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Lights, Camera, Action!

We’re looking for students to star in our virtual tour that will showcase the University and our wonderful city.

Casting will take place on Thursday 13 December - so if you’d like the opportunity to be the face of the University and to represent our current students, do get in touch by emailing to arrange your audition.

This is a great CV opportunity - and will definitely enhance your creative skills! #WeAreSun

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Students' Union Big Fat Survey

Your Students' Union are always looking at how they can enhance your university experience.

Take part in the Big Fat Sunderland Survey to tell the SU  about your Uni experience.

You'll be automatically entered into our prize draw to win £25, £50 or £100!


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£5.1million project launched

More than £800,000 in Collaborative Projects Fund grants is now available to North East manufacturing businesses following the launch of a £5.1million project by the University of Sunderland.

The Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) project is a multi-million pound scheme to support small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) across the North East LEP region, aiming to create jobs and unlock growth.

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The pioneering initiative will enable businesses to become more productive and sustainable by supporting projects that develop their products, processes and technology.

Claire Defty, Project Manager indicated: “The North East is a region of entrepreneurs and innovators and these grants will support them to deliver business growth from their ideas and concepts.

“The grant element enables companies to access support for equipment and helps address other barriers to developing and implementing a new product or process.”

Grant applications are invited from North East manufacturing SMEs looking for investment to support:

  • New technology development and/or use by the firm
  • New product validation (tests/consultancy/prototypes)
  • Process improvement
  • Research and development

Applications from SME consortiums are particularly encouraged. It is anticipated that most awards will be between £5,000 and £35,000 per project.

Anyone interested in a grant can find out more information on the SAM website -

The University of Sunderland is receiving almost £2.6million from the European Regional Development Fund towards the project.


European Regional Development Fund

 The project is receiving up to £2,596,753 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit’

“What is so great about Sunderland?”

That was the question of Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan’s lips as he questioned why the city was so appealing to young people.

The outspoken breakfast show host questioned the city’s appeal after financial services provider OneFamily named the city as the best place to live for the under 30s.

But despite the accolade, the presenter seemed dubious and asked viewers exactly what Sunderland could offer young adults – and they answered him in their droves.

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Wearsiders and people from across the UK took to social media to tell Piers exactly why Sunderland deserved the title – even inviting him to pay a visit and see for himself.

The University of Sunderland, along with the city’s beaches, countryside, bars, restaurants – and most of all, the people – were all highlighted.

Comments included:

“If you don't know @piersmorgan then get yourself up here and find out! Great place to live, easy transport links, cheap cost of living, everything you need is within a 10 minute car journey. Town centre bars, countryside, beaches, supermarkets, restaurant, cinema, jobs, university….”

“Amazing beaches, countryside and parks (a tad cold though I must admit), fantastic history, lots of culture and friendly people who’d give their last £1 to help someone else”

“Sunderland is beautiful, I only visit, I live in Suffolk which is beautiful, but Sunderland has some of the most beautiful beaches”

“No gang cultures... friendly people. No long commute to work, just people getting on with life, enjoy a weekend of football and beer, what’s not to like”

“The very best thing about Sunderland is that Piers Morgan ain't here. And we all pray he never will be”

“Why doesn’t he come up sometime and have a look”

“@piersmorgan is sick that the best place to live under 30 isn’t in the south!”

There was also a reply from Strictly Come Dancing star Faye Tozer’s husband, who said: “I’ve lived here all my life though and now Faye’s here too, can’t be that bad”

The ratings in the survey were based on incomes, cost of living and how people feel about their area.

When the University of Sunderland team highlighted Piers Morgan’s tweet we were inundated with support from students both from the city and those who have moved to study here.

Leeds, Aberdeen and Liverpool were also in the top five of the survey.

A Safety and Training Innovation centre, being built at Vantec HQ in Sunderland, will create a UK-first ‘living warehouse’. The new centre will focus on accident prevention in the logistics industry, drawing on the latest innovation in training and health and safety.

The innovation centre is the result of a unique partnership between Vantec and the University of Sunderland brokered by Sunderland City Council. The centre will be housed in a dedicated 9000 sq ft building currently being refurbished at Vantec’s Cherry Blossom Way site in Sunderland, and will open its doors in March 2019.

The centre will house a new living warehouse in which 3D immersive training will take people through all the potential causes and consequences of a single lapse in safety prevention, to increase insight and enhance the company’s capabilities in continuous improvement.

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Martin Kendall, managing director of Vantec Europe said: “Our accident rates are very low, but our aim is zero. There are 600 Vantec forklift truck drivers in Sunderland and another 100 in our other UK bases. Our challenge is to make the forklift driving activity as safe as practically possible.

“The innovation centre is a completely new way of tackling safety awareness and accident prevention.  Because it brings the consequences of a single lapse in safety to life it engages and involves every individual who takes part. 

“It is an effective method of creating excellent safety awareness and keeping safety to the front of the mind long-term. Employee well-being is at the heart of this initiative.  Bringing down accident rates through better awareness will also support increased productivity and staff motivation at Vantec.”

The centre will use the University of Sunderland’s expertise and resources in paramedics, nursing, law, behavioural sciences and psychology to create a world class interactive training environment.  A realistic, potent film will cover every aspect of a potential accident at Vantec, from the impact of the initial event to the arrival of the ambulance, the stay in hospital, effects on family, colleagues and employer, and will even include mock law courts, with student lawyers enacting the trial with a jury.

The innovation centre will use a blend of technology and interaction throughout to create a life story of an accident. Actors, university students and lecturers will act out parts of the programme to bring it vividly to life for participants.

The film will be shown on a three-wall projection, and is central to the safety training programmes. Aspects of the film will be used to create in-depth segments to improve understanding about accident prevention, and boost leadership, communication, and worker involvement across the entire Vantec workforce.

The living warehouse came about following senior level discussions between Vantec and the University of Sunderland at the Faculty of Health Sciences and Well-being’s simulation suite. The suite is part of healthcare provision for training nurses and paramedics.

Professor Tony Alabaster, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, and programme leader Dr Sarah Pickup, then worked with Martin Kendall and his team at Vantec to create a bespoke programme to suit the logistics industry. 

This facility will be developed under the investment plans of Hitachi Transport Systems (Vantec parent company) as a part of HTS global Innovation Centre.

Vantec handles over 20 million containers every year, 24 hours a day for Sunday to Friday and employs over 1000 people in Sunderland.

The company already occupies over a million square feet of warehousing in Sunderland at its Cherry Blossom, Turbine Way and Hillthorn centres. Sunderland City Council has provided advice and support for Vantec’s innovation centre. Detailed discussions about the project took place with board level representatives of both Vantec and HTS, both in the UK and Japan, when the City Council was showcasing its automotive and advanced manufacturing sector.

Dr Sarah Pickup, Lecturer in Environment Health & Safety at the University of Sunderland, commented: “This collaboration is very exciting, it allows us as academics to work closely with a global business situated on our doorstep and through internal cross-collaboration, apply a wealth of knowledge and skills to a very real-world challenge. For Vantec to engage in such a collaboration is a strong statement that signals their motivation to enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees in new and innovative ways and we are excited to be involved with this”.

Professor Tony Alabaster, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing added: “The relationship with Vantec has changed our own approach and given us a broader scope – it’s an excellent example of how this University adapts to support the North East region’s skills, technology and research requirements.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The innovation centre is a great example of Vantec’s forward-looking strategy and its excellent approach to continuous improvement, innovation and employee welfare. It also shows Sunderland’s dynamism and ability to lead in key sectors. The knowledge economy eco-system is growing across the city, and the innovation centre will provide a focus for new ways of training.

“Our ambitions for Sunderland as a leading automotive hub requires the long-term commitment of our skilled, motivated workforce. We have the best, most productive workforce in Sunderland and their safety is paramount.  It will be strengthened further by this development.

“It also illustrates the close relationships between the city’s businesses, council and university, which together help to secure major investment and new opportunities.  This leads to job creation and a robustly strong automotive sector.  We look forward to seeing the new innovation centre open its doors in 2019.”

A 30-minute documentary directed by a University of Sunderland graduate focused on the work of a Sunderland artist, is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 next week.

Stephanie Smith, living in Roker, has been developing a new artistic process called “skin-mapping” for the past eight years.  In ‘Drawing in the Dark’, airing on Monday at 4pm, she invites people to close their eyes and put charcoal to canvas, in this show produced by Sykes, Academic Tutor in radio production at the University,

“I was very enthusiastic to start with, and blown away that other people thought the idea was interesting enough to investigate and share,” says Stephanie. 

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Over the year spent recording for the programme, Stephanie invited almost 20 people to her easel, to test out her method, and to really feel the tactile sensations in their faces & bodies.  Stephanie guides artists and beginners alike through her practice.

“Art is a very emotional process, and being an art pupil is a vulnerable position to put yourself in.  So as the ‘teacher’, I felt a great responsibility I’d never had before. I was amazed how trusting each person was, to sit with their eyes closed in this intimate recording studio, and try something new.

“But wow, once the others got their heads around drawing this way, and they were scratching and scribbling, and pulling faces and really, really concentrating, I felt so elated and full of energy and hope.”

Stephanie is not the only Sunderland voice you’ll hear - each of the participants BBC Radio 4 documentary lives or works in Sunderland - singer/songwriter Olivia Glover, journalism student Mariam Khattab, taxi driver Stephen Banks, music producer Rafal Marzec, care worker Anna Debska, mindfulness coach Laura Hind, and visual artist Barrie West.

You can hear 'Drawing in the Dark’ on BBC Radio 4 next Monday at 4pm. 

“It’s been a very rewarding journey working with Stephanie and helping her develop her craft through meeting our guests,” says Jay Sykes, the producer of Drawing in the Dark.  “She’s a dream to collaborate with; warm and expressive, and not afraid to engage emotionally.”

Jay has taught audio and radio production at the University of Sunderland since 2015, and continues to work in an intersection of audio and the arts; including producing the weekly arts discussion programme ArtyParti, and the Sunderland-based podcast “Speak Up Sunderland”.  Jay is also the Director of Solo Arts CIC, based in Sunderland.

“I’m thrilled to be know there’ll be hundreds of thousands of people listening live around the UK.  From a professional level, producing a programme for BBC Radio 4 was a huge milestone.

“But there’s another level of pride in knowing that I’m giving this national platform to an artist who lives and works in Sunderland - and that hundreds of thousands of people across the UK will be listening to one of our city’s talented grassroots artists.”

You are also invited to join the artist and producer in person, to celebrate at the New Pop Recs venue, for a live broadcast of ‘Drawing in the Dark’, and an exhibition of Stephanie’s work.  New Pop Recs is located at 170 High Street West, and you can join the live event on Monday 3rd December, from 3.30pm - 6pm.

If you haven't reviewed your University on WhatUni online - now is your perfect chance.

Your review will only take a few minutes to complete, and you will be automatically entered into a draw to a £200 food voucher - so don't miss out!

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Two inspiring North East women

Two successful North East women will receive special honours during the University of Sunderland’s winter Academic Awards.

Irene Lucas, former chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland councils, will join children’s book illustrator Holly Sterling as the pair are recognised at the ceremonies, taking place at the Stadium of Light.

Irene and Holly, who have each excelled in their individual fields, will join hundreds of students set to graduate on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week.

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The new Vice Chancellor of the University has told how it will be “an honour” to congratulate all of the new graduates.

Sir David Bell, who joined the University in September, said: “I’m delighted to be attending my first graduations as Vice-Chancellor. It will be an honour and pleasure to congratulate our new graduates during the five ceremonies we will be holding at the iconic Stadium of Light.

“I am sure that it will be a memorable time for everyone who attends.”

Irene Lucas will be made an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration during the ceremony on Friday, November 30.

Irene initially worked at Sunderland City Council for 25 years, progressing to the role of Assistant Chief Executive. During her tenure she was instrumental in the delivery of many of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Irene helped develop the then largest regeneration project in Europe on the old colliery site at Silksworth, creating pitches, a country park, fishing lakes and attracting the first Indoor Tennis Initiative in the country.

Working in partnership with English Heritage, she developed the Winter Gardens, Sunderland Museum and the restoration of Mowbray Park.

In 2001 she persuaded Apollo Theatres in London to work with the Council to refurbish the Empire Theatre – enabling it to bring West End shows such as Miss Saigon and War Horse to Sunderland.

In 2002 she became Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council leading the team that took it from a ‘Poor’ authority to the Best Achieving Council in the UK in 2006.

And it was in 2015 that she was asked to return to Sunderland City Council for a fixed period, this time as Chief Executive. Irene stepped down in July and now works with central government and the Hays Travel Foundation.

Lecturer Holly Sterling studied Illustration and Design at the University between 2006 and 2009.

In 2009, Holly graduated with a First Class Honours Degree, going on to work at design company, Big Bang Creative in Teesside creating designs for websites, e-commerce, branding and games.

In 2011 she decided to go back to university, to do a two year Masters at Edinburgh College of Art. She graduated with a Master of Fine Art (MFA) with Distinction in 2013. In the same year she was highly commended for the Macmillan Illustration Prize and the winner of the Seven Stories/Frances Lincoln Illustration Competition.

As part of her final year project for her MA, Holly wrote and illustrated a children’s book called ‘Hiccups’, it would be the first of 13 books where she would contribute artwork.

Holly’s other books include: 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby; 15 Things Not to Do with a Puppy; Everybody Feels Angry; Everybody Feels Scared and Everybody Feels Happy.

In recognition of her work Holly has been named the University of Sunderland Alumni Achiever of the Year 2018 and will receive her award on Thursday, November 29.

Holly, who now lectures at the University, said: “She said: “My initial work focused on the different ethnicities in the books’ characters which were targeted towards children aged between three and seven-years-old.

“I want my drawings to be empowering for everyone; for girls and for boys. It’s important we subvert gender stereotypes.”

The University of Sunderland’s winter graduation ceremonies will take place at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, November 28, Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30. The event will welcome more than 2,000 people from all over the world, with many coming from different continents to celebrate the achievements of friends and family.

Q&A: “laugh together, learn together, explore together”

At this week’s winter academic awards, children’s book illustrator Holly Sterling will be named the University of Sunderland Alumni Achiever of the Year 2018.

The graduate has contributed her artwork to 13 books and is currently a Lecturer in Illustration at the University.

As a child Holly always loved to draw and would create her own pictures for the books she was reading. So it only seemed fitting that she would go on to become an illustrator of children’s books.

Holly’s books include: 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby; 15 Things Not to Do with a Puppy; Everybody Feels Angry; Everybody Feels Scared and Everybody Feels Happy.

Being from a mixed-heritage background, Holly often felt she did not see children like her represented in the stories she read as she was growing up. So she made it her mission, through her illustrations, to give other children the opportunity to recognise themselves in the books she created.

Here we speak to Holly about life, books, and why reading together is so important:

Hi Holly, when you were growing up, what children’s books did you read?

I mostly would read books about nature, animals and friendships.

What is your favourite children’s book?

I loved reading the Bramley Hedge stories and Percy the Park Keeper books as a young child. Another fond favourite was ‘We're going on a Bear Hunt’. As I got a bit older I loved the Roald Dahl books, my favourite being the BFG and Matilda.

How young were you when you started drawing?

I've drawn for a long as I can remember. But I remember starting to focus on 'practicing with purpose’ from about the age of six or seven after getting some positive feedback and encouragement at school and from my family, especially my granddad. I started spending time drawing and painting with my granddad at weekends where I would learn techniques on how to improve but it was also just fun to spend time together too.

What would you like to see more/less of in children’s books?

There is a growing list of books revealing the diverse world that we live in, but I believe there is still a way to go. We need to see more diversity both within character representation, and environmental and situational depiction. I believe that it is also important to represent strong female characters within children’s books for both young boys and girls to see.

With websites, games consoles, YouTube etc, do you think it is more important than ever that children look at books?

Most definitely. Reading a book is something that families can enjoy together. They can laugh together, learn together, and explore all the wonders of the world together. These are special moments to treasure time and time again.

What’s the best piece of advice you give your students?

To experiment. Embrace making mistakes because that is how we learn. I will always encourage them to tap into who they are as a person. I ask them what they believe in and help them to search for ways to visually communicate their voice.

What was the best thing about studying at the University of Sunderland?

Course wise...

Having the freedom to find my voice as an illustrator and communicating the things that I feel passionate about. My tutors and other university staff have always been very supportive during my time at university but also after I graduated.
Area wise...

I also love how friendly and helpful people are in the North East. As soon as I moved, I knew this was where I wanted to build a home.
The area is inspiring with its diverse landscape: the countryside, coastline and city centres being so close by. There are plenty of museums and galleries to visit for inspiration. My personal favourite is Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children's Books).

Sunderland Talks: Colin Gray

Sunderland Talks is a series of podcasts that bring together our experts to discuss big ideas and topical issues that tie in with their current and future research in their specialist field.

In our latest podcast Marketing's Helen Edmonds speaka to Colin Gray, a Senior Lecturer in Computer Forensics who spent 20 years with Northumbria Police pioneering the use of reconstruction and forensic analysis of digital evidence in solving crime.

Listen via the link below for an insight into cybersecurity, the dark web and remaining safe online.

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University of Sunderland graduate Laura Ferry is attracting thousands of followers as she flies the flag for body positivity across the globe.

The Public Relations MA graduate and popular blogger has struck a chord with women everywhere after she was left frustrated with the limited range of plus-size fashion available on the high street.

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Eight years ago Laura Ferry set up a blog where she shared fashion and beauty tips with others looking for inspiration.

Little did she realise that her musings would change her life, but today being an online influencer has become the former graduate’s full time job in which her voice connects with countless women through her What Laura Loves brand.

“Back then places like River Island didn’t do an 18 in clothes and sizes overall in shops were smaller,” she explained from her home in South Shields.

“I always struggled to find clothes and I wanted to wear the same kinds of clothes my friends who are an 8 or 10 were wearing, so I realised there was a gap in the market.

“I would travel to places like Manchester and buy online where there’s more choice and began sharing what I’d bought with people on my blog. There certainly wasn’t as many plus-size bloggers then as there are now, and those that did exist often had a ‘50s, Rockabilly style. So because I was more about girl-next-door fashion it was quite different at the time and took off from there.”

As social media began its unstoppable rise, Laura, 30, from East Herrington in Sunderland, started an Instagram page to supplement her blog, which has built up a following of more than 30,000, an online community who connect with her daily on topics such as fashion, beauty, lifestyle and mental wellbeing.

Her influence has seen her work with a number of major brands such as Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and, most recently, Curvissa with whom she’s curated her own collection. Speaking about why she’s struck a chord in a market now saturated with bloggers, Laura said: “I started talking about positivity and body confidence which can inspire anyone, no matter what their size.

“I think what changed my life was to stop caring what other people might think of me. I want to wear a bikini and feel the sun on my skin just as much as anybody else and my dress size shouldn’t stop that.

“People always seem to be thinking about that magical day when they might fit into a certain outfit, but that day might never come and, in the meantime, you’re missing out on living life.”

Though the internet has become a place in which people have forged online communities, it too exposes people to cutting comments, something which Laura has learned to deal with.

“I’ve received hate comments from a small number of people on Instagram. But putting myself out there to help others does leave me open to this and it really says more about the commentator than it could ever do about me,” explained the former Whitburn School pupil.

“I’m not encouraging people to stay the same, I’m all about setting goals and smashing them. I know that feeling body confident and loving myself for who I am today has got me far further towards my goals than hating myself ever has.

“I go to the gym because I love how my body feels afterwards and it’s great for my mental health. I’m even working on motivational exercise videos for plus size and limited mobility people with a local personal trainer.”

As well as fashion tips, Laura’s also made an impact with sharing more personal sides of her life and after discussing her experiences of having a smear test she managed to inspire other women to take a potentially life-saving test they’d feared.

“I have a low hanging stomach and I was embarrassed to go for the test,” she explained. “I’d put off having my first one but made myself go, so when it came to the second one I videoed the room and discussed the procedure and the amount of messages I had from people was unreal.

“I had ladies booking appointments they’d put off because they were ashamed of their bodies and one had even led to them discovering abnormal cells. It made me realise I could help people.”

Although Laura makes a living from promoting brands, she says she only endorses products she personally uses. “There is integrity in what I do,” she said. “My followers know I only ever talk about things I’ve used that I believe in.

“I actually turn down more offers of work than I accept and will often put up content that isn’t sponsored, it might just be a face cream that is really good.”

Laura’s positivity has also seen her become a digital ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and she says she’s passionate about embracing diversity.

She said: “In plus-size modelling brands often use models who are beautifully in proportion with an hour glass ¿figure. “They are obviously beautiful, but that’s not to say other body shapes can’t be beautiful too. I have a mother’s apron shaped figure, in which my stomach hangs low which means clothes fit me differently.

“Everyone’s body shape is valid and women have the right to see that diversity, whether it be skin colour, ethnicity, body shape or height. So it’s amazing that brands like

As a Sunderland student you may be entitled to our Loyalty Scheme, 20% off course fees for most* Postgraduate courses. 

This the perfect time for you to consider further study - Postgraduate Loans are now available from the Government, and the cost of studying at Sunderland is highly competitive.

Postgraduates study improves your employment and earning potential, on average Postgraduates earn an extra £6,000 average per year compared to Undergraduates.

A Masters degree is also a stepping stone to higher study if you want to find out more about your chosen discipline.

To discover more about Postgraduate study at the University of Sunderland click here.

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*Excludes PGCEs

Stage Clip your Graduation

If you are graduating this November you can claim a free personalised video of your big moment as you cross the stage. Your StageClip will feature your name, graduation date and the degree that you studied and will be available a few hours after your ceremony has taken place.

To access and view your clip, check your University email account for your link then simply click the link and search for your clip using your name. 

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The Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society and Students’ Union Presidents joined over 100 university leaders and students at Auschwitz this week, as part of a new initiative to tackle antisemitism in universities.

The Government-funded visit, organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Union of Jewish Students, took student leaders and senior staff from almost 50 universities to Auschwitz. The £144,000 grant was announced earlier this year by Sajid Javid, then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Dr Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty, visited Auschwitz, accompanied by the Students’ Union’s Mandi Purvis (President: Wellbeing) and Diane Tretjak (President: Education).

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Dr McKenna said: “The project, the first of its kind open to university senior leaders and SU sabbatical officers, was funded by the Government in the wake of its concern at the rise in reported antisemitism, prejudice and hatred on university campuses. It aims to help educate about the importance of understanding where hatred can ultimately lead.

“The opportunity to hear the moving testimony from 88 year old Susan Pollack, before embarking on a one-day intensive visit to Auschwitz-Birkenhau, set the scene for a most moving and profound experience.

“I am very pleased that our University, which places equality and diversity in its core values, could participate in this project.”

Mandi Purvis, Dr Lynne McKenna and Diana Tretjak

Students’ Union President of Wellbeing Mandi Purvis said: “As we marched along the selection ramp in the bitter cold and darkness, as we entered the undressing area and proceeded into the gas chamber, we followed in the footsteps of millions and thought about all those individual victims who were murdered there.

“To eradicate hate, bullying, isolation and the unthinkable atrocities that happen today, we need to learn about where hate comes from and actively stand up for those who have no voice. This was a very emotional and valuable experience that is hard to put into adequate words, yet speak we must as the victims of Auschwitz should never be forgotten.”

Diana Tretjak, Students Union President of Education, added: “What has happened to 6 million innocent people is absolutely unbelievable and terrifying. I'm glad to have had that special chance to see the camps myself, to hear testimonies of survivors and I believe this should never be forgotten.

“I'm looking forward to spreading the word across the campus as well as working together to educate others about what has happened and what may be done in the future.'

The Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism, has recorded 112 incidents on UK campuses in the past five years – including 20 last year – such as graffiti and verbal abuse.

“The government recognised there’s a piece of work to do regarding how we tackle antisemitism on campus. One way of doing it is education, so they gave us a one-off grant. I hope we can demonstrate that this is worth doing again,” said Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of The Holocaust Educational Trust.

“There is a ripple effect to people learning, hearing, seeing.”

The students and staff will reconvene with trust educators next week for a follow-up seminar to discuss what they learned from the visit and its personal impact on them. Participants have agreed to become trust “ambassadors” in their universities to raise awareness of the Holocaust and challenge antisemitism and other forms of racism and prejudice.

To ensure that your attendance is correct you must tap in at the start of every lecture you attend using your Campus Card – and don’t forget, you only need to tap once – you don’t have to tap out again.

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Attendance Monitoring

Students are expected to actively engage in their studies, including attendance at lectures, seminars, workshops etc.  To try and help students ‘keep on track’, we have a process for monitoring attendance.  This involves the use of a Smart Card and ‘tapping in’ against readers at the entrance to each teaching room.  New students please ensure that you collect your card from Gateway as soon as possible after registration.  Information on attendance monitoring and how to access your personal attendance information can be found here:

Contact details for the Attendance Monitoring Team –


About Attendance Monitoring

As teaching is well underway for Semester One I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that the University have a process for monitoring your attendance. This involves you tapping your ‘Campus Card’ against a reader when you go into a class (there are fixed card-readers on the wall of all the main teaching rooms).  On some occasions you may be asked to use a hand-held device which will be passed round the class for you to swipe your card.

Through the attendance monitoring system we regularly review attendance % to identify students who may be having problems in attending classes.  If we are concerned about your attendance, and the system appears to show you are not swiping into your timetabled classes, we will contact you via your student email. 

By registering your attendance at every class you will avoid receiving unnecessary emails.  You can review your attendance record online via the Student Portal. 

  • To Access the Student Portal on your PC/Laptop use following link:
  •  To Access the Student Portal on your mobile device go to ‘Google Play’ (for android devices) and the ‘App Store’ (for apple devices) and use the search criteria ‘TDS Student’.

Recording your attendance – Do’s and Don’ts

To help ensure your attendance record is accurate, and your attendance at classes is recorded correctly and shown in your attendance % we recommend you follow these simple do’s and don’ts for recording your attendance:


DO attend all classes shown on your timetable; on the day they are scheduled, at the time they are scheduled and in the room they have been allocated.  




DO record you attendance at each class by ‘tapping’ your campus card carefully against the fixed reader in the room


  • A ‘thank you’ message will be displayed on the reader to confirm your attendance has been recorded.


  • If you continually receive an ‘error’ message please visit one of the Gateway receptions at City Campus or St Peter’s Campus as soon as possible, so your card can be checked.



DO NOT record your attendance at the reader any earlier than 10 mins before the class is timetabled to start (refer to your timetable).


  • for example if your class is timetabled to start at 11.00am you can tap into that class anytime from 10.50am but no earlier


  • If you tap in too early your attendance will not be recorded, you will NOT receive your attendance mark and your attendance % will be affected.




DO NOT swipe out of class on the way out – it is not necessary.


DO NOT misuse the system. Identified misuse will be considered as misconduct and will be subject to the University’s disciplinary procedures.   Misuse applies to:

  • students swiping in and leaving the class before it begins
  • Allowing another student to record your attendance on your behalf when you are unable to attend



DO submit an absence using the Student Portal if you:


  • Are going to be absent from class for any reason
  • If you have lost your campus card, or it has been stolen
  • If you attend class but forget to swipe in



DO check your attendance regularly in the Student Portal

If you have any concerns about your attendance data please email the Attendance Monitoring Team at 


If you have lost or lose your Campus Card you should apply for a replacement immediately using the link to the online store

You can access further information about your Campus Card by following the link below


PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility to make sure that you log your attendance whenever you attend class by tapping your card against the fixed reader in the room.  Failing to do so will result in you being sent emails for non-attendance.  

Volunteer with the NSPCC


The NSPCC are looking for student volunteers for the 2019 appeal, raising money with a series of Volunteer Bag Packs.

The NSPCC are raising funds to support the 1 in 10 children in the UK who have suffered neglect. This Christmas help give children the safety, warmth and care they need – now and all year round.

Please spare an hour of two to help out with the Charity Bag Packs:

  • Saturday 15 December – Asda, Washington Galleries, 10am–3pm
  • Saturday 22 December – Sainsbury’s, Sillksworth, Sunderland, 10am-3pm

To volunteer contact Katy Carmen,, or 0191 500 3186

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