Reporter 419, 27 April 1998

News in brief

Fellowship honour

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Wilson was among a small group of people who received their diplomas of Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute at the historic Carpenters’ Hall in the City of London recently. Fellowship is the highest award that can be conferred by the Council of the Institute. It was established in 1878 and the first award of Fellowship was made in 1892. Since then around 400 Fellowships have been awarded. Sir Neil Thorne and Sir Robert Balchin, both members of Court, also received the Fellowship.

Latest pay offer

A revised pay offer of 2.9 per cent has been made by the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) following the rejection of an initial offer by higher education unions. The increase would be made in two stages – with 2 per cent payable from April 1 followed by 3.8 per cent payable for the remaining six months of the pay year.

UCEA says the offer is in line with pay awards for public sector groups and the underlying level of inflation.

The Association of University Teachers described the offer – an increase of less than one-third of a per cent on the original offer – as bitterly disappointing. “This is not an offer which rewards the success of higher education.” said David Triesman, general secretary of the AUT.

Salary scales revised

Agreement has been reached on the implementation of the revised salary scales for clinical staff. The 3 per cent increase will be made in two stages – 2.35 per cent effective from April 1 and an additional 2.2 per cent from December 1 1998 in line with the Doctors and Dentists Review Body pay award. Arrangements are being made to pay the first stage of this increase with salaries for the month of April 1998. Details of the revised scales will be described in a Staff Information circular.

The salaries of members of staff whose appointments are financed from outside sources can be increased only when permission of the granting body has been obtained. Steps are being taken for such permission to be sought where appropriate. Queries should be directed to the Human Resources Office on ext 3969.

Army of visitors

The Pro-Chancellor Colonel Alan Roberts hosted a visit on March 30 for a party of ten senior defence officials as part of a week-long fact finding tour to the Yorkshire and Humber region, forming a part of their senior management course at the Royal College of Defence Studies. The visitors included six defence officials from Britain and four from overseas. The tour leader was Major-General P A Chambers of the British Army.

The evening included three presentations on the University, by Dr Richard Rastall, Professor Chris Snowden and Professor David Johnson. Members of staff and students from a variety of faculties and administrative offices also attended.

Macmillan funding

Leeds has been selected as one of only five Universities nationwide to host a Macmillan Education Unit. A five-year contract has been signed with Macmillan Cancer Relief Fund to set up the prestigious new unit within the School of Healthcare Studies. The funding will support two lecturers and a secretary. The Unit will identify and meet the educational needs of Macmillan postholders; participate in the Macmillan National Education Programme; take part in research activity and contribute to programmes within the School related to cancer and palliative care.

Expansion welcomed

Places for an extra 13,576 full and part-time students have been approved by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, after a slight easing of the strict cap on university student numbers. However, more than two-thirds of the 5,440 full-time undergraduate places will be going to the new universities and further education colleges.

Place in the Academy

Colin Robinson, Professor of Oral Biology at the School of Dentistry, has been elected founder fellow of the newly created British Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Robinson is one of 90 elected fellows from universities across the country.

The right chemistry

Professor Keith Bartle has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Industrially-Sponsored Award in Chromatography and Separation Science was made in recogniton of his contributions to separation science, particularly in the development of supercritical fluid chromatography.

Children get a sweet message from TV

TV commercials during children’s programmes are dominated by sweets and foods of questionable value, according to Dr Andrew Hill and Dr Miranda Lewis of Leeds School of Medicine. They told the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Brighton that food adverts made up more than half of the total.

After studying the response of 103 nine-year-olds to different commercials, the Leeds researchers found that overweight children felt more healthy after watching the food adverts. This group also had a reduced desire to eat sweets.

“We need to know more about who is most influenced and by what features of advertising,” said Dr Hill.

In need of nurses

A major drive has been launched in Leeds to attract more people into nursing in response to a national shortage of entrants to the profession and a drop in applications to the University’s School of Healthcare Studies.

The School is holding a series of open evenings in a bid to boost April admissions and an additional January intake to nursing courses is being arranged. Market research will look at the reasons behind the local drop in entrants to the profession.

“We fully support the School in the measures they are taking,” said John Kelly, Chief Nursing Officer at St James’s and Seacroft University Hospitals. “There certainly is a problem both nationally and locally and we welcome the positive steps the School is taking to tackle it.”

Police presentation

On 3 April a presentation was made to Professor Roger Hartley of the Computer Based Learning Unit by Chief Superintendent Michael Davies of the Metropolitan Police/ New Scotland Yard.

Over the last seven years a sophisticated computer based simulation package has been developed by the CBL Unit group at Leeds, led by Andrew Cole and Dr Conroy Mallen, for the training of Senior Police Officers in crisis management and the control of large-scale incidents. This innovative work has been highly successful and is attracting interest in other cities in the UK and in Europe.

Pupils in practice

Leeds pupils became dons for a day and had a chance of presenting papers just like academics at an international conference. This early taste of higher education came at a pilot for a summer school, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, run by the School of Computer Studies earlier this month.

Twelve pupils from Primrose High School took part. They gave talks on chosen subjects, learnt how to use the World Wide Web, developed their presentation skills and talked to each other using video conferencing technology.

The School hopes that the summer schools in July will see around 25 pupils from five Leeds schools participating in each session.

Healthy progress

The University’s newest school is celebrating its second birthday. The School of Healthcare Studies was formed in April 1996 added some 2,000 students and more than 200 staff to the University.

“It has been an extremely exciting and challenging period for us,” says John Hudson, Dean of the School and previously the principal of the Leeds College of Health. “We have every reason to celebrate our second birthday and are looking forward to our third which will see us only weeks away from moving into our new home in the redeveloped Baines Wing.” *More...

Physics farewell

The Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted a Symposium to mark the retirement of Professor Michael Hillas earlier this month. The themes of the meeting were the areas of cosmic ray origin and TeV gamma ray astronomy for which Professor Hillas is famous and for which he received the 1998 Rutherford Medal of the Institute of Physics.

Amongst the 60 scientists from 11 countries who attended were one Nobel Laureate, two Directors of Max Planck Institutes and the Director of a National Research Centre in Italy.

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