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Report of the Acting Vice-Chancellor to Senate, April 2019

The report presented by Professor Bernie Morley to Senate on 10 April 2019.


1. League Tables

Five subjects have been named in the top 100 in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released on 27 February. Architecture & Built Environment, Business & Management, and Development Studies were ranked in the world’s top 100 subjects whilst Social Policy & Administration, and ‘Sports-related subjects’ were recognised as being within the top 50 subjects in the world. This is the first year Social Policy & Administration has made it into the top 50 at 36th whilst Sports-related subjects have retained their top 50 ranking for a third consecutive year, 10th globally in this year’s ranking.

2. Student Equality and Diversity analysis

The annual item relating to student equality and diversity analysis has been delayed to a later meeting to allow consideration first by the Equality & Diversity Committee. The Office for Students has recently published its requirements for institutional Access and Participation Plans which includes analysis across a range of diversity indicators. It is anticipated that this work will inform future internal consideration of equality and diversity data.

3. International Engagements

Since the last meeting:

3.1 Professor Jeremy Bradshaw welcomed Professor Kees van Leeuwen, Global Chair and David Parkin Visiting Professor to campus in February. Professor van Leeuwen is Professor of Water Management and Urban Development at the University of Utrecht as well as Principle scientist at KWR Watercycle Research Institute. Supported by his nominator, Professor Jan Hoffman, Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor van Leeuwen engaged with colleagues from across the University, delivered a Public Lecture and is supporting our strategy to develop key European partnerships.

3.2 Professor Bradshaw and Stephanie Lear, Head of Individual Philanthropy, Department of Development and Alumni Relations, visited the West Coast of the USA in February in order to further develop our alumni, industry and university links in the area. Events included meetings with prominent alumni, hosting an alumni dinner and visiting placement providers as well as students currently on placement in the region. 

 3.3 In March, we officially launched the Bath and Bristol Brussels Office with a reception at the European Parliament hosted by Clare Moody, MEP and Professor Jeremy Bradshaw. Our investment in the office is a one-year pilot project in partnership with Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. Attendees at the reception included alumni, placement providers, students currently on placement and university partners. The Office is currently supporting IAAPS to develop its European links and a delegation led by Professor Steve Egan and Professor Gary Hawley travelled to Brussels in advance of the reception to meet with a number of stakeholders from the European Council, European Commission and industry.  

3.4 Professor Bradshaw and Gavin Maggs, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, visited Dubai in March for an alumni reception hosted by the Chancellor. The event brought together alumni and prospective students currently holding an offer from the University, providing a significant opportunity to engage with alumni in the area as well as support recruitment and conversion activity.

3.5 Professor Leonard Chen, President, Professor Ka Ho Mok, Vice-President, Professor Jin Jiang, Research Assistant Professor, Division of Graduate Studies and Mr Gavin Ngai, Assistant Programmes Manager, Office of Global Education from Lingnan University, Hong Kong visited the University in March. The visitors were welcomed by Professor Bradshaw and signed an exchange agreement with the Department of Education before attending the launch of the Department’s newly established Centre for Research in Education in China and East Asia of which they are a key partner.

4. Other University news

I particularly wish to draw the attention of Senate to the following appointments and developments since our previous meeting:

4.1 Following recent elections, five Professors have been elected to serve on Senate for a term of three years from 1 August 2019: Professor James Davenport, Professor Julie Barnett, Professor Marcelle McManus, Professor Tim Ibell and Professor David Bird.

4.2 Professor Marcelle McManus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been listed as one of the top 100 most influential Women in the West for 2019.

4.3 Mathematician Dr Apala Majumdar has won the Academic category of the FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards.

4.4 The Academy of Social Sciences has conferred the award of Fellow on Professor Joe Devine and Professor Simone Fullagar.

4.5 Two University projects designed to reduce injuries in horse racing were presented to Her Majesty The Queen as part of a Royal Visit to Somerset in 28 March.

4.6 On 25 February we welcomed our Chancellor, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, to tour the Virgil Building. The tour focused on student-facing activity and the Institute of Coding (IoC).

4.7 2018 was an excellent year for Bath SETsquared member companies, with a total investment raise of £15m made up of private investment and grant funding.

4.8 The University is now a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) research group at CERN Large Hadron Collider. Professor Manuch Soleimani from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering led the successful bid.

4.9 The Doctoral College welcomed additional funding for Centres of Doctoral Training.

4.10 A new Learning Commons area in the new Polden accommodation block is now open for use.

4.11 I attended the Institute of Coding’s first national conference in Manchester on 12 and 13 March.

4.12 Mrs Pamela Chesters CBE has been appointed as Chair of the University Council from 8 April 2019 for an initial term of three years. Council and Court will be supported by a new Head of Strategic Governance, a role advertised in February. Dr Nicky Kemp has been appointed by Council as Acting University Secretary from 30 March, for the purposes of Regulations and other functions which are the responsibility of the role, following the departure of Mark Humphriss on 29 March. The Secretariat team will report to Dr Kemp; Angela Pater will remain as Secretary to Senate.

4.13 Recent significant grant awards include:

Description Funder Principal Investigator(s) Department Amount £
Automating Concrete Construction (ACORN) EPSRC Dr Paul Shepherd Architecture & Civil Engineering 702,529
Hub 'Science' 3: Catalysis for the Circular Economy and Sustainable Manufacturing EPSRC Prof Matthew Davidson, Dr Ulrich Hintermair, Dr Ruth Webster and Dr Antoine Buchard Chemistry 2,897,142
Enabling industrial deployment of deep eutectic solvents through manufacturing tools EPSRC Professor Karen Edler Chemistry 387,155
TOPCAT 2 DSTL Dr Robert Watson Electronic & Electrical Engineering 401,049
STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products) Bloomberg Philanthropies Professor Anna Gilmore Health 5,676,852
Imprinted genes defining a novel mammalian growth regulatory axis MRC Professor Andrew Ward Biology and Biochemistry 480,460
Developing a sensitive new tool that reveals individual differences in facial emotion perception MRC Professor Darren Cosker Computer Science 321,690

Professor Bernie Morley
Acting Vice-Chancellor
April 2019


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