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94.6% of our undergraduate students go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating

(Destinations of Leavers Survey 2013/14)

Hudds tops UK universities for best qualified academic staff


Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:24:00 GMT

‌The figures were released today by the Higher Education Funding Council for England

teaching NEW figures released by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) sees the University of Huddersfield come top of all the universities in the UK for the best-qualified staff in the sector.

The University of Huddersfield leads the field with over 90% of its academics holding a teaching qualification – the second place institution came in with 84%.

The figures have been released by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which has analysed three years of data on teaching qualifications collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

teaching HEFCE states that “information about teaching qualifications has been identified as important to students and is seen as an indicator of individual and institutional commitment to teaching and learning”.

Figures on teaching standards are of vital importance because the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which is being introduced by the Government in 2017.  It will play a major part in determining funding levels and student recruitment.

The University of Huddersfield has made a major commitment to high teaching standards.  In addition to the excellent record regarding teaching qualifications, all full-time, permanent lecturers have doctorates or are enrolled on doctoral programmes. 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Thornton, said: “Everyone at Huddersfield puts the experience of our students at the heart of their work.  I am delighted that these figures confirm the University of Huddersfield’s position as the sector’s leader in our commitment to high quality teaching and learning.”

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University launches Ted Hughes Network

Ted Hughes

Yorkshire post laureate Ted Hughes

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:59:00 GMT

Wednesday 14 December – 5.30pm for a 6pm start

Ted Hughes THE poetry of Ted Hughes (pictured left) was shaped by his Yorkshire upbringing.  Now, the University of Huddersfield is to become a significant centre for the exploration and celebration of a writer whose works are still admired for their raw power and compelling view of the natural world.

The Ted Hughes Network is launched at the University on Wednesday 14 December (5.30pm) with a free public event that has contributions from leading contemporary poets, including Christopher Reid, a close associate of Hughes in his last years.

The Network – which is also finalising plans for an important conference, to take place in 2017 – is working closely with organisations including The Ted Hughes Society, The Elmet Trust and the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire).  One goal is to develop a Yorkshire-wide Ted Hughes Literary and Heritage Trail.

Ted Hughes, who died in 1998, having served as Poet Laureate for 14 years, was born in 1930 in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd.  In 1938, his family moved to Mexborough in South Yorkshire.  Huddersfield is equidistant between the two locations.

“This means we are ideally positioned to become a centre for all things ‘Hughes’,” said the University of Huddersfield’s Dr James Underwood, who is Research Fellow for the new Ted Hughes Network.

Christopher Reid Its director is the poet, novelist, and biographer Dr Steve Ely, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University and chair of the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire), which seeks to develop the legacy of Hughes in and around Mexborough. 

He is the author of the 2015 book Ted Hughes's South Yorkshire, which tells the previously neglected story of the poet’s Mexborough period.

“Hughes’s West Yorkshire connection gets the most attention, particularly because of books like Remains of Elmet,” said Dr Underwood.  “But now Steve Ely has shown that Hughes’s years in South Yorkshire were enormously influential as well.  Both Yorkshire locations formed Hughes as a person and as a poet.”

Leading contemporary poets Christopher Reid, Carola Luther and Ian Parks

Ian Parks and Carola Luther A highlight of the public launch of the Ted Hughes Network on 14 December will be a conversation with the acclaimed poet Christopher Reid (pictured above right).  As poetry editor at the famous publishing firm Faber and Faber, he worked closely with Ted Hughes on Tales of Ovid and the bestselling Birthday Letters.  He subsequently edited the Letters of Ted Hughes, published in 2007.

Also appearing at the Network launch will be contemporary Yorkshire poets representing the twin boyhood landscapes of Ted Hughes.  Carola Luther (pictured right) is based in the Calder Valley and Ian Parks (pictured right) has recently returned to his native Mexborough, where he has been a key figure in the development of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival.

  • The Ted Hughes Network launches on Wednesday 14 December (5.30 for 6pm) at the University of Huddersfield’s Heritage Quay archives centre.  An international conference titled Ted Hughes & Place will be held at the University in June 2017.  The Network has appointed Dr Heather Clark as Visiting Professor for the summer of 2017.  She is a leading scholar of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.
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Polly Toynbee’s lecture – Brexitland: Press and Politics Today

Dr Stephen Dorril and Polly Toynbee

Lecture organiser Dr Stephen Dorril with guest speaker Polly Toynbee

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:47:00 GMT

Leading political journalist Polly Toynbee‌ gives her take on ‘Brexitland’, Theresa May and the Daily Mail

Polly Toynbee THE Brexit vote has shattered Britain and created unprecedented divisions, according to leading political journalist Polly Toynbee (pictured) when she inaugurated a new series of lectures at the University of Huddersfield.

A writer for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper, she argued that it was Britain’s “overwhelmingly right-wing press” that played a key part in swinging the referendum vote towards leaving the EU.

“Eighty-five per cent of newspapers sold are not just mildly Tory, but extreme,” she stated.  “And Europe in recent years has been their battle flag.”

The talk – which drew a large audience – was titled Brexitland: Press and Politics Today and was the first of a new annual series of journalism lectures at the University.

‌Ms Toynbee began by analysing the implications of the Brexit result.

“The whole political scene is shifting.  We are seeing one of those once-in-a-century moments of upheaval when the old political certainties change, when old parties dissolve and reform into new shapes.  New alliances build and old ones crumble.

“Brexit has really taken over every other political question,” she continued.  “Nothing comes close, not even the near collapse of the NHS.  There is something new about the Brexit issue.  It is visceral.  It’s about identity.  Which side you are on at the moment seems to say who you are, where you belong.”

She confessed that she found the politics of Brexit “deeply perplexing” and as a lifelong social democrat it was difficult for her to understand why the issue of Europe – which had hitherto been a very low political priority for most people – should have become a focus for protest, rather than the state of the economy and society.

It was when Brexit morphed into a debate about immigration that the issue was transformed, said Ms Toynbee.  Even this was a surprise, as Britain had actually taken far fewer refuges than other European countries.

“So why is England exceptional?  Why do voters tolerate growing social injustice?  Why turn rightwards so often in voting habits?

Daily Mail “I have to conclude that one of the things exceptional about Britain as opposed to the rest of Europe – which is far more social democratic and social justice-minded – is the great power of our one sided media and the power that it plays in social, cultural and psychological life and has done for just about a century.”

The centrepiece of Polly Toynbee’s lecture was a denunciation of the Daily Mail, its editorial policies and its political influences, which had played a part in “neutering” the BBC during the Brexit campaign, she alleged.  She concluded this section by displaying copies of Daily Mail headlines, culminating in a triumphalist front page on the day of the referendum result.

Theresa May “But the people have spoken.  No matter what damage it does as it drags on and drags our standard of living even further down, Brexit is where we are heading,” said Ms Toynbee, who finished with an analysis of the dilemmas facing Prime Minister Theresa May (pictured).  Would she go for a Soft Brexit, with its compromises?  Or would it be a Hard Brexit “that risks the economy falling off what she herself has called a cliff edge”.

“We are passengers, standing at the departure gate.  We have got the boarding passes.  But the pilot refuses to tell us where we are going.  We have no destination.  What assurance have we that we are not going to crash?” asked Polly Toynbee, who alleged that the Prime Minister did not dare say what her intentions were because her own Cabinet is so bitterly split.

Polly Toynbee was introduced by University of Huddersfield Senior Lecturer Dr Stephen Dorril, an author and journalist himself, who paid tribute to the guest speaker’s social conscience and “forensic research skills”.

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Duo keep Hudds in National Teaching Fellows top spot

Jane and Jess keep Hudds in National Teaching Fellows top spot

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:03:00 GMT

‌Dr Jess Power and Dr Jane Tobbell are two of the 55 recipients of this year’s National Teaching Fellowships

TWO innovative academics at the University of Huddersfield have been made 2016 National Teaching Fellows.  This ensures that the University retains its place as the UK’s leading institution for this prestigious award.

Dr Jane Tobbell and Dr Jess Power are the latest recipients of Fellowships, awarded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).  Accompanied by a grant of £5,000, they are intended to “recognise, reward and celebrate” individuals judged to have made an outstanding impact on the student learning experience.  The latest Fellowships mean that over the past nine years, the University of Huddersfield has had 14 award winners, more than any other university in the sector.

Dr Jess Power The HEA grants 55 fellowships every year to nominees who have demonstrated excellence in their field.  The cash award is intended to support the National Teaching Fellow’s further professional development.

‌Dr Power (pictured right) – whose academic and industrial background is in the field of textiles and clothing – joined the University of Huddersfield in 2012 as Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Art, Design and Architecture.  She currently holds the title of Reader in Textiles and Apparel.  In 2014, she was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy for sustained excellence within teaching and practice.

Dr Jane Tobbell Her focus on interdisciplinarity has enabled her to transform the student experience by creating networks for students, staff and the commercial sector, who share common goals of transferring knowledge beyond the boundaries of their own disciplines, whilst developing employability and enterprising skills.

Dr Tobbell (pictured left) is a University Teaching Fellow in the Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences, where she leads a number of innovative teaching and learning projects.  These include a responsibility for ensuring all students who desire it have access to a peer mentor; working with undergraduate psychology students in funded research projects to provide them with experience whilst doing their degrees; and leading the Education and Professional Development section of the Centre for Applied Psychology and Health Research. 

She has worked in Higher Education since 1996 and her internationally-published research explores transition and learning in educational institutions.  Dr Tobbell is currently working with student researchers to investigate what inclusion means to students.  The data is being used to change practices to promote engagement and achievement. 

The University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Christine Jarvis, was delighted with the latest awards.  “The National Teaching Fellowship competition recognises the very best and most innovative HE teachers in the country,” she said.  “Between 2008 and 2016, University of Huddersfield staff have won more National Teaching Fellowships than staff in any other university – a tribute to the quality of our staff and their dedication to students.”

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