eNews 1 February

Employee engagement survey video, royal visit, AI feature, industrial action, climate change events, LGBT+ History Month, Staff Festival charity vote, Windows 10 updates and more

Employee Engagement Survey

This edition of eNews was sent out via our Campaign Monitor system. If you didn't receive it please contact us at internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk and we will look into this for you.


Video | Our new employee engagement survey 

“This is an opportunity for you to tell us more about your experiences, about what’s working for you and what isn’t. Our pledge to you is that we will listen and we will act.” 

Watch a video from Rachel Brealey, Chief Operating Officer, in which she explains why it’s so important for you to take part when our new employee engagement survey is launched later this month.  

Royal visit 

Princess of Wales marks early childhood campaign launch  

The Princess of Wales joined a teaching session at the University yesterday (Tuesday 31 January), as part of the launch of her new national campaign, Shaping Us. Her Royal Highness took part in an introductory session to a second-year module on the School of Education’s BA (Hons) Childhood Studies course. She also talked to students about their studies during her visit to the Esther Simpson Building. 

Thought pieces 

Artificial intelligence (AI) impact on educators 

Read a new article from Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, outlining the impact on educators of the recent release of updates to AI technologies. 

Industrial action 

Strike action       

Strike action will take place in February and March at universities across the country, including Leeds. Further information is included in the email from Rachel Brealey, Chief Operating Officer, which was sent to all colleagues yesterday (Tuesday 31 January). You can find out more about why industrial action is taking place, the full list of strike days and what’s happening in response to the disputes on our Industrial Action In depth page

Climate change 

Register | Climate Plan open discussion  

Staff and students can register to attend the first open discussion of the University’s Climate Plan. Hear about our ambitions in tackling climate change, including targets and investments to achieve net zero by 2030. Chaired by Professor Richard Beardsworth (Head of School, POLIS), with welcome and closing remarks from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, the event includes the opportunity to hear from our panel of experts and ask questions. Running from 3.30-5pm on Wednesday 15 February, there will also be time for informal discussion afterwards. Refreshments will be provided. 

Book | UK Climate Change Committee event  

Book your place at a UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) event, taking place in the Nexus Lecture Theatre from 12 noon to 1pm on Tuesday 7 February. Chief Executive, Chris Stark, will talk about CCC’s upcoming research programme, which will be followed by lunch and networking opportunities with University colleagues and members of the CCC Secretariat. 


LGBT+ History Month 2023 

February is LGBT+ History Month – a celebration of LGBT+ people, their lives and their experiences. This year’s theme is ‘Behind the Lens’ and aims to celebrate LGBT+ people’s contribution to the cinema. You can find LGBT+ History Month resources, information and details of events on the Equality and Inclusion website. The Parkinson Building will also be lit up in rainbow colours today (Wednesday 1 February) to mark the occasion. 

Celebrate Our Staff 

Read the latest edition of our regular feature celebrating the achievements of colleagues across the University, showcasing new appointments, awards and more. You can contact Internal Communications and Engagement to make submissions for the next roll of honour. This is open to all colleagues. 

Staff Festival 2023 | Vote for your favourite charity 

Voting has opened to select this year’s official Staff Festival charity. As part of the festivities, we invited you to nominate your favourite good cause to benefit from the event proceeds. A record number of you kindly took the time to do this, with a wide range of charities championed. Of these, the 12 charities with the most nominations have been shortlisted. Now it’s your chance to vote for the winner by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 10 February. 


Fresh Start Festival  

Fresh Start Festival’s packed programme of events continues until Sunday 5 February, helping new and current students find their place at Leeds. Run in partnership with Leeds University Union (LUU) and part of the year-round welcome approach, the festival features a week of exciting events, activities and opportunities, including campus tours, activities and social events. 

Homestay host applications 

Unipol is seeking new Homestay hosts to provide accommodation for students studying at the University’s Language Centre. Whilst hosts will need to engage with their students so they can get the most out of their time in the UK, it’s a commitment that can fit around your work and family life. Please contact India Button at Unipol for further information. 

Digital developments 

Update your Windows 10 devices 

To protect the University from potential cyber security attacks, you need to ensure your computer is up to date. There’s an easy way to check your Windows 10 device has been upgraded. If it hasn’t, follow these instructions on how to update computers. Any University Windows 10 devices that haven’t been updated won’t be able to access Outlook from Monday 13 February. Use the IT form if you need help to upgrade your computer

Wikis to be retired from Microsoft Teams 

Wikis are being retired from Microsoft Teams this month. A wiki is a way of creating pages on a collaborative site, like Teams, that can be edited and commented on by multiple people. When Microsoft makes the change, you will be able to easily export your wiki to OneNote, which provides a better editor and more flexibility. You will still be able to edit existing wikis, but we strongly recommend you move them to OneNote. 

Campus life 

Does your workspace make you happy? 

Did you know the University employs interior architects? Find out more by reading the first in a new series of Facilities Directorate features, starting with Margarita Bosnjak from the Estates team. 


Final call | Be Curious 2023  

There’s still time to submit a proposal to feature your research at Be Curious 2023, the annual open event showcasing the University’s world-changing research to the wider public. The Public Engagement Team is accepting submissions until Friday 3 February. Not sure if Be Curious is for you? Hear from academics who took part last year and why they think it’s so important, not only to them but the wider University community.  
Listen | LITAC Global Challenges Podcast 

Listen to the latest episode of the Global Challenges Podcast from the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC). Hosted by Dr Mark Sumner, Lecturer in Sustainable Fashion at Leeds, this episode discusses the durability of our clothes – emotionally and physically – and how this could be the key to cultivating a greener wardrobe. 

Apply | Leeds Creative Labs: East Street Arts Edition 

Leeds Creative Labs – a programme delivered by the Cultural Institute that pairs researchers with creative professionals in a non-traditional and experimental research setting – is now taking applications. Those involved this year can collaborate with the artist-led community charity East Street Arts. Those interested in applying can join an online Leeds Creative Labs event, taking place from 11.30am to 12.15pm on Thursday 9 March. The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 March. 


Book | Sustainable Gardening workshop 

Fancy getting your hands dirty? If so, book your free place at the first Sustainable Gardening workshop of the year. Running from 1-2.30pm tomorrow (Thursday 2 February), this month’s focus is on soft fruit pruning. 

International Concert Series  

The University of Leeds International Concert Series continues with two new performances. First up is Bethany Horak-Hallett and Natalie Burch, from 1.05-1.55pm on Friday 3 February. This is followed at 7pm on the same day by an open mic night – a chilled-out evening of music of all genres. Taking place in Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, entry to both performances is free, and no booking is required. At 7pm on Friday February 10, Jennifer Johnston and Joseph Middleton bring their show ‘One Life Stand’. Tickets are £15.  View the full programme of performances on the International Concert Series webpage. 

Submit a request 

You can submit a request for an eNews entry via email. Please contact us in advance of the deadline (the Friday preceding the relevant Wednesday circulation date), so we can advise you on our editorial and content guidelines. 

Other than in exceptional circumstances, eNews entries should be no more than 60-70 words long, as these are designed to be bite-sized chunks of news linking to other trusted sources (such as University websites) for full details. 

Keeping up to date 

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

Posted in: