After the Games

Several months ago, along with thousands of others, I applied for tickets to several events at the Commonwealth Games in the hope that one or two might be successful. As it happens we received tickets for five of the events we had applied for and so over the last couple of weeks, my wife, daughter …

Getting on my soapbox

It’s been quite a while since my last blog and part of the reason for that is what I now want to write about. It has of course been a tough few months with the introduction of a voluntary severance scheme aimed at delivering the cuts in academic staff we need, alongside aggressive income generation …

Three good things about the European Community (and one bad)

The combined results of the Scottish Referendum in September and next year’s UK general election could deliver any one of four outcomes with respect to Scottish membership of the European Community: in or out as part of the UK which could have its own referendum on EC membership or as an independent Scotland which may …

Conference season

It is the start of the party political conference season in Scotland and, in my role as convener of Universities Scotland, I was at the Scottish Conservative Party conference in Edinburgh on Saturday. Next Saturday I’ll be with the Scottish Labour Party in Perth and the following week it’s the turn of the Liberal Democrats …

Passionate Explorers

This morning I have spent an interesting and energising couple of hours with staff and students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design engaged with the MSc Design Ethnography and Masters in Design for Services courses. Students attracted by word of mouth, the website and skype-based interviews come from all corners of the …

The path to leadership

This time last year I made a New Year’s resolution to ‘illuminate the path to leadership’. Of course this refers to the University Vision which states our goal to become Scotland’s leading university within 25 years (from 2012). It was shorthand for a call to secure commitment to the vision throughout the University and the …

Let’s work together

A little over a year after the launch of the University’s new vision I have been holding a series of meetings with staff from Colleges and SASS Directorates to review progress and build momentum towards our ambitious goal of becoming Scotland’s leading university. I am meeting with senior managers, recently appointed staff and students as …

On the bullet train south

As I write this blog I am on the bullet train from Seoul to Daegu which will take me from the north of Korea into the south east part of the country. I’ll be back in Seoul by 2 pm after a morning of meetings with senior staff at Kyangpouk National University. It’s enough to …

The Big Education Debate

A couple of weeks ago, Dundee University Students’ Association teamed up with our 5 Million Questions team to host a ‘Question Time’-style Big Education Debate in the Dalhousie lecture theatre. The billing for this event pointed to a public debate so far that had been over-technical and overtly party political so I was interested to …

5000 years of experience

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Universities UK Annual Conference which was held at the University of Leicester. Whilst much useful business was conducted there were two particular highlights. The first was Vince Cable’s speech to the gathered throng of Vice Chancellors and Principals. Some of you may have read one of my …