Guest blog post: A student representatives’ perspective of the Times Higher Education awards ceremony

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Guest author: Mia Collins, 3rd Year Business and Management Student 

Currently in my final year of studying Business and Management, I have been fortunate enough to represent the department as its Lead Department Representative and the Finance, Business and Law faculty as its Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee member. These roles have demonstrated huge benefits to my educational and professional development, yet, the most monumental opportunity the positions have brought me is attending the Times Higher Education Awards in London. As a typical student does, I have had significant exposure to Bristol’s nightlife – but none of them compare to the night I had at the awards ceremony.

The night began on, rather, a stressful start; having only 1 hour to get to get ‘black tie’ ready, I was under significant pressure– for those who know me well enough, will understand exactly the level of stress I mean. Despite this, I was immensely excited. We ventured over to the JV Marriott Grovesnor House in London, where we were met with bubbly and snacks. Walking into the reception room, in itself, was an experience; everyone had gone above and beyond with their appearance and looked fantastic. Before the night had really began, this was a great opportunity for me to get to know the people who facilitate the day to day operations of UWE; as a team of 14 (2 being myself and Lily Liu, the only students in attendance), were able to get to know the likes of Steve West, Donna Whitehead and lot more. Before one too many glasses of prosecco, we got a #teamUWE picture:

(Don’t we scrub up well!)

After a chatter and a social, we were taken into the main awards hall. Merely walking towards the hall, you are greeted by the most amazing floor imaginable (see below). From the onset, everything about the night was glamourous. Once we (eventually) found our tables, we sat down to a starter of crispy salt cod fritter (essentially, the fanciest fish finger ever), followed by slow braised beef short rib with vegetables, finishing off with a Greek yoghurt tart and petits fours – yum.

As time went on, the more nervous we all became, and before we knew it, our category was up next. We had thankfully been shortlisted, for the second year in a row, Business School of the Year and were up against some intense competition. The category was announced… UWE’s participation was mentioned… a huge cheer from all of our 3 tables… on the very edge of our seats…the winner was announced… and THEN, ah. ESCP Europe Business School were awarded the winners of 2018. Despite not winning, this year(!), we didn’t lose spirit. We were up for Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration. Again, we didn’t quite get it this time; we did, however, receive a special commendation for our efforts. Not all bad, eh?

The night didn’t end there – a disco was to follow. Thankfully, we were sat the closest to the stairs, so UWE were the first to get to the dancefloor. I must add, we took over the ENTIRE dance floor, truly a UWE takeover. The night didn’t purely involve partying, it was a great opportunity for me to develop my networking skills and get to meet some senior figures from all across the country – one in particular, the Sponsorship Director of the Times Higher Education awards. After hours of singing our hearts – out at the very top of our lungs – lunging and squatting(?) to the beat and showing the other universities why UWE really are the best, the disco came to an end – it takes a lot of skill and endurance to be the FIRST and LAST ones on the dancefloor, but we executed it so well.

We got back to our hotel in the early hours of the morning and, with no voice left and feet in agony from high heels, we sat in the lobby, each with our takeaway laughing and chatting until it was time for bed.

The night as an entity was phenomenal, I am incredibly grateful to be 1 of the 2 students fortunate enough to attend. I’ve not only taken away great memories from it but have also made great relationships with senior staff whom I would never usually have the opportunity meet. A huge thank you to everyone who facilitated the evening and made it as incredible as it was. Every day I am more and more honoured to represent UWE and everything we achieve. Bring on Business School of the Year 2019!

Below are a few photos from the evening:

Global network celebration dinner in Kuala Lumpur

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On Friday 5th October, the UWE Bristol International Office organised an appreciation dinner in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate our global network of partners and to show appreciation for their efforts in recruiting and supporting our international students.

More than 80 representatives from key strategic dual award and progression partners, as well as leading Malaysian recruitment agencies attended the event.

Amongst the attendees were representatives from one of our partnerships institutions, Taylor’s Univeristy, with whom we run a number of dual awards.

The event was also attended by  representatives from HELP University and INTI International College who send a large number of final year students to our Business, Accounting, Economics and Finance and Law Undergraduate programmes.

Thanks to all involved for organising such a wonderful event.

 

Institute of Directors award for Bristol Business School Executive Dean

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Donna Whitehead, Executive Dean of UWE Bristol’s Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School, was named New Director of the Year at the 2018 IoD South West awards.

Leading a team of nearly 300 staff and more than 6,000 students, Donna manages a budget of £55 million. She also leads the work on enterprise across the University. In winning the inaugural New Director award, she was singled out for achieving transformational change for the organisation in an impressively short period of time.

Donna said: “I am delighted to win this award. I’m incredibly proud to lead the Faculty, and enjoy and value working with all our talented staff. This award reflects their great work.”

A total of 14 directors from across the region were shortlisted for the awards, presented yesterday at a ceremony near Exeter. The awards were sponsored by accountants Bishop Fleming, which has offices throughout the South West. Guest speaker was Roy Kinnear, COO of South West-based airline Flybe.

Nick Sturge, South West chair of the IoD, said: “The South West has a well-deserved reputation for creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship. The diversity of awards this year served to demonstrate just this. We had a record number of entries this year so to be even shortlisted was an achievement. I want to congratulate not just our winners but our runners up too.”

All the winners will now go forward for a chance to represent the South West at the IoD National Director of the Year Awards in the autumn.

UWE Bristol rated GOLD in Government assessment

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has been awarded gold status in the latest Government rankings for higher education providers.

UWE Bristol has been recognised with the highest possible rating in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) 2018. Gold-standard institutions have provision that is consistently outstanding and of the highest quality found in the sector.

Advancing from the silver rating awarded in 2017, the University has been praised by assessors for outstanding graduate employability outcomes and successful approaches to personalised learning.

The framework led by the Office for Students (OfS) measures the performance of all UK universities and higher education providers based on a wide range of factors including graduate employability, National Student Survey (NSS) results and learning environment.

Introduced two years ago to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching, the TEF has been designed to help students choose where to study by providing clear information about teaching provision and student outcomes.

In its 2018 assessment, UWE Bristol received recognition for:

* Outstanding performance with regard to sustained employment and graduate earnings

* Students from all backgrounds achieving consistently outstanding outcomes

* Student satisfaction with academic support, and the rate of progression to highly skilled employment or further study, being above the University’s benchmarks

* Outstanding learning resources with extensive facilities for lecture capture

* Successful approaches to personalised learning, with effective support arrangements for specific student groups, that secure the highest levels of student engagement with learning.

Overall, the TEF panel of assessors judged that the combination of UWE Bristol’s performance data and its submission met the criteria for a gold award, which is valid for up to three years.

The University is ranked in the top quartile of all higher education providers in the UK and is among only five universities in the South West to hold gold TEF status.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this gold award. It recognises the importance we place on the student experience and teaching, and how our practice orientated and professionally accredited courses consistently equip our students for graduate level jobs.

“A huge thank you goes to all our staff on what is a very proud day for the University. Their hard work and commitment has made a vital contribution by ensuring students receive the best possible higher education experience.”

The award of a gold rating in the TEF comes one week after UWE Bristol was named in the top 40 of the annual university league table compiled by the Guardian. The University climbed to its highest ever position of 37th out of 121 UK institutions following strong performance in the NSS and an increase in spend per student.

UWE Bristol climbs into top 40 in latest Guardian league table

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has climbed to its highest ever position in the Guardian university league table. Moving up 15 places, the University is ranked 37th out of 121 UK institutions in the newspaper’s latest annual guide for students.

Continued strong performance in the National Student Survey (NSS) and an increase in spend per student have helped the University break into the top 40 in the 2019 guide.

Three subject areas, Education, Film Production & Photography and Philosophy, have been ranked in the top five nationally while Architecture earned a place in the top 10.

UWE Bristol has been ranked 12th in the country for its value-added score, which compares students’ degree results with their entry qualifications to show how effectively they have been taught, and 26th for satisfaction with teaching.

The Guardian league table focuses on the quality of teaching, student satisfaction and employability. Compiled by independent company Intelligent Metrix, the guide ranks universities according to: spending per student; the student/staff ratio; graduate career prospects; what grades applicants need to get a place; the value-added score; and how satisfied final-year students are with their course, based on results from the annual NSS. For the first time this year, the newspaper has included a continuation score based on the percentage of first-year students continuing to a second year. The overall Guardian league table is accompanied by subject rankings, showing how universities perform across 54 areas of study.

It is the third consecutive rise up the Guardian table for UWE Bristol, which has also performed strongly in the Complete University Guide and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said:

“This represents a giant stride forwards for our University and it is immensely pleasing to receive recognition for our continued progress in this national guide. Our rise in the table is richly deserved and testament to the tremendous efforts being made by our staff to ensure the student experience is at the centre of everything we do.”

Dr Zainab Khan wins at the Bristol Diversity Awards 2018

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Dr Zainab Khan picked up the award for Positive Role Model (Race / Ethnicity) at the 2nd Bristol Diversity Awards event on Saturday 18th May at the Mercure Holland Hotel & Spa.

Zainab was nominated for her work on the UWE Bristol Equity Programme.

Equity is a positive-action talent development programme aiming to improve BAME graduate outcomes  through identity coaching, enterprise education and large networking events.

It marks a major departure from traditional diversity practice in Higher Education, and has received  positive reception from external observers and city commentators for its innovation. You can find out more about the Equity Programme here

Prior to the event Zainab was interviewed for ITV’s local news to discuss the upcoming awards

Attending the awards were Equity student committee members, Donna Whitehead (Executive Dean & Pro Vice Chancellor), Dr Harriet Shortt (Associate Professor Bristol Business School), Mena Fombo (Motivational Speaker and Equity Programme Coach) and Alex Mormoris, former colleague and key member of the Equity Programme staff.

Congratulations to Zainab and the Equity team on this impressive achievement.

Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School Research Showcase

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Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School invite you to their Research Showcase on Wednesday 11 October at the Bristol Business School.

The showcase will celebrate the breadth of research within both schools in Leadership, Operations, Economic Analysis, Law, Legal Policy and Reform, Marketing, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management.

Throughout the showcase there will be 16 workshops taking place that will demonstrate the ways our leading edge researchers achieve real world impact, advanced knowledge, inspire people and transform futures.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

14.15 – 14.50: Registration & Refreshments, Atrium

15.00 – 15.10: Welcome Speech, lecture Theatre, 2X112

15.15 – 15.50: Showcase, Lecture Theatre, 2X112

15.55 – 16.25: Workshop 1, Assorted Rooms

16.35 – 17.05: Workshop 2, Assorted Rooms

17.10 – 18.00: Networking, Atrium

The workshops on offer are:

Workshop 1 (15:55 – 16:25)

  • Improving health and wellbeing through leadership and behaviour change – Bristol Leadership and Change Centre. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Creating Connections: The Entrepreneurial Mind-set and Ecosystem – Bristol Collaborative Entrepreneurship Research Group. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Rights, Citizenship and Nationality – Centre for Applied Legal Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Financial Crime – Centre for Applied Legal Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • The Changing Terrain of Employability and Careers – Human Resources, Work and Employment Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Delivering Value – How new technology continues to drive Business Model evolution – Innovation, Operations Management and Supply. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Working Effectively With Marketing Agencies – Applied Marketing Group; Rigorous Research, Impact on Practice. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Five things you should know about modern financial systems and the economy – Bristol Centre for Economics and Finance. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.

Workshop 2 (16:35 – 17:05)

  • Digital marketing: what everyone needs to know? – Applied Marketing Group; Rigorous Research, Impact on Practice. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Creative approaches to leadership and organisation development – Bristol Leadership and Change Centre. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Entrepreneurial Approaches to ‘Wicked’ or Intractable Problems – Bristol Collaborative Entrepreneurship Research Group. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Criminal Justice – Centre for Applied Legal Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Delivering Value – How new technology continues to drive Business Model evolution – Innovation, Operations Management and Supply. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Law, Vulnerability and Protection – Centre for Applied Legal Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Applying research to address policy issues – Bristol Centre for Economics and Finance. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.
  • Contemporary issues in reward management – Human Resources, Work and Employment Research. In order to attend please register via Eventbrite.

More information about the event and registration can be found here.

UWE Bristol moves up three places in the Times Good University Guide

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The University of the West of England has risen three places to 57th position in the Times Good University Guide.

UWE Bristol is ranked fifth in the South West in the annual guide. The university is also top in the South West for student experience and second for teaching excellence based on the outcome of the National Student Survey figures for 2017.

Responding to the improvement in the rankings Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol President and Vice-Chancellor, said, “We are very pleased to see that we are moving forward in the right direction. Staff and students have strived over the past year to work towards making UWE Bristol an even greater place to study.

“We are among the top rated modern universities in the league table. We have invested heavily in our learning environment and seen the launch of two major buildings including the Bristol Business School and new animation and film-making studios in the past year.

“At UWE Bristol we pride ourselves on our employability results. Earlier this year the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) showed we were ahead of all West Universities for employment and further study of students who graduated in 2016.

“We want to be a top 50 University by 2020 and our ambitious strategy to become the best university for practice based learning is absolutely taking shape. I would like to say a big thank you to our incredibly hard working staff who have helped us to move forward towards this goal.”

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 published on 24 September, provides students and their parents with an invaluable first reference point on the path to finding a university place. It contains full profiles of all universities. The league table is made up of nine indicators including student satisfaction with teaching quality and their wider student experience, research quality, graduate prospects, entrance qualifications held by new students, degree results achieved, student/staff ratios, service and facilities spend, and degree completion rates.

UWE Student’s ‘Memories will last forever’ after volunteering in Fiji.

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Volunteering abroad can be an invaluable experience. You are able to experience new cultures and ways of life; when you get back home, those lessons can translate into skills and experience that benefit you, both personally and professionally – and it also looks great on your CV.

UWE partnered with Think Pacific to offer students the chance to spend four weeks at one of their projects in Fiji. The project consisted of assisting local teachers with rural primary and secondary schools, organising one-to-ones, leading kindergarten classes, pioneering extra-curricular activities and youth clubs, and implementing grass roots sports development initiatives ,which included daily PE classes and sports outreach workshops. The aim of this project was to empower disadvantaged children living in remote and rural Fiji to overcome poverty issues and achieve holistic health.

This summer 18 students from UWE were lucky enough to join Think Pacific on this project. The Think Pacific Project is run in partnership with the Fijian Government and supports remote schools in Fiji.

Second year Business Management Student, Lisa Mathews was one of the students who went on this amazing trip.

Lisa commented:

“I have just spent the last month living in the most warming village, amongst the most positive, smiley, carefree individuals, who have honestly changed my life forever. I will never look back”

She explains she was:

“engrossed in the culture, with treks and adventures on Saturdays truly exploring the area you’re living in. We climbed up a waterfall, crawled through a cave and trekked to some hot springs. Everywhere we went locals would climb trees to pick us oranges or carve papayas with their machetes. Their kindness is phenomenal and this is definitely not my last trip to Fiji”

Think Pacific were extremely positive about each student that went out to Fiji on this trip:

“What a privilege it has been to have such a passionate, caring & energetic bunch of UWE University students on project with us Fiji. It was incredible to hear from the Nubuyanitu families how quickly the students settled into village life. And even more than that, to hear from the teachers how much every volunteer gave to inspire, motivate & enagage the children through their education and sports sessions.”

This fascinating project is one of many volunteering experiences on offer from UWE Bristol. Find out more here http://ow.ly/4pBH30eo0sO

UWE also provide financial assistance for undergraduate students who are looking to work or volunteer abroad – The Go Global Bursary Scheme.

 

 

Zainab Kahn’s Visit to Amman Jordan

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Dr Zainab Kahn is UWE’s Leader for Continuous Enhancement (Law) and works closely with overseas partner institutions to engage international students in postgraduate roles here at UWE. She is extremely passionate about ensuring an outstanding international student experience and capturing external engagement to the fullest.

Dr Zainab Khan’s most recent visit was to Amman, Jordan for a week, to take part in exhibitions and meet with a number of agents as well as Faculty Management at some of the local universities. She had a full packed schedule that included productive meetings with the University of Jordan, Al – Ahliyya University and the Applied Science University. Furthermore, Zainab also delivered promotional presentations to students interested in coming to the UK for postgraduate studying opportunities. UWE offer international students a number of ways in which they can study and earn a postgraduate degree which they may not be able to do in their home country. Zainab’s trip was to assess the potential for international partnerships for business and law. These partnerships will aid the exchange of both students and information. The positive reception and interest in UWE and our provision in postgraduate opportunities is great news from this trip.

Zainab and UWE are looking forward to future collaborations and increased student numbers from the Middle East. Universities like, UWE are constantly looking to develop and extend the external engagement and enhance each student’s experience.