Celebrating our 50th in New York

“We have no interest in resting on our laurels, and that is why this year was the right time to put in place our new strategy to see Bath grow even further in research power and international influence”

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, President and Vice-Chancellor

We celebrated with our alumni and friends in New York at Manhattan’s Grolier Club on Thursday 14 September, to round off a fantastic 50th anniversary and share our ambitions for the future.

Recent successes

Following a welcome from Director of Development & Alumni Relations, Gavin Maggs, our President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell took to the podium to share the University’s recent successes. These included the Guardian Top 5 ranking, Bath’s gold in the first-ever Teaching Excellence Framework ratings and our position as one of the only two UK universities to feature on the Times Higher Education’s 55 Tech Challenger Universities.

Turning to recent expansions here on campus, Dame Glynis highlighted 10 West, the new home for the Institute for Policy Research and the Department of Psychology, and 4 East South, for the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering. Both of these landmark new buildings now house programmes ranked number 1 in the UK. Looking to the future, she shared our vision for a new home for the University’s world-renowned School of Management, and investment in facilities across campus.

Research strength

Our research and academic community has gone from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of PhD students and a reputation for real world, applied research.  Dame Glynis then introduced Professor David Coley, who is embarking on a three-year project to design housing for refugees living in extreme climates.

In May, Professor Coley’s team received £1.5 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The award will allow the Healthy Housing for the Displaced team to undertake key research in Jordan, Turkey, Thailand and Tanzania, engaging with refugees and local aid agencies such as UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to address the key issues affecting displacement camps worldwide.

With the aim of designing low-cost and easy to construct housing, the project will ensure privacy, comfort and dignity for millions of displaced people living day-to-day in long-term camps.  Find out more more about this research in BA2 magazine on page 20.

The Vice-Chancellor with Professor David Coley, who is working on building better futures for refugees in Jordan

The success and scope of the Healthy Housing for the Displaced project reflects Bath’s increasing presence on the world stage and the importance of international partnerships to our future growth. The interdisciplinary team at Bath will collaborate with colleagues at Princess Sumaya University for Technology (Jordan) and German Jordanian University (Jordan) to gain a meaningful understanding of the issues affecting refugees and aid agencies in each region.

A personal thank you

The Vice-Chancellor concluded her speech by thanking alumni in attendance for the crucial role they have played, and will continue to play, in the University’s success. Over the last year alone, alumni and friends of the University have donated over £10 million to invest in Bath’s future, which has helped the University raise over £61 million towards its £66 million target for its first fundraising campaign – Look Further.

The Vice-Chancellor thanked guests for their investment in the future of students and the University campus, and challenged everyone in attendance to become a personal champion for Bath; to spread the message of our success even further.

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