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Loughborough is first UK university to include student reviews on its website

Loughborough has become the first university in the UK to feature authentic student reviews on its website. Working with StudentCrowd, an independent student review service, Loughborough has set up a direct feed to pull through in real time ratings and comments about the university from its site.

Glasgow Caledonian and Arts University Bournemouth forge Indian links

A delegation from Chandigarh University in India was welcomed onto campus at Glasgow Caledonian University to formally sign a renewed memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. Meanwhile, Arts University Bournemouth has established new links with leading Indian design institutions after a visit to New Delhi. The delegation from AUB took part in an event promoting design education that was hosted by the British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith.

Derby is first to join Advance HE best practice framework

The University of Derby has signed a memorandum of understanding with Advance HE, making it the first higher education institution in the country to commit to embedding the agency’s best practice framework into all its programmes.

Leicester launches four multidisciplinary research institutes

The University of Leicester is building on the worldwide success of its work on Richard III to launch four new research institutes that will tackle issues of global importance.

Multidisciplinary thinking and the incredible teamwork of the kind that led to the discovery and reinterment of Richard III is behind the University of Leicester’s pioneering research institutes in Precision Medicine, Space and Earth Observation Science, Structural and Chemical Biology, and Cultural and Media Economies.

The institutes are expected to deliver a step change in research breakthroughs as they set out to grapple with some of the biggest medical, scientific, economic and social questions around including many of those targeted by a £1.5 billion Global Challenge Research Fund set up by the government earlier this year.

The new institutes will bring together experts from a range of academic disciplines to focus on areas of study that will have a real impact on peoples’ lives, such as the development of medical treatments tailored for individual patients.

The brains behind the multi-million pound venture say this approach to conducting research is in step with the latest government policy and should be the norm for studies that must now demonstrate their impact on the world.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Leicester’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “With Richard III we got it right, and it worked brilliantly well. But what we need to be able to do is provide an environment where that is the norm, rather than an exception.

“What we need to ensure is that we have the conditions that allow Richard III type projects to emerge, even when they are not pushed towards us but we are generating them ourselves.”

Professor Paul Monks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester, who is also working on the development of the institutes, confirmed: “We want Richard III to be the norm for the way we do things. It shows you how to deliver excellent research with impact.”

The professors said students at Leicester will also benefit from the institutes, as the research would inform teaching and expose students to the latest cutting edge advances affecting a wide range of disciplines. Other institutes are already in the pipeline and could be announced as a second tranche next year.

Professor Paul Boyle, Leicester’s President and Vice-Chancellor, said the development was part of a new “discovery-led” approach to higher education affecting both research and teaching and bringing the two closer together.

He said: “Our commitment to discovery is all about imaginative new thinking, and these institutes will underpin fundamental advances in our understanding of the world around us. They are also intended to be focal points for global research conversations.

“The institutes will bring together colleagues from across the university to grapple with fundamental questions that arise at the intersection of different disciplines. This is all part of our commitment to pioneer a distinctive elite of research-intensive institutions.”