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University News…

University extends
footballing partnerships

The University has extended its partnership with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC for the ninth year. The University has been a long-standing partner of Wolves and is proud to become kit sponsor for the club’s esports team and training kit sponsor for the women’s first-team this year.

The University and Wolves also worked together to host the first live esports event to take place in the city which was held at the Arena Theatre and continue to host training camps for the Wolves esports team at the screen school.

The University has also been delighted to announce its partnership with West Bromwich Albion football club for the 2022-23 campaign, as the club’s
official higher education partner, extending the partnership which began in 2013.

The collaborations offer internships, work placements and other opportunities for students across several departments at the clubs, as well as allowing for potential business development opportunities between the University and the clubs.

Graduate awarded OBE for community service

University of Wolverhampton graduate, Asrar Ul-Haq, was recognised in the first King’s Honours after being awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE). The Deputy Lieutenant to Greater Manchester, studied applied science, graduating in 1984.

Asrar, who lives in Rochdale, has received the honour for services to the community in Greater Manchester. Serving as a police officer for 30 years including as a detective chief inspector in the Prevention of Terrorism Unit, London. Asrar has previously been recognised by numerous national awards.

Since retirement, Asrar has volunteered in refugee camps in Greece. Recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society for his contributions and North West in Bloom for his work in the local community and Masjids in Bloom, he also helps run the Amaani Initiative which aims to enhance local environments and make people more
climate aware.

Deana Uppal receives award from UK Prime

Deana Uppal, film maker, philanthropist, entrepreneur and former Miss India UK, who featured on the cover of last year’s WLV Life, has been awarded the Points of Light award by UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

The award recognises Deana’s exceptional work through her charity, founded in 2015, the DKU Kindness Diaries Charitable Trust, in supporting poverty-stricken communities in Rajasthan, India.

The charity works to address poverty in India through a variety of initiatives, providing food, clothing, and shelter to those in need, and running education and vocational training programmes to help individuals become self- sufficient.

Alongside the charity work, Deana produced and directed a documentary which can be seen on Netflix on the Nomadic community, Gaddia Lohars in Rajasthan: India’s Forgotten People, resulting in large support for the community.

Agreement signed with Ukrainian university

The University of Wolverhampton has pledged its support for education in Ukraine by signing a five-year memorandum of understanding with Nizhyn Mykola Gogol State University, based in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine.

The virtual signing represents the start of a partnership to promote education and collaboration as part of the UK-Ukraine Twinning Initiative, which allows universities around the world to support their Ukrainian counterparts in real, concrete ways such as hosting academic staff to enable them to continue delivering courses online; sharing access to online resources; and online English language support for students.

Graduate presents role with BBC’s Asian Network

Wolverhampton alumna and former Miss Brighton, Shivani Joshi, secured a position presenting on radio every Sunday in December for BBC’s Asian network. Shivani from Brighton, who graduated with a degree in Law in July 2022 said: “It’s a new opportunity and a great way for me to meet new people and have the chance to network."

Shivani is a longstanding listener of BBC’s Asian Network and discovered the opportunity to become a presenter through a social media post by the network on Instagram in late 2021.

She applied and secured the position late in 2022. “I matched all the requirements that they were asking for because I knew I had a passion for my culture and I’m really proud of my heritage.

She said: “I never thought I would be on a platform representing such a large community and working amongst others, where we will all learn from each other.”

Sustainable business
success for graduates

Two graduates have won more recognition for their sustainable business which produces bio-based, biodegradable 3D printed products and filaments for the consumables market, mainly focusing on the medical sector.

Olivia Simpson, 21 from Bridgnorth, graduated in 2022 with a degree in Medical Science and Clinical Practice co-founded the business, Symbiotex, with Mattia Parati, 25 from Italy, who graduated in 2021 with a degree in Biotechnology from the University of Wolverhampton and is currently finishing his PhD.

Olivia recently won the Verizon Business & Unloc Young Entrepreneurs Competition which received over 1,100 applications from across Europe – gaining a £10,000 boost for the business.

Whilst studying at the University, Olivia also won a £10,000 grant awarded by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Paul, for Entrepreneurship. She started and grew the business with help from different business accelerators provided by the University.

Olivia said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won yet another award for the business. I realised that there was a gap in the medical sector for biodegradable products that don’t release harmful fumes when they have to be burned or that can be put into the ground and break down naturally without causing harm to the environment.

“We plan to use the prize money for commercial pilots. In recent months we have been working closely with the University’s ERDF Smart Concept Fund which has helped us run trials to optimise our formulation.”

Funding boost for sport and healthcare facilities

Almost £6 million funding has been secured to invest in sport and healthcare facilities at Walsall Campus from the Office for Students (the independent regulator of higher education in England).

Refurbishment of existing facilities will create modern, multidisciplinary suites to provide state-of-the-art, skills-based teaching facilities for various specialist areas, including: the preparation for and return to active lifestyles; sport and physical activity across strength and conditioning; injury assessment; injury prevention; diagnosis; prehabilitation and rehabilitation.

University awarded 4-star rating

The University has been awarded a 4-star overall rating by the QS stars awards system, additionally scoring the highest rating of 5 stars for employability, facilities, inclusiveness, teaching and internationalisation.

The QS Stars rating system, launched in 2009, provides a detailed look at higher education institutions across the world, focusing on specific topics.

National recognition for University’s role in regeneration and community

Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) looks at the diverse contributions of universities to help level up their local areas. The University of Wolverhampton has been recognised as one of the top institutions nationally for local regeneration and engaging with the public and community.

The University demonstrated very high public and community engagement working with the public and third sector, for intellectual property and commercialisation, as well as excellent local growth and regeneration.

Award-winning research institute opens

Partners celebrated the official opening of the National Brownfield Institute (NBI) based on site at Springfield Campus on 30th September 2022.

Representatives from the University welcomed Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council; Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands; and Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East, to open the building.

The building itself has already won accolades, including gaining Project of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) West Midlands 2022 Awards for sustainability firm CPW, for their work on the project.

Funding for the NBI, including £17.5 million from the government’s Levelling Up funding programme has allowed for investment in advanced robotic technology, including “Spot” a state-of-the-art robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, designed to increase efficiency and reduce safety risks on construction sites.

Professor named as one of the world’s most influential researchers

Michael Thelwall, Professor of Data Science at the University of Wolverhampton Business School, has been named on Clarivate’s annual Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list for the sixth year in a row.

The annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their field through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science™ citation index.

Professor Thelwall, Head of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University, was recognised following his research on “Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy on English-language Twitter.”

Researcher presented with prestigious International Education Award

Dr Abhishek Gupta, alumnus and researcher at the University’s School of Allied Health and Midwifery in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, was awarded the International Education Award during the Global Education Summit and Conference at the University of Oxford.

Dr Gupta received the award in recognition for his teaching and research excellence. He has used his lifelong passion for scientific discovery to help develop treatments for crucial areas of medicine. A seven-year research project has resulted in what could be a game-changing new biodegradable wound pressing, which he hopes will reduce pressure on the NHS.

Teacher training approved by Ofsted

Teacher training provision at the University of Wolverhampton for early years settings was judged as “Good” by Ofsted, following a full inspection in June 2022 at our Walsall Campus.

The report stated that the “University places the wellbeing of trainees at the heart of what they do”, and highlighted our inspiring and influential leadership, the strong relationships we hold with our partnership institutions, the co-design of our early years’ curriculum, and more.

This follows on from all routes for primary, secondary and further education, and skills/post-compulsory education training across all criteria assessed being judged as ‘Good’ following Ofsted inspection in 2021.