March 2022 at the University of Winchester

5 Apr 2022

In a busy month at Winchester, student nurses helped formally open our new clinical skills facility, hosted a vigil for Ukraine in our Chapel, and welcomed a giant hare onto campus.

Read our highlights from the month below.

University formally opens new clinical skills facilities

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sarah Greer was joined by student nurses, NHS staff and local dignitaries at a special event to formally open new clinical training facilities at the University.

The facilities will be used by around 380 students currently studying on our popular and fast-growing Nursing degree programmes, which are helping address the shortage in nurses in the region. Find out more.

More healthcare provision needed to support mental health of esports competitors, says new study

Student esports athlete competing on his PC
A new research study led by the University of Winchester with the University of Chichester shows that stress, sleep problems, burnout and social phobia anxiety may all adversely impact the mental health of esports athletes. It is the first study to provide evidence that stressors can predict mental ill health in esports athletes

"Our study has important implications for player health in esports", said Dr Matt Smith, a sport and exercise psychologist and senior lecturer at Winchester, who is the lead author of the study. "In particular, it highlights that interventions could target specific aspects of stress, sleep, burnout and social phobia anxiety, to improve the mental health of those who compete in esports." Find out more.

Winchester's hedgehog friendly campus wins gold award

Four people outside holding hedgehog gold certificates

Our success in protecting much-loved but vulnerable hedgehogs and their habitats on campus has been rewarded with a prestigious Gold Hedgehog Friendly award from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).

Hedgehog friendly habitats, feeding stations and activity surveys undertaken by students and staff are just some of the initiatives helping to create an environment where hedgehogs can thrive. Find out more.

True crime murder documentary features University research into possible miscarriage of justice

Dr Brian Thornton standing behind a desk

Sky's true crime documentary series Murder in the Valleys features Dr Brian Thornton, one of the founders of the University's Crime and Justice Research Centre.

The series looks at the 1999 Clydach murders when three generations of one family were brutally killed in a small village just outside Swansea. The consequent murder investigation was the biggest and most exhaustive in Welsh history, which many believe resulted in a wrongful conviction.

Dr Thornton has spent more than a decade investigating the murders and shares his research in the programme. Find out more.

Hare-raising visit for charity

Giant hare sculpture in back of vintage open top car with student nurses

Actor Sarah Parish turned up on campus in a vintage open top car with a giant sculpture of a hare in the back seat to launch the Hares of Hampshire Art Trail.

The University is sponsoring its own giant hare sculpture - decorated by artist Jenny Muncaster - as part of the free, family-friendly summer art trail in Winchester and Southampton which opens in June. Organised by the Murray Parish Trust, the trail will raise money for Southampton Children's Hospital.

Find out more

Winchester joins the Young Carers' Alliance

On national Young Carers' Action Day (16 March) we announced our membership of a new network which aims to provide a stronger collective voice for young carers and those who support them. Winchester is part of a coalition of more than 30 organisations and individuals, spearheaded by charity Caring Together and including Barnado's and The Children's Society, which has launched the Young Carers' Alliance.

"Here at Winchester, we believe that anyone who has the aspiration and ability to go to university should be able to do so, whatever their circumstances or background," said Sarah Harder-Collins, Head of Participation and Success at the University. Find out more.

Our Chapel vigil for Ukraine

On 16 March the Chapel hosted a blue and yellow-themed vigil for reflection and support for the people of Ukraine and all who are caught up in this conflict.

Staff, students and community members brought readings, prayers, songs, music, performances and artwork for peace and to stand in support of the people of Ukraine.

Flagship West Downs Centre wins architecture prize


The West Downs Centre was announced as a UK National Award winner at the Civic Trust Awards 2022 this month.

The judges commented the building was: "An ambitious scheme that has been delivered to a very high standard. It enhances not just the University campus and teaching facilities but also the wider neighbourhood." Find out more.

Blog highlights

Ukraine invasion: How Belarus has become Russia's pawn

This month in The Conversation, Senior Lecturer in Modern History Dr Natalya Chernyshova explained how the complicated relationship between Belarus and Russia has facilitated the invasion of Ukraine.

Where's the Green among the Red in theories of teaching and learning?

To mark the publication of his chapter on Green Marxism in the Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education (Brill, 2022), Dr Simon Boxley, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Childhood Studies, and Head of the Centre for Climate Change Action and Education, explored the topic in more detail for the University blog. He calls for the intersection of green and Marxist theories to be incorporated more thoroughly into academic studies of pedagogy.

Celebrating and discussing progress in animal welfare at the UK Parliament

Final year students studying animal welfare recently attended a reception hosted by Humane Society International UK at the Houses of Parliament. Dr Steven McCulloch, senior lecturer in Human-Animal Studies and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Animal Welfare and Society degree programme who led the visit, describes the evening in a blog post.

 International Women's Day 2022: Flash fiction and poetry competition winners

To mark International Women's Day (8 March) two creative writing competitions for Flash Fiction and Poetry on the theme of 'Woman' were launched. The winners received their prizes at a special evening of creative performances to celebrate women's voices from around the University, and we are delighted to share their winning entries on the blog.

Women's History Month: Who was Sybil Campbell?

In a blog celebrating Women's History Month (1-31 March), colleagues from the University's Centre for the History of Women's Education, reflected on the life and groundbreaking legal career of Sybil Campbell (1889-1977), arguing that hers is a life worthy of a place in the history of women's education.

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