eNews 4 August

The Big Leeds Conversation 'thank you', advancing disability equality, digital developments, Turing Scheme funding, mentoring, galleries reopen and staff benefits

A close up of the Bragg Building's staircase by Steve Gilley.


Thank you for taking part in The Big Leeds Conversation  

“It has been a fascinating insight into the current culture of our University and demonstrated the commitment and passion of our staff to their work and our students. It also saw staff, students and postgraduate researchers raise some challenging issues for our University community, which my senior colleagues and I will endeavour to think through carefully, drawing on the insight and input of colleagues.” Read Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk’s, full article thanking staff for taking part in The Big Leeds Conversation and explaining what will happen next.  

Thought pieces 

Podcast | The case for active learning 

What’s the purpose of a university education, particularly in an age of lifelong learning? In the latest episode of a monthly series of podcasts, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, discusses how problem-based active learning can provide better results for university students. 

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Advancing disability equality 

Find out more about our new Disability Equality Framework, which outlines our vision for progressing disability equality for staff and students during the next four years. The framework focuses on the key areas of culture and behaviours, the working environment, student education, research culture and infrastructure. 

Digital developments 

Minerva upgrade 

Minerva is being upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard. As a result, the platform will be unavailable from 5pm on Friday 6 August until Wednesday 11 August. Whenever you log in to Minerva after the upgrade, you’ll be prompted to complete Duo two-factor authentication. If you haven’t already signed up to Duo, make sure you do so now – don’t leave it until the last minute. Find out more about Duo on the IT website. 

Update | Teams meeting recordings 

Microsoft is allowing us to defer changing where recordings of Teams meetings are stored. As the new storage location would mean we couldn’t edit recording transcripts, we will be delaying the change until 2022. Recordings will continue to be stored in Stream until then. Find out more about the change and why it has been deferred 

Digital Education Annual Report 

The first Digital Education Annual Report has been published. Following a truly transformational period, the report – compiled by the Digital Education Service – highlights collaboration across the University and showcases the impressive impact of digital education. From reaching more than two million learners across 236 countries to launching two new fully-online degrees, the report is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of colleagues across the University. 


Turing Scheme study abroad funding

Leeds has secured Turing Scheme study abroad funding for the next academic year. The scheme will provide financial assistance for eligible students, postgraduate researchers and recent graduates to undertake international study and work opportunities in the 2021/22 academic year.

Summer campus day

Students are invited to attend a day of activities on campus on Thursday 12 August, as part of the Summer in Leeds programme. Events include lawn games, a campus tour and a quiz with the student ambassadors. The Careers Service will also be on hand to chat to students about their next steps. All activities are free for students and lunch is included. Help us spread the word by encouraging students to book their place


Volunteer | Confirmation and clearing call handling 

A reminder that colleagues not already involved with admissions are invited to volunteer for confirmation and clearing call handling when this year’s A-Level results are published on Tuesday 10 August. No prior knowledge of admissions is required as full training and support is provided. Volunteers can also indicate whether they would prefer to be ‘stand-by staff’, only called upon to help if needed. 

Training | Undergraduate admissions results embargo 

All relevant colleagues involved in undergraduate admissions are asked to complete training to prevent breaches of the results embargo. This is the period before qualification results day where early access to post-16 exam results (i.e. A-levels) is given to universities. Results cannot be shared or discussed with applicants until the embargo – which runs from 12 noon today (Wednesday 4 August) to 8.30am on Tuesday 10 August – has lifted.

Learning and development 

Apply now | Enhance Your Student Education Practice (pilot) course  

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday 11 August for a new course from OD&PL aimed at early and mid-career academic teaching colleagues, especially Teaching Fellows. The Enhance Your Student Education Practice (pilot) course features six workshops providing you with the tools and skills to plan, evaluate and enhance your teaching and scholarship practice. It can also support your career development and plans for professional recognition. 

Reminder | Mentoring scheme  

Colleagues are asked to consider our University-wide mentoring scheme when having staff review and development scheme (SRDS) conversations. Open to all, you can apply to either be a mentor or mentee at any time, with matching taking place twice a year. The mentoring experience is mutually beneficial and allows colleagues to share knowledge and skills with others, supporting them to achieve their individual objectives. The next round of matching takes place in November.

Campus life 

Leeds University Library Galleries reopen to the public  

After a gap of 16 months, the Parkinson Building’s two outstanding galleries are open to the public again. The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery offers innovative art exhibitions from the University’s exceptional art collection, while The Treasures of the Brotherton showcases rare items in our Special Collections. Both galleries are open Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 2pm. Entry is free and you don’t need to book.  


Careers Summer for Researchers | Personal Branding webinar  

OD&PL is hosting an online webinar about personal branding with Susan Chritton, as part of the Careers Summer for Researchers Programme. Taking place on Thursday 2 September, the event will consider the importance of personal branding and how to develop and communicate yours. Susan is a thought leader in personal branding based in the US, and is an executive career coach, master personal brand strategist and applied positive psychology practitioner, as well as the author of ‘Personal Branding for Dummies’. 

Sign up | Media and Communication Research Newsletter 

The School of Media and Communication Research Newsletter provides news, research updates and event details three times a year for academic colleagues at institutions across the globe. Catch up on previous newsletters in the online archive. You can unsubscribe at any time if you change your mind.   

Staff benefits 

MCard extension/cancellation scheme 

Following the national lockdown in March 2020, Metro launched an extension/cancellation scheme for annual corporate MCard holders unable to travel on public transport due to Government restrictions. The deadline for requests has now been extended to Monday 16 August. For those applying for extensions, new cards will start no later than Wednesday 1 September 2021. 

Ticket offer | The Leeds International Piano Competition 

The Leeds International Piano Competition returns in September with the most internationally diverse line-up in its 58-year history. To celebrate, you can enjoy a 10% discount on tickets to the second round and semi-final, being hosted by the University. Simply select your tickets and enter the promotional code at the checkout. Armchair fans can stream performances via medici.tv or catch a broadcast of the semi-final and final on BBC Radio 3. 

Ticket offer | Heathers The Musical 

West End smash Heathers The Musical is coming to Leeds Grand Theatre. Take advantage of the special staff ticket offer for matinee or evening shows between Thursday 5 and Thursday 12 August. Simply select your performance and enter the promotional code when selecting your seats. 

Wellbeing and support 

Taking a break 

Just a reminder that we all need to book and take breaks from work throughout the year, sometimes at exactly the point it feels hardest to do. Read the update from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, from earlier this year, ‘It’s important to take a break’ 


Sign up | Student Education Forum 

You can now sign up for the next two sessions of our monthly Student Education Forum, bringing together networks from across the University community. The next session, taking place from 3-4pm on Wednesday 11 August, will feature an update on the postgraduate student experience commission, chaired by Professor Paul Taylor, Dean: Student Education (Experience), together with an opportunity to welcome our new Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, Professor Jeff Grabill. 

Leeds Digital Festival 2021 submissions 

Event submissions for Leeds Digital Festival (LDF) 2021 close at 5pm on Wednesday 18 August. We’ve renewed our sponsorship for the latest instalment of the hugely popular tech showcase, with the two-week open-platform event running from Monday 20 September to Friday 1 October. Please share details of your LDF event with us if you’d like to be included in our future publicity. 

FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2021 online exhibition 

Discover the freshest artistic talent from the University in the annual FUAM Graduate Art Prize online exhibition. In its ninth year, the prize and exhibition – supported by the Friends of University Art and Music (FUAM) – rewards the artistic excellence of students completing BA studies in Art and Design and Fine Art at Leeds. The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery will host a virtual exhibition, via Google Arts & Culture, showcasing the work of this year’s four finalists, which will launch on Tuesday 10 August. 

In case you missed it 

Working together to stay safe: arrangements for the summer and beyond 

Live streaming | Training, guidance and FAQs 

British Academy Fellowships 

LITE Fellowships 2021 | Call for applications 

Leeds Partnership Awards | Global accolade winners 

Online workshop | Studying at University as a mature student 

Apply now | Engagement Excellence Scheme: public and policy engagement tracks 

Sign up | New PebblePad training dates 

Training | Mediasite: Create and Share Digital Content 

Inclusive teaching | New marking and feedback resources 

Book | Level 1 ‘Foundations of Active Learning’ Top Hat Certification training 

Save the date | Student Education Conference 2022 

Join | Chronic Pain and Fatigue Staff Network 

Book | Get Out, Get Active Wellbeing Run Club 

Book | Free campus sculpture tour 

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