All entries for May 2016

May 25, 2016

Europe, Universities and the Media

There is a story in today's Daily Telegraph (Wednesday 25th May) which asserts that this University, and others, have been telling students how to vote in the forthcoming referendum. It was inevitable in the highly charged debate on this topic that such claims would be made. There has indeed been very active debate on this campus, and that is a very good thing. We have also been active in encouraging students to register to vote. But as is usual for these sorts of stories the true facts have a tendency to become buried underneath rhetoric and sensational headlines.

As a university, we have taken a position on academic grounds only - thus meeting the Charity Commission guidance - that we would support Remain. This was done in March, at our Senate. This was done because many organisations have asked us to declare a position, and grounds for it. And we have done so. This position does not constrict freedom of speech on our campus. I have personally chaired a referendum debate organised by a student society, and there is an active student Brexit society. All views on this issue have, to my knowledge, been aired and continue to be aired on our campus, and elsewhere by individual students and staff, and we have a legal duty to protect freedom of speech for our students, staff and visitors to campus. That duty comes before pleasing the viewpoint of any one newspaper.

You can find out more about registering to vote and EU events on campus on the Warwick SU website.


May 13, 2016

Our new teaching and learning building

Last week, whilst campus was looking glorious in the sun (which makes a change from this week’s rain!) I was part of a group who took a look behind the hoardings at how our new Teaching and Learning building is coming along.

teaching_and_learning_building.jpgThe building will be a cornerstone of our teaching space, and is emblematic of our commitment to student experience. The building, the first of its kind on our campus, will be dedicated to teaching and have a range of flexible spaces, as well as a new 500 and 250 seat lecture theatres. It will give us space to showcase the innovative ways in which we teach, and experiment with new approaches; building on the great work that already happens here, supported by fantastic state-of-the-art AV and a video wall.

My favourite physical part of the building is the huge amount of light the roof lets in, but more exciting is that it’s a living building with spaces for students to be educated in, as well as new social learning spaces to allow our students to take control of their own learning, together, outside of their formal contact hours.

It’s a physical space, but what’s most inspiring is that it’s really about the people using it. How they’ll learn, how they’ll teach, how they’ll share knowledge in a new way. Having new facilities and spaces is wonderful, and the benefits shouldn’t be overlooked, but great spaces are nothing without great people – we have plenty of those.

We have some fantastic examples of amazing teachers, real beacons of teaching excellence. We recognise some of this through our WATE awards, but also know that a wealth of other great teaching happens across campus on a daily basis. Having, for the first time, a space solely dedicated to teaching and learning will help us to explore and experiment with new approaches, working with our students to enhance their experience at Warwick.

We’ve engaged with our students throughout the process of the build, and it’s been a true collaboration across academic, administrative and student communities. At the ceremony last week, it was heartening to see representatives from the Students’ Union, Estates and other departments all celebrating the space and the benefits it will bring to our student community. I hope this enthusiasm and anticipation can continue on through the last phases of the build. We will continue to use this channel and others to update you on progress, as we look forward to the completion of the building in the autumn.

Professor Lawrence Young, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic Planning and Resources

See more of our new building in the below video.

May 2016

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