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LU Text

LU Text is published by the Press Office on Fridays during term time and aims to keep you regularly informed of the University's news and developments. Editor, Vicky Tyrrell. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 26 February 2010 | Issue 469

Contents: news; Lancaster in the news; people; deaths; notices; what's on; ads


Lancaster University credit rating upgraded to A+

The credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has announced an upgrade to Lancaster University’s credit rating to 'A+' from 'A'. The upgrade reflects Lancaster's increased research status among UK universities, its rising enrolments of overseas and postgraduate students and its track record of strong financial management. Lancaster is one of only a few UK Universities to have a public credit rating. Standard and Poor’s are confident that the university will be able to maintain its creditworthiness, despite a major expected reduction in public sector funding and said that: “In comparison with other UK universities, even those rated in the 'AA' category, Lancaster has demonstrated strong financial performance over the past three years.” To view the full story

The Queen presents prize to Lancaster University

The Queen has presented an award at Buckingham Palace for Lancaster University’s world-class research into watersaving techniques for agriculture. Her Majesty presented the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education to Distinguished Professor Bill Davies, who led a team of plant biologists at the Lancaster Environment Centre in the development of the research, which will help farmers in some of the driest regions of the world and help meet the challenge of feeding seven billion people against a background of climate change. It is the third time the University has received one of these prestigious awards. To view the full story

Project aims to improve access to pain medicines across Europe

A new consortium of academic institutions and public health organizations is working to help European governments identify and remove barriers that prevent people from accessing medicines that could improve end of life care, alleviate debilitating pain and treat heroin dependence. Launched this month in Germany, and led by Professor Sheila Payne (International Observatory on End of Life Care, SHM) and colleagues at the University of Aachen, Germany and the World Health Organisation, the €2.45m EC funded Access to Opioid Medication in Europe (ATOME) project will address the legal, administrative and organisational barriers that impede access to pain management for treatment of cancer and other conditions in many European countries.

The ten ATOME partners will work with the country teams, including government officials and public health and medicines experts, to carry out legislative and policy reviews, leading to recommendations that will facilitate access for all patients requiring treatment with medicines controlled under the international drug conventions. To view the full story

Pre-School Centre judged 'outstanding'

Lancaster University Pre-School Centre has been judged outstanding in all areas after a recent Ofsted inspection. The inspection report states: “The uniqueness and individual needs of all children are recognised and catered for exceptionally well in this highly effective setting. The extremely motivated and committed staff group make sure that they successfully promote children’s safety, welfare and learning to an excellent standard.”

The report also said that children at the Centre are making impressive progress in their learning and development due to the excellent range of activities that are planned to meet their individual needs and interests. The 40-strong staff have very high morale and are led by inspirational managers who are constantly striving to improve standards. The Centre, based on campus, currently has 196 children enrolled aged from three months to just under five years olds. Inspectors said the well-resourced building was attractively decorated with artwork, with a wonderful range of equipment. Children also have access to a £40,000 specially designed outdoor area based on the natural environment. The Centre is celebrating with a party for Pre-School staff, colleagues and families on Saturday 20th March from 12 to 2pm at Barker House Farm. To view the full story and link to full report

New perspective on land use is needed for the 21st century

Professor Louise Heathwaite, Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Management in the Lancaster Environment Centre was part of a seven-member lead expert group that wrote the latest report from Foresight, the Government’s futures think tank. The report, ‘Land Use Futures’, launched yesterday at the Royal Society, looks at how landscapes and land use could change in the UK over the next 50 years. It concludes that the present way the land system is managed in the UK will need to change and will be subject to new pressures.

The report, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Communities and Local Government (CLG), outlines the findings of an extensive two-year study involving over 300 experts in subjects ranging from environmental science, economics, planning and geography. Louise will also present at the SDUK2010 'Transition to a Low Carbon Economy' conference next week on 2 March, which will be opened by the Government’s Chief Scientist John Beddington. Her talk forms part of the NERC-sponsored seminar on Cities in a Changing Climate: Factoring Science into Decision Making. See

School of Computing and Communications

Senate has recommended to Council that a new School of Computing and Communications should be established with effect from 1 August 2010. The new initiative, which builds on a long track record of collaboration, will harmonise teaching and enable degree programmes to be coordinated, develop new international teaching opportunities, and foster increased development in research and industrial collaboration across the full range of information and communications technology at Lancaster.

Updated Expenses Manual

Finance Committee has recently approved an updated Expenses Manual. This manual is intended for use by:

This is operational with immediate effect and staff should make themselves aware of the content. The document can be found on the Finance webpages at

In particular please note that Expense claims must not be used for purchases of goods and services which should be procured in the name of Lancaster University using official purchase orders as described in the procurement policy at (see section 1.2.2) and please also note the rules on telephone and broadband bills at 6.1 and 6.2. The update has been designed to ensure continued compliance with HMRC rules in this complicated area, to give clear guidance for most situations and to identify where further advice can be obtained.

Lancaster in the news

Lancaster in the news - The Press Office monitors all media coverage and this is a selection of stories from the past week, including coverage of the new CIIT/Lancaster dual degree in the Pakistan Times, Assocaited Press of Pakistan, Asian News Network and the International News from Islamabad.


Subject to approval by Council on 19 March, Senate has recommended that Professor Mary Smyth, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, be reappointed for a second and final term of up to five years from 1 August 2010. Senate also recommends to Council that Professor Amanda Chetwynd, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Colleges and the Student Experience be reappointed for a period of 4 years from 1 August 2010 and Dr Gavin Brown, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, be reappointed for a period of 4 years from 1 August 2010.

Professor Christine Sylvester (Politics/IR) has been named the Kerstin Hesselgren Chair in Sweden for the 2010-2011 academic year. The award is by nomination only and is based on international research reputation and current research interests; Professor Sylvester's "unusual" work on gender, conflict and war is noted in the announcement. She was nominated by the University of Gothenburg and is the first professor of Politics/IR to hold the Chair since Professor Carol Pateman (Berkeley) received it in 1987, the year the award was established.

Alumnus and award-winning reporter Neville Thurlbeck has been sharing his expertise with students. He graduated from Fylde College with a degree in English and Theatre Studies in 1983 and is now Chief Reporter with the News of the World, where he has won many awards. He gave a talk to students from the Department of English and Creative Writing before holding a workshop on how to get into journalism.

Lynn Austin (College & Residence Office) completed her Channel Swim Challenge and raised a total of £600 for a Spinal Cord Injuries charity. Thanks to all who donated.

Death notices

We regret to report that Peter Browning, CBE, formerly Chairman of the Buildings Committee and University Treasurer from 1993 to 1996, died on 13 February aged 82. His funeral was held on Wednesday 24 February, and there will also be a memorial service for him at Kendal Parish Church at 2.30 p.m. on 5 March 2010.


Assistant Deans - Grizedale College
Grizedale College is looking for 2 Assistant Deans for the coming academic year. The post involves: a week in summer for training; assisting with and on duty for freshers’ week; a 1 in 3 rota during term time; usually one week on two weeks off; investigating incidents and reporting to the Dean; sending out and chasing up fines. For this you get the price of the rent for an en suite room for the year. Apply by email sending your CV to no later than 22nd March 2010. Postgrad students only need apply.

Easter Break Electricity Shutdowns
In order to carry out some essential electrical safety maintenance the Facilities Infrastructure team need to shutdown the electricity to parts on the campus over the Easter break. More information and maps of the affected areas

Green Trends Focus Group
Green Trends Ltd is a business run by Lancaster University students and supported by Create, LU Enterprise Champion and Save The Children Business Heroes program. It provides forest approved bags and accessories from linen on a B2B basis. Green Trends is developing products is looking for mothers, cyclists and frequent shoppers from Lancaster University staff to form a focus group. The focus group will last approximately 1-1.5 hours, 12:00 on Wednesday 3rd March in Management School MBA area (LT04 Break). Free lunch will be provided. If you are interested in taking part in this focus group please email and include your full name, email address and a contact telephone number. Also, please indicate which category you would assign yourself: mother, cyclist or frequent shopper.

Dynamics of cardiovascular ageing study
Volunteers are invited to participate in a research study to investigate the effect of ageing on the function of the human cardiovascular system, that is, on the heart and circulatory system. The investigation is done by making a variety of non-invasive measurements while the subject lies comfortably on a bed in the Physics Department at Lancaster University. We seek healthy volunteers aged 50 years or more without history of cardiovascular diseases. If you think you belong in this group and if you would be interested in contributing to research aimed at better general wellbeing, especially in old age please contact Alan on 01524 592269, or mobile 078968882851, or email: We will be very grateful for your contribution.

Friends Programme Funding Available
Application forms can now be obtained from the Alumni and Development Office for funding available under the Lancaster University Friends Programme. Departments, colleges, and individuals can apply for funding (most grants will be in the £2,000 - £5,000 category). The next round of disbursement of funds will take place in April. Deadline for applications: 12 noon Monday 22nd March 2010. Please see the Guidance Notes for Applicants for more details. For further information and an application form, please download the details from or call Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904, email Rachel Newbury.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see Events.

One World Week – Sustainable Travel Day
As part of One World Week the University will be holding a Sustainable Travel Day on Tuesday 9th March 2010. To find out more, including how to claim your free breakfast, visit the Facilities travel website.

Invitation to this term’s IT User Forum
All Welcome: Thursday 11th March, 3-4pm, Management School LT8. Come along to find out more about what ISS is working on. There will be presentations on the following, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions:

If your department has any Green ICT innovations, come along and share them with the forum. Future forums will feature technical innovations from departments.

Fairtrade Fortnight
The first week of Fairtrade Fortnight has gone well with lots of people swapping their everyday items for Fairtrade. To view the events and offers taking place across campus for the final week, see the Fairtrade Fortnight timetable. For more information see

China Management Centre seminar
The next Lancaster China Management Centre seminar takes place on Friday March 5 at 4pm. Its subject is Community Cohesion - a contradiction in terms? with a special case study on ‘Highly Visible yet Voiceless – States of British Chinese Community and Policy Implications’. The speakers are Dr Kegang Wu, Chief China Advisor of British Chambers of Commerce and Mr Eric Ollerenshaw OBE. The seminar takes place in the Management School, Lecture Theatre 11, C103. All are welcome.

Coffee morning in the Great Hall foyer
Monday 8th March from 10-1pm. All welcome. As well as hot drinks, supplied by the café in the Great Hall (bring your own mug to get a discount), there will be cakes and savoury snacks of all descriptions as well as a raffle and a quiz with prizes and more! Leanne Bates in the Department of Continuing Education is trekking the Great Wall of China in May for charities Help The Aged/ Age Concern and all funds raised will contribute towards her sponsorship total for the charity (not towards her costs in going which she has covered herself). Contact Leanne direct to find out more


All adverts - posted by staff.

Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
Events information should be sent to Sue Barnes (01524) 592103.

LU text is usually published on Fridays. On occasion it is necessary to delay publication until the following week. ITEMS FOR INCLUSION SHOULD BE EMAILED TO THE EDITOR BY 12PM THURSDAY BEFORE PUBLICATION. Adverts are limited to University members and we are unable to check incorrect contact numbers or email addresses. All attempts will be made to include adverts sent via email, but no guarantee is made. The editor reserves the right to edit copy. The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the university management.

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