eNews 8 December

Semester two, Banner improvements, Curriculum Redefined roles, Research Transformed events, Be Curious 2022, blue plaque, end-of-year quiz and more.

eNews 8 December 2021

Campus life

Plans for student education in semester two

The University Executive Group – our most senior management body – has reviewed the approach for the delivery of student education in 2021-22 and agreed that the current arrangements will continue for the remainder of this academic year, with some improvements. These include safely increasing the capacities of some teaching spaces to allow for more face-to-face sessions, and fixing technical issues with lecture capture and live streaming to improve the online experience.

We’re monitoring guidance around the Omicron variant of covid-19, and if we need to make further changes as a result of Government guidance or legal requirements, we’ll be in touch. See our updated student FAQs for further information.

New temporary precautionary measures on campus

Following the latest Department for Education covid-19 safety guidance to universities, as a precaution, we now expect staff, students and postgraduate researchers to wear face coverings in all communal areas on campus. We don’t expect individuals to wear face coverings when they’re seated in offices, study spaces or libraries, provided they’re able to maintain a safe distance from others.

We also expect staff and students to wear face coverings in teaching spaces. Teaching staff aren’t required to wear face coverings while teaching if they’re able to maintain a safe distance from students. These rules don’t apply to people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. See our updated FAQs for further information.

Thought pieces

Inside Track | Banner: the basics

Read the Inside Track from Catherine Lorigan, Business Sponsor for the Student Lifecycle Programme, in which she explains why work behind the scenes on student records system Banner is crucial to improving the experience of both staff and students.

Curriculum Redefined

New roles | Help shape student education

We’re looking for transformative educators to join our academic community, with a focus on teaching and scholarship, as part of our ambitious and exciting educational change programme, Curriculum Redefined. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to shape the education at Leeds for generations to come. Find out more about the roles and how to apply.

Industrial action

Returning from strike action

If you’ve participated in strike action, you must inform us by completing the online form in Employee Self Service (ESS) no later than 5pm on Monday 13 December. Read our guidance on how to record industrial action dates through ESS.  

Frequently asked questions

To support all colleagues during this period, including those taking part in industrial action, read our industrial action FAQs, where we address key questions and concerns. FAQs for students are also available to help explain what industrial action might mean for them.


Register | Research Transformed events

Book your place on one of our online events to hear from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk; Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Nick Plant, and colleagues from across the research community as they share further information about the Research Transformed project at Leeds. Sessions are available on Monday 13 December and Wednesday 12 or Tuesday 18 January.

Launch | Joint policing research centre

A new research centre has been launched dedicated to better understanding how police and other services can prevent and reduce vulnerabilities in society. Run by Leeds and the University of York, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre is the first of its kind to study how issues such as domestic abuse, mental illness and exploitation by county lines drug networks affect policing.

Sign up | Research Culture Cafés

Book your place on upcoming Research Culture Cafés. The next event, on Thursday 16 December, focuses on career development and responsible assessment. Dates and themes for sessions running until August 2022 are also now available. The online café-style conversations aim to promote a positive and inclusive research culture, and will help colleagues propose solutions for change, share experiences and create a community network.

Take part | Be Curious 2022

Researchers from all disciplines are invited to make contributions to Be Curious 2022, our annual open event showcasing the University’s world-changing research to the wider public. Submissions are invited for in-person activities to be hosted on campus on Saturday 7 May, together with supporting digital content that encourages families to explore research through hands-on making, doing and creating. Read the guidelines for taking part and complete the online form by 5pm on Wednesday 26 January to register your interest.


Honour | Blue plaque

A blue plaque has been officially unveiled by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, honouring Fanny Passavant, our first librarian and the only woman to hold such a post at the time the University was established in 1904. The plaque is located on a wall of the Great Hall, where our original library was located.

Bambisanani Partnership

We welcomed members of the South African High Commission and British Council to Leeds this week, as part of celebrations to raise awareness of the ongoing work of the Bambisanani Partnership. Sport and Physical Activity colleagues have worked tirelessly with the charity during the past decade, supporting communities in South Africa to help develop the skills, and broaden the horizons, of young people.


Take part | 12 Days of Continuous Improvement

Join the Continuous Improvement Network for ‘12 Days of Improvement’, an online event running until Thursday 16 December. You can submit stories about the past year’s successes or failures in Continuous Improvement until Friday 10 December. The event includes new thematic content every day – from tools and techniques to concepts – as well as presentations and case studies from colleagues.


Winter break | Information and support

See the updated For Student website to access holiday opening hours and support information, together with out-of-term activities to join, to help our students feel supported during the winter break. You can help promote these resources to students through your channels by using our communications ‘toolkit’, which includes messages and images, together with a guide to inclusive language around Christmas and the winter break.

Student newsletter

Read the latest student newsletter, which includes key covid-19 guidance, such as how to get tested and vaccinated, as well as useful information for the upcoming assessment period.

Learning and development

Health and safety training

Look out for emails reminding you to complete the online health and safety training, if you haven’t done so recently. Training courses, operated by Britsafe, have been upgraded for a more modern look and feel. Each module – Display Screen Equipment (DSE), Fire Safety and Manual Handling – takes about 20 minutes to complete. For the DSE training, you can focus on the workstation you use the most, whether this is on campus or at home.

Sign Up | Find out more about the Plus Programme

Academic personal tutors can find out more about the Plus Programme during a seminar running from 4-5pm on Wednesday 12 January. The programme is one of our keystone initiatives for helping ensure those from widening participation backgrounds have the greatest chance of success, at Leeds and beyond. The session, hosted by OD&PL and Educational Engagement, will explore the programme and how academic personal tutors can work more closely with those running it to ensure students are able to understand and access the support on offer. 

Register | Student Success seminar for academic personal tutors

Join OD&PL and Educational Engagement from 3-4pm on Monday 13 December to find out more about Student Success – a University-wide effort to close the gaps in outcomes that exist between specific groups of students in terms of non-continuation rates, degree attainment and progression. The session, designed for academic personal tutors, will look at the practical ways in which elements of the strategy are being implemented, as well as progress so far.

Join | SES Analyst Network

Join the SES Analyst Network if you use data and insight in your role and are interested in data-informed decision making. The Student Educations Service (SES) initiative provides opportunities to share best practice and collaboratively problem-solve, with plans for joint sessions, training and development, together with a convenor group to help run the Network. Contact Edward Hunter for further information.

Apply | Enhance Your Student Education Practice course 

The application deadline for OD&PL’s Enhance your Student Education Practice course has been extended until 5pm today (Wednesday 8 December). Aimed at early and mid-career academic teaching colleagues, the six online workshops are designed to provide you with the tools and skills to plan, evaluate and enhance your teaching and scholarship practice.

Book | PebblePad ePortfolio training  

It’s your last chance to sign up for PebblePad training this year. These 45-minute sessions – running until Friday 10 December – are designed to teach new users how to create innovative teaching materials and provide support for existing ones. Don’t forget you can also access your PebblePad account to take a quick tour of the homepage before you join the session.

Wellbeing and support

Flu vaccinations

Winter flu virus season is here and we’re supporting all colleagues to get vaccinated. The University will reimburse the cost – up to £15, via e-expenses – of a private flu vaccination if you’re not eligible for a free NHS jab.

Staff benefits

Festive fitness offer

Get seven days’ premium access to The Edge for just £15 – a saving of up to £90. Make the most of all the facilities, including the eight-lane swimming pool, 250-station gym, spin studio, climbing wall and more for any week during the run up-to Christmas. Available until Christmas Eve (Friday 24 December), this special offer can be purchased at The Edge reception.

Flexible gym membership

The Edge is offering flexible gym memberships – exclusively for staff – with 12 visits costing just £37.50. This half-price saving works out at just over £3 per visit. The special offer is available to purchase at The Edge reception until Friday 17 December.

Savings | Cycle to Work Scheme

For anyone thinking ahead to their New Year resolutions, our bespoke Cycle to Work Scheme offers a fantastic benefit to your physical and financial wellbeing, while also helping promote sustainable travel. Choose a bike from more than 2,000 retailers, hire it for 12 months from Cyclescheme – via a salary sacrifice arrangement – and save 25-39% on a new bike for work. There are some great festive season cycling deals to be had, so don’t delay, saddle up today!

Enter | Bike competition

Cyclescheme, which administers our Cycle to Work Scheme, has teamed up with Canyon to give away a Roadlite 5 bike, worth £899. All colleagues, whether they’re scheme members or not, can enter the competition before midnight on Friday 31 December. Good luck!


Equality and Inclusion Calendar 2022

The Equality and Inclusion Calendar 2022 is now available to view. It highlights significant events, from faith and diversity days to public holidays, in order to support timetabling, work scheduling and event planning. Browser-based and PDF versions are available, along with an ICS format option for Outlook calendars.

Take part | UK Disability History Month 2021

There’s still time to join Disability Services for its packed programme of events to mark UK Disability History Month 2021 (UKDHM). The latest online session takes place from 11am to 12 noon on Wednesday 15 December. ‘Inside or Outside’ explores the inclusivity of university policies and practices in meeting the needs of neurodiverse students. Visit the Equality and Inclusion Unit website for further information and details of available support for staff and students.

Swap Shop | Recycle your clutter

Looking to shift some clutter in a sustainable way? Drop off unwanted items at LUU until Friday 17 December, which students can collect at an event in January to reuse. Use the drop-off stall at Market Square in LUU from 11am to 1pm on Friday 10, Monday 13 and Thursday 16 December. Items can also be taken to the Events Room on Level 2 of LUU outside of these times.


End-of-year quiz

We’re rounding off the year by testing how much University trivia you ‘snow’ with our end-of-the-year quiz! If you enjoy the quiz, please tweet us @UniLeedsStaff with your score and let us know if you passed with first-class honours or if you need to go back to school!


Festive deadlines 

Due to the Christmas closure, eNews will take a break after next week’s edition (Wednesday 15 December) until Wednesday 12 January. Deadlines for both editions remain the same, with submissions required by the preceding Friday.

In case you missed it

Inside Track | Queen’s Anniversary Prize – A Fairer Future for All in action

World Changers | Essays with impact by early-career researchers

Event recordings | Fairer Future for All

Appointment | Next Pro-Chancellor appointed

Celebrate Our Staff – November 2021

Sign up | Student Education Conference 2022

Get involved | Fresh Start Festival

Packed programme | Winter Festival

Sign up | Research Culture Community

Recording | Lifelong Learning Centre open house

Assessment | Digital Education Systems Help website

Sign up | Podcasting for Teaching workshop

Updated | Managers’ guide to supporting staff mental health

Register | Virtual welcome events for new staff

Book | MathsCity attraction

Take part | Perspectives on Public Art: Being Human 2021

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