April 23, 2009

A former research fellow at Heriot-Watt University will return to the institution next month to take up the post of deputy principal (research and knowledge transfer). Alan Miller will rejoin from the University of St Andrews, where he is vice-principal (research). During the 1980s, Professor Miller spent eight years working for the Ministry of Defence at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment, and was also closely involved in the creation of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance in 2003-04.

The University of Brighton's new registrar and secretary has been appointed. Carol Burns joins from Royal Holloway, University of London, where she was in charge of governance and legal matters. Ms Burns will take responsibility for registry and student services at Brighton, as well as managing its governance structures, including its board of governors, and legal administration. Also at Brighton, Terry Hanson has been made director of information services. He will take charge of libraries, information technology services and reprographics across the university's five campuses. He joins from the University of Chester.

Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester, will continue in his role as chairman of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service for a further two years. A member of the board of the British Library and an academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences, Professor Burgess is also chair of the Universities UK/GuildHE implementation group for the Higher Education Achievement Report and degree classifications, for which he has produced three reports. Anthony McClaran, chief executive of Ucas, who will step down to take up the position of chief executive at the Quality Assurance Agency in October, said: "Professor Burgess has led Ucas through some exciting times - he has overseen the move to fully electronic applications and brought vision and experience at a time of growth and change. This experience will be invaluable as Ucas seeks to appoint a new chief executive."

The University of Plymouth's Awadhesh Jha has become the first UK member elected to the governing body of the Indian Society of Cell Biology. Dr Jha is a life member of the society, which is one of India's most prominent scientific organisations. Wendy Purcell, vice-chancellor of Plymouth, said: "India is gearing up to be a major international player in biological sciences, so it is fantastic that ... Plymouth can be at the forefront of the pioneering research developments taking place in the country."

A new pro vice-chancellor has been appointed at Bucks New University. David Sines will take on the newly created role of pro vice-chancellor/executive dean: society and health, in preparation for the university's nursing provision and applied healthcare research being moved from its current base in Chalfont St Giles to Uxbridge. He will also become professor of community health nursing at Bucks, a role that he held at LSBU.

A former BBC sports pundit has joined the University of Hull to head its Law Clinic, which is due to open in 2010. Frank Dignan, who previously worked as a barrister in London and for the Probation Service in West Yorkshire, will also be involved in establishing the centre. Through the clinic, students from Hull Law School will provide pro bono supervised legal advice to local residents.

The University of Chester's department of geography and development studies has been bolstered by the appointment of two experts on the displacement of refugees. From the next academic year, Martin Evans and Ruth Healey will jointly lead a new module at the university on migrants and refugees. Having previously worked at the University of Leicester, Dr Evans is a recognised expert on West Africa's conflict in the Casamance region of southern Senegal and has been called on by the Foreign Office to brief ambassadors on the situation. Dr Healey has carried out extensive research into the experience of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka living in London, focusing on their employment practices and looking at how they adapt to the UK labour market's challenges. She said: "Supporting the utilisation of skills could contribute to overcoming some skill shortages and enhance the potential for refugee integration into wider society, as well as enhancing the lives of the refugees themselves."

David Smith has been appointed co-director of the Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning and professor of lifelong learning at Glasgow Caledonian University. Former principal research fellow at the University of Leeds' School of Education and joint director of its Higher Education Policy Unit, Professor Smith has contributed to many UK government and international reports on lifelong learning.

The new director of the University of Teesside's department for marketing and student recruitment has been appointed. Dennis Kelly joins from Leeds Metropolitan University, where he helped to set up a communications consultancy and developed training and tailored research for studies of public relations. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, where he will continue to deliver training courses.

Elizabeth Rosser has been appointed associate dean (nursing) at Bournemouth University. A former director of the postgraduate and post-qualifying modular scheme at the University of the West of England, Professor Rosser's main research interests pertain to the health and social care workforce. She has been involved in a number of research projects in the UK and Brazil.

The University of Nottingham's Hugh Goddard is moving to take up the post of director of a new centre at the University of Edinburgh that will lead research on the impact of Islam on today's world. Professor Goddard will head the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, which aims to become a primary resource centre for studies into Islamic civilisation and issues relating to Islam in the UK.

A film lecturer from the University of Cumbria has been awarded a major international prize for his short film, Jade. Dan Elliot, who is a part-time tutor at the university, picked up the Silver Bear Award at the 59th Berlin Film Festival. His third short film was screened as part of the Berlinale shorts programme, which featured 28 films from 17 countries. The award follows his success at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, where he won Best European Short Film for his second production, The Making of Parts.

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