CoronavirusStaff update 22 April

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to tell you that Strathclyde has been ranked among the top universities in the world for our contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, released earlier this week, has positioned us at =32nd in the world, first in Scotland and seventh in the UK. This is an achievement that reflects increasing recognition that we are delivering on our mission as the Place of Useful Learning and our authentic commitments to being socially progressive.

The ranking focuses on a broad range of issues including protecting the environment and addressing inequality through sustainable development, and measures how 1,115 global higher education institutions are working towards the 17 SDGs. The results are a particularly welcome endorsement of our Vision 2025 strategy in the year the COP26 climate conference comes to our city.

Many thanks to all of you for your continued efforts in supporting our sustainable teaching, research, knowledge exchange and operations, and to our Strategy & Policy Directorate and Sustainable Strathclyde team who supported our submission on behalf of the University community. You can read further details about the Impact Rankings on our website.

Next week will see more good news with a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland. As of Monday 26 April, we will move from protection Level 4 down to Level 3, a shift that will bring some of the most significant changes we have seen since the latest lockdown began on Boxing Day. The First Minister confirmed this week that we will see a full reopening of retail services and the partial reopening of hospitality from Monday.  Non-essential travel with England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be allowed for the first time this year.

For Strathclyde, the new measures will allow us to re-open Strathclyde Sport from Monday with a bookings system in place for available facilities. We are also looking forward to re-opening the Aura Café in the Lord Hope building soon, as well as the Flava Café in the Library foyer as a drop-in space for students to enjoy their own food. You can read full details about the move to Level three, and what it means for individuals, on the Scottish Government website.  

Assuming the data continues to go in the right direction, the next major shift will be to Level 2 on Monday 17 May – as ever, we will keep you updated on the details as they relate to Strathclyde.

When I wrote to you on 21 January, I outlined the details of our Strathclyde Global Talent recruitment campaign to further strengthen our academic community. The programme will see the creation of up to 40 posts for world-leading professors and early career academics in areas of strategic priority.

I am delighted to tell you that we received almost 1,400 applications from academics around the world. Colleagues in the Faculties and our HR Directorate are now scheduling 122 Chancellor’s Fellows interviews between now and mid-May, with a further 30 Professor/Reader level interviews that I will be involved in between mid-May and June. I very much look forward to our successful new appointees joining the Strathclyde family.

Finally, there are just over two weeks left to nominate a member of staff from the categories of Administrative and Professional Services, Technical and Operational Services, to the membership of the University Court – our governing body.

Strathclyde’s Court plays a key role in contributing to the University’s strategy and overseeing its effective delivery. It should reflect the diversity of the University community and society more generally, and nominations are particularly welcome from staff at all career stages and in groups that are currently under-represented, for example, colleagues with disabilities, colleagues from minority ethnic backgrounds, those with experience of care and non-binary colleagues.

Full information about the role and the nomination form are available on SharePoint; nominations should be submitted to by 5pm on Friday 7 May 2021.

As a reminder, our Meeting-Free Fridays initiative returns from tomorrow, in line with feedback from our staff wellbeing survey. I would ask all colleagues to be as accommodating as possible and avoid scheduling non-essential meetings and calls on these days.

I hope you enjoy the coming weekend. 

Best wishes,