building and can book free tickets via Eventbrite.
Posters in Parliament is the prescursor event to the national BCUR 2019 conference, this year being held at University of South Wales, where a number of BU undergrads across all faculties are due to present and share their leading research.
Academic colleagues from the UK, China, South Africa, Australia and Sweden are working on developing joint answers to global challenges from a dual cultural perspective.
The aim of this research project with the title Global challenges: taking an international approach, is to find holistic approaches to security questions, ecological threats and development challenges. This includes researching diverse topics such as exploring the potential of terrorism litigation as a legal security tool for China’s One Belt Road initiative; investigating the role that river rights play in producing new modes of regulation along China’s trans-boundary rivers; and exploring the symbolic power of International Environmental Law as a force for managing dissent in the South China Sea.
Dr. Kenneth Kang, BU Centre for Conflict, Rule of Law and Society (CROLS) PGR and affiliated with Xiamen University, China International Water Law Research Group, and Yu Dong, a graduate from Peking University and CROLS researcher granted by China Scholarship Council and China’s Department of Education, are preparing under the supervision of Dr. Bachmann two security related themes for the Chinese market.
One current activity is titled ‘Eco threats as security threats and the protection of the environment during hostilities’ and ‘Terrorism litigation as deterrence under international law’ and is based on existing academic work published in the UK by members of CROLS and aims at transferring the findings into the Chinese context. Two publications in leading Chinese journals are planned for 2019.
The study group is led by Dr. Sascha Dov Bachmann, Associate Professor at BU, Reader in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University, and Research Fellow at the Faculty of Military Science at Stellenbosch University, who is the Head of the (CRoLS), Bournemouth University, and Scientific Contributor and Research Fellow (designate) at the Legal Office of NATO, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Expressions of interest of becoming involved can be sent directly to email@example.com.
The group aims at fostering research collaborations across the globe and to foster academic dialogue in a non-partisan way among academic and professional practitioners.
CMMPH held its annual away day on the 12th December and was led by the Centre leads, Professors Edwin van Teijlingen and Susan Way. It is an opportunity for BU staff, PGR students and Visiting Faculty to come together and share their research development and impact over the previous year. Time is also given to thinking ahead to ensure the Centre is meeting its aims of promoting the health and wellbeing of women, babies and their families by enhancing practice through education, research and scholarship.
The morning started with an update about EDGE, an NHS IT platform that provides a governance framework for tracking NHS research studies. Doctoral students whose studies require NHS ethics approval will have their research tracked through this system. Other discussions included an update on REF and BU2025, developing a publications strategy and match-funded PhD studentships.
Luisa Cescutti-Butler Malika Felton
Several PGR students presented their work to date, ranging from rising caesarean section rates in hospitals in Nepal (Sulochana Dhakal working towards Probationary Review); acute and chronic effects of slow and deep breathing upon women who have pregnancy-induced hypertension (Malika Felton working towards Major Review); updating the understanding perineal practice at the time of birth by midwives (Sara Stride working towards Probationary Review) and women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies (Dr Luisa Cescutti-Butler recently awarded doctorate). The presentations were all excellent and produced a lot of questions and discussion. Well done to all those who presented.
Sulochana Dhakal Sara Stride
The afternoon was used as an opportunity to think ahead about future collaborative research, how this fits in with the Centre aims and objectives as well as meeting the university’s ambitions to be a world class organisation.
The day was really enjoyable with a lot of positive feedback.
Edwin and Sue
In February 2018 I was invited by Artercitya on a (still on-going) residency as an audio artist in a very large international project called Freiraum, organised by the Goethe-Institut and funded, amongst other important funders, by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. In the project, 38 cities in Europe, are dealing with the question of freedom in Europe today and consider where or how this freedom might be in danger.
(You can find details on Freiraum here: http://www.artbox.gr/2017_freiraum.html).
My involvement in the project, engaged Artecitya and ArtBOX (a big Creative Arts Management company) with my work as an educator here at Bournemouth University. They became particularly interested in the Graduate Production work created by our Level 6 students in the BA Media Production Course and particularly in the Graduate Production Project Unit, which I lead.
During the unit, ArtBOX, who organise the 3rd Artecitya Art Science Technology Festival – THE NEW NEW, realised by the Thessaloniki International Fair – HELEXPO, with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, came to the university and students had a chance to present to them prototypes of their graduate production work.
As a result, two of our BAMP Level 6 graduating students and my own supervisees, Daniel Bell and George Fisher, whose work fulfilled the brief of this new media arts event, were selected and presented their work, along with mine, in this major international exhibition, THE NEW NEW, in Thessaloniki –Greece between September 8 -16 2018.
In the link below you can see video and pictures from the exhibition and read details of our artworks and involvement in this major international event: http://www.artbox.gr/AST-2018.html
The three artworks, Daniel Bell’s Spectra, George Fisher’s Echoes in Space and my own Air Free, were very warmly received by the visitors and first survey results from the even organisers suggest that the work was seen by over 10.000 people and that the exhibition was voted amongst the most popular events in this major international fair.
Echoes in Space – George Fisher
Echoes in Space consists of 8 unique soundscapes and visuals themed after each of the planets’ characteristics. These soundscapes are an artistic reimagining of the Voyager probes recordings, though scattered throughout are real excerpts from the original Voyager recordings. Echoes in Space is a blurring of reality and crafted content; it asks the viewer to consider the divide between reality and fiction. As well as to understand the difficulty in comprehending what is real and what is crafted when you find yourself confronted by the unknown, and to ask oneself if there truly is a difference?
Spectra – Daniel Bell
Spectra is an audio-visual installation focusing on the contrast and convergence between the human and natural worlds. Stemming from the artists philosophy that every new concept we face in life comes to us as a spectrum of information, and to fully comprehend new concepts we must appreciate each spectra in their entirety
Air Free Future
The first iteration of my artwork Air Free that was presented in Greece, is made up of interviews with members of local communities in Thessaloniki, responding to questions on isolation and freedom. As a response to the Freiraum brief, the artwork is now entering a second phase. During this phase, I will be visiting Carlisle (UK) in order to conduct further recordings with members of the local community there on the same themes, by bringing the recordings from Greece to them. These new recordings will then be used along with the recordings from Thessaloniki in a second iteration of the artwork, which will be presented in an exhibition organised by the Goethe-Institut in Berlin Germany, between 12-13 March 2019.
Air Free Impact
My own work for Freiraum, due to its themes and very large scale international reach, lends itself rather strongly for an impact study, which I am now working on. Particularly looking at how the work brings forth issues of isolation in Europe today by bringing the voices of local communities, including the voices of minorities, in communication with each other as well as with international audiences.
George Fisher, Echoes in Space, 2018
Daniel Bell, Spectra, 2018
Evi Karathanasopoulou, Air Free, 2018, (audience member listening).
The New New festival at TIF- Helexpo, Thessaloniki
See you there.