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We’re proud to announce that LANS has been nominated for an Advance HE Award, the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Each UK university is only allowed to nominate one department, and it’s wonderful that the University of Birmingham has chosen to recognise LANS in this way.  Our core modules, the Cultural Programme, and the inclusion of students in developing policies, all played a key part in our nomination.

Cultural Programme events: this week’s cultural event is on communicating science – useful not just for science students (think about its use in journalism, arts and science grants, communicating policy, and so on!). A panel event with speakers who communicate science in a range of different ways and to different audiences. Wednesday 17 March from 5pm.  Next week’s event is a Lyrics Writing Workshop with Maverick Sounds.  It takes place on Wednesday 24 March from 4-5.30pm.  Next week’s event is the last before we go into the Easter break, but we’ll be able to invite you to more events after the break.

On a first year LANS core module, From Research to Policy II, groups have to develop their own campaign that addresses a social issue problem.  Last week, we had a pitching event at which each group presented their campaign to a panel including a representative from Campaign Collective (a social enterprise company specialising in PR and communications for campaigning organisations) and a LANS tutor.  Following the presentation, the group had to answer questions about their campaign.  The panels were very impressed by the quality of the presentations and the creativity of the campaigns.  Groups will now refocus their campaigns and implement them.

Last week, we mentioned that LANS was recruiting for a student ambassador in Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.  This position has now been filled and a meeting is planned for next week.  LANS students are invited to add questions anonymously to a Google Doc and all students are invited to attend the meeting.

LANS is building its alumni association and recently launched a questionnaire.  Charity monies were donated for each questionnaire returned, and students were asked to vote on a charity for the donations.  The winning charity is St. Basils, which is a charity in Birmingham that works with young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  This was a way of saying thank you, because representatives from St. Basils have supported students’ campaigns in recent years.

In other news…the Guild of Students has announced a Covid Response Fund to help any student facing financial difficulty to help them with (e.g.) repairing laptops, buying health products and food, and with travel costs...  The University’s Graduate Training Scheme, a 2-year programme with a rotation of placements, is now open…  Workshops are being run with the National Film and Television School for 2nd and 3rd years…  A 3-day paid virtual Black Talent in Busines Programme is being run by Price Waterhouse Cooper…  The University is running a Climate Change Writing Competition before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which takes place in Glasgow in November.  Students are invited to write a 2,000-word article on the theme of tackling climate change.  There are also prizes (£500 for the winner, and two £250 prizes for the runners-up).