Understanding unconscious bias

The Royal Society has published a video on You Tube discussing unconscious bias‘This animation introduces the key concepts of unconscious bias. It forms part of the Royal Society’s efforts to ensure that all those who serve on Royal Society selection and appointment panels are aware of differences in how candidates may present themselves, how to recognise bias in yourself and others, how to recognise inappropriate advocacy or unreasoned judgement.’


Staff and student support services: we’re here to help

The festive period can often become a difficult time for many, whether the result of financial pressure, social anxieties or an overall sense of low morale.

If you or someone you know is feeling anxious about the upcoming holiday season, it may be worth taking a look at some of the resources available to University staff and students on emotional wellbeing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Student Wellbeing blog was launched earlier this term and is written by our team of counsellors. The blog aims to provide practical advice on a diverse range of wellbeing topics, with their most recent post focusing on how to make the most of the upcoming Christmas break.

The Counselling webpage has recently been updated to include useful links to services available to staff and students, including advice on how to build your confidence and resilience. For staff, the Employee Assistance Programme page explains how to contact our free and confidential 24/7 counselling service, provided by First Assist.

If you would prefer to explore wellbeing topics in a more discussion-led environment, why not sign up to an upcoming Life Tools Talk? As part of our Life Tools resource, each session explores an important aspect of emotional wellbeing, such as ways of boosting confidence, relationship building and the art of mindfulness. Next term, upcoming talks include “Improving memory and concentration”, and “Resolving conflicts and building better relationships”. Sessions are free and open to all staff and students. Keep checking the webpage for updates.


Women take record number of university places

According to new figures ‘women are 35% more likely to go to university than men.’ In an article by Sean Coughlan published today on the BBC News website:

‘The admissions service has highlighted the big differences in the characteristics of who gets places. The most likely are:

  • women
  • those living in London
  • those from more affluent families
  • those in non-white ethnic groups

Those most likely to be under-represented at university are poor, white males. White people, proportionate to their numbers in the population, are the least likely ethnic group to go to university, the admissions service says. And there would be an extra 36,000 male students at university if they entered at the same rate as female students.’

women at uni


Just Say No (but How?)

Athene Donald has written a really interesting blog post on how to say ‘no.’  Something I suspect many of us need to do!

‘One of those persistent stereotypes-by-gender is that women are less good at saying no than men. Whether or not you believe that to be true, there is no doubt that many of us – myself included – are less than perfect at saying exactly what we mean. It is too easy to try to soften a rejection to the point that the listener, who may after all have an ulterior motive in not hearing ‘no’, doesn’t appreciate that your refusal is exactly that. This is not confined to Early Career Researchers……….’

Do you say no?  Or do you think you should in fact be saying yes to more things?!?


Student Wellbeing

This term, Student Wellbeing has developed a range of new resources to support students while they are studying at university:

Student Wellbeing blog:  Did you know that the counselling and wellbeing service now has its own dedicated blog – written by the counsellors?  Recent blogs include:  Making the most of your Christmas break;  What is this mysterious thing called mindfulness?;  Choosing your student house;  Can’t get started?  Always finding other things that need doing;  Tired of being tired?   A link to the blog is also on the Counselling homepage.

New Web resources:  In addition to advice on making appointment, talks and events and leaflets, there are now specific pages with information to enhance student wellbeing and personal development. Subjects covered include:

  • Building your confidence and resilience
  • Healthy living- healthy mind
  • How things work : living and studying in the UK – information for international students
  • Information about upcoming Life Tools talks.

There is also a section on the web pages entitled ‘ Frequently Asked Questions’ which provides comprehensive information for students about seeing a counsellor or mental health advisor, about appointments and the issues that the team can help with.

Blackboard:  The counselling and wellbeing service now has an extensive range of resources on its Blackboard site – with links to other reliable sources of information and advice.  Students are not automatically enrolled on the Counselling blackboard site – but it is easy to do this.  Once enrolled, students will also receive information about the ‘Life Tools’ talks which are taking place most weeks during term time.

Life Tools talks:  The ‘Life Tools’ talks programme this term has been attracting record numbers with large numbers of students attending the new ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ and ‘Overcoming Perfectionism’ talks.  For those students interested in Mindfulness, we will be repeating these ‘Mindfulness’ talks next term in January and February.  Other new talks we are offering next term include:  “Improving memory and concentration”, “ and “Resolving conflicts and building better relationships”.  Talks are open to all, free to attend and count as part of the training element in the Red Award.



100 Women 2015: How can we stop unconscious bias?


‘We can’t avoid making snap decisions about other people. Who is powerful or weak? Who is caring or aggressive? Who is trustworthy and who is competent? Our gut instincts are riddled with flaws that are so predictable they have been studied and even named. Perhaps the most intriguing bias of all is that we tend to assume that everyone else is more susceptible to having biases than we are……………’



Wellbeing Cafe

Worried about going home for Christmas? Not looking forward to the break?   

Come and share your worries at The Wellbeing Cafe!

It may feel strange to NOT be looking forward to Christmas but a lot of people find it a really difficult time of year. Maybe you have parents and siblings living in different households and someone will be offended if you don’t spend Christmas with them…? Perhaps you can’t go home for Christmas…or you’re worried about how you are going to afford it? Or may be you’re dreading the prospect of going back home  after living your own life at uni…?

It can be hard to be a party-pooper when it seems everyone else is getting excited about the upcoming break, and the shops are full of non-stop carols and Christmas trees, but if the winter holiday is stressing you out…

Come and download at this week’s Peer Support Wellbeing Cafe!

THE WELLBEING CAFE – this Wednesday (and every Wednesday in term) 1 to 2.30 in the RUSU Study (behind Cafe Mondiale)

Drop by for a chat, and have a coffee…



Archaeologist of the Year 2016

Voting has just opened for the 8th annual Current Archaeology Awards.  These Awards celebrate the projects and publications that made the pages of Current Archaeology this year, and the people judged to have made outstanding contributions to archaeology. These awards are voted for entirely by the public – there are no panels of judges. Voting closes on 8 February 2016, and the winners will be announced at the special awards ceremony on 26 February at Current Archaeology Live! 2016. You will recognise Roberta’s name on the list for Archaeologist of the Year 2016:

Archaeologist of the Year 2016

You will also see that Hella Eckardt has been nominated for Book of the Year:

Book of the Year 2016

Follow this link to vote



Difficulties with house-sharing or living in Halls? Too much noise?   Unwanted guests?     Dirty Dishes?

The Student Mediation Service can provide a neutral, respectful environment where you can resolve your issues.

Fast, free and CONFIDENTIAL so your problems will be quickly solved and you don’t need to worry about anyone else hearing about it.

Come and find out how the Student Mediation Service could help YOU at this week’s Peer Support Wellbeing Cafe . THE WELLBEING CAFE – this Wednesday (and every Wednesday in term) 1 to 2.30 in the RUSU Study (behind Cafe Mondiale)

Drop by for a chat, and have a coffee…