Final Graduations

Graduations are always special occasions, very meaningful manifestations of why our University exists. This summer’s ceremonies have been extra meaningful as they were my last at Nottingham. For me they began at the start of July, at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) with four ceremonies over a weekend. This was the first occasion …

Lakeside@25

This year we celebrate 25 years since the opening of Lakeside, which now attracts almost 200,000 visitors each year to its programme not including another 150,000 who frequent the two cafes on site. Where did it all begin? In 1924 Britain’s largest outdoor swimming pool opened, on what is now University Park. It was 330 …

Universitas 21 Annual Meetings

Universitas 21 (U21) was established in 1997, with Nottingham as one of the founding Members. Twenty years on it is still going strong, with 25 research intensive Universities from 17 different countries. This month Nottingham was host for the 2017 Annual Meetings, just the second occasion these meetings have been held in the United Kingdom. …

Sir Peter Mansfield 1933 -2017

Last week we saw the passing of Sir Peter Mansfield; the loss of a great scientist, a visionary leader, and a very fine person. Sir Peter is what these days we would describe as a WP student: born in Camberwell; brought up in a family of modest means; left school at 15 (with the advice …

Nottingham in Parliament Day

I stood looking over the House of Commons Terrace at 2200 on Tuesday evening after the final event of Nottingham in Parliament Day feeling enormous pride in what had just unfolded, and wondering, ‘how on earth did we pull that off’? The day had started the day before, with a radio interview when I was …

Enterprise and Innovation at Nottingham

Today the Universities Minister, Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP opened our new Ingenuity Centre on Jubilee Campus. This new signature building, designed to echo the industrial heritage of the site, became possible when we were selected as one of four University Enterprise Zones, by the then Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (now BEIS). That …

Five Killer Facts About International Students

International Students are in the news. Should we have more? Or fewer? Should they be counted in the net migration target? Should we care? We live in a sound bite world. So here are my five killer facts about International Students. First, diversity. Diversity is good, be it social, cultural, ethnic, demographic. It promotes creativity, …

Brexit and Higher Education …. Again

Earlier this year the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee conducted an inquiry into the potential impact of Brexit on science and higher education. Its report was published before the referendum. Given the outcome, the Committee decided to conduct a follow up investigation. Last week I was invited to appear as a witness in …

Midlands Innovation

Nottingham is one of the UK’s largest Universities, with a revenue budget of £600 million, and 34,000 students. And of course we also have the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, with another 12,000 students. However, for some purposes we are not big enough. That is why we often have …

Shanghai Jiaotong University Grand Assembly

This month Shanghai Jiaotong University celebrated its 120th Anniversary. I was one of around 30 speakers from Universities around the world at a ‘President’s Forum’ focused on ‘Innovative Strategies for Research Intensive  Universities’. In addition, I was invited to be the sole foreign speaker at the ‘Grand Assembly’ which followed, a gathering of more than …