Universities Week

Universities Week 2011

Universities Week 2011

10 June 2011

A snapshot of Aberystwyth University life Universities Week 13-19 June 2011

Aberystwyth University is gearing up to mark Universities Week 2011 and highlight the benefit of higher education within Wales and across the UK.

Universities Week, which runs from 13 – 19 June, aims to highlight how universities benefit everyone, whether or not they have gone to university themselves and Aberystwyth University will demonstrate this by providing a snapshot of its normal day-to-day running and activities.

This designated week will see higher education institutions around the country take part in a variety of local, regional and national activities designed to demonstrate the extraordinary, life-changing work of universities.

Aberystwyth University is planning a number of events leading up to, during and after the week of 13th June which will showcase the diverse nature of its work and stakeholders.

Universities Week 2011 will focus on five key themes including the value universities bring to their communities, the value they bring to local businesses and how the research currently underway will benefit UK society in 20 years’ time.

These themes are reflected in the events taking place, including:

•             Business Start-Up Week –  a series of workshops designed to give individuals a leg-up into the business world (w/c 6th June)

•             Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors (SEACAMS) – a partnership launch between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities (16th June)

•             The Age Agenda – launching the beginning of collaborative research with older people regarding the challenges of ageing in the 21st century (20th June)

•             Year in a Creative Unit – a competition open to business or community enterprise ideas (24th June deadline)

Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, commented on the importance of the week, stating: “During Universities Week we celebrate the wide range of contributions that universities make to so many aspects of life.  As institutions, they continue to have a deep impact economically, culturally and socially. Their economic contribution is threefold. As large employers we are obviously important in our localities, and none more obviously so than in Aberystwyth; as direct contributors to economic development through the direct transfer of knowledge and our links with businesses, of all sizes; but most significant of all perhaps through the training and education of people.”

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, which is co-ordinating the Week, said: “The idea behind this campaign is to tell some of the amazing and inspiring stories of why universities matter to the UK, and how they benefit everyone in the country. We were absolutely delighted with the positive response to the Universities Week pilot last year. We are looking to build on that success and urge universities and wider organisations to get involved with the campaign this year, to make it even bigger and better.”

Noel Lloyd added: “As universities, we are important locally and regionally, we have a valuable part to play in the national life of Wales and our contributions to policy development are particularly valuable. But we are also international organisations, with students from a wide range of countries enriching our society, and we must be internationally recognised to fulfil our responsibilities locally and nationally. Progress in a wide range of socially important areas and in economic recovery will be driven by the work which universities do and the fundamental impact of their students.”

Universities Week 2011 follows a successful pilot in 2010, which saw 110 universities, 30 major organisations and 35 celebrities taking part in showcasing the work of the higher education sector.

Alex Jones, a presenter on The One Show, BBC said: “I have very fond memories of my days at Aberystwyth University. Based within a relatively small geographical area it is inevitable that the boundaries between university and town become blurred and I believe this is what makes it so special. Apart from the obvious academic benefits you gain from attending such an institution, university life is invaluable in helping you become more independent and understand who you are as a person. It definitely provided me with good grounding for my career and my life in general.”

This year’s the week looks to be an even bigger success with a series of high profile celebrities, such as Patrick Stewart, Philip Treacy and Professor Brian Cox, helping to highlight the benefit of higher education.

For more information on events happening in Aberystwyth and around the UK visit www.universitiesweek.org.uk or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukuniversities  

The campaign is being co-ordinated by Universities UK, the representative body for all UK universities.