UCLan’s global ranking success

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) international reputation has been enhanced after it entered a global rating for the first time in its history.


The institution has been named on U-Multirank, an online system that compares 1,500 universities from across the world.


U-Multirank compares universities against five main strands: teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. Subsections within each area are then given a grade between A, for very good, to E, for weak.


UCLan was awarded an ‘A’ grade in six areas. They were:

–       Bachelor graduation rate

–       Graduating on time (bachelors)

–       Graduate companies (the number of companies newly founded by graduates per 1,000 graduates)

–       International academic staff (academic staff with foreign citizenship)

–       International doctorate degrees (doctorate degrees awarded to international doctorate candidates)

–       Bachelor graduates working in the region (first job after graduation)


Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, said: “It’s a great achievement that we’ve been recognised by U-Multirank and that we’ve made it on to this global rating system for the first time in our history.


“It shows the progression we are making is being identified on the world stage. This success builds on a fantastic 2016 when we were recognised by a host of global league tables for our development.”


It is the fourth year that U-Multirank has been in existence and this year institutions from 99 countries have featured.


The University’s international recognition comes on the back of a successful 2016 when UCLan was named in the Best Global Universities Rankings for the first time, it bucked the UK trend and held its position in the QS World Rankings and it was named in the top 3.7% of all worldwide universities in the Complete World University Rankings.

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These UCLan students are helping discover Preston’s hidden past

A group of six students studying event management at UCLan are holding an event to help the people of Preston discover all about the city’s past.

‘Discover Preston’s Hidden Past’ is an interactive treasure hunt around the city that will take place on 25 March.

The treasure hunt will teach people things they did not know about the city, including fascinating facts about exciting and interesting buildings and pieces of history.

It will take place from 10 am – 4 pm, in which people can turn up and start anytime between then, and all proceeds for the event will be donated to the Barnardo’s Children’s Charity.

The route will circle the city centre and starts at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

You will then journey onto the streets, stopping at numerous places in order to learn about the sites and you will be provided with a map for guidance.

An interactive clue sheet will be given in order for you to complete, which will involve filling in the blanks and drawing things related to the sites.

Leanne Crowther, a student at UCLan, said: “Hopefully it should be a really exciting day, people will learn a lot and the children will have a wonderful time with their families.

“At the end of the hunt they will come back to the Harris Museum and they will receive a small prize for their participation.

“There is also a tombola and all the proceeds will go to the Barnardos children’s charity.”

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Wrap Pyjama Fairies creator nominated for nursing award

Single mum-of-three and UCLan’s pre-registration provision make national shortlist


A standout student and the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) nursing provision have been shortlisted for national health prizes.


Mental health nursing student Amanda Chadwick and UCLan and have been nominated for 2017 Student Nursing Times Awards.


The single mother-of-three has been selected for the Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year while the institution has been named in the Nurse Education Provider of the Year (pre-registration) category.


Amanda has been nominated after co-founding Wrap Pyjama Fairies, a charity dedicated to helping children feel more comfortable during stays in hospital.


The 35-year-old, who learnt to sew while she was pregnant with her youngest daughter, was inspired to create the special pyjamas afterNevaeh Belle was diagnosed with heart failure and rushed into hospital at two-days-old.


She said: “Throughout her time in hospital I realised that she spent most of her time naked and she would scream in discomfort when I had to undress her for the staff to give their care. Since I couldn’t find anything suitable for her to wear either in the UK or further afield, I decided to create some comfortable specially designed pyjamas for her to wear. These special pyjamas meant she could stay dressed, warm, safe and virtually pain-free while the medical team looked after her.”

Amanda, from Partington, near Manchester, said: “I’m overwhelmed to have been nominated for this award. There are so many students out there who work hard so I was really surprised when I found out.


“I never started any of this to win awards. I saw a need and decided to do something about it. I couldn’t do it all without the charity’s co-founder Chelsea Coulson-Williams, a master’s student at Aberystwyth University and all the fabulous volunteers.”


While at UCLan Amanda has undertaken placements at Leigh Infirmary and Atherleigh Park.


She added: “I’m very much looking forward to the awards ceremony. I’ll be going with my friends from University, the lecturers and taking my father to say thank you for all the support that I’ve had from him and my mum.”


Eve Potts, Amanda’s personal tutor, said: “I am so incredibly proud of her; she works hard in University and on placement. It amazes me how she finds the time to do her charity work for the Wrap Pyjama Fairies and be a wonderful mum to her young family. Amanda never seeks out attention and quietly goes about her business. She has been a valued member of her cohort and will be missed when she completes her course at the end of March.”


The University pre-registration nursing courses include adult nursing, mental health nursing, mental health practice, and children’s nursing.


Karen Wright, Head of the School of Nursing, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been recognised by the Student Nursing Times in this category. We are a huge provider of nursing education in the North West and are renowned for producing thousands of top quality nurses who progress into roles within the hospital trusts. This nomination is a great reward for the staff who work tirelessly to deliver the very best in teaching.”


The University is also sponsoring the Educator of the Year Award. The Student Nursing Times Awards ceremony will take place on 27 April at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

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Football fans turn out in force to celebrate Sir Tom Finney’s glittering career

University teamed up with PNE Former Players Association to host the charity event

Football fans turned out in force to celebrate the life and career of Preston North End legend Sir Tom Finney at a charity night hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Eric Jones and Peter Higham, two former team mates and close friends of the Preston Plumber, regaled the packed audience with amusing tales of playing alongside one of the world’s greatest ever players.

Peter said: “To pull that white shirt on and run out of the tunnel at Deepdale for the first time alongside Sir Tom was a dream come true. Then to score a hat trick as well was unbelievable. It was a pleasure to play in the same team as the great man.”

The event, which was organised by UCLan’s Creative Communities Group in partnership with the Preston North End Former Players Association, included interviews with Eric and Peter, a screening of the UCLan Honorary Fellow’s ‘This is your Life’ TV programme, a football quiz, hotpot supper and music from acoustic duo Ben Ainsworth and Darren Jackson.

Brian Finney, Sir Tom’s son, was in attendance at the busy event, held in UCLan’s Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema. He said: “I was delighted to be invited to attend the event and it was great to catch up with dad’s former footballing colleagues and listen to them reminisce about the old days playing for Preston North End Football Club.”

Proceeds from the ticket sales have gone to two local charities.

UCLan Honorary Fellow Russell Hogarth, community ambassador and chair of the Creative Communities Group, added: “What a tremendous evening we had looking back at the life and times of Preston’s most famous footballer Sir Tom Finney.

“Former PNE players Eric Jones and Peter Higham had the audience spellbound when reminiscing about the old days playing alongside Sir Tom in the 1950s. It was delightful to see Sir Tom’s son Brian making a personal appearance at the University to support his father’s legacy. On a personal note it was also a very special night for me because I chair the UCLan Honorary Fellows and Sir Tom received his Honorary Fellowship back in 1988.”

From left to right Phillip Parramore, Russell Hogarth, Eric Jones, Peter Higham, Phil Gittins, Ian Rigby and Malcolm Rae

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Trio of television awards for UCLan students

Success for creatives at North West Royal Television Society’s Student Awards

A group of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students have won a trio of television prizes at a prestigious award ceremony.

UCLan students collected three of the seven awards up for grabs at the North West Royal Television Society’s annual Student Television Awards and UCLan students were also the runners up in three of the categories.

MA Animation student Jake Blakeston was presented with the animation category award for Matchstick Zombies. He drew praise from the jury, who agreed it was an incredibly sophisticated film, which they felt was ‘Burtonesque’ in its design, and praised its direction and humour.

The 22-year-old, from Featherstone, in Yorkshire, said: “When I found out I’d won it was a brilliant feeling and a great achievement. I felt very proud that I’d been chosen as I was really pleased I’d made the shortlist. What made it special was the other nominees were also UCLan students, that shows how great the course, lecturers and facilities are at the University.”

Fellow animation student Ashley Collier was awarded the short feature prize for Felix. The jury felt was a challenging short story that was brilliantly done and visually clever. One juror said ‘it was a story with heart and soul’.

The 30-year-old, from Rossendale, spent four months working on the project while he was in the second year of his animation undergraduate course. He said: “It feels great to have won! It’s amazing to receive an award from such a high profile organisation like the RTS and hopefully it will do me some favours when I start looking for jobs in the industry.”

The comedy and entertainment category winners were Yousef Thami, Liberty Shaw, Jake River Parker and Heather Davenport for their film, Headless – The Ed Shales Story. The jury felt this was an original and clever idea with a great punch line. They agreed it was a great concept that was brilliantly realised.

MA Animation student Jake Blakeston with his North West Royal Television Society student animation award for Matchstick Zombies.

Short feature winner Ashley Collier with his North West Royal Television Society student television award.

Comedy and Entertainment winners Jake River Parker, Yousef Thami, Liberty Shaw and Heather Davenport receiving their award from BBC news presenter Roger Johnson.

Overall UCLan students were shortlisted eight times, meaning the University had more students on the list than any other higher education institution in the region. The three winning entries will now be entered into the national final.

John Holloway, Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Performance, said: “I’m delighted that our students were chosen as worthy winners in three categories of the 2017 North West Royal Television Society Awards. It’s a fantastic reward for their hard work and commitment to producing award-winning content. They were up against some very stiff competition, including many other UCLan students, so I hope they go on to further success in the national final.”

The awards, which took place in Salford’s Lowry Theatre, were hosted by BBC news presenter Roger Johnson. The event also included a screening of UCLan’s Soap in a Week, a collaboration which last year saw students work with Coronation Street writers, producers, directors and actors, to create a 15 minute soap.

To view Matchstick Zombies visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emML5Am0DH8&list=PLPS-BUekJr-DhHBW2xnXA9ypzlVlfrzmH&index=1 and to view Felix visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RuMB2rUOkk&list=PLPS-BUekJr-DhHBW2xnXA9ypzlVlfrzmH&index=3

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UCLan researcher included in international research team

NASA telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable zone planets around a single star


NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are located in an area called the habitable zone, where liquid water is most likely to thrive on a rocky planet.


The system sets a new record for greatest number of habitable zone planets found outside our solar system. Any of these seven planets could have liquid water, key to life as we know it.


At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets.


This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers using TRAPPIST announced they had discovered three planets in the system. Assisted by several ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, Spitzer confirmed the existence of two of these planets and discovered five additional ones, increasing the number of known planets in the system to seven.


The new results were published Wednesday in the journal Nature, and announced at a news briefing at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


Dr Daniel Holdsworth, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Jeremiah Horrocks institute for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, is one of the European scientists involved in the project and monitored the TRAPPIST-1 system in an attempt to measure the transit of the outer most planet in the system.

He said: “The TRAPPIST-1 planetary system hosts the largest number of exoplanets close enough to their parent star that liquid water might exist. By precisely monitoring the brightness of the host star, we have been able to detect the planets as they pass in front of the star and block a small amount of light. By knowing how big the star is, and how much light is blocked, we can calculate how big the planets are. The planets are small and rocky and are comparable in size to the Earth. At just 40 light years away, this makes TRAPPIST-1 a prime target to study the atmospheres of exoplanets to search for traces of water, and even life, in this nearby solar system.


“As the TRAPPIST-1 star is very cool, just 2,550 degrees (compared to the Sun at 6,000 degrees) the team used NASA’s Spitzer space telescope, which is very sensitive to red light, to monitor the star for 500 hours. These data, in conjunction with data collected at some of the largest telescopes around the world, lead to this fantastic discovery.”

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University buys Lamb and Packet pub

A Preston drinking institution has been sold to the university.

Brewery Thwaites have revealed the Lamb and Packet pub which has stood in Friargate since the early 1800s has a new owner.

The University of Central Lancashire has purchased the pub after it went on the market in September last year.

The pub stands in a strategic position for the university on the Adelphi roundabout which is due for major redevelopment as part of the university’s £200million Preston campus masterplan.

A spokesman for the University said: “When the pub came up for sale we decided to make a bid. The property represents an ideal opportunity to consolidate our estate and in the long-term will help us create a more joined-up campus. This strategy is particularly important as we work towards the delivery of our £200 million Campus Masterplan.

“At this point we don’t have any specific plans for the use of the building but it will no longer operate as a public house.”

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