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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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| 3 February 2012 | Issue 553

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


Lancaster leads £9.8M eco innovation centre

Lancaster University is set to lead a new global eco-innovation centre which will bolster the region’s economy in key export markets and drive forward improvements in green technology and services. Full story

Anuj Bidve Memorial Scholarship

An annual Anuj Bidve Memorial Scholarship has been created in honour of the postgraduate student who was killed in Salford. The scholarship will fund a student graduating from the University of Pune in India (as Anuj did) to come to Lancaster University to study an MSc in the Engineering Department. It is hoped that the first student to receive the award could come to Lancaster in October 2012. The scholarship, which is for fees and accommodation, has been agreed in line with the wishes of Anuj’s family.


The University has bucked the national trend and seen a 7.5 per cent increase in student applications. This week, UCAS announced an overall 7.4 per cent decline in undergraduate student applications in the UK. However, applications to Lancaster have remained robust despite the changes to tuition fees and funding. Total applications this time last year were 16,279, this year the figure is 17,506. The University has also experienced a significant increase in prospective students and their parents visiting Lancaster over the recruitment cycle and has welcomed over 25,000 visitors to campus. Full story

Minister launches forum to forge innovation between universities and industry

The Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts has launched an Industry Innovation Forum (IIF) to promote competitive advantage and economic growth. The Forum aims to maximise linkages and market pull between private sector research and development, industrial and consumer needs and the world class research base in the UK. The initiative brings together global companies involved in R&D, government bodies and world leading experts from the North of England’s eight most research-intensive universities, known as the N8. The Forum is led by the N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration between the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. Full story

Grasslands soils offer some insurance against climate change

The earth beneath our feet plays an important role in carbon storage – a key factor in climate change – and new research published in Nature Climate Change this week shows that in times of drought some types of soil perform better than others. Research led by Dr Franciska de Vries of the Lancaster Environment Centre, showed that in drought conditions soil under agricultural grasslands was able to continue doing its job of containing carbon rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. Soil under intensively managed wheat fields, however was not so efficient. The grasslands in the study also retained their nutrients better under drought conditions, when compared with wheat fields.Full story

Budget increase means more health research for Cumbria and Lancashire

More patients in Lancashire and Cumbria will be given the opportunity to take part in research seeking better treatment for debilitating conditions thanks to a ten per cent budget increase this year. For the fourth consecutive year, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has increased its funding to support high-quality NHS research throughout Cumbria and Lancashire. It has allocated the area a budget of £6.2 million for 2012-13, which is an increase of ten per cent on last year. The research, which is led by many of the country’s best researchers including teams at Lancaster University, will investigate a wide range of conditions including arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and reproductive health. Full story

Lancaster University signs research agreement with Myerscough College

Lancaster University and Myerscough College have both signed a formal agreement to develop research on environmental and agricultural issues. The Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University has a valuable long-standing research link with Myerscough College with current joint research projects funded by the Horticultural Development Company, DEFRA, the EU and local companies. Full story.

GDGWI-Lancaster University inaugural graduation ceremony

The Chancellor, Sir Christian Bonington CVO CBE DL, will preside over the inaugural graduation ceremony of GDGWI-Lancaster University which will be held in India on 8 February . 111 students will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and another 20 will graduate with an MSc Management and Law, MSc Management or MSc Management and Marketing. 556 students are currently studying for a Lancaster degree at GDGWI in Gurgaon. There will be a live webcast of the ceremony available to watch here.


A new report by Professor Sylvia Walby, UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, and Jude Towers, has raised concerns about the implications of public expenditure reductions for the provision of local violence against women services. Full story

Alumnus Andrew Miller has won the 2011 Costa Book of the Year Award for his novel, Pure. Andrew, who gained a PhD in 1995 from the Department of English and Creative Writing, was presented with his prize at a ceremony in London. His first novel, Ingenious Pain, won the Impac Dublin prize and the James Tait Black award. In 2001, his novel Oxygen was shortlisted for the Booker and Whitbread (forerunner of the Costa) novel prize. Full story.

Former staff member Diane Duke has been appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire. Mrs Duke, who was responsible for organising degree ceremonies, has been private secretary to HRH Princess Alexandra since 2005. She is one of six new Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire Lord Shuttleworth to assist him in representing The Queen and carrying out official duties around the county.

New Principals needed

Would you be interested in a part-time role as a College Principal, with your department receiving a buy-out for the loss of your time? We are seeking new Principals for the following Colleges from 1 August 2012:

The Colleges are regarded as one of Lancaster’s distinctive features. As a Principal, you would play a role in leading the College team and shaping the life of your College for both staff and students. The role is both challenging and rewarding and you would be ably supported by the existing team of officers.

You would need:

Appointments are normally for a period of 3 years, and a quarter of your time would be ‘bought out’ from your department, subject to discussion with your Head of Department. Further particulars, including a statement of duties and responsibilities, can be obtained from Hilary Simmons. For an informal discussion about what is involved, you are welcome to get in touch with Amanda Chetwynd (extension 92088) or Hilary Simmons (extension 92020). Applications or nominations should reach Hilary Simmons in the College and Student Life by 28 February 2012.

Lancaster in the news

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

Dr Frank Cave (LUMS) was interviewed on social media start ups for The Independent while Professor Charlie Lewis was quoted in the Guardian on stay-at-home fathers.


Agresso downtime

Maintenance is planned on Agresso on Saturday 4 February as part of the ISS virtualisation project. Downtime will occur from 8am on Saturday 4 February for the remainder of the day and will affect Agresso Self Service, Agresso Smart Client and Web Payments. Web Payments will be re-directed to an alternative system so students will still be able to pay online.

Alexandra Square/Underpass Works

Construction work has started on the roof of the underpass. In a few areas and as a precautionary measure barriers will be placed to localised areas of Alexandra Square during the works. At times these may appear to cover a substantial area but will allow the contractors to work more effectively throughout the day by fencing off the full day’s operations. Facilities apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. For more information on the underpass project visit the Facilities Campus Works webpage.

Car parking scratchcards

Sales of staff and visitor one-day parking £5 scratchcards have been transferred from the Security Lodge to the Cashiers Desk in University House reception. The desk is open from 9am - 4.30pm, Monday – Friday. Scratchcards are not available to students. Departments can continue to purchase scratchcards from Lilian Rogers in the Car Parking Office, Security Lodge as previously.

Nightline appeal

Stephen Fry is making a charity appeal on BBC Radio 4 on behalf of the national Nightline Association which provides peer support to students. Nightline now operates in over forty universities in the UK including Lancaster thanks to trained student volunteers. All offer a telephone helpline and many also offer drop-in, email listening and online listening services. Listen to the appeal here.

Live at LICA gallery shop

The gallery shop at Live at LICA has re-opened for the season in the Peter Scott Gallery. There is a selection of books and DVDs relating to our current season, homemade cards and locally made crafts for sale. Opening times are 11am-5pm weekdays, 11am - 4pm Saturdays and until 7.30pm on shownights.

Green Lancaster bike sale

Green Lancaster will be having a bike sale in Alexandra Square on Wednesday 8 February from 11am - 3pm. There will a range of brand new bikes for both males and females. Prices are all heavily discounted and will start at a bargain £120. In addition to selling bikes there will be cycle accessories and a limited stock of free hi-viz vests. Also on 8 February between 10am and 4pm, Dr. Bike will be in Alexandra Square to tweak any cable slack or new bike niggles as well as perform safety checks and minor repairs for free.

Training and courses

Organisation and Educational Development

The ‘Development Opportunities for Staff’ is available to view online. Here you will find the most up to date information; so if you have mislaid your hard copy or need a reminder of what is available, take a look at the many development opportunities on offer.

Managing the equality and diversity agenda, 21 February, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
The programme explains how the University organises equality and diversity activity and the daily practices required in creating a culture for the maximum benefit of all. It also covers legislation (including the Equality Act 2010) and explains the related language and terms.

To enrol on the above, or for further details, please contact the OED team.

Staff and student training available for 2011/12 Moodle VLE prototype

Staff (and their students) who have modules using the 2011/12 Moodle prototype can receive training and support in using Moodle from ISS eLearning Assistants. Availability of the eLearning Assistants is as follows:

Staff IT Training

There are places available on the following free IT training sessions run by ISS, in the Library Training suites. If you would like to attend any of these sessions please book online.

More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.


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

Faith debates

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, will speak at the first in a series of faith debates organised by the Lancaster University-led AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme on Wednesday 8 February 2012, 5.30-7pm at Sixty One Whitehall.

Ruskin exhibition

“Beautiful effects”: Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Switzerland - 16 January - 5 April
The Whitehouse Collection held by the Ruskin Foundation at the Ruskin Library contains 125 Daguerreotypes – one-off plates using the first popular process of permanent photography. The third display in a series of four, this focuses on the Swiss scenes. John Ruskin travelled to the French and Swiss Alps more often than any other place in Europe, from a childhood visit in 1833, when he was just fourteen, to a few days on the return from his last continental trip in 1888. See the website for further information.

The Mayor of Lancaster presents Music Through Time - a concert by the University of Lancaster Music Society

A charity performance to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity Fund is being held on Saturday 4 February, 7.30pm. Tickets available in advance from: The Mayor’s Office, Town Hall, Lancaster, LA1 1PJ , Telephone (01524) 582070, email Or you can pay on the door on the night. Adults £5, concessions £2.50. Family ticket (2 adults, 2 concessions) £12.00 Ashton

Reconceptualising space in learning

Department of Educational Research Seminar Series. Presented by Dr Sue Smith, Director, LEAD, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, LUMS. This seminar will take place on Wednesday 22 February, 12.30pm - 2.00pm, FASS Building, MR1 (formerly IAS Building). For more information contact Dee Daglish, or go to the forthcoming events section on the Department of Educational Research website. Everyone welcome.


All adverts - posted by staff.

Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
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