header april
In Brief is a monthly all-staff news
round-up, giving you concise summaries
of the essential information you need.
All articles are short and are clearly categorised as ‘for action’,
‘for information’ or simply ‘nice to know’.
Contact communications@reading.ac.uk for more.
building rename

Building name changes: new names in use

External wayfinding signage and maps have been updated to reflect the renaming of three buildings at Whiteknights campus.

These buildings are:

HumSS to Edith Morley
Systems Engineering to Polly Vacher
Food Biosciences to Harry Nursten

Colleagues are asked to refer to each of these buildings by their new names in order to help ease the transition.

More information on the new names can be found in our recent stories on the Edith Morley, Polly Vacher and Harry Nursten buildings.

Contact Estates & Facilities for more.

NSS: final push before survey closes

The National Student Survey (NSS) provides us with the most comprehensive, independent and full picture of what our final year students think about their time at Reading – what works here and what needs changing. Thank you to all who have helped promote the survey within Schools so far – because of your efforts, we have met the threshold required for having institutional-level results published in August.

We still need your help in encouraging our remaining students to complete the survey before it closes on Sunday 30 April. The more responses we have, the easier it will be to identify areas to improve. Speak to your School NSS leads for further information.

Contact Communications for more.

credit card

Fee payments move online from 19 May

From Friday 19 May the University will no longer accept cash payment for tuition and accommodation fees.

Payment methods will be as follows:

Credit/Debit Card or Paypal: Online payment via the University’s Finance webpage.
Bank Transfer with Western Union (UK & International): Simple, low cost payments made online.
Bank-to-Bank Transfer: Payment must include an 8-digit student ID and reference to what is being paid for. Full details available on the staff portal.
Cheque (Sterling only): Cheques to be made payable to University of Reading and should include an 8-digit student ID on the reverse.

The Cash Office at Whiteknights House will close permanently on Friday 19 May. See the staff portal for additional information.

Contact Receipts for more.

URS building

What's going where in URS and Library

Study space inside the Library is being relocated into the URS Building. The relocation will be complete by Tuesday 18 April 2017.

Key points:

About 800 study spaces are relocating into URS – including study furniture (with power sockets), fixed PCs and printing facilities. No study space will remain inside the Library.
Services in URS will include Course Collection, Café Libro, Library Information Desks, Study Advice, Maths Support, and the IT service desk.
Most other resources will remain in the Library Building as usual.

Regular updates on the relocation – including furniture arrangements, move dates, building opening times and additional alternative study spaces – will be published on the Library blog: blogs.reading.ac.uk/librarynews.

Contact Communications for more.

New Medical Schools Consultation

HEFCE, the Department of Health and Health Education England have issued a consultation on the expansion of undergraduate medical education.

It seeks views on criteria for allocating 1500 new medical school places delivered in two tranches – the first (500 places) from 2018/19 will be allocated to existing medical schools, with the second (1000) in 2019/20 determined by a competitive process. The University will respond to the consultation in May.

The University and local NHS Trust partners are exploring options for participation in the competitive process. Q&A workshops are being planned for the summer term for staff to find out more and to contribute. See the staff portal for additional details.

Contact Kate Hough or Laurie Butler for more.

Information Security – Top Ten Tips

1. Complete all mandatory training.

2. Assume unsolicited emails and attachments are potential security threats.

3. Never share your password.

4. Report suspected viruses or malware to IT Service Desk and suspected compromises of personal data to IMPS.

5. Only use trusted sites when downloading software – seek advice from IT if unsure.

6. Lock your computer screen when unattended.

7. Keep confidential and sensitive data securely locked away when unattended.

8. Ensure you are sending information to the correct recipients - use ‘bcc’ for group email communications when appropriate.

9. Dispose of IT equipment and sensitive documents securely.

10. Do not share access keys or campus cards.

For further advice please contact IMPS or IT.

EMA logo

The EMA Programme site has launched

The new Electronic Management of Assessment programme has launched its own website.

This site draws together core information on the programme, outlines key events as well as news and provides links to additional supporting resources including case studies and a summary screencast. Colleagues can find the new site at www.reading.ac.uk/ema.

Contact the EMA Team for more.

Online expenses update from Finance

Finance recently released an update on the launch of the online expenses software package across the University.

Key points include:

A new expense claim form is available from the Expense Claims page. Users of paper claim forms should note that only version 2.14 will now be processed by Accounts Payable.
The online expenses software now includes expense categories following user feedback.
To use the system offsite colleagues must register for Remote Access while on campus, through the IT website.
Notify the Financial Systems team using the relevant system form if the approval workflow needs updating with new staff details following changes to teams.

Contact Finance for more.

UoR Curriculum Framework

The University has committed to reviewing its undergraduate programmes over this and the next two academic years against the recently launched University-wide Curriculum Framework.

This framework provides a shared articulation across the University of:

the knowledge, competencies and skills we want our graduates to attain;
the academic principles upon which our curriculum is based;
and the pedagogic principles which underpin our curriculum.

CQSD is co-ordinating a range of support, training and resources available to support staff in reviewing their curriculum in light of the Framework.

Additional details available in the Special Curriculum Framework Issue of T & L Reading.

Contact Nina Brooke for more.

mini guide

Undergraduate prospectus and mini-guide for 2018 entry

The new undergraduate prospectus is now in use to promote the University to prospective students for 2018 entry. After its popularity last year, we have once again produced a mini-guide offering an introduction to life at the University and a full course list.

Both publications have been really well received at recruitment events across the country in the last couple of weeks. Students wishing to download a copy of the prospectus or order a print copy can also request one through our updated online form.

Contact Carolyn Bull for more.

Student Communications updates

Next term we plan to hold a second student communications staff drop-in session for those interested in finding out more about Me@Reading Student, Essentials and our upcoming plans. To register your interest in attending such an event, please add your name to our Doodle poll.

This is also a reminder that you can submit content to the student portal and have a go at using a test login by visiting our page on the staff portal.

Contact Student Communications for more.


Undergraduates rate University top for campus environment

The University campus has been rated number one in the country for having a ‘good environment’, according to a survey of undergraduates.

The results of the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017 placed Reading as joint 18th overall – up from 20th last year and its highest ever position in the survey – and third highest in the South East region. RUSU was also rated the fifth best students union in the country, an improvement on joint eighth position in 2016.

The results reflect the University's continuing commitment to invest in its award-winning green spaces and welcoming campus atmosphere.

See the staff portal for more.

rainbow flag

Inaugural Wolfenden events to debut in May

Two exciting events will be taking place on Thursday 4 May 2017 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Wolfenden report.

The seminar ‘Before and After Wolfenden: LGBT+ History and Reading’ will feature discussions by academic researchers from the University and Support U on Reading’s local LGBT+ history. The seminar takes place 4.00pm – 6:30pm, G15, Henley Business School, and will be followed by a wine reception. Spaces are limited – please book through the events listing.

At 7.00pm, Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, will deliver the University’s inaugural Wolfenden Lecture – a new lecture series in honour of Vice-Chancellor Lord Wolfenden, author of the landmark Wolfenden report. The lecture takes place in the Van Emden Lecture Theatre, Edith Morley, Whiteknights campus, and will examine 'LGBT Equality: Past, Present and Future'. Admission is free, but booking is required – book today via the lecture event listing.

Contact Events for more.

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