News stories from across the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds.

SafeZone app

Great engagement for new initiatives from Security

Two new systems introduced this year to help staff and students are proving very popular.

The SafeZone app – free to download and introduced to give extra piece of mind to all those on campus – is seeing its number of downloads rise rapidly.

Since May, downloads have more than quadrupled – there are now nearly 1000 – and with a concerted marketing focus planned for Welcome Week, it is hoped that the numbers will rise further.

Lost property

The University’s online system for lost property – NotLost – was introduced towards the beginning of the last academic year to speed up the process of reuniting staff and students with their lost items.

Managed by the central Security team but linked to hubs around the University, the system logs found items and stores them locally. It searches for property and keeps users notified of progress by email.

The success of the system depends on the number of local hubs around the University and these have grown from one to 18, with every library and – critically – LUU now on board.

The numbers are growing weekly and marketing effort during Freshers week will help to push up registered users.

 

Mark Bownass, Head of Security said:

“We are here to keep students and staff safe and it is very encouraging to see that these two new initiatives are working so well. With further activitiy to promote them planned throughout the year, I hope that we will continue to see numbers grow.”

Find out more about security services

Closing ceremony commonwealth games

Alumni make impact at the Commonwealth Games 2022

The 2022 Commonwealth Games took place in Birmingham, England from 28 July to 8 August 2022, marking the third time England has hosted the Commonwealth Games. The Games were the largest ever, with 72 countries participating and ticket sales of over 1.2 million. England achieved its best Games with 176 medals this year, 57 of them gold.  

At University of Leeds, we are extremely proud of all our staff, students and graduates for playing a role in helping to ensure that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were such an amazing success. Our very own Head of Sport Suzanne Glavin volunteered at the games as part of  the media team. She interviewed Paul Blanchard,Chief Executive of Team England and  alumni at the University of Leeds. He talked about his time at Leeds as a student and the important role Universities play in supporting young talented athletes in their sporting careers.

We are here to win medals; we’ve won a lot so far” Paul said. 

Birmingham 2022 saw extraordinary performances from athletes from across the Commonwealth. But nothing delights us more than seeing our staff, students and graduates perform well, and here we have some hometown heroes: 

Sam Dickinson 

Sam Dickinson Triathlete Speaking

Sam justified his selection for team GB  by winning GOLD in the triathlon mixed relay! And not just satisfied in winning team gold he also helped his former Leeds housemate and training partner Alex Yee to gold in the individual event! It was an all-around amazing performance from the Leeds Graduate! 

Sam was cheered on in the crowd from his mum who cares for his grandma with Alzheimer’s. Sam who struggled to contain his emotion at the finish line said: 

“My mum doesn’t get to see me race and to see her in the crowd was stunning, it has been emotional to see her in the grandstand,” 

Jessica Fullager 

It was all gold at the games for Jess Fullager, a recent graduate student and a sports scholar at the University of Leeds as she and Team England teenager Katie Crowhurst claimed a famous victory in the women’s Paratriathlon. Jess Fullager acted as guide for the 18-year-old Katie as they claimed a famous gold at the games. 

Jessica after the race said about Katie 

“I think she’s got so much potential. We’re honest with each other and I think that what made us such a good team today. I’m just so lucky that Katie let me have this opportunity with her, so I’ll be forever grateful.”

Tyler Smith 

Sports scholar and triathlete Tyler is a Bermudan triathlete who frequently trains at The Edge. Tyler achieved a 13th place finish in the triathlon at the Commonwealth Games, hailing the best performance of his career to date. His previous best was 21st.

He said:

 “To go from 21st to 13th has taken four years of hard work and the support of so many people. There is no medal for13th but to come out here and deliver a result is really special to me.”

Tyler suffered a foot injury and then broke his wrist just eight weeks before the Games, making his achievement even more special. We hope to see more from Tyler in future as he an inspiration and we are proud to say he is a University of Leeds Alumnus.

 

The Edge Refurbishment

The Edge ready for new term with major refurbishment

The Edge’s new facilities – which include a complete upgrade of cardiovascular and resistance equipment – are now complete and ready for use.

The improvements position it as one of the premier health and wellbeing centres in the city.

The new layout of the fitness suite provides more space for strength and resistance training and spin studio has been refurbished with a new layout and bikes. 

Flooring and lighting have been replaced to create a warm and inviting atmosphere and a new sound system to create a better ambiance.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity, said:

“This major update helps The Edge to stand out from competitors to an even greater extent. It is essential that we cater to the ever-changing needs of our customers, and currently there is a focus in fitness on strength and functional equipment, which we have met by including equipment such as a master centre rig.”

Jon Webster, Site Manager for Sewell Construction said;

“We’re proud to play a part in this development, which will help improve leisure facilities for staff and students at the University of Leeds, as well as the wider community.

“As with all our schemes, sustainability and carbon impact are high on our agenda, and we have ensured that any waste from site has been disposed of in a responsible way. Across all our sites we strive for 96% being diverted from landfill and we hope this will continue to be improved even further.”

Find out more about The Edge and Sport & Physical Activity at the University of Leeds.

Flood Management Team Photo

Flood management scheme is first in the UK

In May, the first natural management facility of its kind in the UK opened at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre.

It will reduce flood risk in the area and make it more resilient to the impact of climate change.

Some of the measures include the planting of 5,000 tress, creating leaky barriers, installing a balancing pond and wetland areas, and improving the drainage which helps to slow the flow of water and increase flood resilience in the area.

James Wright from Estates and Facilities, whose team supported the construction and planting phases, liaising with academic colleagues to coordinate soil sampling, said:

“As well as helping to reduce flood risk, this fantastic new development provides a ‘living lab’ for research and teaching at the University of Leeds and contributes to the understanding of flood management at a national level.”

“The trees act as a shield to stop and slow rainfall before it reaches the ground and increase carbon capture and storage capacity, providing valuable habitats for local wildlife.”

“The University is working towards a Net Zero by 2030 campus.

Michael Howroyd, Sustainability Projects Officer at the University of Leeds, added:

“The site at Bodington Fields will be invaluable to academics and students, providing hands on research opportunities and data, whilst also providing benefits for local residents, biodiversity and climate.”

“The project is a fantastic example of how collaboration across stakeholders can make use of University land for world class research and teaching, which will have an impact across the wider city region and beyond.”

Find out more about the Sustainability service at the University of Leeds.

Receiving an RLA award

Awards for the Residences team!

The Residences team have recently scooped two prestigious awards.

St Marks residences won the purpose-built student accommodation category at the Rate My Landlord Awards held at Leeds University Union on 8 September.

The Rate Your Landlord website aims to allow students to talk about their personal renting experiences and for others to learn from them, helping to keep students safe

Many students are new to the world of private renting, so other people’s opinions can be a useful tool. It allows landlords to respond, and for students to learn about the world of renting.

Rate Your Landlord is a partnership between Leeds University UnionUnipol Student Homes and Warwick Students’ Union.

Student star

Student Penelope Milner was named a College and University Business Officers (CUBO) Residence Life Student Star for her work at Devonshire Hall.

Penelope was shortlisted with other assistants across the UK and was one of only six people to receive the award.

Residence Life Assistants (RLAs) are essential to the successful operation of student accommodation, offering round-the-clock peer support to help make life in halls the absolute best it can be.

Penelope was nominated by the team at Devonshire for making a significant impact in the community and working to promote sustainability by organising weekly litter picks on the grounds.

She has also been working on developing a website about the Society of Old Devonians to celebrate the history of the hall, which first opened its doors to students in 1930.

Penelope said:

“It was an honour to attend the CUBO conference to accept my Student Star Award in recognition of the work I have been doing in my Hall of Residence as the President of the Student Hall Executive in my first year and as a Residence Life Assistant in my second year.”

“During my time at the University of Leeds, I have created a partnership between the North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Association and Leeds Rotaract Club which I established in October 2021. Rotaract is a charity with clubs located across the world and over 200,000 members aged 18-30 who are passionate about volunteering for charitable causes.”

Find out more about Residential Services at the University of Leeds.

Sustainable garden team

Accessible makeover for the Sustainable Garden

Ayesha Fitzwilliam Hall, an apprentice in the Grounds and Gardens team, spotted an opportunity to develop her skills by redesigning and refreshing the Sustainable Garden, a much loved area of campus which had become overgrown following COVID-19 lockdowns.

She has worked with her colleagues and the Sustainability service to redesign the space to improve accessibility and usability. This includes the introduction of raised planting areas, new furniture to support workshops and learning, and establishing new edible planting to ensure that the space is ready to welcome students and staff back to campus in 2022.

Ayesha said:

“The Sustainable Garden is a wonderful area but lockdowns and fewer people on campus had an impact on its usability. I enjoyed leading a team of colleagues on the redesign work to make sure that the space was once again a great place for everyone on campus. The bigger task though, has been restoring the garden in line with the University’s sustainability principles. It’s hard work but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I hope to welcome lots of people to enjoy and volunteer in the space over the next year.”

More improvements will be added over the coming weeks and months, including a wellbeing area, with a view to bringing back regular volunteer gardening sessions for staff and students through this term and beyond.

Find out more about the Sustainability service at the University of Leeds.

Cleaning and Catering colleagues being presented their leadership course award

Colleagues commit to team leadership

Colleagues from the Catering and Cleaning teams have completed a course in Principles of Team Leadership that will shape the needs of future learners. 

The course was a pilot for a Facilitated Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Team Leading. Primarily distance learning, there were also weekly sessions on campus with Jo Westerman from the Organisational Development & Professional Learning Team. Learners committed their own time to completing the course within the deadlines set by the Skills Network. 

One of the participants, Carol Haynes, Operations Team Leader in Cleaning Services said: 

When I started the course, it was because I wanted to learn different leadership styles and improve  what I already knew. It was difficult trying to fit it in around full-time work but I enjoyed finding new ways in which to manage a team that I can now use in my role as team leader. The sense of achievement when I got my certificate was worth all the hard work.

The course covered topics including understanding how to communicate work-related information, principles of equality and diversity in the workplace, and understanding how to develop and deliver a presentation.  

Julie Tong, Head of Retail Catering said: 

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work and commitment that the team have shown in working to achieve their qualification. Each individual has not only grown in confidence and knowledge but benefited from the University of Leeds ongoing commitment to professional development across all departments.”

Jill Roberts, Head of Cleaning Services said: 

“I am extremely proud of the team leaders who volunteered to complete this pilot scheme and the dedication, commitment and time they put into it. There were some lessons learned as the time constraints were difficult at times for our team leaders, however they carried on regardless with determination to complete. It is a wonderful achievement for them and all have benefitted from the knowledge they have gained.”

Those taking part were: Lukas Safranek, Zoe Read, Violetta Marzycka and Aileen Mulcahy from Catering, and  Anna Oledzka, Caron Wilson, Cindy Sylvester, Jonathan White, Carol Haynes, Jackie Blakeborough, Gail Radcliffe and Matthew Blakeborough from the Cleaning team. 

Group of people at the team leadership course awards

Robert Bradley with Weetwood floodlight

New low carbon floodlights latest step to Net Zero by 2030

Low energy LED floodlights recently installed at the Sports Park Weetwood – part of the University of Leeds – are set to reduce carbon emissions by 6.7 tonnes a year.

Their installation is among the latest activity in the work by Estates and Facilities to move the campus towards delivering net zero emissions by 2030, a key commitment of the University Climate Plan. 

The LED floodlights use less electricity than previous equipment and have greater light output, which means fewer fittings need to be installed. They also have a longer life span.

It is estimated the new lights will save 29,879 kWh of energy per year, which equates to a reduction of 6.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.

Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development said:

“All the work that we do makes a difference to students and staff however our work to move the campus towards delivering net zero by 2030 is the biggest single project by the Estates and Facilities team to make a difference to our planet and is at the core of the University’s Climate Plan.”

“It includes the targeted refurbishment of buildings, the installation of low carbon technologies and solar panels across the estate – including sports facilities like those at Weetwood – and the electrification of our vehicle fleet.”

“This work builds on activity over many years to save electricity across the breadth of the Leeds campus including installation of LED lighting and working with Faculties to use out campus more effectively.”

Reducing carbon emissions across the University

Other activity to reduce emissions – outlined in the recent Climate Plan quarterly report – includes work to develop a new heating, cooling and ventilation policy to reduce energy use. A shutdown of the steam network over the summer months contributed towards a 15% reduction in emissions between June and August 2022.

University Residences have begun a programme of low energy lighting upgrades, starting at Lupton.

A major project is currently underway to assess the opportunities for building retrofit and heat pump installation across campus to reduce energy demand, alongside identification of opportunities to install further solar panels on University buildings.

Further work has been commissioned including a report into climate resilience on campus, and an analysis of electrical requirements over the next 25 years.

Find out more about Estates & Facilities at the University of Leeds.

Residential Services Sustainability Awards won in 2021

Residential Services Annual Sustainability Report (2020-21)

Residential Services manages the residential accommodation portfolio for the University of Leeds, with circa 9,100 bed-spaces in both University and private partner sites. Residential Services also operates according to the University’s Sustainability Strategy, which comprises the following four key themes:

  • Embedding sustainability through collaboration
  • Building knowledge and capacity
  • Being a positive partner in society
  • Making the most of resources

Residential Services started to work on its Blueprint Action Plan in 2018/19, and as required by the plan this annual sustainability report covers the progress made during the third year, September 2020 – August 2021. Actions are also highlighted with icons where they address United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs) – find out more about these on the Sustainability website.

Embedding sustainability through collaboration

Blueprint

Residential Services continued to develop its Blueprint Action Plan during 2020/21, and was awarded with a Blueprint Leader Award in May 2021. In addition, Residential Services also won the University’s ‘Protecting Our Planet’ Award in June 2021, for outstanding work on integrating United Nations Sustainability Development Goals across its service delivery operations. Residential Services has delivered on 13 Blueprint actions out of 15 (87%); and 15 Blueprint Plus actions out of 21 (71%) in the last three years.

Details of the Blueprint Action Plan for Residential Services can be found in the Sustainable Living Guide.

Collaboration with internal stakeholders

Residential Services appointed two Student Sustainability Architects during 2020/21. Caitlin Harris completed surveys of three residential sites, and generated biodiversity action plans and site maps for Ellerslie Hall, Henry Price Residences, and Lyddon Hall. Caitlin was also a member of the Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, working on monitoring areas around campus and its residences.

Milan Thottahil is an international MSc student, who arrived in January 2021. He has worked with fellow student architects to demonstrate the negative impacts of single-use plastics on wildlife; set-up a plastic pen recycling scheme for the Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity; has produced an online game to help explain what students can do with waste and recycling; and also planned a food donation scheme for helping local foodbanks for Christmas 2021. 

During this period, Residential Services has also worked successfully in collaboration with other internal stakeholders across the University. These included student ambassadors on the Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, which saw them receive an award from the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) in April 2021, and a Bronze Award for the Hedgehog-Friendly Campus initiative. The latter included Residential Services staff monitoring and recording hedgehog activity around residential sites in Headingley and also on sites closer to campus.

Recording hedgehog activity near residential sites

Recording hedgehog activity near residential sites

Residential Services also worked with a student-led USH Bike Hire Scheme, which will hopefully launch on campus and in certain residential sites in early 2022. Estates and Facilities Services and their consultants in delivering a new accessible ramp for wheelchair users and landscaping next to Charles Morris Hall. Residential Services continues to collaborate with student ambassadors; student sustainability architects; and student volunteers in providing them with opportunities to apply their learning for hedgehog monitoring; food waste; bike leasing; circular resource use; and single-use plastics.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land  

Collaboration with external partners

Residential Services has also worked closely with a number of external partners throughout the year.

One of the key partners was Green Tourism. Residential Services currently has a total of eight conference-facing residential sites that are accredited under the hospitality industry’s Green Tourism accreditation scheme for sustainability. Andrea Nicholas, Chief Executive of Green Tourism, confirmed that they consider that the University of Leeds is now a leading Green Tourism Ambassador, in sharing good practice and leading the way in sustainability management (October 2020). Green Tourism also highlighted our sustainability successes on their blog in December 2020.

Other partners included:

  • Bishops Beds in supplying new longer-life mattresses, and recovering 17.2 tonnes of old mattresses for recycling in summer 2021.
  • Outco Grounds Services, with the introduction of electric-powered tools, and a vehicle on the contract commencing January 2021
  • The British Heart Foundation (BHF), in collecting a total of 3,199 bags of items for re-use, donated by students and staff; diverting the equivalent of 25.6 tonnes of waste away from landfill; and generating £44,786 of revenue in BHF shops in Leeds, to help support research for heart and circulatory diseases, some of which takes place here in Leeds.
  • Northern Consortium UK (NCUK), through links with our International Office, information was provided to NCUK, to help show what we do for sustainability here at the University of Leeds, and this appeared as one of three case studies for international students considering studying at the University of Leeds (April 2021).
  • In addition, Residential Services also collaborates with third sector charities; Estates and Facilities Services; supply chain partners; private sector accommodation providers; and Sustainability Services.
Outco contractors with electric-powered tools

Outco contractors with electric-powered tools

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships

Building knowledge and capacity

The Sustainable Living Guide

The previous in-house Living it Green Guide was renamed as the Sustainable Living Guide for 2020/21, and included a new section on ‘Your Leeds Community’. This section outlined how students could get involved with their local community through volunteering, and by supporting local independent businesses, events, and elections. It also encouraged staff to become a Positive Impact Partner, by getting involved with local charities and other volunteer activities in their area.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Communications with students

The Residence Life Team continued to send out communications to students resident in University and private partner accommodation throughout the year, via email and social media. This included hosting online events that provided information, and interesting activities for students to take part during covid-19 restrictions. In addition, Milan Thottahil organised the following:

  • A series of three posters aimed at highlighting the impact of throwing away litter, that then impacts on wildlife, and hedgehogs in particular. The series highlighted: the need to place litter in bins; the alternatives to single-use plastic items; and the impact of discarded rubbish on hedgehogs. The posters also incorporated QR codes that could be scanned to access further information on related themes (May 2021).
  • A collection of used plastic pens, which generates funds for Ellie’s Fund, an initiative for Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity (YBTC) (June 2021).
  • Planning an online waste & recycling game that we help students with improving recycling rates in University residences (2021/22).

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land

Being a positive partner in society

British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation collection banks are located all year round at all University owned residential sites, and students are asked to donate any unwanted items for subsequent reuse. During the period Oct 2020 – Sep 2021, 3,199 bags of items were collected, amounting to 25.6 tonnes. The items went on sale in local BHF retail outlets in Leeds, and raised an estimated income of £44,786 for coronary heart research, making a total of £277,660 raised in the last seven years.

The University of Leeds was subsequently the only university to be shortlisted for the BHF Heart Heroes Awards 2021.

British Heart Foundation collection at Charles Morris

British Heart Foundation collections at Charles Morris

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Local foodbanks

Surplus non-perishable food items were collected from a number of University-owned residential sites during the year, and they were donated to the Rainbow Junktion Café (Burley); Horsforth Food Hub; and Kirkstall Community Pantry for redistribution to local families and people in need. 181kg of food was collected prior to Christmas 2020, and 601kg during June/July 2021.

Food donations to Rainbow Junktion café

Food donations to Rainbow Junktion café

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Improving access

Residential Services worked collaboratively with Estates and Facilities Services, their consultants and contractors to help improve wheelchair access between the Students’ Union and Cromer Terrace, with a new ramp and landscaping at Charles Morris Hall (2020/21).

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Making the most of resources

Carbon management plan

An energy-efficient Student Hub was constructed at Montague Burton during 2019/20, based on Passivhaus principles for building fabric and mechanical ventilation heat recovery. Passivhaus accredited bi-fold doors were proposed in the design, but these were replaced with less efficient Regulation M accessible doors, as the original threshold would have been too high for potential wheelchair users. An energy performance survey was subsequently completed (December 2020), which rated it as EPC Band B (32).

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action

Biodiversity

Caitlin Harris delivered three biodiversity action plans and site maps, for use in planning future improvements to biodiversity on University-owned residential sites at Ellerslie Global Residences, Henry Price Residences, and Lyddon Hall. Residential Services has also worked in collaboration with the Student Biodiversity Ambassadors to identify hedgehog activity on residential sites off campus, which resulted in a Hedgehog-Friendly Campus Bronze Award for 2020/21.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land

Health and wellbeing

The Residence Life Team organised a number of online and in-person events and activities during the year to help residents with their health and wellbeing.

In addition, enabling work also commenced on the Well Wood Project, located to the rear of North Hill Court, with Unite Students as co-funder, and Groundworks Yorkshire as the project delivery partner. The project involves the transformation of two disused overgrown tennis courts into a communal green space for use by students, staff, school parties and local residents, and is due to be completed in 2022.

Well Wood Project site

Well Wood Project site pre-transformation

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land

Re-use

Bishops Beds continue to replace old beds and mattresses with new in a planned replacement programme, changing 652 mattresses and 84 bed bases (c 17.2 tonnes) during summer 2021.

In addition, Over2hills also provided a reactive recovery service for old mattresses, and furniture, to offer to third sector charities for either re-use, restoration, or recycling of component materials.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Repair

Bin Masters provide an annual repair service for any damaged external waste & recycling bins used on residential sites. This work is carried out in the weeks before Intake Weekend, so that facilities are ready for use, once students arrive in September. The repair work extends the life cycle of the existing bins, and reduces the need to purchase new bins as replacements.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Leasing equipment

Forbes Professional continue to supply a number of leased washing machines at Storm Jameson Court and St Marks Residences, but also installed new machines in the Shared Housing properties (April 2021). Leasing equipment maintains continuity of service, whilst repairs or replacement can be arranged more efficiently.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Single-use plastics pledge

Both Churchill and Crystal Cleaning Services introduced ‘Zero Waste’ cleaning products to nine of our eleven residences (85% bed-spaces) in 2019/20, where plastic containers have been replaced by starch-wrapped pellets in compostable cardboard boxes. Both service suppliers have produced their first annual report, and the outcome has witnessed a reduction in plastic containers used by between 57 – 88%.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water

Clean air pledge

Residential Services has a total of five vehicles with two electric (40%). Emphasis is placed on using the electrical vehicles where and whenever possible, and this resulted in the electric vehicles responsible for covering 59% of the mileage during 2020/21. In addition, Outco landscape maintenance team introduced another electric vehicle, plus battery-powered equipment, when their contract commenced in 2021.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action

 

UoL Big conversation

University of Leeds. The Big Conversation

On Monday 12 July, all staff, students and postgraduate researchers will be invited to help create our new University values through a series of discussions called The Big Leeds Conversation.

New and clear values will help us to:

  • create a supportive place to study and work;
  • give our students the best experience we can; and
  • decide who we work with outside the University, and how we deliver world-class research.

In this short video Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, explains why it’s important for us all to take part in The Big Leeds Conversation:

How it works

The University is working with Clever Together, an independent organisation, who will provide us with an anonymous, secure online space to help us discuss and create our new values.

The Big Leeds Conversation is like a virtual room or discussion forum that can be joined from any internet-connected device, at any time, 24 hours a day.

Staff, students and postgraduate researchers will each have separate, anonymous online spaces to share ideas. You’ll be able to share your views, make comments and ‘up vote’ and ‘down vote’ ideas from others that you agree or disagree with.

In our first conversation, we want to think about the behaviours we should expect of each other, and those we should not accept. We’ll also discuss what we enjoy about working at the University, and our ideas for how our values can lead and guide our work.

In the autumn, we’ll bring together everyone’s thoughts and ideas to build new values and behaviours for the University – and we’ll invite everyone to share what they think about this in our second Big Leeds Conversation.

A safe space to share and challenge ideas

The Big Leeds Conversation is an anonymous online conversation. This is so we can hear your honest views.

Names will not be shared with Clever Together (or the University) and we will not know who has taken part, or how anyone has contributed. No ideas, comments or votes that you share in an online conversation will be shown with your username or personal details.

Joining the Big Leeds Conversation

When The Big Leeds Conversation begins on Monday 12 July, Clever Together will email everyone in our University community their unique username and password.

For members of our community who are not able to access the online conversation, we’ll provide alternative ways to take part. Individuals who have opted into SMS text communications will receive instructions to log in and join the online conversation from FD UniLeeds.

Anonymous, paper-based surveys will also be provided for those who either do not have access to a University email address or access to the internet.

Find out more about why it’s important that we all have our say, in Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk’s Inside Track: Your part in The Big Leeds Conversation.