The School of Eloquence

A few weeks ago, to fill some time at the start of a screen meeting while waiting for the ‘room’ to fill, I told an anecdote from my own teenage years. A schoolfriend of mine, the first in his family to go to university, got the train home during the first term. He walked home…

Taking stock

It depends where you look. The corona virus pandemic looks quite different in different parts of the world. In the global South, where communications and health systems remain more rudimentary, and where poverty remains the overwhelming challenge, the pandemic continues to rage. In the richer global north, the combination of vaccines and robust public health…

Entrepreneurial University of the Year

The news that Sheffield Hallam has been awarded the title ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ in this year’s Times Higher Education university awards is, of course, brilliant. It’s a mark of the hard work and imagination which has been shown right across the University in our work on progression to employment, engagement with business and…

Graduation

It’s certainly different this year. The location and organisation is different. But the underlying essentials are the same: our graduation ceremonies, conducted in the shadow of the pandemic, are both different and the same. The University wasn’t able to hold graduation ceremonies in 2020, which means that this year’s events, which conclude this week, allow…

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…

Departures

There was an inexpressibly sad story reported a few weeks ago.  Helen Jackson died in December 2020 at the age of 101.  She had been a teenager in Missouri in the 1930s, one of ten children in a desperately poor family. She took to running chores on her way home from school for a 93…

Election

The General Election will take place on the 12th December. It’s going to be a long six weeks running through the shortening days of the Autumn: a season of vicious political debate, a fair amount of mendacity and, doubtless, numerous twists and turns. The nation is deeply divided. There are deep political, economic, social, cultural…

Super Saturday?

It was badged as ‘Super Saturday’: the day on which Parliament made a definitive decision about the Prime Minister’s negotiated deal with the European Union. That might have meant that Brexit would be almost over, or that the difficult discussions were just beginning. Which of these judgements you make on Brexit probably depends on your…

Summertime

This is my last blog of the academic year; after this week, the blog will take its summer break. It’s an opportunity to look back over the year just gone and to step back a little. It’s been a busy and full year for the university with some striking achievements. The University has secured its…