Snakes and ladders

The UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMO) are a cross-society set of awards “established to recognise and encourage action that will promote and increase social mobility within Britain’s companies and institutions. These awards…recognise best practice and innovation and celebrate excellence and achievement and elevate social mobility as a cause equal to the level of other diversity…

Unfinished business

It’s not over. It’s particularly not over in the global south, where vaccination rates and hospitalisations continue to place enormous strain on often rudimentary public health services. It’s not over in the UK either, though here vaccination appears to have broken the link between infection and hospitalisation. It’s not over, but in many small ways,…

Getting underway

Around the country, children have returned to school and students are returning – or starting – university. The pandemic may not be over, but many semblances of normality are returning. It’s been a long time for all of us, but if you are a young person, the last eighteen months has been a huge proportion…

New year

Throughout my career, I’ve always had a very distinctive feeling at this time of year. You know that Autumn is in the air. The mornings are a little darker and a little cooler. The leaves beginning to turn. The “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is upon us. Despite a careful reading of Keats’s poem,…

Thank you

It’s not true, of course, that universities close up shop in late July and August.  There’s always a lot of work going on across campuses, visibly and less visibly.  The academic financial year ends on 31 July, so finance teams are busy with year-end activities.  A-level, International Baccalaureate and BTEC results are out in mid-August…

Getting back

The Government has announced that all legal pandemic restrictions will end on July 19. Covid is not over: as the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid has said, as a society we are going to need to learn to live with Covid-19.  Clearly, he isn’t wrong: Covid-19 is simply the latest coronavirus in global circulation. Four…

Moving more

This blog is a week – to be more accurate, a week and a day – later.  I took a week’s leave last week. and we went away for a week of walking, cycling and exploring to a remote corner of Herefordshire.  We might have chosen a week of better weather, but it was nonetheless…

Hot water

There’s an old, and now very hackneyed story which used to feature a lot in management training courses, about how (the example was always a frog) if a frog is in a saucepan of water which is gently heated, it simply doesn’t notice the change in temperature until it’s too late for it to react.…

Levelling-up

We are all beginning to move out into the world again. About ten days ago, I set off to Shirecliffe in north-east Sheffield for what was probably my first visit on behalf of the university for fourteen months. In Shirecliffe, the University has partnered with Save the Children, Sheffield City Council and Watercliffe Meadows School…

Testing…

A couple of years ago, before the pandemic, I hosted a dinner for Hallam alumni who lived in an overseas city where I’d been doing a lecture tour. It was a great evening, drawing together Hallam alumni from several decades ago as well as very recent graduates. They all got on very well. At one…