Review of the year: 2019 at the University of Winchester

7 Jan 2020

2019 was a year of proactive change at the University of Winchester. Pioneering change in the way we address sustainability and social justice, exciting new courses and facilities and visits from inspiring public figures. Each month brought new and exciting innovations from around the University. It was tough to select just a few, but here are our highlights from the past year.


In January, Tower Crane 2 was dismantled at West Downs, signalling another construction milestone for our new learning and teaching building, just a few months after we celebrated the development reaching its highest point. The 88-metre high Tower Crane 1 remained on site until the summer. Find out more about our West Downs development, due for completion this year.

Find the latest gallery of photos of the development progress here.


John Barnes MBE and Angus Scott
The nature of racism in society and the sporting world was the topic of conversation when former football player/manager John Barnes MBE chatted to international journalist and Senior Lecturer Angus Scott in a thought-provoking public lecture at the University. Find out more.

Volunteer group in orange tops smiling

February saw more than 60 student volunteers support local community projects around the city for national Student Volunteering Week. Students teamed up with Winchester City Council for a Community Action Day to paint benches, plant flowers and collect rubbish to transform the much-loved Somers Recreation Ground in Stanmore. Read the full story here.


Our BA (Hons) Dance students danced across Winchester city as part of a 21-hour DanceAThon to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day. They were then joined by representatives from Blue Apple TheatreThe Point, Eastleigh and Winchester Go LD as they danced through Winchester, visiting Winchester Cathedral, St Lawrence Church and Winchester Discovery Centre among others. University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, joined in for the afternoon.


Volunteers holding Gumdrop re-useable coffee cups

Our dedication to sustainability and social responsibility earned us a place in the top 100 in the first Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. Winchester tied at 76th in the overall impact rankings, out of 500 institutions across 75 countries.

Winchester is also tied at tied at 45th for Quality Education (SDG 4), placing it second in the UK. It is tied at 39th for Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10) and at 46th for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16).

The ranking recognises universities across the world for their social and economic impact on society, based on their success in delivering the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more here.

Vice Chancellor Joy Carter presents Sustainable Fashion Award to Oxfam Winchester representatives

We sponsored Winchester Fashion Week (WFW) once again in 2019, with our BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing students closely involved throughout, from acting as fashion ambassadors in the WFW Hub to interviewing local fashion blogger Monica Welburn of The Elgin Avenue. Find out more.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL presented the University's inaugural Sustainable Fashion Award to Oxfam Winchester for their focus on selling pre-loved fashion to raise funds to help the world's poorest people through projects around the globe.


Joy Carter breaking ground with shovel at Barton Farm
A traditional ground breaking ceremony at the site of the new Barton Farm Academy marked the official start of building work on Winchester's first primary academy school. Sponsored by the University of Winchester Academy Trust (UWINAT), the 420-place academy for children aged four to 11 opens to its first intake of pupils in September 2020. Read more.

In the autumn, building work began on the Stoneham Park Primary Academy, also sponsored by UWINAT and funded by Hampshire County Council. Read more here.

Both schools will benefit from the University's values-driven ethos, extensive regional school partnerships, evidence-based learning and teaching, strong links with local business and community organisations, and our commitment to social justice and sustainability.

HELP Hampshire launch team: Ariyan Alimadad; Louis Martinelli, Hobbs Rehabilitation; Dr James Faulker and Professor Simon Jobson
Sport and exercise physiologist Dr James Faulkner was voted one of 100 'Nation's Lifesavers' by Universities UK (UUK) in their #MadeatUni campaign for his work with the pioneering Health Enhancing Lifestyle Programme (HELP) Hampshire stroke clinic. Read James' story on the Made at Uni website and find out more about HELP Hampshire here.


The University pledged to eliminate all unnecessary single-use plastic by December 2020 and called on individuals and the higher education sector to stand up and take action to combat the climate crisis.

"We are facing a global crisis and it's time we all did more," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL. "As the University for sustainability and social justice, the climate emergency is at the forefront of our minds but, the higher education sector as a whole must work together to make the climate emergency a higher priority than it is at present." Find out more.

The University was awarded the prestigious National Union of Students' (NUS) Responsible Futures accreditation for its commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility in its teaching and other activities.

The award recognised the partnership between the University and Winchester Student Union to promote education for sustainable development, helping Winchester students to understand the sustainability challenges facing society and preparing them to become globally responsible citizens. Read more.


Grounds team receive horticulture award
The grounds team celebrated receiving the Horticulture Week Custodian Award 2019 for Best Grounds. They scooped the prestigious national gardening award for creating 'a peaceful, eye-catching, and functional environment in which to visit and work'.

Members of the team collected the award at a ceremony at Woburn Abbey, alongside other winners from across the UK, including teams from Historic Royal Palaces, the National Trust, the Eden Project and English Heritage. Read the full story.


On 1 August, we launched our new Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, home to students studying courses including BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult), BA (Hons) Animal Welfare and Society, BSc (Hons) Social Work and BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science. This follows a pledge between the University and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to work together to help address the growing demand for healthcare professionals in the region.

As part of this partnership, students will gain access to cutting-edge medical equipment, on-the-job training and teaching spaces within the Royal Hampshire County Hospital site, next to the University's King Alfred Quarter. Read more.


On the global day of action for the climate on Friday 20 September, the University declared a climate emergency, marked by over 100 members of staff and students marching into the city centre to demand climate justice for everyone.

"We have declared a climate emergency as future generations face a significantly different world," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, who joined the march. "As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and head towards dangerous tipping points, we must take action before it is too late." Read the full announcement here.

Actor David Suchet CBE, famous for portraying Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot on-screen in the popular TV series Poirot, opened our new contemporary Forensic Laboratory with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. David received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University in 2017 for services to acting.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL said: "These state-of-the-art specialist facilities enrich our teaching and allow students to gain vital practical skills that will help them stand out to employers." Read more.


Over 2,300 students graduated at Winchester Cathedral this year, with ceremonies presided over by Chancellor of the University Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL.

Prominent individuals, including actors Dame Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville, were recognised with Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships for excelling in fields related to the University's values, research and teaching programmes. Interviews with selected Honorary graduates are available on the University's YouTube channel. A full list of all Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships and more information is available here.

Shaun Sleighmaker in forest with photographer for Rising Forests photoshoot
One thousand native trees - including oak, willow, beech and pine - have been planted in honour of our 2019 graduating students as part of our commitment to a more sustainable future.

We partnered with Rising Forests, an environmental organisation set up by Shaun Slaymaker - a second-year BA (Hons) Business Management student at Winchester - to plant woodland which will create a habitat for wildlife and help reduce our carbon footprint. Find out more.

Our flagship West Downs development was among one of the first university projects in the UK to be registered to pursue WELL Certification, an accreditation scheme which recognises buildings that support and advance human health and wellbeing.

The WELL Building Standard (WELL) is a performance-based rating system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and wellness in the built environment. Features of the West Downs development that boost wellbeing include a contemplation space for practicing mindfulness; healthy food options; access to nature through the courtyard garden; landscaped areas for encouraging outdoor use; and reduced harmful buildings emissions, including air and water testing. In addition, many workstations have adjustable height sit-stand desks. Find out more.


We launched our strategic vision 2030, setting out how we will make a difference as an institution.

Our vision is to help shape a better world through everything we do, driven by the ambition, wisdom and impact of our students and staff.

Future generations face a significantly different world - from the climate crisis, technological advancements, globalisation and demographic shifts to geopolitical uncertainty and resource shortages which will have a major impact on how we work, connect, go about our lives and care for our planet.

Within this changing environment - and for the future of our planet and all life - we need to step up and play our part. Our Strategic Vision 2030 is aligned with the United Nations' Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter was appointed to the council of the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders. The Climate Commission was launched on 13 November at Ravensbourne University, London.

The commission aims to be a catalyst for real action and long-term change. It will develop an action plan in response to the government's stated climate and environment emergency on 1 May 2019. For further information on Professor Carter's involvement with the UK Climate Commission, click here.


Group gathered in front of audience

Students from the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre course performed in the newly refurbished café of the Theatre Royal Winchester. In the spirit of Christmas, they provided customers with a free concert while they enjoyed festive coffee and mince pies.

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