Catch-up with the latest news and insights on education in the UK.

News

Critical global water questions
Tue
7
Jun 2022

Recent intense heatwaves in India and widespread US droughts have highlighted the need for a global approach to tackling chronic water shortages.

New research has now drawn together expert voices from across the globe to help address current and future water challenges.

Key areas identified include water scarcity, sanitation and climate dynamics. But the main concern is the way governments are equipped to deal with these challenges.

“One of the key issues raised was governance,” said report co-author Dr Alesia Ofori, a Research Fellow in Water and Sanitation Governance at Leeds’ School of Politics and International Studies.

“In the Global South, respondents are asking why they have to listen to the Global North. Those in the Global South know what the issues are, and they are calling for big changes in access to data so they can better prepare for extreme weather.”

Global water challenges

More than 400 respondents took part in the study, in which questions about global water challenges were submitted from countries across the globe including the UK, India, Spain, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Tanzania.

“A recurring theme was the call for water justice,” said Dr Ofori. “They want justice for the marginalized populations who suffer from the excess consumption and pollution of the rich.

“There is also a call for justice for the local and planetary ecosystems that have been despoiled through a failure of governance on a global level.”

The study, ‘The top 100 global water questions: results of a scoping exercise’, has been published in One Earth and includes co-authors from the Universities of York and Bradford, and Global Water Partnership Tanzania.

They want justice for the marginalised populations who suffer from the excess consumption and pollution of the rich.

Dr Alesia Ofori, School of Politics and International Studies

The research team collected more than 4,000 responses from the 400 respondents, which were then narrowed down to 100 crucial water questions facing the planet today.

The 100 questions were grouped under the themes of water and sanitation for human settlements; water and sanitation safety risk management; water security and scarcity; hydroclimate-ecosystem- Anthropocene dynamics; multi-level governance; and knowledge production.

According to the research team, water sector partnerships are needed on a global scale to inform government decision-making on water issues that range from household to planetary levels.

Governance failure

Co-author Professor Anna Mdee, also at Leeds’ School of Politics and International Studies, said: “The 100 top global water questions demonstrate a demand from the global water sector to address the consequences of human governance failure of water resources.

"These failures are evident on a daily basis across the planet – from ongoing droughts in the US to the catastrophic effects of heatwaves in India – and highlight the need for concerted efforts in interdisciplinary research and action.

“These 100 questions also highlight the importance of justice for marginalized human populations and the need for cooperation to ensure water and sanitation policies align with the current needs of individuals, populations at different scales.”

Co-author Dr Victor Kongo, from Global Water Partnership Tanzania, said: “This study provides a good platform for reflecting and internalizing our research trajectory – what we know, what we don’t know and what we urgently need to know.”

 

Physicists develop new type of camera to image quantum vortices for the first time
Mon
30
May 2022

Lancaster researchers have developed a camera-like device able to image mini whirlpools in quantum liquids for the first time ever.

Vortices form in stirred fluids, when water drains into a plughole and can also be seen in tornadoes and cyclones.

These vortices are unpredictable, unlike in quantum liquids where the vortices always have the same size due to quantum effects that only arise at very cold temperatures such as with the superfluid liquid helium-3.

The problem is that quantum vortices by their very nature are too small to be captured without tracer particles by a conventional camera – until now.

Physicists at Lancaster University led by Dr Theo Noble have developed a new type of camera which uses particle-like disturbances to take images of collections of vortices instead of light.

Their work is published in the journal Physical Review B.

The camera is a five-by-five array of pixels. Each of the 25 pixels is a millimetre-sized cylindrical cavity with a quartz tuning fork in the middle.

The team tested the camera on vortices created by a vibrating wire in a form of ultra cold helium.

Dr Theo Noble explains: “The experiment works like shining a torch on a shadow puppet. We then measure the shadows cast by quantum vortices across the camera.”

Even with its low number of pixels, the new camera uncovered that most vortices form above the vibrating wire instead of developing all around it.

The Head of the Ultra Low Temperature Laboratory at Lancaster University Dr Viktor Tsepelin said that this was not predicted by mathematical theories or numerical simulations.

Dr Tsepelin’s goal now is to build a 90-pixel camera with a high enough resolution to image the details of development and decay of carefully prepared collections of vortices. This ability to observe the dynamics of superfluid helium-3 will improve the understanding of the turbulent motion of quantum fluids and turbulence in general.

Dr Viktor Tsepelin said “It is exciting to see that our prototype is working. The high-resolution camera could also be used to image other topological defects existing in superfluid helium-3 allowing us to have a glimpse at an analogue of the Early Universe.”

“Tree of life” could help slow climate change
Tue
24
May 2022

Changing the way fruit is gathered from a “tree of life” could have hugely positive environmental and financial impacts in Amazonia, according to a new study.

An international research team, jointly led by the University and the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (Instituto de Investigations de la Amazonia; IIAP) has shown for the first time the widespread harm caused in Peru by cutting down the palm tree Mauritia flexuous in order to harvest its fruit.

The scientists examined where and why the trees were felled, producing detailed maps and analysis to reveal the extent of the environmental and economic damage caused by cutting down the palms.

Study lead author Gabriel Hidalgo, who conducted the research as a postgraduate student at Leeds’ School of Geography while based at IIAP, said: “Cutting down female palm trees to harvest the fruit has halved the total production of fruit of this palm that is available to local communities.

“This is a clear example of the impact of humans on natural resource levels, in an ecosystem that, on first look, appears undamaged.

“However, changing the way the fruit is harvested can increase both the number of fruit-bearing palms trees, and the value of these Amazonian peatland ecosystems to people.”

Their study, published in Nature Sustainability, uses data from 93 sites across the palm swamp forests found on the extensive lowland tropical peatlands in north eastern Peru.

Mauritia flexuosa is the most common species of tree in these peatland ecosystems that have the highest concentration of carbon of any part of the vast Amazon region.

The palm tree’s fruit, known as aguaje, is widely used in food and drink preparation, and is an important part of the north Peruvian economy. Where currently harvested, sale of its fruit represents 15–22% of family incomes.

The species is dioecious – there are both female and male trees – with the female bearing the fruit.

But because many of the female trees are cut down to harvest their fruit, many forests mostly contain male trees and therefore produce little fruit.

The research team discovered that the few places where an alternative harvesting method is employed – climbing the trees to gather the fruit – have a higher number of fruit-bearing female trees.

Climbing avoids killing the trees, which take about 10 years to reach maturity, growing up to 40 metres in height.

The research team, which also included scientists at the University of St Andrews and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, estimated that by switching to tree climbing to collect the fruit, the overall harvest could increase by 51%, and generate $62 million a year for the local economy.

 

Investigating how scarred hearts affect athletes
Mon
23
May 2022

New research will monitor the heartbeats of more than 100 athletes over two years to measure how endurance exercise impacts their heart.

A project at the University, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), will see 106 veteran athletes fitted with a small implantable monitor. The devices are around half the size of a ballpoint pen and will be implanted under the skin on the athlete’s chests.

Heart scarring is a key feature of many heart diseases and has a strong association with abnormal heart rhythms, which can cause life-threatening cardiac arrest.

A previous small study involving male athletes aged over 50 found that about half of the participants had developed scarring on their heart. It is thought this could be caused by their levels of exercise, as during endurance sports like long-distance running and cycling the heart must work even harder to pump blood. But it remains unclear how scarring has developed.

The new monitor will measure every each of the participants’ heartbeats over two years, allowing researchers to assess the athletes’ heart rate during and after exercise. Previously, this measurement has been carried out using sensor stickers and fitness trackers, which have not always been accurate.

With the implantable monitors set to detect billions of heartbeats, we are going to learn so much through this study, including whether heart scarring is linked to irregular heart rhythms

Dr Peter Swoboda, School of Medicine

The research is now underway at the Advanced Imaging Centre at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and is being led by Dr Peter Swoboda, a cardiologist from the School of Medicine.

He said: “Exercise is good for the heart, but studies have suggested that people who participate in long term endurance sport could lose the health benefits of exercise  and in some cases, may even be damaging their hearts over time.

“For an athlete, an abnormal heart rhythm can often result in the end of their career, and we are all familiar of the devastating but rare occurrence of sudden death during sport.

“With the implantable monitors set to detect billions of heartbeats, we are going to learn so much through this study, including whether heart scarring is linked to irregular heart rhythms. This could help identify who is most at risk, and some of the lessons we learn could be applied to younger athletes, too.”

Alleviating hereditary risk

The athletes will also undergo MRI scans, which will look for signs of scarring and assess heart function, alongside blood and fitness tests.

Overall, the £320,000 project will aim to understand if heart scarring in athletes is linked to abnormal heart rhythms, and could inform future research around ways to avoid or reduce heart damage in endurance sports.

Cyclist Gethin Davies-Jones will be taking part in the study. The 55-year-old, who lives near Caerphilly in Wales, has lost family members to heart problems.

Gethin’s brother Glyn Jones was also 55 when he suddenly collapsed whilst competing at a local sporting event. It was discovered that Glyn had been living with coronary heart disease, which had been undiagnosed. Sadly Glyn later died in hospital. Gethin’s mother Helen Jones was in her late 40s when she died from a sudden cardiac arrest.

Gethin said: “Losing family members when they were of a young age had a huge impact on me. There are so many conversations and memories I now won’t be able to have with my brother and mum, and their experiences have put my own mortality sharply into focus.

“Cycling is a huge passion of mine  I enjoy competitive time trialling and I’m a beginner triathlete. The sport is great for my mental health and since taking it up I’ve been able to lose 12kg in weight. However, when I get out on my bike, there is always the worry in the back of my mind that what happened to my brother could happen to me.

“That’s why my interest in this study is so immediate and deep, as it will help me understand more about my own heart health. It’s great that the British Heart Foundation is funding this research, as it could really benefit athletes like me.”

Dr Subreena Simrick, Senior Research Advisor at the BHF, said: “Physical activity can reduce the risk of heart and circulatory diseases, helping to control your weight and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“This research is looking at how endurance exercise impacts the heart, and whether heart scarring found in some athletes is a factor that leads to potentially dangerous irregular heartbeats. If it is, then this project could pave the way for further research into potential treatments and preventions, allowing athletes of all ages to participate in sport as safely as possible.”

Scientists prove diseased blood vessels communicate with the brain
Mon
23
May 2022

An international team which includes University of Manchester scientists has for the first time demonstrated that nerve signals are exchanged between clogged up arteries and the brain.

The discovery of the previously unknown electrical circuit is a breakthrough in our understanding of atherosclerosis, a potentially deadly disease where plaques form on the innermost layer of arteries.

The study of mice found that new nerve bundles are formed on the outer layer of where the artery is diseased, so the brain can detect where the damage is and communicate with it.

Early evidence gathered by the team indicates this also happens in human arteries.

The study, published in Nature today (27/04/22, 4 pm bst) could one day herald new treatments for the causes of the disease where deposits progressively constrict the lumen of arteries leading to heart attacks, strokes and other problems.

According to the scientists, signals are conveyed by nerves from arteries containing plaques to the brain.

After the brain has processed the signals, the information makes its way back to the affected blood vessel.

“In recent decades, nobody has asked whether there is a direct connection between the artery and the brain – the obvious reason being that atherosclerotic plaques are not supplied by nerves,” says lead scientist Dr. Sarajo K. Mohanta from the University of Munich Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention.

“But atherosclerosis is more than just a plaque; rather it is a chronic inflammatory disease of the entire artery. Our findings relating to its outer layer are very relevant.”

“In the long term, we hope to be finally able to treat the causes of atherosclerosis although that may well be some way off yet.”

The scientists mapped the neurological circuit by infecting nerve cells called neurons with a virus whose antibody creates a fluorescent trace, while finding its way up from diseased arteries to the brain.

 Today we have the tools not only to visualise, but also to turn on or off nerve bundles connecting the brain with the body with unprecedented selectivity. This gives us a greater understanding of how the brain and other parts of the body are wired together during health and disease.

Dr Giuseppe D'Agostino

 hey were then able to follow the trace, allowing them to compare healthy against diseased mice and to directly identify the electrical connectionism the rodents which had experimental therapy where the connections were severed, atherosclerosis was less developed than in the control mice.

Dr D'Agostino, a neuroscientist from The University of Manchester involved in the study and who is also a Medical Research Council Fellow, said: “Today we have the tools not only to visualize, but also to turn on or off nerve bundles connecting the brain with the body with unprecedented selectivity. This gives us a greater understanding of how the brain and other parts of the body are wired together during health and disease.

“The novel technologies we have been using make it possible to reduce the boundaries between disciplines that were previously working in isolation. And that, in the long term, could have a significant impact on the development of novel therapeutics and ultimately improve human health.”

Arteries have three layers, though plaques are only found on the innermost layer.

Scientists have long known that the innermost layers are not supplied by nerve fibres. “As such, no one has asked whether nerves come into contact with arteries in the case of atherosclerosis so this could open up a new understanding of atherosclerosis” says senior author Professor Andreas Habenicht, also from the University of Munich.

However, the team revealed that molecular sensors known as receptors, located in the outer layer of the vessels, play a key role. The receptors recognize where plaques are located and where vessels are inflamed by identifying the inflammatory messengers of the inflammation. Then the receptors at the nerve endings translate the inflammatory signals into electrical signals via nerves to the brain. The brain processes the signals and sends a stress signal back to the inflamed blood vessel. This negatively influences the inflammation, and the atherosclerosis gets worse.

Quantum physicists develop sensors to assess the safety of electric vehicle batteries
Fri
20
May 2022

Quantum physicists at the University of Sussex have used magnetic imaging for assessing electric vehicle batteries, detailed in the published peer reviewed paper. With this new technology, the researchers can visualize the inside workings of an electric vehicle battery.

The method is a radically new way of imaging current flow of a battery which can potentially highlight whether there are damaged or faulty cells. This new information means scientists could now non-invasively determine the state of health and safety of a battery.

Of particular importance in using magnetic sensors is that they are non-invasive, relatively inexpensive and track activity in real time. This can provide entirely new insights into the performance and safety of battery cells during research and development, simplify and speed up manufacture and quality control, and enable optimal and most importantly safe operation.  

The sensors work by detecting the very low magnetic fields within the battery.  To perform a scan, the battery is first placed within a magnetic shield to eliminate interference from other sources including the earth’s own magnetic field. Once the scan is performed, this is then converted into a visual image of the current flow within the battery.  Subtle differences seen in these images will allow users to detect faults in the battery.

The rapid pace of replacing fossil fuel transport with electric vehicles is critically dependent on high-performing, high energy density and efficient batteries. These developments can considerably support realizing the proposals set by the UK government to ban the sales of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

Dr Mark Bason, lead author of the paper explains: “Our research opens the doors for some truly exciting possibilities within the transportation sector and the possibility of battery MOTs as part of a regular maintenance schedule for electric cars. 

“We measure current flows during charge and discharge cycles. The distribution of the current could indicate the state of health and safety of the battery.  When looking at the current flow we can see small differences in the image taken depending on these factors.

“In the future we imagine battery MOTs to take place where the sensors are used in a predefined sequence such as charging the battery from half full. With up to 100 batteries in a vehicle, mechanics would perhaps look at points that are likely to be troublesome or that would typically require more maintenance such as batteries in positions most likely to overheat.  With the information gleaned from using the sensors they should be able to detect where batteries are going wrong before they become unsafe.”

Professor Peter Krüger, Principal Investigator of the Quantum Systems and Devices group says “We want to develop quantum technologies to be used for a more sustainable future.  Reliable, efficient and workable energy storage is crucial for the electrification of transport.  We must consider what we do when batteries are no longer fit for purpose and the most planet friendly outcome.  Using quantum technology to develop a sensor that can prevent a battery being discarded unnecessarily could be significant in the global challenge to ensure mainstream electrification of transport.  Developing these new technologies is hugely rewarding and where I believe we should be harnessing the power of quantum physics.”

The full peer reviewed paper Non-invasive Current Density Imaging of Lithium-Ion Batteries can be read in the Journal of Power Sources.

The development was made possible thanks to funding from Innovate UK, and is a result of a collaboration with CDO2, an industrial partner based at the Sussex Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex.

University of Warwick recognised as international centre of research excellence by leading experts
Thu
12
May 2022

The University of Warwick has today (May 12) cemented its position as one of the UK’s academic powerhouses – after 92% of its research was assessed as being ‘world leading or internationally excellent’ by a panel of global experts.

The four UK higher education funding bodies released their results on the quality and impact of research submitted by 157 institutions in the UK for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

A remarkable 50% of Warwick’s submitted research was awarded the highest possible rating of ‘world leading’ (four stars), up from 37% in 2014.

A further 42% was assessed to be ‘internationally excellent’ (three stars) by the experts.

Other highlights from the REF2021 assessment for Warwick, included:

Four academic disciplines, Economics (2nd), Classics (3rd), Computer Science (4th), and Business & Management (5th) featured in the UK’s Top 5 institutions, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) analysis of the REF assessment.

A further five disciplines, Mathematical Sciences (6th), Law (8th), Philosophy (8th), Politics and International Studies (9th) and Sociology (10th) featured within Top 10.

Warwick was rated as 7th overall for ‘outputs’ which reflects the consistently high quality of its published academic work.

The results also recognised an increase in the economic and societal impact of the University’s research, which highlights the real-world benefit of the University’s work.

Commenting on the REF2021 assessment, Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick, said: “These results demonstrate the truly world class quality of our research, our approach and most importantly our people.

“This is an outstanding achievement and a source of tremendous pride for everyone connected with this great institution.

“Our research has always been driven by a strong sense of purpose and commitment to ensuring what we do has a positive impact on wider society. From helping to save lives through our modelling work during the Covid pandemic, and the development of new, sustainable forms of transport and energy, to making a fairer criminal justice system, and supporting our cultural institutions and creative industries, our research delivers real-world benefit.

“Overall, the REF results also reflect the remarkable strength, quality and breadth of research within the UK. The future for our researchers is bright and exciting. We will continue to push boundaries, innovate and learn through our research work so we can benefit more people, in more places, more often.”

The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in the country’s higher education institutions, last carried out in 2014. Expert panels made up of senior academics, international members, and research users review submissions from universities for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment.

Submissions are assessed on the quality of outputs, such as publications, performances, and exhibitions, their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research. Each of these receives a star rating, with four star ‘world-leading’ being the highest.

Examples of Warwick’s world class research include:

Warwick’s reputation as a global research centre of excellence is matched by its outstanding teaching credentials. It was named as University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Sunday Times’ Good University Guide 2022.

Rebuilding cultural connections: University of Sussex programme for the Brighton Festival 2022  
Fri
6
May 2022

An installation offering people the chance to smash household items and rebuild them in new ways will be part of the University of Sussex’s biggest-ever involvement in Brighton Festival this May. 

As a partner of the Festival, the University is proudly collaborating with Brighton Festival to present eight events, hosted at multiple venues including Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, the University’s arts centre. The events explore the cultural opportunities presented by the act of rebuilding society and asks the questions: what do we want to revive? And what should we smash up and reimagine a new?

Following a safe and successful return of England’s biggest multi-arts festival in 2021, this year’s Brighton Festival will take place as the final pandemic restrictions are set to lift and features a programme that focuses on the theme of Rebuilding.   

Syrian architect and author Marwa al-Sabouni and Tristan Sharps, Artistic Director of Brighton-based theatre makers  dreamthinkspeak  are Co-Guest Directors for 2022 – the first time two artists have collaborated to lead the Festival. Al-Sabouni and Sharps have paid homage to the artistic endeavour of tearing down norms to create something fresh in their Festival programming, celebrating the contributions of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature and debate in connecting communities within cultural landscapes.  

Brighton Festival events co-presented with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts include: Worktable, an installation from Kate McIntosh that invites you to traverse a series of rooms, with the opportunity to smash up objects and rebuild them in new ways; Written in the Body, a poignant dance duet that explores a personal history of human touch – good and bad; 12 Last Songs, a live installation from artist ensemble, Quarantine, exploring our relationship to work, with Brighton residents paid to enact their various careers, from builders to hairdressers; and the UK premiere of Witness, a film installation by award-winning Brighton-based artist filmmaker Emma Critchley, which explores the human relationship to glacial landscapes through underwater dance, spoken word and scientific imagery.   

This year, for the first time, the University of Sussex School of Media, Arts and Humanities is collaborating with Brighton Festival on the Festival of Ideas. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Sussex Festival of Ideas, the series of events, which will sit within the main Brighton Festival programme, looks to harness the transformative power of the arts and humanities to fashion new ways of thinking about the past, present and future.  

The Festival of Ideas 2022 events include: The Social Strike Game – participants are tasked with figuring out how urban groups and resources can co-ordinate to develop social struggle and bring about the end of capitalism; Making Space: Decolonial Interventions in Contemporary Art , a panel discussion convened by Susuana Amoah, University of Sussex Stuart Hall Fellow 2022, focusing on imaginative de-colonial strategies used by artists, curators and activists to address cultural inequity in public art institutions; a screening and Q&A with the directors of  I Get Knocked Down, a film based on anarcho-pop band Chumbawamba, featuring University of Sussex Professor of Collaborative History, Lucy Robinson, in collaboration with Vivienne Westwood’s Intellectuals Unite; and closing with Cultural Recovery, a panel debate taking a critical and imaginative look at the idea of a cultural recovery, featuring author Eliane Glaser, Sussex alumnus and Chief Executive of the Design and Artists Copyright Society, Gilane Tawadros and Dean of the School of Media, Arts and Humanities and Co-Chair of ABCD for Cultural Recovery in Brighton & Hove, Professor Kate O’Riordan, who will discuss what exactly culture needs to recover from and whether some things might be best left in the past.   

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Festival, said:  “The University of Sussex and Brighton Festival have enjoyed a close partnership since the first Festival in 1967. Now, in the University’s 60 th year we are delighted to be building on that relationship with an even richer set of connections via our collaboration on the University’s Festival of Ideas. We are enormously grateful for the vital support University of Sussex provides Brighton Festival as one of its Major Sponsors and proud of the statement it makes about the importance of arts and culture to one of this region’s principal institutions.”  

Professor  David Maguire, Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “ In our 60th year, the University of Sussex is proud to be supporting the Brighton Festival. Through a programme that encapsulates kindness, inclusion and collaboration, the Festival not only echoes our values as a university but is also a celebration of what makes Brighton and Hove such a special place.  

"We are delighted to be contributing to the Festival programme with installations and performances taking place at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, and through a series of events curated by the University of Sussex, Festival of Ideas.”  

Loneliness leads to higher risk of future unemployment
Thu
28
Apr 2022

Experiencing loneliness appears to lead to a higher risk of future unemployment, according to new research. 

Previous research has established that being unemployed can cause loneliness. However, the new study is the first to directly explore whether the opposite also applies across the working-age population.

Published in BMC Public Health, the study found that people who reported “feeling lonely often” were significantly more likely to encounter unemployment later. The analysis also confirmed previous findings that the reverse is true – people who were unemployed were more likely to experience loneliness later. 

Ours is the first study to identify that lonely people of any working age are at greater risk of becoming unemployed. These two issues can interact and create a self-fulfilling, negative cycle.

Dr Ruben Mujica-Mota, School of Medicine

Paper co-author Dr Ruben Mujica-Mota, Associate Professor of Health Economics in Leeds’ School of Medicine, said: “While previous research has shown that unemployment can cause loneliness, ours is the first study to identify that lonely people of any working age are at greater risk of becoming unemployed. Our findings show that these two issues can interact and create a self-fulfilling, negative cycle. There is a need for greater recognition of the wider societal impacts of loneliness in the working-age population.” 

The research analyzed largely pre-pandemic data from more than 15,000 people in the Understanding Society Household Longitudinal Study. The team analyzed responses from the participants during 2017-2019, then from 2018-2020, controlling for factors including age, gender, ethnicity, education, marital status, household composition, number of own children in household and region. 

Scarring effects

Lead author Nia Morrish, of the University of Exeter, said: “Given the persisting and potentially scarring effects of both loneliness and unemployment on health and the economy, prevention of both experiences is key. Decreased loneliness could mitigate unemployment, and employment abate loneliness, which may in turn relate positively to other factors including health and quality of life. Thus, particular attention should be paid to loneliness with additional support from employers and government to improve health and wellbeing. Our research was largely conducted pre-pandemic, however, we suspect this issue may be even more pressing, with more people working from home and potentially experiencing isolation because of anxieties around covid.”

Senior author Professor Antonieta Medina-Lara said: “Loneliness is an incredibly important societal problem, which is often thought about in terms of the impact on mental health and wellbeing only.  Our findings indicate that there may also be wider implications, which could have negative impacts for individuals and the economy. We need to explore this further, and it could lay the foundations for employers or policymakers to tackle loneliness with a view to keeping more people in work.”

 

 

Wolverhampton announce Architecture and Built Environment courses available from May 2022
Wed
16
Mar 2022

The University of Wolverhampton have announced a variety of programmes which are available to study from May 2022.

  • International MBA (professional practice available)
  • MSc Computer Science (professional practice available)
  • MSc Construction Project Management
  • MSc Programme and Project Management
  • MSc BIM and integrated Construction
  • MSc Civil Engineering Management
  • MSc Civil and Structural Engineering
  • MSc Construction Project Management
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MSc Digital Quantity Surveying

The University of Wolverhampton has been providing students with life-changing opportunities for more than 190 years. With over 500 courses to choose from, international students can move closer to their career goals. Three faculties offer courses in more than 70 subject areas, with many courses accredited by professional bodies.

If you are interested in learning more about studying the above courses, or wish to learn more about September 2022 entry, Arrange a Free Consultation with Right- Shift today.

Feeding the world without costing the Earth
Mon
14
Mar 2022

Researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food are hosting national discussions about the sustainability of global food systems today (Monday 14 March 2022) at the Royal Society in London.

  • University of Sheffield celebrates 'Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People' at Institute for Sustainable Food Royal Society event.

  • Institute hopes to bring together partners for a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a fairer and healthy food system for Uk

  • The UK food system is a major contributor to climate change, biodiversity loss and depletion of our soil and water resources.

Institute hopes to bring together partners for a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a fairer and healthy food system for UkKey figures from the Institute, along with keynote speaker Professor Guy Poppy, Director of UKRI's ‘Transforming UK food systems' programme and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Food Standards Agency, will present how we can make changes to ensure our agri-food systems are more sustainable, and develop the innovations that will allow us to live within the limits of the natural world.

As discussed at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), food systems around the world are under unprecedented pressure. In a context of the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, the imminent challenges of feeding a growing population, tackling obesity and ending hunger have become even more pressing

Professor Duncan Cameron, Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food, said: “Four months after COP26, where world leaders gathered to discuss saving the planet, you would be forgiven for assuming it was all a waste of time, but at the University of Sheffield we are putting research into practice and working on the solutions we’ll need to keep our food systems healthy for the future.”

“In a time of climate crisis, we desperately need to reduce global carbon emissions, to restore nature and find ways to ensure the sustainability of global water supplies. The need for sustainable food systems that can ensure fair access for all to nutritious food is a critical need we can no longer ignore.”

The event will bring together leading researchers and key industry figures in the area of food sustainability to share ideas and opportunities to collaborate. A screening of the new film, 'Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People', will also take place, which explores how the research being carried out by the Institute relates to work in the field, with farmers, landowners, schools and cities.

The film explores the work of the Institute, which aims to create resilient and sustainable food systems through regenerative agriculture, reclaiming unused land that can be used to produce food within local communities, supporting local food initiatives, developing more sustainable production systems, and improving the effectiveness of supply chains.

Keynote speaker and Director of UKRI's ‘Transforming UK food systems' programme, Professor Guy Poppy, who will be attending virtually, said: “The UK food system is making people and the planet sick. The way we produce and consume food is intertwined with the major challenges of today and tomorrow. The impacts of Covid-19 and climate change affect and have been affected by the food system.

“We need to be ambitious and transform the current system to be healthier and more sustainable, which will require everyone in complex supply chains and those shaping policy, trading relationships and involved in procurement to rise to the challenge - if we don't, then we and the planet will get sicker. We have the ability and hopefully the enthusiasm and belief to act now and not tomorrow.”

Co-Director of the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food, Peter Jackson, said: “The UK’s food system is a major contributor to climate change, biodiversity loss and depletion of our soil and water resources. Creating a more sustainable, more resilient, and healthier food system should be a priority for all.

“The Institute for Sustainable Food places the health of the environment and the health of people at the core of its mission. By bringing together businesses, civil society organisations and government partners, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new food system for our country, one that is kinder to the environment and fairer for everyone.”

 

Four courses available at London Metropolitan University for April start
Thu
10
Mar 2022

London Metropolitan University have announced there are four available courses for applicants who wish to begin studying at the University from April 2022.

The application deadline is April 8th, with enrolment for successful applicants commencing on April 18th. Courses available include:

  • BA (Hons) Business Management (including foundation year)
  • BA (Hons) Business Management
  • BSc (Hons) Health and Social Science (including foundation year)
  • BSc (Hons) Health and Social Science

Students studying at London Met will receive excellent specialized tuition, offering a wide number of high-quality courses covering various subject areas.

This is underpinned by the expertise of experienced academic staff and access to world-class resources. There are also superb links to businesses and the six distinct schools at London Met link into various sectors and harness research opportunities for staff and students alike helping to create an engaging and diverse learning experience.