Top US universities visit Edge Hill to see what university can offer American students

Major Universities from the US and Mexico visited Edge Hill last week to discover what the University can offer their students through the Study Abroad programme.

Over 25 delegates from across the US and Mexico spent a week on campus exploring the University’s academic facilities and experiencing everything the North West region has to offer.

During the one-week conference delegates attended academic sessions, tried out the CAVE, Edge Hill’s new 4K fully immersive 3D virtual environment, attended a showcase at the Arts Centre and also visited Ormskirk and Liverpool.

Jane Ann Williams, Executive Director for Global Education at Montclair State University, outside of New York, said: “We’ve been sending students to Edge Hill for many years to study mainly media and arts based programmes.

“The University has some fantastic media, theatre and arts based facilities and offers great academic study and social opportunities to our students.

“It’s hard to build such strong long-term partnerships with international universities but Edge Hill has the same values and ethos to ours and offers our students fantastic personal and academic opportunities.”

Through the Study Abroad programme which offers full-term accredited academic placements, and the Summer School programme which overs three week placements, around 70 American students visit Ormskirk each year.

Edge Hill hopes to increase these numbers through new partnerships and also arrange reciprocal placements for current students.

Renate Wyssmann, from Universidad Anahuac in Cancun, Mexico, said: “I see students totally transformed after studying abroad at Edge Hill.

“Britain is totally different to the UK so aside from their studies (typically in technology and computing) they gain real life experiences. Being immersed in campus life, adjusting to different situations and environments makes them more resilient and confident.

“It’s simple things like getting used to the transport infrastructure over here. In Mexico our public transport is poor so many students won’t have used trains or even pavements before.”

Samantha Apointe from Tecnologico de Monterrey which has 31 campuses across Mexico, added: “By coming to Edge Hill our students gain a broad experience and I see a big difference when they return.

“They leave as shy individuals, many of whom have not left their local area before and come back confident and competent adults able to organise themselves.

“The experience of different academic styles, such as tutors delivering large group lectures and simple things like making sure they do their laundry and eat on campus all teaches them invaluable skills.

“Because Edge Hill is a fantastic, friendly and safe campus our students gain so much more than their academic qualifications and that experience is invaluable.”

Beautiful campus receives Green Flag award for sixth year running

Edge Hill University has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best green spaces in the world for the sixth consecutive year.

The University is among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that have received the prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space – this year.

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Neil Toner, Grounds Manager at the University, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for a sixth year running – we know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Edge Hill’s campus to such a high standard.

“This year we have successfully trialled planting wild meadow flowers around the western campus lake to add colour and enhance biodiversity and are planning to introduce them to more areas.

“Our participation in the National Garden Scheme in June this year showed visitors that great care has been taken to maintain the existing landscape, with over 300 visitors attending.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. 

“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

Find out more about the Edge Hill campus here

Hard working housekeepers recover priceless diamond from hoover

Two hard working housekeepers recovered a valuable piece of jewellery from inside a Henry hoover during a busy graduation week at Edge Hill University.

Heroes Brenda and Marion ripped open Henry’s dust bag after hearing how a parent had lost her engagement ring during a graduation ceremony.

After delving through the dust and dirt they found the large sparkly flower shaped diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds and returned it to the grateful owner.

Brenda Wilkinson, 60, who has worked at the university for eight years, said: “We heard that one of the graduate’s parents had been clapping during the ceremony and had watched her diamond setting come flying out of her engagement ring.

“She watched it roll down the seating rows in front but couldn’t find it after the ceremony. She was absolutely devastated as she’s been married for a long time, over 40 years.”

Marion Scarisbrick, 60, who has also worked alongside Brenda as friend and colleague for eight years, added: “We were halfway through vacuuming the hall when we heard what had happened.

“We ripped open the hoover bag and through all the dirt and dust we could see it sparkling. It was beautiful and we spotted it straight away.

“Apparently the woman was thrilled to get it back and was overcome with emotion. I’m just so glad we could help.”

The hard-working duo who clean buildings across campus, including The Hollies accommodation halls, are no strangers to finding treasured possessions.

Marion added: “We tend to find wallets, mobile phones, cameras and keys across campus and return them to their owners but this is the first time we’ve had a mission to find something so valuable and precious.”

Earlier this month the pair received an ‘Above and Beyond’ student award after being nominated by residents of The Hollies who praised their happy, friendly and conscientious nature.

Students also praised the care and interest they took in their studies and research and how they always offered a shoulder to cry on if needed.

Dr Dame Sue Ion

The UK’s foremost female nuclear engineer called on teaching graduands to encourage and support girls and boys to see science as crucial to their progression.

Dame Sue Ion who is keen to encourage more young people into science and engineering careers addressed graduands as she collected her honorary degree from Edge Hill University on 21 July 2017.

Hard working housekeepers recover priceless diamond from hoover

 

Two hard working housekeepers recovered a priceless diamond from inside a Henry hoover during a busy graduation week.

Heroes Brenda and Marion, ripped open Henry’s hoover bag after hearing how a parent had lost her engagement ring during a graduation ceremony.

After delving through the dust and dirt they found the large sparkly flower shaped diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds and returned it to the grateful owner.

Brenda Wilkinson, 60, who has worked at the university for 8 years, said:

“We heard that one of the graduate’s parents had been clapping during the ceremony and had watched her diamond setting come flying out of her engagement ring.

“She watched it roll down the seating rows in front but couldn’t find it after the ceremony. She was absolutely devastated as she’s been married for a long time, over 40 years.”

Marion Scarisbrick, 60, who has also worked alongside Brenda as friend and colleague for 8 years, added:

“We were halfway through vacuuming the hall when we heard what had happened. We ripped open the hoover bag and through all the dirt and dust we could see it sparkling. It was beautiful and we spotted it straight away.

“Apparently the woman was thrilled to get it back and was overcome with emotion. I’m just so glad we could help.”

The hard-working duo who clean buildings across campus, including The Hollies accommodation halls, are no strangers to finding treasured possessions. Marion added:

“We tend to find wallets, mobile phones, cameras and keys across campus and return them to their owners but this is the first time we’ve had a mission to find something so valuable and precious.”

Earlier this month the pair received an ‘Above and Beyond’ student award after being nominated by residents of The Hollies who praised their happy, friendly and conscientious nature.

Students also praised the care and interest they took in their studies and research and how they always offered a shoulder to cry on if needed.

UK’s foremost female nuclear engineer collects honorary degree

The UK’s foremost female nuclear engineer called on teaching graduands to encourage and support girls and boys to see science as crucial to their progression.

Dame Sue Ion who is keen to encourage more young people into science and engineering careers addressed graduands as she collected her honorary degree from Edge Hill University today (21 July 2017). She said:

“Even if science is not your discipline, can I ask you to be as encouraging as you can be throughout your career by giving support and encouragement to students of both sexes, girls and boys alike to stay the course and view the scientific disciplines as fundamental to good progression, and give them opportunities to find out more.

“As a nation we’re desperately short of science and engineering talent from apprentices all the way through to top end professorial researchers. Opportunities are increasing and salaries are absolutely excellent.”

Praising the University’s new Technology Hub, TEF Gold status and its top national rankings in graduate employability, Dame Sue urged graduands to exploit the opportunities they’ve been given at Edge Hill to find a career they enjoy.  She said:

“One of the most important things about work after university is that you find something enjoyable to do that’s challenging and also good fun. Based on my experience I’ve had this in spades.

“When I left university all those years ago I never would have dreamt I’d be sat down to lunch with the Queen and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace…or that I’d be briefing more than one Prime Minister or minister of state in the course of my career.

“All I can say to you is grab every opportunity put in front of you because you never know, you might be doing the same thing.”

She added:

“As young graduates in 2017 you face some of the most exciting and challenging opportunities for a generation. Your work, your creativity and your attitudes as you enter the next phase of your careers will be vital to our wellbeing in the 21st Century. You can make a real difference.

“Edge Hill has a reputation for being fleet of foot, innovative and ready to grasp opportunities. If you do likewise which I’m sure you’ll all do you’ll do very well indeed.”

Dame Sue Ion is Chairman of the UK Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board (NIRAB). She is the only non US member of the US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee on which she has served since 2005.

Having managed British Nuclear Fuel Limited’s UK Research and Development portfolio, she has worked tirelessly to promote the benefits of the industry and was credited with persuading Tony Blair to change Labour’s official government policy on nuclear power, allowing the development of an energy policy that recognises the need for nuclear, alongside coal and renewable sources, to meet Britain’s future energy requirements.

Awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to the nuclear industry, Sue was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2010 for services to science and engineering.  A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, she was its Vice-President from 2002–2008 and was the first woman to be awarded the President’s medal in 2014. Sue was born in Cumbria and has made Lancashire her home.

Hospital worker with a passion for helping people swaps career to become primary school teacher

A former Health Care Assistant at Bolton Royal Hospital has fulfilled her dream of helping people by swapping her career ambitions and becoming a teacher.

Rachael McFadden, 26, who had graduated this week with a First in Teaching, Learning and Child Development, had initially wanted to become a nurse.

She said:

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left college, I just knew I wanted to help people so I worked at the hospital in the hope of becoming a nurse.

“I enjoyed the job but I knew it was not the right career for me, I just knew it. I volunteered at a school and I knew for certain this was the right career for me and exactly what I wanted to do.”

After being advised at an open evening that Edge Hill was the best teaching university Rachael put all her eggs in one basket and only applied there.

Rachael, from Salford, said:

“I felt like leaving my job and applying to university was such a big risk but now I look back and wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.

“I’ve enjoyed the experience so much, moving away from home and feeling like I’m actually doing something with my life.

“The placements have helped develop my confidence and increase my motivation to become a teacher and, one day, have my own class.”

After an initial placement in a school in Parbold teaching Key Stage 2 (7 to 9 year-olds) Rachael’s last two placements were in a school in Chorley teaching Key Stage 1 (5 to 7 year-olds).

She said:

“I originally wanted to teach Key Stage 2 but once I stepped into a Key Stage 1 classroom I fell in love with it. I even volunteered at the school in Chorley after my placement ended because I loved it so much.

“In September I begin a one-year placement in Bolton then all being well I’ll be a fully qualified teacher.

“In the future I’d love to become a school counsellor as the psychology side of education and behaviour management really intrigued me on my course.”

First Class success for dedicated volunteer

Alongside her academic studies, committed student Maegan Cleary has dedicated a lot of her time to volunteering and raising money for Ukrainian orphanages.

Budding teacher Maegan, from Huyton, graduated from Edge Hill University today with a First Class degree in Children and Young People’s Learning and Development, and had to overcome some challenges in the process.

“I chose this course because I thought it would be a great platform to help reach my dreams of becoming a teacher,” said Maegan. “In addition, I have always struggled with exams and this course was completely coursework based. It was only when I came to Edge Hill that it was recognised that I had dyslexia.

“I found the tutors to be really supportive and approachable, and they allowed me to become an independent learner. The different modules were really interesting and interactive, and I was able to go on trips which were really helpful in supporting my development.”

Maegan received an Edge Hill Excellence Scholarship for Prospective Students in recognition of her dedication to volunteering, and she hopes to use her scholarship to revisit the Ukraine to work with those damaged by the ongoing conflict.

“In 2011, I volunteered with a community church where I spent Friday nights in the local youth club supervising children and acting as the first aid,” said Maegan. “The church had links to a Ukrainian orphanage and proposed to go over and support the local orphanage.   I worked with a group of volunteers to raise money for the trip, and after raising enough, we filled half of our suitcases with donations of clothes, pens, pencils and toiletries which we presented to the orphans on the last day.

“While I was in the Ukraine, I taught dance to the orphans and each morning we would work on a routine to be shown on stage in the local community.  After hearing terrible stories about how they ended up in the orphanage, it was so nice to see the children enjoying themselves. We took the children to theme parks, ice skating, shopping, movie nights and many other trips using the money we raised in the UK.  Taking the children to McDonalds was an eye-opener – most of them have never eaten at a fast food restaurant and they were so excited when we arrived!

“It was a tough experience and made me endeavour to never take things for granted and always help those in need. After returning from the Ukraine, I now volunteer with a local dance group, using my skills to support and teach them a couple of nights a week.”

Maegan hopes to become a qualified teacher and use her experiences to support children of all ages. As well as encouraging them to acknowledge how fortunate they are, she would also like to support children who have had a tough upbringing and make it clear that they are always good enough to achieve.

To find out more about studying Children and Young People’s Learning and Development, click here.

Gamble pays off for former holiday rep who made deal with herself to gain degree before turning 30

A former international holiday rep who spent years entertaining children and gambled her career for a degree now has her sights set on becoming a head teacher.

Lancaster’s Leanne Millican, 29, who made a deal with herself to change her career and get a degree before turning 30, is this week celebrating her graduation from Edge Hill University.

Leanne, who worked in countries including Lapland and Egypt and had a brief stint crewing a private jet before moving into recruitment, gained a First in Learning and Child Development.

She said:

“Before attending Edge Hill I had a promising career in recruitment but I just felt unfulfilled working in an office.

“Prior to that I’d entertained children in holiday resorts for over five years which I adored. I thought about being a teacher on and off for years but my confidence and life obstacles stopped me.

“Then I finally made a deal with myself that I wanted to graduate before the age of 30. Many people thought I was crazy to sacrifice a good job and become a student but I felt I needed a positive change and my gamble paid off.”

After getting into the routine of studying again Leanne also took on the extra responsibility of becoming a course representative

She added:

“As a ‘mature’ student it was a long time since I’d written an essay and that made me panic.

“But all the tutors gave me such encouragement and support with academic writing and their ‘real life’ school experience really demonstrated how to teach in a modern classroom.

“The other great experience was work based learning. We spent lots of time in schools through our placements and I had the opportunity to teach in a variety of school settings.

“Because I felt so engaged and passionate with the course I became course rep. It allowed me to voice students’ opinions and help keep the course stimulating and relevant.

“Personally it has helped me to be able to be an advocate for others and has improved my confidence and mediation skills.”

Leanne is currently working as a supply early years practitioner over the summer and is starting a job in September in a school in Mossley Hill, Liverpool.

She added:

“I’m delighted with my First and I still have big dreams, my long term goal is to one day become a head teacher. I like to dream big.”