Festival of Learning 2015: Get involved

FoL-2015BU will open its doors to the public for the third Festival of Learning from Saturday 11 to Friday 17 July 2015.

There will be seven days of free activities showcasing the impact of BU’s expertise and research. This summer, the event attracted around 5,000 people to over 150 on-campus and community-based activities. Many partnerships have emerged as a result of the Festival, and there’s been real evidence of the impact BU’s research has.

Get Involved – put forward an event proposal

One way you can get involved with the festival is by putting forward an event proposal.

Take a look at our Festival of Learning Proposals pages on the BU Research Blog to find out more about the purpose of the festival, who it’s for, the popular themes from this year’s event, and what we’ve learned from the British Science Festival 2014.

Proposals need to submitted by 12 noon Friday 19 December.

Need some help developing your ideas?
Get in touch with Naomi Kay, our Public Engagement Officer and a recent BU graduate.

Other ways you can get involved

  • Take part: you’re welcome to join in with any of the events to learn about all areas of BU – we’ll tell you how nearer the time
  • Spread the word: tell your friends and family about the event and encourage them to come along – it’s a nice way for them to experience where you study.

First Dementia Orchestra worldwide performs in Bournemouth

Individuals with dementia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), BU students, music scholars, and the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) performed at an event to raise awareness about dementia.

The concert took place as a part of the Dementia Showcase, which raised awareness of a BU’s Dementia Institute and some of the projects they are currently working on to raise awareness for, and improve the lives of, individuals with dementia.

Songs performed by the orchestra included Moon River, You Are My Sunshine and a number of classical favourites – all delivered to a packed crowd at the LifeCentre on Winton High Street.

Building on the concept that music can improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia, participants in the performance were encouraged to sing and play new musical instruments. Two of the performers also stood to dance together during one of the songs.

Laura Reynolds, a research assistant within BUDI, said, “We were delighted to see so many members of the community come to support the BUDI Orchestra performance this Saturday as part of BUDI’s Dementia Showcase. We are so proud of all the Orchestra has achieved. The entire audience was completely captivated from start to finish, and we were all left feeling impassioned by their emotive rendition of Moon River. The Orchestra proves that dementia isn’t a life sentence: their achievements show us that people living with dementia are still full of life and creativity, and can still make invaluable contributions to our lives.”

Sheila Brooks attended the event and was in the audience during the performance. Sheila said, “On Saturday I attended the BU Festival of Learning event at The LifeCentre in Bournemouth.  I am rarely speechless but the performance of the BUDI Orchestra really moved me to silence.  I have followed the development of BUDI since its inception and am amazed at all that has been accomplished in the very short time of two years.”

The orchestra performance was introduced by the High Sherriff of Dorset, Jane Stichbury, who also gave voice to congratulate the orchestra at the end of the concert.  The Dementia Showcase took place as a part of Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning.

Festival of Learning 2014 draws to a close


Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning has drawn to a close following seven days of interactive, educational and interesting events.

The week-long Festival, in its second year, featured over 150 events.

BU’s Talbot Campus hosted events such as Wheelchair Basketball, Bug Grub (exploring edible insects) and a Poverty Summit, bringing together members of the Dorset community to talk about tackling poverty.

BU’s Lansdowne Campus hosted events on PR, social media and health, while a number of events also took place off campus, including a BioBlitz on Studland Nature Reserve and the Festival of Maritime Archaeology on Pier Approach on Bournemouth’s Seafront.

The Festival drew a lot of press coverage, including items on BBC news, and attendees at events included MP Tobias Ellwood and Poole Councillor Elaine Atkinson. The Festival was opened by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts (pictured) as the Festival tied in with Universities Week across the UK.

For the first time, Storify was used to capture comments, feedback and pictures taken during the Festival of Learning. Bournemouth University’s Storify profile has a daily roundup of the Festival.

Seen but Seldom Heard returns to BU


The acclaimed Seen but Seldom Heard project returned to BU’s Festival of Learning.

Performed in the Allsebrook Lecture Theatre on Talbot Campus, the project showcased the very best in spoken word by young disabled people from across Dorset.

The performance, entitled ‘The Cliff Edge’, explored the theme of future aspiration and transition between school and adulthood for young disabled people.

All pieces were written and produced by students from the Victoria Education Centre, in collaboration with BU academics, students, and professional poets Liv Torc and Jon Seagrave, otherwise known as Jonny Fluffypunk.

Jon said: “Working on the Seen but Seldom Heard project has opened up a whole new perspective for me concerning what young and disabled people are capable of. It’s been a real privilege to work with them”.

Starting nearly three years ago, and inspired by the 2012 Paralympics, Seen but Seldom Heard seeks to use creative methods to enable marginalised groups to have their voices heard.

Along with live performances from the young stars there were also pre-recorded readings covering topics such as family bonds, the emotional impact of day-to-day experiences on a young disabled person, and even a protest rap and a song entitled “Poetry Express” which both opened and closed the night’s proceedings.

One particular poem caused an emotional stir with the audience.  Written by Lucy, and performed by Liv Torc, the poem called “A Head Like Mine”, touchingly captured Lucy’s feelings and emotions during the transition period from youth to adulthood.

Christopher Lees, Chairman of the Talbot Village Trust which funded the event said:

“Watching these young people perform is truly heart-warming. Lucy’s poem in particular struck a chord with me as it was so touching to see how she expressed herself throughout the poem. It is for this reason, to give young people like Lucy a voice, that the Talbot Village Trust has pledged itself to such a great cause.”

Simon Brown, Vice Principal for the Victoria Education Centre, spoke about what the project means for the participants, saying:

“The project now has given so much to both the students and the staff and has given these talented young people a voice and a platform to show what they can do, rather than what they can’t due to their disabilities”.

Visit the Seen But Seldom Heard website

By Anuska Naidoo, BA (Hons) Communication and Media student

David Willetts MP to open BU’s Festival of Learning

Minister of State for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, will open BU’s Festival of Learning on Monday 9 June.

The visit, which coincides with Universities UK Week, is an opportunity to showcase BU’s excellent student work and world-leading research to this influential government figure.

The Minister will begin his visit with a tour of the University, taking in a range of Festival of Learning events including ‘Are you a super-recogniser’, ‘VeggiEAT’ and an exhibition of student projects.

The tour will be led by BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney, along with Chancellor The Rt Hon The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, MP for Bournemouth West Conor Burns and Chairman of the BU Board Sue Sutherland OBE.

Following the tour, Mr Willetts MP will give an opening speech about the Festival and the value of Higher Education. This will be followed by a Q&A session.

The Festival of Learning allows professionals, students and members of the public to find out more about BU’s work and how it can impact the lives of those around the world. More details about the events Mr Willetts MP will attend are as follows:

Some people are exceptionally good at remembering faces, whereas others are very poor at this skill and may have ‘face blindness’. This event assesses where you lie on the spectrum through a live experiment.

This event is a graduate exhibition by the BA (Hons) Interactive Media Production course, with the opportunity to experience work from award-winning students about to enter the industry. The scope of work ranges from computer games to alternative realities, and projection mapping to brain-powered lamps.

VeggiEAT is an EU project addressing the global challenge of reducing obesity and coronary heart disease. This event will introduce VeggiEAT and investigate if there is a reason why you like or dislike vegetables.

To book an event or find out more information, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/fol.

Cyber Crime – It won’t happen to me!

Bournemouth University’s Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) is holding a number of free events to help businesses protect themselves against cyber crime.

The dedicated unit, established at Bournemouth University, is developing its conference and events programme – building on a successful event, which ran earlier in the year, delivered to police and crime prevention officers across the South West region.

Free events with guest speakers are running throughout May, and there will be a whole day event as part of the university’s Festival of Learning on Thursday 12 June about protecting assets against cyber attacks.

Bournemouth University continues to work alongside SMEs, entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups who see value in protecting and growing their online business by having effective cyber security. This is in addition to larger organisations such as the police and practitioners involved in the investigation of cyber-crime.

There are a number of ways businesses large and small can tap into the expertise Bournemouth University has on this topic including funding initiatives, such as cyber security innovation vouchers.

To find out more about the BU Cyber Security Unit and what it offers please contact Lucy Rossiter at lrossiter@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Visit the BU Cyber Security Unit website.

Festival of Learning shortlisted for national award

Only in its second year, BU’s Festival of Learning has already attracted national attention – having been shortlisted for a UK-wide award within the Business/Community Engagement Category at the Heist Awards.

Projects or campaigns that engage with the local community and/or businesses are the key criteria for this particular award.

Established for over 20 years, The Heist Awards have become the premier awards programme for marketing in the sector and exist to recognise and celebrate professionalism and innovation in education marketing.

The awards event will take place in July in Manchester.

This good news could not come at a better time as the festival team is launching the Festival of Learning on Tour on Saturday 17 May in Bournemouth Town Centre.

The centrepiece to the event this weekend is a Bubble Artist from Berlin, who will be hosting some interactive bubble making classes for everyone to try their hand at.

An  Activity Gazebo will also be home to many hands-on activities and stands for visitors to come and get involved in  – including hands-on soap making sessions and some famous psychology experiments run by researcher Ashley Mitchell, including the video test ‘Did you spot the Gorilla’ – a must try for adults and children alike.

The activities will be running on Bournemouth Square, in the town centre, from 11am to 5pm.

The Festival of Learning 2014 takes place between 9-15 June with over 150 free events on offer.

To find out more and to register for events, log on to the Festival of Learning website.

Boost your business with BU’s Festival of Learning

Do you want to improve your project management skills, learn how to impress the press or make sure your website instantly grabs the attention of your customers? (You have 50 milliseconds to do so!)

Bournemouth University (BU) is hosting over 150 free events from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June, as part of the Festival of Learning 2014. There are interactive workshops, hands-on taster sessions, presentations and seminar sessions running throughout the day and evening.

Events are grouped within eight themes, including Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth, many of which are specifically designed for businesses and professional development.

These events offer an opportunity to network, learn something new or update an existing skill.

Subjects covered include computer animation, media production, software systems, artificial intelligence, business incubation, crowdsourcing and more. There are also a wide range of industry specific events that will that will appeal to health and social care professionals and those who work in the creative, digital and media sectors.

Mark Painter is Manager of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and is hosting an event. He said: “An Afternoon with Entrepreneurs should prove to be a really inspiring and entertaining afternoon for both ambitious business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“We’re delighted that Leslie Spiers, Fellow of the Institute of Directors, will be hosting the event and will be helping us to understand what it was that motivated our invited entrepreneurs to start their businesses and what keeps them striving to achieve even more.”

Last year over 4,000 people came to the Festival of Learning to learn something new, hear about BU research and see how it can impact our everyday lives.

The Festival allows professionals, students and members of the public to be part of university studies, research and learning, with the chance to also bring friends and family to pursue a personal interest or hobby and meet like-minded people during the seven days the Festival is running.

Whilst you’re taking part in a business event, you might find something else that interests you from the wide range of activities on offer. For example, there’s a  Cyber security: protecting your assets event, or Poison is My Business, which is a journey through the history of poisons, including modern day forensic toxicology.

To book these, or any other event,visit the Festival of Learning website or call 01202 962362.