Summer 2017 Recap

Welcome back to all who have been away from campus during the last few weeks. Here's a round-up of the summer's key stories and announcements.


Following acceptance of the final offer, the University is introducing the 2017/18 pay increase for all staff employed on the University salary scale. The base pay increase is 1.7% on points 17 and above on the pay spine, and a larger percentage on lower points. See the HR website for details of the new salary scale. Increases are being processed for September pay (for both mid-month and month-end payees).


Expense rates

The University’s Travel and Subsistence rates have been updated, as part of the ongoing project to introduce a new travel booking system. Changes include:

  • an increase to the maximum mileage rate to 45p per mile (applicable to the first 10,000 miles in any tax year only);
  • an increase in the maximum contribution per head per year for staff functions to £10;
  • an increase in the amount claimable for travel expenses from petty cash per person per week to £10; and
  • an increase in the maximum rates permissible per night per room.

Interest-free loan scheme

We have launched a new interest-free loan scheme for eligible new or current international staff who need support to cover the cost of applications to a secure a legal right to work in the UK. Eligible staff could use the loan of up to £5000 to help with healthcare surcharges, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) costs and other fees.


Recording PE through Symplectic

You can now record your public engagement (PE) activity – in the widest possible sense – under the professional activities tab in Symplectic. It is already used for collecting publications and adding this functionality allows you to record your PE activity on an ongoing basis.



Minerva, the new Portal and VLE, is now live. Academic and support staff will not need to change their module or organisation areas, other than the usual work of updating the rolled-over modules for the new academic year. More information is available on the Portal Blog, which is being updated with frequently asked questions and answers.

Appointment of Pro-Deans

Professor Hai-Sui Yu announced the appointment of seven Pro-Deans for International as part of his strategy to generate international opportunities and raise the University's global profile and reputation:

The pro-dean for the Faculty of Biological Sciences is yet to be appointed.

GCRF - Success in tackling global challenges

Two significant research projects have been awarded £16 million to build resilience in African business and communities as part of our commitment to tackling the world’s greatest issues. The funding is from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion government programme to support research that addresses critical problems in developing countries around the world.


National Teaching Fellows

Two more academics at the University have been awarded National Teaching Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for higher education teaching. This brings Leeds' tally to 26 - the highest of any university.


National Student Survey (NSS)

Leeds has performed well in the NSS, scoring 89% overall satisfaction. However, extensive changes to the survey and a boycott of it among students at universities mean that comparisons with previous years should be treated with caution. Leeds was also top in the teaching category among the Russell group, although institution-level results are not available for 12 higher education institutions, including eight from the Russell Group.

Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Health and Safety

The nomination process for the awards was launched in July but there is still time to nominate your colleagues or students; they could win £250 in gift vouchers and be recognised for their excellence. The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Health and Safety 2017 reward and celebrate the exceptional inspiration, commitment and practice of staff and students for health and safety at the University.

Sustainability in Practice

A new training course had been introduced for all staff. The Sustainability in Practice course explains why sustainability is important and ensures that we all have the knowledge and skills to put it into practice. It gives concrete examples of how we all play a part in ensuring that the University has a positive environmental, social and economic impact.


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