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Welcome Crew 2019

Volunteers wanted for Saturday 14 September to Sunday 22 September - APPLY HERE

You know best that the University of Sunderland welcome week is one of the biggest and most important weeks of the year for new students. Here is your chance to be part of our 2019 Students’ Union programme of activities and events.

Our Welcome Crew are an amazing team of volunteers who support new students throughout Welcome Week and are a friendly face at our events and activities, making sure everyone feels happy and settled in. From moving into student accommodation, answering questions, providing tips and info, and making sure students are safe throughout the week on and off campus - The Crew is essential to making student’s first University experiences the very best they can be.

How do I apply?

For more information about the role and how to apply visit:

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Don’t forget you can record all of your volunteering hours along the way, have your volunteering recorded on your HEAR and use your experiences when applying for the SuPA award!

Dan's engaging role

Team Sunderland are pleased to welcome Daniel Kendal to the team as their new Student Engagement Officer.

Dan takes on the role having recently graduated from Sunderland with a degree in Sports Coaching. 

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During his time studying at the University Dan was a key figure in the volunteering scheme, clocking up over 500 hours.

Dan also coached one of Team Sunderland’s Men’s Football teams alongside his degree and is looking forward to getting stuck into his new role.

Dan said: “I’m hoping to bring even more success, building on last year’s achievements and increase the participation across the board as well as helping to create a vibrant and successful environment at Team Sunderland for our teams to thrive.”

“I’ll be holding events to help bring people that are new to the university as well as returners together alongside the great team at Team Sunderland.”

“I’ll also be embracing internal competitions to help drive our clubs on towards greater success”

Sports Development Manager Sean Percival said: “It’s fantastic to have Dan on board, we’re looking forward to seeing his contributions to the team.”

He added: “This is a big year for Team Sunderland and Dan will be at the forefront of what we’re trying to do with our teams.”

Dan will be based in the Team Sunderland office in Edinburgh Building and can be contacted at


Sunderland River Festival

The River Festival is being hosted on the north and south sides of the River Wear at St Peter’s and Panns Bank over the last weekend of the school holidays. 

Staff based at Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s may experience some disruption, from 2pm on Thursday 29 August and all day Friday 30 August. Site derig will take place all day Monday 2 September. Staff and students must expect some disruption to parking and some additional noise on these dates.

All exams have been moved to City Campus.

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About Sunderland River Festival 

Saturday, 31 August to Sunday 1 September

Sunderland's famous riverside will host a new, family focussed event . The riverside, which welcomed some of the 1.2 million visitors to last year’s award-winning Tall Ships Races, will host the Sunderland River Festival 31 August - 1 September, celebrating the city's maritime heritage, and its creative future.

What's on

On opposite sides of the Wear at St Peter’s Quayside and Low Street, there will be a weekend of music and water based entertainment, with events, street theatre, activities and performances for all the family to enjoy.

Live music, including performances from leading local band Dennis and national folk/rock favourite Martin Stephenson, best known for the acclaimed album Boat to Bolivia, will be performing a solo set to close the event.

Low Row will have a heritage focus where visitors can meet costumed characters and famous faces from the city’s past such as Jack Crawford and Peggy Potts.

At St. Peter’s visitors can experience a beautiful interactive show within ‘The Whale’, which is an impressive 18m giant inflatable blue whale.

Out on the water, community maritime activities and watersports partners Sunderland Yacht Club and City of Sunderland Rowing Club will be organising a range of activities and demonstrations.

Getting there/parking

If travelling by car please use the various city centre car parks. See information on them here. It is then a short walk to Low Street and approximately 20 minutes to St. Peters.

For access to St. Peter’s Quayside a Park and Walk will operate from the Yellow car park at the Stadium of Light. Access will be available from 11am both days

St Peter's and Sunderland Metro stations are closest to the event sites. Local bus and metro services will be operational please visit  for further timetables.

Our University has brought to life a Hartlepool schoolgirl’s winning design as part of a national engineering competition.

The Leaders Award “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” competition, is supported by Facebook, Network Rail and Gatwick Airport, with our University in North East regional arm of the competition.

Grace, a Year 4 pupil at Barnard Grove School when she designed the Liquid Detector, which is a pet bowl for visually impaired users to prevent overfilling of the bowl with water, or in the case of Guide Dogs, to alert when the owner when a bowl needs filling up.

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Grace’s prototype is now being showcased for three weeks alongside 11 other inspirational UK pupils’ inventions, as part of an exhibition at Gatwick Airport South Terminal.

The exhibition, which is also online, aims to invite people to vote for their favourite invention, and the public is being encouraged to support Grace’s design by voting online at

The exhibition also features a ‘Wall of Fame 19’ for Gatwick’s 125,000 daily visitors to vote for their favourite creation. The prototypes on display include those built by engineering students and technicians from the University of Sunderland and were winning or shortlisted entries from the ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?’ regional competition from the North East.

The competition promotes engineering to young people and allows them to find the ‘engineer within’ by designing solutions to problems they have identified. Nationally the competition has attracted over 49,000 entries this year alone. 51% percent of entries were from female pupils.

Supported locally by the University of Sunderland, “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” competition, known as the Leaders Award is run by Primary Engineer and links both primary and secondary schools across the North East with engineering professionals from across the sectors.

The competition celebrates the ingenuity of pupils from three to 19 years of age and all entries are graded by engineering professionals with winning designs selected regionally by university and industry-led judging panels.

Dave Knapton, Principal Lecturer and the Engineering Academic Team Leader within the Faculty of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. said: “Engineering is very much part of the culture and heritage here in the North East, it is therefore no surprise the high levels of engagement from schools and companies resulting in the highest number of entries from all the regions. As a university we are very pleased to be working with Primary Engineering to promote the Leaders Award and jointly share the message that Engineering offers amazing professional career opportunities which young people should really consider.

“It is so heartening to see the absolutely fantastic ideas from the young people focused firmly on solving real-world problems to improve society. The most difficult part is choosing which idea we will prototype for unveiling at next year’s awards event. This process starts now with students working alongside the young inventors and academic staff to bring their ideas off the sketch pad and into a working prototype. We try and mimic an industrial design and develop process wherever possible which is valuable experience for all involved.”

The Gatwick Airport exhibition is a celebration of the designs which have been brought to life by universities throughout the five years the competition has been running and demonstrates Primary Engineer’s commitment to provide young people from all backgrounds with opportunities to acquire the skills they need for a rewarding career in engineering, science and technology. The Government says that over 200,000 new engineers are required per year to meet the demands of modern society.

Dr Susan Scurlock, MBE, founder of Primary Engineer said: “This exhibition at one of the most important travel hubs in the UK is testament to the commitment of commercial organisations, schools and universities who are all doing their bit to help pupils tap into their inner engineer. Each year I am astounded by the designs by pupils, some as young as three, as they identify problems to solve which are important to them and in turn inspire engineers to build their solutions. We started by asking engineers to inspire children and have found that children inspire engineers. Perfect!”

To vote

To enter the competition schools can visit

About Primary Engineer

• Primary Engineer is a not for profit educational organisation. Its approach brings engineering and engineers into primary and secondary classrooms and curricula. Inspiring children, pupils and teachers through continued professional development, whole class projects, and the Leaders Award “If you were an engineer, what would you do?” competition.

• Primary Engineer engaged over 4,000 teachers, 60,000 children and 1,500 engineers in 2018

• Primary Engineer® includes Early Years Engineer® for pre-school, Primary Engineer® with a range of teacher training courses across Primary School phases, Secondary Engineer® and most recently STATWARS® a competition to develop data skills.

• “If you were an engineer what would you do?” is a UK-wide annual competition open to 3-19 year-olds which asks them to interview engineers to design a solution to a problem that they have identified.

  • In the 2018-19 academic year over 49,000 pupils across the UK entered the competition.
  • The competition is addressing diversity with a 51% female participation. 58% of last year’s winning entries were from female pupils.
  • Across the UK, pupil designs are selected and made by university partners - bringing their inventions to life. These are then unveiled at awards events and public exhibitions across the country.
  • The Institutions of Primary and Secondary Engineers are the foundations on which to challenge the widening engineering skills-gap and improve school pupils’ career pathways and employability through close collaboration with pupils, educators, industry, the STEM community, and parents.
  • ,


Meet your Presidents


Our students have elected a new SU Executive Team. The team will lead the Students' Union, work on campaigns they’re passionate about, and represent the interests of our students at the highest level in the University.

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Our new SU Presidents are:

President: Activities - Bryan Pepple

The role of the President Activities is to be the lead officer for students on creating opportunities for non-academic development. They will ensure students get the best experience in areas including employability, community building, volunteering and provision of facilities. They will campaign to improve non-academic development opportunities at Sunderland and be the lead officer on all student led activities.

Why I stood for election

I was President: Activities in 2018/19 and re-ran for election because I wanted another year to make a bigger impact on the student body. Also, I love the SU! It’s a fun place to work.

What I hope to achieve

I want to achieve everything stated on my manifesto, most importantly more engagement with students and societies. 

Did you know… 

I need music to concentrate – I do everything with music playing in the background!

Get in touch with me:
t: (0191) 515 3512

President: Wellbeing - Helder Costa

The role of the President: Wellbeing is to be the lead officer for students on welfare and safety policy development. They will ensure students get the highest experience in areas including, but not limited to, mental health, crime prevention, quality and diversity and accommodation. They will campaign to improve wellbeing within the University and local area and be the lead officer on all wellbeing projects.

Why I stood for election

I stood so that I could have a positive impact in our students’ experience. I want everyone to have the best experience possible at Sunderland and being President: Wellbeing gives me the opportunity to make changes to help make sure this happens.

What I hope to achieve

I want to fulfil all the proposals from my manifesto including increasing safety on campus and improving the level of support available to students in choosing accommodation.  

Did you know…

I have training in how to deliver babies. I was a volunteer Firefighter in Portugal and that was part of my training. 

Get in touch with me
t: (0191) 515 3584

President: Education - Himanshu Kalla

The role of President: Education is to be the lead officer for students on educational policy development. They ensure students get the highest academic quality in areas including teaching, feedback and assessment and timetabling. They will campaign to improve education issues in the University and be the lead officer on all academic projects.

Why I stood for election

I stood for elections to contribute to the University and to all the students by providing ample assistance and guidance to aid in their academia and make the learning process more fun loving and engaging. 

What I hope to acheive this year 

I hope to achieve higher engagement of all our students and try to lower the attainment gap.

Did you know...

I once made two soccer playing robots for a tech competition and got disqualified as one of the robots got nasty and destroyed the ball, the other robot and also almost injured other competitiors. Everyone was fine though I promise!

Get in touch with me:
t: (0191) 515 3599

You can find out more about the new SU Executive Team at the Students' Union Website


A graduate who battled setbacks to achieve his dream job is now starting a new life in Dubai – and is advising any young person to never give up on their dreams.

For many young people A-level results day it is a day for celebration, but for some not getting the results they want can seem a devastating blow. But, says James Gittins, it may still be the beginning of your path to your dream career.

James, 22, failed to achieve his grades, but a call to the University of Sunderland’s Clearing hotline changed everything, and landed him a place on the BA Primary Education degree. In 2018 James graduated, landed his dream job as a primary school teacher in Washington, and now he has moved to Dubai to teach there alongside his girlfriend.

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The University of Sunderland Clearing Hotline is now open on 0191 5153000. You can find out more online at:

James says: “I’ve just finished my first year teaching at St John Boste RC Primary School in Washington, and I’m just about to start a new job at Fugera Primary Academy, which is about an hour outside of Dubai.”

James’s dad and stepmother are both teachers, and they inspired James to think about working overseas. While in his first year of teaching James brought up the idea of working in Dubai with his partner Nicola – and they decided it was the right move for them.

Influenced by his family it had always been James’s dream to be a teacher – but when he failed to achieve his A-level grades, it looked for a while that the dream might be over before it began.  But a call to the University of Sunderland’s Clearing Hotline got him back on track.

“I only missed out by 10 UCAS points on my A-levels, and I really began to consider that I’d have to do something else, and it would just take me a bit longer to get to where I wanted to be.

“I called Clearing at Sunderland on the off chance, and they put me through to the head of the course. She said they were willing to take a chance on me. I think it paid off!

“Studying at Sunderland was the three best years of my life. It was great learning in lectures, but being able to apply that in the classroom first to an inner city school in Newcastle, and then a rural school in Stockton, and one in Chester Le Street, really helped me meet a range of kids, and really convinced me that teaching was right for me.

“The expression “Shy bairns get nowt” is one you should remember when apply to Clearing! You’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there, and the opportunities will come.

“You can only lose if you don’t try.”

The young doctors

As they opened their A Level results, some Gateshead students were thrilled to discover they were about to become trailblazers.

Three pupils at Emmanuel College will be among the first 50 people to train as doctors at the University of Sunderland's brand new School of Medicine.

Surena Sahota, Francesca Cockell and Jack Greenslade, all 18, last Thursday confirmed their places at the school of medicine which opens in September.

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The School is one of five across the country which won a Government funding bis last year, aiming to "address the regional imbalance of medical education places" and ensure trained doctors stay and work in the North East area.

In 2018, half of all medical school entrants were privately educated, despite research led by the University of York showing that students from disadvantaged backgrounds actually perform better if they make it to medical school.

The new school aims to open up access to talented students from all backgrounds, and therefore offers free accommodation to first year students, as well as scholarships to help its students with living costs.

This was a big draw for Surena, who will become the first doctor in her family, making her beautician mam and HGV driver dad "indescribably proud".

She said: "I felt like it was my best chance to get in because they really want to give people who don't come from a medical background a chance. I did work experience at a hospital and people were surprised that my family didn't work in the hospital - it feels like to get the opportunities and work experience it's about who you know,  but the Sunderland school is changing that."

Surena Sahota (centre) with fellow prospective medic Hussein Tuzlaw and future vet Kate Clelland

Surena added: "I've wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old, I've always wanted to do something that would help people, and then when I discovered I liked science it all came together.

"It's become a part of me now, I just don't think I'd feel happy doing anything else, so I'm so happy I got in. I would love to stay at home after I qualify and help people who are from where I'm from."

For Francesca, the opportunity to stay so close to home, as well as to be part of a small class of just 50 students, made Sunderland an appealing choice.

She said: "I knew I wanted to stay in the North East to stay close to my family, and I really liked the idea of it being such a small course - I feel like every person will have a really good relationship with the tutors.

"I'm incredibly proud to be from the North East, so I will be staying here and working here once I qualify. There is a huge issue with people moving away, especially with the sort of salaries you can earn in London, but I think it's important to stay here, where I'm from, and give something back."

Without the continued support of her lecturers and fellow students, Yasmine Haq says she may never have graduated from her Pharmacy degree this summer.

The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster of emotion for Yasmine after her mum Denise was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle just weeks before the 24-year-old graduated from our University.

Caring for her mum took its toll on Yasmine as she continued her studies and prepared for exams. However, she says: “The lecturers were amazing, they were so kind and understanding and gave me so much support every step of the way. The life-long friends I made on the course were always there for me too, whether it was taking down notes or just updating me on what was happening I never felt alone and can’t thank them all enough for getting me through one of the most difficult times of my life.”

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She added: “I didn’t want mum to give up fighting cancer, so I couldn’t give up either, even though there were days when I just thought I couldn’t carry on. She was so frightened at times and I knew I had to get the job done for her. The morning before she died I was sat in the hospice revising until 2am, by 10.30am she had passed away with me and my sister Nadia at her side, she was just 55 years old.”

Yasmine, from Spennymoor, County Durham, showed such resolve during the last months of her degree that lecturers nominated her for a graduation award - the Jemma O'Sullivan Award for Care and Compassion in the Practice of Pharmacy.

The award is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated these qualities during their degree course. Jemma O’ Sullivan was just 22 when she was killed in a motorway crash in 2010. To mark a lasting legacy for Jemma, her parents Vincent and Margaret, sponsor this special award each year.

“It means so much to be recognised by the university in this way. I don’t know how I would have coped without the support of my lecturers. I pushed myself and am proud to have walked away with a 2:2. My mum always wanted me to have my own career, and that’s why I kept going.”

Dr Adrian Moore, Head of School: Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Sunderland, said: “Yasmine fully deserves this award, she has been through so much over these last 18 months, coping with her mum’s cancer diagnosis.

“She showed incredible resilience, and we were all hugely impressed by her determination to complete her course while caring for her mum.

“Thanks must also go to our students on this course who are all very close knit and really supported Yasmine in the months leading up to graduation.”

Yasmine has now begun her pre-registration year as a community pharmacist at Eilbeck Deneside pharmacy in Seaham, working alongside her father Zia, who is also a pharmacist and a Sunderland graduate.

“It’s great to be working alongside my dad, he’s so proud of what I’ve achieved. He was happier about my results than I actually was. We have all been through so much together since mum’s diagnosis. I have had to do so much growing up.”

Also working part-time at the pharmacy is 21-year-old sister Nadia, studying pharmacy in Liverpool.

Yasmine says: “Pharmacy really runs through our family. My mam was a dispenser when she met my dad after they began working together all those years ago.”

However, Yasmine admits that her road to university wasn’t straight forward. Having performed poorly during her science-based A-levels, she says felt lost at the time and didn’t really know what she wanted from a career, so took a year out.

She worked for a year in the Stockton pharmacy branch of the company she’s currently based at in Seaham, gaining a host of practical skills and experience. She then successfully completed a Foundation Course at Sunderland College which led to the Pharmacy MPharm degree at Sunderland.

She explains: “I learned quickly from my mistakes during my A-levels and that year out I wanted to prove myself. It also allowed me the time to know what I wanted to do. I didn’t enjoy failing and would not let it happen again. The Foundation Year also guided me easily into university.

“I hope all I have achieved is making a difference. Everyone knows someone close to them affected by cancer, I hope my story offers comfort and support to another family going through the same thing.”

She added: “My mum had never been ill in her life, but she started losing weight and suffered menopausal symptoms, then a minor procedure to her bowel picked up the rare form of liver cancer, she may have had a chance had it been picked up earlier. I would say to anyone showing similar symptoms to get themselves checked as early as possible.”

Jemma O'Sullivan Award

The Jemma O'Sullivan Award for Care and Compassion in the Practice of Pharmacy is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated these qualities during their degree course. Jemma O’ Sullivan was just 22 when she was killed in a motorway crash in 2010.

To mark a lasting legacy for Jemma, her parents Vincent and Margaret, sponsor this special award, presented during the graduation ceremonies at the Stadium of Light.

Yasmine was presented with a special glass gift as well as a cheque to support her future career. This is the fifth year that the award has been presented.

A large glass memorial, created at National Glass Centre, has also been permanently placed in the foyer of the University’s Sciences Complex. Recipients of the annual award have their names engraved onto a plaque that stands next to the memorial.

Jemma’s parents were very keen that the award didn’t necessarily reflect the top academic performance, but was about demonstrating the caring and compassionate qualities of a pharmacist. These were the qualities Jemma possessed; a friendly person who was easy to talk to. 

Jemma’s father Vincent said: “Jemma was a bright and intelligent young woman who brought nothing but joy to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her. We felt this project encapsulates her memory, allowing us in some way to continue her good work and preserve what she represented.”

Jemma, from Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, was a passenger in a Citroen Berlingo on the M8, near Warmsworth, Doncaster, in September 2010, when a lorry crashed into it. The driver, who was texting at the time, was jailed for five years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

Since her death her family and friends have raised more than £100,000 to support a hospice pharmacy in South Africa treating people with HIV/AIDS.

Her father Vincent said: “The year before she died, Jemma had volunteered at an HIV hospice crèche, where there were 300 children, 80 per cent had HIV/AIDS, next door to a hospice in Pretoria; she had an incredible experience there and learned to listen and talk to patients, that was her great strength.”

“We decided to support the Leratong Hospice in Jemma’s memory, raising £100k, and renovated the pharmacy, stocking it with drugs for the next four years. It’s officially been called ‘Jemma’s Pharmacy’, there’s a lovely plaque at the site.”

He added: “We were also supported by South Yorkshire Police in an initiative called Jemma Bear.

“Some 500 teddy bears have been produced in memory of Jemma and will be used by police family liaison officers across South Yorkshire to comfort children involved in collisions on the roads.

“After discussion with South Yorkshire Police, we felt a toy bear may be a comfort and a perhaps a distraction to children trying to deal with shock or possible grief.”

Specialist firearms officers have given student paramedics at our University a chance to discover more about the major incidents they may encounter once they’re fully qualified.

From terrorist threats and road traffic accidents to a person threatening to self-harm, Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit officers are prepared for life-threatening scenarios every day of the year. Their training involves trauma based first-aid skills and they currently have 60 firearms officers trained at an enhanced level of first-aid qualification.

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Their expertise and experience was delivered on campus during presentations and talks to second year students on the Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care degree. There was also an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their skills in the aftermath of a mock terrorism incident, reinforcing the timing and role they play to save lives on the scene.

“We wanted to show our trainee paramedics how they would work closely with firearms officers during a terrorist incident,” explained Barry Evans, senior lecturer in Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care.

“Historically paramedics would be the last in the Multi Agency Response to deal, see or treat the patient on scene. Now with the support and guidance from the Firearms officers and Multi Agency Teams, paramedics enter the scene under strict supervision and strict authority once the threat has been removed.”

He added: “We wanted to get this into their training early, as the role of the modern paramedic is changing, it’s much more multi-disciplinary.

“No longer are paramedics simply in ambulances dealing with the medically unwell patient. They are now required and used in GP surgeries, Off-Shore, Armed Forces, Close Protection roles in the UK and overseas and playing an important role in Terrorist Incidents facing all risk possibilities and they have to be prepared for every scenario.

“We equip them to meet the challenges of modern paramedic practice, enabling them to deal with unpredictable situations competently and confidently.”

Firearms trainers Sean Wheatley and Adrian Chadwick, from the Tactical Training Centre, gave the briefings at the University’s Shackleton House.

Police Constable Wheatley said: “We wanted to give the students an understanding of the role the firearms officers play in all manner of policing incidents before the paramedics arrive on scene and we have made the area safe for them to move in. Once the threat has been removed, and we have managed the early stages of life-threatening trauma, it buys vital time for the emergency services to treat patients on scene, this is down to our own first aid training, which includes some officers trained to an advanced level.”

Police Constable Chadwick added: “We hope the students took away a valuable insight into our work and they can take this into their own role once they’re fully qualified. They saw first-hand how the emergency service co-operate together at the scene of a major incident, which is vital to the successful outcome of an operation.”

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit includes various teams and departments, and consists of officers and staff from Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police. They shares work on roads policing, firearms incidents, dog training and vehicle thefts.

Find out more about the University’s Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care degree.

Sounds of Sunderland

The first ever Sounds of Sunderland event will burst on to the city’s music scene between 27 and 29 September, showcasing established and emerging talent.  

Based in Sunniside Gardens, the jam-packed stage line up from 2 - 10pm on 28 September will be headlined by Sunderland’s very own Social Room with other acts on the bill including Vandebilt, Plastic Glass and Docksuns.

Music lovers can benefit from an early bird ticket price of £8 plus booking fee if they buy soon, by visiting

Supporting city centre venues will hold several fringe events running from Friday 27- Sunday 29 September.

The Ivy House and Museum Vaults will host a programme of local music while Independent welcome Beardyman on Friday 27 September.

Tickets for the Beardyman gig are £15 plus booking fee and can be purchased by visiting Independent

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Our academic staff have again been recognised in the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme 2019

Andrew Sturrock, Principal Lecturer in Pharmacy, has become our latest National Teaching Fellow.

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Andrew Sturrock, National Teaching Fellow 2019

Throughout his time at the University of Sunderland and indeed in Higher Education, Andrew Sturrock has successfully driven improvements to the student experience. Under his leadership the University’s Master in Pharmacy (MPharm) programme has been wholly transformed, both in terms of student success, learning and teaching approaches and assessment.

Andrew’s improvements have made a positive difference to student satisfaction and overall performance. In the General Pharmaceutical Council’s Registration Assessment results 95% of University of Sunderland students achieved registration at first attempt, 15% higher than the national average. This result is testimony to Andrew’s transformational approach to teaching and the supportive work he and his team have undertaken in preparing students to become qualified pharmacists.

The University of Sunderland’s Pharmacy programme was first established in 1921, making it one of the longest-running programmes – and it’s been at the cutting-edge of Pharmacy education throughout that time.

Professor Michael Young, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, commented: “By linking his research with teaching, Andrew has spearheaded innovative inter-professional education that moves well beyond the traditional ways that allied health professions work alongside one another. Andrew’s research interests are embedded in teaching and provide authentic, experiential learning for students, through simulation, inter-professional learning or working directly with patients.

“Andrew’s work on curriculum transformation and the development of pedagogical approaches has had a significant impact on the student experience, outcomes and employability not only at the University of Sunderland but also in other institutions. He retains a strong focus on leading and developing other academic staff from the University of Sunderland and beyond. Andrew has undertaken the role of tutor to those working as part of the Academic / Community Pharmacy Pre-registration year, acting as a mentor to potential future generations of academics to ensure student success and employment.”


Transformed Gateway now open

The Gateway building on City Campus has re-opened this week after a complete transformation of the ground floor. 

The main entrance to the Gateway, the entire ground floor including Student Gateway, Sunderland Futures and the cafe area, as well as the Students' Union on the first floor, closed in April 2019 to allow for the spaces to be gutted, reconfigured and redecorated.

Staff and students eagerly anticipated the reveal on 5 August and were not disappointed. The floor now feels airy and spacious and there are clearly zoned areas for Student Gateway and Sunderland Futures. The new Gateway Cafe offer mirrors the enhanced spaces staff and students are already enjoying in Prospect and CitySpace buildings. 

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 w/c 5 Augw/c 12 Augw/c 19 AugBack to normal 
The Studio7.45am-6pm7.45am-6pm7.45am-6pm16 Sept
Riverside8am-5pm8am-5pm8am-5pm16 Sept
Murray Library8.30am-3pm8.30am-5pmClosed16 Sept
Gateway Cafe7.45am-5pm7.45am-5pm7.45am-5pm5 Aug
PriestmanClosedClosedClosed16 Sept
Hope Street Xchange8.30am-3.30pm8.30am-3.30pm8.30am-3.30pm16 Sept
Sciences CostaClosedClosedClosed16 Sept
Reg VardyClosedClosedClosed16 Sept
Balcony (St Peter's)ClosedClosedClosed16 Sept

Our academic staff have again been recognised in the Teaching Excellence Awards 2019

Dr Adele Hulsmeir and Nicholas Glean, in conjunction with Northumbria Police and their Sexual Assault Referral centre, have won a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence - a hat-trick for our Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, which has twice before received the national accolade.

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Crime Awareness Student Film Project

This project plays an important role within the University and beyond. Led by Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, it represents a unique collaboration between our drama and media production teams, Northumbria Police and various organisations involved in supporting victims of crime.

The Crime Awareness Student Film Project represents one of a series of projects which aligns our teaching with our role in society. Part-funded by the Police and Crime Commissioners Community Fund the project allows students studying both drama and media production to work on a live client brief, enabling them to gain practical experience and important skills to promote employability. The project has been running for the past six years – more than 500 students have taken part in the production of 23 films on a variety of serious crimes.

The project has received widespread acclaim, from the media industry, from forensics experts and those dealing with the victims of crime. Dame Vera Baird QC, former Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, has previously congratulated the students for creating films able to communicate messages about serious crimes in ways the police and public services cannot.

Uniquely, the films have been used to raise awareness amongst children, health professionals, the police and other university students - making a significant contribution to the lives of victims and helping with prevention and awareness raising. In addition, the films are used in teaching within the University to stimulate debate on issues such as domestic violence and rape.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Young, said: “The University is committed to providing its students with an authentic teaching, learning and assessment experience – an important part of this is providing access to real world projects. The Crime Awareness Student Film Project represents a unique collaboration between academics and statutory and voluntary bodies across the region, I was delighted to support the team with their application and share in celebrating their success.”



Social media warning as PM demands action to protect children against measles.
A Sunderland academic is warning about the dangers of social media anti-vaccination messages as Boris Johnson orders urgent action to protect children against measles.
The disease can be stopped through two doses of the MMR vaccine, but immunisation rates have been falling in the UK for a number of reasons.
The country has lost its measles-free status, three years after the virus was eliminated in the UK.
In the first quarter of 2019, there were 231 confirmed cases in the UK.
Dr Sophie Hodgetts, a Lecturer in Psychology at the University, believes that inaccurate and misleading anti-vaccination messages on social media could be one reason why inoculation rates are falling.
She said: “If you already think vaccines are bad, chances are you will only search out information that supports that view.
“This information can come from anywhere; Facebook is a good example, but also a lot of other social media and online forums. If you are searching for evidence then you will find a lot of content. That is part of the reason why this issue keeps coming back time and time again.”
Unicef's analysis shows that an estimated 169 million children around the world missed out on the first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017 - an average of 21.1 million a year.
Now, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that:
¿ GPs are being asked to promote catch-up vaccinations for children who may have missed out on both doses
¿ Social media companies are being urged to quash misleading anti-vaccine messages
¿ The firms will be invited to a summit to explore how they can better promote accurate vaccination information
Dr Hodgetts said: “The fact that we are still talking about this issue is mind-boggling given that the research is pretty conclusive – that vaccines are safe.
“Whenever a celebrity comes out saying they are either for or against vaccines, the issue gets dragged up all over again. It is a very emotional issue and it plays on a lot of people’s concerns.”

Measles outbreaks in the UK
Many of the UK cases were acquired abroad with some onward spread in under-vaccinated communities.
Just 87% of UK children are receiving their second dose, which is below the 95% target for measles elimination.
The first dose of the MMR vaccine is offered to all one-year-olds. Children are given a second dose of MMR before they start school.
But estimates suggest that in England, one in seven five-year-olds has yet to be fully immunised.
Experts say the drop in uptake may be partly because of complacency - people perceiving the threat of infection as too low to matter. Anti-vaccination messaging on social media may also have a detrimental effect.
World Transplant Games

The World Transplant Games are coming to North East England from 17 - 24 August. Sunderland will host three competitions of swimming, cycling and ten pin bowling from Monday 19 August to Wednesday 21 August, all of which are free to spectators.

This year's games are about celebrating the gift of life, raising awareness of the benefits and huge importance of organ donation in saving live’s, providing a second chance for individuals to live life to the full, with courage and physical fitness. 

Around 2500 sporting hopefuls (500 from Great Britain and Northern Ireland) from 59 countries are taking part in 16 sports, ranging from athletics, basketball and cycling to football, swimming and volleyball.

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Three of the competitions will be held in Sunderland:

Ten Pin Bowling  – AMF Bowl Washington – Monday 19 August

  • Individual competitions between 10am-6pm
  • Medal ceremonies will take place at the venue after each final 
  • Free to spectators

Ten Pin Bowling  – AMF Bowl Washington – Tuesday 20 August

  • Pairs competitions between 10am-6pm
  • Medal ceremonies will take place at the venue after each final 
  • Free to spectators

30 KM Road Race – Hetton Lyons Country Park  - Tuesday 20 August

  • Competitors will arrive for 10am - event will conclude 4.30pm

Road race – 17 laps of the course - chip timed  
Race 1  - 11am – Women -  all age categories  (27 competitors)
Race 2 – 12 noon – Men  categories 18-29 and 30–39 yr old  (24 competitors)
Race 3  - 1pm  - Vets Men  40-49yr old  (25 competitors)
Race 4  - 2pm  - Vets Men 50-59yr old (22 competitors)
Race 5  - 3pm  - Vets Men 60+ (29 competitors)

  • Medal ceremonies will take place on site after each race 
  • Free to spectators

Swimming  - Sunderland Aquatic Centre  - Tuesday 20 August 

Various events between 10am – 5pm  including :

Adults Juniors 12-14, 15-17 Juniors 5 and Under, 6-8, 9-11
200 Freestyle
50 Butterfly 25 Butterfly
100 Breaststroke 50 Breaststroke
50 Backstroke 25 Backstroke
100 Freestyle 50 Freestyle
4x50 Freestyle Relay (women)
4x50 Medley Relay (men)

  • Medal ceremonies will take place at the venue after each final 
  • Free to spectators

Swimming  - Sunderland Aquatic Centre  - Wednesday 21 August 

Various events between 10am – 5pm  including :

Adults Juniors 12-14, 15-17 Juniors 5 and Under, 6-8, 9-11
400 Freestyle 200 Freestyle
50 Freestyle 25 Freestyle
200 Individual Medley
100 Backstroke 50 Backstroke
50 Breaststroke 25 Breaststroke
4X50m Medley Relay (women)
4X50m Freestyle Relay (men)
4x50 Freestyle 200+ Year Relay (mixed)

  • Medal ceremonies will take place at the venue after each final 
  • Free to spectators

For more information on the games go to: or

In Spring 2020 organ donation in England will move to an 'opt out' system. Find out how to register as an organ donor and more information on the changes at