eNews 27 April

eNews: VC's interview, new ways of working, USS pension sessions, Senate and Council updates, learning and development, Leeds Partnership Awards, surveys, Eid and more.

Flowers and grass on campus

Thought pieces

Vice-Chancellor’s THE interview

In an interview with Times Higher Education (THE), Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, discusses work to address the issue of fixed-term contracts at Leeds, as part of our drive to create a Fairer future for all; the need for a shift towards true collaboration to tackle global challenges; and the transformational potential of group-based active learning.

Inside Track | Achieving balance in our new ways of working

In this Inside Track feature, Chief People and Culture Officer, Paul Boustead, discusses the need for innovation and balance in establishing new working practices that will set us up for the future.

USS pension 

Book | USS pension information sessions 

Hosted by pensions experts, Mercer, these online pension sessions will provide you with: 

  • an overview of benefits in the USS pension scheme 
  • details of the valuation discussions to date 
  • details of what changes are being made 
  • an understanding of the investment builder and the role of the pensions regulator; and  
  • advice on where to find further information and help.  

Sessions are taking place across April and May, with the next one being held from 2-3pm today (Wednesday 27 April).

You can watch the latest session on demand


Council and Senate updates 

The University Council meeting on Thursday 31 March included approval for the appointment of three new members – Dr Rachel Tsang and Ken Sargison (external) and Lauren Huxley (staff); and agreement of a revised ‘Statement of the role of the Senate’, including changes to the size and composition of the Senate; and endorsement of the approach to determine and evaluate the nine institutional strategy outcome-based Key Performance Indicators.

Learning and development

Register | IT open sessions

You can register to attend IT open sessions being hosted this week to update you on what’s happening in IT, with the chance to put questions to the IT Executive leadership team. Staff can also find out about the Be Safe programme, Research IT and Agile Methodology. The four sessions take place tomorrow (Thursday 28 April) and Friday 29 April.

Apply | Mentoring scheme 

Applications for the next round of matching for our University-wide mentoring scheme are open until Wednesday 4 May. Available to all colleagues, you can apply to either be a mentor or mentee at any time, with matching taking place in May and November each year. The mentoring experience allows colleagues to share knowledge and skills with others, supporting them to achieve their individual objectives. OD&PL is providing workshops for mentors and mentees, starting in June, to help them get the most out of this programme.

Book | Find out about PGCAP  

Places are still available for an online event to find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). Run by OD&PL from 12 noon to 1pm on Friday 13 May, this session explores how the course works, why participants engage with the PGCAP and the impact it has on enhancing their student education practice. Applications to join the September PGCAP cohort are open until Tuesday 31 May.  

Sign up | Management in Practice Development 

Book your place on the upcoming Management in Practice Development sessions running until July. Facilitated by HR and OD&PL, the sessions aim to develop your skills related to managing others and are designed for supervisors, team leaders and managers, or for colleagues aspiring to these roles. Workshops are available based on your grade, and sessions are designed for colleagues on grades six to eight. The first sessions take place from Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 May.

Register | Introduction to the Aurora leadership programme

Join OD&PL from 1.30-3pm on Thursday 19 May for a virtual event introducing the 2022/23 Aurora Progamme. Find out more about the programme, ask any questions you have and hear from previous attendees about their experiences. The Aurora programme by Advance HE provides women-only online leadership development for colleagues at or above lecturer level, or grade seven for technicians and those in professional services. Colleagues can apply themselves or be nominated by their faculty or service.

Book | Sustainability: The Role of the Manager 

Sign up for an online sustainability training programme for managers and leaders who want to develop a good understanding of the subject and its strategic importance to Leeds. Part one, which will be emailed to participants after they’ve registered, covers the basics of sustainability. This must be completed before attending part two, which is an online session taking place from 1-4 pm on Thursday 12 May.

Sign up | Policy Engagement Kickstart Programme 

Sign up for the Policy Engagement Kickstart Programme starting in May. Aimed at researchers and research support staff who are relatively new to policy engagement, the course will explain the structure of government, provide a realistic view of how policy is made and help you to increase the impact of your work. Register by 1pm on Tuesday 3 May to secure your place.


Leeds Partnership Awards 2022 shortlist announced

Congratulations to all those who’ve been shortlisted for the 2022 Leeds Partnership Awards! Winners will be announced during a special ceremony on Monday 9 May, which will celebrate the achievements of staff and students who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community.

Campus life

Update | University Mailroom location

The University Mailroom has moved from Level 5 of the Roger Stevens building to the print copy bureau on Level 6. Due to the relocation, there will be slight adjustments to ongoing collection times. Departments are being notified of the changes, but it’s hoped they won’t cause any inconvenience for customers.

Volunteer | University Library Galleries photoshoot

New photos are being taken of the University Library Galleries and Brotherton Research Centre on Monday 9 May. Photoshoot volunteers are being sought who can spare 30-45 minutes of their time. The shoot will take place across eight time slots, so you can choose one to suit your availability. Please contact Laura Beare by Sunday 1 May to volunteer or for further information.

Digital developments

Minerva Ultra Course View

Key dates relating to the move to Ultra Course View in Minerva can now be viewed on the Digital Education Systems Help website, alongside information about further training and support.


Final call | National Student Survey 2022

There’s still time to encourage all eligible students to take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2022. The NSS is an annual student experience survey of undergraduates, normally in their final year, and is open until Saturday 30 April.


Travel Survey 2022 prizes

Fancy the chance to win a £150 Leeds Trinity gift card or £50 to spend at John Lewis? These are the prizes up for grabs in the free draw if you take part in our annual Travel Survey. Open until tomorrow (Thursday 28 April), feedback from staff and students will help us better plan how to improve the University’s travel policies, benefits and infrastructure, both on campus and in the wider city region, as well as delivering against our commitments to reduce emissions to net zero by 2030.

Security Services survey

The Security Services team is dedicated to making campus welcoming, safe and secure. To maintain and improve this service, the team needs to know what you think about safety on campus. Please complete the Security Services survey by Friday 3 June and be in with the chance of winning a £100 gift card.


International Workers’ Memorial Day

Tomorrow (Thursday 28 April) marks International Workers’ Memorial Day, when we remember those people who’ve lost their lives at work. Please consider taking a pause from what you’re doing at 12 noon to join the minute’s silence being held across the world. Parkinson Building will also be lit up purple tomorrow night in commemoration.

Happy Eid

Wishing the Muslim community at Leeds a joyous Eid for Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 May. This is a holy festival to mark the end of Ramadan, and one of our students shares how you can get involved in Eid celebrations

New exhibition takes art into outer space 

An exciting new exhibition opens at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery today (Wednesday 27 April). ‘Seeing Stars’ shines a light on contemporary artists who use and challenge the newest technologies for space imaging in their creative works. Entry is free.

Visit | Be Curious 2022 

Staff, family and friends are invited to visit Be Curious 2022 – a day of free, fun activities suited to all age groups! Taking place on campus from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 7 May, this year’s event features drop-in performances and workshops from our partners at Opera North, the Thackray Medical Museum, Unlimited Theatre and interactive gameshow duo, Big and Small. The Marks and Spencer Company Archive will also be open for a family ‘Discover and Do’ day, with the chance to meet Percy Pig! There’s no need to book and all are welcome. 

Register | Annual Edith Pechey Lecture 2022

You can book a free ticket for the Annual Edith Pechey Lecture 2022, which takes place from 5.30-6.30pm on Tuesday 10 May. Organised by our School of Medicine and the Leeds Medico-Chirurgical Society, ‘30 years in General Practice: from cottage industry to digital revolution’ features guest speaker Professor Dame Clare Gerada, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Attend in person at the Medical Lecture Theatre, Worsley Building, or watch online. The series is named after Edith Pechey (1845-1908), who was the first woman in Leeds who qualified to practice medicine.

Book | Pint of Science 2022 

Book your tickets for Pint of Science 2022, with the University hosting a range of in-person events across Leeds from Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 May. The science festival provides researchers and the public with the opportunity to come together and chat about different aspects of science – from Astrochemistry, Artificial Intelligence, the planet and more. Tickets cost £5, with the option to make a further donation to help keep Pint of Science going.

Register | LITE workshop: Academic Listening – A Hidden Curriculum?

Sign up for the latest online workshop hosted by the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE). ‘Academic listening – A Hidden Curriculum?’ runs from 10-11.30am on Tuesday 17 May. Find out about LITE research on listening at the University and share practice in supporting academic listeners, under the themes of inclusive pedagogies, intercultural awareness and belonging.

Book | Leeds Digital Festival 2022

This is your last chance to register to attend the curated line-up of online events being held for Leeds Digital Festival 2022’s Spring Festival. We’ve renewed our sponsorship of the tech showcase, being held online and in-person until tonight (Wednesday 27 April). With a key focus on the theme of sustainability, the festival aligns with our vision to solve global challenges through digital means, as set out in our Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030. Watch this space for details of how you can also get involved in the two-week, open-platform event planned for September. Please email Digital Transformation if you have any event ideas or suggestions.

Register | Global Citizenship Conversation

Sign up for the inaugural Global Citizenship Conversation, taking place from 10-11am on Thursday 5 May. This is an opportunity for staff to discuss what’s meant by global citizenship in the context of higher education, led by Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) fellows. Future discussions will focus on how we might embed this approach into the new Leeds curriculum.

In case you missed it

Sign Up | Mindfulness at Work for Leaders and Managers programme   

Register | British Academy Lecture 2022

Sign up | Parent and Carer Peer Support Network wellbeing session

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Keeping up to date

This eNews is brought to you by the Communications and Engagement team. You can:

  • keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account
  • view our previous staff email communications on our dedicated In depth webpage; and
  • access key University systems and information, such as HR self-service, IT, the Office365 web app, year planner, Minerva and purchasing, via the staff systems and quick links sections towards the top of the For Staff homepage. Even more handy links have been added, including OD&PL, the 2020-2030 Strategy, Wellbeing and Safety, Sustainability hub, Research and Innovation Service (RIS), USS pension, ResearchFish and MyGrants.

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