As I write this, I am pleased to let you know that the campus is buzzing with activity and anticipation after a successful clearing period. We have been hosting regular campus visits from enthusiastic applicants who are counting down the days to joining the University of Hull community this month. They will be in very good company, as my experience has found that the University’s alumni are some of the warmest, most connected and friendliest graduates you could meet. Thank you; I feel very lucky to have your support and encouragement as we ride through this challenging time together within the higher education sector.
You may have seen that our NSS (National Student Survey) score has increased, and so with it our league table positions have improved. There is still some way to go to put us back in the position we ought to be but, that said, there is cause for celebration. I am sure you will also be aware of our pioneering and exclusive higher education partnership with Team GB. As Team GB’s Official University Partner, we have a direct link to not only the elite athletes representing this country, but also the research and backroom activity that goes on behind the scenes. Our students will benefit from unique insights and experience, made possible by the fact they are a University of Hull student.
Our new sporting facilities also played host to the Allam British Open earlier this year, the oldest and most established squash tournament on the PSA World Tour, and broadcast to an international audience. If you have not had the opportunity to visit the campus recently, then I really do encourage you to come and see our new and outstanding sporting facilities. I think you will be surprised and pleased by what you see and, as an alumnus of this University, I am sure it will make you proud.
A new Scholarship programme funded generously by members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle (VCC) was launched recently to support postgraduate students beginning an MSc in Renewable Energy. The University is leading the way in renewable energies and low carbon futures and, as the renewable energy sector expands, there is huge demand for trained individuals to plan, implement and manage renewable energy projects. And, as the UK’s ‘Energy Estuary’ the Humber is rapidly becoming the focus of the renewables’ industry there are tremendous opportunities for industrial placements and career prospects with 27,000 new jobs expected by 2030. My thanks again to the members of the VCC who made this project possible.
Our alumni have also helped us to provide much needed mental health and wellbeing support to our students. This is an area that we will continue to support, and which you will hear more about in this newsletter and in future correspondence.
The annual reunion dinner was held at Lord’s Cricket Ground this year. The momentous victory of the England cricket team just one week before our event certainly gave the occasion an extra element of magic! We heard inspiring talks from our alumnae Ayesha Hazarika MBE and Clare Taylor MBE, who both spoke so fondly of their time at Hull. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with our alumni and hear their own stories, who speak just as fondly of their experiences here in Hull – there were certainly patterns to be spotted in anecdotes, including a regular reference to a number of public houses situated on Cottingham Road!
I look forward to meeting more of you in the future at our alumni and donor events but, in the meantime, please accept my sincere thanks for all that you do to support your alma mater. Your generosity, passion, time and networks help us to continually improve and enable us to support students and research for generations to come.