March 2017 at the University of Winchester

3 Apr 2017
Top of timber clad contemporary building against a bright blue sky

March arrived, the clocks went forward and bulbs and blossom trees came into bloom. 

With Spring finally here, the University celebrated International Women’s Day, welcomed a Nobel Peace Laureate, published research showing that learning to be an engineer boosts aspirations in all learners and tuned in to a popular TV drama series whose historical accuracy was ensured by our expertise.

Here we share some of our March ‘best bits’.

We pledged to #BeBoldForChange

International Women’s Day on 8 March saw the University joining the global call to #BeBoldForChange, marking the event with a week-long programme of events and activities, ranging from political debates to an evening of music, poetry and the spoken word. Staff and students made their own pledges for a more inclusive, gender equal world on the University’s pledge wall in the University Centre.

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Our chapel was shortlisted for a prestigious architectural award

The University of Winchester's Chapel has been shortlisted in the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) South 2017 Awards. In 2015, the University commissioned Design Engine Architects to oversee a complete restoration of the interior and exterior of the Victorian Chapel, as part of the celebrations to mark the University’s 175th anniversary.

Fifteen buildings have been shortlisted in the region, which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Middlesex and Oxfordshire. Winners will be announced in May.

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A University Medieval history expert advised makers of TV drama series The Last Kingdom

As hit BBC TV drama The Last Kingdom returned to our screens for a much-anticipated second series earlier this month, Dr Ryan Lavelle, Reader in Early Medieval History at the University and an expert in medieval history, shared his experience as an historical advisor on both series of the drama. He helped to weave historical accuracy in to the story by giving advice to producers of Carnival Films (Downton Abbey) on a diverse range of subjects, including the composition of the court and everyday life in Anglo-Saxon England. He also worked with set designers to help ensure authenticity. 

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Tune in to the remainder of series two on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC2.

We launched the University of Winchester Writers’ Festival 2017 programme
Judith Heneghan (left), Director of the Writers' Festival, and Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University, launch this year's programme
This year's Winchester Writers’ Festival programme offers 18 intensive one-day courses and workshops, 27 talks and more than 700 one-to-one meetings with literary agents, editors and critically-acclaimed authors, scriptwriters and poets. The Festival keynote speaker is award-winning poet, broadcaster and writer Lemn Sissay. Now in its 37th year, the Festival is open to emerging creative writers working in all genres and at all levels of experience.

University research revealed benefits of learning to think like an engineer

New research by the University’s Centre for Real-World Learning found that the achievement and aspirations of all learners are boosted when schools adapt their teaching to encourage students to develop ‘engineering habits of mind’.

Professor Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre, commented: "If we are going to attract more young people into engineering then schools have to rethink the way they teach. The Learning to be an Engineer research has shown that, if you choose learning methods which foster engineering habits of mind such as problem-finding and problem-solving, systems thinking and visualising, then learners become more engaged.”

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We hosted Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and the Peacejam Youth conference 2017

Leymah Gbowee (right) with Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University

Leymah Gbowee gave an inspiring lecture at the University as part of Peacejam 2017. Ms Gbowee won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War. Over the weekend she worked with young people coming from across the UK to learn about building peaceful societies. Winchester students trained as mentors for these young people.

We congratulated Professor Louise Hill Curth

Professor Louise Hill Curth, Professor of Medical History, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (RHS), the foremost British society for professional historians. Only a small number of Fellowships are awarded to academic colleagues deemed to have made particularly original and important contributions to historical scholarship. Professor Hill Curth specialises in Early Modern English medical history and heads up the University’s Centre for Medical History.

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Richard Cheetham received his MBE at Buckingham Palace

Last but not least, Richard Cheetham, Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching, received his MBE from HRH the Prince of Wales at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Richard was awarded an MBE in the New Year 2017 Honours list for services to education and community sport.

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