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How European academics are feeling about life in Britain after the Brexit vote

June 22, 2017 Ondine Barry

Professor Monica Giulietti is interviewed in a new Blog post in The Conversation about how the Brexit vote is affecting European academics working in the United Kingdom.

Monica, who is Italian by birth, has been living and working in the UK for nearly 24 years and has been a Professor of Microeconomics at the SBE since 2015.

She says in The Conversation article:

“The argument everyone makes is: it’s not about you, it’s about the others.” But as she says, there may be another family just down the road telling another European person it’s not about you. “So it could be about me. It depends on who is looking.”

To read the Blog post in full, please go to: https://theconversation.com/how-european-academics-are-feeling-about-life-in-britain-after-the-brexit-vote-78687

Database Trial - The Cold War

June 22, 2017 Steven Lake

Revisit one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th century with our latest database trial, as we explore the history of the Cold War.

From the end of World War II to the early 1990s, the Cold War was the central driving force in global politics. In addition to nuclear arms races and shifting military alliances, the Cold War years had a critical impact on many of today’s most intriguing research topics, from technology to terrorism, immigration to international politics. No other resource but The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991, brings together primary source documents from around the world to shed new light on this crucial period in world history.

To begin searching go to http://infoweb.newsbank.com – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 21st July 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

The importance of a staff-student partnership for excellent teaching

June 21, 2017 Liam

Across the course of my year as Education Executive Officer, one of the points I have repeatedly made is the importance of a partnership between staff and students. Continue reading

9 Inspirational Loughborough Women in Sport

9 Inspirational Loughborough Women in Sport

June 21, 2017 Bethan Fagan

Whether it’s a kickabout with your friends on one of the free-use courts or if its boasting about our table topping BUCS performances every year, sport runs through our DNA across the campus. Continue reading

How to make the most of the summer months

How to make the most of the summer months

June 21, 2017 Lauren Jefferis

Exams are over, the last day of term is approaching and suddenly your busy student life has disappeared. I am currently in the ‘post-exam-bewilderment’ stage; I have so much time and no idea how to spend it. Continue reading

Library Opening Hours During the Summer Vacation

June 21, 2017 Steven Lake

As today is officially the last day of the 2016-17 Academic Year (hooray!) it seems like a good time to remind people that from next Monday, 25th June, for the rest of the summer the Library will be switching to its vacation opening times schedule. This is:

  • Monday 9am-5.30pm
  • Tuesday 9am-5.30pm
  • Wednesday 9am-8pm
  • Thursday 9am-5.30pm
  • Friday 9am-5.30pm
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday CLOSED

Please note above that our only late(ish) evening opening is on Wednesday nights, and that we are closed entirely at weekends for the duration of the vacation (try saying that with a mouthful of ice cream!). Please also be aware that last entry to the Library is ten minutes before closing time, in order to allow staff to clear the building.

The IT Services PC Clinic in the Library is open throughout the summer, but only during the hours 11am-3pm. Outside these times the IT Services Help Desk can be contacted 8.30am-5pm (week days only).

The Library Shop will be closed for the summer, but the Library Café will remain open, 9.30am-3pm daily, dispensing breakfast cobs, coffee and sympathy for those who aren’t sunning themselves on a beach somewhere instead!

As usual during the vacation we will be catching up with a few out-of-season maintenance jobs around the building; we will keep everyone posted here and on our usual social media channels of when & where these will be taking place to minimise any potential disruption to visitors.

If you never try, you’ll never know

If you never try, you’ll never know

June 20, 2017 Imogen Newey

As the end of University approaches my friends have kindly helped me reflect on some of the best things about University life. From the friendliness and enthusiasm of the people, to the events, sports, societies, and much more. What a journey we have been on!

So this month I thought I’d share with you some of the best memories they’ve had at uni as well as my list of things not to miss…

1. Getting involved with clubs, societies, and your hall

“I would say being part of lifesaving and taking part in the competitions and events, such as socials, has been one of my best memories as I had never heard of lifesaving before I came to uni.” – Jessica

“Getting involved is an opportunity to do things you wouldn’t have otherwise, meet loads of new people, and provides time to work out what you want to do and to learn things you’re interested in.” – Adrian @ Bristol

2. Fresher’s

Fresher’s (the first week or two at uni) is a fantastic way of getting to know people and settling in. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone; everyone there is away from home and wanting to make friends.

Myth buster: Fresher’s isn’t all about getting drunk, there are sober events from fairs to film nights, UV roller blading/badminton/zumba, and loads more.

 

3. Trips

“I climbed Snowdon and went on many weekends away. It was a good opportunity to make friends and explore!” – Lily

Take advantage of LSU Trips (and the 1/3 off railcard for students) to visit loads of places around the UK and go on cool tours.

4. Volunteering: become an Action hero

With so much time, especially in my first year, I enjoyed volunteering at the campus nursery. The kids were so excited to see me each week, the staff made me feel so welcome, and I really felt I was contributing to the community. There are loads of other opportunities to volunteer too! Including dog-walking.

(P.S. check out Enactus society too!)

5. Rag: charity and fundraising

Taking part in Rag forced me to push myself to discover what I can do; including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and dog-sledding across Norway and Sweden. Also, my involvement with Ragsocieties, and working as a student ambassador at uni helped me to secure a place as 1 of 12 trainee leaders for a British Exploring Society expedition to the Indian Himalayas. At above 3500m I saw the Milky Way and did important environmental, leadership and cultural work.

Uni really does lead on to even more!

6. Take a position of responsibility

“My stand out memory is joining Taekwondo in 1st year and training with 5-7 people a session. After joining the committee and building it up we had 15 strong members plus on and off members each session. When we hit 50+ members we became the biggest martial art society at UEA. I found out over Christmas that the club has continued to expand to over 60 members. Creating a sustainable successful society is a really high point for me from my time at UEA.” James @ UAE (but you can do this at any uni!)

Try a position on Sports, Society, Action, Rag or Media committees. Or run to become part of the Exec team, maybe even their President to help future students. Or if you don’t fancy what’s available, you can set up a society of your own.

In societies such as TEDx and Media people have gone on to work for TED and media organisations, even if their degree wasn’t related to that! They can provide a new passion and skill set.

7. Gaining a degree!

“My stand out memory is after completing our final deadlines in third year, a group of us from English went out for lunch and we were all sat there like “we did it!” Gradball was also an amazing memory because it was a celebration of our achievements” – Bella

8. International and placement opportunities

“My stand out memory was going abroad and the international opportunities available” – Tom

Taking a year to study or work abroad is an experience I can vouch for as incredible – the personal and career development is amazing!

There are also numerous work placement opportunities for a greater understanding of your subject area and career progression.

9. What about me?

As I look back on my time at university it’s hard to pick a favorite moment: is it the friends I’ve made? – certainly. But it’s also: the mountains I’ve climbed (figuratively and metaphorically), representing Loughborough in AU running, learning I can live away from home, studying abroad, learning to salsa dance, finding a support network for life, and finding the #LboroFamily, crossing Norway and Sweden dog-sledding, and the skills and lessons (for example what I do and don’t like) I’ve learnt that have allowed me to get jobs and find my direction

It’s too hard to choose just one!

10. Finally, just remember…

“If you never try, you’ll never know.”

NO REGRETS

Celebrating Women's Sport Week 2017

Celebrating Women's Sport Week 2017

June 20, 2017 Liam

This week, alongside a national campaign by Women in Sport, we’re sharing some of our sporting success from our female students, graduates and players. Continue reading

Robots at the Cope Auditorium

June 20, 2017 Steven Lake

To mark UK Robotics Week next week the Cope Auditorium is opening its doors for an evening of cybernetic discussion under the banner Robots at the movies: The portrayal of robots and androids in contemporary films.

Automata, robots and androids have been a creation and fascination for humans over centuries. From Maria (Metropolis, 1927), R2D2 and C3PO (Star Wars, 1977), WALL-E (2008), The Terminators (1984, 1991, 2003) to Transformers (2007), they have been portrayed as our friends, adversaries, alien to almost human, invaders and enslavers or as our saviours and trusted companions.

These portrayals in the movies have reflected and perhaps influenced our opinion of them. Join us for an amusing evening reviewing our relationship with these technologies as reflected in their portrayal in the movie industry.

The discussion runs from 6pm – 7.30pm next Thursday (28th June) in the Cope and is brought to you by the Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence in support of the UK Robotics Week 2017. The event is free, but booking is necessary – visit the link below to do that.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/robots-at-the-movies-the-portrayal-of-robots-and-androids-in-contemporary-films-tickets-31961461592

A tale of two leaders: news media coverage of the 2017 General Election

June 19, 2017 Loughborough University

The battle for control of the media agenda is a defining characteristic of modern election campaigns to the extent that some argue they can have a pivotal influence in determining their eventual outcome. Continue reading

A Sport Business and Leadership visit to Wimbledon

A Sport Business and Leadership visit to Wimbledon

June 19, 2017 Lauren Proctor

You may remember from a blog by John a few months ago that our Sport Business and Leadership students visited Wimbledon in their first term! This time, we have student Simon give his opinion of the visit for the Sustainability and Leadership module.


A short walk from Earlsfield station at 9am brought all of the Sport Business and Leadership students studying on the Sustainability and Leadership module to the home of tennis, or at the very least, the home of The Championships.

There are not many sporting events that can simply call themselves The Championships and people instantly know what you are talking about. The Championships (or Wimbledon) is one of them. Just the mention of Wimbledon conjures up imagery in the mind; the green grass, strawberries and cream; champagne…

However, as we visited Wimbledon as part of our studies and with it being a cold December day, strawberries and cream would have to wait!

We were about to have an amazing opportunity to hear from leading figures at Wimbledon.

Once we had our badges and entered the grounds we were shown to the Rolex Suite where, for the first time in all of our many site visits, we were offered tea in a china cup and saucer and cake and biscuits on china plates. Only Wimbledon could entrust students in such a way! Whilst indulging in the refreshments we had a chance to look around the room and try to name the celebrities that were in the many photos around the walls of the suite.

 

Martin Guntrip, Director of Wimbledon, then gave us an informative presentation on what Wimbledon is doing to make The Championships more sustainable. Everything from discussing the building programs, to how many strawberries are consumed (28,000kg’s!) and recycling initiatives were discussed. After a great presentation, Martin gave us a little test on our knowledge where prizes of champagne, a Wimbledon bag, and other Wimbledon merchandise were on offer. A great way to teach students to pay more attention next time! It reminds me though that fellow student Mark, the winner of the champagne, promised to share it!

Another presentation followed on the new developments at Wimbledon including the redevelopment of Court One and about the Master Plan for the development of the Wimbledon site in to the future.

We then had a tour around Wimbledon with Dan Bloxham, Head Coach at the All England Club. It was amazing to hear some insights from Dan who, amongst many roles he has at the club, is the last person to speak to the players before they head out on to Centre Court on finals day. From the press office to the changing rooms, and to the courts themselves, we were privileged to get a real behind-the-scenes tour from a man in the know.

On a cold December morning, it was clear what a difference it makes to be a student at the best university for sport in the world. We spent a morning at the All England Club and had the chance to speak to leading figures in Wimbledon about significant sport leadership and sustainability issues. I particularly love this method of learning which really develops the information you get in lectures.

I would like to thank Dr Russell Seymour at Loughborough University London and all the team at Wimbledon for a fun and informative site visit. I am already looking forward to my next visit where the better weather might mean some strawberries & cream and a glass of champagne are on the cards!


Loughborough University London would like to thank Simon for taking the time to write this blog.

Find out more about our Sport Business and Leadership MSc by visiting our website.

Find out more about Wimbledon and the All England Lawn Tennis Club on their website.

Goodbye second year, hello placement

Goodbye second year, hello placement

June 19, 2017 Miranda Priestley

Well, the year is over. Second year has been tough but I have achieved a lot. As an art student, my outcomes are not only essays but I also have visuals to share so I thought I might show you some of them this month. Continue reading

That's a wrap!

That's a wrap!

June 19, 2017 Hannah Timson

So I guess that’s a wrap on second year. There I was feeling like I was getting old at the start of this year; I’ll be heading across the stage at graduation on a zimmer frame this time next year. Continue reading

New Look Creative & Print Services in Herbert Manzoni

June 16, 2017 Steven Lake

University Creative and Print Services will be re-opening its doors on Monday 19th June following a period of refurbishment in the Herbert Manzoni Building.

This project has brought print, post and parcels under one roof, providing a one-stop-shop for all three services.

A contemporary new look foyer and reception area has enabled a more creative, spacious and accessible area for visitors to the service.

Cards and Parcelz services formerly based in the Student Accommodation Building will now be based in the Herbert Manzoni Building.

If you would like any further information, contact the team on creativeandprint@lboro.ac.uk

Making the most of your new-found free time

Making the most of your new-found free time

June 16, 2017 Asli Jensen

Hallelujah! I AM A FREE SOUL. I am finally (hopefully) finished with my degree. I’m guessing everyone else is also finished with exams or coursework. So I have kindly decided to impart you with some great ideas on what you can do during your free time now, which does not cost a dime. Actually, it will cost you money… but you can’t put a price on happiness, can you?

Do all the things you put off

Remember whilst studying there were always things that you wanted to do, but you mentally told yourself ‘no’ because you had other priorities? Now is the perfect time to do all of those things. Whether it’s reading Fifty Shades of Grey, re-decorating your room, starting a blog, cooking a meal or just simply buying a new toothbrush. You’d be surprised if you reflect and think about all the stuff you put off. Time doesn’t stop, so you better get a move on. I know I will be painting my room, probably quite poorly, but painting nonetheless. I’ll also be reading some of my favourite books from my younger years, ah, nostalgia. Nothing beats a teen fiction book during summer.

Music albums

Music is deemed to be ‘the escape from reality’ so I guess it’s a good way of removing your thoughts of exams and coursework results. We all know that music has the ability to elevate your mood. I’ve noticed that on Spotify you can search for what mood of music you’d like and it will play songs relative to that. So, there’s music for everyday of the week. There’s always the time to create your own YouTube playlist of the songs you would like to listen to as well. My guilty pleasure is actually Take That, so that’s what my Spotify will be playing. ANYWAYS, my point is that music is always an option.

Festivals or music concerts

Obviously festivals and music concerts are synonymous with summer, it’s the thing to do. But – let’s be honest, either they are charging extortionate prices (and I’ve spent all my moneys on exam snacking) or they sell out within the blink of an eye. Don’t worry if that happens. It’s not the end of the world. You’re going to make your own festival. It’s pretty simple. All you need is some green space, some semi-decent speakers and a good group of friends. Thank me later.

Binge watch a TV series

As far as I’m aware, Game of Thrones is coming back on the 17th July and according to my calculations that gives you enough time to start or re-watch all the previous series.

If you’re more of a Netflix girl like me then season 5 of Orange is the New Black was recently released so that would be a high recommendation. I’ve only just finished my exams so I will be definitely watching all those episodes… in one sitting.

I can’t believe I’m actually recommending this, but somehow, I was enticed by the epitome of ‘trash TV’ also known as Love Island. It’s somewhat intriguing and slightly classier than Geordie Shore, so a definite time passer. Also, ITV player doesn’t have long ads during episodes, which is always a plus.

I’m sure there are a million other things to watch too but a subscription to Netflix is a good investment this summer.

Destroy your revision stuff

Obviously don’t destroy your textbooks, readings books and revision guides. You can actually make a decent amount of money from those by selling them to others. However, there is nothing more liberating in this world than tearing up the countless pieces of paper that you used to makes notes, answer practice questions, or whatever else you did. Rip them into thousands of pieces, and then go recycle them. You will feel much better if you know you are being environmentally friendly.

What am I going to do?

I will be doing all the things I’ve listed above in addition to: liking memes on Instagram, eating a tub of ice cream every other night, drinking lots of Coke, hanging out with my friends, drinking lots of water (can’t deal with the English sun), watching the sunset from random places, possibly worrying about my grades, gaining some pounds, worrying about gaining some pounds, and then – most excitingly – sleeping.

Loughborough Design School Degree Show 2017

June 15, 2017 Steven Lake

The Loughborough Design School will be holding its annual Degree Show this weekend in the School’s exhibition space.

The event is an opportunity to see at close hand the final year project work from the School’s students graduating this summer. A sneak preview can be had at the School’s website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/design-school/study/undergraduate/degree-show/

The show starts on Friday 16th June and runs until Monday 19th June and is open 10am – 4pm daily. Entrance is free.

Getting back to my old hobbies

Getting back to my old hobbies

June 15, 2017 Piers John

Coursework period has finally come to an end, and I managed to successfully meet all of my final deadlines for the year. This time of year is always a tough one, especially as I find all my time consumed by essay writing and research! Continue reading

Degree Attainment Gaps and New Research at Loughborough University

June 15, 2017 Tom Berry

In this blog-post for the Centre for Academic Practice, Nuzhat Fatima, LSU Welfare and Diversity Executive Officer, discusses the Black and Minority Ethnic student attainment gap in UK higher education institutions, and introduces a new research project at Loughborough entitled ‘Experiences in the Classroom and Beyond: The Role of Race and Ethnicity’

What is the ‘degree attainment gap’?

The ‘degree attainment gap’ is often described as a national crisis within the education system. The Equality Challenge Unit describes the degree attainment gap as “the difference in ‘top degrees’ – a First or 2:1 classification – awarded to different groups of students. The largest divergence can be found between BME (Black Minority and Ethnic Students) and White British students. Leaving an education institution with lower grades has lifetime effects; this limits BME students into pursuing a potential post-graduate education where the requirements generally tend to be a 2:1 or above. Most graduate employers will require a 2:1 or above also.

The problem arises as many BME students enter university with the same grade classification as their white counterparts. However, BME students leave university with significantly lower grades in comparison to their white peers.

“In 2012/13, 57.1% of UK-domiciled BME students received a top degree when compared with 73.2% of White British students’ – an overall gap of 16.1%” (ECU).

Homogenising all minority students is unhelpful as they are a diverse group with differing outcomes. For example, Black and Caribbean students are the worst affected group at a national level. When observing the national breakdown of the BME category (2012/13), it can be seen that Black and Caribbean students are the most affected ethnic group. Students from Pakistani, Chinese and Indian backgrounds are also affected.

  • 4%of Indian students were awarded a top degree (a degree attainment gap of 8.8%)
  • 9%of Chinese students (a gap of 9.3%)
  • 2%of Pakistani students (a gap of 19.0%)
  • 8%of Black Other students (a gap of 29.4%)” (ECU).

A reliance on a meritocratic model to understand academic achievement has meant that the BME attainment gap was, and sometimes still is, framed as a problem caused by a limitation in the students themselves. This is also known as a deficit model. However, the attainment gap would not be a national problem if it were a meritocratic issue only. This raises the question of whether there are conditions within our educational institutions that negatively impact BME students both culturally and academically, and which contribute to the existence of the attainment gap.

Potential contributors

There is no sole contributor to the attainment gap. Multiple factors contribute to students being unable to reach their potential and attain a top degree. It can be due to geographical location, institutional insensitivity towards culture, a Euro-centric based curriculum, methods of assessment, and experiences of racism which go beyond the classroom and have a lasting impact on student life. Additionally, social interactions within clubs and societies can also impact on academic performance. These points are often dismissed as generalisations that potentially impact all students; however, to tackle the BME attainment gap one must consider how these factors work together in a negative way to disproportionately affect BME students.

What can be done? A way of tackling this is institution specific research, which does not homogenise institutions and lived experiences. Such research can become a catalyst for tackling the BME attainment gap on a structural and an institutional level.

What is Loughborough proposing to do?

 Loughborough prides itself on being an inclusive university and is aiming to tackle this national problem on an institutional level! Together with brilliant academics such as Dr Line Nyhagen (Reader in Sociology & School Champion Athena SWAN) and Dr James Esson (Lecturer in Human Geography), I have contributed to the proposal for a newly funded student led pedagogical research project. This research project will be carried out so that we as an institution can further our progress towards making education inclusive by raising standards and aspirations of all!

The project will examine BME and other students’ own learning experiences at Loughborough University in relation to the curriculum content and more broadly, including their take-up of individual consultations with lecturers, relationships with peers, and take-up of opportunities that can enhance their learning experience (e.g., student rep positions; student ambassador jobs).

I want to congratulate Loughborough University for putting diversity on the agenda and I am thrilled to have support from the University and the above academics who are committed to learning from the experiences of students in order to deliver the best education possible.

Information taken from the ECU: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/guidance-resources/student-recruitment-retention-attainment/student-attainment/degree-attainment-gaps/

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Nuzhat Fatima has been the Welfare and Diversity Executive Officer at Loughborough Students Union for 2016/17

How the Conservatives' media strategy collapsed during the election campaign

June 14, 2017 Loughborough University

There is no question that the surprising result occurred despite excoriating criticism of the main opposition party from the right-wing press. However, detailed analysis of mainstream news coverage by Loughborough University shows there were plenty of signs that the Conservative Party was losing control of the media election as the campaign unfolded. Continue reading

Tricia's snippets 2017-06-14

June 14, 2017 Tricia

Interesting bits and pieces!

New and improved UN-Water website (email May 26th 2017)

http://www.unwater.org/?utm_source=UN-Water&utm_campaign=b1ca20b3af-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_25&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f51074d406-b1ca20b3af-247775961

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017

Wastewater: the untapped resource

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002471/247153e.pdf

*From USAID Global Waters (May 2017):

Where WASH saves lives: creating new traditions in Nepal

In the past, Nepalese girls would have been subject to the taboos of chhaupadi — not being allowed to use the family toilet or sleep in the family home during their menstrual period

https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/where-wash-saves-lives-creating-new-traditions-in-nepal-7f2f3917ca64

Doubling access to safe drinking water: how four African countries did it…and how others can too

The WALIS project identified four common elements applied to local systems in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa that contributed to meeting the Millennium Development Goal for clean water access to help other countries learn how to replicate their success

https://medium.com/usaid-global-waters/doubling-access-to-safe-drinking-water-how-four-african-countries-did-it-and-how-others-can-too-3b45343f8587

From Sanitation Updates:

Recent WASH research

Posted: 06 Jun 2017 10:52 AM PDT

Microfinance for Sanitation Policy Brief

Water Currents, June 5, 2017 – WASH & Neglected Tropical Diseases

USAID WASHpals grant – Habit Formation Approaches and Gender Equity & Social Inclusion Innovations for Hygiene Behavior Change

Posted: 05 Jun 2017

Lessons learned from WASH and NTD projects

Posted: 31 May 2017 06:48 AM PDT

Developing Markets for Sanitation: A Blog Series

USAID Global Waters – May 2017

*(see extracts above)

Recent WASH research

Posted: 25 May 2017

In A First, Kerala Makes Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines Mandatory In All Schools

Posted: 22 May 2017 09:52 AM PDT

Developing Markets for Sanitation: A Blog Series

Posted: 19 May 2017 08:04 AM PDT

WASH data dashboards from WHO

Join now – SuSanA online discussion “Applications of Sanitation Systems and Technologies in MENA”

USAID GWASH – Lessons Learned: Hybrid CLTS Approach to Improving Sanitation

USAID SAREP – CLTS Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit and Manual

Global Waters – Tackling Water Issues Lightens the Load for Garment Workers

Global Waters – Doubling Access to Safe Drinking Water: How Four African Countries Did It … and How Others Can, Too

Posted: 17 May 2017

How El Niño forecasts can help prevent cholera deaths in Africa

Putting the Swachh in Swachh Bharat

Recent WASH research

Posted: 15 May 2017

Developing Markets for Sanitation: A Blog Series

How did Vizakhapatnam become India’s third cleanest city?

Posted: 11 May 2017

Recent news on cholera outbreaks

Posted: 10 May 2017 10:33 AM PDT

World Bank, WSSCC Highlight Sanitation Financing Needs

Recent sanitation/WASH research

SuSanA webinar: Panel discussion on How to Influence and Engage Government in Sanitation – 1400 GMT 17 May 2017

Posted: 09 May 2017

From email alerts (sanitation in the title):

From journal email alerts:

Water research

ISSN 0043-1354

VOL 110; (2017)

WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT -DORDRECHT-

ISSN 0920-4741

VOL 31; NUMB 8 (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 583; (2017)

 

 

Summer bucket list

Summer bucket list

June 14, 2017 Rachel

The end of the academic year is in sight, and that can only mean one thing… summer! Once exams are out the way you might not know what to do with all your free time, but don’t panic – we’ve got a few suggestions to help you make the most of your time in Loughborough.

Continue reading

Graduating this Summer? Remember to Clear your IT Services Account!

June 13, 2017 Steven Lake

Important message from IT Services for all final year students graduating this summer.

Following completion of your studies your IT user account will enter a 30 day expiry period.

After 30 days, access to your account, and all University systems will be permanently terminated. Please read the following guidance to avoid loss of data.

Important: Action required

  • Back up any data you wish to keep (Important emails, data from *Google Apps , U Drive, OneDrive for Business and content from Learn)
  • Update you email details .Where you have quoted your University email address (online accounts, job applications etc.)replace this with your personal (non-university) emails address.
  • Redeem any unused printer credits. Credit that is not redeemed prior to account expiry will be lost.

Full advice and guidance can be found on the IT Services webpage: Finalists and Alumni

If you need further assistance, please contact IT Services by e-mailing IT.Services@lboro.ac.uk , or by phoning (01509) 222333.

*To take copies of your Google data – Google takeout, follow our step by step ‘Backup your Google Apps’ instructions: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/it/student/leaving/

From Newcastle to Amsterdam

From Newcastle to Amsterdam

June 13, 2017 Jessica Rutherford

Exam time always brings a very different feel to a University campus and it’s no different at Loughborough. The campus almost seems to shut down as students head into exam season. My undergraduate teaching has come to an end and as assessment marking is finalised, that’s me done with this job role. I’m sad to finish this role as I have loved getting to know the students and guiding them through projects, I find it such a rewarding and enjoyable role, I just wish they had more teaching weeks each year!

My contract with SNOOKS also came to an end in May. The girls treated me to a burrito lunch (my favourite!) to spend some time together out of the office before I left. They couldn’t get over how I managed to eat my burrito without creating a huge mess so had to take a photo! This role has been great though, I’ve learned so many new skills and have come to understand there’s so much more to social media than you would ever think. This is a job role I would certainly consider pursuing again in the future as I’ve really enjoyed digging deeper to figure out why certain posts engage with people more than others and then trying to develop future content based on those results. I love being creative but having all the statistics to show the relevance of what you’ve produced makes it so easy to learn from, through a lot of trial and error.

For the bank holiday weekend at the end of May, my boyfriend and I took the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam with friends. We spent a night in a hotel in Amsterdam giving us longer to explore the city. The weather was fantastic (which luckily for me meant the North Sea was very calm and I wasn’t sea sick!) around 30 degrees both days so of course, we had to visit the ice bar and have a few drinks there to cool off!

Now that teaching has come to an end for PhD students, as well as finishing my two job roles, I’ve been applying to re-enter the world of full time employment. I’ve been interviewing for a few positions and have decided this is the time to head back up north to my boyfriend. I will be continuing my PhD as a distance learner and I have no doubt there will be numerous challenges along the way juggling full time work and a part time PhD, but I feel confident that having a secure 9 to 5 job will give me the structure and routine I need to do so successfully. So, once I’m offered a job everything will be changing again and I will be moving away from the Midlands. I am still working towards my September review so will need to focus a lot of time on my PhD over the summer to prepare for this. This is the big scary panel review I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs and it’s coming round incredibly quick!

The coming month is very exciting for me. I have a spa break with my mum for my birthday, my best friend’s hen party, visiting good friends who I’ve not seen in two years and a voluntary role relating to my PhD. It’s going to be a really busy but fun month so my next blog should be a very interesting read!

 

Corbyn, Labour, Digital Media, and the 2017 UK Election

June 13, 2017 Loughborough University

Labour did not win the general election. But neither did the Conservatives. Parliamentary arithmetic will prevail and the Tories will form a minority government propped up by the hard-right DUP. Will there be a hard Brexit? Will austerity continue along its previous punishing trajectory? Who knows, but both seem less likely with a minority government. Will the government even last until the autumn?

The result was truly extraordinary and begs so many questions but here I want to discuss how Jeremy Corbyn and his movement of activists are changing the Labour party.

Labour’s share of the vote saw a huge increase. The party picked up seats in constituencies, such as Canterbury (Tory since the First World War) and Kensington, that nobody would have predicted would switch to Labour, and certainly not Corbyn’s Labour. Five weeks ago, Labour were lagging behind by about 20 percent in most opinion polls and there were forecasts of a 150 seat majority for the Conservatives. This is, after all, why Theresa May called the snap election in the first place. After the election that gap stands at only 2 percent, with Labour on 40 percent and the Tories just north of 42 percent.

UKIP’s share of the popular vote has been slashed to just 1.8 percent, against a 2015 total of 10.8 percent. Across the country, but particularly in places like the north east of England UKIP were crushed as voters switched back to Labour as well as the Conservatives. UKIP’s much vaunted “threat” to Labour in working-class constituencies like Hartlepool or Middlesbrough, for example, repeated in broadcast media vox-pops with “ordinary voters” over the last few weeks, melted away like snowflakes in the sun.

It turned out these were not representative of “ordinary voters” but, as we know from decades of journalism research, they were editorially selected because they fitted with the “Labour is failing” frame. Labour saw off the challenge and increased its share of the vote in the areas where UKIP was supposedly going to split the Labour vote and hand seats to other parties. Labour trounced UKIP in Wales. The results in London show just how strong Labour has become in Britain’s capital. And, yes there was a remarkable Tory recovery in Scotland but Labour also won seats north of the border.

June 9 was huge for Corbyn and the movement of new party members that sustained him through his election as Labour leader in 2015 and the challenge to his leadership last year.

Shifts in Engagement

The deep question here is to what extent Labour’s surge during the campaign — and remember it was really only during the final two weeks of the campaign that the surge became evident — can be explained by broader, below-the-radar, systemic shifts in political engagement in UK party politics and how elections are being reshaped by ongoing changes in our media system.

Central to this are new forms of engagement through digital media and how they jell with both the evolving ground war on the doorstep and online, as well as longer-term cultural shifts in how people experience politics. As Jenny Stromer-Galley and I argued last summer in a think piece that served as the introduction to a special issue of the International Journal of Press/Politics we edited on digital media, power, and democracy in parties and election campaigns we edited, the growth of digital media in citizens’ political repertoires has affinities with a broader shift toward youth engagement, and a general skepticism of authority. There is a willingness among many individuals to see elections and party participation as fair game for social media-fuelled contentious politics of the kinds that have been so important for non-party protests and mobilizations over the last decade. This is happening among those significant sections of the public who have started to channel their social media-enabled activism into party politics and to integrate it with face-to-face doorstep campaigning under the guidance of the new Labour party leadership and Corbyn’s ancillary movement Momentum.

We saw similar forces at work with Bernie Sanders’ campaign in last year’s U.S. presidential election. We saw it with Italy’s M5S and Spain’s Podemos. Key here is the process of organizational and generational cultural changeand how it fits with changes in how digital media are now used in political activity.

When Labour lost the 2010 election, and even as Corbyn continued to attract a huge influx of new members for his party during 2015 and 2016, much commentary revolved around the “death” of social democracy and even the party form itself. But what June 9 suggests is that, for Labour and its half a million-plus members, the party organizational form is alive and kicking.

Rather than dissolving, Labour looks like it is going through a long-term process of adaptation to postmaterial political culture and is leading the way in new organizational strategies that combine online and offline citizen activism. Skepticism about Labour’s new members, suggesting that they are not prepared to help out on the doorstep and are merely “clicktivists” who don’t see the value of old-style campaigning now seems wide of the mark.

This is a complex process. Interactions between the organizations, norms, and rules of electoral politics, the new, flexible, ad hoc, connective styles of political engagement, specific issues, and the affordances and uses of digital media will make the difference. National, regional, and local contexts will also shape overall outcomes.

jeremy corbyn t-shirt

Digital Media and the Party-as-Movement Mentality

But still, digital media foster cultures of organizational experimentation and a party-as-movement mentality that enable many individuals to reject norms of hierarchical discipline and habitual partisan loyalty. This context readily accommodates populist appeals and angry protest — on the right as well as the left. Substantial numbers of the politically active now see election campaigns as another opportunity for personalized, contentious political expression and for spreading the word in their online and face to face networks. As a result, Labour is being renewed from the outside in, as digitally enabled citizens, many (though not all) of them young people, have breathed new life into an old form by partly remaking it in their own participatory image. The overall outcome might prove more positive for democratic engagement and the decentralization of political power than many have assumed.

So far, this shift has not touched the Conservatives. They remain a declining party, with a shrinking membership of fewer than 150,000, stuck in the elite-driven, broadcast-era mode that they (and Labour) perfected a generation ago, bolting on digital media targeting without the engagement.

Turnout among young voters rose significantly during this election. A reported 63 percent of 18–34 year olds voted Labour. The campaign saw a massive voter registration drive led by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens, but missed in the coverage is that the parties were also joined by online movement 38 Degrees who ran their own crowdfunded registration campaign including targeted Facebook advertising that generated four million “register to vote” ad viewings. It looks like it worked.

Yet The Right-Wing Press Still Matters

the sun general election front page corbyn

At the same time, it pays to remember that these extraordinary changes are also accompanied by persistent, long-term trends in our media system. Today some commentators are claiming that the power of Britain’s overwhelmingly right-wing tabloid media is on the wane. The election day front pages of the Sun, the Star, the Mail and the Express were outrageous even by the usual standard of these outlets, leading some to suggest that these news organizations protested too much and failed to influence the outcome of the election. There is a new alternative news ecosystem emerging in UK politics, with sites like The Canary (6m visits a month) generating much shareable content that has been used to foster solidarity among those young Corbyn supporting activists.

But we need to remember that the Conservatives achieved more than 42 percent of the popular vote and will be forming a government, albeit a weak one. Labour surged, against all the odds, but it seems difficult to suggest that the incessant campaign against Corbyn in the British press did not make a difference to the overall outcome of the campaign.

How long the Conservative-DUP minority government will last is anyone’s guess. But there are deeper changes underway on the British left. Digital media logics, in complex interactions with older media logics, older organizational forms, and evolving patterns of participation are playing a role in these changes.

Andrew Chadwick

Prof @newpolcom. From August 2017 I’m moving to be Prof @lboroCRCC & @lboroSocSci. http://www.andrewchadwick.com

First year? Completed it mate

First year? Completed it mate

June 12, 2017 Tara Janes

I’ve finished first year! I’m feeling quite smug because my flatmates all have exams and all I’m doing currently is laying about and hassling them to play frisbee with me: “You need revision breaks guys!” Continue reading

General Election 2017: A presidential media campaign which gave men the dominant voice

June 12, 2017 Loughborough University

The media offered ‘presidential’ coverage of the 2017 General Election, focussing their attention on May and Corbyn, analysis by Loughborough University has found.

In contrast to the 2015 election, where minor parties commanded significantly higher levels of news presence, in 2017 the two main political parties dominated campaign coverage.

This two party squeeze was most evident in press coverage, with 84% of the featured politicians coming from the Conservatives and Labour.

Figure 1.6 Party prominence in press coverage in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

Figure 1.6 Party prominence in press coverage in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

The Conservative party sources gained most coverage and quotation in both press and television news, with the Labour party receiving the most negative coverage overall.

And yet again men dominated coverage, with nearly 63% of those that appeared in news being male, compared to 37% female. This is despite there being a female Prime Minister. The dominance of men was evident across all political, professional and public roles related to the election.

Figure 5.1 Gender balance across sources

Figure 5.1 Gender balance across sources

Speaking about the findings of the team’s final report, co-author Professor David Deacon said: “As with the referendum, it seems as though the campaign really mattered in influencing the outcome. The Conservative party started strongly in media terms, but lost control of the terms of debate and struggled to get it back. It was certainly anything but a Brexit media election.”

Results in the report are derived from detailed content analysis of weekday news coverage of the General Election, compiled by experts in Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC).This week’s report also revealed:

  • Newspaper coverage was highly negative in the main. The most partisan newspapers gave greater editorial focus to attacking the party/parties they opposed, rather than advocating the party they supported.
  • The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London had a direct impact on the media agenda, bringing defence and security issues to the fore.
  • Policy focused coverage was more prominent in this media election than the 2015 campaign.
  • Despite its importance in the 2016 EU Referendum, immigration did not make the top 5 most prominently reported issues. Coverage of this issue in 2017 matched that found for 2015.
  • Across all media, more coverage was given to health and health care than the economy and taxation.

Read the full report.

Important Information for RefWorks Users

June 12, 2017 Steven Lake

Do you use RefWorks as your favoured referencing software? If so, it is important that you act now in order to ensure that you do not lose any of your work.

From September 2017 the University will no longer be supporting RefWorks; so It is vital that you make provision to migrate any references you have in RefWorks to a new platform.

The University is now recommending Mendeley as our chosen referencing software. If you choose to use Mendeley migrating your references from RefWorks to Mendeley is a simple process, details of which can be found on the Referencing Software pages on Learn:

http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3539

These pages have further details about Mendeley, with videos and guides, informing you about the functionality of Mendeley and how to get started using it.

The Library is also running introductory workshops throughout the Summer:

  • 27th June; 9.30-11am
  • 12th July; 2-3.30pm
  • 24th August; 9.30-11am

Go to the Library website to book your place:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/students/eventsandworkshops/

Alternatively contact your Academic Librarian for further details about the workshops and Mendeley:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/staff-researchers/about/librarystaff/

Goodbye deadlines, hello Student's Union!

Goodbye deadlines, hello Student's Union!

June 12, 2017 Gemma Wilkie

So it’s June, and I can almost see the end of second year. I don’t know if I am pleased by that, having now met all my deadlines, or if I am sad because it means I will have to leave Loughborough temporarily… Continue reading

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 4)

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 4)

June 12, 2017 Loughborough University

Report 4 (covering 5th May – 7th June inclusive)

This is the last in a series of weekly reports by the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture on national news reporting of the 2017 UK General Election.

The results in this report are derived from detailed content analysis of election coverage produced on the weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday inclusive) between 5th  and 17th May 2017 from the following news outlets:

Television: Channel 4 News (7pm), Channel 5 News (6.30pm), BBC1 News at 10, ITV1 News at 10, Sky News 8-8.30pm

Press: The Guardian, The I, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Mirror, The Sun, The Star

We analysed all election news found in the television programmes. For the press, we included election news found on the front page, the first two pages of the domestic news section, the first two pages of any specialist election section and the page containing and facing the papers’ leader editorials. More information on our methodology.

In this report we focus on the following features of news coverage during the opening stage of the formal campaign: 1, the visibility or presence of the different political parties and other organizations and individuals in the news; 2, the most frequently reported political figure; 3, the positivity and negativity of press reporting of the main parties; and 4, which issues attracted most media attention.

Intercoder reliability tests were conducted on all key variables.[i]

Where we divide coverage into weekly segments. Sample days for the respective weeks were the weekdays between: 5th May to 11th May (week 1), 12th to 18th May (week 2), 19th to 25th May (week 3), 26th May to 1st June (week 4), 2nd to 7th June (week 5).

Executive summary

  • In contrast to the 2015 media election, the two main political parties dominated campaign news coverage in 2017. This two party squeeze was most evident in press coverage, with 84 percent of the featured politicians coming from the Conservatives and Labour (on TV news these parties accounted for 67 percent of all politician appearances).
  • This represented a significant narrowing of the range of coverage compared with 2015, where minor parties commanded significantly higher levels of news presence.
  • The Conservative party sources gained most coverage and quotation in both press and television news. With TV the differences with their main rival were small; with the press this coverage gap was more pronounced.
  • The two main party leaders dominated coverage. Theresa May was more prominent than Jeremy Corbyn in the early stages of the campaign, but in weeks 4 and 5 Jeremy Corbyn was more or equally prominent.
  • The dominance of the two party leaders increased as the campaign progressed, rising from 30 percent in week 1 to 39 percent in the penultimate week.
  • Newspaper coverage was highly negative in the main – in cumulative terms no party achieved more positive than negative coverage. The most partisan newspapers gave greater editorial focus to attacking the party/parties they opposed, rather than advocating the party they supported.
  • The Labour party received the most negative coverage, but the controversy and policy u-turn on the Conservatives’ social care policy led to a period where media criticisms of the Tories exceeded those for Labour.
  • Coverage of the electoral process itself (e.g. opinion polls, electoral events, campaign mishaps) was the most prominent issue overall. However, the levels of this coverage were appreciably lower than those found in the 2015 General Election campaign. Policy focused coverage was more prominent in this media election.
  • Brexit and the EU was the most prominent substantive policy issue overall, but its relative news value fluctuated across the campaign, peaking in weeks 1 & 4, then falling back in the last week of the campaign.
  • Across all media, more coverage was given to health and health care than the economy and taxation.
  • The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London had a direct impact on the media agenda, bringing defence and security issues to the fore.
  • Despite its importance in the 2016 EU Referendum, immigration did not make the top 5 most prominently reported issues. Coverage of this issue in 2017 matched that found for 2015.
  • In total, nearly 63% of those that appeared in news were male, compared to 37% female. The dominance of men was evident across all political, professional and public roles related to the election (e.g. business sources, politicians, public sector spokespersons, experts, etc.)

Section 1: Prominence of political parties in news coverage


Figure 1.1 compares the prominence of the political parties on TV news for the sample period. Figure 1.2 makes the same comparison for national press coverage. 

Figure 1.1: Prominence of parties on TV news (5 May - 7 June)

Figure 1.1: Prominence of parties on TV news (5 May – 7 June)

Figure 1.2: Prominence of parties in national press (5 May - 7 June)

Figure 1.2: Prominence of parties in national press (5 May – 7 June)

Key findings

  • Conservative party sources gained greatest prominence in TV and press coverage in terms of the frequency of their appearances.
  • The margin of difference between Conservative and Labour sources was far greater in press coverage (9.6%) than TV (2.1%)
  • The two main political parties dominated press coverage to a greater extent than in TV news. In the press, Conservative and Labour sources accounted for 84 percent of all politicians reported. On TV news they accounted for 67 percent of all political appearances.

Figure 1.3 compares the amount of direct quotation of the political parties and their leaders on TV (measured in seconds). Figure 1.4 makes the same comparison for newspaper coverage (measured in words).

Figure 1.3: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (TV)

Figure 1.3: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (TV)

Figure1.4: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (Press)

Figure1.4: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (Press)

Key findings

  • The Conservatives received most direct quotation on TV and in the press.
  • Once again, this prominence was greater in the press than on TV, where the comparison in quotation time between the Conservatives and Labour (including between their leaders) was more balanced.
  • Reflecting their reduced news presence, smaller parties received little direct quotation.
  • Minor parties were quoted more on TV news than in the press. Factors relevant to this include new Ofcom guidelines for broadcasters that encourage broadcasters to take past and present electoral or polling performance into consideration, as well as the potential small-scale fall out of the seven-party leadership debate, which gave the minor parties an important platform midway through the campaign.
  • The distribution of direct quotation in coverage accentuated the dominance of the party leaders noted earlier. Theresa May accounted for 51 percent of all Conservative direct quotation in the press and 43 percent on TV. Jeremy Corbyn’s quotes amounted to 53 percent of all Labour quotation in the press and 41 percent on TV.
  • This trend was even more evident for the smaller parties, whose leaders tended to dominate their parties’ contributions.

Figure 1.5 compares the prominence of the political parties on TV news in the 2015 and 2017 General Election campaigns. Figure 1.6 provides the same comparison for national press coverage.

Figure 1.5: Party prominence on TV news in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

Figure 1.5: Party prominence on TV news in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

Figure 1.6: Party prominence in press coverage in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

Figure 1.6: Party prominence in press coverage in 2015 and 2017 General Elections

Key findings

  • Party coverage has appreciably narrowed in 2017, compared with the previous election.
  • This two-party squeeze is most evident in press coverage, but the trend is also evident in TV news coverage.
  • In 2015, 55.7 percent of all politician appearances on TV were from the two main parties. In 2017, 1 percent of all politicians were Conservative or Labour.
  • In 2015, 69.7 percent of politicians in the press were Conservative or Labour. In 2017, this had increased to 84.3 percent.

Section 2: most prominent political figures in campaign news coverage

Table 2.1 identifies the most frequently reported political figures in the final week of news coverage. It also compares their position in the previous week’s sample.

Table 2.1: Most prominent politicians in week 5 news coverage (week 4 position in brackets)

Position Politician %
1 (2) Theresa May (Cons) 30.9%
2 (1) Jeremy Corbyn (Lab) 29.3%
3 (7) Tim Farron (Lib Dem) 6.9%
4 (8) Boris Johnson (Cons) 5.7%
5 (3) Diane Abbott (Lab) 5.7%
6 (4) Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) 4.7%
7 (5) Paul Nuttall (UKIP) 4.1%
8 (6) Amber Rudd (Cons) 3.2%
9 (13) Emily Thornberry (Lab) 2.8%
10 (-) Sadiq Khan (Lab) 2.5%
11 (-) Nigel Farage (UKIP) 2.2%
12 (-) Justine Greening (Cons) 1.3%
12 (-) Philip Hammond (Cons) 1.3%
12 (9) Ruth Davidson (Cons) 1.3%
12 (12) John McDonnell (Lab) 1.3%
12 (-) Norman Lamb (Lib Dem) 1.3%
12 (-) Willie Rennie  (Lib Dem) 1.3%
12 (-) Leanne Wood (PC) 1.3%
19 (15) Karen Bradley (Cons) .9%
20 (19) Patrick McLoughlin (Cons) .9%


Key findings:

  • Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May remained the most prominent politicians in the final week of the campaign.
  • It was mixed fortunes for the leaders of the minor parties. Tim Farron and Leanne Wood saw their coverage increase while Nicola Sturgeon and Paul Nuttall received less coverage.
  • Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, found himself thrust into the news spotlight following the London terror attack, although he was much less visible over the whole campaign (see below).


Table 2.2 (below) identifies the most frequently reported political figures in the news over the whole campaign period.

Table 2.2: Most prominent politicians in campaign news coverage (total news appearances)

Position Politician %
1 Theresa May (Cons) 30.1%
2 Jeremy Corbyn (Lab) 26.7%
3 Tim Farron (Lib Dem) 6.8%
4 Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) 3.7%
5 Boris Johnson (Cons) 3.6%
6 John McDonnell (Lab) 3.4%
7 Paul Nuttall (UKIP) 3.4%
8 Amber Rudd (Cons) 2.8%
8 Diane Abbott (Lab) 2.8%
10 Emily Thornberry (Lab) 1.8%
11 Philip Hammond (Cons) 1.7%
12 Michael Fallon (Cons) 1.5%
13 Ruth Davidson (Cons) 1.4%
13 Caroline Lucas (Green) 1.4%
15 Jeremy Hunt (Cons) 1.2%
16 David Davis (Cons) 1.1%
17 Leanne Wood (PC) 1.1%
17 Jonathan Ashworth (Lab) 1.1%
19 David Cameron (Cons) 1.0%
19 Angela Rayner (Lab) 1.0%
19 Vince Cable (Lib Dem) 1.0%

Note: percentages=(frequency of appearance/ number of items)*100

Key findings

  • Over the campaign, news coverage was dominated by leaders of the two main parties. Thirty percent of all items featured Theresa May and 26.7 percent, Jeremy Corbyn.
  • The leaders of the other parties attracted much less coverage in comparison. Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, received more attention than the other minor party leaders, even though his party had fewer seats than Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP (8 to 56). Leanne Wood received the lowest amount of attention in comparison.

Figure 2.1 shows the appearance of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in coverage as a proportion of all political actors on a week-by-week basis[2].

Figure 2.1: Proportional presence of the two main party leaders by week

Figure 2.1: Proportional presence of the two main party leaders by week

Key findings

  • Campaign coverage became more focused on the two main party leaders as the vote neared. May and Corbyn’s combined presence broadly increased from 30 percent in week 1 to a peak of 39 percent in week 4.
  • Until the third week, Theresa May was more prominent than Jeremy Corbyn, but in week 4 coverage of Corbyn exceeded that of the Prime Minister. In the final week their media profiles were nearly equivalent.
  • The manifesto launches of both parties and the ‘leaks and tweaks’ that accompanied them[3] were clearly a factor in increasing media attention to the respective party leaders.

The visibility of the DUP in the campaign

Following the election, it would appear that the Democratic Unionist Party will now form an important role in the Conservative Party’s ability to govern as discussions on an arrangement between the two parties began on the Friday following polling day. Attention will now turn to the DUP’s politicians and policies in the coming weeks as the nature of the relationship between the two parties becomes more apparent.

Table 2.3 shows the prominence of various DUP actors during the 2017 campaign within all political actors.

Table 2.3: Most prominent DUP politicians in campaign news coverage (total news appearances)

DUP actor N % items
Arlene Foster (DUP Leader) 5 0.2%
Nigel Dodds (Deputy Leader, Westminster Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson) 2 0.1%
Other DUP figure or the party in general 3 0.1%
Total Appearances 10 0.4%

Key findings

  • DUP representatives accounted for only 0.4% of media appearances in all items.
  • The party’s leader and Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Arlene Foster, was the party’s most prominent actor, although she appeared on only 5 occasions.
  • Nigel Dodds, the party’s Westminster Leader and MP for Belfast North, appeared on only two occasions.
  • These results suggest the wider national public are likely to be very unfamiliar with the party, its personalities and its politics, despite its now crucial role in supporting a Conservative-led government.

Section 3: Positive and negative treatment of the political parties in the press

In this section we discuss the overall positivity or negativity of newspaper coverage. For each item we assessed whether the information or commentary contained within it had positive or negative implications for each political party[4].

Scoring

  • If an item mainly or solely focused on positive matters for a party, it was given a value of +1.
  • If it mainly/ solely focused on negative matters for a party, it was assigned a value of -1.
  • Items where there was no clear evaluation, or contained positive and negative issues in broadly equal measure, were coded as zero.
  • Items where no reference was made to the party were excluded from the calculation.

The scores in figures 3.1 – 3.5 are calculated by subtracting the total number of negative stories from the total of positive stories.

Figure 3.1 shows the overall directional balance of stories of the respective parties.

Figure 3.1 Overall evaluations in newspapers

Figure 3.1 Overall evaluations in newspapers

Figure 3.2 weights this differential by the latest ABC circulation figures for each national newspaper.

Figure 3.2 Overall evaluations in newspapers (weighted by circulation)

Figure 3.2 Overall evaluations in newspapers (weighted by circulation)

Key findings

  • The unweighted figures are illustrative of a highly negative campaign – no party on this measure attained more positive than negative coverage.
  • With weighting for circulation, the figures reveal that, on balance, the Conservatives were alone in receiving more positive than negative coverage by a slight amount.
  • This indicates that most of the party’s negative coverage came in newspapers of smaller circulations (see Figure 3.5).
  • The Labour party received the most negative coverage by either measure, demonstrating that the higher circulation newspapers were among the most negative towards the party.
  • The Lib Dems, SNP and UKIP each received negative coverage by both measures, although this was marginal, reflecting their relatively smaller news presence.

Figure 3.3 shows the overall directional balance of stories of the respective parties for each week of the campaign.

Figure 3.3 Evaluations by week in newspapers

Figure 3.3 Evaluations by week in newspapers

Figure 3.4 provides the directional balance of stories for each week weighted by circulation.

Figure 3.4 Evaluations by week in newspapers (weighted by circulation

Figure 3.4 Evaluations by week in newspapers (weighted by circulation

Key findings

  • The unweighted figures show that the Conservatives began to receive much of their criticism from the press from week 3 onwards, in the aftermath of the launch of their manifesto and the ‘dementia tax’ u-turn.
  • Indeed, this middle week of the campaign was the only week in which the Conservatives received more negative than positive coverage when evaluations are weighted for circulation.
  • Things began to improve for the Tories during the last two weeks of the campaign, though this did not translate into a positive press to match Labour’s negative press.
  • Week 3 was also the week in which the Labour party received their least negative coverage of the entire campaign.

Figure 3.5 breaks down the overall distribution in figure 3.1, by party and newspaper title.

Figure 3.5 Evaluations by newspapers

Figure 3.5 Evaluations by newspapers

Key findings

  • The figures are illustrative of the partisanship of the press, with most newspapers demonstrating a clear evaluative slant towards one of the two main parties and away from the other.
  • The Guardian and the Mirror were the Labour party’s main backers in the press, with the Sun, Telegraph, Express and Mail providing support for the Conservatives by this measure.
  • Notable exceptions to this partisanship are the Times, I and Financial Times, each of which were characterised by negativity towards both Labour and the Conservatives.
  • Even where newspapers do seem to show a clear partisan preference in their reporting, directional balance is characterised by more negativity for an unfavoured party than positivity for a favoured party. In short, the campaign was more about attack than advocacy.

Section 4: Issues in the Media Campaign

Table 4.1 compares the prominence of the most prominent 10 issues in the media across the entire 2017 campaign with their relative prominence in the 2015 General Election.

Table 4.1: Most prominent issues in news coverage 2017

2017 General Election % difference from 2015 General Election
1 Electoral process 32.9% – 12.5
2 Brexit/European Union 10.9% +7.8
3 Defence/Military/Security 7.2% +4.7
4 Health and health care provision 6.7% =
5 Taxation 5.7% -1.1
6 Economy/Business/Trade 5.5% -5.9
7 Social Security 4.6% +2.4
8 Immigration 4.2% +0.8
9 Devolution & other constitutional issues 3.3% -1.0
10 Standards 3.0% -0.3
11 Education 2.9% +1.6
12 Public services 2.3% +1.7
13 Employment 1.6% -0.7
14 Housing 1.3% -1.5
15 Other issues 7.9%

Key Findings

  • Although the drama of the election itself was most prominent in 2017 (Electoral process), this was substantially lower than in 2015.
  • Brexit and Europe was the most prominent substantive policy issue overall.
  • Coverage of defence and security issues, marginal in 2015, was much more prominent in 2017 following controversies over Trident and responses to the Manchester and London terror attacks.
  • Coverage of business and the economy was much less prominent in 2017 than in 2015. In previous elections, the economy has proved to be the most covered policy issue and in recent years has been an issue widely perceived to be owned by the Conservative Party. In this election, coverage of the economy and business was far less prominent than in 2015, and became more marginal as the campaign progressed (see figure 4.1).
  • Despite its importance in the 2016 EU Referendum, the issue of immigration remained as marginal in 2017 as in 2015.
  • Coverage of health and health care was as prominent in 2017 as it was in 2015.
  • Education issues in 2017 (notably school meals and tuition fees) received more attention than in 2015.
  • Despite their obvious considerable importance, issues of housing, transport and the environment were rarely reported either in 2015 or in 2017.

Figure 4.1 compares the proportional prominence of some of the main issues across the weeks of the campaign.

Figure 4.1: Proportional prominence of issues by week (all media)

Figure 4.1: Proportional prominence of issues by week (all media)

Key Findings

  • For what was supposed to be ‘the Brexit election’, the Conservative Party struggled after the first week on the campaign to get the media to define it as such.
  • The rise of Health and Health care in week 3, and the rise of defence related issues in the last two weeks, show the extent to which the Conservative campaign was blown off course by the ‘dementia tax’ u-turn and then by security issues in the aftermath of the Manchester and London Bridge terrorist attacks.
  • Coverage of the electoral process itself dipped through the middle three weeks of the campaign.

Section 5: Gender Balance of Campaign News

Figure 5.1 shows the different types of people who appeared in the news by their gender over the campaign period.

Figure 5.1: Gender balance across sources

Figure 5.1: Gender balance across sources

Findings

  • In total, nearly 63 percent of those that appeared in news were male, compared to 37 percent female.
  • Amongst politicians the split was 60/40 percent in favour of men.
  • Outside of the political party arena, men were consistently over-represented relative to women across all professional and public categories

[1] Our thanks to our coding team: Shani Burke, Gennaro Errichiello, Simon Huxtable, Jack Joyce, Herminder Kaur, Jade Markham, Nathan Ritchie, Lukas Stepanek, Ian Taylor, Rosie Tinker and Lou Tompkins

[3] The Labour party manifesto was leaked in advance of its official launch. Three days after the launch of the Conservative manifesto, the party made a u-turn on its proposals for social care reform.

[4] This is not solely a measure of overt support or criticism by a journalist of a party (although these instances would be included in the count). It is a broader measure of the extent to which newspapers report on issues/ comments/ developments that have positive or negative implications for parties. We only coded these instances where these were overtly referred to in the piece.

 

[i] Inter-coder reliability UK General Election 2017 campaign analysis

A reliability test using a random sample of 11 newspaper stories was conducted early on in the coding process with 10 coders. It is customary to provide an inter-coder reliability measure for each variable on a coding sheet. We have focused here on the more subjective variables that require coder judgement and the scores below are for these variables on the coding sheet.

Two measures are used, average pairwise percent agreement (APPA) and Krippendorff’s Alpha. Given the number of coders and the amount of training time ahead of this snap election our confidence level was set at 70% for APPA and 60% for Krippendorff’s Alpha.

The identity of actors in the news: APPA 78.324%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.733776976662

Disposition of actors in the news: APPA, 72.9761904762%  Krippendorff’s Alpha. 0.633986079743

The themes of news items: APPA, 76.2962962963%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.684490950537

Overall story evaluation: APPA, 86.7824074074%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.644939179375

 

 

New Task Sequence Media (Jun17) for SCCM CB

June 9, 2017 Chris Carter
Following the upgrade to SCCM Current Branch 1702, the Task Sequence Media has been updated to take advantage of new features introduced by Microsoft.

Most notably it is no longer necessary to restart the PC if no Task Sequences are found or the PC fails to find Task Sequence dependencies. In these cases, once the problem is resolved you should be able to start the process again without a reboot.

The new version can be found at \\ws2.lboro.ac.uk\DesktopResource\Windows\W7\common\TaskSequenceMedia\Current Branch.

The previous SCCM CB Task Sequence Media will continue to work on all but multi-boot iMacs in labs. However, as ever we recommend updating to the latest version.

CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION AND HELP?

Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information.

Database Trial - British Online Archives

June 9, 2017 Steven Lake

Our latest online trial dips into some of the historical resources of the renowned British Online Archives.

Home to over seventy digitised primary source collections, BOA continues to dedicate itself to teaching and research within the Humanities and Social Sciences. Their globally-related collections, ranging from colonial, missionary and transatlantic relations to twentieth century political and social development, cover four-hundred years of world history. Their dedication to academic excellence through collaboration with the United Kingdom’s leading libraries, archive repositories and academic experts ensure that BOA remains at the forefront of Higher Education teaching and research.

We are trialling several components from their Political History and Slavery resources collection. Please follow these links to the content you need:

Political History

Independent Labour Party: Formation and Development

British Labour Party Papers: 1906 – 1969

British Labour Party Papers: 1968-69 1993-94 Scottish Nationalist Leaflets – 1844 – 1973

British women trade unionists on strike at Bryant & May, 1888

Slavery

Slavery in Jamaica, records from a family of slave owners, 1750 – 1860.

Slavery: Its supporters and abolitionists, 1675, 1865

Slave trade records from Liverpool 1754, 1792

Slave trading records from William Davenport & Co, 1745 – 1797

Access is via IP address and the trial runs to 10th July 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments

Got Some Unwanted Novels? We Want Them!

June 8, 2017 Steven Lake

When you’re packing up for the Summer Vacation in the next couple of weeks and discover you don’t quite have room for those novels you’ve been reading in your down time, don’t sling them – we’ve got room for them!

Have you come across the BookCrossing baskets of donated novels situated in various buildings across campus? The purpose of this initiative is to encourage everyone to take advantage of the recognised benefits and joys of reading for pleasure. We’re always in need of more books to ensure the baskets are refreshed and restocked throughout the year – and that’s where you can help us!

Please drop off at the Library any paperback novels you no longer need. The genre doesn’t matter – the broader the range the better! All we ask is that the books are in good condition.

Celebrating Five Years of Fruit Routes on Campus

June 8, 2017 Steven Lake

Borrowing Books Over the Summer Vacation

June 7, 2017 Steven Lake

As Summer term hurtles towards a rather soggy ending, those of you who are already looking forward to coming back in September/October may be starting to think of stocking up for the vacation. You’ll then be delighted to hear that next week we’ll be rolling out our Summer Vacation loan period, which will be as follows:

  • All Ordinary and Week Loan books now borrowed by current First and Second Year Undergraduates will be issued with the return date of 4th October.
  • All Ordinary and Week Loan books borrowed by Postgraduate students will be issued with the return date of 6th October.
  • All Ordinary and Week Loan books borrowed by Staff & Researchers will be issued with the return date of 29th September.
  • Current Finalists – those completing their studies this term – who still wish to borrow books should note that their books will be issued only until 21st June  – and don’t forget to clear your Library account with us before you go!

Maximum numbers of book loans remain the same for all users during the vacation (details available here).

High Demand books retain their status throughout the vacation and are not included in the vacation loan extension.

All Leisure Reading books will be issued until 6th October.

Please note that ALL books are subject to recall during the Summer Vacation if requested by another user, so if you borrow books for the holiday please keep an eye on your Loughborough student email account as that is where we will be sending the reminder to. Fines will accrue if recalled books are not returned – don’t come back to a nasty surprise!

Don’t forget that we’re still open during the summer even when you’re not here, so if you need to pop in or contact us, you can find a list of our vacation opening hours on the Library homepage.

Enjoy your summer – let’s hope the sunshine comes back!

Games-based assessment

June 7, 2017 Iain Coyne

In a previous blog (February 17th), I detailed the dark side of digital technology within working contexts. Here, I wish to redress the balance by outlining the positive use of technology in employment selection and assessment. Specifically, the developing, novel and highly interactive media of games-based assessment.

Technology in selection

Think back to your first-ever experience of being selected for a job. Did it involve one or more interviews? Did it involve psychometric testing? Was it an assessment centre? Most of us will have experienced some form of assessment when applying for a job, although the type of methods used and the nature of the selection will vary. Surveys show consistently interviews are ubiquitous, with the use of psychometric tests of personality and/or cognitive ability increasing over time.

The traditional perception of psychometric selection testing is one of applicants being invited to attend a group assessment session at a controlled testing centre, monitored by an assessor. Applicants would complete a paper and pencil test typically involving selecting an answer from a number of choices (through circling the correct response or shading in the chosen letter) or writing the response to a question/statement. This test would then be hand-scored by the assessor, who would compose a report for the organisation and ideally provide feedback to the test-taker. Apart from the candidate feedback part, this was my first experience of selection testing – and yes computers had been invented at this time!

Advances in technology and measurement theory means the above scenario is more likely to be the exception than the norm. Current job applicants for many roles are now likely to experience some form of technology-based assessment including telephone/video interviews, computer-based simulations, video-based scenario assessments, internet-delivered testing, virtual assessment centres and avatar-based virtual reality. Computerised testing is not necessarily new; rather the expansion of the use of technology across different selection methods and particularly Internet-delivery of psychometric tests is.

Advantages and concerns of Internet-based testing

Scholars have pointed to the advantages of Internet-delivered tests for test publishers, test users and test takers. These include:

  • Quick and low cost collection of test data;
  • Increased access to large numbers of test-takers;
  • Ability for test-takers to complete the assessment in their own home;
  • Ability to test skills and performance in addition to knowledge using novel item types;
  • Development of tests which adapt to the performance level of the candidate;
  • Enhancement of test-taker engagement through the use of multimedia;
  • More reliable scoring in comparison to paper and pencil testing;
  • Virtually instantaneous provision of reporting and feedback on performance;
  • Availability of practice material for test-takers;
  • Enhanced security of test materials and test-taker data;

Not surprisingly, given these advantages the market has increased for technology-based testing, with test developers and employers eager to adopt new, quick, exciting and visually appealing assessment tests. The majority of job applicants are now likely to experience an online psychometric test, often early on, in the selection process. However, just because a test has enhanced graphics, involves avatar-based simulation or includes novel types of items does not mean it is effective. In a selection context, advanced technology does not always equate to test validity or reliability. Poor tests are poor tests regardless of the media used to administer and score them. It is therefore imperative those creating, distributing and using technology-based testing for selection ensure the tool conforms to good practice.

Obviously, this leads to the question of what is good practice? To address this question, my previous research under the aegis of the International Test Commission (ITC) created a set of guidelines on Internet-Delivered and Computer-based testing (https://www.intestcom.org/page/18). This document provides guidance for test publishers, test developers and test users on good practice issues around technology (e.g. ensuring the test can be used correctly across a number of platforms), quality (e.g. checking the test has evidence of validity, reliability etc), control (detailing the level of supervision required) and security (e.g. of test materials and candidate data transferred over the Internet).

More recently, I’ve composed a book chapter (Coyne & Bartram, in review) which posits that those involved in the testing process need to ask three questions before using technology-delivered testing: Is the test fair? Is it secure? Is it psychometrically sound? Hopefully, such guidance will lead to the situation where organisations use fair, secure and sound Internet-based tests and not just visually attractive ones. Online there are instruments which purport to measure psychological constructs in a dynamic, visually attractive and engaging way. However, many do not have the level of evidence behind them needed to make effective and fair judgements in high-stakes selection contexts. My advice here is don’t be swayed by the aesthetics; always check the evidence.

Games-based assessments

Games-based assessments (GBAs) are Internet-delivered (via an app) tests which either simulate job functions and therefore provide a realistic job preview (a form of serious game) or present computer games designed to assess criteria linked to job-related criteria (e.g., personality/ability). They are different to conventional online tests as they immerse the test-taker in a series of game-like activities, collating a large amount of data throughout the testing experience which is then coded to create scores on psychological constructs. As a result, rather than just ticking a box which is then scored, GBAs collect data on reaction time, number of choices, navigation, errors etc.

I am currently engaged closely with one of the leading games-based assessment developers, Arctic Shores (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-60jRMTXHs). This relationship encompasses research activities, consultancy and facilitation of MSc student projects. Indeed five of our MSc Psychology cohort are gaining first-hand experience of Arctic Shores’ approach to games-based assessment.

There is no doubt that GBAs will appeal to the digital native generation of job applicants as well as to organisations who wish to portray a dynamic, future-oriented brand image. As a result, their use in job selection contexts is likely to increase. Currently, the academic research on GBAs is limited and therefore many questions on the utility of this approach are yet to be answered.  Reverting back to the three questions posed earlier; one way to establish utility is to consider the extent GBAs are fair, secure and psychometrically sound.

Fairness of GBAs

Applicant reactions to GBAs may well be positive given the issues outlined above. In particular, we would expect those individuals who regularly play computer games to enjoy the notion of being assessed via a gaming platform. The ‘face validity’ of GBAs (i.e. it looks like it measures what it is meant to measure) is expected to be high and hence may promote perceptions of fairness by job applicants.

On the other hand, research will need to establish perceptions of fairness of judging people via a game and whether some test-takers are at a disadvantage when being assessed by GBAs. Potential impact of demographic features such as gender, age and ethnicity will need to be examined alongside other aspects such as experience with gaming and computer anxiety. GBA developers will need to establish that differences in performance between candidates is due to real differences in the constructs being measured and not other construct irrelevant features.

Psychometric strength of GBAs

As many GBAs are quite new and use proprietary platforms, information about their validity and reliability is difficult to obtain. However, especially given the paradata collated within a GBA test developers need to provide evidence that the GBA assesses the construct it is purported to assess (e.g. how can we be sure certain data in a game measure resilience)? Important for selection contexts, it is essential to establish the extent that GBA scores predict job performance. After all, the whole point of a GBA is to select in and out those predicted to perform well or poorly on the job.

Examination of consistency of scores across different platforms is also important, as candidate scores across different platforms (e.g. lap-top, tablet and mobile phone) should be similar. If not, it raises the question of whether the platform impacts on performance. If comparing candidates playing the game across different platforms then the potential for inaccurate selection decisions if heightened.

Security of GBAs

GBAs do not throw-up any different security issues than would need to be considered for any Internet-based assessment tool. Security protocols would need to ensure protection of the intellectual property of the game, test taker data being transferred over the Internet the storage of test taker results. This involves a combination of explicit policies on how data is collected, stored and who has access to it; with technical solutions such as data encryption, firewalls and secure back-up of data.

Linked to security is candidate authenticity. If the test is taken remotely, then how do know the person taking the test is actually the person applying for the job? The game could be played by someone else or the candidate could receive advice/guidance from another person while playing the game. To some extent this is mitigated by the nature of the assessment as there are not obvious right answers and responses are difficult to fake. This concern is not exclusive to GBAs, with remote forms of assessment liable to questions of authenticity. In fact, authenticity is not solely a problem with digital forms of assessment. Student exams, face-to-face interviews and even driving test examinations have all been subject to cheating and faking.

To counter authenticity a number of approaches can be adopted including developing honesty contracts and re-testing an individual later in the selection process in supervised conditions. Technologically, we can examine response patterns and response latencies to alert to possible cheating. Further, the relatively recent development of remote proctoring, where an individual taking an online test is monitored remotely via a web cam (which could be from a different part of the world), has reduced concerns about authenticity.

The chances of you as the job candidate being asked to ‘put down your pencil’ at the end of a group testing session in exam-like conditions are becoming more and more remote. More likely you’ll be sat in your own home, playing an app-based game on your tablet and when complete, receiving an emailed report of your scores on the constructs being measured. Indeed it is not inconceivable to vision a scenario of the GBA being followed by a remote interview and virtual assessment centre which are being used to select for a remote-working position in an organisation.

Dr Iain Coyne

This Blog post was written by Dr Iain Coyne, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology and Director of the Work Psychology and Business Psychology MSc programmes. Iain can be contacted on i.j.coyne@lboro.ac.uk

It's June already?!

It's June already?!

June 5, 2017 Jameel Shariff

It’s June!!! My lectures are already over and my final three assignments are due in the next week! The last month, more than any other, has definitely been the most eventful!

First of all, I had my first ever experience at a protest, promoting peace and equality! There was an incident near my university here in Australia, where a random passer-by attacked a student, simply because she was wearing a headscarf and was evidently Muslim. This negative incident made the community come together to show their support. UTS organised a peaceful protest to say ‘No!’ to discrimination. Staff and students made speeches about Islam, emphasising that it is a peaceful religion. In the end, we all wrote positive messages on the ground in chalk, mine was ‘unity’. It felt very refreshing to see so many people bonding and trying to make a change. The event even made it onto the the local news and I’m in the picture!

In terms of my studies here in Oz, the semester is nearly over and I’m currently loaded with coursework! For anyone in the same position, completing assignments or revising for exams, my biggest tip is to take regular breaks or plan something as a treat to look forward to! For me, I try to work hard all week, but I look forward to Sundays because I can travel as much as I want around Sydney because transport is capped at $2.50! That way, if I don’t get my work done by Sunday, I don’t get to travel!

Last Sunday, I went to Clovelly Beach! It’s quite small, but so pretty! There’s so many rocks to climb and it’s such a beautiful view from the top! Although the beaches aren’t so close to Loughborough, there’s still a lot of things you can look forward to! Like day trips to Nottingham or Leicester or, my personal favourite, dinner at Fernandez in Loughborough town centre.

Also, it’s pretty useful to be studying a subject which you genuinely enjoy. For any prospective students, this is another massive tip! If you don’t like what you’re learning, you won’t be motivated to do the work. For example, I had to create a short film for one of my assignments. This involved being on set for 6.30am, shooting all day, then finishing at 8pm! Being on set so early meant that I could see an amazing sunrise over a beach! As long and daunting as that may sound, I was engaged in the project because Film/TV/Drama is something I am passionate about.

A few days ago we had our Annual Dinner, which marks that my time is coming to an end here in Sydney! It was nice to get dressed up and looking smart, spending time with my new friends from all over the world! I say this in almost all of my blogs, but time has honestly flown by so quickly!

I’m so incredibly thankful to Loughborough for giving me such a life-changing opportunity! I have about a month left before I come back, which means one more blog and then I’ll see you all soon!

The Tories come under media attack

June 5, 2017 Loughborough University

The Conservative Party has received considerably more negative media coverage in the second half of the General Election campaign, research from Loughborough University has found. Continue reading

Finalists: Return of Library Books and Clearing Library Record

June 5, 2017 Steven Lake

If you’re a Finalist or you are nearing the completion of your course of study, we’d like to remind you that you should return all library material on loan to you, and clear any outstanding fines, as soon as possible after your last examination. You should also present your student card to be cleared at the Library, even if you have no material on loan.

The Library is required to notify departments of any students who have NOT returned books and paid any fines by the time their Board of Examiners meets. Any outstanding debts will be passed to Finance and could result in debt recovery action.

You may check your borrower record on any catalogue terminal in the Library or by accessing your Library record online. Please do not leave it until the last minute, in case there is any query. Please also ensure your department knows where to contact you if necessary.

If you have any queries about your Library record or this process, please contact me directly via email: M.S.Cunningham@lboro.ac.uk.

You can also ring (01509) 222360 if you are not able to visit the Library and staff will be happy to check your account for you.

Database Trial - Art & Architecture Complete

June 5, 2017 Steven Lake

Our latest database trial should appeal to artists, architects and building designers.

Art & Architecture Complete provides full-text coverage of 380 periodicals and more than 220 books. In addition, this database offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 780 academic journals, magazines and trade publications, as well as for over 230 books. Art & Architecture Complete also provides selective coverage for 70 additional publications and an Image Collection of over 63,000 images provided by Picture Desk and others.

To begin searching go to http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=uid&user=s4589342&password=trial&group=main&profile=ehost&defaultdb=vth

Access is via IP address and the trial runs to 30th June 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

Summer is here…

Summer is here…

June 2, 2017 Niamh O’Connor

British summertime is officially here! Well supposedly anyway. Continue reading

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 3)

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 3)

June 2, 2017 Loughborough University

Report 3 (covering 18th-31st May inclusive)

This is the third report by the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture on national news reporting of the 2017 UK General Election. Continue reading

The Great Loughborough Summer

The Great Loughborough Summer

June 1, 2017 Luke Starr

Summer term in Loughborough is often referred to as ‘BBQ Season’, and on a sunny day, the distant beat of music and the smell of smoke drift constantly across the sky. It comes from everywhere: the small gardens, courtyards, porch areas, driveways, roofs and many more. Continue reading

Loughborough Arts Degree Show 2017

June 1, 2017 Steven Lake

Loughborough University’s School of the Arts, English and Drama will be hosting its annual final year degree show this month in the School’s Edward Barnsley Building.

The display showcases the work of the School’s final-year Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Illustration, and Textiles students, and includes an exhibition by Foundation Art and Design students.

Staff, students and members of the public are all welcome and for anyone thinking of applying to Loughborough, it is an excellent opportunity to see the work our students produce.

The show begins with on June 9th and is open daily until 18th June, 10am – 5pm.

Details of the exhibits will be displayed online at this address: www.lboro.ac.uk/artsdegreeshow .

The 'Academic Award of the Year' goes to...

The 'Academic Award of the Year' goes to...

May 31, 2017 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

On the 18th May 2017, some of the Graduate School Team attended a fantastic event held at the Loughborough Students Union, the ‘Loughborough Academic Awards’!

Hosted by Lewis Wood, the Executive Officer for Education 2016-17, the LAAs provided a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the academic work of a vast range of dedicated students and staff from across the University.

We were particularly delighted and proud to see lots of our Doctoral Researchers shortlisted for numerous awards and we would personally like to say a huge well-done to:

  • James Brady – shortlisted for ‘Peer Support Volunteer of the Year’
  • Julia Sargent – shortlisted for ‘Programme Representative of the Year’ and ‘Student Representation Award’
  • Laurence Coles – shortlisted for ‘Student Representation Award’
  • Jacky Mueller and Silvia Melgar-Higuero – winners alongside other London Representatives for ‘Programme Rep Team of the Year’

The Graduate School were also shortlisted for three awards:

And guess what?!

We won, for the second year running, the ‘Academic Award for the Year’ for our ‘Influence and Impact Research Conference’!! We were absolutely thrilled and would like to say a big thank those that took time out to nominate us.  Let’s see if we can make it a hat-trick next year!!

 

Database Trial - Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape

May 30, 2017 Steven Lake

Portrait of William Wordsworth by Richard Carruthers, 1818. Taken from the website.

English Literature students and poetry aficionados will find our latest trial of great interest. 

Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape offers unique access to rare and priceless literary sources that are indispensible for scholars and students studying William Wordsworth and the Romantic period. The collection offers an insight into the working methods of the poet and the wider social, political and natural environment that shaped much of his work and that of his contemporaries. In addition, this collection makes available the writings of Dorothy Wordsworth through her much celebrated Grasmere Journals, Alfoxden diary and travel journals. Verse manuscripts and correspondence from leading literary lights of the Romantic period such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey and Robert Southey are also made available in this powerful digital resource.

This exciting collection offers access to the full manuscripts of such notable works as ‘The Prelude’ and ‘Michael’; Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Dejection: An Ode’ and Thomas De Quincey’s ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater’, as well as masses of personal correspondence between key literary and political figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Women within the close literary circle such as Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Wordsworth, Dora Wordsworth and Sara Hutchinson are also well represented through diaries, both domestic and personal; correspondence and travel journals.

To begin searching go to http://www.romanticism.amdigital.co.uk/ – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 23rd June 2017.

*Please note that PDF download options are not available during this  trial.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Internship

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Internship

May 30, 2017 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Paul Brack.

From October 2016-January 2017, I spent three months as an intern at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST); Parliament’s ‘in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology’. POST has a permanent team of ~10 advisors who are divided into 4 teams: Social Sciences, Physical Sciences and ICT, Environment and Energy and Biological Sciences and Health. The team of advisors are aided in their work by interns like myself (~35 a year), usually referred to as POST Fellows, who typically spend their three months researching and writing a POSTnote (a four-page briefing for MPs and Peers).

POSTnote topics are selected by the POST Board, which is made up of MPs and Peers, based on what they feel would be of most use and interest to their fellow Parliamentarians. My POSTnote was on the topic of Future Energy Efficiency Policy. The process of writing a POSTnote begins with a literature review; however, rather than the literature reviews I had completed during my PhD, which focused purely on peer-reviewed, academic literature, while researching the POSTnote I had to get used to finding and reading publications from the so-called ‘grey’ literature (e.g. government reports, white papers, publications by NGOs, consultancies and industry groups). Having done this, I then identified and interviewed a selection of experts from across the different aspects of the topic of energy efficiency, trying to keep a good balance of representation between the different sectors. This gave me a huge amount of information, which I then had to synthesise into 4 pages. This was probably the most challenging part of the task and required several iterations and some ruthless editing from my supervisor! After this, the POSTnote was reviewed, both internally by some of the POST advisors and externally by energy efficiency experts, revised and then finally approved by the Director of POST and published.

Not only was the internship a great way to take a break from my PhD, working for a Parliamentary Office conferred upon me the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Palace of Westminster. As my internship included the Christmas period, I was able to attend Carol Services in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, which lies beneath St Stephen’s Hall, and Westminster Hall. I also got to hear Dame Margaret Beckett give a lecture at the Speaker’s House and visit the Parliamentary Archives in the Victoria Tower to see Acts of Parliament which had been written on vellum scrolls as long ago as 1497! Much fun was also had sampling the various eateries and watering holes dotted about the Parliamentary Estate with my fellow Fellows. In addition, I gained an incredible insight into the workings of Parliament. While I was previously dimly aware that I could go and watch the proceedings in the House of Commons and the House of Lords from public galleries, it had never occurred to me to actually do it until I started my internship at POST. Seeing the debates unfold in front of me was fascinating, and since my internship I’ve been back to the public galleries a couple of times when I’ve had time to spare in London.

I was only able to complete an internship at POST thanks to the Policy Internships Scheme run by RCUK. This provides support to RCUK funded students (at this point I ought to thank the EPSRC for funding my internship!) to complete internships at various policy bodies, such as POST, the Government Office for Science and the Royal Society, among others (the full list is on the website). The application window for 2018 internships opens on June 19th 2017, with a deadline of August 10th 2017. Alternatively, if you are not funded by RCUK, internships/fellowships at POST are offered by a wide variety of learned bodies on the POST website here . For any PhD student (or academic for that matter – see the Academic Fellowships programme who wants to gain an insight into how science, policy, parliament and government intersect, I would heartily recommend applying for an internship/fellowship at POST!

Paul Brack is a final year PhD student in the Department of Chemistry.

First Energy Research Accelerator Event!

First Energy Research Accelerator Event!

May 30, 2017 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jane Spencer

On 16th & 17th May 2017 the first cohort of Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) Doctoral Researchers came together for the first time to train, collaborate and socialise!

What is ERA?

ERA is a collaboration between 6 Midlands Universities (Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick)  and the British Geological Survey (BGS). The purpose is to provide a training ground for a wide range of energy aware research leaders, looking at both energy generation and energy demand/usage.

What did we get up?

Day one outlined what ERA is and how our collective mission is to develop an inter-disciplinary approach to answering research-focussed questions from relevant industries. Following this, our Doctoral Researchers received training on how to make an impact with presentations (our very own Duncan Stanley shared some fantastic tips!) and then we took a fascinating tour of some of Loughborough’s energy-related research facilities such as CREST and Civil Building Engineering’s test houses. It was certainly a jam-packed day; one that required a well-earned trip to Peter’s Pizza afterwards to help with our own personal energy demand/usage!!

Day two was also full of activity. It began with a lecture and tour at the British Geological Survey (BGS) in Keyworth, Nottingham. Of particularly interest at the BGS was the repository houses that contain 200km of cores, samples and cuttings, over 3 million biostratigraphical samples and the British Antarctic Survey’s rock and fossil collection!  Once back at Graduate House,  training from the previous day was put into action and our Doctoral Researchers took it in turns to deliver 3 minute talks on their research.

Overall, the first ERA 2-day event proved to be a real sucess; it generated considerable discussion that highlighted great opportunities for collaboration! We’re looking forward to the next get-together!

 

Symantec Anti-Virus 14 MP1 Rollout to Staff

May 30, 2017 Charles Last

Symantec Anti-Virus 14 MP1 will be rolled out to the staff service over the next few weeks according to the deployment schedule below:

Wed 31st May           IT Services
Wed 7th June           Careers
Wed 14 June            Professional Services
Wed 21 June            All Staff Machines

For more detailed information on this new SEP version please refer to the following links:

Symantec™ Endpoint Protection 14 Release Notes
https://support.symantec.com/en_US/article.DOC9446.html
https://support.symantec.com/en_US/article.DOC9698.html

Lab machines will get this new version of SEP when they are re-imaged over the summer.

The art of effective explanation revisited: Lecture delivery in the digital era

May 29, 2017 Keith Pond

When I started lecturing 30 years ago my “training” suggested that the lecture was “the art of the effective explanation”. I liked that – even if, as an inexperienced academic, I really needed someone to effectively explain many of the concepts I was lecturing to me!!

The media I used was the pre-handwritten “acetate”, positioned on a lightbox or Overhead Projector (OHP).  Many colleagues still used chalk and blackboards but that appeared to me to be a health hazard.

As I became more accomplished this was augmented by the “acetate roll” which allowed live drawing of charts and diagrams.  In this scenario, students developed speed-writing skills as they hand wrote lecture notes.  Words on expensive slides were kept to a minimum and the lecturer’s own voice was not only heard, but listened to.

Then, about 20 years ago, presentation in lectures became rather more professional.  Into our lives came Microsoft PowerPoint (there had been earlier software solutions such as Lotus Freelance). “Slides” were printed onto “acetates” and copies of the slides made available to students (three to a page with space for notes).

Students had the framework of notes (they thought) and so annotated the slides, hoping that they would be able to decipher them later. Slowly, lecturers realised:

  • That good feedback scores were given to those who delivered plenty of “stuff” in a lecture;
  • That student passivity was not simply a symptom of disengagement but a control mechanism;
  • That getting the hand-out was considered by students as being equivalent to going to the lecture….

Today, the rise of the VLE and the move towards paperless lectures means that lectures often open with a chorus of laptops and tablets being switched on, screen covers being raised so that all of the lecturer sees is an array of IT company logos and the lecture is accompanied by the clatter of keyboards.

I do feel that technology has played its part in a skewed HE environment and has taken the focus of the lecture away from the student to a focus on the delivery.  The “partnership” of speaker and listener has broken down.  Why listen when I can read it, record it or even look at the lecture captured event later on?

So, how do we re-capture the lecturing high ground?  How do we wean students from a diet of passive consumerism?  Perhaps we should go back to thinking just how we can provide EFFECTIVE EXPLANATIONS without the need to be supported by technology.  Perhaps we should focus far more on LEARNING than on delivery.

Just a thought.

This Blog post was written by Dr Keith Pond, Senior Lecturer in Banking and Economics, as part of his active Blog site ‘Keith’s Learning and Teaching Blog‘. Aside from being a keen blogger, Keith is also a member of the Accounting and Financial Management discipline group and Leader of the Business and Economics Education Research Interest Group. Keith can be reached on K.Pond@lboro.ac.uk.

Fighting for your knife: law, religion and parmesan in multicultural Italy

May 26, 2017 Rachel Mackenzie

On May 15 2017, the Italian Court of Cassation, the highest court of appeal, issued a verdict ruling that Sikh men in Italy cannot carry the kirpan, the sacred dagger that represents one of the five holy customs Sikhs must observe. Continue reading

Don't Panic! Exam Support on Campus

May 25, 2017 Steven Lake

The Library may seem like hub of all exam activity on campus, but there are a variety of other study facilities and support hubs student can fall back on during the exam period. To that effect, the University have created a simple one-stop shop web site detailing all the study support and learning facilities available right now on campus, ranging from study spaces and computer labs to personal support should things start to get on top of you.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/students/exam-support/

Upgrade Configuration Manager Current Branch from 1610 to 1702

May 25, 2017 Gary Hale

Upgrade Configuration Manager Current Branch from 1610 to 1702

Configuration Manager will be upgraded to the new version on the 05/06/2017. This is in order to take advantage of the new features and hotfixes. This upgrade should not affect any of the normal Configuration Manager processes.
The only visible changes that you will see is that the Admin Console will ask to be upgraded and the client version will change.

AppV 5.1 Hotfix KB3115834

May 25, 2017 Gary Hale

AppV 5.1 Hotfix KB3115834

When AppV 5.1 is installed on Windows 7 it can cause Internet Explorer 11 to close or not respond. This hotfix resolves the issue.

The update is silent and does not force a reboot but a reboot is required before the fix takes effect.

Timescale:

Deploy to All IT Services, U007, Careers and SMB108 – 07/06/2017
Deploy to All ITS Labs and Support – 12/06/17
Deploy to All Windows 7 Service – 16/06/17
Deploy only to PCs that require the update (Custom Collection) – 23/07/17

The Most Enterprising Wolfson

May 25, 2017 Peter Strutton

Wolfson is not only the biggest and most beautiful of all the Schools it is also the most enterprising but at this months’ Enterprise Awards 2017 we won half of all the awards!

Sir Bob at the Awards – unusually with only two bottles lined up.

7,000 public votes were cast in total and the highlight for the packed house (other than Sir Bob, pictured) saw Dr Clive Hickman, Chief Executive, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, hand the One to Watch award to our Graham Hargrave and Jonathan Wilson and I’m told that the phone has not stopped ringing since with companies interested in their new diesel emissions reduction system catchily called ACCT.

Our brilliant teaching also generates exemplary enterprise and Product Design Engineering graduate Chris Ruddock picked up the Graduate Enterprise Award for the work he’s doing with his new company INCUS Ltd based in the Advanced technology Innovation Centre on our Science and Enterprise Park.

On the back of this our School will now enjoy a monthly Enterprise Clinic – a kind of roadshow, more Noel Edmunds’ Swap Shop than Tiswas (one for the mid-lifers there).

Enterprise Office veteran Kathryn Burchell and Young One Paul Condliffe will be running The Clinic and they’d be very happy to examine whatever you’ve picked up recently and offer the best course of action/antibiotics. The Staff Intranet has loads of right useful information – have a quick look.

The Enterprise Clinic will be 10:00-12:00 on the last Wednesday of each month and it will move around to ensure that the Wolfson diaspora can get a hold of it –  here’s the schedule:

31st

May

Mech/Man Kitchen T1.32

28th

June

STI – Break out area

26th

July

Holywell Cafe

30th

August

Mech/Man Kitchen T1.32

27th

September

STI – Break out area

25th

October

Holywell Cafe

29th

November

Mech/Man Kitchen T1.32

SCCM CB Task Sequence Maintenance Completed

May 25, 2017 Charles Last

The ‘PC Staff Base’ image is available for imaging again.

When you image a machine with the ‘PC Staff Base’ Task Sequence SEP 14 MP1 will be installed.

 

 

 

 

 

Database Trial - DETAIL Inspiration

May 24, 2017 Steven Lake

Our second database trial for June is also likely to interest architects and building designers.

DETAIL Inspiration is an image and reference database that uses precise, relevant visual inspirations to support architects in their search for construction solutions. With more than 3,300 projects from the last 32 years, DETAIL inspiration is a highly valuable source of research and inspiration for architects, giving access to reference photographs, sketches, technical product information, within a clearly structured search and filter system.

All project descriptions are available for download. The database design is optimized for smart phone, tablet and desktop.

To begin searching go to www.detail-online.com/inspiration – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 24th June 2017.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

Database Trial - Birkhäuser Building Types Online

May 24, 2017 Steven Lake

Architects, artists and building engineers may find our latest database trial of great interest to them.

The database Building Types Online draws on the expertise and the high international standing of Birkhäuser and comprises the knowledge and content of selected Birkhäuser manuals in typological order. The approx. 850 case studies are documented with texts by authors who are experts in their fields and with approx. 5000 architectural drawings of high quality as well as 2000 photographs of the buildings.

Using a systematic and analytical search and browse structure that allows all kinds of combinations, the database provides solutions for numerous design tasks in study and practice. This tool will facilitate research on building typology and architectural design assignments.

Thematic articles provide background information on individual building types or explain specific aspects such as lighting, acoustics, urban considerations, access types or planning processes. The users, be they in academia, architectural practice or students, will be offered a comprehensive online resource on building types based on seminal buildings of the past 30 years. Housing as one of the most frequent design tasks forms a large focus of the database.

To begin searching go to www.degruyter.com/db/bdt – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 31st July 2017.

A user guide is available at: https://www.degruyter.com/staticfiles/pdfs/User_Guide_Building_Types_Online_EN.pdf

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn s.c.corn@lboro.ac.uk with your comments.

Money Matters!

Money Matters!

May 24, 2017 Tara Janes

I know exams are coming up and everyone’s revising, but as someone that does a coursework-only degree, I don’t think I’m the best person to give revision tips. Continue reading

Getting over that exam crunch

Getting over that exam crunch

May 23, 2017 Symrun Samria

Even though I am currently on a placement year and when I go back to studying, my degree is fully coursework – I do understand the pressure of exams.

Continue reading

4 simple stress relievers during exams

4 simple stress relievers during exams

May 23, 2017 Piers John

This academic year has gone past so quickly – I honestly remember moving into my student house like it was just the other day. Continue reading

A crazy-busy, random month in Oz!

A crazy-busy, random month in Oz!

May 23, 2017 Jameel Shariff

I know this sounds cliché and cheesy, but the last month has been crazy! So much has happened in such little time! Where do I start? Continue reading

My top 3 most memorable exams!

My top 3 most memorable exams!

May 23, 2017 Sofia Aguiar

Hello Readers! It’s me again, back from my Easter holidays with some fun stories to tell. Going back home and watching my younger sister study for her exams brought back some memories of mine. Continue reading

Examinations, music and good health.

Examinations, music and good health.

May 23, 2017 David Odetade

Examinations period is always a daunting time for students, no matter how well you might have prepared. We all approach it in different ways of course, but for me, a good way to prepare for exams is to be able to relax through music. Continue reading

Time to work!

Time to work!

May 23, 2017 Jacky Man

Hi Guys! Hope you all enjoyed your Easter break. I had a really good time at home in Prague and at home. However, all good times must come to an end with my dissertation deadline approaching. Continue reading

Summer 24-7 Opening

May 23, 2017 Steven Lake

Our Summer exam 24-7 opening period begins this Thursday 25th May at 8.30am and will run until 2am on Wednesday 21st June. As is customary, we’d like to remind people of the correct etiquette during 24-7.

Firstly and foremostly, please respect your fellow users by considering what behaviour is (and isn’t!) appropriate in the Library by studying our guide to Library facilities on our homepage.

Space is ALWAYS at a premium during exam time, and sadly there are always a few who feel the need to take up more space than they actually need – even when they’re not actually in the building! So please, be kind and considerate and don’t leave your stuff lying about when you’re not there, as you’re depriving other people of a much-needed place to study. We WILL be removing any items left unattended for 30 minutes to free up space (assuming someone else doesn’t help themselves to your stuff first!).

Also please remember to keep your ID card with you at all timeseven when you go for a break. Any attempt to enter the Library without your card will count as one of your three strikes. Quite apart from the fact that you need it to gain entry to the Library, it is a University regulation that you keep your ID card with you at all times while on campus – if you lose it, you must report it and buy a replacement. And don’t lend your card to your friends – that’s against regulations too, and if we catch you, we will report you.

Levels 1,2 and 4 are intended to be areas for quiet study – please remember to keep the noise levels down to an absolute minimum on these floors, or you will be asked (nicely, by us, probably not so nicely by your fellow revisers!) to desist. If you want to chat – or have a snack – Level 3 is the designated social area.

Our designated Silent Study Area is on Level 4. When we say SILENT, we do mean SILENT! If you cannot abide by this, you will be asked to leave the area if you persist in causing disruption to your fellow users. We genuinely don’t like telling people off as much as they don’t like being told off, but for the sake of those genuinely wishing to study, we cannot tolerate bad behaviour or disrespect towards other users and staff. We appreciate that at times like this the stress levels rise, but though there are plenty of places on campus to let off steam the Library is NOT one of them! This applies just as much to use, or indeed misuse, of social media – think before you post anything, however witty you may think it is!

Our bookable study rooms, carrels and pods are pretty busy even off-peak, but during exam periods they’re especially popular. Please remember that you have to book them first before you can use one – don’t just turn up and sit down assuming the space is available, because it probably isn’t! And if you do book a space, please remember to actually come and use it. We give people 15 minutes to claim their reservation, otherwise we will allow someone else to use it – it’s simply not fair on other students to leave rooms unclaimed & unused. We try to monitor room bookings daily and update availability via our dedicated Twitter feed – it might be worth keeping an eye on it if you need to book a room at any point.

Please use the bins and recycling containers to keep the Library clean and tidy. Please remove all rubbish from your desk when you go – leave it as you would expect to find it!

If you’re a smoker, please remember that you cannot smoke directly outside the Library entrance – you must use the smoking shelter in the Library car park opposite. Some of you are probably getting as tired of being told this as we are of telling you, but get used to being nagged (or worse) if you continue to ignore this rule – it is a University regulation, and subject to the same disciplinary procedure if you break it.

Although the Library is open 24-7, the Library Enquiry Desks are only staffed between 8.30am – 10pm. During the evening, the Library is supervised by security staff. If you need printer credit, remember that you can buy it online. Please remember, though, if you experience any problems at all regarding any of the Library facilities, just ask any member of staff, or contact us through our Ask a Librarian email service or our Twitter and Facebook feeds – we’re here to help you as best we can.

Best of luck with your exams!

Fieldtrip to Brussels

Fieldtrip to Brussels

May 22, 2017 Chidinma Okorie

I remember I promised in one of my previous blogs that I’d tell you about my trips outside Loughborough. Today I’ll keep that promise; so, here goes my story: Continue reading

The Imagination of Nature

The Imagination of Nature

May 22, 2017 Emma Wiggins

The Easter break is usually a time of coursework and the beginning of exam revision. Continue reading

SCCM CB Task Sequence Maintenance

May 22, 2017 Charles Last

A small change will be made to the ‘PC Staff Base’ Task Sequence this Thursday (25th) at 9AM. The Task Sequence will be modified so that Symantec Anti-Virus 14 MP1 gets installed during the image build process. This change will replace the older AV Client Task Sequence Step which currently installs SEP 12.1.6 MP5.

Once this change has been made and tested another e-mail will be sent out advising that the ‘PC Staff Base’ is available for imaging again.

Timescale: 9AM on 25/05/2017

 

 

Tricia's snippets 2017-05-22

May 22, 2017 Tricia

Once again apologies for the slight lag – will catch up soon!

2 items of interest:

From Water, Sanitation, Hygiene & Health Newsletter No. 223 May 3rd 2017:

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report: Financing universal water, sanitation and hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals

The GLAAS 2017 report presents an analysis of the most reliable and up-to-date data from 75 countries and 25 external support agencies on issues related to financing universal access to water and sanitation under the SDGs. According to the report, countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene at an annual average rate of 4.9% over the last three years. Yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets for WASH services. The report stresses that countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding.

Link to the report: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/glaas-report-2017/en/

More information about GLAAS: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/monitoring/investments/glaas/en/

Can ‘functionality’ save the community management model of rural water supply?

Water Resources and Rural Development Volume 9, June 2017, pp. 56-66

Luke Whaley & Frances Cleaver

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212608216300274

It is primarily a literature review paper so many elements will be familiar, however Whaley and Cleaver are coming from a social science perspective so they highlight that previous analysis has focused on community management of water points as a “techno-managerial exercise” that largely ignores from broader social, political and cultural rules and relations around power – which groups and individuals have power over others and how is that used (or not used).

 

From Sanitation Updates:

Recent sanitation and health research

#InDeepShit

World Bank targets smarter sanitation communication for rural Ethiopia

Posted: 05 May 2017

Developing Markets for Sanitation: A Blog Series

Posted: 04 May 2017 09:48 AM PDT

UNC Water Institute 2017 Water and Health Conference

WASH & healthcare facilities – Water Currents

Posted: 01 May 2017

USAID Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project (KIWASH)

Adopt or Adapt: Sanitation Technology Choices in Urbanizing Malawi

Learning from Sustained Success: How Community-Driven Initiatives to Improve Urban Sanitation Can Meet the Challenges

Posted: 28 Apr 2017

To End Neglected Tropical Diseases, Start With The Basics Of Clean Water And Sanitation For The World’s Poorest

Posted: 26 Apr 2017 08:55 AM PDT

Starting May 1 – MOOC on Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management

Posted: 25 Apr 2017 07:57 AM PDT

Webinar – Involving The Private Sector In Increasing Access To Basic Sanitation In Bihar And Abidjan

Public Finance for WASH Masters Research Scholarships 2017

Posted: 24 Apr 2017

Swachh Bharat Mission Hygiene Index

Posted: 20 Apr 2017 10:00 AM PDT

Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation – Water Currents, April 18, 2017

Posted: 18 Apr 2017 09:55 AM PDT

A big-picture look at the world’s worst Ebola epidemic

At stake in Johannesburg’s ‘recycling wars’: more than trash

WHO Trachoma Fact sheet, April 2017

Posted: 17 Apr 2017

From email alerts (sanitation in the title):

From journal email alerts:

Water research

ISSN 0043-1354

VOL 115; (2017)

Water research

ISSN 0043-1354

VOL 110; (2017)

Environmental impact assessment review

ISSN 0195-9255

VOL 63; (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 586; (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 584; (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 581; (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 580; (2017)

Science of the total environment

ISSN 0048-9697

VOL 576; (2017)

Top 3 Talking Points: An attack on Corbyn?

May 22, 2017 Loughborough University

Professor James Stanyer on week two of the General Election media campaign. Continue reading

Know the Exam Rules - Avoid the 7 Deadly Sins!

May 22, 2017 Steven Lake

Newspapers remain hostile to Labour in their election coverage

May 19, 2017 Loughborough University
Jeremy Corbyn

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

In its second report analysing media coverage of the General Election Loughborough University has found national newspapers to be overwhelmingly negative in their coverage of Labour. Continue reading

May 19, 2017 Lauren Proctor

This week we celebrate deaf awareness in the UK. Paul Ntulia, a student of diplomacy at our  campus in London,  is a well-known name at our campus and within the deaf community, too.  After completing his Master’s degree next year, Paul would like to study for a PhD or work as a diplomat, with the ultimate dream of becoming Prime Minister! He has written this blog today for Deaf Awareness Week 2017 and looks forward to hosting a deaf awareness event on our campus soon.


‘Deaf Awareness Week is a unique campaign in that so many different organisations participate, each able to promote their own work within the broad spectrum of deafness’ UK Council on Deafness

My name is Paul Ntulila and I am 27 years old. I became profoundly deaf when I was eight months old in 1989. I used to wear hearing aids but they weren’t for me! I am the first deaf person to study MSc Diplomacy, Statecraft and Foreign Policy at the Loughborough University London.

Growing up, I did worry that being deaf could prevent me from being successful in work. Being deaf can present a challenge when working within the hearing community, and I have faced challenges at work because some people have little or no deaf awareness. I think deaf awareness is very important so that deaf people can be fully involved in the hearing world as that presents fewer barriers and improves accessibility.

Growing up with deafness

I grew up in Newham, which is based in East London. I went to Lister Community School which is a mainstream school. I was lucky that they had great role models by having deaf instructors and teachers of the deaf. I can remember staff telling me ‘you can achieve anything’, which inspired me to be more determined and focused on achieving a high level of education.

When I was at that school I started getting involved in community projects and I realised that I wanted better services for deaf people. My father encouraged me to get involved in politics, but I decided not to because of my deafness. Then, on 4th November 2008, Barack Obama was elected as America’s first Black president. He inspired me to become a politician and a diplomat.

My early career

I’ve dedicated my career to helping and supporting the deaf community. After I left secondary school, I spent time promoting the inclusion of deaf and disabled people in Devon whilst working with NSPCC, where I was instrumental in helping the charity to understand deaf needs. At the 2009 Annual Council Meeting (ACM), I was made an Honorary Member of the Council in recognition of this important role and was the first young person to receive the award.

I also worked with the Diversity Board and was Co-Chair of the Youth Panel at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. As part of my role with the Diversity Board, I worked to encourage young people to become more involved in the Olympics. For example, I made sure they were volunteering and were excited about the event. I was involved in an Olympic volunteering project, recruiting young children from all schools in UK, interviewing and assessing them to find out how they were suitable for Olympics participation and involving them in the summer Olympic Games.

Newham Council chose to recruit a hearing person to manage the service for 3 years but this was unsuccessful. Using historical data, I proved that the service needed to be managed by a deaf person as the previous 3 years saw the forums failing, with people dropping out and fewer user of the drop-in service. I took over the role of Chair-person and was able to turn the trend around. There was an increase in deaf participation, and the drop-in service became a success. I have worked with Newham Council to set up a new Health Watch in order to improve access to GP surgeries and clinics, in the community. I have also provided deaf awareness training and delivered motivational sessions to professionals in Newham, which has had an impact on the social and economic inclusion and development of East London.

The importance of better access for deaf people

Loughborough University London has been extremely helpful in my decision to further my studies, but I would like to see more deaf students and disabled students at the University. And not just at Loughborough – but at any university! This would help the deaf and disabled students to get better jobs and change their lives through academic experience. However, the organisations, businesses, industries and academic institutions need a clear understanding about how to improve access for deaf and disabled people who are looking for employment.

Several of these learners face challenges and discrimination. Increasing austerity cuts affect essential services, which compounds these challenges. Deaf people need to look up to positive deaf role models because such individuals can provide an inspirational influence and this can have a positive impact on their lives.

Tips/Advice on what to avoid:

  • Don’t assume that all deaf people can lip read or exaggerate your lip patterns. This makes lip reading even more difficult.
  • Don’t patronise deaf people or think that they are unable to achieve.
  • Don’t automatically think that writing things down is the solution to communicating with a deaf person.
  • Don’t treat deafness as a handicap. It doesn’t prevent me from achieving success academically or in business, just like you!

Loughborough University London would like to thank Paul Ntulia for his blog.

Stay tuned for updates of Paul’s Deaf Awareness event later in the year.

For more information on Deaf Awareness Week, visit the UK Council on Deafness website.

Optimising nutrition in a bid to break the two-hour marathon mark

Optimising nutrition in a bid to break the two-hour marathon mark

May 19, 2017 PR Office

Stephen Mears, Loughborough University

Twenty-six seconds. That’s how close Kenyan runner Eluid Kipchoge came to breaking the two-hour marathon and bettering a mark many thought to be unachievable. Although this was the fastest time ever run over the 26.2 mile distance, it unfortunately did not count as a world record. In the event, organised by Nike in Monza, Italy, the revolving use of pace setters taking turns to reduce wind resistance and drinks handed to the athletes by attendants on bicycles meant that the time would not be recognised by the IAAF, the athletics governing body. Despite this, the significance of Kipchoge’s time should not be underestimated. The Conversation

Just as the four-minute mile was a target for elite athletes in the 1950s, the excitement surrounding a sub-two-hour marathon has been building recently as the world record has been slowly chipped away. It currently stands at 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, but Nike believed that, by controlling as many factors as possible, the elite runners selected for their race could break the two-hour barrier.

How did Kipchoge get so close? He is obviously an extraordinary athlete who optimised as many factors as possible to get the best performance including training, environment, equipment, pacing and nutrition.

For a marathon runner, nutrition plays a vital role and that means taking on carbohydrate to provide additional fuel to that already stored in the muscles and liver. There is a limit though.

The most carbohydrate that can be used by anyone is thought to be around 90g per hour as long as different types of carbohydrate are used in the drink – for example, the sugars maltodextrin and fructose. This limit also depends on the carbohydrate being emptied from the stomach into the intestines and from the intestines into the blood at a fast enough rate without causing gastrointestinal discomfort.

Gut discomfort is quite common in runners. Beate Pfeiffer of the University of Birmingham investigated carbohydrate intake in marathon runners and found that 4% had serious gastrointestinal issues – but this was only after consuming an average of 35g per hour. Higher amounts of carbohydrate and fluid will probably cause more problems. When they investigated other endurance events, high carbohydrate intake was related to increased nausea and flatulence, but it was also related to improved performance during Ironman races – the longest form of a triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run).

A good carbohydrate strategy depends on a fine balance between the total amount of carbohydrate and the amount of fluid consumed without causing any discomfort. Most commercially available sports drinks have a 6% carbohydrate concentration, which means that each litre contains 60g of carbohydrate. If runners only aimed for 60g of carbohydrate per hour they’d have to drink two litres of fluid over the duration of the race. That’s a lot of fluid at high speeds.

If runners aim for 60g of carbohydrate per hour they need to drink two litres of fluid over the duration of a marathon.
KieferPix/Shutterstock

During a marathon, drink stations are every 5km (about every 14 to 15 minutes). In order to get the optimal amount of carbohydrate, runners would have to drink about 200-300ml at each drink station – a big challenge when you are running at 13.1 miles per hour.

Kipchoge and his team at Nike switched a few things up to optimise nutrition. He reportedly drank a 14% carbohydrate drink to reduce the total volume of liquid he had to consume. Nike also set the drink stations up so that the three runners, hand picked to break the two-hour mark, could drink on every 2.4km lap. This way, they could take much smaller drinks and prevent a build-up of fluids in the stomach.

This needs practice though – as concentrated drinks can be slow to empty from the stomach, particularly during high-intensity exercise. There is no way Kipchoge could have consumed a 14% carbohydrate drink without having practised and experimented in training. In other words, he trained his gut by building tolerance to large amounts of fluid and highly concentrated drinks, so that more is emptied from the stomach into the intestines.

Training the gut

In a 2010 paper, Greg Cox of the Australian Institute of Sport demonstrated that, after 28 days of high-carbohydrate feeding during cycling exercise, the amount of carbohydrate used increased. For marathon runners, more carbohydrate use means more fuel and energy.

How much did nutrition help in the Nike event and did training the gut make the difference? There is no definitive proof but we might see something by looking towards one of the other Nike athletes, Zersenay Tadesse. He has been notoriously bad at getting his nutrition right in marathons. The world record holder for the half marathon, he has struggled when doubling the distance – but managed to beat his personal best for the marathon by four minutes in the Nike event, reducing his time from two hours ten minutes to two hours six minutes. Maybe, just maybe, with the help of the scientists, he trained his gut to optimise nutritional intake and provide the platform for a personal best.

We may never fully know the role nutrition plays in long-distance running, but what we do know is that when someone does break the two-hour barrier, nutrition and a trained gut will probably be at the heart of it.

Stephen Mears, Lecturer, Loughborough University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 2)

Media coverage of the 2017 General Election campaign (report 2)

May 19, 2017 Loughborough University

This is the second in a series of weekly reports by the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture on national news reporting of the 2017 UK General Election.

The results in this report are derived from detailed content analysis of election coverage produced on the weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday inclusive) between 5th  and 17th May 2017 from the following news outlets:

Television: Channel 4 News (7pm), Channel 5 News (6.30pm), BBC1 News at 10, ITV1 News at 10, Sky News 8-8.30pm

Press: The Guardian, The I, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Mirror, The Sun, The Star

We analysed all election news found in the television programmes. For the press, we included election news found on the front page, the first two pages of the domestic news section, the first two pages of any specialist election section and the page containing and facing the papers’ leader editorials. More information can be found at http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/crcc/methodology-2/
In this report we focus on the following features of news coverage during the opening stage of the formal campaign: 1, the visibility or presence of the different political parties and other organizations and individuals in the news; 2, the most frequently reported political figure; 3, the positivity and negativity of press reporting of the main parties; and 4, which issues attracted most media attention.
Intercoder reliability tests were conducted on all key variables.

The sample dates for Week 1 were 5th, 8th and 9th May 2017, inclusive.

The sample dates for Week 2 were 10th, 11th,14th,15th,16th and 17th, inclusive.

Executive summary

  • The second week of the formal campaign saw a shift in the relative prominence of the two main parties in media coverage. In week 1, the Conservatives gained slightly more TV exposure and considerably more press coverage. By the end of week 2, Labour had accumulated a 7 percent advantage in TV appearances and gained parity in press coverage.
  • This marked shift is probably explained by the leaking and then formal launch of the Labour manifesto in the second week of sampling.
  • Overall, the Conservatives and Labour have commanded 71 percent of the appearances on TV and 85 percent in the press in coverage so far. The ‘two party squeeze’ in press and TV coverage tightened in week 2.
  • This dominance of the two main parties far exceeds their position at the same stage of the 2015 General Election. The Liberal Democrats, SNP, UKIP and the Greens have received consistently lower levels of coverage in the 2017 media campaign so far.
  • A further measure of Labour’s centrality to the news agenda in week 2 is Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance at the top of the list of most frequently reported political figures. Several other Labour representatives also climbed up the chart.
  • Our measures of the direction of press reporting of Labour show that a considerable majority of this coverage has been critical of the party and its manifesto.
  • The greatest proportion of this negativity occurred in the national newspapers with the largest circulations.
  • Aggregate levels of positive and negative press coverage of the Conservative party have nearly cancelled each other out.
  • Our breakdown of the levels of coverage in individual newspapers reveals nuances in their partisanship. The Sun and The Express have particularly emphasised attacking Labour. The Mail has been similarly hostile to Labour but has had more positive emphasis in their reporting of the Conservatives. The surplus of positive coverage in The Times for the Conservative party, exceeds the amount of negativity to Labour.
  • As a general trend, newspapers have focused more coverage on attacking the parties they disapprove of, than reporting positive issues connected to the parties they support.
  • Brexit has received lower levels of coverage in this second week.
  • The issue agendas of the press and TV remain very similar.
  • The issues upon which the Conservative party would prefer to campaign remain at the foreground of media debate.
  • The Labour party were more successful in getting their strong policy areas on social welfare and health onto the news agenda.

Section 1: Presence of political parties in news coverage

Figure 1.1 compares the frequency with which the main political parties appeared in TV news. Figure 1.2 provides an equivalent comparison for newspaper coverage.

Figure 1.1: Party appearances on TV News

Figure 1.1: Party appearances on TV News

Figure 1.2: Party appearances in the press

Figure 1.2: Party appearances in the press

Figure 1.3: Changes in party presence  (week 1/ week2)

Figure 1.3: Changes in party presence
(week 1/ week2)

Figure 1.4: Change in media prominence of parties (2015 versus 2017)

Figure 1.4: Change in media prominence of parties (2015 versus 2017)

Key findings

  • Labour has attracted considerably higher levels of coverage in both press and TV in the second week, reversing the greater levels of coverage for the Conservatives noted in week 1 of the media campaign.
  • All other parties, apart from UKIP in the press, saw their share of coverage reduce in the second week.
  • The dominance of the two main parties in media coverage noted in the first week has been sustained into the second sample period.
  • The ‘two party squeeze’ is far more evident than in the previous campaign. The Conservatives and Labour have commanded 71 percent of the appearances on TV and 85 percent in the press so far. At the same stage in 2015, they accounted for 57 percent of appearances on TV news and 72 percent in the press.

Section 2: most prominent political figures in coverage (week 2)

Table 2.1 identifies the most frequently reported political figures in the second week of coverage. It also compares their position in the previous week’s sample.

Postion Politician %
1 (2) Jeremy Corbyn (Lab) 27.7%
2 (1) Theresa  May (Cons) 24.2%
3 (4) John McDonnell  (Lab) 6.0%
4 (3) Tim Farron (Lib Dem) 5.6%
5 (-) Michael Fallon (Cons) 3.3%
6 (17) Emily Thornberry (Lab) 2.7%
7 (8) Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) 2.5%
8 (-) Jonathan Ashworth (Lab) 2.3%
9 (19) Vince Cable (Lib Dem) 2.1%
10 (7) Paul Nuttall (UKIP) 2.1%
11 (-) Philip Hammond (Cons) 1.9%
12 (-) Gordon Brown (Lab) 1.7%
13 (15) David Cameron (Cons) 1.5%
14 (-) Leanne Wood (PC) 1.5%
15 (-) Boris Johnson (Cons) 1.3%
16 (20) Patrick McLoughlin (Cons) 1.3%
17 (-) Diane Abbott (Lab) 1.3%
18 (-) Andrew Gwynne (Lab) 1.0%
19 (-) Angela Rayner (Lab) 1.0%
20 (-) Tom Watson (Lab) 1.0%

Table 2.1: Most prominent figures in Week 2 coverage (last week in brackets)

Note: percentages=(number of appearances/ number of items)*100

Key findings

  • Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, was the most prominently featured in the second week, appearing as an active contributor to over one-in-four of all items.
  • The launch of the Labour Party manifesto is reflected in 8 members of the shadow cabinet (including Corbyn) making the top 20.
  • Coverage of the Conservatives has switched focus to other cabinet members this week, with Michael Fallon (Defence), Philip Hammond (Chancellor) and Boris Johnson (Foreign and Commonwealth) among the most prominent political actors.
  • The Lib Dem, SNP and UKIP leaders have maintained their relative prominence in week 1, and have been joined by the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, in the top 20.
  • The two most recent ex-PMs both make the top 20.
  • European Union representatives such as Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, who placed 6th and 12th respectively in the first week of coverage, fell out of the top twenty.

Section 3: Positive and negative treatment of the political parties in the press

In this section we discuss the overall positivity or negativity of newspaper coverage. For each item we assessed whether the information or commentary contained within it had positive or negative implications for each political party.

Scoring

  • If an item mainly or solely focused on positive matters for a party, it was given a value of +1.
  • If it mainly/ solely focused on negative matters for a party, it was assigned a value of -1.
  • Items where there was no clear evaluation, or contained positive and negative issues in broadly equal measure, were coded as zero.
  • Items where no reference was made to the party were excluded from the calculation.

The scores in figures 3.1 – 3.3 are calculated by subtracting the total number of negative stories from the total of positive stories.

Figure 3.1 shows the overall directional balance of stories of the respective parties.

Figure 3.1: Balance of positive to negative newspaper items

Figure 3.1: Balance of positive to negative newspaper items

Figure 3.2 weights this differential by the latest ABC circulation figures for each national newspaper.

Figure 3.2: Balance of positive to negative newspaper items (weighted by circulation)

Figure 3.2: Balance of positive to negative newspaper items (weighted by circulation)

Key findings

  • The unweighted figures show that, apart from the SNP, all parties received more negative press coverage than positive.
  • For the Conservatives there was only a small difference between levels of positive and negative coverage across all newspapers.
  • For the Labour party, in contrast, negative press coverage far exceeded positive coverage.
  • The small variations in coverage of the Lib Dems, SNP and UKIP are to a large extent a measure of their marginal presence discussed earlier.
  • When the different circulations of the national newspapers are taken into account, Conservative coverage moves into a positive position.
  • This exacerbates the difference between the coverage of the two parties according to this measure.

Figure 3.3 breaks down the overall distribution in figure 3.1, by party and newspaper title.

Figure 3.3: Extent of negative to positive press coverage by Party and Newspaper

Figure 3.3: Extent of negative to positive press coverage by Party and Newspaper

Key findings

  • The Sun and The Express have particularly emphasised attacking Labour. Their positive coverage of the Conservatives is lower than for other traditionally Conservative supporting newspapers.
  • The Mail has been similarly hostile to Labour but has been more positive in its reporting of the Conservatives.
  • The surplus of positive coverage in The Times for the Conservative party, exceeds the amount of negativity to Labour.
  • As a general trend, newspapers have focused more coverage on attacking the parties they disapprove of, than reporting positive issues connected to the parties they support.
  • The Financial Times, which has variably supported Labour in previous elections, shows higher levels of negative reporting of the party than other quality newspapers.

Section 4: Issues in the Media Campaign

Table 4.1 compares the prominence of the issues in the media between the two weeks of the formal campaign.

Place Issue  Week 1 Week 2
1 Election Process 38.3% 30.7%
2 Taxation 4.5% 8.6%
3 Brexit/ European Union 16.3% 8.4%
4 Economy/ Business/Trade 6.9% 7.6%
5 Health and health care provision 3.6% 6.3%
6 Defence 1.1% 4.7%
7 Employment 1.5% 4.0%
8 Standards in public life 4.9% 3.6%
9 Social Security 2.9% 3.3%
10 Immigration 4.5% 2.0%

Table 4.1: Ten Most Prominent Issues in Coverage (% of items, week 2 compared to week 1)

Note: percentages=(frequency of item/ total of all items)*100

  • Although down from the previous week, the main focus of TV news and press coverage remained the electoral process and what the final ballot might mean for the prospects of each of the parties.
  • In terms of the main substantive issue, attention switched away from Brexit, down from 16% to around 8%, and immigration, now number ten, to a range of other issues, including: taxation, the economy, business, trade. All good news for the Conservatives as opinion polls suggest they lead on the stewardship of the economy.
  • The biggest growth area was taxation. The main focus here was on Labour’s plans for a higher tax rate for top-earners.
  • Conversely, health and, issues on which the Labour Party wish to campaign, were less prominent.
  • The issue of devolution dropped out of the top 10 suggesting that the Scottish (or indeed the Irish) is becoming less significant as the campaign unfolds.

Table 4.2: Ten Most Prominent Issues in Coverage (% of items, TV compared to Press)

Rank Issue TV Issue Press
1 Election Process 30.7% Election Process 34.7%
2 Brexit/ European Union 12.0% Brexit/ European Union 11.4%
3 Economy/ Business/Trade 9.9% Taxation 6.6%
4 Taxation 8.3% Economy/ Business/Trade 6.5%
5 Health and health care provision 5.9% Health and health care provision 4.9%
6 Immigration 4.3% Standards 4.5%
7 Employment 4.0% Social Security 3.9%
8 Public services 3.7% Defence 3.6%
9 Standards 2.7% Employment 2.7%
10 Defence 2.4% Immigration 2.6%

Note: percentages=(frequency of item/ total of all items)*100

  • Although both press and TV news gave coverage to the same top five issues, there was some divergence especially in attention given to social security, public services, defence and employment. The press focused more on social security and defence and the TV news, on the latest employment figures, public services, and gave less coverage to social security matters.

Our thanks to our coding team: Shani Burke, Gennaro Errichiello, Simon Huxtable, Jack Joyce, Herminder Kaur, Jade Markham, Nathan Ritchie, Lukas Stepanek, Ian Taylor, Rosie Tinker and Lou Tompkins

This is not solely a measure of overt support or criticism by a journalist of a party (although these instances would be included in the count). It is a broader measure of the extent to which newspapers report on issues/ comments/ developments that have positive or negative implications for parties. We only coded these instances where these were overtly referred to in the piece.

Inter-coder reliability UK General Election 2017 campaign analysis

A reliability test using a random sample of 11 newspaper stories was conducted early on in the coding process with 10 coders. It is customary to provide an inter-coder reliability measure for each variable on a coding sheet. We have focused here on the more subjective variables that require coder judgement and the scores below are for these variables on the coding sheet.

Two measures are used, average pairwise percent agreement (APPA) and Krippendorff’s Alpha. Given the number of coders and the amount of training time ahead of this snap election our confidence level was set at 70% for APPA and 60% for Krippendorff’s Alpha.

The identity of actors in the news: APPA 78.324%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.733776976662
Disposition of actors in the news: APPA, 72.9761904762%  Krippendorff’s Alpha. 0.633986079743
The themes of news items: APPA, 76.2962962963%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.684490950537
Overall story evaluation: APPA, 86.7824074074%; Krippendorff’s Alpha, 0.644939179375

Light at the end of the tunnel - exams and revision

Light at the end of the tunnel - exams and revision

May 19, 2017 Niamh O’Connor

So it’s that time of the year again. The majority of us who are still in education are coming up to that time of the year when revision days are in full swing and exams are creeping closer, possibly faster than we would like… Continue reading

Study Trip to Prague

Study Trip to Prague

May 19, 2017 Miranda Priestley

On 1st May, my course group and I flew to Prague, part of our coursework for Graphic Communication and Illustration. Continue reading

Life after Loughborough

Life after Loughborough

May 19, 2017 Luke Starr

Cher once famously asked, “do you believe in life after Loughborough?” Continue reading

5 common Loughborough University misconceptions- A Level student asks University student

5 common Loughborough University misconceptions- A Level student asks University student

May 19, 2017 Lauren Jefferis

For this month’s blog, I thought I would put truth to some misconceptions A-Level students often have about University life. For this I welcomed a special guest, A-Level student and my occasionally annoying younger brother, Alex. Continue reading

Exploring the Midlands

Exploring the Midlands

May 19, 2017 Jessica Rutherford

The Easter holiday was wonderful this year and was a much welcomed break (actually, it wasn’t a break at all, I just spent less time on campus but it was a nice change of scenery!) Continue reading

Things to do outside of lectures

Things to do outside of lectures

May 19, 2017 Hannah Timson

Since starting at university, I’ve found that people who’ve not experienced it have a strange idea about how I’m spending my life. I think they assume that I sleep through the day and spend every other night at the union or in a pub (don’t get me wrong, sometimes they are spot on!) Continue reading

Coping with Coursework

Coping with Coursework

May 19, 2017 Gemma Wilkie

A few tips for those of you who take coursework subjects!  How to deal with coursework stress, through mindfulness and organisation… Continue reading

How To Get Through Exams

How To Get Through Exams

May 19, 2017 Asli Jensen

This is my very own personal guide on how to get through the final hurdle. This could be your final year of A Levels/BTEC/IB or even the final year of your degree (like me). Let me warn you, everything here is 100% relatable and useful information to all. Continue reading

An Insight into Corporate Governance by CEO of MasterInvestor, Swen Lorenz

May 18, 2017 Lauren Proctor

Swen Lorenz, an “globe trotting CEO, entrepreneur, author, investor” and more, came on to campus today to provide a guest lecture to our students and staff on the topic of Global Governance. Continue reading

May 18, 2017 PR Office

Labour and the Conservatives offer two different routes to a ‘living’ wage

Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University

A competition among political parties to promise a more attractive minimum or “living” wage is new to British elections. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is now nearly 20 years old, but Labour in power was always cautious about its level. The Conservatives, meanwhile, initially opposed it. The Conversation

But a burgeoning living wage movement and a perceived “living standards crisis” help explain a new bidding war. In the 2015 election, Labour promised to raise the NMW to £8 an hour by 2020; trumped by the Conservatives’ £9 in the subsequent budget, and now Labour’s £10 manifesto pledge.

Since the minimum wage was £6.50 just two years ago, all these promises, if followed through, will have a substantial impact in changing Britain’s low pay culture. But what is the difference between the two main party promises now on offer? And as policies, are they sustainable or reckless?

The most obvious difference in the manifesto pledges is that Labour promises £10 by 2020 (a 33% increase from 2017) and the Conservatives promise 60% of median pay which is projected to be £8.75 by 2020. This is a 17% increase, and less than the £9 pledged in 2015, because median pay is forecast to grow more slowly than previously expected.

But two crucial factors beyond the crude rate promised will influence how the “living wage” debate plays out in the next few years: the basis for setting and raising it, and the ages of workers to whom it applies.

How it’s set

In setting the rate, the Conservatives have opted to peg the National Living Wage (NLW – a rebranded NMW for over-25s) to average pay. On the one hand, this belies its branding as a “living” wage. Unlike the voluntary, accredited Living Wage which is derived from our research at Loughborough University and based on what people actually need for a minimum living standard, the Conservatives’ NLW has no reference to living costs.

But the commitment to raise the minimum from 52% to 60% of median pay – and to keep it there – does mark a bold departure in sharing the fruits of future growth. Indeed, pegging incomes (such as pensions or benefits) to rising earnings has often been a more favourable formula than pegging them to living costs, since earnings rose steadily in real terms.

However, times have changed. In the past few years, living costs have sometimes risen faster than earnings, making an earnings link less beneficial than it once was. Moreover, the “real” living wage espoused by Labour can also rise if the government cuts the help it gives working families, for example through tax credits. This is what George Osborne did when announcing the Conservative Party’s NLW in its 2015 budget, which would have caused families a net loss. So a real living wage requires employers to make good on any cuts in state support.

But what will be the effect of much higher minimum wages on employment? In my new book with Laura Valadez on the living wage, I show that evidence from the UK and US overwhelmingly contradicts the economic prediction that higher minimum wages automatically mean fewer jobs. Yet we also point out that both countries have been highly cautious in setting the minimum wage, and are about to become much less so – New York and California are planning phased increases to US$15, over twice the federal minimum. In the UK, a statutory minimum of £9 or £10 will have a vastly different impact on labour markets from the voluntary adoption of a real living wage by the 3,000 employers who have so far felt able to do so.

Whether it’s tied to age

The most radical aspect of the Labour version, and potentially the most risky in terms of employment, is that it would apply from age 18, unlike the Conservatives’ from age 25. Someone who is 20, who in 2017 can be paid £5.60 per hour, would be guaranteed £10 three years later – if they were still being offered jobs.

Our book shows how in Portugal, ending minimum wage youth rates was followed by a substantial “displacement” effect, with fewer jobs going to less experienced workers. This effect is also predicted in the UK. On the other hand, under Conservative plans, a growing gap between the minimum for 24- and 25-year-olds could damage job prospects for the latter, as employers in casual industries such as restaurants and hospitality dump low-paid workers on their 25th birthdays. (Early evidence shows some employers already favouring younger workers.)

In adopting greater ambitions for tackling low pay in Britain, therefore, politicians should not throw all their former caution to the winds, but look carefully at how their policies are affecting the labour market as they unfold.

Producing a formula that can contribute to higher living standards without destroying people’s job prospects requires a delicate balance. After the election, the simplicity of the manifesto promise will have to be followed by careful, evidence-based delivery if a living wage is to be sustainable.

Donald Hirsch, Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Going above and beyond: An ethnographic study into homecare and dementia patients

May 17, 2017 Cheryl Travers

The proportion of us who will be affected by, and will subsequently die from dementia is growing at epidemic proportions. It is not just the elderly who are being struck down by this terrible disease. It is taking hold at much younger ages and scientists are still trying to pin down the major causal factors, though it would seem to be heavily environmental.

Until the experts find a way to slow down the rates of the onset of dementia in our population, we have to hope that if we are one of the unlucky ones, we will get the quality and empathic care that we need – either provided by our families or more formally.  If we are lucky to escape its grasp,  we have to hope that anyone we love who becomes affected,  will experience expert and compassionate care.

Homecare is big business. Gross annual public expenditure alone on older people’s homecare in 2011-12 was an estimated £3.2 billion. Most homecare is provided by the independent sector (89% in 2012, compared to 5% in 1993), and there are 6,830 homecare agencies registered with the Care Quality Commission in England but many more – possibly one third, are not registered. However, there are some real public concerns. “Three days after the introduction of the new National Living Wage, the film uncovers fresh concerns about homecare workers not being paid the legal minimum. Once travel time as factored in our reporter was paid just £3.89 an hour.” (BRITAIN’S PENSIONER CARE SCANDAL: CHANNEL 4 DISPATCHES Monday 4th April, Channel 4, 8pm  Producer/Director: Alison Ramsay)

For the last two years, Dr Cheryl Travers of the School has been a co-investigator with researchers from the University of Nottingham, on a project entitled BOUGH (Broadening Our Understanding of Good Homecare), funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR). The purpose of the study is to examine homecare for people with dementia, so that its function in community support can be described fully, with a view to service development and effective commissioning.

The study has made use of  a variety of methods i.e., interviews with caregivers and their clients with dementia and their families; a diary study of caregivers’ experiences (led by Cheryl)  and also participant observation. The two ethnographers working as caregivers have written this wonderful blog about their experiences and observations of being a caregiver.

Findings so far suggest that caregivers  play a valuable role in clients’ lives as helpers and companions, derive satisfaction and emotional rewards from the work, navigate complex relationships with skill and sensitivity, juggle priorities and risks while seeking to deliver person-centred care, find their work impacts on their home life, and many struggle with hours and pay, even with a premium provider.

More be found in this beautifully written blog by the two ethnographers involved in the study. http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2017/05/11/saw-care-workers-going-beyond-call-duty/. Please take the time to read it and share.

This Blog post was written by Dr Cheryl Travers, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Cheryl can be reached on C.Travers@lboro.ac.uk

Conservatives dominate in the election media battle

May 16, 2017 Loughborough University

Brexit may be taking the UK into uncharted political waters but national media reporting of the first week of the 2017 general election was a very familiar combination of choreography, conspiracies and cock-ups. Continue reading

Is job insecurity linked to extremism?

May 12, 2017 Ondine Barry

Writing in The Conversation, Dr Eva Selenko looks at the links between job insecurity, mental health and extremism:

“…The list of negative consequences of job insecurity is depressingly long; the more people worry about losing their jobs the lower their mental well-being, and the more physical health complaints they report. Effects can range from occasional sleeping problems to clinical depression.

“For organisations, the effects of job insecurity are also pervasively negative. Contrary to popular belief, the worry of losing one’s job does not act as a motivator. Instead, it typically leads to poorer performance at work. And within communities or countries, widespread job insecurity is associated with political unrest, with insecure jobs cited as a cause of political extremism. Job insecurity, in short, seems to get the blame for many of individuals’, organisations’ and society’s ills.”

To read the full article, please visit the post on The Conversation.

Dr Eva Selenko is Senior Lecturer in Work Psychology and a member of the Centre for Professional Work and Society. Eva can be reached on E.Selenko@lboro.ac.uk.

General Election 2017: The Media Campaign Report 1 (5th-10th May 2017)

May 12, 2017 Loughborough University

This is the first of a series of weekly reports by the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture on national news reporting of the 2017 UK General Election. See our blog for more details about this project.

The results in this report are derived from detailed content analysis of election coverage produced on the weekdays (i.e. Monday to Friday inclusive) between 5th  and 10th May from the following news outlets:

Television: Channel 4 News (7pm), Channel 5 News (6.30pm), BBC1 News at 10, ITV1 News at 10, Sky News 8-8.30pm

Press: The Guardian, The I, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Mirror, The Sun, The Star

We analysed all election news found in the television programmes. For the press, we included election news found on the front page, the first two pages of the domestic news section, the first two pages of any specialist election section and the page containing and facing the papers’ leader editorials. More information can be found at http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/crcc/methodology-2/

In this report we focus on the following features of news coverage during the opening stage of the formal campaign: 1, the visibility or presence of the different political parties and other organizations and individuals in the news; 2, the quotation time given to these individuals and institutions; and, 3, which topics attracted most media attention.

Executive summary

  • The Conservatives dominated mainstream news media coverage in the first week of the campaign. They were the most frequently reported party and the most extensively quoted. Their lead in coverage and quotation terms was particularly notable in national press coverage, with their current dominance building upon the considerable advantages they enjoyed in the 2015 General Election.
  • The advent of multi-party politics in the UK – much discussed in the previous election – is currently in abeyance, at least in national media terms. All the minor parties had a reduced presence in the first week of the 2017 campaign, when compared with the same period of the 2015 General Election.
  • The dominance of the two main parties was most apparent in press coverage, but it was also evident in TV news coverage. The SNP and UKIP were the parties who lost greatest ground in comparison with their national media exposure in 2015.
  • The two main party leaders were the most dominant figures in coverage by a considerable margin. The appearance of Phillip May, the Prime Minister’s husband, on the BBC1 entertainment programme, the One Show, in the middle of the week, propelled him to become the 5th most prominent political personality reported in the first week’s coverage.
  • Our analysis of the issues confirms the extent that Brexit has dominated the media campaign in this initial period. The next most prominent substantive issues were the economy and business. These represent matters that the Conservative party would prefer to focus upon in their campaigning. Issues that the Labour opposition have sought to prioritise, such as health and education, have thus far been marginalised.
  • The side-lining of the nationalist parties seems also to have limited discussion of devolution and related matters.
  • Despite the prominence of Brexit, coverage of immigration, which was a touchstone of the 2016 EU Referendum campaign, was comparatively limited in the first week of the campaign.

Section 1: News presence of the political parties

Figure 1.1: Party prominence in General Election 2017 TV and press coverage (Week 1)

Figure 1.1: Party prominence in TV and press coverage (Week 1)

Figure 1.1 shows the frequency of appearance of the political parties in the sampled coverage, differentiated by news sector.

Key findings

  • On TV, Conservative and Labour made similar levels of appearances.
  • In the press, Conservative appearances exceeded those of Labour by 17 percent.
  • On TV, the two main parties accounted for 70 percent of all party appearances.
  • In the press, the two main parties accounted for 84 percent of all party appearances.

Table 1.1 compares these distributions with those found in the identical time period of the 2015 General Election .

Table 1.1: Comparison of the proportion of coverage of parties in the first week of the 2015 & 2017 UK General Elections.

2015 2017
TV Press TV Press
% % % %
Conservative 26.8 35.3 35.6 50.2
Labour 33.6 29.9 34.7 33.6
Lib Dem 14.8 10.0 13.6 7.0
SNP 11.4 8.4 6.8 1.1
Plaid Cymru 0.7 1.2 0.8 0.0
UKIP 9.4 12.7 6.8 2.6
Greens 0.0 0.9 1.7 0.7
Other 3.4 1.5 0.0 4.8

Note: percentages=(frequency of appearance/total number of politicians)*100

Figure 1.2: Change in party prominence on TV in the General Election (2015-2017)

Figure 1.2: Change in party prominence on TV (2015-2017)

Figure 1.2 compares the extent to which the proportional presence of each party in TV news has increased or decreased in this election compared with 2015. Figure 1.3 compares the same differences for newspaper coverage.

Key findings

  • There has been a marked diminution in the news presence of the minor parties in 2017, compared with the 2015 campaign.
  • This reduction is most evident in newspaper coverage, with UKIP’s news presence reducing by a tenth, SNP by 7 percent and the Liberal Democrats by 3 percent.
  • On TV, the SNP has seen the greatest reduction in its news presence (5 percent), followed by UKIP (3 percent) and the Liberal Democrats (1 percent).
  • In both TV and newspaper coverage, it is the Conservative party that has increased its news presence most significantly.
  • The increase in TV news is to a large extent a product of the Conservatives’ lower news presence relative to Labour in the first stages of the 2015 campaign.
  • The Conservatives’ large increase in press coverage in 2017, builds on their higher news presence at the same stage of the 2015 election campaign.

Section 2: Top twenty politicians

Table 2.1 lists the top 20 most prominently reported political figures during the first week of the campaign .

Table 2.1: Most prominent politicians in Week 1 coverage

Rank Individual %
1 Theresa  May (Cons) 32.4%
2 Jeremy Corbyn  (Lab) 21.4%
3 Tim Farron  (Lib Dem) 6.4%
4 John McDonnell  (Lab) 6.1%
5 Philip May  (Cons) 4.3%
6 Donald Tusk (EU) 2.9%
7 Paul Nuttall (UKIP) 2.6%
8 Nicola Sturgeon  (SNP) 2.6%
9 Jeremy Hunt (Cons) 2.3%
10 Amber Rudd (Cons) 2.3%
11 David Davis (Cons) 2.0%
12 Jean-Claude Juncker (EU) 2.0%
13 Emmanuel Macron (EU) 1.7%
14 Greg Clark (Cons) 1.4%
15 David Cameron (Cons) 1.4%
16 Ruth Davidson  (Cons) 1.4%
17 Emily Thornberry  (Lab) 1.4%
18 Ed Miliband  (Lab) 1.4%
19 Vince Cable  (Lib Dem) 1.4%
20 Patrick McLoughlin (Cons) 1.2%

Note: percentages=(number of appearances/ number of items)*100

Key findings

The Prime Minister, Theresa May was featured as an active contributor in nearly one third of all election items.

  • Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, was the second most prominently featured, appearing as an active contributor to just over one-in-five of all items.
  • Philip May, husband of the Prime Minister, received more coverage than the leader of the SNP (Nicola Sturgeon) and UKIP (Paul Nuttall).
  • The results and implications of the final round of the 2017 French Presidential Election also resonated in UK General Election news, with Emmanuel Macron being the 13th most frequently reported.
  • Donald Tusk (President of the European Council) and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission) were respectively 6th and 12th most prominently featured.
  • Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, did not make this list,

Discussion

These results reveal some significant shifts in the early coverage of this campaign compared with the same period of the 2015 General Election. So far, the minor parties have gained far less traction in media terms, with Conservative and Labour commanding higher levels of coverage in both TV and press terms than at the equivalent point two years ago. Of these two parties, it is the Conservatives that made the greatest gains.

The reasons for these changes can only be speculated upon, but we note they have occurred in the context of a new regulatory framework for broadcast news .

This two party squeeze has been most pronounced in press coverage, where the Conservatives’ greater prominence in 2015 has been extended further. The list of the most frequently reported politicians shows the dominance of the two main party leaders, particularly the Prime Minister.

A further measure of her news value is the amount of coverage given to her husband, Phillip May, following his appearance with her on the BBC One Show in mid-week. In contrast, the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, did not make the top twenty list of most frequently reported political figures.

The shadow of Brexit is also revealed with three EU leaders making appearances in the rankings.

Section 3: Quotation time allocated to political parties (News access)

Figure 3.1: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders in General Election 2017 (TV)

Figure 3.1: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (TV)

Figure 3.2: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders in General Election 2017 (Press)

Figure 3.2: Direct quotation of parties and their leaders (Press)

Figure 3.1 compares the amount of direct quotation of the political parties and their leaders on TV (measured in seconds). Figure 3.2 makes the same comparison for newspaper coverage.

Key findings

  • The Conservatives have received most direct quotation in both TV and Press coverage so far. In TV coverage, their direct quotation exceeds that for Labour by 27 percent. In newspaper coverage, the quotation gap is 45 percent.
  • However, Jeremy Corbyn’s direct quotation time exceeds that for Theresa May in TV coverage.
  • Reflecting the findings of the previous section, minor parties are struggling to get their voices heard. On TV, Conservatives and Labour accounted for 75 percent of the quotation time for the five main parties, and for 87 percent of the press coverage.
  • Regarding UKIP, Paul Nuttall is the main voice of UKIP in TV coverage, whereas he is far less prominent in press coverage.

Section 4: The top issues in the media campaign

Table 3.1: Ten Most Prominent Issues in Coverage (Week 1)

Place Issue Percentage of issues
1 Election Process 38.1%
2 Brexit/ European Union 16.2%
3 Economy/ Business/Trade 6.8%
4 Standards 4.9%
5= Taxation 4.5%
5= Immigration 4.5%
7 Health and health care provision 3.6%
8 Social Security 2.9%
9 Education 2.8%
10 = Employment 1.5%
10= Devolution 1.5%

Percentages=(frequency of issue/total number of issues coded)*100

  • As in previous General Elections a substantial portion of the coverage concerns the electoral process itself and what the final ballot might mean for the prospects of each of the parties.
  • The most prominent substantive issue by a considerable margin is Brexit, which is potentially good news for the Conservative Party as this is the issue on which they wish to fight the General Election.
  • Immigration as an issue is not as prominent as might have been expected, given that it was a touch stone issue in the 2016 referendum campaign.
  • The next most prominent issue is business and economy, again good news for the Conservatives as opinion polls suggest they lead on the stewardship of the economy.
  • Conversely, health and education, issues on which the Labour Party wish to campaign, are much less prominent.
  • The issue of devolution just about makes it into the top 10 suggesting that the Scottish (or indeed the Irish) issue has not featured prominently yet.

Discussion

So far the media attention in the General Election campaign has been largely focused on Brexit. The Conservatives have sought to use the issue to contrast the supposed desirability of Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable leadership’ with that on offer from Jeremy Corbyn. Conversely, the Labour Party have struggled to carve out a strong position on this. Other issues which the other parties have put forward on health, education, devolution, social security, housing and environment have received much less coverage. But these are early days and we will have to see whether Brexit continues to overshadow these and other issues.

 

General Election 2017: The Media Campaign Report 1 (PDF)

Our thanks to our coding team: Shani Burke, Gennaro Errichiello, Simon Huxtable, Jack Joyce, Herminder Kaur, Jade Markham, Nathan Ritchie, Lukas Stepanek, Ian Taylor, Rosie Tinker and Lou Tompkins

All percentages in the commentary are rounded.

The 2015 figures are taken from Loughborough University CRCC’s 2015 General Election study and represent coverage produced at an identical time period to the 2017 sample set.

To be included in this count, a politician had to have an active role in a news item or commentary piece – i.e. they were reported as saying or doing something. References made to them by other persons would not qualify them for inclusion in this measure.

In March 2017 Ofcom announced it was abandoning the concept of ‘larger party’ status, which required broadcasters to apportion significant coverage to any party deemed to have attained this position. In the regulator’s words: ‘Having considered all the responses, we consider it appropriate to remove the concept of larger parties from our rules and to replace it with a requirement on broadcasters to take election-related editorial decisions and decisions about allocations of PEBs and PPBs by reference to evidence of past electoral support and/or current support.’ (see  Statement on Ofcom’s rules on due impartiality, due accuracy, elections and referendums, & Ofcom’s rules on due
impartiality, due accuracy, elections
and referendums: 1) Removing the list of larger parties
2) Applying the rules to the BBC
. )

Hello!

May 11, 2017 Graeme Fowler

Hello, visitors!

Here in IT Services we provide a large number of services that University staff, students, tenants and visitors alike rely on to carry out their day-to-day tasks. No doubt you can imagine a lot of them – email and networks being two of the most obvious.

However, in order to provide those services, we’ve got a whole load of technology behind the scenes. Whether hardware, software, mechanical, electrical, process, people, programming or just plain old stuff, it’s what makes the magic happen and means you can get on with your day without having to know anything about it.

This blog is intended to shine a light on the dark corners of IT provision within the University, which are often overlooked (unless they go wrong!) as only a small number of people ever see or directly interact with them.

Come and visit from time to time to see what’s going on 🙂

General Election 2017: Discover what’s making the media headlines

May 11, 2017 Loughborough University

general election 2017 media analysisA real time news audit of the General Election by Loughborough University is lifting the lid on what media coverage the political parties, their policies and MPs are securing each week.

Academics from the University’s Centre for Research Communication and Culture have conducted news audits for every General Election since 1992.

The audit for 2017 is concentrating on the main news bulletins on BBC1, ITV, C4, C5 and Sky and all the main daily national newspapers. Coverage is analysed weekly, and the first of four reports is due to be released on Monday 15 May.

The reports provide commentary about the week’s coverage and systematic measurements of which politicians and parties received the most coverage, the proportion of negative and positive coverage of candidates and parties, which issues received greatest prominence and the amount of coverage given to the election.

Unique to the Loughborough study is the historical comparative data available, going back to 1992, which will allow the research team to identify changes and continuities in election reporting.

The audit is being led by Professors David Deacon, John Downey, James Stanyer and Dominic Wring from the Department of Social Sciences.

Speaking about the audit Professor Wring said: “For most people the media is their primary source of information when it comes to deciding who to vote for. Therefore the role and importance of the media in elections should not be underestimated. Being able to see who and what is making the headlines is very important.”

The team’s methodology, full weekly reports (as they become available) and further analysis can be found at the University’s General Election 2017 web page.

May 10, 2017 Ondine Barry

Dr Alper Kara has written a Blog post for The Conversation about his research into financial exclusion for ethnic minorities.

He writes:

“Access to financial services and credit is generally regarded as a necessity to lead a normal life. Whether it is basic bank and saving accounts, a mortgage to buy a house or loan to start a business, these are some of the essential components of the modern economy – and modern living.

Yet financial exclusion – the inability to access these financial services – is a problem for many people. And there is mounting research to show that certain sections of society are affected more than others. There are two main areas where access to finance is needed: consumer credit and mortgages. In both areas, there is a large amount of evidence to show that ethnic minorities are worse off than white households.”

To read the full article, please go to the Conversation website: https://theconversation.com/how-ethnic-minorities-face-higher-levels-of-financial-exclusion-71960

Dr Alper Kara

Dr Alper Kara is Senior Lecturer in Finance and a member of the Accounting and Financial Management discipline group at the SBE. Alper can be reached on A.Kara@lboro.ac.uk

Referencing Software Event, Library Foyer, 16th-18th May

May 10, 2017 Steven Lake

Do you have a system for managing your references?

Do you struggle to import references into your work?

Have you previously used RefWorks or RefMe?

Find out how Mendeley could help you organize your research, collaborate with others, and discover the latest research.

Loughborough University is changing its site-wide licence from RefWorks to Mendeley. It is envisaged that the switch over to Mendeley will be complete by the start of the new academic year 2017/18.

The Institutional version of Mendeley allows:

  • documents in PDF format to be added effortlessly to Mendeley
  • social networking and collaborative benefits
  • increased storage space (from 2GB to 100GB)
  • ability to set up unlimited private groups of up to 100 collaborators

Come and visit members of the Academic Services Team in the Pilkington Library foyer, Tuesday 16th – Thursday 18th May, 12-4pm to find out more about Mendeley and how it could benefit you.

Enter our free prize draw – stop by our stand to be entered in a draw to win one of several integrative presenters, USB Wireless PowerPoint Presenter with Laser Pointer pens.

Details of our workshops and drop-in sessions on Mendeley can be found here:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/students/eventsandworkshops/  

Online guidance, including help sheets and videos, can be found on the Managing References module on Learn:

http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3539

If you have any enquiries at this stage about the transition to Mendeley please contact your Academic Librarian:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/students/about/librarystaff/

Macron and the future of the European Union

Macron and the future of the European Union

May 9, 2017 PR Office

Helen Drake, Professor of French and European Studies, discusses what impact Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected president of France, may have on the future direction of the European Union.

Continue reading

Like £10 Free Printer Credit? Your Help Needed!

May 9, 2017 Steven Lake

The Library is having its annual Customer Service Excellence accreditation visit on Wednesday 10th May. Our assessor would really like to talk with our students to see what they think of our service – everything you say in the meeting will be anonymous. If anyone is free between 11.15am – 12.15pm and would like to take part it would be much appreciated – we will even give £10 of print credits for your time.

Please contact Matt Cunningham on M.S.Cunningham@lboro.ac.uk or just ask at the Enquiry Desk to register your place.

Loughborough Student Union Freefest 2017, Saturday 13th May

May 9, 2017 Steven Lake

For further details visit https://www.facebook.com/events/220024451824371/

Study Room Booking - As Easy As 1-2-3!

May 8, 2017 Steven Lake

Summer Term is one of the busiest times in the Library, and nothing is busier than our variety of bookable Group Study Rooms, Study Booths and Study Carrels. One of the things we get asked most about at the desk is how to go about booking one of these rooms – well, it’s so easy, even a puppet can do it!

  1. Visit the Library Home Page – http://www.lboro.ac.uk/library/ – and click on the link Room Booking System, half way down the page on the right hand side of the screen. Enter your University Username & Password on the new screen that opens.
  2. At the top left of this screen there is an option for Resource Type and below that a drop-down menu for Select Resource Type. Opening that reveals this list of the facilities, including Bookable Booths, Group Study Rooms and Study Carrels (please note that certain facilities on the list can only be booked and used by staff).
  3. Select your chosen facility from the list. This will open a calendar page with a daily time range running from 9am to 10pm and all facilities are bookable by the hour (after 10pm it’s first come, first served). Available slots are listed with a blue Book link. You can only have two active bookings running at a time (to prevent people hording!) so it pays to think ahead or work out a booking strategy with other people in your group if you need to book multiple slots. It also pays to select the option to send yourself an email receipt of your booking – this will save you time having to log in again or ask at the desk to find out when and where your room booking is!

Remember the golden rule about room bookings! Because these rooms are in high demand, especially at this time of year, ensure that you take up your booking within 15 minutes of the start time, as those rooms remaining empty after this time will be available to the first person who claims it!

Digimap Downtime, Tuesday 16th May

May 6, 2017 Steven Lake

Digimap will be unavailable between 08.30am and 12.30pm on Tuesday 16th May for necessary maintenance. The service providers apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Indian College League Tournament 2017

May 5, 2017 Lauren Proctor

Lord Seb Coe unveiled as Chancellor

May 5, 2017 Lauren Proctor