Our monthly round-up

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 08:51:00 GMT

An extensive array of activities have been delivered across the University and beyond this month, engaging, involving and inspiring our communities with key societal challenges.

Our Better World Awards in our Faculty of Science and Engineering took place on 6 February, with many of the judges commenting on the high quality of this year’s cohort. Well done to all winners and commended and good luck to all nominees put forward to our wider Making a Difference Awards.

On social inclusion, we’ve become the first UK higher education institution to adopt the Social Value Portal to help organise our spending practices and procurement processes in a more sustainable and impactful way. Our Nuffield Research Placement scheme has been launched to offer placements, skills, experience and much-valued insight into research as a career for sixth-formers from widening participation backgrounds. We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a guest talk from Engagement Strategist and Community Organiser Anita Shervington, who has committed her career to creating equity within STEM. Our annual Equality Information Report has been published. We’ve also been pleased to discover that we remain a top 100 employer on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

On environmental sustainability, our annual Big Volunteer Day led to record-breaking numbers of students making a wildlife friendly space, planting over 1,000 bulbs and a hedge in Ardwick and undertaking playground maintenance at our neighbouring Medlock Primary School. We worked with our Students’ Union on a series of events, talks and workshops as part of Climate Justice Fortnight. Well done to our Manchester Institute of Biotechnology for their prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of the environmental benefits of their work. And our annual Reduce Week campaign is focusing this year on plastic-use reduction.

On better health, our Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) has been re-designated as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for their work to develop health capacities in conflict and post-conflict contexts. We’ve also launched a citizen science project in our neighbouring Ardwick community to investigate residents’ concerns about air quality and health. This expands the opportunities for people from underserved communities to actively contribute to publicly funded research, share their ideas, concerns and aspirations and get involved in decision making.

On cultural engagement, we celebrated five years since the re-opening of our extended Whitworth gallery by launching two new co-created exhibitions. Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre marked its 21st Anniversary on 10 February with a celebration of ‘21 Years of Activism’ and a talk by founder Lou Kushnick OBE.

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events, talks, debates, exhibitions and performances, which can be found on our Events Pages.