Adapting

We are all – in this and every other university – adapting quickly to a new way of working as the nation responds to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus. Just a fortnight ago, it was unclear what impacts the virus would have on the nation; just a week ago the Prime Minister asked everyone…

What’s next?

My first degree was in history.   One of the most difficult things in learning, and teaching, history is to avoid the trap of inevitability: the belief that what happened in the past was in some way bound to happen. It’s the belief that the great turning points of history were unavoidable: that the first world…

Healthy Hallam, Healthy Future

Of course you noticed: we tried to make sure that you couldn’t miss it. On Friday the University formally opened the Advanced Well-Being Research Centre. After five years of hard work, the handsome new building at Attercliffe is open. It could be the single most important investment anyone will make in the north of England…

Holocaust Memorial Day

For me, at least, it’s the human details. The single shoe, the pile of discarded spectacles. Seventy-five years on from the end of the Second World War, the sheer scale of the Holocaust is almost impossible to comprehend. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. In the next decade, perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less…

Beginnings

All new years are in some way new beginnings, which is, I suppose, why so many of us begin them with new resolutions – despite the experience we have each year of failing to stick to them. So many of us will be beginning 2020 with good intentions to get fitter, to exercise more, to…

Sanctuary

We are a few days before Christmas. You don’t have to be religious to find meaning in the Christmas story – a young couple far from home and in desperate need of shelter. This perhaps makes this a good time to write about Sheffield Hallam’s decision to sign a promise to expand its support for…

Brave new world?

The election results are in. The political gridlock of the last three years – to which we had all become accustomed – is over. The outcome is, if nothing else decisive. It’s far more decisive than I had hinted as a prediction in my blog just after the election was called. We now have not…

Graduation stories

Like Christmas, graduation comes but once a year, and, like Christmas, never fails to be engaging in all sorts of ways. It is, of course, an enormous logistical exercise designed to produce flawless occasions: it is essentially a two-week run of performances to full houses at Sheffield City Hall with a shifting repertory cast. I’m…

Happy new year!

The campus has come alive again. Students are spilling out of lecture theatres, seminar rooms and informal study spaces. The campus feels busy and engaged; teaching has begun and students I’ve talked to in the cafes, lifts and corridors are already feeling enthused about their studies. A new academic year is underway. On Friday 27…

University of the Year for Teaching Quality

Let’s start with a quotation: “One of our big civic universities, Sheffield Hallam is enjoying something of a renaissance. Students have repeatedly given it good ratings for the quality of its teaching, but this year their assessments have propelled the university to a new high. Achieving sustained success in this area is hard, all the…