"Of Moguls, Monsters and Men": Annual Communication and Media Lecture by Professor Karen Boyle

January 22, 2020 Cristian Vaccari

We are happy to announce the 2nd Annual Communication and Media lecture, to be held on the 11th of February from 4-6pm in the James Frances Building) (CC.0.21) at Loughborough University.

Feminist theory on the inter-relationship of gender and violence is built on an understanding that violence and sexual domination are inherent in dominant and culturally-valued ways of doing masculinity. At the same time, feminists have argued that the discursive creation of a category of monstrous men – paedophiles, serial killers, serial rapists – is an attempt to insist on a distinction between “aberrant” and “normal ” men, and so protect male dominance and the social ,cultural and political structures which support it. This paper will think through these issues in relation to media representations of Harvey Weinstein and other accused men, building on my book #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism (Palgrave, 2019) but bringing it up-to-date through a consideration of media coverage of Weinstein in the lead up to his January 2020 criminal trial , as well as in coverage of the trial itself , This paper considers the enduring popular appeal of distinction and individual ism in understanding male violence and the challenges this poses for feminists who are committed both to holding individual men like Weinstein accountable whilst keeping in view the broader structures which enabled them to abuse.

Karen Boyle (@ProfKarenBoyle) is Professor of Feminist Media Studies and Director of Applied Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and a co- founder of Gender Equal Media Scotland @EqualMediaScot). She is the author of #MeToo, Weinstein and Feminism (Palgrave, 2019) and has written extensively on gender, violence and representation.

Taiwan, The Hidden Gem of East Asia

Taiwan, The Hidden Gem of East Asia

January 21, 2020 simona

Why do a placement in a less well-known place? Well because in all likelihood it will be the most fulfilling experience of your life.  Continue reading

This Week at Loughborough | 20th January 2020

This Week at Loughborough | 20th January 2020

January 17, 2020 Ella Kirby


Keep Calm Week

20 – 24 Jan | Across campus

Keep Calm Week at LSU starts on Monday with lots of activities to keep you calm through upcoming exams and deadlines! Look out for events such as Puppy Petting, Mindfulness Sessions and Dog Walking throughout the week.

Puppy Petting: Monday 20th & Friday 20th | 12 – 4pm | Fusion, LSU

Revision Area: Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st & Thursday 23rd | 10am – 7pm | Room 1

Chill Out Zone: Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd | 12 – 2:30pm | Cogs

Dog Walking: Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd | 12 – 2:30pm | College Garth Kennels (Meet in the Action office)

Mindfulness Session: Thursday 23rd | 2 – 3pm | Centre of Faith and Spirituality (EHB)

Free Massages: All week | 11am – 1pm & 3 – 5pm | Pilkington Library

Revision Cafe: Wednesday 22nd | 10am – 6pm | Room 1

Goodie Bag Giveaway: Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd | Various locations & times across campus

Co-Lab: A week of artist-led workshops

20 – 24 Jan | Various timings | The Gallery, Fine Art Building

Calling all Loughborough University students! LU Arts has invited five internationally recognised artists to come to Loughborough to run practical and fun workshops that will increase your skills, enable you to work with students from different subject areas and meet new people.

Each of the five artists practice engages with different materials, subject areas and methods of working that will expand your knowledge, support your degree, and increase your employability. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with leading artists and places are strictly limited, on a first come first served basis.

Booking is required along with a £3 deposit. Click here for more information.

Royal Aeronautical Society Loughborough branch talk

21 Jan | 7:30pm | U020 Brockington

Dr Kate Smith, a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester will be delivering a talk entitled – ‘Nanosatellites: Enabling Technologies for Novel Mission Architectures’.

This event is free to attend and doesn’t require booking. Click here for more information.

Inspiring Minds

22 Jan | 9 – 4pm | James France Building

This event is for those students interested in studying a sports-related subject at university, to find out more about the options available to them.

Students have the opportunity to attend their choice of example lectures from the Department, hear from some of our sports graduates and take a tour of our stunning 440-acre campus and facilities.

This event is free to attend but requires booking. Click here for more information.

Loughborough Students RFC vs Luctonians

25 Jan | 2pm | 1XV Rugby Pitch

Loughborough Men’s Rugby team compete in RFU National Two and will once again be looking to showcase their student talent in the fourth tier of English rugby. Hot food, hot and cold drinks, snacks and alcohol will be available to purchase.

A pre-match lunch (£12 cash payment on the day) will be available. Please email rugby@lboro.ac.uk to book your pre-match lunch. Bookings for lunch must be made no later than 10am on the Thursday before the match.

Loughborough students attend free. Adult tickets are £10, Concession £7.50. Click here for more information.

Got something for This Week at Loughborough? Email us at digital@lboro.ac.uk

PhD Workshop "Populism, Discourse, Radical Democracy", 2 July 2020, Loughborough University

January 17, 2020 Cristian Vaccari

Once at the theoretical margins of political science, the ‘Essex School’ of discourse analysis inspired by the pioneering work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe has now been firmly established within the broader field of the social sciences as a distinct tradition. Significant contributions are spanning various fields ranging from political theory to comparative politics, and from international relations to sociology. At the cutting edge of the international scholarly production, one can find several clusters of dynamic postgraduate researchers based in UK universities, across Europe, but also at the other side of the Atlantic. This 1-day Workshop aims at bringing together PhD students working within this tradition, providing a vibrant space for the dissemination of ideas and findings, debate and networking. We are interested in the analysis of the populist phenomenon, the examination of different aspects of political discourse and critical reflection on the concept of radical democracy and its relevance for contemporary politics. Both theoretical and empirical contributions are welcome, while we particularly encourage interdisciplinary exchange and cross-regional comparisons. Suggested areas of inquiry include:

  • The role of populism in contemporary societies across the world and the importance of discourse in understanding populist politics: theoretical and empirical perspectives.
  • Political discourse analysis: how can the ‘Essex School’ shed light on different discourses, such as technocracy, elitism, Euroscepticism, the radical left and radical right as well as new environmentalism?
  • The relevance of radical democracy today: new social movements, radical political thought and the challenge of ‘radicalising’ democracy.

Prospective participants are asked to submit a 250-word abstract as well as a short biographical note (up to 80 words) as one file (word or pdf) to p.panagiotou@lboro.ac.uk by 10th February 2020. Accepted participants will be notified by 28th February 2020.

There is no registration fee. Loughborough University cannot cover for participants’ travel and accommodation expenses, but it offers choice for affordable accommodation on campus, while our team will provide further guidance regarding travel. Questions regarding the Workshop can be addressed to any member of the Organising Committee.

Keynote speaker: Oliver Marchart (University of Vienna)

Convener: Giorgos Katsambekis (Loughborough University)

Organising committee: Lazaros Karavasilis, Panos Panayotu, Maria Tsiko

Cultures of Authenticity: A two-day interdisciplinary symposium

January 16, 2020 Cristian Vaccari

A widespread fascination with the authentic is said to have emerged as a response to the processes of homogenisation, rationalisation and standardisation at the heart of modernity. The concept of authenticity arose historically at a time of rapid social change and has again come to the fore where social, political, cultural and technological upheavals give rise to feelings of distrust, detachment and alienation against which supposedly authentic people, places and things are sought out for their reassuring certainty and value. Yet, there are huge contradictions and inequalities in who can make claim to authenticity and its construction and communication invariably involves competing narratives and oppositional assertions about what is authentic and how and why the authentic gains its value.

Thus, while the concept of authenticity has a long history, in recent years it has emerged as a prominent theme in many of the most pressing debates about contemporary communication and culture. In political communication there are ongoing concerns about misinformation and fake news, while the success of populist parties is often tied to their claims to be a more authentic representative of ‘the people’ than a detached and dispassionate elite. Similarly, the increasingly fractious debates around migration that are taking place across the globe often centre on the desire to protect ‘authentic’ national cultures from globalising forces and the perceived threat of ‘other’ people, products, ideas and images. In the area of culture, economy and policy, copyright, privacy and authorship remain central issues for the major media industries, while for smaller-scale content and craft producers, authenticity may operate as a key selling point and a marker of cultural distinction for both producers and consumers. Likewise, many parts of the tourism and heritage industries see the provision of authentic experiences as their raison d’etre, offering re(creations) of the past and access to ‘real’ cultural communities and traditions.

We therefore invite paper proposals from any disciplinary background for this two-day Symposium hosted by the Centre for Research in Communications and Culture at Loughborough University. We are interested in a broad range of papers exploring authenticity and abstract submissions addressing authenticity in relation to, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Authenticity, politics and political communication
  • Consumption and the use of authenticity in branding and marketing
  • Authenticity, the internet and the rise of social media
  • Authenticity in subcultures, fan cultures and celebrity culture
  • Authenticity in tourism, heritage and memorialisation
  • Authenticity, literature and authorship
  • Authenticity in sports, lifestyle and leisure pursuits and practices


Abstracts of up to 250 words for presentations of 20 minutes are invited to be submitted by Friday 28th February. Abstract, title, author(s) name and institutional affiliation should be sent to m.skey@lboro.ac.uk.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof Gunn Enli (University of Oslo), Author of Mediated Authenticity: How Media Constructs Reality.
Prof Sarah Banet-Weiser (London School of Economics), Author of Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture.


Registration rates are the following:
Delegate £60
Concessionary Delegate £40

Key Dates

Abstract submission deadline Friday 28th February 2020
Abstracts notification Friday 13th March 2020
Presenter booking deadline Friday 10th April  2020
Initial programme sent to participants Friday 17th April 2020
Conference 6th & 7th May 2020

Event Organisation Team

Dr Michael Skey, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, Loughborough University, Centre for Research in Communication and Culture
Dr Thomas Thurnell-Read, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Loughborough University, Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

Call for papers: Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts Workshop

Call for papers: Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts Workshop

January 15, 2020 Loughborough University London

Loughborough University London is hosting the Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts Workshop on Thursday 11 June 2020.

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Consultation Results on ‘Sustainable Theses’, and the Thesis Forest

Consultation Results on ‘Sustainable Theses’, and the Thesis Forest

January 15, 2020 Zoe Chritchlow

Written by Prof Elizabeth Peel (APVC Doctoral College)

The Doctoral College Strategy talks about the 3 Vs – Vitality, Visibility and Value. In line with valuing everyone involved with our postgraduate research students we ran a short consultative survey at the end of 2019 to gauge opinion about a possible move to electronic thesis submission at the University. In this blog post I feedback the results of the survey, and also introduce the idea of the Thesis Forest.

Online survey results

Doctoral researchers (42%, n=181), academic colleagues including those who had not yet supervised, those who’d successfully supervised over 10 PhD students and those in senior management and/or leadership roles (54%, n=232) and professional services colleagues (2%, n=9) were the majority of the 431 respondents who completed the ‘sustainable theses’ survey. Demographic information was not required but all Schools were represented, as were a range of ethnicities, ages, sexualities, (dis)abilities and genders.

Overall, 69% (n=297) of the sample were broadly in agreement with the University moving to electronic submission of theses as the norm, whilst 25% (n=110) were not in agreement and 6% (n=24) chose the mid-point between ‘completely’ agree and ‘not at all’ agree. Half of doctoral researcher respondents (n=183) ‘completely’ agreed with electronic submission compared to 35% (n=237) of academic respondents ‘completely’ agreeing. The majority (78%) of the small number of professional services respondent were ‘completely’ in agreement.

Of the academics in the sample a large minority (35%, n=82) reported personal experience of examining a thesis provided in electronic copy. Feedback based on direct experience was largely positive. For example, “It makes passing on feedback much easier” (Ac), and “Easier to search through the thesis. Can still make comments and highlight electronically. Can print off sections/whole thesis if you need to” (Ac). There were a number of comments on the portability of an electronic thesis versus not liking “carrying a heavy thesis I can’t fit in my bag” (Ac).

There were reservations to reading theses on screen raised on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) grounds, namely ‘migraines’, ‘eye strain’ and ‘ageism’ but benefits were also highlighted for those with visual impairments. Personal preference for hard copy (whether on logistical or disciplinary grounds) was evident in some comments from academic respondents.

There were numerous broadly positive comments from academics, including: “As long as there is some flexibility for those who prefer to read full printed copies I think it is fine. I don’t think it benefits us to be overly inflexible when external examiners are giving up their time without a great deal of compensation” (Ac); “It enables routine and consistent similarity checking, and it enables submission to take place remotely – which is surely necessary in this day and age” (Ac); and “I think this should be implemented as soon as possible” (Ac).

Doctoral research respondents largely emphasized that “the positives of paperless outweigh the negatives” (DR). The convenience of electronic submission from both Loughborough campus, London campus, part-time, distance, and international doctoral researchers was evident in comments: “a cheaper, simpler, more environmentally friendly way of submitting a thesis. […] a beneficial alternative for those who cannot easily access campus due to a variety of reasons” (DR).

The Thesis Forest
The main reason for retaining hard copy submission, which was raised across all respondent groups, was the potential to “devalue” (Ac) the “symbolic milestone” (DR) or thesis submission as a “rite of passage” (PS). This was typified by comments such as: “Given that the current process of thesis submission is pretty underwhelming, I think moving to electronic would make it even worse (although I understand it for sustainability reasons). […] If electronic submissions are the way forward, I’d only be on board if something is organised to make submissions more official and festive. After all, a thesis is 3 years+ of hard work” (DR) and “There is something intrinsically satisfying about submitting a bound copy of 3-4 years’ worth of work and I think it would take something away from the PhD experience if online submission became the norm” (Ac).

Planting the Thesis Forest will help mitigate against this perceived loss, and increase the sustainability aspect of a potential move to electronic theses as the norm. Interestingly, and coincidentally, the planting of trees was raised by one respondent:

“I agree with the sustainability element and saving trees etc but I also like the tradition of submitting a hard copy. In the early days of doctoral degrees, a scholar would nail a hard copy of their theory on a tree and stand and defend their work. I think the submission of a hard copy document is aligned with this tradition and would be a shame to lose. That said we need to protect our planet and therefore maybe a compromise could be agreed upon, university covering the printing costs and also planting a tree at the beginning of each students PhD to make up for the cost to the environment.” (DR) The submission of a doctoral thesis is a momentous achievement – an end as well as the start of a new beginning (subject to the viva voce). The University will physically mark this rite of passage for every thesis submitted by planting a whip (a forestry term referring to an unbranched young tree) in a new area which wraps around the two ancient woodlands Burleigh Wood and Holywell Wood on the main campus. The new Thesis Forest on the west of the campus is close to the Sir Denis Rook building where are Annual Research Conference is held. The Thesis Forest will add value and visibility to a significant aspect of PhD completion. It will take 25-30 years to plant the whole area. Plenty of room for lots of submitted theses!

Election 2019: The Brexit Campaign? Loughborough University London, 31st January

January 15, 2020 Cristian Vaccari

Loughborough University Centre for Research in Communication & Culture and Ipsos MORI in conjunction with the British Polling Council present Election 2019: The Brexit Campaign?

This General Election returned the first Conservative government with a large parliamentary majority for the first time in more than a generation. By contrast the campaign ended in disappointment for Labour and the Liberal Democrats and both parties are now seeking new leaders to help revive their respective fortunes. The Scottish National Party, the other main beneficiary from the 2019 campaign, are pressing for a further vote on independence from a UK set to leave the European Union. The issue of the EU has loomed large in British politics for decades but to what extent was this election dominated by Boris Johnson and his ‘Get Brexit Done’ mantra? Conversely how did the various opposition parties reflect or challenge this narrative in their own campaigning? Arising from this which topics and personalities were most prominent (or not) in the reporting of the election? And what mattered most to voters and how did they perceive the rival campaigns?This day conference will consider the above and other related questions by revisiting and reconsidering the 2019 election with analysis from practitioners and academics. It is the latest in a series of electoral post-mortems, one of which has been held after every UK General Election since 1979. That first event led to the inaugural Political Communications book, a now ten volume collection that has featured contributions from numerous political, media and polling practitioners as well as academics. The most recent addition to the series on the 2017 election is available from Palgrave Macmillan and was co-edited (with Roger Mortimore) by the organisers of this event, Simon Atkinson of Ipsos MORI and Dominic Wring of Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication & Culture.

Confirmed participants include: Adam Baxter (Ofcom) Tara Beard-Knowland (Ipsos MORI) John Curtice (Univ of Strathclyde) David Deacon (Loughborough Univ) Isla Glaister (Sky News) Nick Moon (Moonlight Research) Ben Page (Ipsos MORI) Anthony Wells (YouGov) and more to be confirmed. Further details including the latest speakers and schedule for the day will be posted to the same link where you can also reserve your ticket for this event your ticket for this event. Please book as soon as possible as places are limited and on a first come first served basis.

Venue Loughborough University London Campus, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford E20 3BS
10am-6pm, Friday 31st January 2020​

You've got this: Top nutrition tips for exams and deadlines

You've got this: Top nutrition tips for exams and deadlines

January 13, 2020 Bethan Fagan

Chris McLeod, PhD researcher (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), and Deputy Officer for LSU Welfare & Diversity, gives us his top tips for nutrition across the often stressful exams and deadlines period.

Eat before exams

If you haven’t eaten for hours before an exam and then sit a long exam, you are going to get hungry during the exam. This may impair your concentration and make you feel unwell.

So, before an exam make you sure you have a good balanced meal, that includes some protein, some veg and some complex carbohydrates and some water about an hour before your exam and this will help towards your concentration. 


Tupperware can be your best friend year round, not just during exams and deadlines. This allows you to bulk buy and make more healthier meals and snacks, i.e. nuts or crackers. Buy some Tupperware and carry it around with you, then you can stave off hunger on the go.

Avoid boredom eating

We all know how hard it is to not to eat when you are bored, we’ve all been there, but try not to boredom eat unhealthy snacks.

Put all your snacks to the side and schedule in times when you are going to have a break for a meal or some snacks. If you really are bored, give yourself a break and get up for 5 minutes and have a walk.

Remember to eat

This tip is for those of you who sit and concentrate for a long period of time and forget to eat.

Set a schedule for breaks so you can have a snack or meal, and this will allow you to concentrate better whilst you are revising as well as getting some sustenance in your body at the same time.

Don’t rely on caffeine

Having caffeine in the form of coffee or energy drinks could seem like a really good idea at the time, especially when you’re trying to concentrate for a long period of time or pulling an all-nighter. However, if you have too much caffeine it will impair your sleep and this won’t help your concentration in the long term.

Keep your teas and coffees to the morning, don’t have any in the afternoon and definitely not in the evening. This will help you sleep better and recover.

If you would like any support or have any queries, please contact me!

Chris Mcleod
Email: c.mcleod@lboro.ac.uk

For further exams and deadlines support, head to: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/students/exam-support/

Useless and Useful Feedback – students’ perspectives

January 13, 2020 Matt Hope

So, what do students really think about the feedback they get?

Dr. Tendai Dube attended the Association for Learning Technologists (ALT)’s Online Winter Conference 2019 (11 – 12 December) and was intrigued and thought to share these perspectives on feedback. One of the presenters asked participants to give examples of useless feedback they had ever received, and then examples of feedback they found useful. The following raw comments given by some participants echo what some of our students here at Loughborough also said about their experiences and hence they are worth checking out. [At least 4 students volunteered to share their feedback experiences during a Wolfson School’s staff workshop on Assessment and Feedback in October 2019]. It is hoped that this will help guide academic staff on the nature of feedback they give their students.

Useless feedback   Useful feedback  
General comments which don’t
give any personal feedback/direction  
Computer Science teacher would record himself and give audio feedback on group projects. Very informative and personal to us  
I always found it frustrating to get feedback on something you couldn’t then change or improve on. I used to get written feedback on essays at uni which then wasn’t useful for the next essay at all.   Balanced, Observed, Objective, Specific & Timely  
It came at the end of the course. Too late to be of use to me.   Students negotiating marking criteria using previous examples of assessments – this can lead to peer and self-assessment  
Feedback my daughter got in Art: “you have to push this more” – no explanation what that means   Challenging/stretch comments – that help change your thinking rather than just knowledge-based  
Written feedback not easy to understand/unclear   Timely with clear guidance on what the marker is looking for  
Not relevant   When I did my teaching qualification the feedback I received made me feel like the assessor had really read my work and acknowledge the amount of effort  
When it is only rubrics which are copy-pasted   specific, personalised, achievable  
‘could do better’ but no explanation how…   Highlighting where I have done well and therefore areas where I could improve next time. It’s useful to see examples and steps that are personalised to take forward.  

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image and Provisioning Task Sequences - Windows 10 1909

January 10, 2020 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday 10th January, from 8:00am to 10:00am, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image and Provisioning Task Sequences will be updated.

The version of Windows deployed in the Task Sequence will be Windows 10 1909 which is the latest version available.

The Task Sequence will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

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

This Fortnight at Loughborough | 6th January 2020

This Fortnight at Loughborough | 6th January 2020

January 3, 2020 Ella Kirby


Inaugural Lecture: Professor Claudia Eberlein – Quantum wonders for the real world

15 Jan | 4:30 – 6pm | WPT001, West Park Teaching Hub

For a few examples of simple quantum systems, Claudia will explain how physicists describe them, why they are interesting, and what distinguishes them from “normal” or classical systems. She will also discuss how these relate to our everyday life, for example, why yoghurt is not a thin liquid like the milk its made from. Along the way Claudia will give a few illustrations of the kinds of mathematics used in describing such theories and how it can be simply visualised. 

No knowledge of physics or advanced maths is expected of the audience, just a curious attitude to the world, some imagination, and perhaps a little general knowledge of science, but not beyond GCSE level.

This event is free to attend but requires booking. Click here for more information.

Stage Society: The 39 Steps

09 – 11 Jan | 7:30pm | Leonard Dixon Studio, Martin Hall

LSU Stage Society presents The 39 Steps, being performed in the Leonard Dixon Studio.

Synopsis: A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Tickets are £5 for students and £7 for members of the public. Click here for more information.

Lightning Netball Tri-Tournament

12 Jan | Doors open at 11am | The Netball Centre

Loughborough Lightning are back in action ahead of the upcoming 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague, in their first pre-season Tri-Tournament.

We welcome London Pulse and Knights Mens Netball to Loughborough University in the first of our pre-season tournaments. 

With unrivalled match day experience and fun for all the family, why not witness the new look team in action for the first time this season whilst watching some of the best sporting talent in the country.

Watch the action unfold whilst enjoying light refreshments, entertainment and three stellar games of netball.

Please note: This match is only available to 2020 Season Members. To purchase your season membership and gain access to all pre-season fixtures along with a whole host of benefits visit the Season Membership page. Click here for more information about the event.

Happy Mondays: Batik – Shades of Indigo

13 Jan | 7 – 9:30pm | Loughborough Students’ Union

LU Arts‘s Happy Mondays workshops returns, starting with Batik – the art of patterning fabric with successive layers of wax resist and dye. Indigo dye is one of the most fascinating processes involving complete immersion of the cloth, coming out a vibrant shade of green before oxidisation turns it to the familiar shade of blue, ranging from subtle denim to rich, deep blues.

Students are invited to bring along old t-shirts and other items of clothing (must be made of natural fibres, so cotton is ideal) to transform using this ancient textile technique. Learners will be guided through all stages from design to completion.

All equipment, tools and inspirational materials are provided. Please wear old or protective clothing for this workshop.

A £3 deposit is required. This event is for students only. Click here for more information.

Got something for This Week at Loughborough? Email us at digital@lboro.ac.uk

DRN2020: Temporal Drawing

December 23, 2019 Deborah Harty

Call for proposals
TRACEY Drawing Research Network Conference 9th-10th July 2020
Conveners: Drawing Research Group, Loughborough University

This conference aims to explore the notion of temporal drawing. By ‘temporal drawing’ we suggest that temporality is not only inherent in drawing, both as a process and as a product, but is also its fundamental condition. To draw is to draw inescapably in and of time. If to make a mark is to capture the trace of a gesture, then mark-making reveals the movement of time—of the living present becoming past, and of the past contracting into the present. With this dynamism come repetitions and difference: further marks in anticipation of a present yet to come. Thus a drawing traces and is traced by movements that are intangible syntheses of time, and looking closely and slowly at a drawing becomes an act of contemplation that holds motion beneath its surface. And so, we ask: how can we explore the time of drawing? How does time prompt us to think differently about drawing?

The conference aims to provide a space for discussion, dissemination and the exchange of knowledge and suggests the following as starting points and as possible themes, prompts and provocations:

• How can drawing ‘reveal’ in time?
• Can drawing be timeless?
• Is stillness possible in and through drawing?
• What is the role of pace in the processes of making and looking at drawing?
• How can duration be explored in drawing?
• How can erasure be explored in drawing?

The conveners invite proposals from practitioners, theorists and practitioner-researchers, which respond to the theme in ONE of the three listed formats:

• 20-minute presentation – 250 word abstract detailing the research question and proposed presentation. Please submit a word .docx file labelled as follows: surname.forename.presentation
• 2.5-hour practical workshop – 250 word proposal detailing the research question, format of the workshop and material/space requirements. Please label your file as follows: surname.forename.workshop
• Image or audio/video to be included in a showreel for a digital exhibition to be screened at the conference – up to 3 jpeg images of drawn works (resolution 300dpi) or 1 audio/video submission (codec/resolution negotiated on submission) max running time 5 mins

Please label your file as follows: surname.title of work.exhibition.jpg and include an image list with full details of the drawing including title, media, size, year. For Audio/Video submissions, provide a hyperlink for review and include full details of the submission, display requirements, and running time.

Please include a 50 word biography with your submission and submit to Serena Smith: s.smith9@lboro.ac.uk by Friday 28th February 2020.

Meeting a Peace-building Practitioner

Meeting a Peace-building Practitioner

December 20, 2019 Loughborough University London

In this blog, Hakeem Omolewa, an MSc Security, Peace-building and Diplomacy student, depicts his recent experience hearing from Tahir Aziz (Director of the South Asia Programme at Conciliation Resources) as part of as part of a session entitled NGO Involvement in Peace-building: The Case of Kashmir

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You've got this! Revision and coursework advice

You've got this! Revision and coursework advice

December 20, 2019 Bethan Fagan

With exams and coursework deadlines coming up, university might seem a little overwhelming. It might be tricky to know where to start, so we’ve come up with 6 top study tips to try and help you survive the next couple of months.


During exams and coursework deadline season you can feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, making a daily routine will allow for you to feel more in control of both your revision and deadlines as well as your personal life, allowing you to balance your commitments. Advice and planning sheets can be found here.

Study Spaces

There are over a 1000 study spaces across campus available to you. Finding the perfect study environment for you will have a huge impact. Avoid staying in your student accommodation or bedroom as this will allow for you to switch off and relax once you get home. You can find out more about study spaces and their opening times here.


Taking breaks and getting some fresh air is essential. Be realistic and look after yourself. There are plenty of places across campus to go and get some food or drink, go to the gym or simply take a walk. Having a refresh will help clear your mind and allow to you to return more motivated than before.  Try to not over-revise – you will exhaust yourself and end up getting less done. 

Spring flowers on Campus

Time Management

Create a calendar with both your study and other commitments and make sure to stick to it. Get yourself organised – set targets and deadlines, this will allow you to feel motivated and focused to hit your targets. 

Ask for help

Remember it’s always best to speak out. If you’re struggling or feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to speak to someone, whether that’s your friends or your family or your tutors. If you ever want to speak to a new face you can also contact Student Advice and Support Service for free. Their contact details can be found here.

Regular sleep pattern

Make sure to stick to a regular sleeping pattern. Sleep is one of the most important ways of keeping yourself healthy, especially during a stressful exam period. A good sleeping pattern will improve your productivity as well as making you feel a lot more energetic and motivated towards your work. 

2019 #LboroFamily round-up: our alumni!

December 18, 2019 Bethan Fagan

Each year we like to celebrate the brilliant achievements of our alumni across the globe. Throughout 2019, we have seen lots of successes for the #LboroFamily and our alumni community. Here are some of our highlights!


Seven alumni had a superb start to the year as they were recognised for their work across sports, design, environment, charity and aviation in the 2019 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Barry Eccleston, Dr Tom Karen, Professor Mary Nevill, Alan Peterson, and Captain Nicola Thomas were all awarded OBE’s (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for their work. Alumnus Kenneth Allison received a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to the environment, and Bob Chappell was recognised for his services to Basketball with a BEM (British Empire Medal).


Alumna Maddie Hill MBE was named Hockey’s Female Goalkeeper of the Year in February for the third successive year by the International Hockey Federation.

We also had a visit from alumnus Edward Williams and Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing, who shared insight into their business Candy Kittens as part of the ‘Personal Best: My Story’ lecture series.


In March, alumnus Dr Bader Shafaqu Al-Anzi was nominated for the highly sought-after British Council Alumni Award in Kuwait, celebrating exceptional achievements of alumni who have studied in the UK.

We also celebrated International Women’s Day, hosting several events across campus to help inspire the next generation.


In April, alumna Zamira Abassaova was named Young Woman of the Year by Women on the Move Awards for her work with the Entrepreneurial Refugee Network.

We also launched our #LboroMemories competition, receiving over 260 photographs from more than 70 alumni. Our lucky winner Alison Pailing won with this shot from 1982, capturing hall life.


In May, the Vice-Chancellor welcomed over 200 guests to our annual reception at the Sky Garden.

Two alumni were also given Outstanding Potential Awards at the University’s biannual Enterprise Awards, in recognition of the achievements of the tech companies they launched less than three years ago.


June was a fantastic month for sport. Two alumni were recognised for their contributions to sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Ama Agbeze and Nicholas Sanders both received MBEs for their services to sport.

Additionally, alumnus Jack Robinson, through his role of First Team Assistant Goalkeeper Coach, lifted the Champions League Trophy with Liverpool FC.


Thousands of new graduates joined the Alumni Association following their graduations in July. We had 8 honorary graduates, including Matt Gotrel from the Olympic Gold Medallist Rowing Team and Bessie Chelemu, the Director of Sport in Ministry of Youth and Sport Development Zambia.

Alumnus Jeremy ‘Jem’ Lawson, aged 70, competed at the European and World Triathlon Championships for Great Britain in Kazan, Russia, despite having osteoarthritis.


Stephanie joined the Great British Bake Off as one of 2019’s contestants, making it all the way to the final of the competition.

Loughborough researchers also helped to develop a demonstration dementia-friendly home, inspiring others to make changes to their own homes. The project was generously supported by donors to the University and was praised for its innovative approach towards tackling the need for change in the aging population.


In September we celebrated 100 years of women engineers at Loughborough. One of the first women engineers was Claudia Parsons who started in 1919. This year, a new hall of residence was named after her.

Alumna Issy Martin was also appointed as Women’s Football Head Coach for Loughborough.


In October, alumnus Gerald Davies was elected as the new President of the Welsh Rugby Union, following a longstanding career in Rugby.

The Vice-Chancellor also welcomed members of the Schofield Society for our annual donors’ dinner, themed around the topic of sustainability. Members of the Schofield Society have generously donated £1,000 or more in the last year to a broad range of initiatives at Loughborough.


We welcomed back six alumni from the Royal Navy in November, who returned to discuss helicopter operations with current students. They brought with them a Merlin HC MK4 helicopter and took to the sky four times and were met with cheers from staff and students on the ground.

We also inducted seven sporting stars into the Loughborough Hall of Fame. Liza Burgess, Sarah Hunter MBE, Barry Middleton, Ben Titley, John Trower, Jez Green and Baroness Sue Campbell CBE joined the 59 existing members.

David Bunker, Rex Hazeldine and Rod Thorpe also each received a Distinguished Alumni Award.


2019 came to an end with two fantastic days of graduation celebrations, at our Loughborough and London campuses.

We ran the #LboroPostcard competition, and received over 240 submissions from our international alumni who were from over 60 different locations.  

We also spread some festive cheer at our Christmas Carol Service and alumni reception, enjoying carols around the fountain.

We’re already looking forward to a great 2020. Got a story to share? Let us know.  

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence

December 10, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday 13th December, from 8:00am to 10:00pm, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated.

New versions of Sassafras Client, McAfee ePO Agent and Symantec Endpoint Protection will be added.

Intel Optane disk storage drivers will be updated to avoid an issue that may potentially cause the loss of end user data or render a system inoperable. In order to support the updated storage drivers the Task Sequence Media will have to be updated as part of this change.

The Task Sequence will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

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

Loughborough: Why choose life in the bubble?

Loughborough: Why choose life in the bubble?

December 10, 2019 Kathryn

The Loughborough bubble is real and can be felt from the moment you step foot on campus Continue reading

Why I didn’t choose a ‘real’ degree?

Why I didn’t choose a ‘real’ degree?

December 10, 2019 Emma

How & why I chose to follow my passions into Higher Education.

Continue reading

A Year in Loughborough

A Year in Loughborough

December 10, 2019 Disha

Over a year in Loughborough University, and it’s already time to bid farewell Continue reading

Symantec Anti-Virus Client 14.2.5323.2000 Staff Rollout

December 5, 2019 Charles Last

The Symantec Anti-Virus Client 14.2.5323.2000 will be deployed
to staff machines across campus as per the rollout schedule below:

IT Services: – Monday 16th December 2019
BU, FM, LB: – Monday 6th January 2020
All Support: – Thursday 9th January 2020
Rest of Campus: – Wednesday 15th January 2020

This new SEP Client provides support for Windows 10 1909.

For more information on this SEP Client please refer to the following link: https://support.symantec.com/us/en/article.DOC11615.html

The installation is silent and does not force a reboot.

Diplomacy and International Governance Students Meet Conciliation Resources Practitioner to Discuss Conflict and Peace in Jammu and Kashmir

Diplomacy and International Governance Students Meet Conciliation Resources Practitioner to Discuss Conflict and Peace in Jammu and Kashmir

December 5, 2019 Loughborough University London

Last week, students from the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London met Tahir Aziz, South Asia Programme Director at Conciliation Resources.

Continue reading
Social media highlights 2019

Social media highlights 2019

December 4, 2019 Liam
Continue reading
Christmas spirit away from home: Having a bau-ble!

Christmas spirit away from home: Having a bau-ble!

December 4, 2019 Caroline

The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.
Continue reading

Spotlight on… Group Work Assessment

November 27, 2019 Matt Hope

The 20th November saw the launch of a new series of Learning and Teaching events with the first session centred around Group Work Assessment. The event shared the newly approved University Group Working Code of Practice and guidance found here and featured lighting style presentations followed by Q & A time with the panel of presenters.

The presentations covered a range of topics, complementing each other in their approaches.

First up was Dr Ian Graham with extensive experience of leading group work modules, Ian creates mixed ability groups and shared his advice for the use of peer assessment using the tool Web-PA in his group work assessment.

Next to present was Dr Victoria Haines talking through a Teaching Innovation Award that is working through all aspects of group work including developing resources to support the use of peer assessment.

Dr Ash Casey joined us to share his research into Cooperative Learning, how to form groups and how to use groups in the classroom to engage and interact with them as effectively as possible.

Finally, Dr James Knowles concluded the presentations with an example which again uses peer assessment but has very large groups of around 12 students which can mean group effort is much easier to monitor as those not contributing are easily spotted in the peer assessment marks and there is less room for singling an individual out.

An interesting technique that seems to have benefited those employing it is the use of interim formative peer assessment on Web-PA to check in part way through the project and see how the group is functioning before they then go on to complete their summative piece.

Following the presentations, Ana- Maria Bilciu LSU Education EO joined the panel and all took questions from the audience around themes such as group forming, inclusivity in group work and the benefit of group work for students. One of our main challenges is that although working together on an assessment can feel quite tricky for students this is a crucial skill for the workplace and after graduation many reflect that they hadn’t realised the benefit at the time.

Presenters slides and the lecture capture of the event can be found on the Group Work guidance Learn page here.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events in the Spotlight series and note that this event launched the opening of applications for the Teaching Awards 2020, for more information see here.

LSU Advice is here to help

LSU Advice is here to help

November 20, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Catherine Messinger.

Whilst of course we hope that your journey as a researcher goes smoothly, we understand that the road to getting a PhD is made up of its own unique challenges.

Our team of advisors are here to provide specialist support during any confusing periods. Our advisors are available via email or by appointment to talk through your situation and provide guidance on the options available to you. The service is the right place to come to for confidential, impartial, non-judgemental advice, without fear of consequence and with no obligation to take any action after seeking advice.

We can advise on routes to try and resolve concerns or conflicts within your supervisory team, assist with appropriate processes for complaints and help in putting together mitigating circumstance claims and appeals. Likewise, if you were to find yourself the subject of an academic misconduct or disciplinary allegation we can offer support throughout the process regardless of what you wish your response to be. If your enquiry relates to matters outside of our expertise, we will try to help in any appropriate way and direct you to people best placed to help.

Our advisors can typically assist by:

  • Assessing your situation, and providing guidance on your options based on what you are hoping to achieve/resolve.
  • Signposting you to services for any aspects of your enquiry that we are unable to support with.
  • Review a draft of any forms/letters you wish to submit and make suggestions for improvement, or recommendations for any necessary evidence.
  • Helping to prepare you for any necessary meetings.

Whilst we can support you at any stage of your PhD or engagement with a University process, we cannot reiterate enough how important it is to seek guidance as soon as an issue presents itself to you.

To get in touch, take a look through our ‘Advice checklist’ below before contacting us via email; LSU Advice, Loughborough campus or LSU Advice, London campus.

Advice checklist:

  • Step One –  Identify what it is you need help with, and consider what outcome you are hoping for. You may find it useful to read about the area of advice you need – pop over to our website to find out more about what we can support with.
  • Step Two – Gather information/evidence (it’s really helpful for us to see, so try putting together any documents/emails which relate to your situation).
  • Step Three – Get in touch with the team (email your information along with any documents and a brief summary of your concerns to our team).
Five things the UK General Election can teach us about Black Friday deals

Five things the UK General Election can teach us about Black Friday deals

November 20, 2019 Peter Fountain

Politics and economics have much in common. For a couple of centuries these weighty subjects taught in many a fine University were and, in recent decades, are recognised as a single taught subject – Political Economy – but also share similarities in modelling human interaction and achievements.

This a perfect time to highlight the similarities between the Black Friday consumer event and the 2019 UK general election.

In both scenarios we have a class of players – politicians or retailers – whose survival depends on another class of players – voters or consumers. The only difference is that the payments are more tangible on Black Friday but in politics although you pay with a free vote the politician can take a stream of your income over years in taxation whilst your benefits are perhaps even less tangible than a new iPhone. But perhaps the greatest difference is that buying a product normally only impacts on you and your family whilst the 2019 election choices can and probably will have both national and global repercussions.

The hype that surrounds the election period and any consumer sale event stirs up many emotions among both voters and consumers, in some ways we see the best of us – striving for a better world but perhaps exhibiting the worst of ourselves – short term individual greed and selfishness.

1. Promises, promises

It’s well known that politicians are economical with the truth, but for many of the major global choices the UK needs to make very carefully and diplomatically it is likely that some politicians will produce so many porky pies (lies) this election that Melton Mowbray (a major pork pie producer in East Midlands) might go out of business! In the consumer world Which found that 87% of Black Friday deals in 2017 were available at the same price or cheaper at other times.  So beware of false claims and do your research.

2. Misdirection

Politicians often focus on one element of potential policies like NHS funding, immigration, Brexit/Remain etc. not about flood defences, moving from oil to electric transport, care for the elderly, funding students. These are designed to make them look good, give them a clear brand in the public eye, dodge the difficult questions, appeal to their ‘type’ of voter. Basically, they aim to create a nice shiny product that everyone recognises and buys into. Many of the Black Friday deals focus on similar big-ticket items or brands – eye catching offers. All the hype centres on a few massive discounts. They do not say anything about the prices of the other less eye-catching products you might pick up at the same time. Capturing consumers by Hi-Low price deals is a well-known device – some consumers reward themselves with further typically unwanted purchases as a reward after landing the big discount.

3. It’s not about you

Your local politician and the CEO of your big local retailer are not your best buddies – they want your money or your vote – more importantly they do not want you to give your money or your vote to their competitor. Deep discounts are a formula used to increase store footfall, attracting people into your shop and not to your competitors. The games played by politicians and the retailers are designed to make you feel part of a big party – to feel wanted and cared for.

4. First in the queue – who gets the goodies?

But with 60 million of us in the UK – election or Black Friday – you will probably not get what you actually want – there will probably be more strident people ahead of you in the queue – either by right or might – they may beat you to what you thought you were going to get. Each major party has key pressure groups they respond to post election and promises made in the marketing hype are not always delivered. Just as limited offers sell out, the MPs can ‘sell out’ and U-turn as well, especially with small majorities/coalitions – as we have witnessed in the last few years.

5. Overspending and long-term consequences

Lastly but by no means least, the economy has a substantial debt problem, politicians have promised billions in new spending programmes some sensibly on infrastructure projects – however this has set off alarm bells among the economics community. Bluntly stated the UK cannot afford massive government expenditure hikes without also raising greater tax revenue or greatly limiting public services. Just like a consumer who overspends on Black Friday there could be many long-term negative impacts on the economy should debt increase too far. Likely candidates are higher inflation and higher unemployment and a run on the pound – remember the 1970s anyone? For the consumer, credit card debt can easily mount up, so be sensitive to what you personally can afford as consumer debt levels are at record levels.

So, what can you do?

Well, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for! I’m not going to tell you not to enjoy sales and discounts at the stores either – that’s your business. But consumers and voters need to be extremely careful and really think through their choices. By all means think about yourself and the potential new shiny thing in your life. But do you need it, can you afford it, are you being misled or misdirected and, perhaps more importantly, do you care about how your choices impact on those around you? Have you done your homework and really know what you are buying into?

This Blog post was written by Dr Jon Seaton, Reader in Business Economics and member of the Accounting & Finance and Economics discipline groups at the School of Business and Economics. Jon can be reached on j.s.seaton@lboro.ac.uk

Day 5 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

Day 5 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

November 8, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

Today is the final day of Lottie’s adventure and she wants to do something new to add to the magazine. Lottie saw a brand new hall for students called Claudia Parsons. Lottie found out that it is 100 years since women were first allowed to study engineering at Loughborough University. Lottie had a great idea; why not find out how much engineering has changed in 100 years? So, she researched Claudia and another women called Verena Holmes who were some of the first women to study engineering in at Loughborough. Then she would find 3 fantastic female engineers who could tell Lottie how much things have changed.

Day 4 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

Day 4 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

November 7, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

Today Lottie is looking at two new and really cool engineering activities, 3D printing and plastic material testing. Tami is a product design engineer and she was really excited to show Lottie how creative engineering is, comparing her work to Alison. Then Tom showed Lottie materials engineering, a degree that wasn’t available back in the 80’s. This is because the course Katrina studied no longer runs at Loughborough. Tom will show Lottie some plastic testing experiments.

Day 3 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

Day 3 - Lottie Tour Loughborough University

November 6, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

Today Lottie is interviewing 2 postgraduate engineers, Rodrigo a Chemical engineer and Dimitra an Aerospace engineer. This means they are working towards a doctorate and will become Doctors. Lottie is working to find out the difference between the work of Ruth who was carrying out computer-controlled experiments and Sarah who is designing on pen and paper from the old magazine. She thinks that engineering in these areas would look very different today and use computers more. Rodrigo researches wastewater and he was keen to explain to Lottie how experiments are not just controlled by computers, but today we can carry out experiments only on computers.

Dimitra is researching jet engine design and she is going to show Lottie how we can just use one computer to design all parts of an aircraft engine. Sarah had to use design graphs, a plotter, a drawing, and a computer; 3 separate machines.

Sport for Development and Olympic Movement Stakeholders: A Social Network Analysis

Sport for Development and Olympic Movement Stakeholders: A Social Network Analysis

November 5, 2019 Loughborough University London

The Institute for Sport Business are conducting a social network analysis (SNA) of funders, organisers and implementers in the Sport for Development (SfD) and Olympic Movement (OM) networks in Africa and Europe.

The goal of this research is to understand traditional and emerging networks in the global SfD landscape, produce valuable insights on productive collaboration and alliances and understand how funding, knowledge, social capital and leadership effectiveness flows through the SfD network. The research is funded by the IOC and contributes to the IOC’s pledge to support Sustainable Development Goals through sport by energising and enhancing global partnerships (IOC, 2017).

The research team aims to provide recommendations and strategies to the IOC on how to build stronger and more sustainable partnerships between OM stakeholders, UN Agencies, NGOs, Funders and Sponsors within the global network.

To find our more about the research project, visit our website.

Day 2- Lottie Tour Loughborough University

Day 2- Lottie Tour Loughborough University

November 5, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

Today Lottie is interviewing two more engineers. Ellis an eletrical engineer and Seyi an aeronautical engineer. Lottie is excited to meet Seyi this morning as she wants to know what programming is. Lottie knows programming is important and used for all things that contain computers like mobile phones, cars and tellies. Angela is programming the magazine but there doesn’t seem to be a computer screen in sight. Seyi has spent a year working for software company where she learnt all about programming and she is showing Lottie how you write a script, the instructions for programming on a computer.

Lottie’s second interview is with Ellis who is an electrical engineer, she is currently working in research and development at Siemens. Baljit from the old magazine was an electrical engineer too and she is pictured in an electrical Lab. Ellis took Lottie into a modern electrical Lab which looks really smart.

How to create a module thumbnail on Learn

November 4, 2019 Matt Hope

They say a picture paints a thousand words…. by default a patterned image is displayed next to your module on Learn.

You can now quickly add a thumbnail image to your module on Learn, which will then be displayed for students on the ‘My modules’ section of Learn. For instance, if your module is lab based, you may want select a lab image from the University Image Bank so that your students can quickly identify the module.

To add a thumbnail image,

  • Click on ‘Edit Settings’ within the Module Administration block.
  • Scroll down the settings to the field labelled ‘Module Image’ and drag your chosen image into the field.
  • Click on ‘Save and display’ at the bottom of the page.

And that’s it! Your thumbnail image will appear! See the example below where the standard pattern has been replaced.

Day 1- Lottie Tour Loughborough University ‘Then and Now’

Day 1- Lottie Tour Loughborough University ‘Then and Now’

November 4, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

The Lottie tour is run by the Women’s Engineering Society Young Members Board. The tour is in its fourth year taking place during Tomorrow’s Engineers week 2019 to show how varied and exciting it is to work in engineering. The project is aimed at primary school children using social media to showcase current engineering with the aid of a Lottie doll (a child’s toy) with the hope of breaking down stereotypes and engaging a young audience.

The 2019 theme for the tour is “then and now” celebrating the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society. Both the tour and an accompanying magazine (aimed at school leavers) capture the change in engineering from the past 40 or so years celebrating the progression of technology and diversity.

My name is Jennifer and I am engineer, my job is to research new ways of making aeroplanes quieter. I work at Loughborough University and this week my friend Lottie is coming with me. Lottie loves science and maths at school, but she doesn’t know what engineers do. Do you know what engineers do?

Engineers design, build, and make things like aeroplanes, bridges, phones, video games and medicine. I wanted to show Lottie what types of things engineers do so I showed her an old magazine I have called Women in Engineering. Lottie said “Engineering looks like fun but this magazine is really old, the pictures are not even in colour. Has engineering changed from way back in the 80’s?”

Engineering has changed a lot since the 80’s and it’s really exiting to be an engineer and there are new things to learn all the time. Lottie suggested that we should make a new magazine finding lots of engineers to explain how much things have changed. This was a great idea so we will be spending this week interviewing lots of engineers.

First Lottie spoke to Susan who wrote the original magazine and she thought it was a great idea to make a new version and helped Lottie with her interview questions. Lottie has written 8 questions that she wanted to ask all of the engineers. Finding out what they do, what they enjoy, how things have changed and any advice they have for Lottie. This is great way of finding out new things and is something you could do at home. Why not write some questions then interview your Mum, Dad or an engineer you know about their job?

Lottie’s first interview is with Naomi who has gone on something called a placement year. This is where you work for a company for a year to learn how to be a working engineer in industry, this is like Caroline from the old magazine who was doing industrial training.

Tomorrow Engineering 2019 Lottie Tour

Tomorrow Engineering 2019 Lottie Tour

November 1, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Jennifer Glover.

Next week the Doctoral College’s blog will have a slight break from tradition by featuring a STEM outreach project written by Doctoral Researcher Jennifer Glover (Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering).

The Lottie tour is an annual social media campaign during Tomorrows Engineers week to promote engineering to primary school age children. The campaign follows the adventures of a Lottie doll as she discovers how varied and fun engineering can be. The aim is to educate on what engineers actually do and encourage girls to consider a career in engineer

You may have seen the recent BBC article “Career ambitions’ already limited by age of seven” written by Sean Coughlan. It highlights the barriers children face even before they leave primary school which limits their life choices. Perpetual stereotypes based on background, gender, or race results in a huge loss of talent to STEM fields, and campaigns such as the Lottie tour aim to dispel these myths. A fun engaging approach to careers choices that can be used by parents, family members and teachers alike, the tour is now in its fourth year. For more information, click here.

This blog will follow the adventures of Lottie at Loughborough University. This year’s theme is “then and now” and Lottie discovers an old Women in Engineering magazine from the 80’s and endeavours to find out how much engineering has changed. Join in through social media, share and use the blog to help encourage tomorrows engineering. Feel free to email Jennifer with questions or for more information.

The Fast and the Furious: One click quick tickets for RT

October 31, 2019 Garry Booth

Jon and I have blogged before about some of the ways we’ve extended Best Practical’s Request Tracker (RT) to add functionality, but we’ve not really talked about how we enhance what’s already there. In this case we wanted to have a way to handle high volume, repeat tickets. We’re not that interested in who has the problem, more how many times it’s coming up, where it’s being seen and when.

Freshers week

The annual Freshers Week (which tends to last somewhat longer than a week) sees about 5,000 new students arrive and some 10,000 returners. This leads to a spike in work requests, mainly (but not exclusively) around getting devices connected to our wireless network. In this case, we are pretty sure we know what requests are going to arrive, but we want to be sure we are adequately setup to cope with the busiest periods. In order to measure demand, we need a system that is as quick as recording a pen stroke for a 5-bar gate. Alongside this we run kiosks for the students around the campus, these can be anything from a dedicated desk, to a throw-up tent. A secondary requirement was to find out which of these kiosks, were the most popular and have them correctly staffed to meet demand.

To this end a quick ticket system was developed, from the systems already implemented within RT, which recorded a minimum amount of data in the shortest time possible.

Fig 1: Freshers Week Quick Ticket Portlet

There are two parts to the ticket portlet. The first is capturing the kiosk number. As a stint at a kiosk was normally a few hours, we wanted to have our staff set their location once and have the portlet remember it for the duration of the session. This is achieved by a simple numerical dropdown html form field (as an RT Custom Field) and the use of browser localStorage, via javascript.

    function loadSettings() {
    function saveSettings() {
        localStorage.Kiosk = jQuery('#kioskNumber').val();

The above javascript stores the kiosk choice in the browsers storage and recalls it every time the page is reloaded.

Once we had a method of recording the kiosk number, we then needed a set of buttons to record the issues. These buttons and the kiosk dropdown, feed into the form to create the ticket.

The ticket data is formed of a prescribed subject, a status of resolved, who created the ticket and when it was done.

% my $prefix = '[Freshers Week] ';
% my @subjects = (‘My’, ‘array’, ‘of’, ‘subjects’);
% foreach my $thisSubject (@subjects) {
    action="<%RT->Config->Get('WebPath')%><% $r->path_info %>"
% $m->callback(CallbackName => 'InFormElement');
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="QuickCreate" value="1" />
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Queue" value="3" />
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Subject" value="<%$prefix%><%$thisSubject%>"/>
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Owner" value="<%$session{'CurrentUser'}->id%>" />
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Requestors" value="<%$session{'CurrentUser'}->EmailAddress%>" />
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Object-RT::Ticket--CustomField:Kiosk-2-Value-Magic" value="1" />
<input type="hidden" name="Object-RT::Ticket--CustomField:Kiosk-2-Value" id="Object-RT::Ticket--CustomField:Kiosk-2-Value" class="CF-2-Edit" value="1" />
<input type="hidden" class="hidden" name="Status" value="resolved" />
<& /Elements/Submit, Label => loc("$thisSubject") &>

The above code will create a ticket in queue 3, via the QuickCreate method, as used by RT’s default quick ticket creator. Using this method, we are able to create tickets at the push of a button, the QuickCreate method does not take you to a new page, instead it simply acknowledges the creation of the ticket and refreshes the page the portlet is on, as seen below:

Fig 2: A ticket has been created and resolved. The interface acknowledges the ticket and the portlet is ready for the next case

We can now take the data that is created and report back on the busy periods at any of the kiosks (see figures 3 and 4), to allow us to plan ahead for the next academic year, in terms of how we staff our kiosks and where we place them.

Fig 3: Mapping of the hourly demand at kiosk1, across the entirety of Freshers Week
Fig 4: The same search at kiosk2, showing a different demand pattern

Further we can use the same data these tickets are generating to see what the major requests are (via the prescribed subject line) and if necessary have more specialised staff on hand (or target training for our current staff) in future years, to help manage the demand. In order to achieve this a slight modification to the dropdown list on RT’s chart form is needed, to add the option for “Subject”

Fig 5: Demand by subject at a kiosk, throughout Freshers Week

Day to Day on the PC Clinic

These quick tickets proved so popular and useful we were asked to extend them, to deal with regular requests outside of Freshers Week, during normal term time. As with the Freshers Week tickets, the requirement for single click 5 bar gate style recording was kept. In the case of the term time tickets its was requested that we have a method for recording who has the issue.

In this case we modified another piece of existing RT code to create a new portlet, that has many of the similarities of the Freshers Week array, but also includes a user lookup (the thinking here is to try and find people who may be having recurring problems)

    <tr class="input-row">
    <td class="label"><&|/l&>Requestors</&>:</td>
    <td colspan="3" class="value"><& /Elements/EmailInput, Name => 'Requestors', id => 'Requestors', Size => '40', Default => $args->{Requestors} || $session{CurrentUser}->EmailAddress, AutocompleteMultiple => 1 &></td>

This addition along with a few minor teaks to the form code, to allow a different list of issues and to detect the requestor, allows us to continue using these quick tickets on our permanent PC Clinic, throughout the year.

Fig 6: The portlet for day to day Quick Tickets

This method of recording tickets has proven itself to be able to handle large amounts of cases at the busiest times of the year and is providing our management with useful data, to enable future planning to make sure we provide our staff and students with an excellent user experience. I would appear that the RT service owner is certainly happy with them, based on the amount of chocolate biscuits we’re receiving.

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher Vice President (2019-20)…

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher Vice President (2019-20)…

October 28, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Rieman Rudra

Hello everyone, my name’s Rieman and I am your Doctoral Researcher Vice President. Alongside Tom (President), I will be working this year to improve your doctoral experience at Loughborough and ensure that your needs and interests are met within the university. I will also be working with Ana (Education Exec at LSU) with regards to these matters to improve our visibility and PhD-related support services.

About Myself:

• I am currently in my second year at the School of Business and Economics. My research focusses on the relationship between credit risk and the macroeconomy.

• I completed my Bachelor’s and Masters from LSE and Cass respectively before venturing on my PhD journey in this beautiful town of Loughborough.

• I am also part of the PhD SSN team (events coordinator) and helped organise social events from Laser quest to Beacon Hill trip, sports activities to cinema nights; I absolutely love this role!

• I am passionate about volunteering and also do volunteering at LSU Action. This year, I am the project leader for Baca charity – so get ready to be involved!

• Also, I love to play sports (badminton, cricket) and board games (chess, cards) during weekends.

All in all, I am looking forward to creating positive and meaningful changes for all doctoral researchers at Loughborough University and Loughborough University London. So, please feel free to grab a coffee or get in touch with me at r.rudra@lboro.ac.uk.

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher President (2019-20)…

Introducing your Doctoral Researcher President (2019-20)…

October 28, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

Written by Tom Baker.

Hello everyone! My name is Tom and I will act as the Doctoral Researcher President for the 2019-2020 academic year. Along with Rieman Rudra, we will do our best to ensure fellow DR’s are represented across the institution. I will primarily act as the liaising person in our duo attending various meetings such as the Doctoral College Sub-Committee, and the Research Council Meeting, to extend our views and inputs for the DR community progression.

A little about myself is perhaps in order:

• I come from the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering.

• I joined Loughborough in 2012 for my undergraduate in Materials Engineering. This was extended to a Master’s with an Industrial Placement year (gaining a Diploma in Industrial Studies) at a Swedish Mining company subsidiary. Finally, I graduated in 2017, when I also began my PhD here.

• My research focus is on cellulose and its nanocrystals in degradable polymer applications for sustainable plastics, which is something I am quite passionate about.

• I have previously acted (or still do act in some cases) as a society treasurer, Departmental Rep and School Lead Rep, University Teacher, and Student Ambassador for open days and outreach events.

Feel free to contact me via email (T.E.Baker@lboro.ac.uk) if there are any events, successes, or issues you’d like to raise on a wider level.

I hope that we all have a successful and productive year!

McAfee Drive Encryption Client Staff Rollout

October 23, 2019 Charles Last

The Latest McAfee Drive Encryption Client Components will be deployed to Windows 10 Staff Laptops across campus as per the rollout schedule below:

IT Dept – 4th November BU, CA, CQ – 6th November
BU, CA, CQ – 6th November
FM, FN, KT – 11th November
LU, MG, MV, PL – 13th November
PO, RA, RF, RG – 18th November
Rest of Professional Services – 25th November
AE-School Staff – 2nd December
AM-School Staff – 2nd December
BE-School Staff – 2nd December
CV-School Staff – 4th December
DS-School Staff – 9th December
External Staff – 9th December
LL-School Staff – 9th December
Rest of Campus – 11th December

The following MDE components will be updated to:

McAfee Agent – 5.6.2
McAfee Drive Encryption for Windows –
McAfee Drive Encryption Go –
McAfee Drive Encryption Host –
McAfee File and Removable Media Protection –

These new MDE Client components provide support for Windows 10 1903, address a number of security issues and various software bugs. For more information please refer to the following links.

McAfee Drive Encryption 7.2.9 Release Notes
McAfee Agent 5.6.2 Release Notes
McAfee File and Removable Media Protection 5.1.x Release Notes

The installation of these client components is silent, however two reboots are required to complete the installation process. Users will be prompted to restart their systems, but the reboot will not be enforced.

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

Commuting to University: My Experiences

Commuting to University: My Experiences

October 11, 2019 Guest Blogger

Increasingly each year more students are choosing to commute to university. Continue reading

World Mental Health Day Events on Campus | 10th October 2019

World Mental Health Day Events on Campus | 10th October 2019

October 3, 2019 Ella Kirby


LSU celebrate World Mental Health Day

Mental Health Mates Walk

10th October | 1-2pm | Meet at Hazlerigg/Rutland Fountain

‘Mental Health Mates’ is a national network of peer support groups, who meet regularly to walk and talk without fear or judgement.

Loughborough University will be the very first university to hold a Mental Health Mates walk for both staff and students, so we’d love as many of you as possible to join us and get some fresh air and light exercise in the process.

People do not have to have a diagnosed mental health issue to join the walks. Meet-ups are based around walking because walking and talking helps us relax, and exercise is also great for mental health.

‘Being a Bloke’ – Exploring Men’s Mental Heatlh

9-10am and 4-5pm | 2.11, Bridgeman Building and then 1.01, Rutland Building

Growing up as a man, you may have heard phrases such as ‘get a grip’, ‘stop acting like a girl’, ‘boys don’t cry’, and ‘toughen up!’ These are all signals that men should not be allowed to express emotions that they are not in control of, equating to weakness and a loss of masculinity.

But where does this all stem from? And what can we do to fight back? This short, informal workshop will explore men’s mental health through a series of short films and by sharing a variety of experiences.   

Please note the 9am-10am session will take place in Room 2.11 (Bridgeman Building) and the 4pm-5pm session will take place in Room 1.01, Rutland Building. There are 16 places available on each session. Booking is required. Please email od@lboro.ac.uk to register your place.

Alex da Silva: My journey from a dying addict to a TEDx speaker, helping to change the world

Alex da Silva presenting a Ted Talk
10-11am and 12:30-1:30pm | Room 1, LSU

Alex was born in Brazil, where he began his life in a deprived area before moving to the UK aged 11, unable to speak any English. He experienced a strained relationship with his mother and grew up believing his father had died. Throughout his childhood he endured abuse, bullying and anxiety, feeling like he was never good enough.

Alex went on to become a successful professional but struggled with years of mental health and addiction issues, and at his lowest points, he tried to take his own life.

In this session, Alex will talk through his journey from being at rock bottom to the powerful changes in his mindset and inner strength that got him to where he is now.

This event is free to attend but will require booking. To book your place at 10am click here, and for 12:30pm here.

Creative LEGO® Play

10am-12pm | CC.0.29a, James France

This interactive workshop will use Lego® bricks combined with the Lego® Serious Play® Methodology to enable you to investigate what you need to support your own well-being. 

This hands-on activity will enable you to gain new perspectives and share experiences in a non-judgmental, non-threatening and playful environment.

Please note booking is required and there are 16 places available. Email od@lboro.ac.uk to register your place.

Free Stress-buster Massages

11am-1pm | CC.0.29a, James France

Massage is one of the most effective remedies for releasing muscle tension, aiding pain and helping people to feel more relaxed.

Loughborough University’s Physiotherapy Clinic will be offering free, 15-minute stress-buster massages to staff members as part of World Mental Health Day. Please note a consent form will be required. The event is free to attend and requires booking. Email od@lboro.ac.uk to book a session.

Matt Jones: Misadventures in time and space – a writer’s journey through addiction and depression

11:15am-12:15pm and 2:45-3:45pm | Room 1, LSU

Leicestershire native Matt Jones is a television writer and producer. He produced Shameless for its first four seasons and has written for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Mr Selfridge, Dirk Gently and The Split.

On World Mental Health Day, Matt will talk to staff and students candidly and openly about his experience with addiction and depression, and the impact they’ve had on his career. There will be a short Q&A at the end of the session. To book your place at 11:15 click here, and for 2:45pm here. This event is free to attend.

Positive Thinking Session

12-12:45pm | 2.11, Bridgeman Building

This Positive Thinking session aims to help you improve your decision-making, manage your thoughts and increase your concentration levels, so that you can feel more in control of your responses. This event is free to attend, please email od@lboro.ac.uk to register your place.

Creative Wellbeing Area

1-3pm | James France Atrium

Drop-in to our wellbeing area for World Mental Health Day, where you can try out new activities, connect with others and get creative.

Screening of ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ followed by ‘Suicide: Spotting the Signs’ session

Graphic from Channel 4 programme ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’
2-3:30pm | 1.01, Rutland Building

Mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin has personally endorsed this film screening, which tells his moving story.

Having been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder Jonny stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge in January 2008 and was prepared to take his own life. That was until a stranger walking across the bridge saw him and talked Jonny down from the edge. Jonny was taken to hospital and didn’t see the stranger again but was determined to find him and thank him for what he did.

This film captures every step of Jonny’s remarkable journey including the phenomenon of the campaign, the many leads and ‘Mikes’ that came forward and ultimately his successful reunion with the man that saved his life.

Everything changed for Jonny after that day. He has become a mental health campaigner who in his own right has helped transform the lives of many other people around the world through his work. Emotional, heart-warming and thought-provoking, this is a film about a simple human interaction and how one man’s kind gesture six years ago has had a huge butterfly effect beyond what anyone could ever have imagined.

The event is free but requires booking, please email od@lboro.ac.uk to book your place.

Yoga Sessions

2:30-3:30pm | Holywell Fitness Centre

The Sports Development Centre will be offering two free yoga sessions for staff members as part of World Mental Health Day.

Research suggests yoga can benefit your mental health in a variety of ways, by relieving stress, providing relaxation, and also improving self-confidence. This is free to attend and doesn’t require booking.

Pub Quiz

5-6:30pm | JCs, LSU

The University will be hosting a Pub Quiz open to both staff and students. It will be a 5pm meet for a 5:30pm start.

If teams would like to reserve a table in advance, please contact George Etherington by emailing G.Etherington2@lboro.ac.uk and including the number of team members. The quiz is £2 per person.

For more information on World Mental Health Day at Loughborough University, click here.

Issue using headphones on some Dell Laptops

October 3, 2019 Mike Collett

We have discovered an issue with the Windows Build for a number of Dell Laptops. The build does not detect when a headphone jack is placed in the headphone jack. It turns out a utility called Waves MaxxAudio Pro needs to be installed from the Microsoft Store.

The laptops are involved are:

Latitude 3400
Latitude 5300 2-in-1
Latitude 5400
Latitude 5500
Latitude 7200 2-in-1
Latitude 7300
Latitude 7400
XPS 13 9380

From Friday 4th October when any of these systems is reimaged it will have a executable copied to the desktop which, when run goes to the appropriate place in the Microsoft Store. Following a successful reimage please run the executable as administrator and install Waves MaxxAudio Pro. You can then remove the executable file.

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

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (September 2019)

October 2, 2019 Dr Katryna Kalawsky

This blog post is part of a series of monthly posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell). Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter.

Folks, this blog post marks the end of an era. We’re stepping down from our roles as the 2018-2019 President and Vice President, and handing these roles over to Tom Baker and Rieman Rudra on 30th September for the next academic year. September was therefore a month of winding down. We also tried to ensure that Tom and Rieman’s transition into their roles is as smooth as possible. Here’s our September in review:

Meeting with Education EO

On 11th September, Leah met with LSU Education Executive Officer, Ana, to offer feedback on Ana’s education priorities for this academic year. Ana has a lot of great plans, and has shown some real commitment to improving Loughborough’s postgraduate experience.

Research Committee Meeting

On 17th September, Leah represented doctoral researchers at the Research Committee meeting. Tom, the 2019-2020 DR President, also attended to get a feel for his new role. In these meetings, the Associate Deans (Research) (ADRs) and other staff from research support services from across the University opportunities discuss research-related issues. The PRES results are currently being reviewed by each School, and students will start seeing their feedback being addressed soon.

PGR Lead Rep Meeting

On 18th September, we met with PGR Reps from across the University to have our final Rep meeting of the year. During this meeting, we discussed what we accomplished – and what we didn’t manage to accomplish – this past year. We also looked forward, considering issues that need continued attention. We also worked with the LSU to film a short video about what being a Rep is all about. This video should be released within the next few weeks.


With that, we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us in our roles as President and Vice President this year. It has been an absolute pleasure working collaborating to make meaningful change for DRs from both of Loughborough’s campuses. Peace out, y’all.

To keep up-to-date with DR activity, join the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ Facebook group and follow the DR President’s Team on Twitter. If you’re a London student, follow the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London’ Facebook page. Leah and Hugh.

Language Support in Windows 10 and Office 365

October 2, 2019 Mike Collett

Following the upgrade to Windows 10 1809 some users experienced difficulties with the Windows 10 Japanese language features they had previously installed. This update had removed the optional features.

Microsoft recommended reinstalling the optional language features. However, attempts to reinstall the language features via the Time and Language Category of Windows Settings did not allow the options to be installed. This was because Microsoft have decided that from version 1809 users can only install language options via Windows Update. Since we use SCCM, Windows Update is locked down so this will not work.

To circumvent this restriction a subset of the available languages features have been downloaded to the SCCM and made available via the Software Centre. The supported languages at present are

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (China/Singapore)
  • Chinese (Hong Kong/Macau)
  • Chinese (Taiwan)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Greek (Greece)
  • Italian (Italy)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Korean (Korea)
  • Polish (Poland)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Russian (Russia)
  • Spanish (Mexico)
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Welsh (GB)

If the relevant application is run from Software Centre prior to adding the language in the Time and Language Category of Windows Settings Language options can be installed.

In addition a subset of Office 365 Language Packs have been download and packaged for including in the Software Centre. Although these packs are publicly available, they would normally require administrator rights to install. The languages supported are:-

  • Arabic 
  • Chinese (Simplified) 
  • Chinese (Traditional) 
  • French 
  • German 
  • Greek 
  • Italian 
  • Japanese 
  • Korean 
  • Polish 
  • Portuguese (Brazil) 
  • Portuguese (Portugal) 
  • Russian
  • Spanish 
  • Welsh


More details can be found in \ws2.lboro.ac.uk\DesktopResource\Windows\WINDOWS 10\Support for additional languages in Office 365 and Windows 10.docx

Otherwise, please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for further information

UWE Drawing Research Symposium - Drawing at Art School

October 2, 2019 Russell Marshall

By: Lucy Ward – lucy3.ward@uwe.ac.uk

As a newly forming research group, we are holding a number of events to examine and focus our research intentions. Our current membership is an interdisciplinary group from across the Schools of Art and Design, and Film and Journalism at UWE, with a unifying interest in drawing in contemporary arts practice and research. The symposium will be an opportunity to discuss and review what drawing is and has been at art school, and what it could and should be in future.

The teaching of drawing has changed dramatically at art school over the course of a generation. The way that students are taught drawing today varies from the experience of their tutors. And experiences vary even between different generations of tutors.

There is talk of the decline of skills-based teaching and of students setting up their own life drawing classes. But what drawing skills do art students need anyway? What are they drawing for?

Drawing has been re-framed since the 1960s, asserting itself as an independent and autonomous practice. Dedicated galleries, BA and MA courses now exist across the country. What does this mean for how drawing is taught now and in the future?

Confirmed speakers include: Chloe Regan, UWE; Andrew Hall, CSM UAL; Paul Fieldsend Danks, University of Plymouth; Tania Kovats, Bath Spa University; Howard Riley, Swansea College of Art; Stefan Gant, University of Northampton; Garry Barker, Leeds Arts University; Kelly Chorpening, Camberwell UAL; Simon Packard, Bath Spa University; Lucy Algar, Wimbledon UAL; Sophia Banou, UWE.

Friday 8 November 2019
The Drawing Studio
UWE, City Campus
Bristol BS1 4QA

10am – 5.30pm
Drinks etc from 5.30 onwards Ticket price: £65 with institutional affiliation, £50 for those without
Please book via http://www.uwedrawingresearch.com

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence

October 2, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday 4th October, from 8:00am to 9:00pm, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated. At this time support for three new models of Dell Laptop will be added.

In order to support updated storage drivers on these models, Task Sequence Media will have to be updated after this change.

The Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

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

Fairest and best? Status counts in the Brownlow Medal

Fairest and best? Status counts in the Brownlow Medal

September 23, 2019 Loughborough University London

Dr Liam Lenten, Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University, discusses research conducted with Professor Aaron Smith, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Professor of Sport Business at Loughborough University London, for The Conversation

Continue reading
Your Registration Week checklist

Your Registration Week checklist

September 18, 2019 Loughborough University London

It’s not long to go now until we welcome our new students for the 2019-20 academic year! If you’re joining us next week, take a look below at some of the things to tick off of your Registration Week checklist:

Have you completed online registration?

Before you arrive, you must ensure that you have completed your online registration ahead of arriving onto campus for in-person registration. If you have not received an email about completing online registration then please contact studentenquiries@lboro.ac.uk.

Make sure to upload a photo for your student ID card

As part of the online registration process you will be required to upload a photograph of yourself for your student ID card. We recommend that you prepare this before you log in to complete online registration, however, if you have already completed this process, you can still access the portal online.

Are you preparing for your programme?

For programmes containing optional modules, the portal is now live to select your preferences. Make sure you follow the link sent to your student email account and submit your preferences by Wednesday 25 September 2019 at 4pm.

You can also take a look at our recommended reading lists and information online to help you prepare for Semester One.

Have you made travel arrangements?

Each institute has an allocated in-person registration session and programme talk during Registration Week which is compulsory for you to attend. It’s important that you’ve organised your travel arrangements to make sure that you don’t miss your session.

Take a look at #WelcomeFest

#WelcomeFest is the first event of the academic year and an opportunity for you to meet other students you may be studying with as well as other businesses in the area! The event will take place on the ground floor of campus on Friday 27 September between 12pm-3pm.

You can also find information about other events and activities taking place on our events page.

Have fun!

Last, but not least, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! We’re delighted that you’ll be starting your postgraduate studies with us at Loughborough University London, and Registration Week is just the start of your time here – so don’t forget to have fun.

We can’t wait to welcome our 2019-20 cohort of students onto campus! If you have any questions – please email London@lboro.ac.uk.

Freshers 2019: Budgeting

Freshers 2019: Budgeting

September 18, 2019 Bethan Fagan

There are a few initial costs that come when starting university, but don’t panic! We’ve given you a rundown of what to expect so you can budget accordingly. We’ll also provide you with a few tips on how to save money over the course of the year.

When you start

Fresher subs

In order to make your freshers experience the best possible, your hall need money to do so. Your fresher subs cover your fresher T-shirt, wristband for entry to events, buses to nights in town amongst other things. You purchase your fresher subs from your hall committee once you arrive.

TOP TIP -> The Student’s Union offer a package deal for nights out called Platinum. It includes year long free entry to LSU weekly nights out as well as your Fresher Ball ticket. If you think you’ll visit the Union a lot, it’s worth a purchase.

Room bond

At the start of the term, you will need to pay a room bond fee for your accommodation. This acts as a deposit for damage. You fill out a room audit, making note of the condition of your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. This way, accommodation will know that you are not responsible for causing any pre-existing damages. If at the end of the year everything is in the same condition, you will receive the full room bond back, which will be subsided from your last instalment of your hall fees.

TOP TIP -> Make sure to fill out your room audit as soon as you arrive as you only have a few days to compete it.

Clubs and societies

To join an AU sports club or a society, you will need to pay an initial base fee, plus a fee provided by each organisation. These will vary in price depending on each club or society. Most sports clubs will have basic kit or stash you’ll need to buy in order to represent the team at events or fixtures, such as shorts and socks.

TOP TIP -> Buy the essentials first, such as the standard required kit (your club officers will tell you what you need) before bagging the leisurewear items.

Throughout the year

Hall fees

Your accommodation fees are split into installments termly (there are 3 terms over the year). Student loan payments drop termly as well, which will help cover the costs. You can get a full breakdown of your hall fee costs over the year here.

TOP TIP -> Try not to spend your student loan payments as soon as the money enters your bank account! Open a savings account and put the majority in there, budgeting by transferring over an amount each week to spend.

Halls stash

Every hall has a committee member in charge of stash, which is basically clothing and merchandise. If you want to take part in hall IMS (inter-hall competitive sport), you will need to purchase an IMS T-shirt from your stash rep to play. Over the course of the year, you can also purchase other items from your stash rep to show your support for your hall, from T-shirts, hoodies and hats to mugs, phone cases and cups.

Hall social events

Throughout the year, your hall will throw social events which can sometimes require purchasing a ticket. Examples of include the summer / winter balls and high-table meals that are held by each hall every year. The price of these events will vary from hall to hall.


If you are self-catered, it’s a good idea to gather a group of people to do a combined online shopping order. That way, you don’t have to trek to and from town carrying heavy bags containing your weekly shop. Plus, you can split the cost of the delivery between you all. If you are catered but weekdays only, it’s a good idea to venture out to town on the Friday to go food shopping or visit the Purple Onion shop on campus.

TOP TIP -> Make the most of student discount deals at shops, restaurants and other services! Ask at the till if they offer discounted prices for students, and make sure you have your student card with you wherever you go.

Travel home

Before you know it, it’ll be the Christmas and Easter breaks and you’ll have to venture home. In Loughborough, there are fantastic transport links across the country, including trains and coaches. If you’re an international student, it’s worth checking with your hall what dates you can stay in your accommodation over the break, as some will be closed.

TOP TIP -> With trains and flights, it’s always worth planning ahead and booking your travel home early, as it will be a lot cheaper than buying last minute.

Although this may seem like a lot to take in, if you’re well prepared for what’s coming and budget well, managing your money at uni should come easily.

If you’re worried about your financial situation, see the fees and financial support section of our website: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/students/finance/ug/

Symantec Anti-Virus Client Staff Rollout

September 16, 2019 Charles Last

The Symantec Anti-Virus Client 14.2 RU1 (14.2.3335.1000) will be deployed to staff machines across campus as per the rollout schedule below:

SEP 14 RU1 to IT Services – Wednesday 18/09/2019

SEP 14 RU1 to BU, FM, LB – Wednesday 25/10/2019

SEP 14 RU1 to All Support – Wednesday 02/10/2019

SEP 14 RU1 to Rest of Campus – Wednesday 09/10/2019

This new SEP Client provides support for Windows 10 1903. For more information on the SEP Client 14.2 RU1 please refer to the following link: https://support.symantec.com/us/en/article.info5378.html The installation is silent and does not force a reboot. The live staff task sequence has already been updated with this new SEP version.

Freshers 2019: What do the first few days look like?

September 12, 2019 Bethan Fagan

Arriving on campus

As move-in day approaches, it’s a good idea to make a note of your arrival slot so that you can plan your journey to campus. When you arrive here you’ll be directed to where you can collect your accommodation keys, which you’ll need before you can do anything else. You’ll then be shown to the dedicated parking spaces for your hall, and from here you can unload all of your belongings.

Moving into accommodation

When you arrive at your accommodation there will be lots of friendly fresher helpers to give you a hand moving your belongings. Fresher helpers are students who have volunteered to help you during freshers, so make the most of the extra pairs of hands and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your first few weeks here are likely to be pretty busy, so it’s best to unpack and get settled as soon as possible.

Meeting flatmates

Each hall has a dedicated arrival day, meaning all your flatmates will be moving in on the same day. While unpacking, it’s a good idea to keep your door open – it will make you much more approachable and shows that you’re happy for people to come and have a chat. If you need some advice on meeting your flatmates, have a read of our icebreaker activities for flatmates.

Hall Induction

On your first day here you’ll have an induction with your hall where you’ll be given important information, such as phone numbers of the hall warden and sub-wardens who are there to help you with anything from welfare issues to getting locked out. You’ll also hear about the plan for freshers and meet your hall committee (returning students who help to run your hall).

Academic inductions

Within the first few days here you’ll also have an academic induction where you’ll be given lots of key information about your course. It’s also a great opportunity to meet people on your course before lectures begin. Take a look here to find out the date and time of your induction.

Freshers week

Freshers week is an exciting time filled with lots of events. As well as nights out, there are also plenty of daytime activities to get involved in. The Activities Bazaars are held on the 28th and 29th of September and are where you can find out about everything you can get involved in during your time here, such as societies and sports clubs. Your hall will also organise lots of events throughout freshers such as movie nights and volunteering projects.

Top tips for Evaluation of Technological Teaching tools

September 12, 2019 Matt Hope

The following blog post was written by Samantha Chester following her attendance at the EUNIS 2019 conference in Trondheim. The post aims to give you some food for thought on how to evaluate technology used in your learning and teaching.

  • Surveys! The most talked about evaluation tool at the conference was the trusty survey. I think this is because of how rich the data set can be (if you get enough respondents of course). However, if you design the questions well (some tips here) and keep it short and sweet, you can get both qualitative and quantitative data to measure your impact.
  • Stats: How many people have used the technology? How many have clicked onto the resources or loaned out the technology. Although this doesn’t necessarily tell you how well they used it or how much impact it had on their learning or teaching the stats help build a case of evaluation.
  • Studies: A scientific research study is the strongest tool for measuring the impact of learning technologies, take this study from Loughborough University Mathematics Education Centre around students learning mathematical proofs and found that although the students report they think they’ve learnt more with the e-learning tool, results show they actually did worse…
  • Student feedback: Your institution will have its own mechanisms of collecting feedback routinely from the students for example, within module feedback questionnaires or staff student liaison committees. If you can add a question in around the learning technology into these existing processes it could be an easy way to gather feedback. Although it may not give you a lot of depth to the results it could be good way to get a feel for how the implementation or use of the technology is going.

Registration Week

Registration Week

September 11, 2019 Loughborough University London

23-27 September 2019

The new academic year is fast approaching, which means all of us at Loughborough University London are looking forward to welcoming a new cohort of budding students onto our inspiring postgraduate campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

We know that as much as this fast approaching date can stir up excitement for what’s ahead, we also understand that you may be uncertain about how to ensure your transition into life as a postgraduate student is untroubled and smooth sailing. For this reason, we have put together a timetable that will provide you with all the information you need to know for when you need to be on campus to register in-person for your course!

It’s important to note that new students must complete online registration and in-person registration to enrol with us. If you have confirmed your offer and met all of your conditions, you will receive an email invitation to complete online registration. If you have not yet received this email to the email address you applied with, please email studentenquiries@lboro.ac.uk. We look forward to seeing you soon!

To view more information about registration week, take a look at our website.

A tale of two tails: Cross credit ratings and cash holdings

September 11, 2019 Ondine Barry

Market participants in the money markets are aware that credit rating agencies (CRAs) provide frequently independent credit rating evaluations, i.e., a measure of long-term fundamental credit strength of issuers based on both public and private information, which issuers agree to share with CRAs.

For many years, the information content of CRAs has drawn a lot of attention and examination from a number of entities, such as academics, financial economists, legal and regulatory experts.

A common acceptance of that scrutiny from the existing literature is that CRAs influence capital markets improving their function because the fundamental rationale of CRAs is to capture a corporation’s level of default risk as well as the anticipated repayment in case of default.

In addition, because the rating process examines the fundamental long-term credit strength of issuers, the aim of CRAs is to provide information economies of scale and solve principal-agent problems.

As a result, credit ratings of firms play an important role in the capital market by not only providing the investors with a direct and easy way to assess risk, but also setting up a regulatory certification of classification of securities from investment grade (IG) to high yield (HY) or junk status.

The latter classification will affect the demand for corporate bond by insurance companies, institutions and banks because all of them are subject not only to rating-based restrictions but also to the amount of risky debt that is permitted to hold on their portfolios.

These restrictions not only guarantee the proper functioning of the financial system, but also they are a useful tool for measuring and limiting risk-taking activities. More importantly, credit rating downgrades may trigger bond defaults or forced bond re-purchases.

Finally, the change of credit rating levels may affect the relationship between customers and employees and a company’s operation capabilities, such as maintaining a long-term contract. Given that, a change toward any direction to the existing credit ratings from at least one CRA may significantly affect the cash holding behavior of the company into consideration by altering respectively its existing access to the external source of financing and the cost of borrowing.

Surprisingly, even though credit rating is a highly concentrated industry with the “big three” credit rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch) controling about 95% of the rating business, it is very remarkably the fact that in literature in most cases only the ratings of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) are considered when the relationship between credit ratings and firm value, stockholders’ and investor’s reactions, as well as capital structure decisions, are examined.

This approach might lead to misleading results since most of the firms always solicit and pay for multiple ratings due to the “information production”, the “rating shopping” and the “regulatory certification hypotheses” as has been proposed in the literature.

Although there are some similarities among the “big three” CRAs since their ratings employ a through-the-cycle perspective, and they also exhibit a discretion in their rating philosophy without reporting their rating methodology to the public, they rate the creditworthiness of an issue or issuer differently, relying on different kinds of information and disclosing different signals to the market.

For example, S&P’s and Fitch’s ratings measure the probability of whether a security will default or not, while Moody’s ratings seek to measure the expected losses in the event of a default, reflecting dispersion in the expected loss.

This study, taken as given the important existence of multiple credit rating agencies, aims to cover this gap in the literature by exploring the impact of cross credit rating changes (upgrades or downgrades) on corporate cash holdings, considering at the same time the “big three” credit rating agencies.

It is essential to study the influence of cross credit rating changes on cash holding behavior of firms because cash reserves is an important source of finance and the guarantee of a firm’s normal operation and development.

In addition, our research extends the literature that examines the peculiarities and the need of a viable rating industry in the US market by improving the understanding of how the solicit of multiple credit ratings affects the level of cash holdings.

Using a sample of 409 listed firms from the S&P500 for the period 1951-2017 our key findings show that:

i) Credit ratings affect cash holdings, as we find consistent and statistical significant evidence of cash hoarding following cross credit rating downgrades when Moody’s is considered.

ii) There is an asymmetric effect of upgrades and downgrades to the level of cash holdings.

iii) Crucially, the asymmetric effect of credit rating changes is sensitive to how many and which CRAs change their ratings, affecting managers’ risk aversion behavior and precautionary motives.

iv) The effect of cross credit rating changes is more prominent in firms under high financial pressure, indicating the important role of financial flexibility and access to capital markets.

The importance of the above findings is even more pronounced if we consider the findings of the recent literature that illustrate the limited additional information provided by Fitch ratings relative to the other two CRAs (Moody’s and S&P) since Fitch systematically gives better ratings helping in the satisfaction of the financial regulatory requirements.

The findings of our study provide a strong recommendation towards the introduction of additional diversified credit ratings that measure firms’ creditworthiness differently from the existing CRAs.

For example, instead of measuring the probability of default or losses in case of default, a new CRA could measure potential contamination or domino effects to the remaining firms in the sector/industry in the case of default or even spill-over effects to the overall economy and society in case of default.

The introduction of such CRAs will improve the quality of credit information and also increase the diversification benefits from cross credit ratings.

This Blog post was written by Dr Panagiotis Asimakopoulos, Lecturer in Finance and member of the Accounting and Finance discipline group. He can be reached on p.asimakopoulos@lboro.ac.uk

This post is extracted from a working paper entitled “A tale of two tails: Cross credit ratings and cash holdings”. The full version of the paper can be reached on https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3291498. The paper is co-authored by Dr Stylianos Asimakopoulos.

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence

September 10, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday 13th September, from 8:00am to 9:00pm, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated. The following changes are being made:

  • Using single driver package for a variety of Stone desktops
  • Add support for NUC8i5BEH
  • Update DisplayLink USB Driver to 9.2 MO

The Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

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

Freshers 2019: Guide to Student Services

Freshers 2019: Guide to Student Services

September 6, 2019 Bethan Fagan

Our Student Services department at Loughborough University offers a huge range of support services to ensure that all students receive the care and advice they need during their studies. You’ll find Student Services located in the Bridgeman Building on campus.

Please note, this list is not exhaustive – for any other specific needs that are not be listed here, get in touch with the team.

Health and Wellbeing

Counselling service

Available to all students, the counselling service offers the opportunity to talk with a professional counsellor outside of your immediate situation. Typically, you will have an initial consultation which is between 30-50 minutes to discuss your situation and help gain a clear understanding. Your counsellor may then suggest a short course of follow-up sessions.

Disability support

The Disability Support team help students with long-term disabilities, which may impact on their studies. These can range from physical disabilities to learning difficulties. The team work with students with disabilities to develop practical support and strategies to enable them to deal with obstacles they may encounter during their time at university.

Mental health support

The Mental Health Support team works with students experiencing mental health difficulties that are disrupting their ability to study. The team also work in partnership with wider mental health establishments within Leicestershire such as the Leicestershire Partnership Trust.


Mitigating circumstances

Students Services can help students formulate a mitigating circumstance claim if they have experienced genuine, exceptional and serious problems or events that could have affected performance in examinations or assessments. A mitigating circumstances claim will be analysed by a board to discuss whether the student is given the opportunity to re-sit or have marks adjusted where appropriate.

Specialist study support

One-to-one specialist study support is available to aid students with specific learning differences which include dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Specialist tutors help students with a huge range of skills including spelling, time management, memory, proof-reading and grammar.


Careers Advice

The Careers Network team is dedicated to giving advice and help to students to develop their skills and future career prospects. A range of appointments and services are offered, from drop-in sessions, quick advice (20 mins) and full career consultations (30 mins). You can book appointments through their programme called Careers Online.

Placement support

The Careers Online service is particularly useful for students looking for placements after their second year. It offers a wide range of placement opportunities that employers have advertised within the service.

Help with applications and interviews

The Careers Network team also prepare mock interviews on request which typically last 30-60 minutes. This is a great tool to practice your interview technique and can help build confidence.


Financial support and advice

Student Service advisers can speak to you if you are having financial difficulties and offer guidance. They can teach you how to live with a budget, manage your finances, and if eligible, point you towards any bursaries or scholarships.

Whatever you could be struggling with whilst at university, Student Services can support you in every possible way.

Contact details:
01509 222765

Freshers Survival: by freshers, for freshers

September 5, 2019 Liam

Ask anyone, Freshers is a highlight in most people’s university experience, but it can also be very draining and looking after your wellbeing and mental health is so important during this time. Continue reading

To bring or not to bring, that is the question – my university essentials list

September 5, 2019 Liam

Follow my tips on what to bring and what not to bring for your first year at Loughborough University. Continue reading

Once a #LboroFamily, Always a #LboroFamily

September 5, 2019 Liam

Heartfelt congratulations to the 2019 cohort (Yayyy!). We are as excited to welcome you into our family as you are to come here!

Writing this blog seems strange as this completes the one year of my being in Loughborough, and I honestly am jealous of most students who are about to begin this wonderful journey – and, also for receiving a personalised golden ticket (wish I got one for my Masters!).

Nonetheless, your university days are something that you must live to the fullest. But, before that, there are a few terms of campus lingo you must be acquainted with:

The essentials

One of the most important things as a student you need to know is your B number or the Student ID Number. This is a number you will have to mention almost everywhere – be it taking a membership at the gym or society, purchasing print credits, etc. If you’ve already received your number then make a note of it.

Secondly, download the myLboro App – especially once you’re in the University. You can access LEARN, your timetables and check into your lectures through the app. Whilst some of you might be aware of the humungous campus, for others the app is actually the best way to discover the campus virtually (through maps, key dates and LSU section, and so on). If you are not sure of how the app works, you could drop by at any one of the IT stalls around the campus during the Freshers’ week or even visit the PC Clinic at Pilks (Pilkington Library). They can also help you set up your internet or any other tech-troubles you may be having.

This resourceful library is also recognised for the academic support they provide to students. And, Charlie the adorable Library Cat.

Charlie the library cat

And, if you’re seeking any personal, professional or additional support, you should get in touch with SASS (Student Advice and Support Service). They will guide you and help you throughout your time here and continue to do so later in life (the Careers Network provides lifelong services that are open even for graduates, plus they organise big careers fairs).

Student Experience

It’s a known fact that Loughborough is the best for student experience – and this is ensured by the LSU, Loughborough Students Union.

Run by elected Executive Officers (EO), LSU has several sections within itself like Action, Societies, Welfare and Diversity, etc. The LSU building hosts various activities throughout the week. Moreover, its three rooms (Room 1, Fusion and Cogs) are converted drastically for the night-outs – FND, Hey Ewe and Stuesdays (Stupid Tuesdays), with Papa Si (food stall on campus) to your rescue with pizzas and fries.

The LSU building comprises the Union Shop (another grocery store, the Purple Onion can be found in Student Village), which is where you get the fantastic Loughborough stash.

All things sport

There are two surprising things you will notice in Loughborough – one, that flipflops and shorts are worn all year round, and there are a range of activities you can engage in.

Sporty or not, Loughborough offers you enough opportunities to explore the various activities through the 53 sports clubs at AU (Athletic Union) or the My Lifestyle programme (which falls under the CVA – Coach and Volunteer Academy Scheme). This is such an incredible initiative, which allowed me to try new some of the most unfathomable and enjoyable activities (playing the sport, to volunteering in games, and conducting workshops on Sport Psychology).

Here, there are a few terms that you should know –

  • The 2 gyms are Holywell and Powerbase
  • The state of the art facilities in Loughborough can be found almost everywhere, especially at HiPAC (High Athletic Performance Centre), NCSEM (National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine) and EAC (Elite Athletic Centre)
  • SDW or Sir David Wallace Hall hosts some of the biggest events including graduation and sports matches like Lightning Netball games.
  • The purple sport cages are open for all, whereas the green ones need to be booked


If you’re staying in the University accommodation, whether on-campus in Falk-Egg, JP and others, or off-campus in FC, BillMo, etc; to commute across campus or into town, you can hop onto a Campus Shuttle (bus within Campus) or Sprint (Bus to town/train station), which is a saviour when you’re late for lectures or a train!

And, finally for those staying in halls or affiliated to ones there will always be some social going on (especially during the freshers’ week) at the common areas like Hub or Granby, or you could attend the ones at LSU.

While, this blog is just to familiarise you with the Loughborough Lingo, let me conclude saying this is the beginning with few important ones – you’ll learn a lot more (and hopefully create some) with your time here. Lastly, for any additional information prior to moving into Loughborough, have a look at the Freshers checklist.

Loughborough Uni Myth-busting: Refreshing realities.

September 5, 2019 Liam

As Fresher’s week is fast approaching, I’ve taken on the job of informing you, our new cohort of freshers, of the truth behind many myths about University life!

‘During freshers’ week, you have to drink loads and go to every event!’

At the beginning of freshers’ week, of course, at any University many people do drink. However, there is no pressure to drink in order to make friends. Everyone is very social and willing to meet new people at any point during freshers’ week! Whether you drink or not, have fun and meet as many people as you can! (Photo 1)

Fresher Helpers on sober duty, making sure new students are safe & happy

Although nights out are arranged for you within the first two weeks of freshers’ week, you are welcome to have quiet nights in if that’s not your thing. I can assure you that your hall committee organising freshers’ week will ensure that there are non-alcoholic drinks available as well as making everyone as comfortable as possible with no pressure at all to do anything! You attend as many or as little as you are comfortable with. You’ll have fresher helpers and committee around with you 24/7 for the first two weeks!

There are also events organised in the daytime every week, such as RAG colour dashes, or the Sports and Societies Bazaars. As well as sober nights arranged in every hall. Personally, the majority of my friendships were created within my halls as we were together having fun all the time- drinking together or not! Logically, you do meet more people the more events you attend. Remember that Loughborough has the Best Student Experience in the country (Times Higher Education), so you’ll probably have a wonderful time whatever you choose to do.

The advice I would give is to not compare your first few weeks of uni with your home friends. Just because they’ve made 10 best friends on the first day doesn’t mean they won’t irritate each other within a week. Likewise, struggling to make friends on the first day doesn’t mean you’ll have no friends for the duration of uni. Try to go into the experience with an open mind. Everyone’s experiences are so different and the accumulation of all these different stories are what makes university so great!

‘A degree is so much harder than A-level!’

Many people think that since university is the next level of education, it must be a big step up, similar to the leap from GCSE to A-level. However, hopefully, you are now focussing on the subject you love most, which you may want to go into for life. Therefore, being passionate about a subject tends to make it seem less hard and more enjoyable. I don’t know about you, but I found A-levels really traumatic, so for me, anything that wasn’t A-levels was going to be less stressful.

The main difference from A-level to your degree is the amount of independence. If you don’t do the reading, you only have yourself to blame. However, your grade will show this. Independent learning is different for everyone and it took me a while to get into the groove. You won’t be spoon-fed to do your homework or put your hand up, but you definitely get a lot more enjoyment from the learning if you do. Despite this independence, there is a lot of support and it’s very easy to talk to your personal tutor, peer mentor (a second or third year allocated to you in first year to have someone that’s been through it before), course mates or seminar leader.

‘You need to buy every coursebook!’

This is not true and please don’t do this! Many textbooks are incredibly expensive and if you’re on a course such as English like me which is very book based, you could need to read up to 12 books per module! (photo 4) At Loughborough, Pilkington Library will be your go-to for books. You can borrow most textbooks or books on your course, and visit Charlie, our library cat while you’re there. You can also buy the books from students who are in the years above you. Not to mention there are often online resources on our online forum, Learn. This is also a lot greener than buying new!

The day I checked out 16 books 🙃

‘First-year doesn’t count!’

Have fun by all means, but you must get at least 40% to pass. Also, if you want to do a placement year, employers will consider your first-year grades as predictive of your second- and third-year results since they reflect your hard work. First-year is the foundation for your degree throughout your course which definitely does count! Good habits are made early so getting your work in on time and to a good quality to which you can be proud of sets the tone for the rest of your degree. It also allows you to see how much room there is to get great marks as well as enjoying extracurricular activities! First-year acts as a baseline level of knowledge for the rest of your degree as the modules will get referred to throughout your course.

‘I’ve been to one lecture and I hate my course! University isn’t for me!’

You need to give yourself time to settle into a routine. There are roughly 50,000 courses in the UK, from the Romance language to Leather studies. You will find your fit. Besides that, don’t let your first week of uni reflect the rest of your time. My first week was spent with some people I never spoke to again! My second year was spent with people I’d met that year. Uni is what you make it!

Friends from second year

Be fair to yourself, you’re probably dealing with lots of changes in your life! Sometimes it takes a while time to get into the groove, meet the right people and come around to the university style of learning.

‘You must get a self-catered en-suite! There’s no other way to live!’

Another myth about uni life! As someone who spent their first year of university with a roommate, I can tell you this is not true. The shared bathroom accommodations are cleaned every day which means less effort on your part as well as greater hygiene! Additionally, catered halls can be a lot more cost-efficient as well, offering a diverse dietary range that really is less stressful than cooking for yourself every day. It can also be more social when you’re sitting next to people in your hall every day.

My room in first-year

If you really are in a sticky situation with your accommodation, remember that it’s for less than a year, and next year you can choose a house, rent a flat alone, return to halls- the choice is yours! If you really are struggling, you can get on a reserve list. I was on one when I started since I wasn’t sure about having a roommate. But I made friends so quickly that I removed myself from it, despite the room not being what I had originally envisioned. Your expectations of your uni life shouldn’t ruin reality. To be honest, it’s the people that make your university experience. I lived with my flatmates second-year and we’re still the best of friends. You’ll quickly forget about your dream of an en-suite deluxe room in favour of the funny memories that the shared bathroom or catered hall or roommates created for you! (Photos 8+9)

Last day of second-year

‘Go home to get your mum to do your laundry’

If you want to go and see your family, don’t bring your washing! Do it yourself in the launderettes on campus. Anyway, travelling is very affordable from Loughborough, especially with a 16-25 railcard, a train to London is roughly £15 if booked in advance. Megabus will also become your best friend, you can sometimes go to London for £3!

‘Loughborough is in the middle of nowhere!’

Speaking of travel, the myth that Loughborough is a boring town couldn’t be more wrong! We are in between Nottingham and Leicester. There’s always plenty going on at the Students’ Union. We are just over an hour from London. We are an hour from Birmingham. We have a vibrant community in Loughborough, on and off-campus!

‘Uni’s too expensive!’

Going to university can be expensive, with going out, accommodation, and most probably learning how to budget for the first time. Financing university can be difficult, and many people struggle with it but there is always help available through Student Services. Most universities including Loughborough offer bursaries for many situations.

If you are worried about loans in general, your tuition fee and maintenance loan repayment comes out of your payroll once you start earning over £21k. There’s more about this on the Student Finance website.

Budgeting at uni is key to managing financial worries. Most people don’t receive a huge loan they can live off of and many don’t receive parental help. There are many cost-efficient things you can do such as cooking with your housemates and making a big one pot meal. Here are some recipes our student bloggers made for under £5!

Don’t go straight into your overdraft because this is the first time you’ve had a large amount of money in your account. Try to save it for necessities but also allow yourself to have a little fun.

If you need a job once you get to uni, many larger companies could offer you a job in a local branch if they have one in Loughborough as well as at home, which could be ideal. Plus, there are many jobs available in Loughborough since we have such a vibrant town! Not to mention you could get a job on campus, for example in a shop, as a student ambassador or even as a blogger (hint hint ;)). (Photo 12)

These jobs look great on your CV, show you can balance studying and working, and you can even embellish this with volunteering opportunities. Once you get your foot in the door, so many more opportunities come your way!

‘Loughborough is for sporty people!’

Although Loughborough University is the first in the world for sports-related subjects and thus known for its sports programs and courses, there is much more to Loughborough life than this. If you like sport but don’t think you’re that good, then you can try out at different levels to see where you place! Loughborough has different systems for recreational sports, club sports, hall sports and performance sports, so anyone is welcome.

I can hand on heart say I don’t really like sports. I have felt no pressure to get involved, but if I wanted to, the opportunities were there, like UV badminton and other fun events. There are also free recreational events on at all times through My Lifestyle.

If sports really aren’t your thing, then societies may be! Finding like-minded people who also love Stage or Hot Air ballooning will be your happy place. We also have volunteering opportunities through Rag and Action, as well as Media and Enterprise to get involved in! You can easily find your home away from home no matter where it may be.

The Societies Bazaar

‘You’ll get freshers’ flu!!’

This one is most probably true. Although my flatmate and I still attended all the events, even with fractured ribs from coughing so hard 🙂 The Uni has a blog post about surviving the dreaded freshers’ flu. Look after yourselves freshers!

To conclude, everyone will be in the same boat as you, nervous and keen to impress, so just be yourself and enjoy your experience as best you can. You’ll miss the adrenaline and excitement for years afterwards! Uni might be your first major step leaving the family home and becoming a fully-fledged adult in the outside world, it’s a place where you develop your own ideas and selfhood, whatever that means for you- throw yourself into each opportunity. Uni embraces all people, from all cultures and backgrounds- every voice counts here.

That’s it from me! Good luck freshers, these are the best years of your lives! See you in our lovely Loughborough soon!

Caroline x

Guide to Loughborough Town

Guide to Loughborough Town

September 4, 2019 Bethan Fagan

Moving to a new town away from home for the first time can seem daunting. To help make you feel more at ease, recent graduate Ella has created an ultimate guide to Loughborough town to ensure that you arrive with insider knowledge to help you settle in.

Food shopping

The trusty Purple Onion located on campus can sort you out for quick meals and yummy snacks. But, for those bigger food trips it’s a good idea to walk, cycle, or get the bus into town

  • Sainsbury’s is one of the closest supermarkets to campus, located on Ashby Road. It’s about a 15 minute walk and a 5 minute bike ride from the Union.
  • At the other side of town there’s a shopping centre called ‘The Rushes’ which contains various supermarkets including Tesco and M&S Food.
  • Brand new to Loughborough this year is Lidl, which is situated on Station Street, right in the heart of the student triangle in town.

If you feel like you need to give your room a bit of tender loving care, there are several homeware shops in town…

  • Located in ‘Regent Place’ retail park, just off Ashby Road, Dunelm has a huge variety of home furnishings available to buy.
  • In the heart of town you’ll find lots of shops, such as Primark, with lots of home comforts like cushions, air fresheners and photo frames.
  • Wilkos, also based in town, is ideal for fundamentals that you may have forgotten such as hangers and doorstops.

Places to eat

There are plenty of places in town to eat at with your mates at the weekend. Here’s some of our student’s favourites…

  • Fernandez – grill restaurant which has a great selection of burgers, steaks and homemade sauces. They often do affordable lunch deals too.
  • Plan Burrito – hands down the best burritos in town! Plan Burrito is a small chain of two restaurants, exclusive to Loughborough. The closest to campus is down Ashby Road as you walk to town, just before you reach Sainsbury’s. Either eat in or takeaway.
  • Fenway’s – a trendy new addition to Loughborough is Fenway’s bar and smokehouse. The offer a huge selection of burgers, ribs, platters and steaks.
  • Peter’s Pizzeria – exclusive to Leicester and Loughborough, Peter’s Pizzeria is a small yet high quality pizza place. Eat in their restaurant or order a takeaway.
  • Bella Italia – A classic Italian chain, Bella Italia offer a delicious selection of pizzas, pasta and salads. Don’t forget: money off food with student discount… what’s not to love?

If your family or carers are coming up to uni to see you, it’s always a great idea to go for a meal out. Here are our top suggestions for great places to eat with your family…

  • The Basin – A swanky restaurant and cocktail bar situated in the heart of Loughborough, the Basin offers a delicious range of Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine. If you’re a sushi fan, look no further as they offer a spectacular variety.
  • Goodliffe’s – This trendy bistro offers a huge selection of foods and are well known for their sharing platters. Goodliffe’s is slightly hidden in a snug location, off Church Gate.
  • The Priory – You’ll need to drive to The Priory, which is a lovely gastropub close to the M1. We hear they do cracking Sunday roasts.
  • Centro Lounge – A relaxed family friendly restaurant in town, Centro Lounge is perfect if you have younger siblings.

Getting around

You can mostly get to key places in Loughborough by foot or on bike. But for those journeys that stretch a little too far, here’s the best transport options available…

  • The campus shuttle also has a route through town to the train station. There are several stops around campus with different timings so be sure to check out the full timetable on your MyLboro app before planning a journey.
  • It’s easy to get to the train station by Kinch bus from campus. Leicester is only a 10 minute train journey away, Nottingham 20 minutes and Birmingham approx. 1 hour. Loughborough has a direct line to London St Pancras which, depending on the train, is 1-1 ½ hours away.

Fun stuff!

During your spare time, there are plenty of activities to be getting on with in town…

  • Loughborough’s trampoline park Jump Giants is just outside of town but is well worth a visit for a fun-filled outing.
  • There are two cinemas’ in town: ODEON and Cineworld. Be sure to check out the latest blockbusters with your mates. There is also the student cinema, FLIX, ran by students for students which is based at Loughborough College across the road from campus.
  • Action is the volunteering section at the Students Union. They offer a range of fun projects from dog walking, working with alpaca’s and looking after horses. Action is the best way to have fun whilst also giving back to the community you live in.
  • Battle it out with your mates at the local laser quest to see who the ultimate real-life gaming champion is.
  • Loughborough also has a well-equipped indoor climbing centre which is ideal for blowing off steam during stressful exam periods.

We hope this guide has given you an informative introduction to your new home! Loughborough has a lot to offer and is a very student friendly town. We’re sure you’ll settle right in.

Writing Bootcamp held to help researchers with their doctoral prose

September 4, 2019 Peter Warzynski

This summer saw the first-ever 5-day ‘Writing Bootcamp’ for PhD Researchers at Loughborough University. The event was organised and headed up by four doctoral researchers – the team behind the award-winning Loughborough Writing Gym: Kristina Gavran, Katie Woodhouse and Emma Bates from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Vani Naik from the Business School.

Based on their own experiences of how tough, and often solitary, the writing process can be, the Bootcamp team set out to create a supportive, motivating space for fellow PGRs to focus on writing. This student-led-initiative offered an intensive, free writing retreat for PhD students trying to reach their writing goals – funded by the Doctoral College and School of Arts English and Drama. Tickets for this event were in such demand, that they sold out in the first day of them being advertised!

Each day was divided into six 45-minute writing sessions, with time set aside for goals setting and goal review.  Participants were encouraged to discuss these goals with those around them, and share ‘tips and tricks’ for academic writing.

The event itself, the first of its kind at Loughborough University, was highly successful and received wide-spread glowing reviews from its participants. Many found that the social environment of Writing Bootcamp increased their productivity, whilst an additional benefit of was that many felt more part of a research community at Loughborough as a result of attending the Bootcamp. As one respondent wrote, it was a ‘fantastic opportunity to be co-located with researchers from other departments. Normally, we interact with each other in the two-hour workshops from the Doctoral College, but we were a team for a whole week and it was a pleasure to meet new people’. Elsewhere, others noted that ‘it felt like a big community and we were all helping each other’.

Participants said that one of the most useful outcomes of the week – other than increase productivity – was learning the importance of appropriate goal setting. Many found that the Bootcamp helped them ‘to think about the goals all the time’, all whilst alternating between structured ‘chatty coffee breaks and the quiet time during writing’.

Following the success of the Summer Loughborough Writing Bootcamp, the organisers are now in discussion about organising a Winter Writing Bootcamp later this year.

In the meantime, the organisers wanted to offer these words of support and encouragement to doctoral researchers approaching the often daunting task of writing:

‘It was a pleasure to get to know more people from our wonderful PGR community and we are incredibly grateful for the support of the Doctoral College to enable us to run the Bootcamp. Due to the wealth of wonderful feedback that we received from our members, we are hoping to continue running more Writing Bootcamps in the future. In the meantime, we offer these words of comfort!

  • Remember, writing is like exercise – you have to train your brain! – Now, perhaps you have heard this saying before, but during the week of the Bootcamp, we really put it to the test. At the end of our first day, a lot of us found it challenging to write in concentrated periods over the whole day, but by the end of the week, we seemed to be able to maintain our focus for longer periods and to manage our tasks according to how we were feeling. So stick at it!
  • Get to know yourself – Whilst it is possible to train yourself into writing in a certain way and at a certain time, it is also important to be in tune with your own working style. Asking yourself questions such as ‘When do you work best?’ and ‘What motivates you to work?’ can help you work more efficiently. If you know you tend to struggle in the afternoon, plan something in to help you wake up your brain, or choose a task that requires less concentration.
  • Manage your goals – this is an extremely important one, and something that we talked about a lot during the Bootcamp. Learning to set manageable, achievable goals is key to getting the balance between motivating yourself and being able to achieve a sense of accomplishment. It is a lot easier said than done, however, and setting goals can actually take a lot of practice! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to adapt them as time goes on.
  • Socialising is really important! – Doing a PhD can be a pretty solitary process sometimes and having a support network around you is really important. It also makes the process much more enjoyable, and being able to share your experiences of your research and writing with others and sharing tips can be invaluable. This is something we do at the Writing Gym every Monday, so do join us!

We hope to see you soon at the Writing Gym, or the Winter Bootcamp!

Vani Naik, Kristina Gavran, Katie Woodhouse and Emma Bates.

There are Regular Writing Gym sessions every Monday from 10am-12pm (excluding Bank Holidays). Bring along your laptop, a goal in mind and be ready to get your week off to a positive and productive start!

We have 2 x 45-minute writing sessions and a 15-minute break in-between where we chat and drink tea/coffee (supplied for free!). We are based in the Graduate House Training Room over summer, but we will find a new regular spot when the start of the new term commences.

Follow us on Twitter (@WritingGymLboro) or like our page on Facebook for more information about our events!

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (August 2019)

September 2, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

This blog post is part of a series of monthly posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell). Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter.

It’s less than a month until the undergraduates return to campus. Enjoy the quiet while it lasts!

August was a busy month for both of us academically, but we still made a solid effort to fulfil our representation roles. Here’s a recap:

LSU ‘Know Our Students’ Meeting

On 6th August, we were invited to contribute to an LSU ‘Know Our Students’ seminar for the newly-elected student representatives for the LSU. With the LSU Postgraduate Executive Officer, Kamal, as well as members of LSU and Doctoral College staff, we helped these Union reps understand what being a postgraduate at Loughborough is all about. The Union has some commendable plans for better engaging the postgrad population starting from next month. Let’s all see how well they do, and keep working with them to ensure ever-improving student experiences.

‘Know Your Rights’ Meeting

On 14th August, we met with Kamal, LSU staff, and other members of the doctoral community to inform the creation of an LSU ‘Know Your Rights’ resource for DRs. This is still extremely early days for this resource. We discussed what information should be included, and what form the resource should take. Hopefully this resource will serve as a signpost for future DRs who are looking for support, in any form. We’ll keep you posted.

‘Life Beyond the PhD’ Conference

From 27th to 31st August, Leah represented Loughborough at Cumberland Lodge’s annual ‘Life Beyond the PhD’ conference. This conference brings together PhD students from across the country to explore topics relevant to DRs. Cumberland Lodge is an educational charity based within the amazing Windsor Great Park. Through interdisciplinary dialogue and debate, this conference – and all of the incredible PhD students at it – repeatedly blew Leah’s mind.

The Doctoral College occasionally advertises Cumberland Lodge events and scholarships in its biweekly newsletter. Take advantage of these opportunities!

The image accompanying this post is one that Leah took of Windsor Great Park.

A few additional notes:

After more than 30 years of service, Brigette Vale from the Academic Registry in the Doctoral College retired. The Doctoral College believes that Brigette has supported nearly 9,000 Loughborough DRs through their programmes, and this work has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Leah had the privilege of offering thanks to Brigette from past and current DRs at Brigette’s retirement party.

In May, our DR Reps met with VC Bob to discuss issues that DRs face across campus. We sent a formalised action plan to VC Bob this month. More details to come!

And that’s that. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll see you for our final blog post of this academic month at the end of September.

To keep up-to-date with our activity, join the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. If you’re a London student, join the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London 2018-2019’ Facebook group.

Leah and Hugh.

Freshers 2019: What to pack?

Freshers 2019: What to pack?

August 30, 2019 Bethan Fagan

Packing for university can feel like an overwhelming task. To make things a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of everything you might need. Please note, this list is simply a guide to things you might need, and many items could be bought after arrival.


Making your bedroom feel more like home with a few personal touches is a great way to settle in, but don’t forget to leave some space for the new memories.

  • Duvet, sheets and mattress protector
  • Pillows (if you’re in Unite or Student Beehive halls)
  • Home comforts and photographs
  • Coat hangers
  • Door stop
  • Laundry basket and clothes airer
  • Headphones
  • Extension lead
  • Chargers
  • Hair dryer / straighteners


It’s worth buying distinctive cutlery and crockery to avoid it getting mixed up with others. What you’ll need to pack will vary depending on whether you’re in catered or non-catered halls.


  • Bowls, plates and cutlery
  • Mugs and glasses
  • Scissors
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Tea towel
  • Reusable water bottle

Catered (including the items above)

  • Pots, saucepan and frying pan
  • Oven tray
  • Colander
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Wooden spoon and spatula
  • Grater and peeler
  • Measuring jug
  • Tupperware
  • Oven glove


It can be tempting to pack everything you own, but try to use this as an opportunity to start fresh and think about which clothes you really wear. You’ll likely visit home over the course of the year too, so save wardrobe space by choosing seasonal clothing.

  • Day to day clothes i.e for lectures
  • Smart clothes i.e formal events
  • Underwear
  • Sportswear (leave some space for new stash!)
  • Shoes / footwear
  • Fancy dress
  • Rain coat
  • Pyjamas / comfy clothes
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers / flip flops


Pro-tip: buy most of your toiletries on arrival, you’ll need the extra space in your luggage / car!

  • Shower caddy
  • Hand towel
  • Large bath towels
  • Wash bag
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Hand soap
  • Deoderant
  • Spare toilet paper


We recommend waiting until you know which modules you’ll be taking, and what kind of studying you’ll be doing, before buying everything. Grab the essentials, but don’t go overboard – you may not use all of it if you do.

  • Notepad
  • Folder
  • Diary / planner
  • Pens and pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Paper clips
  • Post-it notes
  • Hole punch
  • Hard drive and USB sticks
  • Laptop


  • Medication
  • Bike and bike lock
  • Playing cards
  • Washing powder
  • Passport and other ID
  • National insurance

Building engaging online communities

August 20, 2019 Ondine Barry

Dr Sahar Mousavi’s academic research on online communities has recently been the focus of a blog post she co-authored for HSO.com about the importance of considering both active and non-interactive members in managing successful engagement communities.

“Online communities are becoming more commonplace,” Dr Mousavi explains, “and understanding how different members behave and prefer to interact is a key to ensuring an inclusive and effective community.”

Read the full blog post here.

Dr Sahar Mousavi is Lecturer in Marketing and a member of the Marketing and Retailing discipline group and Associate Director (Engagement) at the Centre for Service Management. She can be reached on s.mousavi@lboro.ac.uk.

I have a trade deal in my pocket, and I'm prepared to use it!

August 13, 2019 Huw Edwards

An opinion piece by Dr T. Huw Edwards

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, has just waded into the Brexit debate, promising a trade deal with the UK is very close. This move is clearly intended to influence the debate in the UK against a close relationship with Brussels.

But, if we were indeed to make a ‘no deal’ minimum WTO terms break from the EU this autumn, would Pompeo really have a deal on offer? Would it be a deal worth accepting? More importantly, is this actually a clincher in the arguments over whether the UK should continue to tango with the EU?

Former US Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, had a very clear statement on this argument. As one of the World’s leading policy economists, Summers deserves to be taken very seriously, and indeed his analysis is flawless… up to a point.

Mr Summers’ analysis: First, a UK on its own, outside the EU, would be in a weak bargaining position vis-à-vis the USA. We shall come back to this later. But in addition, Summers argues that the USA itself should not be prioritising a deal with Brexit Britain: a wider deal with the EU (and one with Asian countries…) would offer more potential benefits to the US economy.

In this, Summers speaks for mainstream economists (such as myself), but we need to bear in mind that he is a former Democrat Treasury Secretary – his economic thinking is in line with President Obama, when he said ‘back of the queue’, but emphatically not Donald Trump.

In part, this difference of line represents a different view of trade between the Democrats (and indeed moderate Republicans) and the Trump administration. To someone like Summers, trade agreements provide benefits of integration and specialisation, provided they are carried out across a broad range of countries.

A deal between the USA and European Union is, in many ways, the pot of gold awaiting trade reformers: two large (roughly equal sized) advanced market economies, who could provide a big boost to the global economy if they could remove barriers to trade on new products and innovations.

By contrast, a deal with the United Kingdom would be small beer: a UK split from the EU would be a small economy to work with, and the imposition of trade barriers between the UK and Europe would in fact create problems for a free trade deal with the USA, as pesky rules of origin would mean many tariff-free products could not be integrated into wider supply chains.

By contrast, the Trump administration takes a more-or-less zero sum view of trade agreements: less win-win, more win-lose. Hence the division of the gains from an agreement is seen as more important than the scale of total gain (and doubtless they hold a less sanguine view on the economic promise of trade, full stop).

Hence, Summers is correct to warn that the UK should beware a deal with Trump, but sadly not correct in assuming that Trump will follow mainstream advice (as did former US administrations) in the prioritisation of such deals.

Of course, Mike Pompeo would never say this. He would definitely not wish us to consider that the deal he is offering is anything other than a wonderful deal for the UK, and a present to our people for entering into Brexit. After all, marketing is a strong point of the Trump administration.

Now let us turn to the extraordinary aspect of the proposed US-UK trade deal: the swiftness with which both sides seem to be expecting this to happen. Consider that trade negotiations take many years – reference is often made to an average of seven years, although this can vary.

The Peterson Institute argues that 20 US trade deals have taken an average of 5 years to reach implementation. The EU-South Korean Free Trade Agreement was relatively quick, being negotiated 2007-2009, provisionally applied from 2011 and finally came properly into force in 2015. This was actually fast work on the part of EU negotiators, who started slightly after US negotiators, but got the deal through sooner.

The other trade agreement, with which I was involved in an initial economic assessment, was the Ukrainian Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU, where the initial work was done in 2006-7, but was not signed until 2014, and did not come into force until 2016. The CETA agreement with Canada, which has been provisionally applied from 2017, followed from initial studies in 2008.

It is, of course, possible to sign a trade agreement much faster than this, if the agreement contains relatively little that is controversial (for example just a lowering of tariffs).

However, in today’s world, tariffs are rarely the most important impediment to trade anyway, and reform of non-tariff barriers is more important: particularly when it is accepted that these involve issues of regulation, standards, property rights, movement of labour, capital, information and the like. Quite often these negotiations strike at deep areas of difference between national cultures and preferences: hence the many stumbling blocks.

So why might a deal be struck quickly? Here, Summers has one important part of the answer: Britain might sign on the line out of desperation. In that position, we might well concede a long list of things that would not otherwise be conceded. We shall come to what these might be later in this piece. 

However, first, we should ask a related question: How could a deal come to be drawn up quickly? – at least one that goes far beyond simple tariff lowering?

There are a number of points here. First, prior to President Trump, the USA and EU were engaged in very ambitious negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Most economists agree this would have offered very large benefits to both economies (of a different order of magnitude to just a UK-US deal), but there was a long list of complexities and stumbling blocks, notably over agricultural standards (the chlorinated chicken and genetically modified foods debates), as well as over US demands for access for their firms to state-run healthcare systems.

Above all, the most contentious point – well worth considering given the Brexiters’ campaign about sovereignty and ‘taking back control’ – was the question of how a deal would be enforced: hence contentious arguments about Investor State Dispute Settlement (arbitration courts with the power to force governments to compensate firms who are affected by any laws deemed to breach the agreement).

So the US and EU sides had their wish lists on TTIP, and the differences had not been fully closed when Trump came to office.

Signing a UK-US trade deal might be a bit simpler than the TTIP. The Peterson Institute points out that deals with single countries are usually a bit quicker to achieve than multilateral ones, although trade economics says the latter are far more beneficial (more chance of ‘trade creation’ rather than ‘trade diversion’ from one trading partner to another).

Peterson also argue that US trade deals were slightly quicker when signed with monarchies (possibly indicating less local scrutiny?), or if signed in election years.

Further, since the stalking of TTIP, there has been subsequent work on the US side, with the Trump Administration asking businesses for their views of what they would like in a US-UK trade deal. In addition, the right-wing Heritage Foundation has been working with the British-based Institute of Economic Affairs (who provide key advisors to the Johnson government) on a draft deal.  

Beyond the contentious issues already raised, Globaljustice.org – admittedly a site definitely unfavourable to the Trump administration – lists other potentially controversial aspects of the Heritage/IEA proposals as being zero restrictions on cross-border data flow (with potential implications for privacy and security), zero restrictions on foreign direct investment (meaning increased potential for tax evasion), mutual recognition of US standards (chlorinated chicken and the like) and ‘continued liberalisation of the NHS’.

We should note here that Donald Trump, on his visit, mentioned the NHS as a target of his potential trade agreement, but publicly backtracked under pressure from the UK. More likely, perhaps, is a limitation of the NHS’ single buyer power to force down pharmaceutical prices in the UK: something which could blow healthcare budgets sky high.

Any talks begin with such wish-lists, usually on both sides, which is one reason why talks usually take several years. This raises the question of how such a deal could be agreed quickly?

The first step of the answer is that, in the aftermath of a no deal Brexit, the UK would be desperate to find new markets for its exports, which would be facing tariff barriers (and traffic queues) heading for Europe. Without such access, one would expect the pound to plummet and a major recession.

However, this is only a partial answer. After all, the UK is still not in a position of such weakness: nor would we be if we either remained in the EU, or accepted a soft Brexit, or even the type of deal Theresa May wanted. We would be putting ourself into a position of desperation. So why would we do this?

This is where real questions begin to arise about the agenda of the Tory right (to say nothing of the Brexit party)m and its democratic – or rather anti-democratic – implications. Is it possible that putting Britain under pressure to sign a trade deal quickly (essentially what game theorists call an ‘ultimatum game’) is seen by some on the ‘libertarian’ right as being desirable, precisely because they would expect to force through (and underwrite by treaty) things which they believe the electorate might well not vote for – lower environmental standards, NHS privatisation and the like.

Some Brexiters speak glowingly of ‘Singapore on Thames’ – yet it is doubtful whether the removal of health and safety and labour standards, and the embracement of environmental denialism are really things they would expect the Leave voters of Sunderland or Mansfield to wish for.

A deal with Trump could lead them to force voters, who perhaps have not looked as far ahead in the Brexit game as they should have, to accept a set of measures which, far from being anti-elitist, are as pro-elite as it is possible to imagine. One can consider here Jacob Rees-Mogg’s recent statement about Indian health and safety standards being appropriate for the UK.

This raises the issue of the leaders of Brexit being true believers in an extreme pro-corporate, anti-environment, anti-workers agenda, about which they have just not been open with their voters.

The alternative (and it is not an either/or question) is that the people and institutions involved may be compromised – in other words, they simply are not batting for Britain.

How can one claim this about a government so keen to wave the Union Jack? The very public ‘patriotic’ face seems to belie a policy stance that is quite the reverse (a ‘minister of the Union’ Prime Minister who seems bent on annoying Scotland).

So where does this discussion lead us? We can perhaps set the problem up as a game with two steps: first the UK and EU decide upon their relationship, and then, subject to that, the UK and USA may sign a trade deal (contingent upon Congressional approval – which is far from guaranteed).

The linkage of the two steps is central:

a) if the UK remains in a permanent Customs Union with the USA, then the USA will be unable to sign a deal independently with the UK, but may return to negotiating with Europe (which will result in more compromises over environmental and health and safety standards than the US might like);

b) The same applies, at least in the short-run, to the agreement which Theresa May tried to get through;

c) The Canada-style FTA agreement with Europe, which the UK Brexiters desire, but which is not on the table, would allow the UK to sign its own FTA and mutual recognition agreements with the USA (but once we did so, a hard border within Ireland would almost certainly be necessary, and there would also be more checks and barriers in trade with mainland Europe, due to rules of origin and enforcement of European bans on chlorinated chicken and the like);

d) A no deal Brexit might actually create the kind of situation where the UK might sign a separate deal with the USA quickly, without allowing much internal discussion of the controversial terms.

If we end up in the ‘d’ situation, the ‘libertarian’ Brexiters seem to be assuming that they may then be able to sell a US trade deal to the UK, even if it will involve UK voters accepting many cuts to standards which they would not normally do.

In other words, the Brexiters’ case seems to rely upon bounded rationality on the part of British voters: that they can be led (or misled) into accepting a hard Brexit which puts Britain in a desperate situation, and then that that desperation leads voters to accept terms which they would not have done had they been presented with the whole deal in one go.

All of this seems to call for a renewed emphasis upon openness, scrutiny and democratic accountability, just at the point when, in my opinion, the British government is moving in the opposite direction.

This Blog post was written by Dr T. Huw Edwards, a member of the Economics discipline group and leader of the TRANSIT RIG. Huw can be reached on t.h.edwards@lboro.ac.uk

IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom, 20 Years On – the UK Perspective

August 5, 2019 Ondine Barry

FAIFE is marking the 20th anniversary of the IFLA Statement on Intellectual Freedom. To understand where the debate on intellectual freedom stands today, we are talking with the members and expert advisors of the FAIFE Committee. Today, we’re getting the perspective from the United Kingdom from Louise Cooke, Professor of Information and Knowledge Management at Loughborough University.

This year we celebrate twenty years since the IFLA Statement on Intellectual Freedom was prepared by IFLA FAIFE and approved by the Executive Board of IFLA on 25 March 1999 in The Hague, Netherlands.

This seems a good point to stand back and reflect on where we are now as a society in terms of intellectual freedom, and some of the challenges facing this critical human right.

Of course, our perspectives will differ according to where in the world we are living, not to mention our own subjective views: therefore, this blog can only be written from my own perspective as a UK citizen. However, comments and reflections from your own personal and geographical perspective would be welcome in the comments section below. Please feel free to contribute!

The term ‘intellectual freedom’ can mean many things even to a single person. Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that relates to intellectual freedom, states:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (United Nations, 1948)

Although not explicitly using the term ‘intellectual freedom’, this is a useful starting point for a definition.

It is inclusive – everyone has an equal right to this basic civil liberty. It also acknowledges the right to hold opinions without interference, whether or not we choose to express them.

In addition, it does not constrain itself to freedom of expression (i.e. the right to speak, write or publish controversial opinion) but also highlights the importance of freedom of access to information, in whatever form it takes and wherever we may be in the world.

In the UK this right is all too often taken for granted: albeit that it is restricted by numerous legislative instruments (such as the Obscene Publications Act 1964, the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 and the Public Order Act 1986) and social norms that proscribe potentially offensive or harmful speech, there is a general belief that we are relatively free to voice our opinions and to access information without constraint.

The UK Human Rights Act 1998 Article 10 reflects the UN UDHR in asserting that everyone has the right to freedom of speech, including the right ‘to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers’. Since 2005, we have also held a legal right to request information held by public authorities via the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

However, it must be borne in mind that these rights are qualified, for example in the interests of national defence and security and, in the case of the Human Rights Act, also for ‘the protection of health and morals’, all of which exemptions seem sufficiently broad (and vague) as to raise questions about the validity of the protection of freedom of speech and freedom of access to information in practice.

The UK is currently undergoing a period of turmoil, change and uncertainty, in particular with regard to the proposed exit from the European Union.

A recent ‘Democracy Audit’ (Dunleavy, Park & Taylor 2018) carried out by scholars at the LSE highlighted the adverse impact of divisions over Brexit and chaotic political party relations, the polarisation of debate and the damaging impact on small parties inflicted by the ‘first past the post’ electoral system, and the damage caused to public services by the austerity agenda pursued between 2010 and 2018.

Public libraries have been hit particularly hard by this agenda, with nearly 130 public library closures in 2018 alone, and many local libraries being ‘deprofessionalised’ and left to community groups to run.

This is a concern for intellectual freedom: whilst well-meaning volunteers may prevent a local area from being left with no library service, volunteers are not usually professionally trained and may not hold the same awareness of, and commitment to, the professional body CILIP’s commitment to the principle of intellectual freedom and rejection of censorship and its newly revised Ethical Framework.

Meanwhile, work carried out at Loughborough University between 2012 and 2014 on UK public libraries’ management of internet access, found that, while the use of filtering software appears to be ubiquitous in UK public libraries, most professional and frontline library staff regarded the expediency of this to be of greater import than the potential adverse impact of filtering on intellectual freedom.

In addition to the impact of public library closures, increasingly restrictive anti-terrorism legislation, and the use of filtering software, public libraries in the UK are, as elsewhere, subject to challenges from members of their local community regarding appropriateness of material held by the library.

Censorship challenges to books held in Scottish public libraries are detailed in a 2012 paper by Taylor and McMenemy, which also discusses the actions taken by the libraries concerned in response to the challenges.

Although this study is also a good example of the use of Freedom of Information legislation to shine a light on the extent of censorship in libraries, and the protection that can be offered by a carefully developed and implemented collection development policy, it also reflects the fact that there is no room for complacency with regard to the state of intellectual freedom in UK public libraries.

Moreover, as new challenges and threats arise in line with new technological developments that offer ever greater opportunities for surveillance and more sophisticated and widespread data collection and analytics, the need for librarians to be constantly aware of their ethical responsibilities with regard to protection of user privacy and the protection of intellectual freedom will only become more acute.

This Blog post was written by Professor Louise Cooke, Professor of Information and Knowledge Management and member of the Centre for Information Management at the School. Louise wrote this post for the IFLA on 30 July 2019. She can be reached on l.cooke@lboro.ac.uk

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 3

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 3

August 2, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

Written by Rob Byrne, AACME

This blog post reflects on my experience during a 3-month placement working as part of the Environment and Transport team within Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales. Senedd Research is an expert, impartial and confidential research and information service designed to meet the needs of Assembly Members and their staff.

Moving to Cardiff

I found a three-month tenancy in Cardiff Bay, literally a minute’s walk from the National Assembly, but previous interns also used Airbnb and spareroom.co.uk. The city was a joy to live in and has plenty to keep you entertained, whether you want good restaurants and bars, tea rooms, museums and galleries … or to watch some rugby! I especially enjoyed running around the Cardiff Bay barrage and visiting the south Wales coast and Brecon Beacons. Being in Cardiff for Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam victory and their celebrations at the Senedd was also something I won’t forget in a hurry!

Returning to PhD life, overall experience and future career aspirations

While I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to leaving the Assembly, I have returned to the PhD with renewed energy, more confidence and a more professional outlook on my research and work. I have improved some valuable communication and organisational skills which can be reapplied during the remainder of my research.

All in all, this was an invaluable experience which gave me a chance to apply my research skills in a different environment while gaining an insight into the workings of one of the UK’s four parliaments. The experience has certainly shaped my ideas for a future career – I now realise that it is possible to marry political interest with a scientific / research background and I would absolutely love to pursue a similar role in future. I would gladly recommend the internship to anyone!

If you are interested in applying to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme, see below:

Please apply here by 12 August: https://www.ukri.org/skills/policy-internships-scheme/

Other previous interns have found the experience of working at the Assembly to be very valuable – see four articles by former students about their placement: Hayley Moulding, Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Piotr Wegorowski and Rachel Prior.Examples of publications by previous students can be found here: http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/research/academic-engagement/Pages/UKRI-PhD-student-placements.aspx

Picture: Warren Gatland (Head Coach of Wales), Mark Drakeford (First Minister of Wales) and Alun Wyn Jones  (Captain of Wales) with the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies inside the Senedd at the National Assembly for Wales.

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 2

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 2

August 2, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

Written by Rob Byrne, AACME

This blog post reflects on my experience during a 3-month placement working as part of the Environment and Transport team within Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales. Senedd Research is an expert, impartial and confidential research and information service designed to meet the needs of Assembly Members and their staff.

Variety of work

Senedd Research is made up of teams of experts on policy relevant topics, who support the 60 AMs through; responding confidentially to member’s enquiries, advising committees and publishing reports, research briefings or blog posts to inform AMs and the public. As published work can have implications for policy and the reputation of the Assembly, it must be accurate, reliable and impartial.

While committee and enquiry work must be completed on specific topics, research briefings and blog posts have a degree of flexibility on topics as agreed by your team and manager. Every week I met my manager to agree work objectives and discuss opportunities from the internship. We also had a biweekly team meeting in which we put forward ideas and discussed workloads; sharing work if anyone was under pressure. Towards the end, I had the chance to host one of these meetings too.

At the beginning of the internship, I wrote a blog on a recent oil leak in Wales and updated two research briefings on planning legislation. As I took an interest in oil leaks, I was able to publish a wider research briefing on the impact of oil spills. I also published a blog on delivering new railway stations in Wales – a topic completely away from my previous knowledge. A never ending task was keeping tabs on Brexit developments relating to the environment – I contributed to Senedd Research’s Brexit Monitoring Report – Environment for January 2019 and April 2019 and completed a research briefing on the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.  The sense of accomplishment when something you’ve written is published was fantastic.

As I gained more trust, I was able to respond to member’s enquiries and become involved in supporting the CCERA Committee. Enquiriescovered topics from wind turbines to motorway speed limits and involved speaking to stakeholders and member’s support staff over the phone – another useful experience in a working environment. Towards the end of my time, I was trusted to support the Committee by reviewing stakeholder evidence and highlighting key points for their inquiry on biodiversity. An absolute highlight was going on a Committee visit to a sustainable farm and discussing issues with committee members (AMs) and relevant stakeholders.

Due to the variety of work and the continually moving debate, the workplace felt very alive. Turning out work on short deadlines was an energising contrast to the PhD – with one- or two-week deadlines rather than year-long deadlines! Researching a new topic, identifying key points and writing informative work in such timescales was a very useful skill to develop. The huge variety of work was also a welcome change – I found researching new and completely different topics from day to day to be enjoyable and incredibly motivating.

Learning and development

There a myriad of learning opportunities within Senedd Research and the Assembly – if you want to take part in any training session, visit conferences or go on committee visits, you can.

During my time, I took part in training sessions focussed on devolution of powers in Wales, legislature processes and of course, Brexit – which is additionally complex when taking devolution into account. At my request, we set-up a meeting with the table office, which gave me an insight into how debates are structured in the chamber. I also attended a day-long speech writing course with the former speech writer for Alan Johnson and sat in Brexit-related seminars from Cardiff University economists. Sitting in on the weekly integrated team meeting for the CCERA Committee with legal services, clerks and translation gave me a chance to learn how different teams in the Assembly operate.

The Assembly has a real focus was on the Welsh language – all work must be bilingual, and every debate or document is translated into Welsh and English. Having grown up in Wales, I had the brilliant opportunity to reignite the dying embers of my GCSE Welsh by joining weekly Welsh classes.

Picture: Rob standing in the Senedd building above Y Siambr (debating chamber)

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 1

My UKRI Policy Internship at Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales - Part 1

August 2, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

Written by Rob Byrne, AACME

This blog post reflects on my experience during a 3-month placement working as part of the Environment and Transport team within Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales. Senedd Research is an expert, impartial and confidential research and information service designed to meet the needs of Assembly Members and their staff.

Applying to policy internships for PhD students

The UKRI Policy Internships Scheme provides a unique opportunity for UKRI-funded PhD students to undertake a three-month placement in a policy organisation. Although I am funded by Loughborough University, as a member of an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded CDT, I was eligible to apply.

There are a wide variety parliamentary, governmental and non-governmental host organisations to apply to. I applied to Parliamentary hosts to gain an insight into the workings of parliament and see how research supports parliamentary debate and scrutiny.

To apply, produced a policy briefing on ‘replacing the use of conventional plastics’. I chose this mainly because it was unrelated to my PhD, exhibiting an ability to write about a new topic. As plastics pollution had gained political attention at the time, it also showed some political awareness. Selecting up to date information and presenting it in a clear, concise, and totally impartial manner key considerations for the briefing.

The interview

The interview was held in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) in Westminster with a panel of representatives from three of the UK parliaments; POST (UK Parliament), Senedd Research (National Assembly for Wales) and RaISe (Northern Ireland Assembly).

The interview focussed on:

  • Motivations to do the internship;
  • Understanding of political processes and the functions of the UK’s political bodies;
  • The role of research services within the UK Parliament and devolved administrations;
  • Ability to converse impartially, clearly and concisely; and,
  • How sources and key information were selected to include, how I might expand the briefing further, and recent related political action.

I was also asked to explain my PhD research to a ‘lay person’ – I had to unashamedly simplify this as much as possible, forgetting about any scientific knowledge that the panel (definitely) had!

First Impressions

Arriving at the National Assembly for Wales, I entered Tŷ Hywel – a red brick building holding Assembly Members (AMs), Commission staff and Cabinet offices behind the modern Senedd building on the waterfront. On entry I was greeted by my line manager and introduced to the Environment and Transport team – a friendly group who immediately made me feel very welcome, as did everyone else working at the Assembly.

The first week consisted of inductions to familiarise with the functions and processes of the Assembly and Senedd Research. Despite growing up in Wales and having an interest in Welsh politics, I gained new knowledge on the devolution settlement in Wales and the breadth legislative powers of the Assembly due to the Reserved Powers Model. In the first week, I also sat in on First Minister’s Questions (FMQs), debates in Yr Siambr (the chamber), and the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs (CCERA) Committee (the main committee which the Environment and Transport team support) – all of which were fascinating.

Initially, watching debates in action, or bumping into an Assembly Member (AM) who I’d followed in the media for years felt like a huge privilege. However, I quickly realised how open the Assembly is to the public – anyone can watch FMQs, debates and committee meetings from the modern and stylish viewing galleries or via Senedd TV. The transparency and accessibility of the Assembly, the welcoming atmosphere at Senedd Research, and the level of careful work behind each debate, committee and report, impressed on me most in the first few weeks.

Picture: The National Assembly for Wales Senedd Building, Cardiff Bay.

Why Anna Burns’ Milkman is such a phenomenon

August 1, 2019 PR Office

Written by Dr Clare Hutton, Senior Lecturer in English at Loughborough University.

Few contemporary novels will have had a year like Milkman by Anna Burns. It was published, without a great deal of fanfare or advance publicity, in May 2018. But then it began to attract attention by dint of being longlisted, and then shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Some were surprised when it won. I wasn’t. In the course of a long commute to work, I had listened to the remarkable audiobook of Milkman twice. Gripped by that experience, I had begun to read the novel with focus. What intrigued me most was the question of how Burns had managed to write a book which can be read both within and outside the Irish tradition. I was also drawn to the question of how and why this novel seems so compelling for our time, and of how it seems so attuned to the zeitgeist of this #MeToo moment.

Quality of voice is all important to the experience of listening to an audiobook. The reading of Milkman by Bríd Brennan perfectly catches the cadence and rhythm of Burns’ strange and compelling depiction of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The story is told from the perspective of “Middle Sister,” an unnamed central character. Milkman almost seems to have been written to be read aloud. Certainly the experience of listening to the work—my first ever experience of listening to a serious work of literature before reading any words on the page—has persuaded me that audio is a medium that deserves to be taken seriously. It is also an ideal way to tackle a work that might seem challenging, or forbidding.

These are charges which have been made against Milkman. Perhaps I too would have faltered had I begun to read the book in the traditional way. Reading and listening are fundamentally different kinds of cognitive experience, and I cannot recover the experience of being a first reader of Milkman now. I was hooked into the world of the novel right there in those car journeys. I even began to invent reasons for driving further, just so I could hear a bit more.

Milkman might be classified as a feminist Troubles narrative. Or a novel of voice. Or a dystopian fiction. Or a psychological thriller. In some sense it is all of these things. Middle Sister, the seventh of eleven children, is aged eighteen. Though she is living in the heart of a family home, she is a loner who makes herself conspicuous to community gossips by walking alone, and reading as she walks. Her isolation deepens once she begins to be stalked by “Milkman,” a 41 year old paramilitary who pushes himself in to the edges of her life. She is deeply confused by his attentions and does not know how to respond. (“Thing was, he hadn’t physically touched me.”) When her mother’s friend suggests that this encroachment might be something that the “women of the issues” could address, Middle Sister responds with derision:

These women, constituting the nascent feminist group in our area – and exactly because of constituting it – were firmly placed in the category of those way, way beyond-the-pale.

These biting ironies—so typical of the way Middle Sister sees the world—suggest that the novel is a critique of feminism, and its failings. It is also a tour-de-force exploration of an evolving feminist consciousness.

Literary prizes are big business for publishers, and booksellers. Anything listed for the Booker has a sales boost, and winners always sell well. Milkman has been a particular success, with sales in the UK jumping 880% in the week after the Booker win was announced (from 963 copies to 9446 copies). This is the highest sales jump for any recent Booker winner, besting even Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, winner in 2009. Just over a year after publication, sales exceed 540,000 copies. The work has been a particular international success, with the deal for simplified Chinese rights believed to be the biggest single deal ever done for an author not previously published in China. This is testament to the fact that Burn’s work—inspired by the experience of growing up in Belfast in the late 1960s and 1970s—has transcended the conditions of its own making.

In addition to the Booker, Milkman has been awarded the George Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, a British prize that recognizes writing that comes closest to achieving Orwell’s ambition to “make political writing into an art.” Within the US, Milkman has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Prize, and the audiobook has just received a Cameo award. A surprise best seller, Milkman is a rare commodity: a work of literary fiction that is both a commercial and critical success. May there be many more like it.

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence

July 31, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday 2nd August, from 8:00am to 9:00pm, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated. The following changes are being made:

  • Adding Support for Stone desktops with BOAMOT-499 (Asus Prime H310M-R R2.0) Motherboard.
  • Updating Realtek Audio Driver for Stone desktops with BOAMOT-493 (Asus B360M-A) Motherboard.
  • Adding support for Dell Latitude 7490 Laptop.

The Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.

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

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (July 2019)

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (July 2019)

July 29, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

This blog post is part of a series of monthly posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell).

Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter.

What the heck is going on with this July weather, amirite?

When we weren’t either freezing our tails off or melting into piles of sweat, we were running around to ensure that doctoral researchers are still represented during these quieter months.

Here’s what we did:

The PhD Awards

After months of planning, on 5th July we finally held our PhD Awards ceremony! This year’s awards were independent, following the Union’s repeal of funding for its annual Postgraduate Awards. The LSU Postgraduate Executive Officer, Kamal, was there to assist, though, and our teamwork really did make the dream work for this one. More than 70 people attended this incredible event to celebrate the achievements of the Loughborough doctoral community. Photos from the ceremony are available at https://tinyurl.com/phd-awards-photos – just use your Loughborough credentials to log in. The photo accompanying this post shows us and Kamal having a grand ol’ time during a break.

After the Awards, our friends from the PhD Social & Support Network hosted a pub night/after-party at The Phantom, which more than 50 people attended. A merry time was had by all.

Doctoral College Induction

On 9th July, Leah welcomed the summer intake of new doctoral researchers to Loughborough. It’s always fun to meet the newbies and hear about what they’re going to be getting up to. This group included an especially high number of international students, showing just how wide-reaching the University’s influence is becoming.

Doctoral College Café Academique

On 10th July, both Leah and Hugh attended the Doctoral College’s Café Academique: Leah as a presenter, and Hugh as an audience member. At this event, we learned about super storage solutions, quality control processes, and computer-generated texts from doctoral researchers based in different Schools. It was a great opportunity to network with other doctoral researchers and learn some cool new things.

Doctoral College International Induction

On 12th July, Leah welcomed fellow international students to Loughborough. She and Kamal answered frequently asked questions about life in Loughborough and the UK, and got to chat to a bunch of interesting folks. More than ten countries were represented!

Postgraduate BBQ

Also on 12th July, we helped Kamal host the first of what will hopefully be a series of summer postgraduate BBQs. Lots of doctoral researchers were in attendance, and there was tons of free food available – including vegetarian and vegan options, of course. Keep reading the biweekly Doctoral College bulletin to find out when and where the next BBQ will be held.

‘Exploring Careers in Higher Education’ Panel

On 24th July, we co-hosted an ‘Exploring Careers in Higher Education’ with Careers Consultant Eve. The panel comprised Dr Bianca Howard, Dr Jenna Townend, and Dr Gemma Witcomb, and was mediated by doctoral researcher Nathan Ritchie. This event stemmed from Rep feedback that we needed (1) an event about careers in higher education and (2) a summer Careers event. Approximately 30 people attended, and we got some very positive feedback.

And there you have it! A busy, but productive – and most importantly, fun – month. Keep enjoying your summers, y’all!

To keep up-to-date with our activity, join the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. If you’re a London student, join the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London 2018-2019’ Facebook group.

Leah and Hugh.

Sport Business and Leadership student helps with Homeless Rugby Charity

Sport Business and Leadership student helps with Homeless Rugby Charity

July 25, 2019 Loughborough University London

Sport Business and Leadership MSc student, Nao, has recently been interviewed by the Sport Management Hub about his work with Homeless Rugby, a non-profit organisation that builds strong partnerships between rugby clubs and local homeless charities to help create positive sporting opportunities.

In the article, Nao first expressed his love and passion for Rugby:

I was born and raised in Tenri City, Japan. It’s one of the most notorious cities in Japan for rugby, but my parents weren’t interested in rugby at all.

When I was 5 years old, my parents took me to a rugby match hosted in our city. I’m not sure exactly why they took me as they had no prior experience watching or playing rugby, but I fell in love with the game at first sight and haven’t looked back since.

Nao studied his bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT) in Japan. Nao chose the subject because he believes IT is changing the world and Japan, in particular has a reputation for being one of the most technological counties in the world. The tools Nao developed at University helped him advantage in the sports world.

Nao decided to come to the UK to learn all about the business side of sport, as well as have access to all sort of opportunities in the UK.

Currently, Nao is working for Homeless Rugby. This non-profit organisation is all about tackling social issues across Europe using rugby as a tool to help homeless people overcome difficult situations.

Homeless Rugby is based in the UK, forming partnerships wit local businesses. In doing so, thy work together to help homeless people learn essential rugby skills. Homeless Rugby believes rugby can be a starting point to a healthy lifestyle. It’s their hope that with more rugby participation, they can seek support services related to health, education, training, and employment.

Nao joined Homeless Rugby because he believes rugby needs to receive more attention and is such an important sport. Nao said:

The benefits of playing rugby from a societal standpoint are huge. Rugby helps build character and teachers essential life skills.

Even though Homeless Rugby is still a small organisation, the potential value in expanding is huge and I want to play part in that.

Alongside his work with Homeless Rugby, Nao played to victory with the Kings Cross Steelers at the Union Cup in Dublin in June 2019. The Union Cup is European’s non-professional LGBT+ inclusive rugby competition.

Nao hopes that in years to come there will be many Homeless Rugby clubs across Japan, as well as many businesses giving their support to the organisation. He is currently getting in touch with Japanese teams, potential sponsors and businesses to hopefully partner with and support Homeless Rugby.

You can read the full interview with Nao here.

Day trips to make from Loughborough

Day trips to make from Loughborough

July 25, 2019 Disha

A campus university comes with many benefits – it’s cosy, safe, convenient and economic. Continue reading

What's new in Learn for 2019/20

July 24, 2019 Matt Hope

Following this year’s rollover, there are some changes coming to Learn.

For students, they’ll see:

  • Improved Timeline and My Modules view – The Timeline view, which acts as a checklist of all assignments in Learn, has been updated so it can now be filtered to show all, overdue or those assignments within a time period. The My Modules view has also been updated to give students more options in organising how they see their module list. For example, they can now favourite particular modules.
  • My Details block – a block on the left-hand side of Learn will display key programme and tutor information to students.

For staff, they’ll see:

  • Duplicating Resources – it’s now easier to keep track of copied resources in your module. When you create a copy or a resource within Learn, it will appear with ‘copy’ in the title to distinguish it from the original resource.
  • Media Feedback in the Learn Assignment Activity – When providing feedback within the Learn Assignment activity, you now have the option to provide either audio (up to five minutes) or video feedback.
  • Quiz Features – There is now an option within the quiz to attach files within specific question types and you can filter your questions by tags.
  • H5P Interactive Activity – A new activity is now available on Learn and it’s one that provides a wealth of interactive options. The H5P activity contains over 42 interactive templates and you can see some of these in the video below.

Watch the video
Click on the link below to watch a short video and see all of these features in action: https://lboro.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=23e5e441-70cb-48e9-887b-aa94008c55d0

Updates to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image and 1703 to 1809 IPU Task Sequences

July 23, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues

On Friday 26th June, between 8.00am and 10.00am, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated to provide support for the new Dell Laptop models. We are also improving the way OneDrive is installed, bringing it in line with the 2019-2020 Labs Builds.

A minor update will also be made to the 1703 to 1809 IPU Task Sequence to improve reporting.

These Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time or perform any updates from 1703 to 1809.

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

DRN2019: Embodied Drawing

July 18, 2019 Deborah Harty

The DRN Conference this year focussed on ‘Embodied Drawing’. The two-day event featured a series of paper presentations exploring concepts of embodied drawing from a variety of disciplines, followed by practical workshops highlighting individual’s research through practice. Thank you to all who contributed and participated in the event.

JOINT Fund series: The #Lollybin

JOINT Fund series: The #Lollybin

July 18, 2019 Loughborough University London

Supported by the JOINT Fund initiative, Dr Vicky Lofthouse (Senior Lecturer, Institute for Design Innovation) and Dr Debra Lilley (Senior Lecturer, Loughborough Design School) co-created the #Lollybin – a coffee cup recycling method.

The #Lollybin resulted from a JOINT fund project, which drew on user-centred research and stakeholder analysis to identify, design and test behavioural change interventions to reduce single use coffee cup waste in Here East.

In conjunction with Loughborough Design School, Here East, Change Please & BT Sports, Vicky and Debra sought to optimise the collection of single use coffee cups in order to facilitate recycling. Research has shown that current systems fail to collect waste cups and those which are collected are often too contaminated to be recycled.

The indoor #Lollybin at Loughborough University London (image on the left) and the waste collected (image on the right).

Following user and stakeholder research, we designed a bin to accommodate and encourage the separation of the lid, cup and liquid, using affordances, constraints, social validation and visual messages in order to eradicate contamination and ensure correct separation for recycling.  Findings from a 1-month field trial where units were placed at locations in Here East, indicated that users understood how to effectively use the bin, as cups were stacked, lids slotted and liquid poured. Further, analysis of the collected material, concluded that the 731 cups collected from 2 test sites were of high enough quality as to be suitable for recycling.  he Outdoor unit in particular attracted a high degree of contamination in the ‘lids’ section, so further work will reflect on ways to reduce this.

The outdoor #Lollybin (image on the left) and the waste collected (image on the right).

The next steps for the project will be to investigate developing the bin for small scale manufacture and explore market feasibility.

Findings from the study include:

Cups collected


  • Espresso: 36
  • Flat white: 67
  • Medium: 229
  • Large:9

LU London

  • Espresso: 1
  • Flat white: 254
  • Medium: 112
  • Large: 23

Lids collected


  • Espresso: 1
  • Small: 39
  • Medium/Large: 169

LU London

  • Medium/Large: 75

Analysis of the cups by the site waste contractor indicated that the condition of the cups was suitable to enable recycling and that to be economically viable 1100 litre carts worth of coffee cups would need to be collected approximately every 3 weeks.

Find out more about this year’s JOINT Fund projects here.  

Results Day Reflections

Results Day Reflections

July 18, 2019 Caroline

Casting my mind back to my own results day on 17th August 2017 is odd. The pressures of A-levels were the most stressful time of my life, so I had repressed them completely until I got back from my holiday a few days before results day! Continue reading

Reflections on Year in Enterprise- Being a full time Illustrator

Reflections on Year in Enterprise- Being a full time Illustrator

July 16, 2019 Lauren Jefferis

Now having reached the end of my ‘Year in Enterprise’ I thought I’d take the time to reflect on how the year has gone for an art student being thrown into the world of business.   Continue reading

Settling into University life

Settling into University life

July 16, 2019 Emma

Scared? Apprehensive? Worried you won’t make friends? Don’t even know how to cook a meal other than beans on toast? First of all relax because everyone else is in the same boat! Continue reading

First Future Innovation Sports Tech Global Series held in London

First Future Innovation Sports Tech Global Series held in London

July 15, 2019 Loughborough University London

On Friday 28 June 2019, academics from the Institute for Sport Business took part in the first ever Future Innovation Sports Tech Global Series in London.

Over 500 industry experts from UK joined together at Stamford Bridge, home to Chelsea FC, to discuss future global sports innovation and esports.

The conference covered three tracks: Fan, Athlete and Gamer.

As part of the Gamer track, Dr Emily Hayday, Lecturer for the Institute for Sport Business, was a panel member for ‘Corporate Responsibility and Esports’. Dr Hayday was joined by David Yanton (Executive Chairman of EDGE Esports), Jermah Douglin (Operations Director at Mavreel), and Mike Barnes (Esports Programme Manager at Digital Schoolhouse) for the panel discussion.

Emily commented:

It is essential for Loughborough University London to discuss and share insights from current Esport research with industry, through platforms like the Future Innovation Sports Tech Global Series, to allow discussion on current and critical issues. By being involved in events like Future Innovation Sports Tech, we continue to strengthen the great connection between academia and industry.

Alumnus Sid Kholi, who now works for BBC Sports, was also part of the event, leading the ‘Future of Media/ OTT’ panel under the Fan track.

The UK Hype SPIN Accelerator Demo Day also took place as part of the conference.

JOINT Fund series: Build a bike challenge

JOINT Fund series: Build a bike challenge

July 11, 2019 Loughborough University London

On 4 July 2019, 30 organisations at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) district took part in Loughborough University London’s ‘Build a Bike’ charity challenge, in partnership with Bikeworks. This event was supported by the JOINT Fund scheme and organised by Dr Anna Grosman and doctoral researcher, Fiona Meeks.

Fiona Meeks has been studying the innovation and collaboration networks on the park since 2017. Fiona has found that there are key organisations on the park that seek out opportunities to network and as a result are performing better due to the large number of ties they have.

Aims of the event

  1. To facilitate the formation of new connections amongst organizations on the QEOP.
  2. To promote partnerships between LUL & the community & promote opportunities to collaborate.
  3. To enable Doctoral Researchers to collect evidence for a field study, a policy paper and an impact report.
  4. such as knowledge transfer partnerships and collaborative project/dissertation.
  5. To support the local community through donating children’s bikes to the Early Years Foundation and give organizations the opportunity to take part in CSR activities.

What they did

  1. Promotion and marketing of the event took place during Spring and Summer. There was an events page on the website and it was promote via social media. It was also promoted through word of mouth and were sent to the events page. There were over 100 people signed up initially.
  2. Held at Loughborough University London’s Enterprise Zone and the Here East yard between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, 44 people attended the event. 30 mixed industry organisations based at the QEOP district ranged from education providers, charities, SME’s corporates & local community groups.
  3. Upon arrival, each person completed a survey to demonstrate which connections they already had at the QEOP & sign consent forms. They were then randomly assigned a team to take on a series of bike related activities. 8 mixed industry teams were formed.
  4. Each team took on a series of fun, bike related activities, including making a belt out of an inner tube, changing a tyre, a slow race on a BMX bike and an inclusion challenge to ride a three-wheel trike blind folded using instructions from team members to navigate a course of cones.
  5. Each challenge was designed to enable tenants based at the new QEOP district to get to know one another. By engaging in fun project based activities, organizations are more likely to build relationships that could lead to new partnerships, the sharing of ideas and ultimately innovation ties.
  6. Each team ended the event by building a children’s bike and writing a letter to the children that would receive the bike from the London Early Years Foundation. Giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to ride a bike and be active and healthy!

Following the event Fiona will measure the network again to understand if new ties have formed between tenants at the QEOP district and understand through interviews after 3-6 months what the impact has been (Did any organisations form new partnerships? Did this type of event work to bring together neighbors at the QEOP?)

Feedback from the event has already been positive with organisations informing me how many connections they had formed at the event, including; a proposal from Scope to Hobs 3D Printers to prototype hand grips for disabled phone users with dexterity issues, partnerships between IDE, Creative Wick and Ford Smart Mobility and London Stadium Learning offering Badu Sports young people from the local community a chance to work on their Olympic Heritage project.

For more information, please contact Fiona Meeks at f.meeks@lboro.ac.uk.

DRN 2019: Embodied Drawing Schedule

July 9, 2019 Deborah Harty

Day 1: Thursday 11 July 2019

Cope Foyer: Edward Barnsley Building
9.00-9.40 Registration and Coffee

Cope Auditorium Edward Barnsley Building

Session 1:
Chair: Dr Marion Arnold
9.45-10.10 Emma Robertson: Embodied Drawing for the Mind
10.10-10.35 Joanne Macdonald: Drawing Bodies
10.35-11.00 Paulo Luis Almeida: The Visit – Drawing as Naked Image

11.00-11.30 Break with refreshments

11.35-12.00 Curie Scott: Embodied ways of knowing about self-ageing
12.00-12.25 Amanda Roberts: Drawing. Life drawing as female-centric practice
12.30-12.50 Carole Lévesque: Drawing Stories of a Walk
12.50-1.15 Panel discussion

Cope Foyer: Edward Barnsley Building

1.15-2.15 Lunch

Gallery & Fine Art Studios, Fine Art Building

Session 2:
2.15-4.45 Workshops:

  1. Vanessa Marr (LU contact Daniel Fountain)
  2. Andrew Hall, Birgitta Hosea & Maryclare Foá (LU contact Jane Cook)
  3. Jemima Fahy (LU contact Nick Aikman)
  4. Joanna Leah (LU contact Lorraine Young)

4.45-5.00 Break with refreshments

Cope Auditorium Edward Barnsley Building

5.00-5.30 Feedback Session Chair: Daniel Fountain

6.30pm Conference Buffet: Towers Dining Hall

Day 2: Friday 12 July 2019

Cope Foyer: Edward Barnsley Building

9.00-9.40 Registration and Coffee:

Cope Auditorium Edward Barnsley Building

Session 1:
Chair: Jane Cook
9.45-10.10 Cindy Yuen-Zhe Chen: Listening and Drawing towards Emplacement
10.10-10.35 Steve Fossey: An Imbricated Drawing Ontology: Economies of Pattern, Chaos and Scale
10.35-11.00 Nicci Haynes: The Unsayable

11.00-11.30 Break with refreshments

11.35-12.00 Katarina Andjelkovic: Towards the Embodiment: Drawing’s Movement, Space and Temporality
12.00-12.25 Antonino Di Raimo: Human body as a design apparatus
12.30-12.50 Robin Schaeverbeke & Liselotte Vroman: Unlocking Embodied Experiences, Exploring Performative Drawing
12.50-1.15 Panel discussion

Cope Foyer: Edward Barnsley Building

1.15-2.15 Lunch

Gallery & Fine Art Studios, Fine Art Building

Session 2:
2.15-4.45 Workshops:

  1. Anthi Kosma (LU contact Jane Cook)
  2. Iain MacLeod-Brudenell (LU contact Serena Smith)
  3. Laura Chessin (LU contact Martin Lewis)
  4. Seton Wakenshaw (LU contact James Bowen)

4.45-5.00 Break with refreshments

Cope Auditorium Edward Barnsley Building

5.00-5.30 Feedback Session Chair: Serena Smith

Requirements and Design by Proxy – Fitness Games for Users with Learning Disabilities

July 9, 2019 Patrick Stacey

I recently gave talks on the above topic at Aston and Canterbury Christchurch universities. They were based on our HICSS 2017 paper. The topic is timely given the lack of NHS capacity and GP knowledge on learning disability (LD).

Furthermore, LD carers receive precious little support, not to mention holidays. So, any adjunct facility is welcome by carers and charities alike to (a) take the pressure off, as well as, (b) provide developmental motivation for those with LD.

A particular issue is physical fitness: most with LD, depending on the LD severity, have poor fitness levels.

We studied one game ‘Somability’ that helps address this deficiency. This is a powerful and impactful game platform. However, the real contribution of our paper was not to LD per se but to requirements engineering.

It is very difficult to gather requirements directly from LD users – e.g., ethnographic requirements capture can be intrusive, disruptive and inappropriate.

An implication of our mixed methods study was the potential for using method acting as a surrogate, allowing requirements to be generated (but not perfected) and avoiding intrusive direct approaches that could potentially upset LD users.

Also, requirements engineers are ill-equipped to capture such requirements. They need to be specially trained by healthcare professionals!

These implications provoked a lot of discussion and were somewhat controversial. Despite our experience in the field, some audience members felt direct observation should take place and seemed less concerned about any ethical element.

The jury is out on this aspect. However, what went down very well indeed were the propositional design characteristics we generated. We concluded that games for LD users need to be simple, repetitive and avoid competitive mechanics.

Slides: A copy of the Aston slides can be viewed here.

Future: We are currently looking to take this important work further. Possibilities include: requirements capture through the involvement of professional actors (design fictions) and a critical discussion of the ethics of requirements capture in LD game design.

Please do contact me if you would like to discuss our research in more depth or be part of future studies.

This Blog post was written by Dr Patrick Stacey, Senior Lecturer in Information Management and a member of the Centre for Information Management. Patrick can be reached on p.stacey@lboro.ac.uk

Preparing for results day

Preparing for results day

July 8, 2019 Hannah Timson

The run up to results day can be a difficult time. Even if you are feeling confident about your results, it’s a good idea to research your options and make a plan for the day, so you can take control depending on the outcome. Continue reading

Food for under £5

Food for under £5

July 8, 2019 Guest Blogger

Creating filling and tasty meals from scratch is a worry for most students at University. Once you’ve sorted out your weekly budget and realised just how expensive cheese really is, it’s easy to believe that you have to succumb to a life of bland instant noodles to survive. Continue reading

We want your inspiring stories

July 8, 2019 Liam

This year over graduation, we’re looking to share inspiring stories of our graduating students.

Continue reading

Business Model Innovation in the Energy Sector workshop hosted at Loughborough University London

Business Model Innovation in the Energy Sector workshop hosted at Loughborough University London

July 5, 2019 Loughborough University London

On Thursday 4 July 2019, Dr Kun Fu and, Dr Tao Zhang (Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), Professor Mathew Hughes (School of Business and Economies, Loughborough University) and Ms. Elizabeth Nyeko (Modularity Grid) led a dialogue workshop with stakeholders to understand the drivers and impact of energy business model innovations.

The workshop was a full-day event with speakers and participants ranging from academics, industrial experts, policymakers and research students.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Dr Jeffrey Hardy – Senior Research Fellow within the Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London
  • Professor Monica Giulietti – Professor of Microeconomics, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University
  • Daniel Kirk – Head of Innovation Link, Ofgem
  • Tom Elliot – Business Modelling Consultant, Energy Systems Catapult
  • Songlin Yu – Chongqing Xinqiang Investment Ltd.
  • Froi Legaspi – Community Organiser, Citizens UK
  • Dr Philipp Trotter – Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.

The workshop helped the 20 attendees develop a better understanding of the current energy business context and the role of key stakeholders and their experience with the existing energy business models.

As well as this, a goal of the evet was to assess the impact of digital technologies in driving energy business model innovation, making electricity affordable, reliable and sustainable and identify research challenges and opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy sector.

Lastly, the event offered a meaningful insight for the UK energy companies and policymakers to achieve sustainable developments.

The Institute for Sport Business are delighted to welcome Dr Andrea Geurin to the Institute

The Institute for Sport Business are delighted to welcome Dr Andrea Geurin to the Institute

July 3, 2019 Loughborough University London

Dr Andrea Geurin has joined the Institute as a Reader and will be taking up the role of Programme Director for our Sport Marketing MSc.

Dr Geurin previously worked at New York University as the Academic Director of Graduate Programs. Prior to this, Andrea  worked at Griffith University as a Senior Lecturer, and holds a PhD from Indiana University Bloomington in Human Performance – Sport Management.

Andrea’sresearch examines the utilisation of new media by sport organisations and athletes, as well as media portrayals of athletes of differing gender, race, and nationality.

Dr Geurin has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and one book. Take a look at Dr Geurin’s most recent publication: The Routledge Handbook of the Business of Women’s Sport.

In 2015, Dr Geurin was named a North American Society of Sport Management (NASSM) Research Fellow.

Loughborough University London are delighted to welcome Dr Geurin to the staff cohort! To find out more about our other Institute for Sport Business staff, take a look at their institute page.

New ideas will be needed if the next PM is to help those facing the toughest summer

July 3, 2019 Donald Hirsch

Later this month, we can expect our new Prime Minister to enter Downing Street with a promise to bring the country together and help those who are struggling. David Cameron made his entry speaking of fairness and his desire to ‘help the poorest’; Theresa May of helping the ‘just about managing’. The current frontrunner sees the need to balance his pledge for tax cuts for upper earners with a matching promise to raise the £8,600 National Insurance Contribution threshold, saying he is a One-Nation Conservative determined to improve public services and make improvements for those on lower incomes.

Yet for such noble sentiments to be translated into a genuine assault on poverty and disadvantage, the country needs a more focused plan for doing so. Tax or national insurance giveaways (such as raising the thresholds) give the same amount to every taxpayer, so cannot in themselves allocate enough to help many people out of poverty – especially when the poorest working households see larger cuts in their benefits, and families without work or already below tax thresholds gain nothing. Higher hourly pay for those on the lowest wages is welcome, but again is being undermined by widespread benefit cuts, and does not reach the many households for whom limited working hours, not low hourly pay, is the main cause of low earnings.

This year’s Minimum Income Standards report shows that overall, recent policies have helped some low earners, but held back many. If you are a single person working full time on the minimum wage, or a couple where both parents do so, the National Living Wage (NLW) has potentially helped you get closer to an acceptable living standard over the past four years (although you are still likely to fall short of the MIS level). But many overlapping groups have gone backwards: lone parents, for whom cuts in working benefits have hit hardest; families with high childcare costs, which become ever pricier, while the limit to what the state will contribute to help cover them remains frozen; single-earner couples, who do not have enough hours of wages at higher pay to compensate for tax credit cuts; and of course larger families hit by the two-child limit, whose disposable incomes typically now fall a third to a half short of what they need for a minimum acceptable standard of living.

All these families have been finding life ever tougher, regardless of whether they work. Rising costs are simply outstripping family income. A stark example as the summer holidays approach is the cost of enrolling your child in a holiday club. In 2009, this would have cost around £90 a week; this summer it will be about 50% more – an average of around £135, even though the disposable income of a typical two-earner family with children has typically gone up only by about a quarter if they benefit from the NLW, and by much less if they do not. Other costs like travel and going away on holiday have also been rising much faster than incomes, meaning that many think of the summer not as a time to get away and unwind, but rather as a time of extra financial stress.

Those politicians who seek to form the next government will therefore need a fresh approach to helping low income families if they really want to live up to their own ‘inclusive’ rhetoric. Most importantly, the existing policies of reducing tax burdens and improving pay for those on low incomes need to be accompanied by a revival of the direct help created in the tax credit system, which Universal Credit should be emulating but is struggling to do so. Restoring the link between prices and benefits when the freeze ends next year is universally agreed to be a good starting point. But while this will stop things systematically getting worse for all low income families, the rolling out of cuts such as the two-child limit and the ending of the £10 a week family element of the Child Tax Credit, as well as the loss of substantial premiums for disability under Universal Credit, will continue to hit the incomes of many. Only some serious uprating of entitlements, by more than inflation, would signal that a new government is committed to turning the tide.

JOINT Fund series: The Fair Energy Mark 2

JOINT Fund series: The Fair Energy Mark 2

July 2, 2019 Loughborough University London

As part of the JOINT Fund initiative, Dr Laura Santamaria, Lecturer within the Institute for Design Innovation, leads the ‘The Fair Energy Mark’ campaign to address and raise standards in the energy sector by design. This is part two of her research project.

Earlier this year, we at Loughborough ran workshops with the local community at St James’ Church, Clapton to hear what a fair energy supplier means for local residents. The message is clear: fair pricing, equitable service, and responsibility for the environment.

Hackney Council has committed to set up a council-run energy company to tackle the fuel poverty of almost 10,000 households in the borough. Last May, the council’s cabinet agreed to seek a “white label” deal with an existing energy provider. Hackney will offer sales and marketing while the provider will offer retail energy services under the borough’s brand.

During the last Hackney Citizens Mayoral Assembly, Dr. Laura Santamaria, who leads the Fair Energy Mark campaign communication strategy supported by the JOINT Fund, made the public announcement, asking Mayor Philip Glanville to use a Fair Energy Mark friendly energy supplier for Hackney Council’s own energy company.

The Mayor committed publicly, and later commented via Twitter:

I’m proud to talk about our work to respond to #ClimateEmergency. It’s an issue of social justice; we can and must deliver transition to clean energy while tackling fuel poverty and giving citizens a bigger role. Hackney Council is now 50% renewable and heading for 100%.

Laura commented:

This is an important milestone for the Fair Energy Mark campaign to be celebrated. This move will help those most struggling with energy bills in the borough, and contribute towards lowering carbon emissions in London. But it will also encourage neighbouring councils, as well as the private and third sectors in London to follow suit.

If you want to know more about the Fair Energy Mark Campaign, contact Dr. Laura Santamaria, l.santamaria@lboro.ac.uk.

You can find a brief overview of the 2018/19 JOINT Fund research projects by reading our news story.

Public speaking: you either hate it or you love it!

Public speaking: you either hate it or you love it!

June 28, 2019 Loughborough University London

In this blog, we hear from current student Selsabil, who recently attended a public speaking workshop run by our careers and employability team.

Public speaking: you either hate it or you love it!

But we all have to do it. Good public speaking skills allow us to engage audiences, grab the attention of decision-makers, and win clients. The great thing is that could be you, and the opportunity is closer than you think.

On 15th May, the University welcomed Julie, a public speaking coach, to deliver a two-hour intensive workshop on public speaking. I was there, along with a diversity of Master and PhD students from across institutes, all present for an array of reasons. Some wanted to learn how to command an audience through the development of a strong voice. Some wanted to refine their body language to appear more engaging. Others, like myself, wanted the chance to learn from a professional the evening before an assessed presentation…

Julie took us through key elements of good public speaking, went into detail about how a speaker connects with their audience, and most importantly, explored remedies to classic slip-ups. It wasn’t all theory, however, as we discovered when Julie invited us to participate in a variety of impromptu speeches! It was the moment perhaps many students dread, but Julie’s guidance was easily put into practice, and soon enough, blank faces melted away to uncover energy and enthusiasm. 

Harry, a current student from England with a background in activism and a substantial amount of public speaking experience, said he thought the workshop provided structure to the way he thought about public speaking, and that the workshop was an invaluable resource in his future career.

Caprice, an eager student from China with limited experience in public speaking, said the workshop took away the pressure of having to be a ‘perfect’ public speaker. Caprice, like many students, bought into the idea that good speeches or presentations are only claimed by natural-born performers speaking in their first language. However, Julie’s workshop really emphasised how you don’t need to be born confident to be a good public speaker, whether done in a first, second, or third language. 

Selim, a current student from Turkey who is passionate about communication in marketing both in person and online, said the workshop helped him to better understand what his audience wants in a public speaker. Julie’s workshop eradicated public speaking as a one-way activity, and explored ways in which speakers can effectively engage with their audience.

During the various activities we participated in, it was clear that public speaking skills were as accessible as ever. Julie’s workshops are a fantastic way to revisit how we practice public speaking, whether you want to polish your skills or take the first steps under the spotlight. And with such interactive and welcoming culture of learning, there is a space for everybody to bring something new to the table, or rather, stage.

We would like to thank Selsabil, a current student within the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance for writing the above blog. For other events, make sure to check our events page online.

Applications for Chevening Scholarships 2020/21

Applications for Chevening Scholarships 2020/21

June 28, 2019 Loughborough University London

We are pleased to announce that applications for 2020/21 Chevening Scholarships and some Fellowships will open Monday 5 August 2019.

Chevening is the UK’s government’s flagship international awards programme aimed at developing global leaders since 1983. It is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations.

Chevening provides two type of awards – Chevening Scholarships and Chevening Fellowships.

How to best prepare for your Chevening Scholarship Application

Read our guidance pages on the website

Make sure to check the Chevening website to ensure you meet the Chevening eligibility criteria and understand Chevening policies.

Research your programme choice

To apply for the Chevening Scholarship, you will need to choose three different eligible master’s courses, and select them on your application form.

It is very important to pick programmes that are best suited to your goals and interests.

You can find Loughborough University London’s master’s programmes on our webpage.

Secure referees

You are required to enter information for two referees (one professional, one academic) in your application. Information needed include:

  1. Name
  2. Job title
  3. Organisation
  4. Capacity in which known
  5. Email address

If you are invited to interview, you will be asked to provide references from your two referees within a short period of time. Identify two referees in good time and ensure that they will be happy to provide a comprehensive reference on your behalf. More details will be provided to you if you are invited to interview.

Connect on social media

Make sure to follow Chevening on Social Media to keep up to date. They are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


The deadline for the Chevening Award applications is 5 November 2019. No late applications will be accepted, so make sure you give yourself enough time to submit your strongest application.

You can find more information on the Chevening Website.

Doctoral Researcher President Team’s Post (June 2019)

June 28, 2019 Zoe Chritchlow

This blog post is part of a series of monthly posts detailing the activities of the DR President’s Team (President: Leah Henrickson; Vice-President: Hugh Tawell).

Note: This post refers to PhD/EngD Students as Doctoral Researchers (DR) and Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). This is because the University uses the former language, and the Union uses the latter.

The undergraduates have left for the summer, and now the postgraduates have free reign of the campus. What are we gonna do?


The first of these regularly-scheduled postgraduate barbecues is scheduled for Friday, 12th July – keep your eyes peeled on the Doctoral College bulletin for the exact time and place.

Other than planning barbeques, June has been another busy month for your President’s Team. Here’s what we got up to:

Research Committee Meeting

On 11th June, Hugh represented doctoral researchers at the Research Committee meeting. These meetings offer the Associate Deans (Research) (ADRs) and other staff from research support services from across the University opportunities to discuss research-related issues. A lot was addressed in the three hours. Everyone is still working towards establishing what ‘research culture’ really is, and how we can better establish research culture within Schools and across the University.

Doctoral College Summer Showcase

On 12th April, the Doctoral College hosted its annual Summer Showcase. Ten Three Minute Theses were delivered, and around 60 posters were displayed. AND we’re especially thrilled that five doctoral researchers took advantage of the newly introduced Showcase Exhibition, which gave them the chance to present their research in creative ways that aren’t usually represented at such events. The Showcase Exhibition was introduced in response to doctoral researcher feedback.

Night Out at the Union

On 22nd June, we co-hosted the second Postgraduate Night Out at the Students’ Union with Kamal, the LSU Postgraduate Executive Officer. Approximately 150 postgrads and their guests partied Hawaiian-style until late – even after having to switch rooms last-minute because some pigeons had taken over Fusion!

PGR Lead Rep Meeting

We met with PGR Reps from across the University on 26th June. During this meeting, we discussed School-related issues and talked about upcoming events and Rep goals. Our special guest at this meeting was Eve from the Careers Network. Eve clarified what Careers services are available to doctoral researchers over the summer (all of them!) and noted her own plans for enhancing the Careers services for us.

Upcoming Events

There are lots of things being planned right now, so keep reading the Doctoral College bulletin to stay up-to-date. Here are some events we’re particularly excited for:

To keep up-to-date with our activity, join the ‘Doctoral Researchers of Loughborough University’ Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. If you’re a London student, join the ‘Loughborough Students’ Union London 2018-2019’ Facebook group.

Leah and Hugh.

Graduation - what happens on the day?

Graduation - what happens on the day?

June 26, 2019 Sammie Man

Graduation is one of the most exciting days of the university experience and it is filled with celebration! With so many different things going on it is easy to feel overwhelmed. We don’t want you to miss a thing so we’ve put together a list of things to remember and outlined the timings of the day.

Things to remember:

1. Check the date & time of your ceremony

There are a lot of ceremonies happening all week, so as it gets closer make sure to double check you have the right date and time for your course. You wouldn’t want to miss it!

2. Check you have your E-tickets

You will need your E-tickets when you arrive to register. It is a good idea to have a screenshot of these saved on your phone so they are easier to access! If you still haven’t received your tickets a few days before your ceremony, please contact the graduation office.

3. Bring your camera/charger

We will have professional photographers around campus to make sure we capture the big day but it is handy to bring your own camera or phone! There will be plenty of photo opportunities to get a picture with so keep an eye out around campus. Consequently, your phone/camera battery won’t last all day so bring a portable charger if you have one!

4. Keep hydrated

With graduation being in summer and it being such a busy day, it is important to keep hydrated! Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you on the day.

5. Giant letters

Our Lboro Grad 2019 giant letters will be located on Shirley Pearce Square and by the Hazelrigg Fountain until 6pm! Student Ambassadors will be around to help take some great photos for you.

7. Find the Lboro stickers on IG/SC

We have some brand new stickers to decorate your graduation Instagram & Snapchat stories! All you need to do is search ‘lboro’ under GIF and you’ll be able to add them to your pictures.

8. Celebrate with us

Don’t forget to tag us (@lborouniversity) in your photos and stories on social media! Also, make sure to use the hashtag #LboroGrad2019 on Instagram and Twitter.

Timings of the day

There are two ceremonies per day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. We try to put together a timetable that fits everything in whilst making sure the day doesn’t feel rushed. In order to feel relaxed and have enough time for photographs, we do recommend that students arrive early with plenty of time before their ceremony.

8:30am-10am / 1pm-2:30pm
  • Register in James France with your e-ticket
  • You will be given your allocated seat number
  • Collect your academic dress from James France
  • Time for a photo! Professional photos will be taken in James France
10am / 2:30pm
  • SDW opens, students should begin to make their way to their seats.
10:15am / 2:45
  • All students should be seated in their allocated seats
  • Guests will be directed to seats by ushers
10:30am / 3pm
  • The ceremony starts and will be approximately 90 minutes
  • Please return your academic dress by 6pm
JOINT Fund series: The Fair Energy Mark 1

JOINT Fund series: The Fair Energy Mark 1

June 26, 2019 Loughborough University London

As part of the JOINT Fund initiative, Dr Laura Santamaria, Lecturer within the Institute for Design Innovation, leads the ‘The Fair Energy Mark’ campaign to address and raise standards in the energy sector by design.

In 2017, Hackney Citizens set to win justice for those in debt because of fuel poverty, and as a response to climate change. The Fair Energy Mark campaign was created to tackle such issues by addressing injustices in the energy market.

Dr. Laura Santamaria researcher leads the communications strategy for the campaign explained:

Designing public policies and services is a central challenge in our societies today. Our research agenda builds on the idea that design enables innovation through positive change in the context of users, organisations, ecosystems and society. The Fair Energy Mark campaign represents the opportunity to engage at local, city-wide and national level, influencing effective concrete change in energy strategy for the common good.

The project started as a teaching-enterprise collaboration between Citizens UK and Dr Vicky Lofthouse, by setting a challenge to Design Thinking students at Loughborough University London in 2017. The students produced insightful research and innovative ideas that informed the contents of the kitemark. The results grew into an alliance between Loughborough University London, Citizens UK, St James’ Church, Clapton, Hackney Foodbank, Money A+E, plus two energy companies, Bulb and Octopus, who partnered to make this happen.

Successful campaigns led by Citizens UK such as the Living Wage (in which Loughborough University’s collaboration was also instrumental) has resulted in pay rises for over 150,000 workers and their families. This reveals not only the importance of raising market standards to reduce poverty, but also exposes the extreme pressures on low incomes families and the importance of doing all we can to tackle market forces that perpetuate poor sector practices.

Laura commented:

As the academic leaders of the campaign team, our function is to actively involve stakeholders (customers, business suppliers), to raise the sector standards. Earlier this year, we run workshops with the community to hear what a fair energy supplier means for local residents. The message is clear: fair pricing, equitable service, and responsibility for the environment.

The project won a JOINT fund award to design and prototype the campaign’s branding and communication strategy, by co-designing with the companies and the public. Laura said:

We are proud for the university’s vision to back this project. We now ready to launch the Fair Energy Mark campaign within the Olympic Park neighbourhood to test the business model and branding before scaling-up to national level.

This is also the first design-led project that will directly contribute to building capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and impact within Citizens UK as an organisation.

If you want to know more about the Fair Energy Mark Campaign, contact Dr. Laura Santamaria, l.santamaria@lboro.ac.uk.

Summer Opening Times

June 26, 2019 Sammie Man

We know that some students are still studying over the summer holidays, which means that they will be out and about on campus! We’ve put together a list of the opening times around campus.

Continue reading

Update to Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence

June 26, 2019 Mike Collett

Dear Colleagues,
On Monday 17th June, from 4:00pm to 4:30pm, the Windows 10 Staff Re-Image Task Sequence will be updated to provide support for the Dell Latitude 3400.
The Task Sequences will be at risk during this period. It is therefore recommended that you do not attempt to image any Windows 10 staff computers at this time.
Please contact our Service Desk at it.services@lboro.ac.uk for more information