Article 50

As you will have seen in the news recently, the government is preparing to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the formal two-year mechanism by which we will leave the EU. What does that mean for us, as a university? What does it mean for our staff and students, for our international partnerships, …

Brexit and Higher Education

Once upon a time I was a jobbing economist; among other things I worked on the European Union. As long ago as 1996, I wrote about what a terrible idea it would be for the UK to join the Eurozone. I have also worked on the positive impact of the European Union on inward investment …

Going Global Since 1881

That is the title of a new exhibition of the history of our University, currently showing at the Weston Gallery at Nottingham Lakeside Arts. As in one’s personal life, it is important from time to time to reflect on the past: where we have been, how we have developed, what has shaped our DNA. That …

Some Reflections on 2014

2014 has been busy, very busy. So there is an awful lot to reflect on. Universities are first and foremost about people: students, staff, alumni, partners. The quality of what we do is fashioned by the quality of our people. We know our students are of a high calibre academically, but as always, they inspire …

Centenary of the Students Union

2014 is the centenary year of our Students Union. What a marvellous landmark. So first of all, warmest congratulations. I could not find a picture of the Executive from 100 years ago, but did find one from 1923-24. As you can see, they set a high bar in terms of dress standards. The Union plays …

What is the Value of Scholarships?

That was the title of a debate I participated in last week: fundamentally, do scholarships make a difference to choices? At the University of Nottingham we invest more than £42 million in scholarships of one form or another each year. Some of this is self-funded from our own resources, some from research partners, corporate partners …

What Are You Most Proud of in 2013?

I was asked that question this week in a Q&A session whilst on a visit to Marketing, Communications and Recruitment. It caught me short, so I bought some time by responding ‘personally or professionally?’ since I knew the answer to the ‘personally’. But, it is still a really tough question. In an organisation as big, …

Why Offer a MOOC (or a NOOC)?

The popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has boomed since their emergence in 2008. To date, the United States has been at the forefront of developments, with platforms such as edX, Udacity and Coursera rising to prominence over the last twelve months. The promise of access to free online courses, from an ever increasing …

Graduation 2012

Graduations are very special occasions, especially for our graduates, their parents, families and friends. I normally begin in China, where the ceremonies are always the weekend before we start in Nottingham; and end in Malaysia, where they are generally held the weekend after we finish. This year however, because of the timing of Ramadan, both …

Nottingham Potential and IntoUniversity

Some argue that higher graduate contributions from 2012 will make it harder for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at University. I do not believe it will. The new arrangements do not have upfront fees (which would damage access) and do have enhanced maintenance support for entrants from low income families. Moreover, increasing amounts are …