UWE Bristol moves into top 10 in UK for student satisfaction

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has climbed into the top 10 universities in the UK for student satisfaction.

Results from the latest National Student Survey (NSS) have revealed a record 89 per cent of UWE Bristol final year students were satisfied with their course overall, an increase of one percentage point on 2017.

The rise – the fourth consecutive annual increase recorded at the University – comes as the average overall satisfaction score across the higher education sector dipped from 84 per cent to 83 per cent.

UWE Bristol is now the highest ranked university for overall student satisfaction of all 18 institutions in the University Alliance, a group of British universities focused on technical and professional education.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said: “I’m absolutely delighted our overall score has increased to 89 per cent. This is outstanding in its own right and even more impressive in a year where the sector has declined to 83 per cent.

“This is a really tremendous achievement and one that has only been achieved by hard work, focus and a genuinely collaborative effort.”

The 2018 National Student Survey, carried out by the Office for Students and the UK higher education funding bodies, captured the views of more than 320,000 students

The annual survey sees students reflect on their time at university, offering their verdict on topics ranging from teaching and assessment to resources and academic support. It was introduced in 2005 to help inform the choices of prospective students and assist universities in enhancing student experience.

In this year’s results, UWE Bristol’s scores were above the UK average on 26 of the 27 survey questions. Some 56 programmes achieved a score of 92 per cent or above with 12 achieving 100 per cent: Architecture and Environmental EngineeringArchitecture and PlanningCriminology and SociologyDrawing and PrintEarly ChildhoodGeographyInformation Technology Management for BusinessIntegrated Wildlife ConservationInterior ArchitectureNursing (Children’s)Nursing (Learning Disabilities) and Robotics.

Find out more about UWE Bristol rankings and reputation.

Future Impact Webinar Series: Social Media and Body Image: Finding the positives

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The Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) in conjunction with Bristol Business School is proud to launch our Future Impact Webinar Series. This webinar series will feature exciting new developments in technology, science and management practice and highlight their impact on the future of business and society. Thought provoking yet practical, you will develop a better appreciation of what these advances will mean for you, your business and community.

Our inaugural webinar, presented by Dr. Noordin Shehabuddeen, with panellists from the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) will focus on social media and body image. The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is the world’s largest research group focusing on the role of appearance and body image in people’s lives. Dr. Amy Slater, Deputy Dicrector, CAR and Professor Diana Harcourt, Director, CAR will share their expertise, cutting edge research and knowledge.

Register here.  

Synopsis:

Social media has become an integral part of life for most young people, with over 90% using at least one social networking site, and almost half spending over 2 hours per day on social media (Tsitsika et al., 2014). Despite having many potential benefits, research has identified that greater social media use is associated with poorer body image, which is concerning given body dissatisfaction is linked to a wide range of negative psychological and health outcomes. This webinar will focus on what we know so far about the role of social media and body image, with a particular focus on looking for the potential positive role that social media could play in how we think about ourselves and our appearance.

Dr Amy Slater

Amy Slater is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England.  Her research interests lie in the area of body image, specifically body image in adolescents and children.  Her research has a particular focus on the role of social media and social networking services in the body image and wellbeing of young people.  Amy completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University in South Australia, and in addition to her research, is also experienced with working with children and adolescents in community and hospital settings.

Professor Diana Harcourt

Diana Harcourt is Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE, Bristol, the world’s largest group of psychologists researching issues around body image and appearance.  Her research interests focus on the psychosocial aspects of altered or unusual appearance, particularly those associated with cancer or burn injuries.  She completed her PhD at UWE, Bristol, exploring women’s experiences of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Her work includes developing and evaluating interventions to support people who are negatively affected by visible difference and those facing decisions about treatment that will alter their appearance

Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen

Noordin is Director of UWE’s Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) and Associate Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His remit is to lead a range of ambitious programmes aimed at further strengthening UWE’s role as a provider of cutting edge business-relevant education and solutions, and as a thought and practice leader in innovation. He was Director of Business Engagement as well as Director of Business Incubator at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, and prior to that, Director of the University of Liverpool’s Innovation Academy. He was also a Visiting Professor with the Government of Malaysia.

Noordin has presented numerous global webinars as a keynote speaker, and over 25 K people have taken his MOOC on innovation.  He is the author of a practitioner handbook ‘Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation’. He is Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

 

Tips for being a good mentor

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At the early stages of my career, I had a mentor who would always give me time whenever I had an issue, however, to get his attention I would have to go and stand outside with him whilst he listened, quietly puffed away on his pipe and asked me a few questions. This approach worked for me (despite the pipe-smoke) and I quickly developed in my role as felt trusted to do a good job. On reflection, he demonstrated all five factors identified by Julie Starr (2014) of what good mentors do well:

  1. Connect through effective listening
  2. Build a relationship of engagement and trust
  3. Maintain an effective focus
  4. Help overcome false limits, roadblocks or barriers to progress
  5. Help someone grow

However, if your mentoring is online, rather than face-to-face what are the key factors to bear in mind when you volunteer to be someone’s mentor?

  • Building rapport and a relationship is still important – some recent research found that alignment of values may be more important in e-mentoring than other factors such as matching gender or ethnicity (Bierema, 2017)
  • Be clear about the purpose of the mentoring – you both need to have a shared understanding of the mentoring process and agree expectations between you.
  • Most importantly, when online, ensuring you respond to your mentee in a timely Set a realistic expectation of how much time you can commit to mentoring right at the start.
  • Encourage your mentee to identify their own goals and work through ways towards these rather than going straight in with advice/ suggestions. Good mentoring is rarely just about advice (see five points above)!
  • Think about the structure of your mentoring and how you can enable the mentee to move on. At a mutually agreed end point, encourage a bit of reflection and share feedback and learning.

Just as ‘random acts of kindness’ can make us feel great, so too can offering your time and a ‘listening ear’ as on online mentor. Of course, if you get started as an online mentor and really enjoy your role, you can further develop your coaching/ mentoring capability on one of our programmes at Bristol Business School.

Gina Burns
Senior Lecturer Organisation Studies

References

Bierema, L (2017) e-Mentoring: Computer Mediated Career Development for the future in Eds. Clutterbuck, D. A, Kochan, F.K, Lunsford L, Dominguez,  N & Haddock-Millar, J, The Sage Handbook of Mentoring, London: Sage Publications.

Hooley, T,  Hutchinson, J and Neary, S (2016) Ensuring quality in online career mentoring, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 44 (1), pp26-41.

Starr, J (2014) The Mentoring Manual, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Starting the conversation: what to say to your potential online mentor

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It can seem daunting to be the person that makes the first move – even when we’re talking about online mentoring.

Relax, you’ve already got at least one thing in common with the people who’ve volunteered to be mentors on Alumni Connect – UWE Bristol. But where do you go from there?

First impressions count online, and you want your potential mentor to want to help you. Here’s some tips on what to include in your opening gambit.

  1. Introduce yourself

This is about writing a short summary that will help your mentor understand what you need. Tell them what you study/have studied and the main reason you’re looking for a mentor right now. You don’t have to send your CV straight away (or at all), and you might feel more comfortable doing this after someone has replied to your first question. Short and sweet will do just fine here.

  1. Explain why you’ve picked them

Even mentors like to feel special! There’s a reason you’ve considered this mentor, so don’t be shy to let them know.

  1. Ask a question that Google can’t answer

You don’t need to go in with a question straight away, but if you do make sure you don’t ask something could find on the first page of a search engine. Alumni Connect gives you the chance to make unique connections and learn from others’ experiences. So ask your potential mentor something only they can answer.

Example:

I’ve just graduated in Marketing Communications and I’m looking for someone to help me get my first job in Social Media Marketing.

I notice that you worked in Marketing for the Olympic Park, and I’d be really interested to know more about what that involved.

What do you love most about your job?

Or

I’m in my final year studying Graphic Design. It would be brilliant if you could take a look at my website and let me know if there are any areas I could work on to help me get work experience with your company.

I think your approach is really unique and I love the project you did for Santander.

What do you think was the most important factor in getting your job?

Once the conversation has started, it’s up to you and your mentor when it stops!

With the right introduction you can grab their attention and they’ll be able to see how they can help you. Explaining who you are, what help you need and why you think they might be the right mentor to assist you creates an instant confidence.

You might have just established a valuable connection and a helpful stepping stone in your career.

Leanne Newton, Careers Consultant

 

 

BA Accounting and Finance student receives prize from Grant Thornton

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Cherily Lim, a BA Accounting and Finance student, has been awarded a prize by chartered accountants Grant Thornton for scoring the highest in the Audit and Corporate Governance exam.

Cherily is a student from Taylor’s University in Malaysia. Taylor’s is one of our partner universities and because of that Cherily had the opportunity to study for her final year of her degree at UWE Bristol.

Cherily commented:

“ I found it interesting and enjoyable to study at UWE Bristol. I really enjoyed how each lecture was taught, especially for the Audit & Corporate Governance module.

The audit simulation helped me a lot in understanding every procedure of an audit. I worked really hard for the exam so I’m so pleased all the hard work paid off and I achieved the highest grade”

Cherily will be awarded the prize at her graduation ceremony.

Congratulations Cherily!

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.

City Council to use UWE Bristol student ideas for city’s Sugar Smart campaign

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Bristol City Council is to use digital marketing plans submitted by final year marketing students at UWE Bristol as part of Sustain’s Sugar Smart campaign. The students with the best pitches attended a ceremony at Bristol Business School this month, where mayor Marvin Rees announced the winner.

Every year, UWE Bristol marketing undergraduates studying the digital marketing module are assessed on their ability to pitch a digital marketing proposal in response to a live brief. The University works with the council, which provides the brief based on a campaign it is working on.

Sugar Smart is a national campaign to raise awareness about health risks associated with consuming too much sugar. In Bristol, the city council works with Sustain (an organisation that campaigns to improve food and farming), and other partners including UWE Bristol, to help people understand how much sugar is in their food and drinks.

Tom Bowden-Green, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, said: “This has been a really successful collaboration, allowing students to put their digital knowledge to practical use and in turn helping to promote an important campaign. I’m delighted that the mayor was able to join us to congratulate the group. At Bristol Business School we’re developing a strong reputation for our expertise in digital marketing, and this is another example of our ability to help students develop real-world skills through practice-based teaching.”

This year the council asked for student input on ideas for promoting the sugar smart campaign to Bristol residents aged 18-25. With a budget of £2,000, the 260 participating students were tasked with finding ways of attracting audiences by using channels such as social media, online search, and advertising. They then had to use creative content to convince this audience to reduce sugar intake.

Students submitted their proposals through a 20-minute individual video ‘pitch’, in which they explained and demonstrated their ideas. Those with the best grades were then shared with the council.

The city now intends to use the best ideas from the students’ proposals in its ongoing marketing of Sugar Smart. During the ceremony, Marvin Rees celebrated their efforts and announced Amy Brown (pictured) as the undergraduate who achieved the highest mark on the project.