eNews 28 June

QS World University Rankings, Industrial action, Staff Festival, World Changers and more.

Thought pieces 

Inside Track | Research-led action on climate 

Research-led action on climate. June 2023

“Climate change is already impacting societies and ecosystems around the world. There is an urgent and critical need to accurately quantify and communicate the increasing levels of risk we will face over the coming years. At the same time the transformation required presents opportunities to build a more inclusive, culturally aware and robust society, to protect nature and grow stronger economies. 

“The launch of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures will establish a truly action-oriented hub, grounded in our world-leading climate expertise. 

“We plan to bring our community together more often to celebrate our collective achievements, and to broker knowledge exchange and collaboration. People are our greatest asset and collaboration sits at the core of our mission.” 

Professor Piers Forster and Dr Shona Smith: Director and Head of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures 

Want to know more? 

Industrial action 

UCU strike action 

Following constructive meetings between senior University leaders and representatives of the Leeds UCU branch, the UCU has ended its local continuous strike action with immediate effect.

Read more from our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk on For Staff.

UNISON strike action   

UNISON’s second period of discontinuous strike action started on 22 June and finishes today (28 June). UNISON has announced another period of discontinuous strike action from 10 July to 13 July. 

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Brealey wrote to all colleagues on 14 June about reporting participation in strike action. 

Find out more about industrial action and the University response on our Industrial Action In depth page


Join | A university with global reach and impact 
3-4pm, 12 July 

Join an online event to learn about the progress against our international strategy goals. You’ll hear from our Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, and Helen Foster, Director of the International Office. We will also talk through the support and advice available for colleagues undertaking international activities.  


World Changers | Celebrating impactful research 

As part of the second collection of World Changers essays, Dr Anvesha Mahendra explains why good nutrition is so important before conception and during pregnancy for women and their babies and their future health – and how understanding this better and its advocacy could be the key to many global public health challenges. 

Leeds achieves highest ever position in QS World University Rankings 

The University has climbed 11 places in the 2024 QS World University Rankings to 75th. 

The respected rankings consider research and discovery, employability and outcomes, learning experience, global engagement and sustainability in their methodology.  

Eid Mubarak 

Wishing the Muslim community at Leeds a joyous Eid al-Adha which starts today. Eid Mubarak to all who are celebrating. You can contact the Muslim Staff Network for further information. 

Inspiring the next generation of female engineers 

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on 23 June, the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences celebrated the achievements of ten of its academics helping to inspire the next generation

Sustainability Service lunch 
12 noon to 2pm, tomorrow (29 June) 

The Sustainability Service is hosting a celebration of the diverse and innovative sustainability initiatives being delivered across the University. Including a complimentary lunch, the event will also explain opportunities to collaborate on sustainability projects. The celebration, taking place in the School of Music, is open to all colleagues. 

Take part | NHS at 75  

As the NHS marks its 75th anniversary, we’d like to hear from staff, students and researchers who work, have worked or are planning to work in the health service. To take part, please record a short video (30 seconds or less, including your name and job role) on what the NHS means to you, and share it with Lauren Ballinger at l.ballinger@leeds.ac.uk using wetransfer.com.  

Staff Festival 

Countdown to packed programme 

In an email sent to all colleagues yesterday (27 June), Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk invites colleagues, their family and friends to attend this year’s Staff Festival, which takes place from 3-7pm on Friday (30 June). Our amazing line-up of acts performing on the Staff Festival stage will be music to the ears of everyone attending! Some places are also still available to book for this year’s packed programme of wonderful Staff Festival workshops, including poetry play, Bollywood dance, beer tasting, cocktail making and more. The vast majority of attractions are inside or under cover, so they won’t be affected by the weather. 


Watch | Climate Plan wrap-up videos 

The University’s world-leading research and education plays an essential part in creating a sustainable future, as part of our pathway to becoming net zero by 2030. From reducing greenhouse emissions to industrial decarbonisation, watch our latest climate plan videos as we wrap up the first phase of our climate plan campaign. 

Walking to Zero exhibition 
10am to 5pm, today (28 June) 

Student sustainability architects (SSAs) are hosting an exhibition to reconnect people with the natural landscape following a project aimed at increasing environmental awareness. Featuring images, personal reflections and audio, the To Walk Project exhibition is taking place in the Maurice Keyworth Building foyer. 


Please share graduation success stories  

Do you want to share a memorable story or give a shout out to a particular student who is graduating? Does a colleague go above and beyond to make graduation possible? Did you have an amazing graduation experience or are you graduating yourself this summer? We want to hear it all.   

With summer graduations approaching, we need your help to celebrate our wonderful staff and student success stories. Contact the Internal Communications and Engagement team at internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk for further information. 

Digital developments 

Free online courses for young people to develop digital skills 

More than 30 courses for the Click Start programme will be made available for people aged 18-25 including women, disabled students and those from low-income households. These courses will focus on building technical and professional development skills and will also support young people take the first steps towards a new digital career. 

Improvements | Hybrid meeting rooms pilot project 

Our hybrid meeting rooms pilot project has been running since the end of May. Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far. We’ve already made improvements based on your feedback, so we’re extending the pilot period until the end of July to give you the chance to trial the changes for yourself. 

Open to all colleagues in multiple locations across campus, discover for yourself how the latest technology can launch your meeting with the click of a single button, offering instant connection to room audio and video, enabling improved collaboration with colleagues.  

Instructions for using the new equipment are available online and in each of the pilot rooms, with a technical assistance team on hand to resolve any issues. Book pilot rooms using Outlook or see our handy FAQs for further information. 

Minerva updates 

A summary of the key updates made to Minerva since June 2022 is now available. The Digital Education Systems team has worked closely with Anthology, the company that owns and develops Minerva, to deliver improvements to module areas following feedback from staff and students.   

Software purchasing update  

From 3 July, if you are purchasing new software that’s yet to be approved, there will be a new, simpler form to request it. This will provide an easier and more consistent process, and you’ll also be able to see which software has already been approved. More information will be available soon. 

Contacting the IT Service Desk 

To give IT Service Desk colleagues the opportunity to attend the Staff Festival, the IT Service Desk will be closed from 2pm on Friday (30 June). If you need help, why not try asking Falco, the chatbot on the IT website, or search the IT Knowledge Base? If, after this, you still need to contact the Service Desk, make sure you are logged on to the IT website to submit a new ticket or request. 

Campus life 

New space for digital innovation complete 

HELIX, a brand-new innovative technologies hub to support student education, has been completed. The Estates team managed the complex build and refurbishment of the space on level seven of the Grade II-listed EC Stoner building. The space includes state-of-the-art equipment, and users will have access to immersive technology, prototyping equipment and multimedia studios. 

Book | International Concert Series Summer Festival 
30 June to 7 July 

Internationally renowned acts, rising stars and homegrown talent will be performing at the University for this year’s International Concert Series Summer Music Festival. Tickets are available now. Colleagues can use the code SUMMERFESTUOL20 at the box office to get 20% off. 

Let battle commence | Making Leeds Medieval Festival 
10am to 6pm, 6 July 

Axe-wielding Vikings and soldiers with cannons will invade campus next week! The Making Leeds Medieval Festival is one of the many highlights of the packed programme for this year’s International Medieval Congress (IMC). Campus is opened up for colleagues and the wider public to enjoy a range of medieval activities, including craft and combat demonstrations, a falconry display, musicians, costumed reenactors and so much more. 

Opening hours | Great Food at Leeds (GFaL) 

Check out the new summer opening hours for GFaL outlets. The summer drinks range has also landed on campus. Try the new barista-made beverages, including the delicious Creamy Hazelnut Iced Latte or refreshing Watermelon, Mint and Lime Iced Tea. Available from selected GFaL outlets now. Follow GFaL on Instagram for further information. 


Apply | Enhancing Research Culture 2023-24 open call  

Applications close at 5pm on 30 June for the second Enhancing Research Culture 2023-24 open call. Proposals up to £50,000 are invited for projects promoting a more supportive, inclusive and collaborative research environment. These can be undertaken by researchers, academic, technical or professional services colleagues. 


Student Success Conference 2023 | Call for Papers  

Submit proposals by 10 July to present papers or best practice on the Student Success Conference (SSC) 2023 themes, including co-creation, student voice, belonging and more. You can join the free, in-person SSC 2023 on 7 November to explore the meaning of student success. 

Register | An Introduction to Online Education at Leeds 
11.30am to 1pm, 5 July 

Register for an event to find out more about our Online Education strategy. Launching the conversation about online and digitally enhanced education in the July to September period, the event will include insight into our ambition, next steps and how you can get involved. It will also look ahead to the 2023 Online Learning Summit and the Digital Education Annual Report. 

Learning and development   

Visit our For Staff webpage for all the latest learning and development opportunities available at the University, including information about:  

  • LITE Fellowships 
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) workshops 
  • Aurora leadership development programme for women (grades 6-8) 
  • Springboard Development Programme for women (grades 2-4) 
  • Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA); and  
  • Workshop | Introduction to academic personal tutoring.


Research showcase | Tackling violence against women and girls 
12 noon to 5.30pm, 29 June 

Hear the latest research from projects where researchers are working in partnership with police towards tackling violence against women and girls. The series of short talks brings together multiple projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to explore their findings. 

Exhibition preview | Becoming the Brontës 
5.30-7.30pm, 29 June 

There’s still time to book your ticket for the Becoming the Brontës exhibition preview and drinks reception – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see treasures from Yorkshire’s very own world-famous literary family up close and personal. The free exhibition, co-curated by the University, the British Library and the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, will be on display in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery from 30 June to 28 October.   

Tell us your story 

We’d like to hear about the great work you’re doing. Contact the Internal Communications and Engagement team at internalcomms@leeds.ac.uk to share your stories. 

Keeping up to date 

You can keep up to date with our latest news on the For Staff website and by following the staff Twitter account

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