Bristol – an artistic and cultural experience!

The Travel and Tourism Society and Gateway team organised a trip to Bristol this weekend. Thirteen of our students departed London Victoria Coach station aboard the National Express at 7.30 am. Although the level of excitement was high, it was a rough morning for many. Getting up at 5 am at this time of the year was not easy. But Bristol was definitely worth it!

Upon arrival, the group decided to split up. There were different types of traveller seeking different experiences out of their trip.  However, the majority  of the students were a bunch of creative individuals looking to discover Bristol by immersing themselves in the culture, art and people. This happened without a plan but a blend of spontaneity and impulsiveness. It is probably the best way to discover places rather than sticking to the main “Touristy” activities.

They made their way through the alleys and streets of Bristol Bristol

Bristol is home to the famous but anonymous artist Banksy, who started his career as a graffiti artist in the 1990’s.  Banksy’s works are known to be witty with a twist of dark humour.  Banksy transformed the city into an outdoor gallery and inspired other street artists to continuously paint the walls and buildings with colourful graffiti.

One his most popular piece of work is the “Well hung lover”

Banksy

some more graffiti and art!

Graffiti

Graffiti discovered under the bridge where the Well Hung Lover by Banksy can be seen

paint pot angel

The paint pot Angel by Banksy

the famous lady of Stokes Croft mural,

The famous lady of Stokes Croft mural

Breakdancing Jesus

The Breakdancing Jesus

Walking through the city led them to the Harbourside of Bristol where once it was the spot merchants and sailors to trade goods. Now it is a vibrant area filled with restaurants, bars and local handcraft markets.

Bristol’s iconic row of colored houses could also be seen from the harbour in Clifton wood.

coloured houses

After having lunch by the water, it was a long walk and hike to get to the Clifton suspension bridge of Bristol. It was a beautiful adventure of getting lost while heading to the bridge.

 If you want to be part of the next adventure, visit the Gateway for more information about the Travel and Tourism Society.

MBA Challenge – Let your entrepreneurial spark shine

The MBA challenge is organised by the University to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills and delivering their investor pitch. This year, students had to compete in a Dragon’s Den Style challenge to bring a new product or service to market and convince the investors with arguments and facts in a 15 minute presentation. They had to present the business idea, the viability of the business in order to bid for funding from these investors, who were also the panel of judges. 

panel

Dragons’ Den is a TV show that was first launched in Japan and it is now an international brand with versions airing in the UK and Spain. Since it was first broadcast in January 2005 on the UK’s BBC2, the British version has become particularly popular in UK. The competition requires entrepreneurs in pitching persuasive business ideas within three minutes so as to convince a panel of business experts to invest their money in exchange for equity.

presentation

In this case, students had to prepare their presentation including:

  • The amount of money they require from investors and the % stake they will give in return
  • A description of the business by clearly setting out the reasons why they think it will be successful
  • Identification of the target market with reasons, the size of the potential market, the revenue it will generate and the timeframe.
  • The benefits it would bring to stakeholders, Why is this the right time to do this? Identify the competition? What are the risks and how could they be mitigated?
  • Clarity about what make their business idea successful and how they make it work as a team.
  • The reason to invest in their business.

Azmat Firdous, MBA Lecturer selected three teams from University of Sunderland in London to compete with the Sunderland campus and they managed to win the first three positions.

group photo

The winning business idea was “FLAWLESS – for ladies on the go”

Flawless is a 5 in 1 make up brush set that can be used as a travel set, daily make up brush set for working women, or simply at home.

flawless

Congratulations to Soji, Tania, Cheryl and Emmanuel! 

team

Cheryl Henry describes how the idea of Flawless initiated and her experience being part of the MBA challenge:

I had a pen in my hand and thought about the 4 in 1 pen and as I love make-up the idea came to my head to create a 5 in 1 make-up brush set which I pitched to my group members”

“What we have learned as a group is how important it is to work together, valuing each other’s input, and how an idea can be a reality if we work at it. We also learned a lot about our individual personalities and strength. What we take away from this experience is that we can generate more ideas and if we continue in this direction we will eventually have breakthrough with one of our ideas”

Learn more about our MBA programmes and entry requirements

You need self-confidence to win at life!

“Believe what is in the line of your needs, for only by such belief is the need fulfilled . . . Have faith that you can successfully make it, and your feet are nerved to its accomplishment (William James, Principles of Psychology).

Self-confidence is often believed to be an inborn trait and this notion eventually leads us in restricting ourselves in fulfilling our full potential. However, several psychological studies have proven that self-confidence is not inborn, but it is a trait that can be developed.

Does this ring a bell?

This should encourage you to start believing in yourself and boost your self-confidence. As William James, the father of psychology advocates “believing in oneself” is key to personal and professional success. You have to also keep in mind that self-confidence does not entirely mean that you believe you are shipshape with everything, instead it is knowing that there will be things that you will not be good at but still accept one’s flaw, be open for constructive criticisms and make room for self-development. Start getting things in to action and create the energy of believing in yourself.

To help you in boosting your confidence, Presentation skills and Thinking on your feet, we have two workshops scheduled on Wednesday 15th. The first workshop will cover: Techniques to help you turn your ideas into succinct presentations and how to use body language; the power of your voice and effective pauses to support your message. You will have the chance to present to the class and receive constructive feedback. The second workshop will cover vocal techniques and strategies to help you contribute to meetings and make your points calmly and with authority. You will have the chance to run through a couple of practice scenarios and receive constructive feedback.

 

Welcome to our new interns!

  • We are proud and excited to welcome our new interns today. As you may know, upon completion of any programme offered at the University, students are offered the opportunity to apply for a twelve week internship within one of our busy departments. This time we welcomed three students to fill the Marketing, IT and HR intern roles.

Say hello to Stonney, Akshatha and Mena!

Intern team

picture: Interns with their line managers.

 

Stonney Ampo – Marketing Intern

“I can’t wait to put my creativity to work”

Stonney Marie M. Ampo is a final year Business and Management student at the University of Sunderland in London. Stonney obtained her first degree in Development Communication at Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan, Philippines where she was born and bred. Stonney embraces the opportunity to explore the UK working culture and to put her skills and knowledge into practice. She is a self-motivated individual with great enthusiasm and we can’t wait to watch Stonney flourish in our Marketing department.

Contact: Stonney.ampo@sunderland.ac.uk

Strengths:

  • Brochures, flyers and posters design
  • Photography and videography
  • Editing

Akshatha Nagarajappa – HR intern

“Bring on the challenge”

Akshatha recently completed her MBA in Human Resource Management with us. She is a very detailed oriented person with a passion for people which makes her suitable for this position. Akshatha completed her Bachelor Degree in India where she is originally from. This internship for her is an opportunity for growth in her career and to gain new skills. We look forward to have an expert in HR at the end of her Internship.

Contact: askshatha.nagarajappa@sunderland.ac.uk

Strengths:

  • Administrative
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal

Mena Afzal – IT intern

“I’m very excited for this Internship ”

Mena completed 2 years with us at University of Sunderland in London. She did a top-up in International Tourism and Hospitality Management and the MSc in Tourism and Hospitality. She was chosen for this role because of her strong background in IT. Mena studied IT and worked in the sector before starting her course with us. She is a very calm and patient individual that we believe fits the IT role perfectly. We are certain that Mena will contribute and gain a lot from this internship.

Contact: mena.afzal@sunderland.ac.uk

Strengths:

  • Tech Savvy
  • Multitask
  • Analytical skills

Join us in wishing them good luck!

 

Maintaining Mental Health as a Student

relaxBeing a student is hard and being at University can be a challenge, but this doesn’t mean you have to feel low. Maintaining your mental health as a student is vitally important to not only completing and enjoying your course but to your overall happiness. Alike physical health, mental health can fluctuate and what is going on in your life can affect the way you feel.

Being able to spot the signs of your well being slipping is important so that you can take action to boost your mental health. These signs will be slightly different for every person but here are some examples below.

Becoming withdrawn or not wanting to socialise

Leave me alone

Having a change in your appetite – either over or under eating

Feeling that your academic/sporting/extracurricular performances haven’t been where they usually are recently

failure

Having difficulty with sleep – either sleeping too much or sleeping too little

sleep too muchBecoming more irritable

shut up

When you are not feeling great it can be difficult to know what to do to make yourself feel better. There are some tips and tricks for self-care that you can try for your mental health. Looking at your sleep routine and diet can be game changers when it comes to how you feel. Not getting enough sleep or eating a lot of processed/junk foods can really affect how you feel. Try to switch it up a bit and have some healthy snacks rather than crisps or chocolate and before you go to bed at night spend less time on your phone.

Exercise is a great way to stay in shape but keep you mentally well. When you exercise your body releases chemicals called Endorphins. Endorphins are often referred to as a ‘feel good hormone’, in that they trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercising regularly can help to lift your mood and can also aid sleep.

Make sure you do something you enjoy! Spend time with people whose company you enjoy.

Self-help tips
IF you feel that you need some extra support along the way why not try Silver Cloud. Silver Cloud is a free guided self-help tool that has CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) modules that you can work through. There are modules for low mood, anxiety and panic to name a few. It is simple to join, you just need your university email account.

Mindfulness
Mindfulness means being aware of what is going on both inside and outside of yourself, moment by moment. Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us to enjoy the world around us and to aid calm. There are lots of resources available online that you can utilise in the form of videos or podcasts or simple instructions. Why don’t you give it a go!

Knowing when to get help
Being aware of when you may need some extra support cannot always be easy but speaking about how you feel and getting support can be really beneficial. At times you may find it difficult to concentrate on your university work because of outside pressures, that’s okay no-one is going to judge you for this and staff at the University are here to help. If you are feeling under pressure or struggling in any way you can book an appointment with the Health and Well being Manager,  Nancy Bradley,  to talk through anything that may be bothering you.

The bottom line is University is a fun and exciting time where you can meet new people, experience new things and gain knowledge. If there is something preventing you from experiencing it to the full then support is there.

References: NHS – mindfulness & Student minds website

 

Kahoot! Do you wish your lecture was this fun?

“As a student or a lecturer, you undoubtedly know how boring classes can get if there is no interaction and engagement.”

Kahoot! Is the app every lecturer and student needs to download. It is an innovative teaching tool designed to increase social interaction among students in a fun way!

1)    Questions are set prior to lecture on Kahoot by the module leader

2)    During lecture, the module leader will launch Kahoot on her big screen

3)    A unique Game PIN will be displayed at the top of the screen

4)    Students go to kahoot.it to enter the PIN, then enter their nickname.

5)    The questions will then appear on the screen, and students need to pick answers from their mobile devices

According to Brazelton & Greenspan (2000) a positive interaction between lecturers and students, aids student’s cognitive and emotional growth enhancing their mental well-being. This teaching method has a name!

Flipped Classroom

With advances in technological movement and easy access to mobile devices, flipped classrooms gained prominence. It was popularised in the year 2007 in Colorado by teachers Aaron Sams and Jon Bergman from Woodland Park High School. Bergmann and Wilie (2012) listed a few characteristics of this teaching method such as transforming students from being passive listeners to active learners and it also encourages students to study their course materials before class.

Ifeoma Dan-Ogosi, Health and Social Care Assistant Programme Manager at University of Sunderland in London, introduced Kahoot to her lectures. Ifeoma Dan-Ogosi

Ifeoma points out that Kahoot brought a significant difference to her class sessions. She is seeing more engaged students with competitive behaviors. According to Ifeoma, instead of letting students using their smartphones for other purposes in her lectures, she prefers to let them use it productively.  She states that her students are assimilating quicker and are getting smarter.

 

A sneak peek of Ifeoma’s Health and Social Care lecture using Kahoot!

Educators have recognised  flipped classroom as an innovative and effective instructional approach (Hwang et al. 2015). As 21st century educators and students, it is time (if not late) for you to start embracing technology and get creative in lectures!

Drop us your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

Cybersecurity in an Ever Changing World

The all-pervasive and ubiquitous nature of the computer and digital technology has made a profound mark on almost every aspect of our lives. The speed at which individuals, businesses, organisations and governments are utilising digital technology and generating data is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

As the use of computing grows and the dependency on systems and the data held in those systems increases there are many opportunities and challenges for computer science. One of those challenges is dealing with cybercrime. In parallel with the growth of computing there is a growing threat from cybercrime.  Cybercrime has reached pandemic proportions – global and never ending.  The application of digital forensics techniques seeks to solve cybercrime after the event and the application of cybersecurity seeks to develop robust computer systems and networks to prevent the cybercrime happening in the first place.

The cybersecurity domain is a challenging and complex one with technology developing at a fantastic speed and threats coming from all directions from national states to cybercriminals to individuals. Protecting the systems and using data in a safe and secure environment requires specialist understanding and awareness. There is a need for technical cybersecurity specialists to design, implement and maintain secure information systems, applications and networks.

There is however a paradox – there is a large skills gap in the cybersecurity domain and there is a demand for graduates and professionals with appropriate skills in cybersecurity. There is a challenge for educators to work with employers and government to provide programmes to address the skills gap in cybersecurity.

This lecture will examine the evolution of cybersecurity, the growth in demand for cybersecurity graduates and discuss the processes required to address the cybersecurity skills gap.

The lecture will reflect on the personal experiences in research and learning and teaching in digital forensics and cybersecurity. The lecture will consider the effectiveness of addressing the skills gap in cybersecurity and postulate on the educational requirements for the future of cybersecurity.

The lecture will be delivered by Alastair Irons

Alastair is Academic Dean for the Faculty of Computer Science and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sunderland – where his subject interests focus on computer forensics and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the University in September 2008 he worked at ONE North East, Northumbria University and ICI having moved to the north east from Scotland after graduating in 1984 from Edinburgh University. Alastair became a National Teaching Fellow in 2010.

Alastair’s current teaching focuses on computer forensics, digital forensics and cyber security. His research interests focus on cybersecurity and digital forensics – currently looking at threat sharing in cybersecurity, methods for digital investigations in “big data”, digital investigations in journalism, gender issues in cybersecurity, as well as the role of computer forensics in South Africa. He is also active in research in academic and pedagogic issues in higher education with particular interest in student assessment and feedback. He has recently published books on Formative Feedback and on Learning and Teaching issues in Computing. He is currently leading a research project on Problem Based Learning in Cybersecurity. Alastair is a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He serves on the management board of DYNAMO, the Advisory Board of the North East Digital Catapult and is on the management board of the North East Fraud Forum. He contributes to the British Computer Society through a number of roles and is chair of the BCS Academic Accreditation Committee, sits on the BCS Academy Board, chairs the BCS Cybercrime Forensics Special Interest Group and has recently been elected chair of the BCS NE England branch.

In his spare time Alastair participates in karate where he is a 2nd Dan black belt in Shokokai and is currently working towards his 3rd Dan.

 

Cheers to our 5th year anniversary!

5th year anniversary

Five years ago the University of Sunderland announced that it was to open a campus in Europe’s most important financial centre, as part of its strategic plans. Having long provided a successful and welcoming environment to International, EU and Home students in Sunderland, the strategy was to appeal to the highly competitive international market by delivering the same excellent teaching and student experience students receive in the North East of England, in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf.

Since that launch in 2012, the University of Sunderland in London has continued to see its student population rise and its alumni now numbers over 5,000. Delivering a range of business related programmes, from undergraduate to postgraduate level, there are four student intake cycles a year to meet demand.

5th year anniversary

University of Sunderland Chief Operating Officer, Steve Knight, said: “Since launching the University of Sunderland in London in 2012, our reputation as a provider of first-class higher education and globally recognised qualifications has continued to grow. “Bringing a slice of our Sunderland approach to London and having a physical presence in such an economically important area has raised our profile significantly. Our Canary Wharf site has opened up a range of new opportunities and attracts students from over 100 countries.

“We are continuously developing new opportunities for our University community to benefit from our presence in London – such as our Student Mobility Pilot, which saw 250 Sunderland students experience life in London this summer.

“Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the University of Sunderland in London is an opportunity to thank the team for their flexible and innovated approach and for bringing our long-established ‘Life-Changing’ ethos to the capital.”

 

Ruth Wilson –Head of Services for Students and Marketing, said: “I am delighted to have been a founding member of the senior management team and to have seen London grow and change and develop to the thriving and exciting student and staff community it now is.

“I am so proud of everything we have achieved here in London, we modelled our approach on the good practice we learned in Sunderland but gave it a unique London twist. I think our staff and students are exceptional and working with them every day is a real inspiration for me.

“My vision is to continue doing what we are good at, working closely with our students, always listening to their views and ideas and growing our fantastic student and staff community.”

University of Sunderland Chief Operating Officer, Steve Knight, said: “Since launching the University of Sunderland in London in 2012, our reputation as a provider of first-class higher education and globally recognised qualifications has continued to grow. “Bringing a slice of our Sunderland approach to London and having a physical presence in such an economically important area has raised our profile significantly. Our Canary Wharf site has opened up a range of new opportunities and attracts students from over 100 countries. “We are continuously developing new opportunities for our University community to benefit from our presence in London - such as our Student Mobility Pilot, which saw 250 Sunderland students experience life in London this summer. “Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the University of Sunderland in London is an opportunity to thank the team for their flexible and innovated approach and for bringing our long-established ‘Life-Changing’ ethos to the capital.” Ruth Wilson –Head of Services for Students and Marketing, said: “I am delighted to have been a founding member of the senior management team and to have seen London grow and change and develop to the thriving and exciting student and staff community it now is. “I am so proud of everything we have achieved here in London, we modelled our approach on the good practice we learned in Sunderland but gave it a unique London twist. I think our staff and students are exceptional and working with them every day is a real inspiration for me. “My vision is to continue doing what we are good at, working closely with our students, always listening to their views and ideas and growing our fantastic student and staff community.” Alan Hardie –Director of University of Sunderland in London, added: “University of Sunderland in London stands out at being academically strong with broad and integrated support services wrapped around it. I think because of our size we have a very close affinity to many of our students, seeing them every day.

Alan Hardie –Director of University of Sunderland in London, added: “University of Sunderland in London stands out at being academically strong with broad and integrated support services wrapped around it. I think because of our size we have a very close affinity to many of our students, seeing them every day.

Article by Paul Haustead pressoffice Sunderland

Run for Africa -You can help children access quality education.

University of Sunderland in London

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development” – Kofi Annan

It is critically important to realise that there are less privileged individuals in the world, not having access to education. According to a report by UNESCO (2013) there were 4.6 million children were denied the chance to go to school. As an education provider, it is imperative for us to contribute in helping people accessing education. At University of Sunderland in London, we live by our motto “life changing”.  As a student, there are many ways you can get involved and support the cause! You can also boost your CV by joining Team Coco who we proudly sponsor.

Team COCO is a virtual running club dedicated to raising funds for COCO through events and challenges. Members can take as much or as little from the club as they wish! Their virtual running club gives you the support and benefits of being a running club member, but the flexibility to run when suits you. From beginner to ultra-marathon runner, Team COCO will support you in your running efforts and ensure that your running makes a difference, not just to you but to thousands of children in East Africa.

Benefits of being a Team COCO member:

  • Access to the Team COCO members’ forum and Facebook group to share tips and stories
  • Priority to COCO‘s guaranteed charity places in running events
  • Discounted entry to lots of races
  • Special discounts with running brands
  • A welcome letter from COCO co-founder and running legend Steve Cram CBE
  • Not to mention your fabulous orange team COCO running top!
  • And most importantly, the satisfaction of knowing that every stride is making a real difference to disadvantaged children in East Africa

Or if running isn’t your thing…

Masai

Maasai Cycle Challenge
March 2018
Cycle 150km of combined heights higher than Kilimanjaro across Kenyan Maasailand. Experience Maasai culture, spot East African wildlife, and visit the communities your fundraising will support.

MoroccoTrek in Morocco
Easter 2018
An amazing new challenge, combining the contrasting landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, climbing Mount Toubkal, with the trekking in the Sahara Desert. Included in the challenge is a tour in Marrakech and camel rides.
More info and sign up now

Climb Kilimanjaro
June 2018 

The challenge of a lifetime, climbing to the Roof of Africa. A tough physical challenge, but one that you will never forget! Amazing views, fantastic atmosphere and friends for life. Visit communities COCO works with before the trek.

 

Student mobility programme

Student Mobility Programme

Student Mobility

This year we are introducing the ‘Student Mobility Programme’. A capital idea designed to give students from Sunderland the opportunity to discover our London campus and experience all that the city has to offer. The Student mobility programme is for the purpose of academic enhancement, cultural enrichment and diversity in view of the harmonisation between campuses. This is the first year the University has run this project and we are excited to host our student colleagues from the North East and for them to see our city and our wonderful campus.

The Vice-Chancellor Shirley Atkinson, added:

Vice Chancellor

“I’m very pleased to see our Sunderland students experience the cultural, teaching and learning opportunities we offer at University of Sunderland in London. I’m sure our students and staff will make them feel very welcome, and I hope this further enhances their employability and their experience of university life.”

According to studies, a student’s learning environment and their involvement in extra-curricular activities are determinants of career success (Vermeulen & Schmidt, 2008). Our programme encompasses a number of interactive sessions, guest lectures, an IELTS 7 preparation course, company visits and city tours. We are welcoming 250 students and staff from different faculties.

Ruth Wilson, our Head of Services for Students and Marketing, expressed her excitement

University of Sunderland in London

“I am very excited to host our Sunderland peers here in London – 5 years ago when we opened here in London, we knew there would be ambitions for us to give opportunities for our student body to move between sites and to get the opportunity to spend time in both of our wonderful cities. We hope the next project we can get off the ground will be movement between Sunderland, London and our new Hong Kong Campus”.

Our Sunderland pre-registration nursing students will visit hospitals in the capital and will share guest lectures with our nursing students in London. Our International nursing students from Sunderland and London will take part in a two week IELTS 7 preparation course to aid them in their employability post study. This will run as a pilot programme (developed by University of Sunderland in London) with a view to the development of a commercial offer for IELTS 7 which currently runs in a number of colleges across the UK. Business, Tourism and Art, Design and Creative industry students will take part in a number of company visits, trips to galleries and tourist sites as well as having access to guest lectures here at the University of Sunderland in London! Our Tourism society are hosting walking tours for the groups across Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

Students at London campus

University of Sunderland in London

Moreover, our students at London campus are also very enthusiastic to interact and socialise with the groups coming down. They are hosting walking tours, whereby they will guide the students around the city.  Leteechia Rungasamy, an MSc Tourism and Hospitality student in London campus stated “we are really looking forward to meeting our fellow students from Sunderland – as president of the travel and tourism society – we are planning some local tours for the group and showing them around our London campus, and we know they will have a fantastic time and London is such an exciting city to be in!”