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  • Bedfordshire’s international race walker off to World Uni Games in China
    University of Bedfordshire race walker Micheal Doyle has jetted off to the World University Games in China. The games run from tomorrow (Friday, 12 August) to Tuesday, 23 August in Shenzhen, China and Micheal is travelling out with Team Ireland. The 23-year-old race walking Irishman, who hails from County Meath, is undertaking a Masters in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health Promotion at the University, having previously completed his degree in Sport and PE. Micheal was ranked number one in the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) rankings in 2010, he is ranked among the top 15 students in the world and he achieved a personal best of 87 minutes and 55 seconds over the Olympic 20k discipline last year. Micheal trains twice a day and between 10-14 times each week, clocking up an average of 90-105 miles weekly. He was recently altitude training in South Africa for a month, funded by the Irish race walking federation.
  • SiD Online is best in class for student experience
    SiD Online, the University of Bedfordshire’s student information website, has won The Tribal Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) Award for Improvements to the Student Experience. The award was presented to the University’s Head of Customer Service Excellence, Amanda Krebs, at Tribal’s recent annual SITS conference. The award celebrates the University’s achievements in utilising the ESD product, providing effective and efficient customer support and demonstrating best practice within the Higher Education sector. SiD Online is used by Student information Desks at all five of the University’s campuses as a customer relationship management and enquiry management tool. Since its launch in July 2010, SiD Online is now used by 34 teams across the University with over 286 users. Over 100,000 student enquiries were logged during its first year. Ken Barrett, ESD Product Lead at Tribal Group, said: “It is becoming increasingly important to identify an integrated approach to Customer Services within HE institutions and to have a vision to bring about holistic student support across departments and functional areas.
  • London looting raises big questions about society, says Uni expert
    The looting in London after recent riots is not just opportunistic, but raises much bigger questions about young people with nothing to lose – that’s the view of University of Bedfordshire youth culture expert Professor John Pitts. Talking to the Guardian newspaper, the criminologist said: “Things that normally constrain people are not there. Much of this was opportunism but in the middle of it there is a social question to be asked about young people with nothing to lose. “Many of the people involved are likely to have been from low-income, high-unemployment estates, and many, if not most, do not have much of a legitimate future.” Professor Pitts added: “They feel they can rationalise it by targeting big corporations. There is a sense that the companies have lots of money, while they have very little. [Looters] quickly see that police cannot control the situation, which leads to a sort of adrenalin-fuelled euphoria – suddenly you are in control and there is nothing anyone can do."
  • Reel opportunity for film exchange students
    Eight University of Bedfordshire students are in the frame for an opportunity of a lifetime when they were chosen as part of a film-making exchange in Russia and Spain. Now they’ve just completed the second leg of the three-part exchange, which saw students from Russia and Spain spend two weeks filming alongside the group from Bedfordshire. Four Bedfordshire students visited Russia in June this year and another four will visit Spain in September. The UK part of the exchange was divided between the filming process and visiting tourist attractions. The students were divided into production groups before they arrived and have been busy writing scripts and exchanging ideas using a Facebook group and emails. They started filming as soon as they arrived in the UK and had three days set aside to edit their footage into a film of twelve minutes maximum. The general brief for the film was to look at the financial difficulties facing society and the films were shot in Luton and London. All the students took on different roles, including cinematography, editing, sound, production and lighting.
  • Clearing plans underway at University of Bedfordshire
    Plans are underway at the University of Bedfordshire to help students secure a University place on A level results day (Thursday, 18 August). A 50-strong Clearing team is being trained to offer advice and support to hopeful students who will be looking to find a last-minute place. On the first day of the Clearing campaign last year the University received a staggering 19,000 calls to its special hotline. Places are expected to fill up fast this time round. Head of UK/EU Admissions Susie King said: “We are expecting to have some places available, particularly in computing, science, law and business and we anticipate getting a large number of calls this year. “We will have a dedicated team of advisers on hand to guide students through the clearing process but my advice would be for students to act quickly if they don’t get the grades they need. The sooner they call us the quicker we can help them secure a place.”
  • Vice Chancellor appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Bedfordshire
    The University of Bedfordshire's Vice Chancellor, Professor Les Ebdon CBE, has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Bedfordshire. The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Sir Samuel Whitbread, conferred the honour earlier this week.   Deputy Lieutenants, of which there are currently 27 in the county, are appointed to support the Lord Lieutenant who is the Queen's representative in Bedfordshire.  In practice Lord Lieutenants are primarily involved with a wide range of voluntary activity; supporting and encouraging people who are committed to work in and for their communities and make connections between  different voluntary activities. Also, as leaders in Bedfordshire, The Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants have an important role in relation to local, civic, business, industrial,  social and community life.   Professor Ebdon said: "I'm thrilled and delighted to receive this unexpected honour and look forward to supporting Sir Samuel Whitbread with his important work."
  • University joins Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme
    The University of Bedfordshire has joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. The programme is Britain's good practice employers' forum on lesbian, gay and bisexual equality Run by Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity, the Diversity Champions programme promotes a good working environment for all existing and potential staff and students and helps to ensure equal treatment for those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. The University joins employers as diverse as Derby City Council, the Environment Agency of England and Wales, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and a host of universities across the UK on the programme, which to date has over 600 major employer members. Dr Peter Norrington, Champion of the University’s Sexual Orientation and Transgender Forum said: “It’s great to see the University supporting the development of active, relevant and representational approaches to sexual orientation and transgender issues. We’re looking forward to creating a supportive environment for all staff and students.”
  • Bedfordshire staff take centre court for UK university sport
    Two staff members from the University of Bedfordshire have been appointed key roles in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). Professor John Brewer, who is Director of Sport at the University, has joined the Executive Board of BUCS, while Sport Development Officer Julia Lines will be part of the Advisory Group. Both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the roles. Professor Brewer said: “I’m really looking forward to being part of a group that steers the direction of sport in higher education. The University of Bedfordshire has worked closely with BUCS over many years and I’m looking forward to being able to play a bigger role in university and college sport. “As a board member and Director of Sport at the University of Bedfordshire, I’m especially excited about the BUCS 2012 Athletics Championships to be held at the new Olympic stadium in London. I hope we can see our own University athletes compete in this high-profile event in such a fantastic location.”
  • Engineering students get a taste of the aircraft industry
    A group of University of Bedfordshire engineering students got the chance to see aircraft maintenance in action on a recent visit to Monarch Engineering at London Luton Airport. Seventeen members of the University’s Students’ Branch of the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineering (IEEE) met with John Swords, Maintenance and Operations Change Agent at Monarch Engineering, who explained the various services Monarch provides to the aviation industry. The students also met with Monarch’s General Manager John-Paul Williams. During their tour, the students boarded a Boeing 737 passenger jet to see first-hand how routine mechanical and electrical maintenance is carried out. The Students’ Branch IEEE President Kesiena Chris-Iwuru thanked Mr Williams and Mr Swords for hosting the visit and presented Mr Williams with a book about the history of aircraft engineering in the UK. The Students’ Branch IEEE, based in the University’s Faculty of Creative Arts, Technologies and Science, was only formed last year and is actively seeking more partnerships with local businesses to provide engineering students with valuable contact with industry. The Branch is a local member of IEEE - ‘the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence’.
  • Bedford pupils score with GB goalball team
    Eight lucky youngsters from Lincroft Middle School in Bedford got the chance to train with the Women’s GB goalball team at the University of Bedfordshire. The team was using the University’s sports facilities for a training camp before the European Goalball Championships in October this year. Goalball is a competitive sport for the visually impaired. It is a game played by two teams of three players, and sighted players can also participate as all players wear eyeshades so that they are totally blindfolded. The pupils from Lincroft Middle School spent a day with the team learning the basics of goalball. They said: “It was great. It’s very hard as we’ve never played it before and you really can’t see anything at all, so you have to feel your way around the court.” The team coached the youngsters before demonstrating a fast-paced game. Goalball is played on an indoor court and the ball contains internal bells which helps players locate it during play. The object of the game is to score a goal by bowling the ball along the floor so that it crosses the goal line of the opposing team.

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