Our monthly round-up

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 12:42:00 BST

Congratulations to Professor Nalin Thakkar, who becomes our next Vice President for Social Responsibility, from 1 September 2019. Currently our Associate Vice-President for Risk, Compliance and Research Integrity, Nalin is a clinical academic who has been associated with The University of Manchester since he came here as an 18 year old undergraduate. He was listed in the top 50 most influential BAME public sector leaders in the UK by Inclusive Boards. Commenting on his appointment, Nalin said: “I feel honoured and excited by the prospect of serving the University in this crucial role. Never has social responsibility and sustainability been more important to us and society. I am really looking forward to developing social responsibility even further within the new strategic plan.” We would also like to thank Professor James Thompson for the enormous contribution he has made to the University’s successes in social responsibility.

To coincide with the national conference of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in Manchester we launched a major new voluntary report setting out our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This measures and shares examples of impact across research, teaching, engagement and operations for all seventeen SDGs.

On inclusion, our commitment to the SDG 8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth has led us to become the first higher education institution in the UK to become a member of Slave-Free Alliance. As part of our wider commitment to eradicate modern slavery we also organised an awareness event with The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) on modern slavery in supply chains. Researchers in our Manchester Centre for Development Informatics have developed the world’s first ever rating system for working conditions in the digital economy to guide customers, workers, investors and others to make more informed decisions in relation to decent work standards in businesses such as taxis and food delivery. And congratulations to Dr Hamied Haroon, a Research Associate at the School of Health Sciences who has been named the University's Staff Volunteer of the Year for his tireless work to improve support for disabled people inside and outside the University.

On environment, after 40 years of research around the world a team of our scientists have solved a key flaw in solar panels. We hosted the UK’s premier event for sustainability professionals. This event was also entirely plastic free as part of our commitment to eliminate avoidable single use plastics by 2022. And our library has introduced completely paperless book reservations – a move that will save enough paper to wrap around the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons more than 30 times.

On health, we profile the incredible work of final year medic, Joshua Strange, who established a Homeless Healthcare society to link students with charities and NHS providers including Urban Village: the GP service commissioned for homeless patients.

On culture and science, more than a million people each day got to walk past Maharajah, our Museum’s and Manchester’s most famous elephant who arrived at Piccadilly station 147 years late. If you have ideas about museum objects you’d like to see elsewhere in the city you can join the conversation with us on social media. We were pleased to welcome more than 3,000 local friends and neighbours on to campus for our annual Community Festival. And our spin-out charity, Manchester Histories, is also running an exciting series of public events to mark 200 years since the Peterloo massacre in Manchester.

We hope you enjoy the summer months ahead. There’s so many exciting things being organised by the University over the summer, so please keep up with our Events Pages for the latest information.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility