2023 Review of the Year

As we head towards the New Year, we look back at some of the highlights from across University News over the past twelve months.

In January, Professor Tim Jones joined as our new Vice-Chancellor and the University’s new strategic framework ‘Liverpool 2031’, which sets out our vision for the future, was officially launched to staff, students and partners in October.

United States District Judge and University alumna, Wendy Beetlestone, was formally installed as the new Chancellor during our July graduation ceremonies.  Wendy is the University’s eleventh Chancellor and the institution’s first female, and first Black, Chancellor.

Wendy Beetlestone

Children Growing Up in Liverpool (C-GULL), the first large scale birth cohort study in the Liverpool City Region, was officially opened by Dame Pauline Harris during the summer. C-GULL will trace the lives of 10,000 Liverpool families to enable researchers, clinicians and policymakers to understand more about complex health issues.

The Victoria Gallery & Museum (VG&M) exhibited a selection of vintage posters and associated materials used to promote Cunard Line’s services in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition, the VG&M also hosted a photography exhibition by Ean Flanders and presented work by three internationally recognised artists as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2023.

Liverpool was United by Music for the Eurovision Song Contest in May and the University played a key role in the celebrations hosting a range of activities and events including transforming our campus into a Eurovision Festival Village, renaming our iconic Abercromby Square ‘ABBAcromby Square’, working with local schools to promote language learning and commissioning a special mural by local artist and alumnus, Paul Curtis.

Paul Curtis stands with his mural

The University was awarded the highest rating, Gold, in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023 with a number of elements of the University’s provision rated as outstanding, including: Teaching, Learning Resources and our approaches to supporting student success.

Our partnership with Ukraine’s Sumy State University  (SumDU) continued to grow with the launch of a new digitalisation and digital transformation research programme. We welcomed senior leaders and researchers from SumDU to campus for the first time to celebrate our partnership and explore further opportunities to collaborate.

Our archaeologists published a study in Nature that indicated that half a million years ago, earlier than previously thought, humans were building structures made of wood.  Their discovery of the world’s oldest wooden structure in Zambia changes how we think about our early ancestors.

Uncovering the wooden structure with a fine spray on the banks of the river

The leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, and Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, visited the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) during their time in the city for the Labour Party conference. They were given a tour of the MIF’s Robotics Lab and heard about the role of automation robotics in accelerating materials science discovery.

The University and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) announced plans for an Academic Health Sciences Campus on the site of the former Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The new facility will house the University’s medical, dental, nursing and allied health professional students, providing a new interprofessional learning experience to enhance students’ clinical understanding and professional development.

In November, the University’s Department of Chemistry won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour in Higher Education, in recognition of its pioneering research to address global challenges and benefit society.

The Vice-Chancellor led a University delegation in a visit to Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) to strengthen existing relationships and foster new ones.  During the visit, a new MOU was signed with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and we gratefully accepted a pledge of £1.5million from the Pratiksha Trust, on behalf of its founder, Mr Kris Gopalakrishnan to bolster this partnership.

Professor Tim Jones exchanges documents with Professor Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS and Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, founder of Pratiksha Trust.