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Queen Mary Student


November 2015


QMUL ranked in top 100 universities in the world

QMUL has risen eight places in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking to 98th in the world and is ranked 16th in the UK. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking is one of the most respected league tables in the world. It takes into account teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

QMUL has been rising rapidly up the World University Ranking, jumping nearly 50 places in just three years from 145th in 2012. In particular QMUL was praised for its international outlook where it ranks in the top 10 per cent worldwide.

QMUL Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell said: “We are proud of our ability to attract and nurture the best students and staff regardless of their background. Our strong links with universities and academics from around the world allow our students both from here in the UK and elsewhere to take a full part in a modern global community.”


England rugby great Jason Leonard attends school tournament hosted by QMUL

Rugby World Cup winner Jason Leonard paid a visit to Queen Mary RFC’s Tower Hamlets Schools Tag Tournament which was set up to encourage school kids across the borough to play rugby. England Rugby also wrote about the visit and posted a video featuring some of our Students’ Union staff.

QMUL nominees for Young Person of the Year Award

The Young People of the Year Award is about recognising and rewarding positive role models in Essex and London. Two QMUL students, Hazel Woodhead and Shobana Sivalingam, have been shortlisted for the 2015 awards for their work in launching the Bow Foodbank Volunteering Group. Barts and The London Volunteering Officer, Simon Corke, who was the 2013/14 President of the Teddy Bear Hospital Volunteering Group, has also been nominated for the award, as well as QMUL alumnus Gilman Ahmed for his leadership of the Aspire Volunteering Group.

QMUL PhD student stumbles upon a new way for producing oldest chemical compounds

Chemistry PhD student, Geoffrey Smith has found a simple way for the first time of producing two chemical compounds that were first discovered in the late 19th century, entirely by accident. The discovery could have implications for fighting disease and growing crops, where the sulfur containing compounds called sultones and sultines, play a significant role.

QMUL student develops new app to help you connect with others

QMUL student Davina Finn has launched ‘MyBranch’, a new, free smartphone app that makes it easy for users to make plans and meet new people. As a current QMUL study abroad student, Davina hopes that using the app will enrich the experience of both study abroad students and the entire student body.

Students triumph at biotechnology entrepreneurs scheme

A team of Queen Mary PhD students are through to the final of the annual Biotechnology YES (Young Entrepreneur Scheme) competition. Now in its 20th year, Biotechnology YES is a national business competition for postgraduate students, the aim of which is to raise awareness and develop skills associated with the commercialisation of bioscience research.

Drama student makes case to protect iconic pub

Ben Walters, a PhD student in Drama, has played a leading role in the campaign to get the Royal Vauxhall Tavern listed because of its LGBTQ heritage. Ben is undertaking an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with Duckie, a queer collective who have been putting on performance events at the pub since 1995. You can read the story of the campaign on the Royal Vauxhall Tavern website.

QMUL student launches crowdfunding campaign for innovative workout aid

For the past few years, QMUL student Alexander McKeown has been developing a product called Duothirst, the world's first single nozzled sports bottle that can hold two drinks simultaneously. Alexander’s company, Duothirst Ltd, launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday 28 October. The minimum funding goal for this project is $50,000.

QMUL launches Confucius Institute at Mile End campus

QMUL has officially launched our Confucius Institute in partnership with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Hanban, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, which is responsible for promoting Chinese language and culture abroad. The launch ceremony, featuring demonstrations of Chinese culture, took place at the Mile End campus on Friday 23 October.

QMUL project shortlisted for ‘Oscars of higher education’

InQUBEate, a QMUL student enterprise programme that provides mentoring and training for students with entrepreneurial ideas, has been shortlisted for the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2015. Chosen from over 500 applications worldwide, InQUBEate is nominated for the employability category of the awards, which celebrate innovative experiments in higher education.

Principal’s update video

QMUL Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell is joined by Professor Rebecca Lingwood, Vice-Principal (Student Experience, Teaching and Learning) in a video discussion on our student intake this year and how Queen Mary keeps pace with growth by investing in facilities and support for staff. Visit my.qmul to read Students’ Union President, Carolina Mantzalos’ comments on the video.

#QMULWelcome competition

We are pleased to announce the winners of the #QMULWelcome photo and video competition, which ran during Moving In Weekend and Welcome Week. We received loads of great entries which really showcased the excitement of joining Queen Mary and all the activities that took place. Visit my.qmul to see the winning entries or look back on the week with our Storify page.

Professor Steve Thornton appointed as QMUL’s Vice Principal (Health)

QMUL has announced the appointment of Professor Steve Thornton as Vice Principal (Health) and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Thornton joins QMUL from the University of Exeter and will take up his post from January 2015. Professor Thornton is a distinguished clinical scientist whose speciality is Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a particular focus on pre-term labour.

#RefugeesWelcome: QMUL activity in support of refugees

Thank you to everyone who has responded to student-update@qmul.ac.uk to let us know what you’ve been doing in support of refugees. We have created a dedicated webpage - www.qmul.ac.uk/refugees-welcome - which gives a brief overview of what the QMUL community is doing, and offers guidance for how to get involved and help. We will continue to update the webpage with information as it comes in.

Students' Union Executive Officers Meet Local MP for #CutTheCosts

On Friday 16 October, Will Atkins (Vice President Barts and The London) and Carolina Mantzalos (Students’ Union President) met with the local MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, to discuss the NUS #CutTheCosts campaign. The aim of the campaign is to stop the Government’s plans to scrap maintenance grants for full-time higher education students in England and replace them with a loans-based system.

Junior doctors’ protest against contract changes

Last week, the Student Council voted with an overwhelming majority to support the campaign against the new junior doctor and dentist contract proposals. Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) represents many future junior doctors and dentists, and this will directly affect those students in the future.

On Saturday 16 October, students from the School of Medicine and Dentistry organised to meet and join in the national protest against these proposed changes.

Canal repair works at Mile End campus

Queen Mary’s characteristic view of Regent’s Canal at the Mile End campus will change over the next eight weeks while vital repairs are undertaken to the waterway walls. The canal will be closed from Monday 2 November to Monday 21 December by which time all works should be complete.

Carolina Mantzalos – your Union President

Carolina Mantzalos graduated from QMUL in 2014 and is your Students’ Union President. Last year she represented students as Vice President for Education. We sat down with Carolina to find out a bit more about her, her top tips for students, memories of QMUL and how she'll be supporting you over the coming year.


Global Entrepreneurship Week, 16-22 November

Global Entrepreneurship Week at Queen Mary will give you a variety of opportunities to find out more about starting up your own business – from an entrepreneurs’ networking event on Tuesday 17 November, to a workshop on making your idea a reality on Wednesday 18 November, and an event on being your own boss on Thursday 19 November. The week will be rounded off by the 3 Day Startup weekend from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 November, which brings together like-minded people in an effort to get a startup off the ground.


Money Matters: A service to help you manage your money

Money advice at Queen Mary is available to all QMUL students from experienced Welfare Advisers in the Advice and Counselling Service. There is lots of help and support available, so please don’t worry about money on your own.

Events, notices and getting involved

Job vacancy for current QMUL student: Student Communications Intern

QMUL’s Communications Office is looking for an enthusiastic, motivated and talented QMUL student to work on a variety of communications projects which will benefit the experience of all our students. Find out more and apply for the role through QRecruit. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 4 November.

Make sure you’re registered to vote

Under the old electoral system, one person in each household completed the registration for every resident eligible to vote. But when councils transfer to a new register in December, to which everyone has to sign up as an individual, it is estimated that around 1 million people could fall off the electoral register. With the London mayoral and local elections due to take place in May next year, not to mention a potential EU Referendum, you can have your say on both local and transnational decisions once you register. Find out more on my.qmul.

Queen Mary Wi-Fi upgrade project

IT Services is upgrading the Wi-Fi service across all our main campuses. They are also replacing all 880 existing Wi-Fi access points with new faster and advanced Cisco access points, as well as installing an additional 1,300 access points across campus, significantly improving the existing Wi-Fi coverage where it is already available and increasing the capacity of the service by 250 per cent.

Sustainability Careers and Volunteering Mini Fair

Want to follow a career path with a positive social or environmental impact, but need to build relevant skills? The Sustainability Careers and Volunteering Mini Fair showcases local volunteering, project placement and graduate opportunities for you to gain standout work experience for your CV. It’s taking place on Tuesday 1 December from 11am-1pm in the foyer of the People’s Palace at the Mile End campus.

Drop in for student entrepreneur ‘Start-up Stand Up’

Drop in to the Octagon at the Mile End campus on Monday 9 November from 12-2pm to hear some of Queen Mary’s brightest student entrepreneurs in ‘Start-up Stand Up’, an event to provide you with new contacts, fresh ideas and lots of laughs.

Information to help you cope with culture shock

All new students’ first weeks at university are ones of adjustment. However, for international students this adjustment period can be particularly profound. You may well be experiencing so many different changes at once that you feel temporarily quite overwhelmed. Take a look at our webpage on culture shock to find out more about what culture shock is, some common symptoms and some solutions for coping.

Tier 4 student visa guide updates

The Advice and Counselling Service have updated the student advice guide ‘Applying for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission’ with details of the maintenance changes coming into effect on 12 November 2015. You can access the new version on the Advice and Counselling website where you can also find helpful videos which illustrate the guide. Groups that are likely to be affected are PhD students who need to extend their study time, and students switching to a longer version of their programme. If you have any concerns, please contact the Advice and Counselling Service.

Protect yourself against meningitis

Meningitis cases are on the rise. Protect yourself by getting immunised and recognising the symptoms. Visit Student Health for further information.

Opportunity for Science and Engineering undergraduates interested in research

Would you like to present your research and get insight into the ways professional research communities work, find out about research at other universities and become more confident in communicating your ideas? If so, QMUL’s Annual Fund will sponsor Science and Engineering students to attend the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR 2016).

Study abroad opportunities at QMUL

The international exchange programme enables students from Queen Mary to spend a year or the autumn semester at one of our partner institutions outside Europe. Study abroad opportunities within Europe are available through the Erasmus+ exchange programme. We also provide short-term summer cultural immersion programmes abroad. A presentation providing further information on these opportunities will be held on Wednesday 11 November, 2-4pm in the Mason Lecture Theatre in the Francis Bancroft Building at the Mile End campus. Details can be found on the international exchange programme website.

Thank you for your feedback

The Queen Mary Student Survey has now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on the last academic year and told us what changes you want to see. The results will be made available to all students in the coming months and we’ll let you know what we can do in response to your feedback.

Are you looking for support with public projects?

If you are involved in projects or activities that involve the public with your research and/or learning at QMUL, or if want to know how to do so, then why not come along to a public engagement advice surgery. The surgeries take place across our main campuses every other Tuesday, giving you a chance to talk to members of the Centre for Public Engagement for advice, information and to hear about potential opportunities and funding at QMUL.

Thinking Writing workshops for PhD students

Need time to work on your writing? Can’t find your way through all the reading you have to do? Want to make more progress on your thesis? Help is at hand. Thinking Writing has announced a schedule for PhD writing development opportunities.

Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Environments

An exciting workshop for postgraduate students on interdisciplinary research methods, focusing on photography and ethnography, is being run by Greg Constantine (Distinguished Visitor in the School of Law, and Centre for the Study of Migration), Dr Tarek Virani (School of English and Drama) and Dr Mariza Dima (Creativeworks London) on Thursday 5 November, 4-6pm in the City Centre Seminar Room, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End campus.

QMplus video competition for QMUL students

Can you produce an engaging video aimed at fellow students describing the various features of QMplus? Then why not enter the E-Learning Unit competition to be in with a chance of winning prizes ranging from a tablet to Amazon vouchers or Beats by Dre headphones.

Disco for change and raise money for refugees

The Queen Mary Disco Society is organising an event at the Drapers Bar and Kitchen at the Mile End campus from 9pm on Thursday 5 November called Disco 4 Change, a music night in which all the ticketed proceeds will go to the Red Cross in aid of their refugee fundraiser. Tickets cost £4 and can be bought from the Students’ Union website.

Remembrance Day at Queen Mary

A short act of remembrance will take place in the Octagon at the Mile End campus on Wednesday 11 November, observing a two-minute silence at 11am. All staff and students are welcome to gather in the Octagon at 10.50am for the service, which should be finished by 11.05am. The SCR in the Garrod Building at the Whitechapel campus and room G.02 in the Joseph Rotblat Building at the Charterhouse Square campus will also be available to those that wish to observe the two minutes’ silence.

Barts and The London (BL) Music Society’s Freshers’ Concert

On Monday 9 November at 7.30pm in the Old Library in the Garrod Building at the Whitechapel campus, the BL Music Society will give its first concert of the year. It will feature the BL Music Society Choir and Orchestra as well as their very own a capella group ‘Chorda Equina’.  Soloists will also have the platform to showcase their talents. Tickets are £5 if booked in advance or £6 on the door. To book tickets in advance, please email blmusicsoc@gmail.com.

Your chance to represent Queen Mary on University Challenge

The Students’ Union is looking for QMUL’s brightest and best minds to represent us in the 2016 series of the prestigious quiz show University Challenge. Download and complete the application form on the QMSU website and submit either at the Students’ Union Hub Reception or electronically to su-events@qmul.ac.uk. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 19 November at 5pm, and successful teams will be contacted the following day.

RAG nominated charities

The QMSU Raise and Give (RAG) fundraising group at the Mile End campus are pleased to announce their nominated charities for the 2015/16 academic year. Their charities will be Richard House Children's Hospice and St John Ambulance. If you have an exciting event idea or would like to get more involved with RAG and help to make a real difference, head to www.qmsu.org/rag to sign up and find out more information.

RAG London Marathon

Each year the QMSU Raise and Give (RAG) fundraising group receives running places in the London Marathon in exchange for the volunteering service it provides along Mile 19 of the route. Are you up for the challenge of a lifetime? Can you run the 26.2 mile course? Do you want to raise thousands of pounds for the RAG-nominated charities? If the answer is yes, then please head to www.qmsu.org/rag to find out more information and complete a short application form.

Adopt a charity

QMSU's brand new ‘Adopt a Charity’ scheme aims to help groups of individuals, societies, Sports Clubs and Halls flats fundraise for charity. With over 16,000 registered charities to choose from, you’re sure to find a cause close to your heart, or alternatively you could adopt one of the nominated charities for the year. Participants will be provided with extensive support to run their fundraising events, help banking their money and paying the charity, and will be entered into the termly competitions to recognise the groups that raise the most, or put on the most innovative event. For more information, check out www.qmsu.org/rag

Quest Radio launches on campus 

The QMSU student-led, student-run radio station Quest Radio is now broadcasting live with a packed schedule of shows. Quest broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with live shows running from 9am to 9pm. Tune in online at www.questradio.co.uk or listen out in Students' Union outlets. If you're interested in hosting your own show, producing a show or managing the technical side of the station, head to www.qmsu.org/studentmedia for more information.

'Miracle Materials' from Professor William Gillin

Professor William Gillin, Professor of Experimental Physics, will be holding his inaugural lecture ‘Material Miracles’ on Wednesday 25 November at 7pm, with a drinks reception to follow. The lecture will take place in the Skeel Lecture Theatre, Mile End campus. The lecture will look at how technological breakthroughs are based on developments in the fabrication of new materials.

Why not grow a moustache in ‘Movember’?

Why not grow a moustache this month and raise awareness for men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancers and physical inactivity, and help men live longer, fitter and happier lives.

Send a Smile with Santa campaign

Christmas should be a time for family, excitement and wonder, but the reality is different for patients too ill to spend the holidays at home. Hospital staff work tirelessly to make Christmas a happy time for children and families of all faiths, but to make it extra special they need your help. This year Barts Charity need at least 600 presents to make sure every child can receive a gift from Santa on Christmas morning – and your support can make this possible. Find out more about how you can help with the ‘Send a Smile with Santa’ campaign.

The Social Media Guide for Students

The libraries of the Universities of Manchester, York and Leeds have produced a guide to how students can use social media to help with your studies. You can access the guide here.

Take part in a virtual reality and social situations study

King’s College London is running an online survey of working age adults to understand the thoughts and feelings that people experience, especially about social situations. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes and can be completed on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of four £25 Amazon vouchers.

NUS alcohol survey

The National Union of Students (NUS) is conducting a short and confidential survey to find out your views and experiences of drinking alcohol. You don't have to drink alcohol to take part. You could win a top prize of £100 or one of ten £25 prizes.

Shades of grey: image perception and performance in radiology

This free public lecture from the Royal College of Radiologists will explore the ways in which we process information from medical images, how we make decisions based on what we see, the external influences that affect our performance and how we might manage the performance of radiologists in the future. It takes place on Wednesday 4 November from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Royal College of Radiologists, London.


Got a story? Please send your student news to qmul-student@qmul.ac.uk.

QMUL Student, your monthly student newsletter, is sent out by QMUL's Communications Office.