eNews 21 April

Sense of belonging, climate action, new Deans, USS pension, campus services, digital developments, mentoring and more.

eNews 21 April 2021

Thought pieces

Inside Track | A sense of belonging: we can all make a difference

In her latest Inside Track, Louise Banahene, Director of Educational Engagement, argues we all have a role to play in fostering a sense of belonging among our community, and explores how we can make a difference and the resources available to achieve this.

Climate action

Connecting Voices for Climate Action – this week

Climate change presents an unprecedented global challenge that demands an unprecedented global response. As the UK prepares to host the next UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), we’re running a series of events every day this week, gathering voices from across sectors and geographies to build ambition for impactful climate action. Events are free to book for all staff and students

The role of the University in a sustainable future

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, joins other key voices from the university sector and its partners for a special event on Friday 23 April to discuss the role of higher education institutions in driving ambition for COP26 and establishing the legacy of cooperation and innovation. 


New Deans for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Two more key appointments have been announced for the team developing a strategic and sustainable approach to further foster an inclusive environment across the University. Professors Iyiola Solanke and Louise Bryant are the inaugural Deans for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

The EDI team will work closely with colleagues throughout the University to achieve these aims, including the Equality and Inclusion Unit. Previously the Equality Policy Unit, the recent name change reflects its broadening remit and responsibilities, as well as its equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, which has expanded substantially in recent years.


USS pension: your opinions

There’s national discussion about the future of the USS pension scheme. Soon, scheme members and eligible employees will have the chance to provide their views on aspects of the scheme via a survey. If this applies to you, you’ll receive information on email by the end of April.

Campus life

Changes to parking

Free parking on campus during core hours will end from Monday 3 May and the temporary ‘interim permit’ system introduced last year will be reinstated. Follow the parking guidance if you’re working on campus and need a permit. Existing interim permits will be reinstated automatically.

Services reopening next week

From Monday 26 April, further study spaces and Student Information Points will open. Leeds University Union returns to seven-day trading and the Common Ground cafe and Caffé Nero in LUBS will reopen for takeaway. Outdoor space at the Old Bar will be available along with the catering van adjacent to Chancellor’s Court. For more information, read the email sent to all colleagues from Roger Gair, University Secretary, on Wednesday 14 April with an update on arrangements for the summer term

Digital developments

Zoom log-in changes

If you log in to Zoom with your University username, you will now always be directed to the standard University log-in page. Previously, you were able to log in without going through the University’s single sign-on. This will make logging on simpler and improve security in Zoom meetings and webinars.

Growing our fully online education | Q&A recording and new one-to-one slots 

Are you an academic with ideas for a fully online education programme? We want to grow our online provision rapidly, so expressions of interest are encouraged as part of this year’s IPE process. Watch last week’s Q&A session with Helen Durham, Academic Lead for Online Education, for further information, and look out for the dedicated Teams site coming soon. There are also some new slots available on Wednesday 28 April to book a one-to-one discussion to explore your ideas further.

Using Top Hat | Find out more

Further resources are now available for supporting the use of Top Hat – the institutional mobile voting tool enhancing teaching and assessment activities – including a unique concierge service, training courses, interactive guides, staff testimonials and regular support sessions.

Times Higher Education (THE) Digital Universities Week

THE’s first-ever Digital Universities Week (Monday 17 to Friday 21 May) will bring together higher education institutions from across the UK to exchange knowledge and discuss best practice regarding their rapid and ongoing digital transformation journeys. As part of the packed programme, register for free to hear Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at Leeds, discuss the secrets behind successful strategies and potential pitfalls

Learning and development

New assessment and feedback resources

OD&PL is providing new staff resources focusing on assessment and feedback – areas of practice that can have a significant impact on a student’s learning experience. The new webpage has a series of resources, case studies and articles to develop and enhance your practice. You can also contribute your own thoughts and experiences. 

Sign up | Learn Mandarin Chinese

It was UN Chinese Language Day yesterday (Tuesday 20 April), so why not sign up for an eight-week evening course to learn Mandarin Chinese? Offered by the Business Confucius Institute at Leeds, online sessions start in the first week of May. Courses cost £100, but colleagues on grades 2-4 can apply for Learning for Life funding, subject to availability.

Wellbeing and support

Mentoring scheme

As we approach the next matching process in May for the University-wide staff mentoring scheme, OD&PL has outlined the different types of mentoring relationships, and how each can offer unique and enriching development opportunities for both the mentor and mentee. 

Welcome event | Book your place

If you’ve recently joined the University, book your place at the virtual welcome event for new staff on Wednesday 19 May. Find out more about Leeds, meet new colleagues and explore the range of benefits, support and advice available.

What’s next for wellbeing?

Join Leeds alumna Leyla Okhai, CEO and Founder of Diverse Minds, tomorrow (Thursday 22 April) for a webinar exploring the key pressure points and lessons learnt to enable recovery as we transition from life in a pandemic.


International Workers’ Memorial Day

We’re approaching International Workers’ Memorial Day, when we remember those people who’ve lost their lives at work. Although this year we won’t be able to attend the kind of event usually held on campus, please join the minute’s silence being held across the world at 11am on Wednesday 28 April. Parkinson Building will also be lit up purple that night. More ideas about how to mark the occasion, including ordering a special purple ribbon, are available on the TUC website.

Leeds Digital Festival 2021

Register to attend the curated line-up of online events being held for Leeds Digital Festival (LDF). We’ve renewed our sponsorship of the hugely popular tech showcase, running from Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 April. View the full LDF programme and watch this space for details of how you can get involved in the two-week open platform event planned for September.

Online workshop

Register for the latest Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW) running from 10-11am tomorrow (Thursday 22 April). ‘Pathways to Student Success’ will showcase initiatives being undertaken to support under-represented students. A collaboration between Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and OD&PL, the SAAW series continues to examine and showcase best practice across the University, as well as address new challenges posed by covid-19 restrictions.

In case you missed it

Coronavirus | Staff FAQs

Free asymptomatic covid-19 tests

Brotherton Library and Special Collections Research Centre reopening

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | From coping to flourishing: how to make universities happy again

University Strategy | Your questions answered

Women of Achievement Awards 2021 | Our special celebrants

Free upgraded access to online FutureLearn Campus courses

Leeds for Life refresh | New website

Research integrity and ethics training resource in Minerva

Access Digital Essentials For Staff training on LinkedIn Learning

Sign up | Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice

Supporting staff and students during Ramadan

Outdoor fitness classes with The Edge

Community swimming lessons return

Free pedal sessions at the Bodington Cycle Circuit

Sign up | Get Out, Get Active’s BRIT Virtual Distance Challenge

MCard renewal deadlines

Workshop | Supporting communities post-covid

Take part | Ilkley Literature Festival

Keeping up to date

This enewsletter is brought to you by the Communications team. Keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account. Our previous staff email communications can be found on our dedicated In Depth page, together with guidance on how to request an eNews entry. Please keep checking our coronavirus website for the latest information and advice, including updated data for the number of coronavirus cases among staff and students

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