Winchester research roundup February 2019

6 Mar 2019

Research by Winchester academics continues to impact national policy, with expertise showcased in an influential government review and a major parliamentary report. Our experts have also been honoured for their work by professional associations and academic institutions.

Winchester co-authors Parliamentary report into the legacy of the Primary PE and Sport Premium

School boys playing football
A new report, co-authored and sponsored by the University of Winchester, calls for the legacy of the Primary PE and Sport Premium Government grant to break a 'cycle of decline'. It argues that being active and educated in a physical sense is as important and ultimately life-enhancing for children as being able to read or do maths.

Dr Vicky Randall, Senior Fellow in Teacher Education, is one of the authors of The Primary PE and Sport Premium - along with experts from the Universities of Kingston and Sheffield Hallam - published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on A Fit and Healthy Childhood. The group is co-chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin.

One of the report's key recommendations is for PE to be elevated to Core status within the curriculum.

"To ensure a sustainable legacy for future generations, the recommendations within this report are clear. Physical Education must be valued for its educational worth and taught by highly competent teachers," Vicky said. Find out more.

Winchester study cited in Cairncross Review into UK journalism

Newspapers still tied in cableResearch into the dramatic decline of court reporting by journalists by Winchester academic Dr Brian Thornton has been cited as part of the independent Cairncross Review into the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK, which was published this week.

Brian, a journalist and programme leader for the BA (Hons) Journalism course, undertook the study into court reporting - titled Media reporting on miscarriages of justice in England and Wales fundamentally changed after the creation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission - for his PhD. It was widely reported in the media (including the Guardian and Press Gazette) and featured in an article by Brian for the Justice Gap website.

Referring to the study, the Review says (p21): "The decline in democracy reporting has been highlighted by a number of researchers. A study carried out by Brian Thornton at Winchester University found that court reporting in the four years from 2012 to 2016 had dropped by 30% in the national newspapers and by 40% in regional newspapers. In 2018, Lord Igor Judge, a former Lord Chief Justice, called this decline a threat to the justice system. Justice needs to be seen to be done, he argued, ideally by those who can accurately and impartially inform the public about the legality of rulings."

Brian's study into court reporting is outlined at this linkThe Cairncross Review: a sustainable future for journalism is available online here.

Prestigious veterinary medical ethics award for animal welfare expert

Andrew Knight receives awardAndrew Knight, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics and Founding Director of the University's Centre for Animal Welfare, has received the prestigious Robert Shomer Ethics Award 2019 from the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics (SVME) in the USA.

Dedicated to the memory of Dr Robert Shomer, co-founder and first President of the Society, the award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to and who has a distinguished career as a leader in the field of veterinary medical ethics. Andrew was presented with his award at the VMX 2019 Veterinary Meeting and Expo, one of the world's largest veterinary conferences, in Orlando. Find out more.

Winchester philosopher elected British Psychoanalytic Council founding scholar

Timothy SecretDr Timothy Secret, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion in the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy, has been elected a Founding Scholar of professional association the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC).

Timothy was welcomed into the organisation at the inaugural Founding Scholars Event at the Freud Museum in London on 21 February. He is pictured (above left) with Gary Fereday, BPC chief executive, at the event in Freud's consulting room.

The BPC Founding Scholar scheme sees academics and researchers who are not practising analysts, but who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of psychoanalytic thinking, awarded the new title Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Empowering women in Sri Lanka through entrepreneurial business

Sri Lanka garment factory
Following a recent research trip to Sri Lanka - where some 350,000 women make up 85 per cent of the garment industry's workforce across 850 factories - Dr Savithri Bartlett, Senior Fellow (Knowledge Exchange) in the Business School is undertaking a study into the role of small entrepreneurial businesses empowering women in rural areas.

The study will examine the engendered effects of rural development policies and regeneration programmes in the UK and Sri Lanka on alleviating poverty and empowering women to meet their full potential.

Savithri's first visit in Sri Lanka was to Mihila (meaning 'earth'), a purpose-built sustainable garment factory which manufactures outdoor clothing company Patagonia's polyester fleece. Mihila follows a circular economy model and has aligned itself with six of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including renewable energy (7) and climate action (13). She also visited Selyn, a handloom weaving business set up by female entrepreneurs in rural villages.

Her research interests include the circular economy and more recently she has begun to challenge the fashion industry's wasteful methods of sourcing, manufacture and disposal. Find out more about Savithri's research.

(Photo above courtesy of Patagonia.)

Contemplative practice as part of higher education study

University pond sculptures
A survey of undergraduates at Winchester has probed their attitudes around the introduction of contemplative practices at the University. Practices such as Buddhist meditation have direct bearings in developing and cultivating compassion.

Results show that 79 per cent of students are favourable to the introduction of contemplative practice at the University on a voluntary basis and 58 per cent would be keen to engage. Results also highlight students' tendency to consider that learning about contemplative practices in relation to the mind and emotions should be part of their education. This awareness shows a change in students' expectation and support for University initiatives such as offering regular Zen meditation practices and enhancing the Cosmic Garden at the West Downs Quarter.

The survey was carried out by the Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, which is exploring introducing contemplative pedagogy and practices at Winchester, with the intention of fostering a culture of gentleness within the University.

The full survey is set out in the paper Toward the implementation of contemplative practices in Higher Education published in the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practices, 6(3), pp 3-13.

Read the paper online here. Co-authors are: Dr Valerie Bonnardel, Dr Terry Biddington, Dr Rhiannon Jones, Brandon May, and Dr Simon Roffey.

Harnessing the power of play in learning

Play isn't only for children: it is becoming increasingly popular in learning at universities. A new book by Alison James, Professor of Learning and Teaching and Director of Academic Quality, explores this phenomenon and how it can help enhance the student experience.

The Power of play in higher education: Creativity in tertiary learning (Palgrave, 2019) features a chapter by Professor Richard Cheetham, Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching, which looks at his use of active play as a learning experience for sports coaching undergraduates.

The book is co-authored with Chrissi Nerantzi of Manchester Metropolitan University. Find out more.

Other new books

Dr Hugues Seraphin, Senior Lecturer in Events and Tourism Management Studies, is the author of two new books on tourism. Special interest tourism in Southeast Asia: Emerging research and opportunities (Hershey: IGI Global 2019), by Hugues and co-authors Bintang Handayani and Maximiliano Korstanje, critically discusses the challenges associated with special interest tourism and how it can be used to overcome unfavourable impacts of tourism for the local community, as well as preserve cultural heritage.

Post-disaster and post-conflict tourism: Toward a new management approach (Palm Bay, Apple Academic Press, 2019) edited by Hugues and co-authors Maximiliano Korstanje and Vanessa Gowreesunkar considers new risks that jeopardise tourism travel to destinations that have recently experienced climate-related disasters, civil conflicts, and other challenges. The book sets out innovative strategies that could be adopted by post-colonial, post-conflict, and post-disaster destinations to encourage travel and tourism in these areas.

Blog highlight: Degree Apprenticeships - up to standard?

In our latest blog post, David Way CBE, Visiting Professor of Knowledge Exchange in the University of Winchester Business School and convenor of the University's Centre for Apprenticeship Research and Knowledge Exchange, responds to the Higher Education Commission's recent report on degree apprenticeships. The findings show that degree apprenticeships may be good in theory, but are not delivering for small employers or disadvantaged students. Read the post.

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