Start of the academic year 2019/20

Alison Metcalfe

A message from Alison Metcalfe (Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching and for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing)

Dear Colleagues

Welcome to the start of the new academic year. I hope you’ve all had a good summer vacation during the last couple of months and are now looking forward to the academic year ahead.

It must be especially pleasing starting this year knowing the University has been voted University of the Year for the quality of its teaching. This is a testament to all the hard work and commitment we all give to our students throughout the year. It is noteworthy that this award has been received during a period of significant change for the University with the PSOM and AOP re-organisations taking place. It is a credit to the professionalism of everyone in the University that this did not impact on our students’ experiences. We now need to build on the award to make further progress.

We are now in the final few months of AOP and PSOM and we will transition into the new College structure from January. I am delighted to say that Dr Toni Schwarz has been appointed as the new Dean for the College of Health & Wellbeing – I hope you will join me in congratulating Toni.

We are also in the process of setting up the Faculty Leadership Team. Those colleagues who have been working in interim roles have worked diligently throughout this time and I would like to thank them and acknowledge the dedication and commitment they have brought to the roles.

As the Vice-Chancellor said in his presentation for the new academic year, we will continue with four objectives this year in the University, and of course these will also apply to Health & Wellbeing:

1. To enhance our distinctiveness
2. To continue to build quality
3. Deliver long-term organisational sustainability
4. Extend our influence and purpose

As I take on my new role as PVC for Learning & Teaching as well as the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, I will continue to work closely with the leadership team to manage our transition into the new college structure and to develop the opportunities to enable us to meet the four objectives.

The Integrated Care Curriculum has just commenced for the Departments of Allied Health Professions, Nursing & Midwifery and Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies. This is a major curriculum change to the undergraduate programme and I look forward to hearing about how it progresses. The Academy of Sport and the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry have now integrated their teaching and research activity more closely.  Whilst as a Faculty and a University we can look forward to the opening of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) this autumn. We are arranging for colleagues to visit the AWRC and I would encourage colleagues to go and have a look round at this new state of the art research centre which brings together the local community, and regional and national businesses to work with our researchers on developing interventions and service that increase people’s mobility with the aim of preventing disease and illness.

The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre

We can build on all these developments to provide a great learning experience for our students and new opportunities for staff in their areas of interest and expertise, allowing them to develop their skills and experience. As a leadership team in the Faculty and shortly the new College, we are making plans to enable this to happen.

Wishing you a successful academic year.

Best wishes


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