Author: Charlotte Davidson Page 2 of 27

Why we need to talk about class in Classics

Reading Time: 7 minutes

When state schools are forced to offer narrower subject choices, the student experience in higher education is affected. But it also narrows social change and, arguably, the development of societies as a whole writes Claire Simpson, Philanthropy Communications Manager in Development and Alumni.

A crisis is looming for Classics. The subject, often perceived as elitist, is becoming harder to access for many working-class students, as many forms of Classics teaching disappear from state school syllabuses, especially in Scotland. Staff in Edinburgh’s School of Classics are working to tackle this challenge and improve class diversity.

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Why do we need a Sustainable Travel Policy? 

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In June, the University announced that a new Sustainable Travel Policy will go live in late 2021. What is it and why is it needed? We asked SRS Communications Manager Sarah Ford-Hutchinson to explain… with the help of some party snacks. 

Policies in the workplace are a bit like snacks at a party:  

  • they’re essential 
  • they need refilled often 
  • they attract people and can encourage them to stay.

I pay close attention to party snacks, and increasingly, to workplace policies. Beyond the dry roast titles and lightly salted text lies a document that is modestly trying to help you through your day; whether that’s booking leave, claiming back expenses, or booking travel.

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One regret one hope with Wojtek Wojcik

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this series, Professor Mona Siddiqui, Assistant Principal Religion and Society, chats to members of our community to find out more about them. Each fortnight she’ll be asking, what is the one regret that has shaped their past, and what is their one hope for the future.

This week Mona’s guest is Dr Wojtek Wojcik, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist.

Mona Siddiqui: Tell us a little bit about the work that you do.

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A summer contemplation 

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Summer has finally arrived and with it some of us may notice a change in mood. Here Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain, shares how to check in with yourself and make the most out of the long, warm summer days.

Was there ever anything more fortuitous than the ending of the academic year in May? The bustle and franticness of exams, the inboxes full of emboldened emails, the perky Twitter threads – suddenly the clock strikes midnight, the sun comes out, and the world goes quiet. Yes, there are things to do: there is a semester ahead, books to read, and plans to make; but there is a softness in the air, a scent of summer, and a warmth that makes weary limbs unfold.

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Visions for Curriculum Transformation

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here Ian Glen, part of the Curriculum Transformation Programme Team, shares what they’ve been working on recently.

The Curriculum Transformation Programme Hub has been up-and-running since late April and is the go-to place to find out what’s happening with this pivotal work to take the University towards delivering Strategy 2030: Curriculum Transformation Hub.

The Old College Quad is empty under a blue sky

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KB101 celebrations begin

Reading Time: < 1 minute

After being forced to delay celebrations last year, the centenary of The King’s Buildings (KB101) was relaunched on 6 July. This marked the day in 1920 when King George V laid the foundation stone for the first of the buildings, that would form part of The University’s new science campus.

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Celebrating our colleagues – 14 July

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Each fortnight bulletin highlights and celebrates the latest prizes awarded to our fellow staff members. Congratulations to all involved.

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Need to know – 22 June

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Here are the top updates from across the University.

1. Updated guidance for managers and staff returning to campus

The University continues to engage with the Scottish Government on a weekly basis in order to best plan for our return to campus. Guidance has been updated for managers and staff who will be returning to campus over the summer, with further guidance to follow:
Guidance for managers.
Guidance for staff.

2. Academic year 2021/22 student webpages now live

Webpages containing information and guidance for students returning for the academic year 2021/22 are now live. The information will be updated regularly as plans are finalised in line with Scottish Government guidance. Welcome to the 2021/22 academic year.

3. Discontinuation of the Covid-19 contact centre and mailbox

The Covid-19 contact centre hotline and mailbox will be discontinued from 1 July. Students will be able to contact EdHelp for any enquiries relating to student services and Covid-19: EdHelp

Staff should contact their local area, service or team that their topic is relevant to. If the enquiry is relating to Health and Safety, you should contact: safety.covid19@ed.ac.uk

The sky’s no limit

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the first female Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor Catherine Heymans is on a mission to lift our eyes to the marvels of the universe – writes Corin Campbell, PR and Media Manager in Communications and Marketing.

Professor Catherine Heymans at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh.

“Utterly breathtaking,” is how Professor Catherine Heymans describes it.

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Cycle2work: Introducing e-bikes

Reading Time: 5 minutes

After a rather wet and windy spring, we’re all hopeful for a bit more sun this summer. Getting out in the fresh air can do wonders for our physical and mental health, and as we slowly return back to campus, many of us might be thinking of alternative commuting methods to public transport.

a road in the meadow with several people riding bikes with the trees full of blossom in the background

The Cycle2Work scheme is a great option. Through monthly salary deductions, members of staff can purchase a bike to commute to work with. Last year the spending limit rose to £3,000 in order to give staff the flexibility to purchase a much wider variety of e-bikes through the scheme, as well as normal bikes. The cost of the bike is deducted from your salary before tax, which means you can save between 32 to 47 per cent on the usual cost of a bike and accessories. You can choose to pay over 12 or 18 months.

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Develop your skills: get involved in leadership and management

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In Spring 2020, the Learning and Organisation Development team in HR launched a new suite of leadership and management programmes. The new courses have been designed to help support both current and aspiring managers and leaders throughout the staff community and have recently been shortlisted for Best L&D Initiative in the CIPD People Management Awards 2021.

A year later, and the programmes are incredibly popular. A mixture of self-directed learning, online workshops and facilitated discussion groups, the courses run twice a year with increased capacity to offer places to all eligible members of staff.

To cover a range of opportunities, the courses are split into The Aspiring Manager, The Edinburgh Manager, and The Edinburgh Leader. Regardless of which of the three options you choose, the courses encourage delegates to examine and reflect on themselves, their role, and their goals, to help them maximise their potential.

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One regret, one hope with Nasar Meer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this series, Professor Mona Siddiqui, Assistant Principal Religion and Society, chats to members of our community to find out more about them. Each fortnight she’ll be asking, what is the one regret that has shaped their past, and what is their one hope for the future.

This week Mona’s guest is Professor Nasar Meer, Personal Chair of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Science.

Mona Siddiqui: Tell us a little bit about the work that you do at the University and your research.

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Thirty days of wild 

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This fortnight, Kitty Wheater, Mindfulness Chaplain, shares how we can make the most of the sunnier summer months to appreciate the nature all around us.

‘How is it June already?’ friends say. As the world opens up and Edinburgh throws aside its woollens, we might be forgiven for the sense that mere minutes ago it was snowing. Our cheeks are still tender from the biting wind and the early dawn is an affront to lockdown-weary heads. But suddenly there are drifts of tree petals in the streets; an hour on the Meadows leaves us pink; comfrey, tulips, and alliums bloom in back gardens; and all the birds sing. We can finally raise our heads from our desks, and breathe in some summer.

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