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Greetings from the School of Maths.

As the summer draws to a close now is a good time to reflect on the past year.

The School has done exceptionally well in the latest National Student Survey, indeed we are top of the Russell Group in terms of "Overall Student Satisfaction" and many other aspects of the survey. Particularly notable is the fact that almost all students rate our teaching highly, and our students felt part of a community in our School. We are very proud of these achievements and grateful to everyone in the School for building an effective learning environment and community.

MathSoc have been instrumental in this community and have had a great year offering new social, sporting and careers activities for our students. They’re also working outside out community to tutor school pupils and fundraise for local charities. Their efforts have resulted in more wins at the EPS Societies’ Awards, making MathSoc the most decorated of the College’s 38 student groups.

The School has also been successful in securing an Athena Swan Bronze Award, which will run until November 2022. The Award follows an in-depth self-assessment process of gender balance at all levels of the School, from undergraduate recruitment to promotion of senior academics. Our key aims include encouraging more of our outstanding female undergraduates to undertake the 4-year MSci programme, improving balance in recruitment to PhD scholarships, ensuring that we are shortlisting and recruiting the best early career academics, and building on recent successes to increase the proportion of women among the senior staff.

The University of Jinan–University of Birmingham Joint Institute (JBJI) now has around 300 students studying BSc Applied Mathematics with either Economics, ICS, Mathematics or Statistics at the University of Jinan in Guangzhou, China. From 22 July to the 6 August the School hosted the first JBJI Summer School, led by Professor Chris Parker on the theme of Cryptography and supported by 12 of our UK-based students. In addition to the Summer School, we are looking forward to welcoming 20 students from JBJI later this month for a Study Abroad Year. They will be joining year 3 of the BSc Mathematics course, and will then return to China to complete their degree.

Former School of Mathematics student Jack Garner has been named the University’s Alumnus of the Year for 2019!  Jack returned to the University in July to collect his award and celebrate with some of his former lecturers. Congratulations Jack from the whole of the School!

And finally, a big thank you to the 19 Maths alumni who have kindly volunteered with the School over the last academic year. This includes 8 mentors and at least 6 guest speakers at careers events. Thank you, you've made a real impact here! If you'd like to get involved too, please get in touch with our Alumni Relations Manager, Grace Surman on eps-community@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

With best wishes.

Paul Flavell
Head of School

Read the 2019 Maths Alumni Newsletter here.