Leadership Bulletin – May 2018

Introduction by Alison Metcalfe, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and an update from the strategy pillars.

Having recently joined Sheffield Hallam University from King’s College London, I am very excited to join a university that is striving to become a world leader in applied research and knowledge creation. There is some great work taking place, not least in educating and preparing students for their future careers, through the creation of highly relevant and practical knowledge, and through our engagement and relationships with many partners across the private and public sectors.

Health & Wellbeing is relevant to so many areas of the University, and I will encourage my colleagues in the faculty to continue to grow collaborations and partnerships but also look for new opportunities. The great strength of Sheffield Hallam is what is possible from the cross-disciplinary collaborations, and it is these that are most likely to lead to success in tackling the complex issues our local and global communities are dealing with.

With the warm welcome I have received I’m already feeling very much at home in Sheffield; it will be a pleasure to work here with highly committed colleagues from all areas of the University – I’m truly looking forward to it.

Shaping Futures

Professor Christina Hughes

Breaking news – our colleagues in Careers and Employability pulled out all the stops over the past year to support our 2017/18 graduates into employment.  And their huge success can be seen in our latest results in the DLHE survey (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education), which asks graduates about their employment six months after graduation. On our highly skilled employment or further study metric we have improved our position by 3%, which is brilliant and is real testimony to all the hard work colleagues across the University have put into supporting our students through their studies.  The results are important for us, as both a marker of our success in preparing students for their future in work and because of the bearing they have on our reputation and standing in the sector. The results are an important component of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and can have a substantial influence on our placing in league tables.  The outcomes are:

Indicator 2016/17 (%) 2015/16 (%)
Employment or further study 94.0 93.5
Highly skilled employment or further study 73.5 70.6

If you’d like to delve further, you can find the full results at Faculty, Department and Course level on The Source.

Building on the work of last year we have now launched Gradvantage, part of our Class of 2018 Graduate Support Programme. Gradvantage delivers employability support to students via Departmental Employability Advisers. Advisors are currently contacting over 1,000 targeted students, offering them 1-1 coaching appointments and raising awareness of our full offer, including RISE, internships and the Employability Service.

If you would like to find out more about ambitions and plans for employability you can visit our new site, where you will find resources relating to our Employability Plan and Employability Promise. The intention is that the site is a dynamic resource, which will evolve over time and I really welcome your feedback and suggestions for content.

Finally, I must mention that the DLHE results are under strict embargo by HESA until 28 June 2018, so, for now, are for internal use only.

There is also, now, a lot happening with Hallam Guild, so next time – lots of things to say about this!

As ever, do get in touch with any questions, suggestions, thoughts and so forth.  It is always good to hear from you.

For further updates on the Shaping Futures pillar, visit the pillar information hub.

Creating Knowledge

Professor Roger Eccleston

I don’t usually watch breakfast television, but on 18 April I made an exception to watch C3RI’s Ivan Phelan discussing his work, with colleagues, on the use of VR to help ease pain for burn victims.  I tend to watch the 10 o’clock news more frequently and the following day was surprised and delighted to see Sunita Toor discussing her work tackling violence against women in India.  This was quite an intense couple of days for media coverage but quite characteristic of my first few months as PVC Research, during which I have become aware of remarkable and impactful research and knowledge exchange in all four faculties that I had previously known little or nothing about.

The Creating Knowledge Conference on 18 June will provide an opportunity for us to share and discuss the excellent research and KE activity that goes on across the University.  The sessions will be organised into the emerging research and impact platforms, which are:

  • Healthy, Independent Lives
  • Thriving, Inclusive Communities
  • Future Economies

The platforms are a mechanism to galvanise research collaborations across the University, enhance the external profile of our research and KE, and act as beacons for external collaboration to support our plans to grow research income.  They are aligned to the grand challenges; the complex, global problems that can only be addressed through innovative approaches linking disciplines.  It is important to stress that these are areas of application and impact and are deliberately not aligned to disciplines because they should stimulate inter-disciplinary working.   I know that in some cases it is easy for colleagues to see the alignment between their research and one or more platforms: in others it is more challenging to the extent that some colleagues feel excluded from them. In response to the latter, I have yet to come across any research or KE activity in the University that does not have a potential positive impact on people’s lives or communities and/or an economic benefit.

The platforms are intended to provide an opportunity to link complementary research areas across the University to grow capacity and enhance impact. The Creating Knowledge Conference will provide an opportunity to shape the research and impact platforms and to define a series of 3 key challenges/questions to be addressed by each platform through the next year. Please register here by 1 June and submit abstracts here by 25 May.

For further updates on the Creating Knowledge pillar, visit the pillar information hub.

Leading Locally and Engaging Globally

Professor Alison Metcalfe

On 10 April 2018, the construction of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) officially commenced with a turf-cutting event conducted by Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chairman of NHS England.

The AWRC is a major investment by the NHS, funding the building of a centre with a focus on the development of interventions and technologies to increase people’s mobility and uptake of exercise with the aim of improving physical and psychological health. With an aging population and risk of increased frailty, greater obesity and associated risk of diabetes and related disease, the need to get more people increasing their activity levels has never been greater.

Drawing on the research and innovation skills of colleagues from across the University, the AWRC will be home to multidisciplinary teams that use their knowledge from healthcare and elite sport to work with members of the public, co-designing interventions and technologies to ensure their acceptability and usefulness, in addition to testing their effectiveness in achieving outcomes. The AWRC also provides an opportunity to work with industry and technology companies and the third sector. This can ensure that new developments are taken up and used, enabling them to have widespread impact.

The building should be complete by autumn 2019. In the meantime we will support the development of projects and ideas pertinent to the aim of the AWRC, giving us time to obtain funding to get the work underway, and identify external partners and collaborators. The centre is a wonderful opportunity to dramatically improve people’s health and wellbeing and if you have ideas we will welcome these. More details about how to get involved will be available in the very near future.

For further updates on the Leading Locally and Engaging Globally pillar, visit the pillar information hub.

Building a Great University

An update on BaGU activity will feature in the next Bulletin.

For further updates on the Building a Great University pillar, visit the pillar information hub.

The VC’s Blog – Keep up-to-date with the latest posts at: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/vc/

If you have any queries concerning the Leadership Bulletin, you can contact either Sara Kouchakji-Allen or Michael Clark.

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