eNews 9 March

International Women's Day, new Leeds Conversations event, industrial action, digital developments and more

The vice Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, unveils a blue plaque for Esther Simpson

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s blog | Women’s progression – how it starts from the top

“Even though gender inequality is a deeply ingrained societal issue, there is a vast amount we can do in universities to enable women to reach the top in equal numbers to men.” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, shares her new blog for International Women’s Day, in which she sets out why leadership and an institutional approach are pivotal in addressing gender inequality – every day of the year.

Industrial action

Leeds Conversations: Let’s talk

Book your place at the next Leeds Conversations event and hear from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, as she outlines why the University supports the UUK proposals for the USS pension scheme, gives details on the University’s financial position and updates on progress in our Fairer future for all initiative. Sessions are open to all colleagues and the first event takes place online on Thursday 31 March at 11:30am. Read the email to all colleagues from the Vice-Chancellor outlining what to expect at the sessions.

Strike action

University and College Union (UCU) has announced further strike action at Leeds from 21 to 25 March 2022. UCU has also announced a fresh ballot about the same disputes which could see industrial action extended beyond the current period.

Our priority throughout this time is to minimise any disruption to students and to ensure we continue to communicate with colleagues about the issues at the heart of this action. 

Digital developments

Safe Links: change to emails

We’re introducing Safe Links to improve cyber security. If it spots a link in an email or a Teams chat that may be malicious, Safe Links rewrites it. You’ll still be able to click on the link, but you’ll get a warning message before you can click through to the website.

Changes to Minerva

A new Introduction to Ultra Course View eLearning resource is now available, providing a high-level overview of forthcoming changes to workflows and module areas within Minerva. Further information, training and support will be provided during the coming months to assist you in making the most of your teaching areas within the upgraded system.

Changes to Atlassian software

If you use Atlassian software (such as Trello or Confluence) with your University account, this will now be managed by the University. This means your profile details will be the same as your University account, and you will not be able to change them. This doesn’t affect you if you signed up using a personal email address. If you use Confluence, you must use your University account, not any accounts you have set up in the application.

Campus life

Honour for Leeds alumna

The Esther Simpson Building – named in honour of an heroic graduate who helped countless academics flee totalitarian regimes across the world – has been officially opened on International Women’s Day. A Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque commemorating her incredible achievements was also unveiled during the special ceremony.

Designed to inspire | Roger Stevens

Three new lecture theatres – LT 4, 12 and 16 – have opened at Roger Stevens, all fully equipped to encourage collaborative learning and teaching. They include laptops and flexible seating, as well as a green wall, which research has shown can improve wellbeing.

Curriculum Redefined

Register | Leeds Curriculum interactive workshop

Sign up for an interactive Curriculum Redefined workshop to learn about the exciting progress we’ve made on establishing our curriculum themes and principles, as part of our innovative 10-year educational change programme. There will also be the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas about what the Leeds Curriculum means to you. There are two identical workshops to choose from, taking place 10am-12 noon on Tuesday 15 March and 2-4pm on Wednesday 16 March.


Survey | Help shape digital teaching and learning

Share your feedback about digital teaching and learning at Leeds. Last year’s Jisc Digital Experience staff and student surveys inspired a raft of improvements in how we deliver online education. This year’s should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and both are open until midnight on Monday 21 March. We recognise there are lots of calls being made on you. However, we’d be grateful if you can find the time to fill in the staff survey – and encourage those you teach to complete the student survey – to help improve experiences of digital teaching and learning at Leeds.

Supplier Framework experience

The supplier framework for design services was launched a year ago, and we’re keen to hear your experiences of using the new process to procure suppliers of graphic design and video. If you’ve used any of the suppliers, please fill out our short, three-question survey with your feedback by Wednesday 16 March to help us improve the process, ensure quality and offer value for money.


Book | Research Culture Café

Book your place on the special topic Research Culture Café on Thursday 10 March. This café-style conversation is an opportunity for you to share your views on UK Research and Innovation’s new open access policy for publicly funded research and how we can implement it for maximum benefit at Leeds.


Spring break | Support and activities for students

You can now view our spring break opening hours and programme of activities for students. Help us spread the word by using this toolkit to tell your students, so they know how to meet others and access support during the break. To include your event on this page, contact the Leeds&You team

Wellbeing and support

Sign up | Menopause in the workplace workshops

Interactive Menopause in the Workplace workshops are available to book for Tuesday 15 March and Wednesday 13 April. Designed to raise awareness of menopause and develop a supportive culture for colleagues, the workshops are aimed at all colleagues, but there are also specific sessions for managers and men.

Learning and development

Workshop | Embodied Learning

Sign up for the latest virtual Share, Adopt, Adapt Workshop (SAAW), 1-2pm on Thursday 17 March. ‘Embodied Learning’ refers to pedagogical approaches that focus on the non-mental factors involved in learning, and that signal the importance of the body and feelings. This event has been curated by Dr Charlie Dannreuther (POLIS) and features a number of short presentations from Charlie himself, Dr Suzanne Young (Law), Dr Scott McLaughlin (Music), Anna Douglas (Fine Art), and Dr Madeleine Le Bourdon (POLIS). 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.

Register | New PebblePad workshops and training sessions

Sign up for the first in a series of Pebble Pad workshops, 30-minute sessions focusing on innovative uses of the ePortfolio software. The launch event, 11-11.30am tomorrow (Thursday 10 March), sees Dr Ruth Payne (PebblePad Academic Lead) present an overview of how she’s built her upper-level module entirely in PebblePad. Beginners looking for an introduction to the software can also sign up for a three-week training programme for PebblePad, starting on Monday 21 March. It’s ideal for anyone who would like to use PebblePad to create engaging teaching and learning materials, or to adopt portfolios for their own use.

Career development sessions

Book your place on OD&PL’s upcoming career development sessions. Designed for colleagues on grades two to five, there are three individual sessions this month looking at maintaining self-confidence in challenging times, raising your profile and communicating more effectively. There is also a series of workshops running until July for colleagues on grades two to four. These explore career planning, effective CVs and interview skills.


Sign up | Regional collaboration for climate action: a leadership discussion

Register for free to hear from three key regional voices discussing climate action and the importance of collaboration. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk; West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin; and the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission’s Professor Andy Gouldson will consider how organisations across the region can work together to pursue a necessarily ambitious path towards net-zero. The event takes place at LUBS from 11am to 12 noon on Monday 4 April.

Sign up | Language@Leeds Triennial Showcase 2022

Register to attend the Triennal Language@Leeds showcase, 4-6.30pm on Wednesday 30 March. Language@Leeds is an interdisciplinary centre for language research and scholarship at Leeds. Held at Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, the showcase includes an extensive programme of talks and posters finishing with a drinks and canapés reception.

Book | Islam Awareness Week event

Registration is now open to attend an Islam Awareness Week event on campus. Organised by the Leeds Muslim Staff Network, in collaboration with the Business School, ‘Leeds and Me: Celebrating Muslim staff and student contributions at Leeds’ is being held at University House tomorrow (Thursday 10 March). The free, in-person event will showcase Muslim staff and student contributions across the University through a series of presentations, followed by networking and light refreshments.

World Unite Festival 2022 programme

LUU’s annual celebration of global community runs until Sunday 13 March. The week-long World Unite Festival 2022 programme offers events, activities and talks from the University and LUU that celebrate the diversity of culture represented by our staff and students.

Register | Be Curious LATES: World Changers

Sign up for the next Be Curious LATES, taking place online 8-9pm, Wednesday 16 March. From helping to address climate change to empowering young women through creativity, join us as we shine a light on just some of the brilliant Leeds research helping reduce inequalities and improve lives. Tickets are free and sessions build on the success of last year’s programme of Be Curious LATES events, designed exclusively for adult audiences.

Register | Chartism Day comes to Leeds

Register to attend the Society for the Study of Labour History’s annual Chartism Day conference at the University on Saturday 19 March. This year’s event honours the late Professor Malcolm Chase, who died in February 2020 after a long and distinguished career at the University.

In case you missed it

A message from the Vice-Chancellor about world events

Teams Voice | Validate your university phone details during March

Preventing interruptions in Microsoft Teams

New Teams app for more structured Q&A sessions

Celebrate Our Staff – February 2022

Spring graduation celebrations – change of venue

Register | International Medieval Congress 2022

Book | Be Curious LATES: Cotton – unpicking the stories woven into our clothes

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