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WGU ten years

New academic heads unveil vision for university future


A new structure and fresh ethos point to bright future for Glyndŵr University.

The Wrexham-based institution has unveiled the seven heads of revamped academic divisions who will pioneer a radical overhaul of the University’s educational offering.

Popular and innovative courses appearing for the first time include Chemistry with Green Nanotechnology, Computer Game Development, Immersive Technology, Marketing and Consumer Psychology, Telecommunications, and Intelligent Computing.

There is also a revitalised approach to learning and a market-led attitude towards commercial enterprise, as unveiled by Head of Business, Professor Chris Jones.

He said: “I want our students to immerse themselves in the world of business; I want them to study the cutting edge tools and theories that can advance the British economy going forward so they enter the professional world equipped to make a difference.

“To do this, we have demolished the old curriculum and re-built it from scratch, focusing purely on what is relevant today.

“Our lecturers will combine real business experience with an ability to communicate that knowledge not regurgitate textbooks.

“How can you teach people about business if you’ve never stepped outside of the classroom?”

Prof Jones added: “From this September, we are offering 20 of our final year students the opportunity of a work placement. Those students selected will acquire vital experience to enhance their CVs and career prospects. This is all part of our vision to place Glyndŵr Business students at the heart of the new economy, both regionally and nationally.”

The University is also making strides creatively; Prof Estelle Thompson (pictured above), Head of Media, Arts and Design, believes the division’s diversity and focus on producing skilled professionals is vital going forward.

She also looks forward to many more exhibitions like ‘End of Part Two’, a selection of artwork by final year students which opens at the University’s Oriel Sycharch Gallery this Thursday.

“As well as a raft of interesting new and existing courses, which have proven very popular over the years, our £5million Centre for the Creative Industries is home to a cutting-edge TV and recording studio, a 3D workshop and IT suites, all of which attract students.

“The new Goldstein Library, the Terry Hands Theatre and the North Wales School of Art and Design are also popular and prepare them for life after University.

“That’s what we are about here at Glyndŵr, we aim to inspire, instruct, enable and support our students to become the skilled, creative professionals able to build a visual and verbal future from the 21st Century.”

Points echoed by Head of Computing and Engineering, Phil Storrow, who wants to see Glyndŵr become “the University of choice” in Wales.

“This division will become a hub of expertise, supporting industry and commerce in the wider economy of Wales,” said Phil.

“We cover a diversity of science and technology and I see this as an opportunity to better react to the demands of industry and, for example, develop multi-discipline courses.

“Our science research is recognised internationally through the centres for water soluble polymers, hydrocolloids and solar energy and The National Facility for Ultra Precision Surfaces in St Asaph is a world-leading unit that is doing pioneering work in providing advanced capabilities for the design, fabrication, metrology and use of surfaces, especially optics.

“In engineering we continue to deliver the learning that industry requires. Our collaboration with major companies in the region including Airbus, DRB Engineering, JCB, Kelloggs, Porvair Filtration, United Utilities, UPM and View Holographics helps us to continually evolve our offering to match advances in technology.

He added: “We will continue to deliver the highest quality education and world-class research in a caring environment that supports students and encourages the best from them.”

The other new heads of departments are: Pat Hibberd, Psychology, Sport Science and Health; Simon Stewart, Social Science and Education; Dr Richard Dover, Multidisciplinary and Work Based Learning; Prof Chris Lewis, Graduate School.

Vice Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, Prof Michael Scott, said that despite obstacles and challenges in the past academic year the long-term interests of the institution, its staff, students and the north east Wales community have always been at the forefront of all decisions.

“I truly believe we now have the nucleus of an institution that can move forward and grow,” he said.

“Past months have brought triumph and pride; we moved 44 places up the Guardian University Guide 2015 league tables to number 64 in the UK, and were ranked number one in Wales and seventh in the UK in the proposed Social Mobility Graduate Index, for getting students from poorer backgrounds into jobs.

“With this new structure we can look back on a bold and demanding first chapter in which brave decisions were made, decisions that ultimately propelled this University into a period of evolution and accomplishment, for students, staff and every member of the Glyndŵr family.”




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