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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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

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| 1 July 2011 | Issue 528

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


Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster - collaboration

Following preliminary discussions, the University has agreed to set up a Joint Strategic Planning Group (JSPG) with the University of Liverpool to explore the benefits of closer collaboration. The group will be chaired by Professor Sir Colin Lucas, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. The group will be meeting over the next few months and will report to the Vice-Chancellors of the two Universities in the autumn.

The University is committed to keeping staff, students and other key stakeholders informed on a regular basis. As many of you will know, the two institutions already collaborate in medical education, Particle Physics through the Cockcroft Institute and the Doctoral Training Centre in Social Sciences.

Whatever the outcome of the discussions, the potential breadth of collaboration will only be pursued if it supports development of our Strategic Plan, adds value for each institution, and puts us in a position where we can take advantage of recommendations in the Government’s White Paper on Research and Innovation due to be published in the autumn.

White Paper on Higher Education

The Government's White Paper on the reform of the higher education system was published this week and is available to view here. See the 1994 Group response to the White Paper here.

Student wins African playwriting competition

Nigerian writer Bode Asiyanbi has won the 2011 BBC African Performance playwriting competition for his play Shattered. He is studying on the Lancaster University Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing and is a recipient of an International Scholarship for 2010-12. It is the second time he has won the accolade - he was selected as the winner in 2005. Full story.

Honorary Degrees

The Honorary Degrees Committee are now seeking nominations for Honorary Degree recipients for 2012. Suitable nominees should have recognised international standing within their field and preferably strong links with the University or the local region. If you wish to make a nomination please contact Hazel Hardie. The deadline for nominations is Friday 19th August.

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Changes

Details of changes which become effective on 1 October 2011, can be found on the HR website.

Free bus travel for staff in Graduation Week

Stagecoach in partnership with Lancaster University are providing staff working at the University with 7-days free bus travel in the Unirider area (including ‘Unirider South’ area from Catterall) for Graduation Week (Monday 18th to Friday 22nd July 2011). The offers applies to staff that do not currently have any type of Unirider bus pass. Vouchers for a free 7-day ticket can be obtained from the LUSU Information Desk, Slaidburn House between Thursday 7th July and Friday 15th July, subject to availability. Vouchers must be redeemed with a bus driver within the stated dates on the voucher. Vouchers will be offered on a first come, first served basis and 130 vouchers are being made available. Staff ID will be required to obtain a voucher such as a Library card or staff uniform. One voucher per person. For any University staff considering the subsidised Staff Unirider bus pass next year this is a good opportunity to try the bus for a week, free of charge. More information on University bus services here.

Temporary Changes to Bus Services on Campus for the Race for Life Event – Sunday 3rd July

On Sunday 3rd July between 08:00 and 13:00 University buses will service all stops on Alexandra Park ONLY and enter and depart the campus from the Alexandra Park entrance off Hazelrigg Lane. The Chaplaincy Centre bus stop will not be in service during these hours. This is due to road closures for the Race for Life event, including Bigforth Drive and North-West Drive. The suggested bus stop for those attending the Race for Life is the bus stop on the A6 at the University entrance. Participants and supporters are asked to travel to the event by public transport. Once Bigforth Drive reopens at the end of the race, bus services will return to normal and the Chaplaincy Centre bus stop will reopen.

Stagecoach will be operating a special bus timetable for the event on Sunday 3rd July. Competitors will travel for free and supporters/family at ordinary fares, see notices for more information. See a copy of the special Race for Life bus timetable Stagecoach website.


Congratulations to Dr Tim Dant (Sociology) who has been awarded a Personal Chair.

Dr Agata Fijalkowski (Law) recently presented a paper on judicial identity at the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory's conference on the 'Shaping of Identity and Personality during Communist Rule: History in the Service of Totalitarian Regimes in Eastern Europe', in Tallinn, organised in conjunction with UNITAS and supported by the Estonian President, Toomas Ilves. See link for further information.

Dr Jim Wild from the Department of Physics addressed an event at the House of Commons on the theme of Global Challenges - Solutions from Science on June 28. Dr Wild, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, talked about space weather at the event, which was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It was opened by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, with a keynote address by the Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts. Other speakers included the RSC President Professor David Phillips OBE FRSC and Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee. The event was designed to attract a Parliamentary audience of MPs & Peers as well as a scientific audience.

Dr Wild is also to attend the flagship Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London from July 5-10 along with Dr Andrew Kavanagh, Dr Emma Woodfield and PhD student Nathan Case, who are all from the Department of Physics, in a visit funded by the Friends Programme. The four scientists will join colleagues from UCL, Imperial College, the University of Leicester and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at an exhibit called Aurora Explorer based on their research into the Northern Lights. The exhibit is one of only 22 chosen from over a hundred applications. The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition showcases the best in UK research before the public and VIP guests including senior policymakers. Last year there were 9,000 visitors from all over the world.

Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) is taking part in the London Literature Festival this weekend at the Royal Festival Hall, reading from his book ‘Edgelands’ with co-author Michael Symmons Roberts in an event chaired by Richard Mabey. This year’s Festival, ‘the capital’s biggest annual showcase of cool writing from around the world’ (Time Out) also features Philip Pullman, Alan Hollinghurst, Gilbert and George, Ali Smith and Liz Lochhead.

Lancaster in the news

Follow link to see a list of people in the news.

Roger Kemp (Engineering) has been interviewed for The Sunday Times and is quoted in The Engineer commenting on the Government’s infrastructure strategy for plug-in electric vehicles which was published June 30. The Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings is quoted widely in the national press commenting on this week’s White Paper on higher education.


Survey Invite - SMOKING on campus

In the interest of health promotion on campus, a project team is considering possible ways of extending NO SMOKING areas beyond the legal requirements on Lancaster University campus. The aim is to improve our overall quality of life, by reducing the unpleasant effects of smoke.

Please tell us what you think by completing this short survey. The survey will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 12 July.

Also, information is available on services in the Lancaster area to help stoping smoking here

Wellbeing at Work update

Information is now available on the Human Resources website describing a range of actions as a result of the Wellbeing at Work Survey, including:

Police appeal

Police are appealing for help following a series of burglaries at Graduate College. They are asking for help to identify the indiviual in the attached images (1, 2, 3, 4) taken at 4.00am on Saturday 18th June at Graduate College. If anyone has any information in connection with the incident contact Lancaster Police Station on 01524 63333 quoting the crime number BA1102192 and asking for the officer in charge of the case, Ben Benter.

Although incidents are rare, staff and students are reminded to make sure that windows and doors are locked if the room is unoccupied and that valuables are kept out of view.

Development opportunities

Postgraduates Who Teach (Supporting Learning Programme) Recruitment for the next one-day Survival Skills workshops and the 4-month Supporting Learning Programme for Postgraduates who teach will begin shortly. This programme is professionally recognised by two national bodies, the Higher Education Academy and the Staff and Educational Development Association. All participants require a more experienced teacher (a GTA or academic member of staff) as their departmental mentor for the duration of the programme.

If you are making Survival Skills or SLP mandatory for your GTAs, please advise us as soon as possible about the number of places you may require ( For more information about these educational development opportunities please see link.

Certificate in Academic Practice (CAP)

Ali Cooper, Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (CAP) programme for academic staff, will shortly be circulating details regarding opportunities to reserve provisional places on the CAP programme in 2011/12.

Statistical Consultancy Service

The statistical consultancy service offers free statistical advice to members of staff and postgraduates of Lancaster University. The service is run by academics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

If you wish to take advantage of the service, please email (from a Lancaster email address). Please give a clear description of the research question, the data you have available (or plan to collect) and what you have already done. We will reply to offer advice and/or arrange a meeting with an appropriate person.

We encourage you to get statistical support at the design stage of your project where possible: this ensures you will have appropriate output on which to carry out meaningful analysis. Where appropriate, we would be happy to consider developing the consulting request into a joint grant application or a joint publication.

Homestay Scheme

The Accommodation Office are looking to increase the number of host families participating in their Homestay scheme, where overseas students are placed with a local family for part of their studies. The arrangement is normally for one term but could be longer. Previous families say they have found the experience rewarding, and you can host on either a self catering or full board basis, which would be reflected in the rent payable. If you are interested and would like further details, please contact the Accommodation Office, or call 01524 594694 to speak to Sue Dunkeld or Sarah Barcas.

Work to Alexandra Park

Access to Alexandra Park from the perimeter road will be closed on Friday 8th July. Access will be via Hazelrigg Lane and diversions will be in place to allow two way traffic on the Alexandra Park Drive one way system. Access to the main campus from Green Lane on Alexandra Park will be restricted until 1st July, at the junction of Green Lane/Perimeter Rd, traffic management will be in place but access will be available throughout. Pedestrian access will also be restricted but diversions will be in place to ensure access is available throughout. To see a map of the closures click here

Bus services on Alexandra Park and South-West Drive – 1st and 8th July

Due to roadworks closing access to Alexandra Park from the perimeter road there will be changes to bus services on Friday 1st and Friday 8th July. Services 3 and 4 will continue on the A6 to enter the campus at the Alexandra Park entrance off Hazelrigg Lane. They will stop at the Cartmel South bus stop at the bottom of Alexandra Park before proceeding to the Chaplaincy Centre via South-West Drive. There is a new temporary bus stop on SW Drive (northbound) opposite the main entrance to the Management School until Monday 11th July. Therefore, on these 2 dates the following bus stops will be out of service:

At all other times University bus services will operate as normal.

Tower Avenue closure

On Tuesday 5th July from 10am – 6pm it will be necessary to close Tower Avenue to enable the safe delivery of the roof panels. Therefore there will be no vehicle access during these times. Pedestrians will still be able to use the footpaths that go through Furness Residences to the shops, but will not have access to the loading bays.

Please ensure any deliveries/refuse collections are made before 10am or after 6pm on this day or use one of the alternative delivery areas as marked on the attached map. Please note that the access to the maintenance workshops and Helme’s garage will not be closed off completely during these times but will be restricted during the actual deliveries so there may be delays to access the area. Facilities apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, if you have any questions about the work please contact the Project Manager, Peter McMullen on 01524 593646.


For a full list of all events, please see Events.

Gradstock & Alexandra Park Festival
Saturday 9th July - FREE all day event at Graduate College from midday until midnight

Day Event: Alexandra Park Festival 12:30pm-6:00pm

  • Children’s bouncy castle, ‘sports day’ games
  • Craft & jumble stalls, facepainting
  • Henna ‘tattooing’
  • Bucking bronco
  • Pole-jousting
  • Giant games
  • DJ & music
  • Gradbar open all day
  • BBQ, hogroast & pancakes
  • Evening Event: Gradstock 7:30pm-1:00am

  • DJs
  • Tin pan alley
  • Reggiemental
  • BBQ & hogroast
  • After party @ the dalton rooms (free bus to town)


    A tutorial in social science simulation using SOARS

    Monday 25 July 2011, 14:00 in A1, Management School Add to your calendar. Presented by Professor Hiroshi Deguchi and Dr. Manabu Ichikawa Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

    Grad Bar presents

    The Usuals live - This Friday (1st July) at 9pm.

    Grad Bar will remain open daily from 8.00 - 11.00pm during the summer vacation until Friday 9th September.


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