In Brief
In Brief June 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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Help us choose our new training providers

Our People Development team would like your help in choosing a new provider for our staff workshops.

If you have 90 minutes to spare on 5 June or 11 July and would like to learn something new, please sign up for one of the pilot sessions.

Two new providers we are considering will run the sessions. The themes covered are:

Personal Effectiveness / Understanding Behaviours FULLY BOOKED
The Time is Now / Time Management
Make that Decision / Decision Making

Spaces can be booked via the Employee Self Service portal – use the Training tab to search for the course you wish to book on.

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Join a Diversity and Equality Network

The University has four networks helping to support and promote diversity and inclusion:

Staff Disability Network: representing staff with disabilities, impairments and/or mental health conditions. Non-disabled staff interested in disability issues are also welcome.
LGBT Plus Network: network for individuals identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, as well as other sexual and gender identities, and their allies.
Cultural Diversity Group: for anyone interested in issues around race, ethnicity and culture and how they might affect staff and students.
Women@Reading Network: a network exploring issues of gender equality across the University, open to all genders.

Our inclusive networks are open to all members of staff – if you are interested in joining, visit our Diversity and Equality Networks page.

Contact Simon Chandler-Wilde or Ellie Highwood for more information.

Academic Tutor System Briefing Sessions

The Academic Tutor System (ATS) Steering Group is hosting central briefing sessions to support staff with introducing the ATS in their context from September 2018. Briefing sessions will take place on:

Wednesday 18 July, 14:15-15:45, Carrington 201
Thursday 23 August, 10:15–11:45, Carrington 201
Thursday 20 September, 10:15–11:45, Carrington 201

CQSD will be supporting schools and functions to host local staff briefing sessions on the ATS. The ATS Steering Group will share detailed guidance with School Boards for Teaching and Learning (SBTLs) and functions later this term.

Book your place at the Employee Self Service portal.

Contact Jess Johnson for more information.

Staff briefing on teaching spaces

Katja Strohfeldt and members of the Sub-Committee for Teaching and Learning Facilities are hosting a briefing session to update staff on Teaching Spaces:

Monday 18 June, 12:00-13:30, Allen Lab G09 (lunch provided)

The session will update staff on the work undertaken this academic year to alleviate the pressure on teaching spaces and the draft timetable for the 2018-19 academic year. The session will outline the constraints on space and provide practical support to staff to help mitigate and alleviate the pressure. There will also be an opportunity to discuss and contribute to the University’s strategy for teaching space and infrastructure.

Book your place through the Employee Self Service portal.

Contact Jess Johnson for more information.

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Keeping in touch with students after graduation

Careers and the Campaign & Supporter Engagement Office (CSEO) have worked with RISIS to set up a ‘Leaver’s Screen’ to capture students’ personal contact information prior to graduation.

The primary purpose is to capture accurate contact information to share with HESA to conduct the Graduate Outcomes survey, sent to students 15 months after graduation (replacing the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey). The RISIS Leaver’s Screen also invites students to opt in to communications from Careers and CSEO, required under GDPR regulations, to ensure they benefit from the support offered to alumni.

Please encourage all students who will be graduating in July to complete this screen.

Contact Andrea Kreideweiss for more information.

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Cost of annual parking permit to rise by 3%

The cost of an annual parking permit is set to rise by 3% on Wednesday 1 August 2018. This is the first increase for staff since 2015 and will mean an additional annual cost of between £1.48 and £5.94 across different job grades. The cost of a Pay & Display Day Ticket will increase by 10 pence.

Income from the parking permits contributes towards the upkeep of the University's 45 car parks, including remedial works, signs and small-scale CCTV improvements. It also plays a crucial role in encouraging sustainable travel to and from our campuses – including information and awareness campaigns, promoting safe cycling, licences for sustainable travel schemes like Easit and Co-wheels, and improvements to campus routes.

Contact Campus Parking for more information.

Work on Queen’s Drive starts on 18 June

A section of Queen’s Drive will close for major maintenance work from Monday 18 June, with work expected to run until Friday 21 September. This means that Queen’s Drive will be inaccessible to all vehicles, including buses.

The works will be carried out in three phases (18 June - 1 August; 2 August - 31 August; 3 September - 21 September), which will affect travel routes in varying ways. Full details are available on the staff portal, including work maps and information on path diversions, car park closures and bus routes.

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University to host Refugee Scholars Open Day

The University is hosting its first Refugee Scholars Open Day on Saturday 16 June. Aimed at the refugee community in Reading, it will provide prospective students with an opportunity to experience our Whiteknights campus and attend a sample lecture. The event will take place alongside our regular Open Day.

Interested students can apply for up to 14 Refugee Scholarships – including up to five covering tuition fees for pre-sessional English 11-week programmes and one each for Foundation, Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught study, covering tuition fees and maintenance costs.

The scholarships have been developed in partnership with the Reading Refugee Support Group, which will support applicants through the process.

Contact Kasmira Murphy for more information.

University officials meet local residents

The Vice-Chancellor and incoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort met with local residents last month to discuss the University's impact and local engagement. Representatives from Thames Valley Police and RUSU were also on the panel.

Around 35 local residents attended the Community Forum, held on our London Road campus, and asked questions about student behaviour, the University’s expansion and its impact on local housing, parking and waste.

Residents were updated on our new Street Support scheme, and other work with the local community. The Community Forum was well received and we are committed to holding similar events regularly.

Contact Sarah Gardner for more information.

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Travel survey findings published

The University has published its 2018 Staff and Student Travel Survey report. Key findings include:

On campus routes – complaints reduced for routes that have been widened.
Off-campus routes and pedestrian crossings outside campus entrances are a key concern.
Availability and quality of showers, changing facilities and lockers was a frequently cited barrier to walking and cycling.
Working from home was frequently cited as an ‘occasional travel mode’. Perceptions of levels of support for this in office culture and IT facilities varies greatly across the University.
Buses – concerns expressed over peak-time overcrowding, out of term services and alterations to route 19 (now Route 12).
Awareness of car club and car sharing needs improvement.

Contact Karen Stanbridge for more information.

T&IT icon

User Accounts system upgrade, 13-15 June

No new staff or student accounts will be created between Wednesday 13 June and Friday 15 June, as IT upgrade the system used to create these accounts.

If you have submitted an account request through myID, please make sure this is approved before 18:00 on Tuesday 12 June.

The upgrade will not affect requests for Class and Group accounts, which will continue to be created through the upgrade period.

Contact IT for more information.

Update: inclusive practice in teaching & learning

The Policy on Inclusive Practice in Teaching and Learning was launched in January 2018 to provide greater clarity and emphasis to our commitment to an inclusive approach to teaching and learning. Advice for staff on creating accessible teaching and learning materials is available on the Engaging Everyone webpages. There is also a Top Tips guide that gives practical advice on creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word.

Richard Mitchell and Laura Bennett have recently written a blog post on making Word and PowerPoint accessible, which gives useful (and honest) information on creating accessible documents.

A number of new developments are also in the pipeline – please see our staff portal story for full details.

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Winners announced for collaborative teaching and learning awards

Each year, the efforts of those using collaborative projects to enhance teaching and learning are rewarded and recognised through the University’s Collaborative Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning scheme.

We are pleased to announce this year’s winning projects:

New module in BA in Children’s Development and Learning (BACDL): Maria Kambouri-Danos, Hilary Harris, Caroline Guard, Kamilah Jooganah, Geoff Taggart, Jo Elsey.
Partnered celebration of ‘Vote 100’: Madeleine Davies, Jacqui Turner, Guy Baxter.
Launch of ‘Study Smart’: Michelle Reid, Kim Shahabudin, Sonia Hood, Matthew Nicholls, Anastasia Rattigan, Nicky McGirr, Yen Tu, Paddy Woodman.

See the staff portal for more information.

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Invitation to staff summer celebration 2018

The Vice-Chancellor is hosting a summer celebration for all University staff on Tuesday 19 June (12:00-14:00, Meadow Suite, Park House, Whiteknights).

Open to colleagues from across the University, the event is a celebration of our achievements over the past year and a thank you for everyone’s continuing hard work and commitment to the University and our students.

Register your attendance by visiting the Staff Celebration 2018 webpage.

Contact Events for more information.

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Over £1 million paid to student workers through Campus Jobs

Since launching in September, Campus Jobs has paid in excess of £1 million to student workers in over 3,300 part-time roles.

Student employment opportunities have included giving campus tours, mentoring, marking, roleplay acting for examinations, photography, help on the IT service desk and assisting with research – to name only a few!

The Campus Jobs team would like to thank colleagues for their patience and feedback following the launch – without it, the service could not have reached this exciting milestone. Your continued support and feedback is greatly appreciated.

To find out more about the service, book onto a staff training session via the Employee Self Service portal and visit the Campus Jobs website.

Contact Campus Jobs for more information.

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IMAGINE Campaign Anniversary

Thursday 7 June marks the second anniversary of IMAGINE, the University’s fundraising and volunteering campaign.

IMAGINE has inspired support for many of Reading’s research and teaching activities. Throughout next week, the staff portal will feature stories from some of the projects and people supported by generous donations of funding and time from staff, students, alumni and friends.

For more information about the IMAGINE campaign, please visit

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Lunchtime Encounters, 4-14 June

Has your curiosity been piqued by glimpses of a wooden structure gracefully rising between some of our beautiful trees on the Meadow? This is your invitation to come closer.

Every weekday lunchtime between 12:00-14:00, from Monday 4 June to Thursday 14 June, all members of the University community are invited to the per[FORM] structure for a programme of eclectic activity. Prepare to meet people you don’t yet know, to encounter new ideas, to touch and hear, see and smell.

The Lunchtime Encounters programme initiative is part of the University’s new Arts Strategy, and aims to bring people across the University together. Stay up to date on Twitter @rdg_uni_arts and the social media hashtag #lunchtimeencounters.

Contact Miranda Laurence for more information.

Events Highlights

Highlights over the coming weeks include:

Sunday 3 June: Big Band Big Lunch (from 12:00, London Road Quad)
Sunday 10 June: Open Farm Sunday (from 13:00, Sonning Farm)
Monday 11 June: Virtual Reality for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences symposium (G10 Henley Business School)
Friday 15 & Saturday 16 June: Open Days (all day, Whiteknights & London Road campuses)
Tuesday 19 June: Staff Summer Celebration (12:00-14:00, Meadow Suite, Park House)
Saturday 23 June: A Celebration of TAEDS (Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies) (from 12:30, Mingella Studio)

Contact Events for more information.

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