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Report of the Vice-Chancellor to Senate February 2018

The report presented by Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell to Senate on Wednesday 7 February 2018.


1. The Office for Students

Under the Higher Education & Research Act 2017, HEFCE will cease to operate on 31 March 2018. On 1 April 2018, the majority of HEFCE’s functions, along with the work of the Office of Fair Access, will combine to form the Office for Students, which legally came into force on 1 January 2018. The University intends to apply to the Office for Students for registration as an ‘approved-fee cap’ status provider in April 2018 when the registration portal is opened. See paper S17/18-089 elsewhere on this agenda. Also see this news story about the new university regulator.

2. HEFCE Assurance Review

On 6 October 2017, the University was notified by HEFCE that its five yearly HEFCE Assurance Review (HAR) was due. The HAR visit has been scheduled for Monday 5 February 2018.

3. Institute of Coding

A £40M national Institute of Coding has been announced by the Prime Minister. With £20M from Government, via HEFCE, and £20M+ of matched funding, this is a unique and innovative collaboration in response to the digital skills gap in the UK. Led by the University of Bath, the Institute of Coding will develop and deliver innovative, industry-focused higher education across the UK. The Institute will bring together a consortium of more than 60 universities, national and international corporations, SMEs, industry groups, experts in non-traditional learning and professional bodies. The Institute’s vision is to enhance the education and employability of every IoC learner, and ensure that employers and individuals across the UK can access the skills they need to compete in the global digital economy.

4. HEFCE - funded project: A University approach to combatting sexual harassment and assault

This collaborative Students’ Union/University project has been running since June 2017. It has delivered training to students and staff (including establishment of a cross-institutional team of staff able to deliver bystander intervention training), launched a #NeverOK anti-harassment campaign with reach across student and staff populations, and is currently developing a reporting system and consistent University policies around addressing harassment. A second HEFCE-funded project, combating hate crime and online harassment, will begin in May 2018 under the #NeverOK brand.

5. International Engagements

Since the last meeting:

5.1 The University welcomed the first of its 2017/18 Global Chair appointments to campus in January. Professor Chung-In Moon, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Yonsei University, South Korea will be based in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies working closely with his nominator, Professor Timo Kivimaki. Professor Moon is Special Adviser to the President of South Korea, and formerly Ambassador for International Security Affairs of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, a cabinet-level post. In addition to research discussions and meetings with policy makers, Professor Moon will be speaking at two events on campus and at Pall Mall.

5.2 Professor Catherine Montgomery took up the post of Academic Director of International Partnerships on 1 January 2018. Working closely with Professor Jeremy Bradshaw, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International and Doctoral) when he joins the University on 1 February 2018, Professor Montgomery will lead the development, coordination and delivery of worldwide partnerships. Professor Montgomery will also support the Faculties and the School of Management in identifying, developing and maintaining research, teaching and staff and student exchange links with institutions overseas. This new role is a 0.5 appointment and Professor Montgomery will continue to be based for half of her time in the Department of Education as Professor of International Higher Education.

6. Other University news

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

6.1 Recent grant awards include:

Description Funder Principal Investigator(s) Dept £ Amount
Special Holonomy in Geometry, Analysis and Physics Simons Foundation Professor Mark Haskins Mathematical Sciences 1,084,669
Fellowship - Developing Innovative Flood Frequency Estimation for a Resilient nation NERC Dr Ilaria Prosdocimi Mathematical Sciences 319,108
Virtual Realities - Immersive Documentary Encounters EPSRC Professor Danaë Stanton Fraser Psychology 268,198
Platform: Designing the Future: Resilient Trans-Disciplinary Design Engineers EPSRC Prof Linda Newnes Mechanical Engineering 1,385,835
Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing (OAAM) Innovate UK Professor Stephen Newman Mechanical Engineering 585,296

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, President & Vice-Chancellor


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