Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: February 2015

Focus groups to help develop the race equality action plan

We are looking for black, Asian and other minority ethnic under-graduate and post-graduate students to take part in focus groups on 4 and 5 March to inform our race equality action plan which we will submit to the Equality Challenge Unit in April.

The focus groups will explore areas touched upon in the recent student survey. These include:

  1. Campus, culture and wellbeing
  2. Course content
  3. Academic support
  4. The Student’s Union

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. You can also earn 1.5 hours for the ‘Volunteering’ element of the RED Award (don’t forget to bring your RED Award Activity Checklist) by participating in the focus groups.
Register your interest with Rachel Thorns by 2 March and let her know which session you would like to attend:

Session 1 (undergraduate students): 12:00 – 13:30 – Wednesday 4 March
Session 2 (undergraduate students): 12:00 – 13:30 – Thursday 5 March
Session 3 (postgraduate students): 12:00 – 13:30 – Wednesday 4 March
Session 4 (postgraduate students): 12:00 – 13:30 – Thursday 5 March

Rachel will then provide you with details of the location of the focus groups.

Paper cups go in the general waste

We can no longer accept paper cups in our mixed recycling. Please put your waste paper cups in the general waste bins.

Although the University would like to continue to recycle these, the change is because the Material Recovery Facility (recycling plant) where the contents of our mixed recycling bins are sent no longer accept paper cups.  There has been a recent amendment to legislation and they are now unable to cope with the amount of contamination (e.g. part-full cups) they generally receive with this waste.  This in turn impacts what we can do at the University.

The ban also applies to Halls of Residence and the Enterprise/Science and Technology Centres.

If paper cups do continue to go in to the mixed recycling, then our waste contractor will be unable to collect our bins and we may have problems with backlogs of rubbish on all three campuses.

If  you need further information or assistance, please contact us on

Placement Bursary Scheme deadlines

The scheme provides bursaries of between £200 and £1,000 to qualifying Undergraduate students and last year we were delighted to be able to award bursaries to almost 80 Reading students. This year we are hoping to double this, so if you are even vaguely thinking of taking up a placement but concerned about how you will afford travel costs or additional accommodation do read on to check if you are eligible to apply.

The aim of the bursary scheme is to support placement opportunities on all undergraduate degrees and to encourage students who might encounter financial barriers to take up placement opportunities in order to maximise their employability.

The funding to support this new scheme comes from the University’s Access Agreement fund and is therefore being targeted at students with low household incomes.


“The Placement Bursary scheme helped massively and meant that I wasn’t so worried about the cost of travel during my placement – instead of worrying about money, I could concentrate on getting the most out of my experience!”

“… it definitely helps students like myself, whose parent doesn’t work and has to provide for themselves. It allows for working-class students to fulfil their full potential.”

The application form and guidance notes provide all the details of the scheme including eligibility criteria and amounts that will be awarded, however here is a quick summary

  • The scheme will support Undergraduate students taking a placement as a formal part of their degree
  • Students must be permanent residents of the UK or EU and have household incomes of less than £35,000
  • The placement must have been secured before applying for the bursary

How to apply

Read the  guidance notes and complete the application form

Deadlines for applications

13 February 2015  and 30 April 2015

Contact the Carrington help desk or with any queries about eligibility or how to apply.

Review of the School of Systems Engineering

The University is undertaking a formal review of the School of Systems Engineering. The University Executive Board (UEB) has set up a Review Panel to lead a comprehensive and detailed 15-week assessment of the School’s research and teaching quality; research impact; financial projections; and strategy. This is all part of the University’s ongoing long-term planning process.

The review is a result of the School’s REF 2014 outcome published in December 2014, which showed pockets of world-class research but was disappointing overall.

The University will fulfil our obligations to students, regardless of the outcome of the review. We know this review will create some uncertainty and unease, but would like to reassure you that teaching, learning and research work in the School will carry on as normal.

No decisions have been taken about the School’s future. The Review Panel will be approaching the review with open minds but at this early stage, it is not ruling out any final recommendations.

The Review Panel wants to work with students and staff to give UEB a full picture of all the options.

It is calling for views, comment and responses relevant to the review up until Friday 27 March 2015 – and would encourage you to contribute. If you would like to provide comments or feedback please email (from Wednesday 11 February).

Review Panel terms of reference

The review’s formal terms of reference are:

  • To determine progress of the School following its review in 2009-10, including strategic, academic and financial aspects.
  • To consider the strategic direction of the various elements which comprise the School.
  • To consider whether each such element is best constituted with a School of Systems Engineering or with a different part of the University or should not be part of the University at all.
  • To consider the implications for other Schools of moving any elements of Systems Engineering to those other Schools.
  • That the review makes recommendations if possible to the University Executive Board at its meeting on 1 June 2015 such that any recommendations the Board may wish to make can be brought through the Strategy and Finance Committee and the Senate to the meeting of the Council on 13 July 2015.

More information on the University’s Review and Restructuring Policy

Green Week 2015

9-13 February

There’s lots going on this week to celebrate Green Week. It’s your chance to learn about environmental issues and have fun at the same time. We’re working with RUSU to bring you a bigger and better set of events and activities. Here’s how you can get involved…


Big Green Race

Meat Free Monday
All day


Doctor Bike, Reward Your World and Readybike Flash Sale
Outside Palmer

Energy Busters
All day

Near Minghella


Green Finger Get Crafty (featuring the Upcycling Challenge_

Explore: Environmental Careers
Palmer 105

Energy Hack
Palmer 106


Energy Busters
All day

Doctor Bike
Outside Palmer

Student Eats Big Dig
Meet at RUSU

Free Night Buses


Blackout Results at London Road
London Road Social Space

The Big Question Debate (hosted by RUSU)
Upstairs in 3Sixty

Energy Hackathon Drop-in
Café Mondial

All Week

Green Photo Sofa & Litterbug in Whiteknights Quad, Sustainable Travel Rewards online prizes and Inside Out Bins at Whiteknights and London Road.

Visit the Clean and Green website to find out what else is going on during Green Week.

Start your entrepreneurship career – enter the IDEAFEST Business Idea Competition

As part of Enhancement Week we’re giving you the chance to get ahead of the game with this introductory session on the IDEAFEST competition.

Entrepreneurship it has been said is a career for those who want to make a difference in the world and change the world for the better. Entrepreneurs are not born and anyone can start a business! It has never been easier to start a business. What you need is an business idea and the opportunity to get started.

The IDEAFEST Competition gives you to chance to not only to get started and progress your idea but also the opportunity to launch a career. The event will introduce you to developing a business idea and provide details of the Competition and you get to hear from Ese Omoarukhe, the winner of last year’s IDEAFEST Competition. No prior knowledge of entrepreneurship is required but students should be interested in pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities and developing business ideas.

Read more about the IDEAFEST Competition here, or on the IDEAFEST website.

Where and when?

Wednesday 18 February 15:00
Room 102, Henley Business School

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