eNews 8 February

eNews: Employee engagement survey, Climate Plan, life-saving research, Staff Festival vote, industrial action, IT open sessions, NSS 2023, new sculpture, free period products, IMC 2023 and more.

Professor Paul Johnson

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Video | Bringing about positive change

“I think our University is brilliant, but I know we can do things better, and I know we can make changes that have real benefits.”

Watch the video from Professor Paul Johnson, Executive Dean of Social Sciences, encouraging colleagues to complete our upcoming employee engagement survey to help bring about positive change at Leeds.

Employee engagement | Our new approach to seeking your opinions

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Brealey outlines why it’s crucial for you to have your say about life at the University in our employee engagement survey, due to be launched later this month.

Thought pieces 

Blog | Designing a 60-year curriculum

Challenges and opportunities of the 60-year curriculum are explored in a new blog by Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education. Professor Grabill explains why lifelong learning for a post-digital-transformation, post-COVID world will need a degree of intention, design and flexibility universities do not yet offer.

Climate change

Climate Plan Annual Progress Review published

The first progress review of the University of Leeds Climate Plan has been published by the Priestley Centre. A group of University experts, including an external advisor, undertook the review, informed by a public consultation. The full Climate Plan Annual Progress Review is now available to download.

Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Hai-Sui Yu has welcomed the review, which “recognises the ambitions of our plans, the complexity involved in delivery and acknowledges that an impressive amount has been achieved in our first year”.

Register | Let’s talk about the University’s plans for tackling climate change 

Hear about our ambitions in tackling climate change, including targets and investments to achieve net zero by 2030. Staff and students can register for the first open discussion of the University’s Climate Plan. 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 15 February, there will be time for informal discussion afterwards. Refreshments will be provided.


Shaping Us | Princess of Wales in Leeds for early childhood campaign

The Princess of Wales joined a teaching session at the University last week, as part of the launch of her new national campaign, Shaping Us. Dr Paula Clarke and Dr Katie Gathercole share their experiences of meeting Her Royal Highness and discussing their work.

World Cancer Day | Celebrating life-saving research

This World Cancer Day (4 February), the University marked the first anniversary of the Leeds Cancer Research Centre (LCRC), which brings together experts working across disciplines to change people’s lives. Read one couple’s inspiring story after they both overcame bowel cancer following treatment from LCRC’s Clinical Director, Professor David Sebag-Montefiore.

Recognising outstanding and innovative teaching 

Outstanding and innovative teaching at Leeds will be recognised in a prestigious awards scheme. Applications are now open for the University of Leeds Teaching Awards, which celebrate excellent practice in student education. You can also book your place for an online briefing event – taking place from 12 noon to 12.50pm tomorrow (9 February) – to find out more about the awards. A recording will be available afterwards on the Leeds Teaching Awards website, where you can also find further information and details about how to apply.

Staff Festival 2023 | Why voting for your favourite charity is so important

“We simply couldn’t do what we do without the support of events like this.” 

Hear from the most recent Staff Festival charity beneficiary about what the funding boost meant to them and why it’s so important to vote for this year’s good cause.

There’s still time to select this year’s official Staff Festival charity from a shortlist of 12 good causes. You can vote for the winner until 5pm on 10 February. 

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.

Industrial action

Strike action

Strike action is taking place this week at universities across the country, including Leeds. Please read our updated FAQS for staff for further information, including the reporting dates for notifying the University of participation in strike action

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.

Digital developments

Register | IT open sessions

Register to attend IT open sessions taking place on 15 February to find out what’s happening within the service and to put your questions to the IT Executive Leadership Team. There will also be an update on the Windows Refresh project. Don’t worry if you can’t attend – you can submit questions in advance using the registration form and a recording will be made available afterwards.

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 your computer. Any University Windows 10 devices that haven’t been updated won’t be able to access Outlook from 13 February. Use the IT form if you need help to upgrade your computer.


National Student Survey 2023

An email from Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, was sent to all staff yesterday (7 February) asking colleagues to encourage eligible students to take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2023. The NSS is an annual student experience survey of undergraduates, normally in their final year, and is open until 30 April.

Providing skills for life

Offering lifelong opportunities to learn new skills and prepare for changing career demands is a key ambition of the University. It mirrors the ‘Skills for life’ theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (6-12 February), which shines a light on the positive impact apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.


Highlights | Council and Senate news

Highlights from the latest University Council and Senate meetings include proposed enhancements to accessing the Library’s digital cultural collections; the University’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) submission; progress on the institutional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Access and Student Success Strategy activities; and the Leeds University Union (LUU) impact report.

Campus life

Coming soon | New sculpture on campus

A sculpture donated by alumnus, Douglas Caster, will soon take pride of place outside the Edward Boyle Library. Crafted by artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, ‘Master of the Universe’ is a modern interpretation of mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton, based on a drawing by the renowned poet and artist, William Blake.

Rewards | LUU Eats app

Earn points for spending money in Leeds University Union (LUU) outlets. Download the new LUU Eats app to receive three points for every £1 spent in the Old Bar, Terrace, Common Ground and Scream. Points can be redeemed in participating LUU outlets. You can also use the app to order food and drink, book a table and check out menus, opening times and special offers.

Terrace refurbishment

Did you know LUU is home to one of the biggest outdoor terraces in Leeds? Finishing touches are being added to the Terrace refurbishment to provide a welcoming space to enjoy food and drink deals when the venue reopens on 10 February.

Learning and development

Register | Building Impact Momentum Programme 

Register your interest for the next Building Impact Momentum programme sessions by 5pm on 17 February. The programme will help you develop concrete ideas for making an impact, which can be applied to research projects or grant applications. Running from April to July, research, academic and professional colleagues can take part in the programme of six webinars, additional reading, partner work and impact practice.

Sign up | Build your Scholarship Practice 

The next Build your Scholarship Practice programme sessions start tomorrow (9 February), looking at disciplinary pedagogies and their relationship with Curriculum Redefined. Sessions draw on published articles and work-in-progress studies by Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) researchers.

Register | UKCGE Research Supervision Recognition Programme

The next deadline for the UKCGE Research Supervision Recognition Programme is 2pm on 22 March. This provides professional recognition for research supervisors, with funding available for up to 100 colleagues at Leeds this academic year. Applicants are recommended to have supervised at least two doctoral candidates to completion.

Join | Research Supervision Development Community 

Join the Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) Research Supervision Development Community. Designed for colleagues who support doctoral researchers, the community has more than 350 members. Access professional development resources, accreditation opportunities, news and policy developments. A comprehensive online course – Supervising Doctoral Studies – is also available, equipping supervisors to support candidates to become independent researchers.

New features | Teaching, innovation and practice 

Read a series of short features on the Teaching, Innovation and Practice in Student Education (TIPS) blog. Written by colleagues sharing examples of teaching practice, the articles look at synoptic learning activities for flipped classes, applying active learning to dissertation modules and the use of video interviews in the classroom.

Wellbeing and support

Access to free period products

We’re expanding our provision of free, sustainable period products for staff and students. Sanitary towels and tampon supplies are available for anyone that needs them from dispensers located across campus.

Book | World Sleep Day activities

We’re marking World Sleep Day on 17 March with a variety of free activities to raise awareness of the vital role sleep plays in our physical and mental health. Ranging from a sleep well seminar to relaxing yoga, there’s something for everyone. Simply view the full World Sleep Day programme and book your place.

Sign up | Couch to 5k 

Put your best foot forward for a healthier 2023 by registering for our popular Couch to 5k programme. Designed for beginners and those returning from injury, the target is to complete the 5k Woodhouse Moor parkrun at the end of the eight-week course, with support from a qualified running coach. Sign up by midnight on 21 February, with training – taking in Hyde Park and surrounding areas – starting on 23 February.


View | International Medieval Congress (IMC) 2023 programme 

View the full programme of events for IMC 2023, taking place on campus and online from 3-6 July. Find out more about the planned festivities, markets, book fair and exhibitions, together with details of virtual sessions. Registration to attend IMC 2023 opens at 10am on 14 February, with the late call for papers open until 14 June.

Irregular Art School exhibition

Find out about inclusive art education at The Irregular Art School, a new exhibition about how neurodivergent and learning disabled artists can develop their careers. View these extraordinary works for free in the project space at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, until 24 February.

International Concert Series 

The University of Leeds International Concert Series continues with a celebration of Spanish music from Sophie Clarke and Silvia Lucas at 6pm tonight (8 February). Tickets are £10 or free for students. This is followed by seven concerts, as part of the Contemporary Music Festival 2023, with performances from Stephanie Lamprea, Jennifer Johnston and Joseph Middleton, ELISION, Kate Harrison-Ledger and lovemusic, among others. Taking place in Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, entry is free to many of the performances. View the full programme.

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