Brexit | Student Lifecycle | Staff Survey

Gill ValentineUpdate from Professor Gill Valentine, Acting President and Vice-Chancellor

"I was pleased to see so many colleagues attend the launch of our sustainability strategy earlier this week and the commitment and passion in the room for taking sustainability at Sheffield forward. We will be hosting a number of workshops later in the year where you will have a further opportunity to input into the full strategy, which will be published in 2019. There is still chance to get involved in the rest of the week’s events and activities taking place across campus.

"We are still facing a great deal of uncertainty over the implications of Brexit and the possibility of a ‘no deal’ scenario. We are putting together plans to mitigate the impact of different Brexit outcomes, including on the residence status of students and staff, mobility and travel, and the status of research contracts. Last week, the Government announced a new phase of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot. All non-UK EU staff from our University are eligible to apply and have been contacted with further details about this process. Given the ever changing nature of the negotiations, we will continue to keep you updated on the work we are doing and provide support and guidance to our non-UK EU staff.

"We deeply value the contribution of our EU staff and students. Our photography exhibition sharing and celebrating the stories of non-UK EU staff who have made a life and home in Sheffield is currently on display around campus. If you are in the Information Commons, Firth Court or the Hicks Building between 15-26 October, please take a look at the photographs that show staff at work and in the places they care about in Sheffield.

"Hopefully many of you will be aware of the Student Lifecycle Project, which is focused on improving the services we deliver to our students. We will be imminently launching the AskUs service - a new, efficient and universal way of handling enquiries from prospective students. As well as providing prospective students with an improved, seamless and consistent experience when they get in touch, it will give staff access to important data, which will help improve how we communicate with them.

"Another of the Student Lifecycle Project’s current priorities is to make sure the University has a functioning student record that can be used to enable us to return student data to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency). As this is a critical activity for the University, service delivery improvements in the associated areas will be a top priority. There will be communication about which areas are affected later in the autumn. Once these priority areas have been delivered, the project will continue to launch further improvements to the services we provide to our students. If you would like to hear me speak about the Student Lifecycle Project’s broader aims watch this short video.

"I wrote to all staff yesterday about the upcoming staff survey, which opens next week. All responses are confidential and anonymous, so please do take the time to fill this in and give your honest answers and opinions. We have carried out a bi-annual staff survey for the past 10 years and we have used what you have told us to make positive changes to our workplace. To find out some of the things that we have done following your feedback in the 2016 Staff Survey, visit the staff survey web pages.

"Whilst it is only October, I appreciate that many of you will be starting to make plans for the Christmas break. This year, we have taken the decision to close for an additional day on Monday 24 December 2018 (Christmas Eve). Including bank holidays, this will mean the University will be closed from Monday 24 December 2018 and reopen on Wednesday 2 January 2019. A number of factors have been considered in making this decision, but not least the contribution of our staff in what has been a turbulent and challenging year for the higher education sector. Thank you for your support, engagement and collaboration."