Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Foreign Secretary praises new Sri Lanka campus

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has praised the launch of the University of Central Lancashire's new Sri Lanka campus which will open to students in 2015.

This will be the first overseas campus to open in South Asia and will bring UK expertise and standards of excellence to the region.

The School of Sport Tourism and The Outdoors will deliver a range of courses at the new campus, and Internationalisation Lead Jackie Day said it was a huge boost for the School and the University: "We are looking forward to developing high quality courses in the areas of tourism, hospitality, event management and sport from our school to be delivered at the new campus and provide a superlative British student experience in Sri Lanka."

British qualifications are the most sought after in Sri Lanka, with students and parents seeking British education from primary level to higher education. Approximately 8,000 young Sri Lankans obtain UK school qualifications each year, while 35,000 acquire professional qualifications through the British Council.

The Foreign Secretary unveiled the plaque for the campus and said: "I am pleased to take part in the launch of the University Of Central Lancashire campus in Sri Lanka, marking the significant strengthening of educational links between the people of Britain and Sri Lanka. Education is a significant factor in building peace and stability and this British new campus should be celebrated."

Malcolm McVicar, UCLan’s Group Chief Executive commented: "The University Group has an ambitious internationalisation strategy and is delighted at the support it is receiving in Sri Lanka to take this exciting project forward. UCLan Sri Lanka will complement the work of existing universities and bring new opportunities for individual students."

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sports Therapy students help Fiji RLWC2013 bid

SSTO Sports Therapy students have been working with the Fiji squad ahead of their Rugby League World Cup 2013 quarter-final clash with Samoa on Sunday.

Fiji beat Ireland 32-14 in the group stages to qualify for the next round, and are using UCLan Sports Arena as their base camp in preparation for the game. The players took advantage of our new Physiotherapy Clinic for treatment and received sports massage from UCLan's second and third year sports therapy students.

Mick Reid, Strength and Conditioning Coach for Fiji, said: "We've had a warm welcome from the staff and students at UCLan and it's great that everything we need is practically in one place.

"Access to physiotherapy and sports massage treatments is vital for the players' well-being and it's great that in return we're able to provide practical experience for the students carrying out the massage sessions."

UCLan's Academic Director of Sport, Dr Adrian Ibbetson, commented: "We're happy to welcome the Fijian team to the Arena to use our first-class facilities as part of their training process, particularly as this builds on our friendship having hosted athletes from the country for their Olympic preparations.

"UCLan helped bring the spirit of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 to the local community during Ireland's recent stay by working with the team to hold a coaching master class, school tag tournament and open training sessions. The Irish team did a great job of boosting rugby league interest in Lancashire and we aim to continue this by supporting Fiji in their World Cup campaign.

Pictures from the session can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme 2014

The Centre for Research-informed Teaching has announced the highly successful Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme will be running again in the summer of 2014.

The scheme gives undergraduate students experience of real research projects with high quality research outcomes.

All disciplines and research clusters are encouraged to put projects forward.

Past schemes have led to hundreds of research outputs, many of them with the intern listed as a co-author. Our interns have also presented at research conferences internally and externally, and many of them are now registered on research degrees.

Interns gain a tremendous amount from the opportunity, experiencing research 'first hand' while acquiring a range of transferable skills which can help secure a graduate job or postgraduate place.

For more information about the scheme and how to apply please click here. The deadline for project applications is Monday 6th January 2014.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Sports First Aid courses

The SSTO’s Pysiotherapy and Sports Therapy Division are running Sports First Aid courses during December and January.

The course is aimed at anyone working in sport including coaches, therapists, teachers, parents and volunteers who may need to assess and manage first aid situations.

There are evening sessions and a full day workshop to choose from.

For further information and booking enquiries please click here.

Friday, 8 November 2013

UCLan welcomes Distinguished Visitor

Dr Ben Chapman is an Assistant Professor and food safety specialist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at North Carolina State University.

His group designs, implements and evaluates food safety strategies, messages and media with the primary aim of having less people sick with foodborne illnesses.

As part of UCLan's Distinguished Visitor Programme, Dr Chapman was invited to UCLan by the SSTO's Carol Wallace to discuss our food safety teaching programmes and to forge a research collaboration between the two Universities.

Dr Chapman is also a regular blog contributor to the aptly-named barfblog, co-hosts a bi-weekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage people across a variety of Social Media platforms. We met with Ben and Carol to talk about their plans:

Tell us how the visit came about?

CW - Ben and I met a few years back, but it wasn't until a year ago we started talking about collaborating as we've got a lot of similar interests. I was lucky enough to visit North Carolina State University to find out more about how they do things there.

When the opportunity presented itself through UCLan's Distinguished Visitor Programme, I thought it was the ideal chance for Ben to have a look at us and formalise our collaboration plans, in addition to meeting other researchers. The visit will also help us build future partnerships between the two universities and help us move our research forward.

How have you found Preston so far?

BC - It's been fantastic. It's fun to get out of your day-to-day grind and spend time with colleagues who have common interests. We see each other at international meetings, but you don't get the chance to talk about our programmes or discuss emerging issues. We both work closely with the food industry, but obviously in different parts of the world, and have a lot of similar challenges and issues, so it’s extremely valuable to be able to discuss each other’s experiences.

You mention similarities – are there many differences between your research?

BC - The differences are in how things are regulated or the focus of issues, but the challenges remain the same. A lot of Carol's work looks at how people implement food safety strategies. It doesn't matter that strategy is as the knowledge is transferable. There are some nuances due to those regulatory differences, but ultimately it’s all similar research.

Are there differences in the way things are taught?

CW - Here at UCLan we offer online teaching whereas North Carolina don't have that programme as yet in food safety. They do have undergraduate food science courses which have food safety in them and most of the postgraduates will be doing research Master's. One of the reasons Ben is here is to look at how we teach online and he'll be doing an Adobe Connect webinar with our students during his visit.

BC - Carol’s programme is further ahead than we are in terms of how courses are delivered. We do offer some distance learning, but it’s not an entire programme created around that. I want to be able to take back some of Carol's methodologies and implement them back home. I also do a lot of work with other educators who work in the field directly to practitioners. I see this as an ideal model to better educate those people.

Tell us what inspired you to get into the industry?

BC - A Dustin Hoffman movie called Outbreak! When I was at High School I was really interested in Biology. As I got older I was intrigued by disease and what causes it. As an undergraduate I studied Molecular Biology in Genetics and was really interested in the food system. I ended up linking with a Professor who was interested in risks around food and how people communicated and learned from this.

Through my experience with him I did a lot of work in the media and interacted a lot with practitioners such as farmers. I moved onto my Masters and then PHD and began to look at restaurants and caterers and how they do things. But it all started with Hollywood’s portrayal of viruses - I found it fascinating.

Is there any chance you starring in Outbreak 2?

BC - Yes, maybe there’s a screenplay somewhere in my future! On a different tangent the 2011 film Contagion is fabulous – it was so well done; the science behind it was brilliant. I've not gone back to view Outbreak so don't know whether that still stacks up, but Contagion was so good it might end up inspiring a new generation of people into the industry.

Where do see your research leading?

BC - My main focus is how people in the industry get their information about food safety. How do I connect with people, engage with them, but also train people involved in food safety issues in an online environment? We need to be able to have more informed decisions, whether that’s the consumer, a restaurant manager or the CEO of a major food processing company.

CW - It's all about learning from incidents and events. We’re going to explore these in research terms by speaking to companies and finding out how they go about trying to improve things. We’re also very interested in Farmer's Markets and food safety practices.

Ben's team have worked on those in the States and its growing here, so we want to do some collaborative work so we can compare and contrast the research. We’re also looking to do some student exchanges to assist learning at both Universities.

BC: That was one of the key deliverables Carol and I wanted to discuss. How do we go about improving interaction between students to enhance their learning experiences? To be able to understand the differences between food safety here and in the USA would prove invaluable to them.

It gives an insight in how to make change. Understanding how to affect change if food safety is compromised is vital if people are to do their job properly, and hopefully this new collaboration will help us make a major impact on the industry in the future.

The SSTO would like to thank Dr Chapman and Carol Wallace for this interview. You can follow Dr Chapman on Twitter @benjaminchapman.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The National Sports Roadshow

Over 1,000 students descended on UCLan as the National Sports Roadshow arrived in Preston.

After the successful 2012 Career in Sports and Exercise Conferences, the event has been rebranded and is visiting a number of universities throughout the UK.

Well respected professionals and organisations were on hand to present and impart their area of expertise including The Football Association, Manchester United Foundation and The Lawn Tennis Association. Among the exhibitors were ICS UK, Coaching for Hope and Camp Leaders.

Students from a range of North West Colleges along with a number from UCLan were treated to a series of presentations, seminars and workshops, which offered an opportunity to learn the diverse careers and leisure opportunities available in the sport, health and fitness industry, the qualifications required and the experience gained within each profession.

Les Howie, Head of Grassroots Coaching at The F.A. delivered a presentation to approximately 150 students about careers opportunities in football, while John Kiely from UCLan’s Institute of Coaching and Performance delivered a Strength and Conditioning masterclass to young people from across the region.

UCLan Senior Lecturer Clint Godfrey co-ordinated the event and was delighted with how things went: “It was a really successful day. UCLan Sports and Events students helped out throughout the day and worked hard to ensure the event ran smoothly. I’d like to thank them and the Industry Professionals for giving up their time for supporting what was a fantastic opportunity for all the attendees."

Audio clips from exhibitors at the event can be found here.