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It can be a daunting move – leaving home, moving to a new city, starting University, and not knowing anyone.

But when you meet someone like Laura Rose, that daunting move suddenly becomes a lot easier.

Kacey Smith, 18, left her family home in Lincolnshire so she could take up a place on the University of Sunderland’s Performing Arts programme.

During her first week she met Laura, also on the programme, and the pair became firm friends.

Now, Kacey has nominated her pal for the University of Sunderland’s Rate Your Mate competition which aims to highlight the good work of students across the University.

Any student who would like to nominate their friend can email rate@sunderland.ac.uk and let us know what makes your mate amazing

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Kacey said: “It’s not that she’s just such a good friend to me, she is there for everyone on the course.

“Laura is always the first person to help others, even if she’s having a bad day herself. You know that she is there for you, when no one else is.”

The pair, who are in their first year, say they are thoroughly enjoying their University experience and are receiving a lot of support and help from their tutors.

Laura, who is from High Barnes in Sunderland, said: “I love it here, the people on the course have been amazing.

“I could cry at the nice things Kacey has said about me but I just feel like we all help each other.”

Kacey is hoping to start a career in musical theatre or teaching once she has finished her programme, while Laura would like to go into TV or film acting.

Kacey added: “I picked to come to Sunderland to study Performing Arts because, outside of London, it offered me the best programme.”

Rate Your Mate is unique in that all nominations are made by friends or colleagues of the nominees who are also based at the University.

Any student who would like to nominate their friend can email rate@sunderland.ac.uk and let us know what makes your mate amazing.

Nadia Ammor graduated from the University in 2019 with PGCE Science with Biology Secondary Education, following her first degree in BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cellular Sciences) and now works as a Healthcare Scientist Associate Practitioner at the NHS.

Interested in Postgraduate study? You can find out about what is on offer - from PGCEs to Masters to PhDs - at our Postgraduate and Masters site:

https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/next-step/

Don't miss our special Undergraduate to Postgraduate information afternoon on 30 November where you can find out how - and why! - you should continue your studies with US.

BOOK YOUR PLACE

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Studying at the University of Sunderland has allowed Nadia Ammor to follow career path she is extremely passionate about.

After graduating in 2017 from her Healthcare Sciences degree, Nadia worked for a year in a hospital laboratory before coming back to the University to study PGCE Science with Biology Secondary Education.

https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/next-step/

Monday 24 February, 5.30pm-7pm - Prospect Building, Room 009, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's - This event is free, to register visit eventbrite.

In this lecture, Professor Amal Ali Elkordy will reflect on her professional experiences that enabled her to progress on to Professorship.

The talk will also highlight how formulation scientists/researchers can help in solving challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces to transit drug candidates from laboratories into medicines used in clinics.

Pharmaceutical formulation scientists have knowledge not only for designing the suitable dosage forms (conventional and novel) but also for the manufacturing of medicines to exert their biological effects safely and effectively.

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CREATIVE LIVES: Suzy O'Hara

Tuesday 25 February, 4pm-5pm - Prospect 007, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's - free and open to all

Researcher and curator, informed by innovation-based ideologies. Suzy has a well-established research and curatorial practice that is informed by her curiosity around how innovation-based ideologies and strategies are shaping contemporary art and curatorial practices. 

Her research explores critical and interdisciplinary modes of creative practice that interrogates perceived distinctions between sites of artistic and economic production by brokering new, direct ways of working between them. Her research-led curatorial practice is represented by a diverse portfolio of artistic projects, product prototypes and an artist-led, born-global start-up that all employ novel ways of working and have generated national and global impact.

In her role as post-doctoral researcher with Creative Fuse North East she drew upon the combined expertise from across the region, to explore the concept of ‘fusing’ creativity, culture and digital technology in North East England. Her research explored the ways in which ideas and approaches from creative practice (drawn from across the Creative, Digital and IT sector) can directly impact the development of creative practices while stimulating innovation in other sectors

Finally, Suzy is Chief Curator of Little Inventors, founded by artist Dominic Wilcox. Little inventors combine curatorial research, educational and business expertise to successfully turn an artistic method seeded and developed within a creative (art and design) practice, into a born global, creative brand.

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DOSH Drop-In Session 1

Tuesday 25 February, 4pm-5pm – Ground Floor, Sciences Complex

Pop along to our drop-in session to find out more about scholarships available to current students with DOSH (Development Office Scholarships):

DOSH scholarships currently available are:

The Sir Tom Cowie Excellence Scholarship - £10,000 (open to student entering their final year in 2020/21 in Business and Education disciplines) 

The Silver Fund - £2,500 - open to all current students 

The Hope Winch Scholarship – £1,000 (open to undergraduate Pharmacy students)

Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship - £1,000  (open to Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics (Stage 2); BA Glass and Ceramics (Stage 3); MA Glass and Ceramics; PhD Glass and Ceramics)

The Futures Fund – open to all current students - £2,500 - open to all students from 28 February)

If you would like to find out more about the scholarships available to current student from our Development Office go to:

sunderland.ac.uk/dosh

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Wednesday 26 February, 6.30pm-8pm - Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. - This event is free. Booking essential. Click here to book.

In conjuction with Sunderland Culture and Sunderland Museums & Heritage Service.

To mark the opening of the Sunderland Museum's first National Partners exhibition, Received Wisdom, Jill Constantine, Director of the Arts Council Collection, will give a talk about the Collection’s 74-year history, how it works with artists, the National Partners Programme and the Collection’s role in bringing the very best of modern and contemporary British art to museums and galleries around the UK and beyond.

This event is part of the learning and engagement programme for Received Wisdom – An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Exhibition. 

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Wednesday 26 February, 4pm-7pm - Priestman Building - To register for this event, visit eventbrite

Our next Bright Sparks STEAM Club session is Designing The Night Sky!

Following on from the last astronomical session, explore space further to get hands on and creative with the planets, stars, constellations and space.

From creating and moulding the planets into an intricate diorama - with the moons included, to placing the star sign constellations around the room and finally flexing that artistic muscle to draw, design and paint what space looks like using different techniques.

There might even be a prize for the most artistic and decorated canvas.

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What is Bright Sparks?

Bright Sparks STEAM Club is an award winning club for young people aged 11-16 offering interactive sessions linked to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM).

Bright Sparks STEAM Club is free to join and offers a range of exciting activities and events throughout the year.

- If you would like to join Bright Sparks STEAM Club please email brightsparks@sunderland.ac.uk or call 0191 515 3000

- For further information about Bright Sparks see our website www.sunderland.ac.uk/brightsparks

- To register for this event, visit eventbrite

DOSH Drop-In Session 2

Wednesday 26 February, 11am-1pm – City Campus Gateway

Pop along to our drop-in session to find out more about scholarships available to current students with DOSH (Development Office Scholarships):

DOSH scholarships currently available are:

The Sir Tom Cowie Excellence Scholarship - £10,000 (open to student entering their final year in 2020/21 in Business and Education disciplines) 

The Silver Fund - £2,500 - open to all current students 

The Hope Winch Scholarship – £1,000 (open to undergraduate Pharmacy students)

Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship - £1,000  (open to Artist Designer Maker: Glass and Ceramics (Stage 2); BA Glass and Ceramics (Stage 3); MA Glass and Ceramics; PhD Glass and Ceramics)

The Futures Fund – open to all current students - £2,500 - open to all students from 28 February)

If you would like to find out more about the scholarships available to current student from our Development Office go to:

sunderland.ac.uk/dosh

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Monday 30 March, 2pm-5pm - Reg Vardy Centre - This Postgraduate Open Day is specifically aimed at current Undergraduate students

Don't miss our special Undergraduate to Postgraduate information afternoon on 30 November where you can find out how - and why! - you should continue your studies with US.

BOOK YOUR PLACE

Whether you’re coming towards the end of your Undergraduate course, returning to learning after a break or considering the next step in your career, there are lots of great reasons to come along to our Postgraduate Open Day, including:

Expert Staff and Students

Not only can we offer you the chance to speak to one of our expert academic staff, you will also have the opportunity to speak with current students to learn more about life on campus from their perspective.

Application and Funding Advice

You will be able to meet with our Admissions team to talk about your applications and there will be a funding postgraduate study talk led by our Student Financial Consultants to guide you through the process.

Fantastic Campuses

We can also show you around our two fabulous campuses and take you to view our accommodation.

You can always expect a warm welcome from our friendly staff who are keen to help you make the most of your visit.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


sunderland.ac.uk/next-step

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A prominent North-East born journalist will return to his roots to take part in popular Radio 4 show Any Questions next week.

Associate editor and political columnist on the Mirror, Kevin Maguire, will be among the panel for the BBC discussion programme which will be hosted by the University of Sunderland on Friday, February 28.

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In a career-spanning more than 30 years, Kevin has become one of the country’s most recognised journalists.

The South Shields-born TV pundit has already forged strong links with the University as a Visiting Professor of Journalism, while in 2018 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts.

Kevin previously served as chief reporter at The Guardian and was labour correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. A regular on television and radio, he also used to host his own programme on talk radio station LBC 97.3. His regular news-review slots on Good Morning Britain and Sky News sees him sparring with journo pal Andrew “Tory Boy” Pierce.

He said: ““Broadcasting Radio 4’s Any Questions from the University of Sunderland will focus the national spotlight on a brilliant University and wonderful city so I’m thrilled to be on the panel.”

Joining Kevin on the night will be the CEO of one of the UK’s leading port groups, Frans Calje, of PD Ports.

The company has 13 locations across the country, including four in the North East.

Further guests will be announced closer to the day of recording.

The programme will be hosted by BBC political correspondent Chris Mason who took over the show from long-term presenter Jonathan Dimbleby last year.

Any Questions will be broadcast from the Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's.

Anyone wanting to attend is asked to pre-register and secure their ticket here at Eventribe.

Members of the public will also have the opportunity to submit a question to the panel on arrival, and they must be willing to read the question in front of a live audience.

Free parking will be available on campus for the evening. Those attending are asked to arrive in good time, from 6pm, and have their ticket or QR code ready to be scanned.

Admittance to the Lecture Theatre will be from 6.30pm, with doors closing at 7.20pm.

 

Survey US - week 2

Survey US is our survey of all students. Thank you to everyone who took the time (only 5 minutes!) to fill in one of our surveys. 

On Monday 17 February 1,598 students have filled in one of our three surveys – the UK Engagement Survey (577 students), the National Student Survey (861 students) or the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (160 students).

Please take just a few minutes to take part and have your say.

sunderland.ac.uk/surveyus

Why take part in Survey US?

Survey US is a survey of all Sunderland students* – from Freshers to Postgraduates.

With your help we want to make sure the Sunderland experience is the best that it can be.

Your feedback really does make a difference in everything from how your course is delivered, to major changes in the University.In the past year we have invested over £14 million in your campus – we have introduced a 20% discount to students progressing to Postgraduate study, and two free guest tickets for graduations.

88 per cent of your fees are reinvested in improving and enhancing the student experience.

But what’s your view?

Remember that every student’s opinion matters to US – so we want as many of you as possible to fill in Survey US 2012. So login from 3 February, and make sure your voice is heard.

sunderland.ac.uk/surveyus

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*Taught students. Postgraduate student will be contacted about the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

London women running the world

The women of the University of Sunderland in London are putting on their running shoes for You Make It, a charity that helps young women change their lives through workshops and mentoring.

On Saturday 7 March, eight women from departments across the University are teaming up to run the Victoria Park Race in London in celebration of International Women’s Day.

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The team, training right now to join hundreds of other runners for the 5km to 10km race, are:

  • Evdoxia Liatiri (Student Administration Manager)
  • Roshelle Pereira (Student administration Officer)
  • Jasmina Korab-Karpowicz (Timetabling Coordinator)
  • Shabana Akbar (Associate Lecturer)
  • Tina Yang (Student Relations Officer)
  • Desislava Vodenicharova (Intern and our current student)
  • Alisa Tsykhotsky (Health & Wellbeing Manager)
  • Ilona Lewicka (HR Manager)

“We’re spreading the power of women at the University of Sunderland in London.” Ilona said “That’s why we chose You Make It. We want to help women who have passions and ambitions but need a little help, whether that’s education, advice or just someone to talk to.

Alisa said, “I think connecting with others through movement and endurance for an important cause like International Women’s Day, is a great thing for our physical and mental health. It gives you a real sense of belonging. I’m excited to show my commitment to this cause with my colleagues, no matter the end results.”

Evi said, “It’s really special, getting to do this with a great team of colleagues and for a worthy cause. It makes all the training really worthwhile.”

Ilona summed up, “We’re not trying to prove we’re all super-fast or break any records. But it’s nice to represent the women of the University. We’re having fun and supporting each other through the whole experience.”

You can donate to the team’s efforts at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IlonaLewicka. Get more information about the work of You Make It on their website. Find out more about the Victoria Park Race on the Run Through website.

Team Sunderland returned from this weekend’s BUCS Nationals Championships with three medals to cap an excellent weekend of sport.

All three medals came in the karate with Sufie Kudien picking up gold in the individual Kata while there were silver medals in the Team Kata and Team Kumite.

BUCS Nationals saw universities from across the country compete in a range of sports with Team Sunderland competing in Athletics, Karate, Badminton, Fencing and Swimming.

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Day one started at the badminton with Wilson Ngie Ding competing in the singles where he performed well above expectation advancing through his opening three fixtures to reach the second day.

Team Sunderland were also in action in the athletics with Jordan Latimer and Joel John beating their PB’s for the 800m and 60m respectively although the star of the first day on the track was Jessica Young-Rogers who advanced to the semi-final with a PB of 7.94 for the 60m.

Young-Rogers went again in the semi-final later that evening running a time of 7.97, her second fastest ever, but finished 7th.

Day two saw further athletics action with Latimer competing in the 1500m finishing ninth in his heat.

Ding continued his fantastic championships winning his fifth round match before crashing out to the eventual bronze medallist.

The second day also saw the start of the much anticipated karate where Team Sunderland had fared well in previous years.

That anticipation was well placed as Sufie Kudien put in a sensational performance to take the individual Kata title before teaming up with Brett Billingham and Ross Billingham to earn silver in the Team Kata.

The trio then joined with Mohamed Attia and Salim Salim to compete in the Team Kumite where they battled through the rounds and won silver after losing to a very strong Liverpool side in the final.

Day three saw Mohammed Alharby competing in the fencing reaching the second round while all five of the previous day’s karate medallists acquitted themselves well in the individual Kumite.

Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday said: “It was a great weekend of high level competition across the various sports and it’s fantastic that the karate team came home with medals.

“Everyone can be very proud of their performances.”

Made in Sunderland

It’s fair to say businessman Michael Ditchburn has a passion for the University of Sunderland – as all his employees are graduates.

The city-born businessman is himself a graduate of the University having earned a Geography degree back in 2002.

Today he runs ThinkBiscuit Media, a business that specialises in supporting clients with digital eLearning solutions, videos and animations.

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The business, based in Sunderland Software Centre, was founded in August 2017, and, having first used freelancers, now has a handful of staff on its books – all of who are also Sunderland graduates.

Michael said: “When I left university I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, in fact my first job was as a security guard for Dixons.”

But after working in a number of large and small organisations learning his craft, Michael’s entrepreneurial side started to shine through and he got in touch with the University’s Graduate Internship Scheme.

Michael was able to access the ERDF Internships and Enterprise project to get some funding for recruiting a graduate.   

So when Michael’s business started to grow – and the time came to take on some staff – it seemed only natural for him to make use of the University’s talent pool.

Michael said: “When I first set up, like most businesses, I based myself out of my attic and that worked for a while, but I realised that if I wanted to really make a go of it, I needed to have a proper office. Sunderland Software Centre is a fantastic place to be based.

“Then I took on Rachel Smith who was a Design and Illustration graduate who put her skills to use by creating graphics that can be used in training animations and materials, developing creative and engaging learning tools.”

Since bringing Rachel on board, Michael has employed Digital Film Production graduate Jordan Defty, as well as, most recently, Fine Art student Rosie McQueen. Daniel Richardson, another University graduate, is also used by the company for regular freelance work.

Michael said: “I love what the University does to help graduates and they’ve helped me create a really young, ambitious team here at ThinkBiscuit.

“They offer a lot of support to businesses which is important as well as ongoing training.

“The team we have here now works together so well. The clients seem to like what we’re doing and they keep coming back.”

The company currently boasts an impressive roster of clients, including BrewDog, Vodafone, Buzz Bingo, Sodexo and Tech Nation.

Laura Foster, Internships and Enterprise Manager at University of Sunderland, said: “Retaining graduate talent is critical to boosting SME growth in the North East and our ERDF funding enables us to both financially support SME’s to recruit an intern, as well as providing our graduates with exciting opportunities in growing businesses.

The Graduate Internship Scheme has supported hundreds of SME’s in the region over the years and we are really pleased to add this brilliant, home grown, Sunderland business to the list.”

Michael Ditchburn (center) with fellow University of Sunderland graduates Jordan Defty (left), Daniel Richardson, Rosie McQueen and Rachel Smith from ThinkBiscuit Media at the Software Centre.

Survey US - week 1

 

Survey US launched on 3 February - thank you to everyone who took the time (only 5 minutes!) to fill in one of our surveys. 

On Monday 10 February 942 students have filled in one of our three surveys – the UK Engagement Survey (355 students), the National Student Survey (506 students) or the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (81 students).

Please take just a few minutes to take part and have your say.

sunderland.ac.uk/surveyus

Why take part in Survey US?

Survey US is a survey of all Sunderland students* – from Freshers to Postgraduates.

With your help we want to make sure the Sunderland experience is the best that it can be.

Your feedback really does make a difference in everything from how your course is delivered, to major changes in the University.In the past year we have invested over £14 million in your campus – we have introduced a 20% discount to students progressing to Postgraduate study, and two free guest tickets for graduations.

88 per cent of your fees are reinvested in improving and enhancing the student experience.

But what’s your view?

Remember that every student’s opinion matters to US – so we want as many of you as possible to fill in Survey US 2012. So login from 3 February, and make sure your voice is heard.

sunderland.ac.uk/surveyus

Return to AboutUS

*Taught students. Postgraduate student will be contacted about the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).