Tag Archive: Beckett University

Author Sunjeev Sahota drops in and writes the world to rights

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NOMINATED: Sunjeev Sahota was nominated for the Man Booker Prize

NOMINATED: Sunjeev Sahota was nominated for the Man Booker Prize

Leeds Beckett University goes book crazy

Man Booker Prize shortlisted author, Sunjeev Sahota, visited students at Leeds Beckett University on Tuesday 8th December.

Speaking to a captivated audience about writing, the deconstructing novels and how the London bombings of July 2007 inspired him to put ‘fingers to keypad’ and write his first novel, he was warmly received by a receptive audience.

The event, called (Re)Writing Yorkshire was collaborated between the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at the University and The Leeds Library.

Sunjeev was named one of Granta’s Best of British Young Novelists in 2013 and has since become a rising star of contemporary literature.

He has written two novels: Ours Are the Streets’ and The Year of the Runaways’. The latter book earned him a shortlist nomination for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

Both novels are set against a Yorkshire backdrop and are heavily influenced by race, radicalisation and the global issues of identity, belonging and culture.

Sunjeev said: “I was in Leeds in 2005 during the London bombings. There was something about that event that gave me a lot of pause for thought; about how the psychology would be interesting to explore through the medium of a novel.

“One of the things a novel is great for is trying to get inside the head of people that you might not otherwise think you’d be able to.”

He continued: “The idea of refugees and migrants is on people’s minds at the moment, given Syria.

“Migration is topical but it’s been topical since time began. Migration has been the story of the world. There have always been people who have wanted to move elsewhere for a better life.”

He went onto say that the Indian migrants in his latest book are “not one homogenous, brown mass”.

Dr Katy Shaw, Principal Lecturer in English Literature at Leeds Beckett University and chair at the event, was an integral figure in launching the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list worldwide. 

Dr Shaw said: “Sunjeev is an incredibly gifted author. The audience were treated to an insight into his life; from his transition from reader to writer, to him being accepted as a writer on a global scale.”

The (Re)Writing Yorkshire series, which sees academic researchers, established writers and creative practitioners examine new representations of Yorkshire in Literature, Television, Film, Music and Art, will return in 2016. 

Past events have featured Yorkshire based poets, Tara Bergin and Helen Mort, and award-winning authors A J Kirby and Richard Smyth.

 

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Leeds kids dig Digitech

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WHIZZ KIDS: Pupils across Yorkshire creating their cutting-edge designs

WHIZZ KIDS: Pupils across Yorkshire creating their cutting-edge designs

Budding young designers encouraged to be stars of the future in project launched at Leeds Beckett University

Yorkshire school pupils were challenged to design a new piece of wearable technology in a bid to encourage youngsters to pursue a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) discipline.

150 pupils are set to take part across 10 schools in Leeds, Barnsley, Halifax and Castleford.

The challenge was launched at Leeds Beckett University by Premier Farnell and supported by the Ahead Partnership in Leeds. Its primary aim is to inspire the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

Nick Cope, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Employability at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Leeds Beckett University is delighted to be involved in this exciting project. It gives our students the opportunity to share their expertise and gain valuable experience of working with young people in our region.

“Projects such as this open young people’s eyes to the opportunities available to them in the important areas of innovative design, technology and engineering for their future studies and careers.”

Steven Webb, Company Secretary at Premier Farnell, and Governor and Vice Chairman at Leeds Beckett University, said: “We ran this competition last year with five schools in Leeds and this year we will see ten schools take part - which is fantastic. Coding in education is critical for us as a business as it is these young people who will become our stars of the future.”

Each of the ten schools have received five CodeBug development boards - a wearable piece of technology designed to introduce programming and electronics concepts to younger age groups - as well as an additional budget provided by Premier Farnell to spend on electronic components required to complete their designs.

The winners of the ‘Wearable Technology’ competition will be announced on Tuesday 15th March 2016 where each school will have the opportunity to display their best design before a panel of judges.

It is expected that 170 million wearable devices will have been sold by 2016.  Prominent examples of wearable devices include smart watches and fitness devices which track outputs, such as heart rate and temperature.

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Amazing architects

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BUILDING: Leeds Beckett University trio, (l-r) Freddie Garside, Nick Husband and Asma Dauleh, beat hundreds of other entries to clinch the ‘Better Philadelphia Challenge’ award

BUILDING: Leeds Beckett University trio, (l-r) Freddie Garside, Nick Husband and Asma Dauleh, beat hundreds of other entries to clinch the ‘Better Philadelphia Challenge’ award

Leeds students victorious in plans to build a ‘better Philly’

Three aspiring architects from Leeds Beckett University have returned from their trip across the Atlantic after picking up an international design award.

Asma Dauleh, Freddie Garside and Nick Husband, all first year Masters of Architecture students, fought off stiff competition from hundreds of other entries, to be named as one of five award-winning groups in the ‘The Better Philadelphia Challenge’.

Receiving their awards in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, the competition is in memory of Philadelphia’s iconic 20th Century city planner, Ed Bacon, and challenges university-level students to address real-world urban design issues in Philadelphia.

The Leeds trio, who have become firm friends since they were grouped to work together for the project as part of their coursework, said they were thrilled and proud to be prize winners in such a prestigious international competition.

They won the ‘Special Jury Prize for Alternative Energy’ for their innovative design entry and travelled to Philadelphia for the awards ceremony to present their project.

DESIGN: One of the group’s design entries was centred on the redevelopment of Petty Island into a ‘self-sustained research and nature preserve’

DESIGN: One of the group’s design entries was centred on the redevelopment of Petty Island into a ‘self-sustained research and nature preserve’

23-year-old Asma, who following university hopes to work in third world countries in the development of self-sustained eco-settlement communities, explained more about the group’s designs.

“Our idea was to turn Petty Island into a self-sustained research and nature preserve, which the public, families and school groups could access, utilise, learn from and enjoy,” she said.

“We looked at all of the factors and issues that are currently challenging and affecting Philadelphia and the surrounding areas and how we could turn Petty Island into something which would begin to address those issues.

“Unemployment is a huge problem in the region, and the need for stable and sustainable jobs is paramount. Our master plan for the Island allowed for education, practice and training which would lead to continual employment.”

Better Philadelphia Challenge Judge, Bob McConnell, from architecture firm EwingCole and Co-Chair of the Ed Bacon Memorial Committee, praised the group’s award-winning project.

He added: “The team’s focus on the future of bio-chemical fuels was smart as they may continue to be a part of our region’s energy portfolio for the foreseeable future. We were also impressed with the thoughtful way this team developed the site to function even as sea levels rise.”

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Future’s bright in Leeds

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SUPPORT: Fourteen students were awarded a £1,000 scholarship to help them with their studies

SUPPORT: Fourteen students were awarded a £1,000 scholarship to help them with their studies

Scholarships reward university pioneers

Fourteen local students will benefit from scholarship awards this year as they become the first members of their families to attend university.

Young academics from Leeds Beckett University were each issued with £1,000 funding through the Bright Futures Scholarships to help with their studies in the city.

Amongst the group is Nuha Khan, a first year Law student who, like her peers, is pioneering the way for her family.

Nuha Khan is the first member of her family to attend university and is currently studying Law at Leeds Beckett University

Nuha Khan is the first member of her family to attend university and is currently studying Law at Leeds Beckett University

She was selected on her academic merit and is joined by aspiring sport scientists, computer animators and much more.

Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor at the university, said all the students had shown great ‘potential’ and deserved the extra support.

“We are committed to providing the highest quality student experience and opportunities for all talented individuals,” Prof Price said.

“These scholarships make a significant difference to the students who receive them, helping to support their studies.

“Congratulations to our brilliant students selected for this year’s scholarships, all of whom have all shown great commitment and potential. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported our Bright Futures scholarships through their donations.”

All funding for the scheme is provided by Leeds Beckett graduates who are reinvesting in the educational establishment that helped them achieve their degrees in the past.

BA (Hons) Events Management student Niki Gill said she was delighted to be receiving the scholarship and would be using the funding to help purchase textbooks, stationery and a printer.

Speaking about her future aspirations, she added: “I have always had an interest in the arts and after university I hope to have a career running events within the arts industry.

“My degree is definitely going to help prepare me for that and this scholarship will aid me in reaching my full potential.”

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