SURE: Showcasing Undergraduate Research Excellence

SureConference-800Proud of your research? Share your abstract to be part of BU’s SURE Conference 2015.

Research is a central part of academic life and each student’s undergraduate study, and the skills you develop by conducting research are relevant to almost all careers.

On 4 March 2015 BU is hosting its first SURE Conference to celebrate the outstanding research you’re already involved with, and demonstrate how research has enhanced your learning experience.

The call for submissions is now open, and BU undergraduates (including recent graduates) from all schools and courses are eligible to apply. Examples of research could be anything from preparing for your dissertation or an essay, to work carried out during your placement year, volunteering or work with academic societies. The main condition is that you demonstrate evidence of your critical thinking.

As well as developing new skills, getting involved with the SURE Conference is a good opportunity to enhance your CV through a conference presentation, publication of abstract or even being the winner of awards and prizes.

Get involved: register and submit your abstract (300 words max) on the SureBU website by Tuesday 20 January.

For more information read the SureBU frequently asked questions.

Social work students and lecturers at international Socnet98 event

Students and lecturers from the BA (Hons) Social Work degree travelled to Austria for an annual conference, looking at social work from an international perspective.

Eight students from their first and second year of study in BA Social Work, plus two BU lecturers, travelled to Linz in Austria to take part in the Socnet98 annual conference.

The conference has been running since 1998, and a European network of universities meet to discuss themes relating to Social Work from an international perspective, with students and lecturers invited to deliver seminars about either research their own university is involved or an issue which is important.

Taking place at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the theme for this year was about Intercultural Competencies. Seminars and lectures were delivered by ten different nationalities (all in English) covering topics such as Working with Volunteers, Kinship Care, Developing Multicultural sensitivity and many more.

Included in the programme was the opportunity to create international networks between students, visit local charities and organisations working with people in the city of Linz and time to enjoy the city itself.

The World Café was a student-led afternoon where each university displayed information about what it had to offer, both regionally and internationally, plus local delicacies were shared with international friends. Bournemouth bought along the famous seaside rock, which was enjoyed by everyone.

The whole event was declared a great success by the head of the organising committee, Dagmar Strohmeier, and everyone was encouraged to attend next year.Next year’s venue is yet to be organised.

Midwifery conference discusses future of global childbirth healthcare


An international conference exploring the challenges facing maternal and newborn health worldwide has taken place at Bournemouth University.

The conference, organised by Bournemouth University (BU), looked at the international health issues facing those giving birth and their newborn babies and aims to influence the global agenda for the next 15 years.

Professor in Midwifery at BU Vanora Hundley, who has helped to organise the conference, said: “Midwifery should be the backbone of universal access to reproductive health services.”

The conference, called Midwifery and the post MDG Agenda, comes as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations end in 2015.

Two of these MDGs focused on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, and the conference will look at what has been achieved so far, and what still needs to be done.

Dr Zoe Sheppard, from BU’s Clinical Research Unit, said: “The MDGs helped focus attention on reproductive health and rights over the past 14 years.

“Now we need make sure we set challenging but achievable targets for the next 15 years.”

Delegates at the conference were encouraged by speakers to promote access to pregnancy- and birth-related healthcare for all women worldwide, regardless of economic situation or country of birth.

The conference also included a poster exhibition hall that displayed the latest research taking place in the field of midwifery. Posters included information on midwifery in poorer countries, such at Sheetal Sharma’s (pictured) poster on midwifery in Nepal.

Speakers at the one-day conference included Dr Neil Squires, from the Department for International Development (DFID), and Brigid McConville from the White Ribbon Alliance, a non-profit organisation which campaigns for safe birth worldwide.

NCTJ conference hosted at Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University Media School academics were joined by a host of journalists, guests and peers for this year’s National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Conference.

The conference, hosted at BU, brought about thought provoking discussion around the culture of journalism in a Post-Leveson climate and the sorts of skills that journalism graduates need in a multimedia, digital newsroom.

Stephen Jukes, Dean of BU’s Media School, said, “We are hugely proud of our NCTJ connections and the performance of our students in those exams every year.

“This is a really exciting time to be studying journalism, a really pivotal time where we have either seen the end of 300 years of free press or we are seeing the start of a re-evaluation of the practices of journalism and purge of some of the darker styles of the tabloid trade.”

John Ryley, Head of Sky News, gave the opening address to the conference and said, “All  the technology in the world counts for nothing without that essential element – good journalism.

“I believe that journalism can, and indeed should be, a force for good by shining a light on those things that perhaps people would prefer to remain hidden.

“Training is what separates professional journalists from so-called citizen journalists. It should also instil a value of doing the right thing, and the rights and wrongs of good practice.”

A number of industry professionals also took to the stage to give their thoughts on the current UK media climate, including two Bournemouth University BA Multimedia Journalism graduates; Ollie Joy, who now works for CNN, and Rachel Bartlett, editor of

Study Multimedia Journalism at BU!

Child Protection conference celebrates and shares good practice in social work

The National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work (NCPQSW), based at Bournemouth University, held its first child protection conference, celebrating the good work done by social workers in the field.

The Child Protection in a time of Austerity conference took place at BU at the end of June and was attended by social workers, managers and directors from across the South of England.

The day-long conference featured eminent speakers from the field of social work and child protection and focused on issues including the role of supervision, critical reflection and reflective leadership.

There were also panel question and answer sessions and a showing of a film by sisters Zoe and Jenna Grove, who had been through the care system as children.

Professor Keith Brown, Director of the NCPQSW, said: “We’ve got a number of eminent speakers, looking at supervision, child protection and working with children and families.

“We just wanted to celebrate good social work practice.

“We hear so many comments in the media at the moment about problems in society, issues with children and children’s deaths, and we sometimes forget to reflect on all the really good practice that goes on and the way actually social workers make a real difference in our society.”

The NCPQSW provides education, training and continued professional development opportunities for social workers who have already qualified.

Speakers at the Child Protection conference included Siobhan Maclean, an independent trainer and consultant who works with the Independent Federation of Social Workers.

Siobhan, who talked about critically reflective practice in social work, said that the NSPQW had already gained a strong reputation nationwide.

“I think the National Centre’s really important. I’m from the West Midlands region, and even in the Midlands, people are very aware of the Centre and the importance of it.

“A lot of practitioners there look to the Centre for further development and publications, so it’s got a good reputation that goes a long way as a national centre.”

Other speakers included Gillian Ruch, a senior social work lecturer at the University of Southampton, and Nushra Mansuri, from the British Association of Social Workers.

Jane Wonnacott, Director of In-Trac Training and Consultancy, spoke about the need for effective supervision in social work.

She said: “Supervision is something that I feel is absolutely fundamental to good childcare practice and good social work practice generally, so it felt very important to come and be able to share some ideas.

“It’s very important I think to have the opportunity to be able to continue your professional development, but also the opportunity to do that outside your own work environment and have your ideas challenged.”

Alongside the talks, there were panel question and answer sessions and a showing of a film by sisters Zoe and Jenna Grove, who had been through the care system as children.

The conference also featured an interactive room, with presentations and stalls on social work research, literature and courses.

Professor Brown said that he hoped attendees would take a number of things away from the conference.

“I hope they will think it’s really good to be involved with the National Centre and take part in the events,” he said.

“I would like them to think and reflect on the great work they are doing in social work and think about maybe how they could work with us differently, work in a new partnership or come away and do some more work with us.”

You can find out more about the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work at