Bar Professional Training Course Qualifying Session Dinner

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On Thursday 7th June, the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) hosted the annual qualifying session Dinner to mark the end of the BPTC calendar.

Guests included The Hon Mr Justice Warby ( a High Court Judge), Vice Treasurer Gray’s Inn, William Clegg QC, Donna Whitehead and a number of other members of the Judiciary, Inns, Local Bar and Faculty staff.

The atmosphere was formal and yet jolly with the students pleased and relieved to have completed their intensive academic program.

Speeches were from Anna Vigars QC (Head of Guildhall Chambers, Bristol) who offered the students inspiring words of wisdom and from David Forster, BPTC student who offered his amusing and inclusive reflections on the BPTC year. Both speakers were very well received by the audience.

Students and some guests continued their celebrations at the after dinner party hosted by the students at the Square Bar.

Institute of Directors award for Bristol Law 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.

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.

The Duke of York opens Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School

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The University of the West of England’s flagship £55 million business building has been officially opened by The Duke of York.

His Royal Highness received a guided tour of facilities at Bristol Business School, located at the University’s Frenchay campus, before unveiling a commemorative plaque marking the formal opening.

Offering a new approach to business and law education to benefit students and businesses in the region, the building opened to students and staff in 2017 and represents the biggest capital investment of UWE Bristol’s 2020 building programme. Features include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a business advice clinic, an incubator for Team Entrepreneurship students, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, and an external business engagement hub.

On his tour of the business school, The Duke met students and staff from the Business Advice Clinic, where undergraduates work with mentors from industry to offer pro bono support to small enterprises, and the Team Entrepreneurship Hub, the home of a degree course dedicated to giving students the practical experience to launch and run their own ventures. His Royal Highness was also shown the school’s Bloomberg Trading Room and a Technology Enhanced Active Learning space during the visit.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said: “We were proud to show The Duke that not only is Bristol Business School a striking modern building with state-of-the-art facilities but what goes on inside is equally impressive.

“Students are using the hugely expanded provision of technology enhanced active learning for greater co-creation and student-led problem solving, while a growing number of businesses are being welcomed through the doors to collaborate with staff and our ever more entrepreneurial students.

“It is this abundance of strong relationships with industry that sets UWE Bristol’s approach to business apart, with close collaboration ensuring the skills our graduates leave with are always relevant to employers’ rapidly evolving needs.”

Addressing guests at the opening, His Royal Highness said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to open and celebrate a building such as this. A building lives because of what goes on inside it and judging from what I’ve seen on my tour, the vibrancy of the staff and students working here is making this building sing to a very wonderful note.

“I wish Bristol Business School, and the whole university, every good fortune in creating the sorts of young people we are going to need in the new environment we’ll find ourselves in during the next two to five years. These are going to be very challenging times but we need to create a breed of young people who are enterprising, entrepreneurial and ambitious. If we can do that we can, and will, succeed. So good luck, I wish you every success.”

New £55 million building will change how UWE Bristol does business

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Staff and students working and studying at Bristol Business School (BBS) and Bristol Law School (BLS) at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have moved in to a new state of the art £55million building.

The building is the jewel in the crown of a significant £300m capital investment programme across all campuses and will enable UWE Bristol to offer a new way forward in Business and Law Education to benefit students and businesses in the region.

Designed to foster formal and informal interaction between businesses the new facility promises to bring many benefits to the regional economy.

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Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of BBS and BLS says,

“This will be a live environment where staff and students and business work together – with collaboration at its core.

“We consult with our advisory board of key business figures who challenge us to make our provision meet the needs of employers and the latest developments in the business world.”

Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said,

“It is wonderful to see this flagship build fully occupied. But it’s not really about the building, it is about what will happen inside it.

“At UWE Bristol we teach business differently. A UWE education goes beyond getting industry accreditation, important though this is.

“We are harnessing relationships with thousands of businesses across the region, nationally and internationally helping us to shape our courses so that our students develop the skills that are needed to help the economy thrive.”

Donna Whitehead continues,

“Already UWE Bristol students are demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit through our Team Entrepreneur course where a degree is earned by students collaborating in teams to create and run a business over a three year period under the guidance of mentors.

 “We foster an enterprise mindset in all our students. Last year Bristol Law School students doing pro bono work gained £1 million in welfare benefits for people wrongly declared fit for work.

“They also advise start-ups and tech businesses though our Business Clinic, which will diversify into digital marketing, finance and tax advice over the next year. This service has been set up in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP and is based at the Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

 “Activities like these keep us in touch with what is happening in the region and provides students with relevant work and placement opportunities as they interact with business, owners and developers.”

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Features of the new building include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a 300 seat lecture theatre, two Harvard lecture theatres, an incubator for our Team

Entrepreneurs, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, IT suites, meeting facilities and parking for business, an external business engagement space, a central social space and a café.

Key professional organisations will have a base in the new building enabling barristers, accountants, small business owners and start-ups to mix with staff and students in the learning and social areas.

Throughout the building there are flexible workspaces that staff, students and visitors can use.

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See also a 3D-modelled film showcasing the internal design, layout and infrastructure and also a YouTube 360 degree video visualisation of the new building.

Bristol Business School recently achieved the prestigious European programme accreditation (EPAS), placing it in an elite and internationally recognised group of modern Business Schools.

Donna Whitehead Invites Law Alumni to Join New Bristol Business School Celebrations

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“We are proud to have such a vibrant community of Bristol Law School alumni underpinning our success and leading our development.

Our alumni are already a big part of the new Bristol Business school and the construction of its new home on Frenchay Campus. So when the building starts buzzing with life in early January 2017, we would love our alumni to join in the celebrations.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing ways for you to help us from donating to the new building, mentoring a current student, giving a guest lecture or getting involved with the alumni festivities, reunion activities and networking events wherever you are based.

Firstly, we would love to see photos of your UWE Bristol days, hear your memories and reflections on what your time here meant to you, to share and feature in the alumni archive for the new building.

All entries will go into our prize draw, to win a private trip for two people in UWE Bristol’s hot air balloon!

  • Tweet them to us using #UWEBristolMemories
  • Send them to us by email or post

It’s the growing success of our network of alumni that has made this new world-class hub for students, academics and professionals possible. We hope you will help us celebrate the successes that have led us to become the Law School we are today, and join us on the next step of our journey to drive innovation, research and economic growth.”

Donna Whitehead
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Business and Law

Business and Law Clinic launches at UWE Bristol’s £16.5m Enterprise Zone ‘Future Space’

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As part of its new University Enterprise Zone (“UEZ”) activity, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is launching a pro bono legal service for small businesses in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP. This support will be provided within the new Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

The weekly Business and Law Clinic will provide pro bono legal advice to small businesses in Future Space and across the South West. The key objective of the innovative venture will be to provide SMEs, growing businesses and start-ups with business–legal advice at a critical stage in their development.

A selected group of law students, both undergraduates and postgraduate professional students, will provide the advice on areas such as corporate and commercial, employment, litigation and dispute resolution and tax. Supervised by practising solicitors from Gregg Latchams, Osborne Clarke and UWE Bristol, the students will gain real-world insight and experience, providing them with valuable skillsets and exposure to the world of business. In addition to the Clinic, students will also be providing ‘essentials’ workshops in the professional services of law and accounting.

UWE Bristol’s Future Space, which opened its doors on 15 August 2016, is part of a new University Enterprise Zone, one of four that have been set up nationally and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Assisting businesses specialising inrobotics, digital and creative technologies, biosciences and other high tech areas, UEZ will bring an estimated economy boost of £85m as well as over 450 new jobs to the region.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean who has led this initiative at UWE Bristol said, “This initiative deepens and broadens the University’s engagement with local businesses and the community and will really enhance the experience of our students in the Faculty, ensuring they are business–ready whilst also providing valuable expertise to growing businesses and start-ups at a critical stage in their development. We are delighted to be working with Osborne Clarke and Gregg Latchams.”

Peter Clough, Head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office said, “Future Space plays to the strengths of Bristol as a vibrant technology and enterprise hub, offering crucial space and advice for startups and SMEs in the area. We’re looking forward to seeing the innovative companies and working alongside the best and brightest students that UWE Bristol has to offer.”

Ken McEwan, Director and Head of Dispute Resolution at Gregg Latchams Solicitors said, “Gregg Latchams are particularly proud to be associated with this project having a strong presence in the digital, media and technology sector. This exciting venture offers a great opportunity for us to build relationships with companies of the future, demonstrates our commitment to SMEs and fills an important gap to provide support to new enterprise.”

The new Business and Law Clinic is in addition to the renowned pro bono work that already takes place within the law school at UWE Bristol. As well as the services being provided for businesses, students will also from the autumn be offering a new weekly drop-in service under the supervision of practitioner tutors at Citizens Advice Bristol’s offices in Fairfax Street. Advice will cover areas such as benefits, debt, employment and family matters. In June, its work withAvon & Bristol Law Centre won ‘Pro Bono Initiative of the Year’ at the nationalLawyer Awards 2016.

The launch event and first 30 mins clinics are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 12 October from 14:00-17:00 at Future Space. For small businesses wishing to sign up for this event – please register using the link below: UWE Business and Law Clinic – Launch Event and First Clinic.

Faculty of Business and Law Fundraising Event at the House of Commons

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On Tuesday 6 September UWE Bristol launched its £2 million public fundraising campaign to help raise funds for the new Faculty building currently under construction.

This £2million fundraising campaign supports the university’s £56million commitment to build a new facility to house the Bristol Business and Law Schools, a much needed hub in the South West of England to drive forward regional growth and boost the local economy. The new building will promote collaboration and bring our students into direct contact with today’s business leaders, great legal minds and successful entrepreneurs.

The launch was held at the iconic Houses of Parliament and was attended by London based alumni. John Penrose MP welcomed the alumni and friends to the event before speeches were given by Donna Whitehead, Executive Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, and Tracy John, Head of Research and Business Development.

Guests were treated to canapes and drinks which they could enjoy on the terrace which overlooked the sunny South Bank.

The event was designed to inspire alumni and friends to engage with the project and the university, as well as providing an opportunity for the alumni and staff to reconnect.

An incredible £1.2 million has already been raised towards the campaign target from previous fundraising activities. Thank you to everyone who has already donated.

All the money raised through this campaign will have a life changing impact on our current and future student population, as well as a huge impact on businesses in the Bristol area.

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If you would like more information on the campaign or to find out how you can make a donation you can take a look at our Business and Law Schools fundraising campaign pages or get in touch with the team on development@uwe.ac.uk.

Faculty of Business and Law attracts regional business leaders to new advisory team

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Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean at UWE Bristol’s, Faculty of Business and Law has unveiled an impressive new advisory team of 21 regional business leaders.

The new FBL Faculty Advisory Board has been assembled to look at how the new Faculty and its new £50m building can serve the needs of the region and its economy.

Business leaders from the region’s financial, commercial, legal, public and health sectors are represented on the panel. They are:

Chair – Lord Bichard, Chairman of the National Audit Office

Barbara Davies, Former CEO – West of England Local Enterprise Partnership

Bonnie Dean, CEO – Bristol and Bath Science Park

Chris Nott, Senior Partner – Capital Law

Clive Hetherington, Ex-Area Director – Lloyds Bank

Dame Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO – Mitie Group

David Relph, Director – Bristol Health Partners

Iain Lovatt, Founder and Chairman – Blue Sheep

Jason Sprague, Management Consultant – ASE Consulting

John Moriarty, President – Bristol Law Society

Karl Brown, Senior Associate – Clark Willmott

Katherine Bennett, Vice-President – Public affairs – Airbus

Keith Probert, MD – Viimi

Luis Garcia, CEO – Bristol Water

Nicola Yates OBE, City Director – Bristol City Council

Peter Rillett, Chairman – North Bristol Trust

Phil Smith, MD – Business West

Rick Sturge, President – ICAEW

Sarah Pullen, MD – Trinity Mirror

Simon Gibson, CEO – Wesley Clover

Vanessa Moon, Moon Consulting

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law says, “We’re delighted by the calibre of our new advisory board and the leadership experience they bring will stand the Faculty in good stead to drive forward our new strategy to make our provision meet the needs of employers and ensure that we forge an international reputation for business and law at UWE Bristol.”

Lord Bichard, Chair of UWE Bristol Faculty of Business and Law advisory board, says, “To be effective universities must work hard to stay close to business; build strong partnerships with local and nationally significant employers; show that they value and respect the voice of industry and look for ways of making their knowledge and research base more accessible to business. This is a partnership of genuine mutual benefit.”

Students are set to benefit from state-of-the art facilities, as the new building for the Faculty of Business and Law draws a step closer to completion. With completion due for January 2017, the new building will include: two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a 300 seat lecture theatre, two Harvard lecture theatres, a number of smaller teaching spaces, IT suites, flexible social learning spaces, external business engagement space, central social space and café.

New Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of FBL appointed

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Donna Whitehead, currently Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Society at the University of South Wales has been appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England).

Donna brings a wealth of experience to UWE Bristol from her current and previous roles.

The Faculty of Business and Society at the University of South Wales, where Donna is currently Deputy Dean, has three schools: the South Wales Business School; the School of Law, Accounting and Finance; and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. In previous roles Donna was Head of School for the School of Law, Accounting and Finance (first at the University of Glamorgan and then at the University of South Wales) and Team Leader for the Law School at the University of Sunderland.

Much of Donna’s current role is externally facing, including representing the university and Welsh government in the financial and professional services sector in Wales and beyond as well as collaborating with Welsh government and employers to drive new business in Wales and for the University. Donna was responsible for developing the innovative MSc Financial Services Management degree in collaboration with four key employers in Wales.

Donna worked for the law professional bodies as a JASB representative for a number of years; she has held the role of trustee of the RCT Citizens Advice Bureau and has been a member of the Confederation of South Wales Law Societies. Recently she was a member of the QAA Law Benchmark Review Group. Donna acts as a mentor for senior leaders within and outside of the University.

Donna is passionate about creating an excellent student experience and has led initiatives in this area including the use of lecture capture software, the launch of a Legal and Financial Advice Clinic and has worked collaboratively with colleagues to improve NSS results. Donna has an interest in quality assurance and enhancement and has acted as chair of Faculty quality assurance committees at her current and former institution and has led her Faculty in their recent QAA review.

Speaking about her appointment Donna says, “I am really excited about working with my new colleagues to deliver the objectives set out in the 2020 plan. FBL has some excellent practice already taking place and I’m looking forward to helping to build that further. The new build for the Faculty will be wonderful and should really enhance the student learning experience.”

Professor Jane Harrington, Deputy Vice Chancellor, at UWE Bristol says, “We are delighted that Donna will be joining us and we are looking forward to working with her on our ambitious plans for the Faculty. UWE, Bristol prides itself on an excellent student experience delivered through practice led curriculum which enables students to experience work both within the university and through placements and internships during their study with us. We are really pleased to welcome Donna to the university, sharing our passion for excellence in learning and teaching and the student experience”

Donna has a first degree in law from the University of Sunderland and an MPhil from the University of Newcastle. She also holds the Legal Practice Course and the New York Bar examinations as qualifications. Donna is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Donna’s teaching and research interest is family law and in particular, assisted reproduction and parenthood.