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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.

See the Press Office news and events pages here

| 30 March 2012 | Issue 561

Greetings to our Jewish readers who celebrate Passover (Pesach in Hebrew), one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar, on 7 April.

There will be no edition of LU Text on Friday 6 April. The next edition will be published on Friday 13 April 2012. Happy Easter to all.

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


‘Positive outlook’ for Lancaster University

Lancaster University’s credit rating has been upgraded to A+ with a ‘positive outlook’ by the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s. This revised outlook reflects high demand for Lancaster's undergraduate and graduate courses, supported by its improving reputation for teaching and research. Lancaster is one of only a few UK universities to have a public credit rating. Full story.

Confucius Institute helping North West Business Grow in China

China offers tremendous export possibilities to businesses in the North West, and Lancaster University is well placed to help companies understand the country better, according to the Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment North West. Clive Drinkwater, Director for UKTI North West, was visiting Lancaster University’s Confucius Institute - a major new hub for Chinese language and culture - to learn about the Institute’s work and talk about business engagement. Full story.

Visitors from Finland at the Lancaster Environment Centre

Scientists from Finland have been talking about their work on water conservation while on a visit to the Lancaster Environment Centre. The Pyhajarvi Institute is an environmental research institute involved in the management of Lake Pyhajarvi. Three visitors from the Institute and four from the Environment Centre in Finland have been learning about Lancaster University’s research in water conservation. Full story.

Lancaster scientists to develop drought resistant crops

Lancaster University researchers working at the forefront of agricultural science have been awarded nearly half a million pounds to help keep food crops growing in times of drought. The European Commission has now funded two new major international projects in which Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) scientists Dr Ian Dodd and Dr Sally Wilkinson will play key roles. Full story.

The Honorary Degrees Committee

Nominations are invited for Honorary Degrees for 2013. The Committee is particularly looking for nominations for people who have excelled in their chosen field, who have not been previously recognised by similar awards. For further details, please visit here, or contact Dr Hazel Hardie, Committee Secretary on x92394.

Welcome to Blackburn St Wilfrid’s Church of England Academy School

More than 260 students from Blackburn will be on campus on Monday, 2 April, as part of a visit day to Lancaster University. The visit, organised by the UK student recruitment team, will give the year ten pupils a taste of university life. Pupils will work alongside current Lancaster University student ambassadors, discussing what it is like to be a university student and taking part in workshops on motivation and team working.

Emergency plans test

The University will be testing its emergency plans on Thursday 19 April which will involve a realistic simulation of an incident. Emergency services will be on campus as part of this exercise. Signs will be displayed during the ‘incident’ so people are aware that it is an exercise.

Police appeal following armed robbery in Lancaster

Police are appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery in Lancaster on Thursday. The incident happened at Cumbrian property services/Marsden building society on Church Street at around 12pm. A man approached the counter and threatened the assistant with what is believed to be a handgun and demanded cash. Anyone with information is asked to call Lancaster CID on 101. People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at


Dr Paul Oldham (Cesagen/Sociology) participated in a joint UK-Brazil workshop on the Nagoya Protocol and access to genetic materials and benefit sharing at Kew Gardens on 12 March and provided a briefing for the Brazilian government delegation on work at Cesagen on Access and Benefit-Sharing.

Professor Paul Farley (English and Creative Writing) has appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s flagship conversation programme Start the Week on 26 March. Paul’s fellow guests were legendary film director Werner Herzog, novelist Geoff Dyer and filmmaker Liz Mermin. Paul was invited to talk about his new book of poems, The Dark Film, to be published by Picador. The Dark Film has recently been awarded the Poetry Book Society Choice by the book club established by TS Eliot and friends in 1953.

Dr John Welshman (History) took part in the Oxford Literary Festival, on a panel with fellow Titanic authors Frances Wilson and Nic Compton. His book has been featured on several websites, including My Book, The Movie.

Professor Sheila Payne, Division of Health Research, was invited to give the after dinner talk about international leadership in palliative care nursing at the prestigious annual ‘International Journal of Palliative Nursing’ awards ceremony held at The Honourable Artillery Company, in the City of London on Thursday 29 March, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. This event recognises excellence in palliative care nursing across the world.

Grizedale College is looking for a senior advisor. The post will run from 1 August 2012 until 31 July 2015 and the job encompasses all things relating to welfare in the college. A small honorarium is paid in recognition of this post. Interested parties are invited to apply for the post in writing to or Please email for a full job description.

The Sports Centre has been encouraging students, staff and the general public to raise money for Sport Relief through a range of fundraising events. £500 has been raised from a three hour Zumbathon, climbing wall event and a fancy dress badminton challenge. Thank you to everyone that donated. Visit the Sports Centre website for more information and photos of the events.

Opportunities for student start-ups. Santander Universities Entrepreneurship awards offer cash prizes of up to £5,000 for business proposals from undergraduates and £20,000 for post-graduates or alumni. The 55 Santander partner universities in the UK have been invited to nominate one business proposal in each category for consideration of an award. Applicants for consideration as Lancaster’s entry should submit an executive summary of their business plan of two sides of A4 to Jon Powell (01524 594137), Lancaster Enterprise Champion by 4.00pm Friday 27 April.

Cisco BIG Awards are the latest development in the global software company’s British Innovation Gateway initiative. BIG Awards is open to individuals or legal entities in the UK to enter their technology concept or prototype idea in competition for a top prize of $100,000 plus expert support to the same value. Anyone interested should visit the BIG Awards site. The closing date is 1 May.

Lancaster in the news

A TV crew from China spent three days on campus filming staff and students from every faculty for a TV documentary on innovative and creative teaching, which will be broadcast across China. Also, Dr Brian McGarrie of LUMS was quoted in The Times supplement.

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


Catering outlets on campus – opening times

All closed Friday 6 April and Monday 9 April

Campus Bar Easter Opening Times

Tower Avenue work

Work started last week on a trench from the Perimeter Road near Helme Garage, along Tower Avenue towards the Furness building. The work is expected to take three weeks, vehicle and pedestrian access will be maintained at all times although there may be some delays due to traffic controls. If you have any queries about the work please contact the Project Manager, Anna Cockman via the Facilities Helpdesk 93333.

Engineering & Fylde refurbishment work

On Monday 2 April work is due to start on refurbishing C Floor of the Engineering building and the corridors in Fylde (Floors A – D). The work will take place over the Easter break and will include new carpet tiles, repainting all previously painted surfaces and blinds in some areas. If you have any queries, please contact the Senior Project Manager Stuart Foy via the Facilities Helpdesk 93333.

Temporary road closure

On 19 April Physics Avenue will be closed from 8am to 12 noon to enable equipment deliveries to the central services plant room at the bottom of the Avenue. There will also be no parking between the end of Physics Avenue and the east roundabout during this time. Facilities apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please contact the Facilities Helpdesk if you have any queries 93333.

Sports Centre - studio and sports hall closed

To maintain the high quality facilities at the Sport Centre we will be undertaking work in the Sports Hall and Studio over the Easter break. There will be no classes in the Studio or activities in the Sports Hall on the following dates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

To view the Sports Centre opening hours including swimming pool opening hours over the Easter holidays click here.


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

Children's Easter party and egg hunt

Tuesday 3 April, 2-5pm, Fylde Common Room, With Easter Basket and card making etc. followed by an egg hunt (outside if the weather is good!) Open to student and staff families and guests. Refreshments will be provided Please email, as soon as possible so we have an idea of numbers to cater for.

MAD4KIDS – multi-activity days for kids

The Sports Centre still has some spaces for its children’s Easter holiday Multi Activity Days, for more information and to book click here.

Children’s swimming lessons over the Easter holidays

A two week programme of children’s swimming lessons is available over the Easter holidays. For more information visit the Sports Centre website.

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.

Department of European Languages and Cultures research seminar series

Other Spaces: Representations of alterity and space in contemporary Mallorcan literature in the context of economic and institutional pressures, delivered by Xavier Barceló (University of the Balearic Islands). Wednesday 2 May, 5pm, Bowland North Seminar Room 10

Commemorating Simón Bolívar in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Matthew Brown (University of Bristol). Wednesday 25 April, 5pm, Bowland North SR10.


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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.

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