The University of Southampton
UEB Blog

UEB Blog 16.04.24

Author: Shaun Williams, Executive Director Engagement and Advancement

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  • UEB were very pleased to hear that the equipment for the Iridis 6 high performance computing has been installed, and powered up, and commissioning and benchmarking is underway. A launch event and further communication is planned for 13 May. This will put us in the welcome position of having one of the most capable university-owned and university-operated high performance computing facilities in the UK.
  • UEB discussed an interesting summary of the themes that emerged through questions at more than 30 school, faculty and directorate Town Halls led by the Vice-Chancellor over the last three months. UEB were encouraged at the widespread engagement with the University’s Triple Helix Strategy, and the positivity and confidence around its delivery, in particular our size and shape plans and our Transnational Education (TNE) ambitions.
  • UEB discussed and agreed a formal response to the Office for Students consultation on a proposal by Solent University to change its name to Southampton Solent University. We of course recognise that all universities need to do what they consider best for them, and to be recognised as distinctive. However, our view is that the proposed name change has the potential to be confusing or misleading. Our prior experience of having two very similarly named universities in Southampton was that it created confusion with all our stakeholder groups including prospective students, businesses and the media, which is why we welcomed the previous decision in 2018 to change the name of Southampton Solent University to Solent University.
  • UEB noted that nominations for the 2024 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards are open until Friday 26 April, and colleagues are urged to consider nominating a colleague or a team to recognise the amazing work being carried out by colleagues across the University.
  • Finally, there was the regular review of the University Risk Register, which had seen no changes since its last review.
  • UEB members will this week be attending the annual University Council Awayday, which will explore the global Higher Education environment and its potential impact on our Strategy; examine plans to grow our international footprint; explore regional challenges and opportunities and how these shape our Civic Strategic Plan; and – drawing on horizon scanning and an analysis of competitors’ performance – to check that we are still monitoring our progress robustly. The event will also include a formal Council meeting which will see Sir Ian Diamond take up his post as our next Chair of Council. 
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