In Brief
In Brief March 2018
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 for more.
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Policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching & Learning

The University has launched a new policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching & Learning. The Policy provides greater clarity and emphasis to our commitment to an inclusive approach, as set out in the Curriculum Framework and Teaching & Learning Strategy.

The aims are to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of our teaching and learning practices by embedding key adjustments, which will:

benefit all learners;
reduce the need for adjustments to teaching materials for individuals;
enable all learners to participate fully in their learning.

Please refer to the Policy when preparing teaching and learning resources, in addition to the 'top tips' and additional supporting materials with practical advice to help.

Contact Clare Furneaux for more information.

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Apply for University Teaching Fellowship Scheme

Applications are now open for the 2018 University Teaching Fellowship Scheme – a prestigious award for teaching and teaching staff who demonstrate excellence and dedication to the development of teaching and learning within the University.

As well as highlighting individual excellence, the Fellowship Scheme supports colleagues in developing their skills even further, with each Fellow awarded a bursary of £2,000 to support their professional and personal development. Up to five Teaching Fellowships are awarded each year.

Applications are open until midday Monday 14 May. Please see the University Teaching Fellowship Scheme page for full details.

Contact Joy Collier for more information.

Apply for Research Engagement and Impact Awards

Researchers – there is still time to submit your work for consideration in the 2018 Research Engagement and Impact Awards.

The awards highlight the very best in Reading research. We are looking for examples of work with real-world impact – including research that engages and interacts with people and communities, innovative research into topics of global interest and contributions to local and national policy debates.

Entries are invited from researchers at all levels and career stages, including those leading and supporting research projects. We welcome submissions from both individuals and groups. Full details, entry form and guidelines are available from the staff portal.

Contact Caroline Knowles for more information.

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Time changes for 15 June Open Day

Following feedback from colleagues, the Open Days team has revised the format of the next Open Day on Friday 15 June.

We recognise that it can be a quieter day for colleagues in academic departments, and intend to reduce the opening hours to 9.00am - 3.00pm and suggest departments run a slightly shorter programme to match these hours. All other 2018 Open Days (Saturday 16 June, Saturday 6 October and Saturday 13 October) remain unchanged with a full programme running 9.00 am - 4.00 pm.

Contact Nyola Stewart for more information.

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Volunteers wanted for July Graduation ceremonies

The Graduation team are looking for volunteers to help as marshals at the July Graduation ceremonies on the 4, 5 and 6 July. If you are interested in supporting this event and helping on these days please email the Graduation team.

Graduation is a special occasion for students and their families – they are guests of the University, and we want them to feel welcome and have a great graduation experience with us.

We are looking for people who are willing to help us greet and host guests attending each day, in a variety of roles.

Contact the Graduation team for more information.

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Gender pay gap report released

A new University of Reading report published as part of the Government’s mandatory gender pay gap reporting initiative has revealed that the gender pay gap at the University is 19.58%. This is the difference in the average earnings of men and women across all jobs and grades.

The University recognises that reporting gender pay gap data and analysing the reasons for the gap is a valuable exercise. We promote the fair treatment of all employees in our reward and recognition arrangements and are committed to understanding and addressing any significant factors contributing to the gender pay gap. The report can be found on our Diversity & Inclusion pages.

See the staff portal for more information.

Green light for ‘People Plan’ projects

The University’s ‘People Plan’ continues to make progress towards its priorities of developing our employer brand, better change management and leadership and management development. In March, the University Executive Board agreed to fund the proposals on staff health and wellbeing and developing our employer brand.

The benefits of creating a healthy workplace are well documented, but the 2017 Staff Survey highlighted a limited awareness among colleagues of the support the University offers. We want to change this by making it easier to access this support by bringing together existing information and resources – and raising awareness about it.

The employer brand work will help us articulate our culture, values and the experience of working at the University.

Contact HR for more information.

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Childcare vouchers: important update for parents

The University’s childcare voucher scheme will remain open to new applications until October 2018 following a delay to new Government initiatives.

The childcare voucher scheme was to close to new entrants from April 2018, due to the introduction of the Government’s Tax-Free Childcare initiative (TFC). The scheme will now close in October (exact date to be confirmed).

If you are a parent, it is important to find out which scheme works best for you. For more information visit the HR Benefits+ page or the Government’s Childcare Choices page. You can register for our current voucher scheme by visiting the Computershare Voucher Services website. Parents can switch to TFC at any time if preferred.

Contact HR for more information.

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Change to collaborative file shares

IT are changing the way we handle collaborative file shares to make them bigger and better for users. This won’t affect the way you work day-to-day, as IT will ensure any drives you have mapped are updated automatically. You’ll still be able to open documents as you have always done.

Once the automatic change has taken place, the path for your collab drive will look slightly different – please see the IT blog for examples.

IT will contact users of each share drive ahead of the transition to agree a suitable time to make the change. You will need to restart your computer after the change has been completed.

See the IT blog for more information.

University to pilot street marshal scheme

The University is piloting a street marshal scheme in three areas around Whiteknights campus from the start of the summer term.

The pilot is part of the University’s plans to promote positive community relationships between students and local neighbours. The street marshal team will provide advice to students socialising late at night, encouraging them to be responsible, respectful and safe when travelling through residential areas.

Areas covered will be Upper Redlands Road to London Road, Christchurch Green and St Patrick’s Hall, and roads between Wessex and Bridges Halls and Wokingham Road. The pilot will run over the summer and autumn terms and will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Contact Sarah Gardner for more information.

Green light for work to retire Activedition

The University Executive Board has given the go-ahead for IT and MCE to develop a plan to move University webpages from Activedition (the main University web platform) to more stable and easier-to-use platforms.

Currently, 92% of our web content is based in Activedition. Phase 1 of this three year project concludes in December 2018 and will define the scope of this improvement, working with schools and functions to assess which of the 38,000 webpages need to be migrated. A blueprint for future website development will be developed, as well as a plan to create and maintain content. As part of this work a pilot site will also be migrated and tested.

Contact for more information.

Open Access for the REF, two years on

Since 1 April, there are stricter REF policy rules than ever on uploading research outputs to CentAUR. Remember to add your author final manuscripts of articles and conference proceedings to CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication, and no later than three months after acceptance.

More than 80% of outputs added to CentAUR in the first two years of the policy comply, but we need to aim for 100% in future, or we may not be able to submit our best research in the REF. Additional information is available online.

Contact Alison Sutton or the CentAUR team for more information.

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Update on undergraduate survey campaign

As previously announced, we are currently running three undergraduate student surveys:

Undergraduate finalists - National Student Survey (NSS)
Undergraduate non-finalists - UK Engagement Survey (UKES), run by the Higher Education Academy, focussed on students’ academic experience, and the Reading Student Survey (RSS), focussed on wider support services and facilities

We have met the NSS institutional publication threshold and almost all subject areas have met their respective thresholds. The response rate for UKES is currently 2.1% and RSS is 4.26%, which is disappointing. Additional promotional activities for both surveys have been scheduled ahead of the closing date (Monday 30 April). Information on our undergraduate surveys is available online.

Contact Jennifer Rich for more information.

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Curious about paper cups and re-useable mugs?

Good news – you can now recycle your paper cups! Please look for the dedicated cup recycling points near café’s and catering outlets – cups must be collected separately from other recycling for the scheme to work. In the first week of a recent trial, staff and students recycled approximately 2090 paper cups (23kg)!

Catering Services and Sustainability are working together on a new re-useable cup scheme coming into effect from 9 April. The scheme includes the launch of a reusable Sustain It mug and a 20p tax on paper cups, to encourage re-use and reduce the quantity of paper cups used on campus. The tax will be ring-fenced for sustainability initiatives within Catering Services. Download the flyer to find out more.

Contact Catering or Sustainability for more information.

Curriculum Review in Practice – Monday 30 April

Want to find out more about the Curriculum Framework? CQSD are hosting a dedicated information session on Monday 30 April (12.00pm - 2.00pm) designed to explain the Framework and its recent review. With the help of Reading case studies, colleagues will learn about the methods schools have used to review their programmes, challenges and successes, and next steps to take.

The session is open to all staff, and will be of particular relevance to Programme Directors and School Directors of Teaching and Learning. Places can be booked via Employee Self Service.

Contact CQSD for more information.

Events highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

Wednesday 18 April: Lunchtime Concert (1.10pm-1.50pm, LO29, G01)
Wednesday 18 April: Heritage & Creativity Academic Forum: Heritage in Times of Conflict, Film Viewing and Panel Discussion (5.00pm – 8.00pm, HBS G11)
Wednesday 2 May: Lunchtime Concert (1.10pm – 1.50pm, LO29, G01)
Thursday 3 May: Albert Wolters Lecture: Prof Elizabeth Loftus (8.00pm, HBS G11). This event is fully booked.
Thursday 24 May: Wolfenden Lecture: Section 28: A poisonous law and legacy by Peter Tatchell (7.00pm, HBS G11)

Contact Events for more information.

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