I hope that many of you are managing to have a proper break over the summer and planning to take a well-earned rest. While most of our summer arrangements will be different from those which we had anticipated, it is still very important to take time away from work and to ‘rest and recharge’.
This week saw the reopening of the Technology and Innovation Centre, a major first step in the gradual and careful reopening of our campus.
Today I have been working in TIC and have witnessed for myself the measures in place to keep everyone safe and it was enormously encouraging to see some of our research colleagues from Science and Engineering in the building, with teams from Pure and Applied Chemistry, Physics, the Institute of Photonics, SIPBS and Electronic and Electrical Engineering returning to TIC to continue with their research. They are working in a new way, but the team spirit and desire to innovate is as keen as it has ever been.
I am also delighted to announce that four further buildings will reopen from today – the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), the Advanced Forming Research Centre at Inchinnan, the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre in Renfrew and the Power Network Demonstration Centre at Cumbernauld – where research activity is now resuming. These also represent major steps for the University and, over the coming weeks, more buildings will be re-opening on campus as we move into Phase 3 of the national route-map.
Information on this and all of our preparation activity can be found on our new Return and Resume Hub which is now live. New information and guidance material will be added regularly and I would encourage you to routinely look at it, as the pages will be updated as we move through the return phases. Information on your own return to campus will be shared directly with you through your department in due course, so please ensure you are in regular communication with your line manager and wider team.
Yesterday, I was delighted to learn that our National Student Survey results have remained strong this year. Our overall satisfaction rate is 86.4 per cent, which is significantly above our benchmark figure and puts Strathclyde in the top quarter of all UK institutions for the second year running. This is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates the University’s commitment to providing an outstanding student experience – one of the cornerstones of our Vision 2025 Strategy.
In the Scottish sector, the Scottish Government’s recent announcement that they are ending their policy to provide free tuition to EU students was disappointing, however their commitment to use the saved resource to support more Scottish students to attend university is very welcome news.
Please be assured that Strathclyde remains committed to our European partners and our links, built up through decades of teaching and research, continue to be critically important to us.
Given that I was in TIC today, I was reminded that it is a little over five years since Her Majesty the Queen opened the building. It has had a truly transformational impact on the way Strathclyde works and that day was a significant milestone in the University’s journey. TIC has become a recognised physical and symbolic cornerstone of our distinctive position as a leading international technological university that pursues the delivery of its strategic objectives in a socially progressive way.
While there had been plans to celebrate the fifth birthday had we been on campus, a virtual celebration has been created and can be found here.
It captures just some of the incredible impact and innovation involving colleagues from across Strathclyde and it points to the way forward, with detail on development plans for TIC and Glasgow City Innovation District at large.
The University is closed tomorrow and Monday, so please enjoy the long Glasgow Fair weekend. For those who are working next week, the rest day will provide a shortened week and gives you another opportunity to spend time with loved ones.