Latest Posts

  • Mature Learners’ Cafe

    On the Friday of Welcome Week a very successful Mature Learners’ Café was held in Roots which formed part of the Welcome Week timetable.


    The event attracted at least 50 attendees and gave students an opportunity for a chat with fellow mature learners over a coffee as well as picking up some useful literature related to Student Support.


    Some expressed an interest in the possibility of forming a Mature Learners’ society having spoken to each other at the event.

  • National Centre for Earth Observation funded for another 5 years by NERC

    NCEO_logo_lrgNERC is to fund the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) for a further five years, signing a new contract worth £23m with the University of Leicester, which began on 1st October 2014.  Surrey is part of the NCEO team, with Ian Roulstone as node leader. NCEO was set up in 2008 to get the most out of satellite data for environmental science. It provides decision-makers in government and business with vital evidence to help them meet major environmental challenges. NCEO scientists have played a key role in understanding the current state of the climate, including changes in surface temperatures, concentrations of greenhouse gases and changes in the Arctic. In future, the NCEO will provide scientists and public bodies with rapid access to data to help them respond to environmental incidents, such as floods, droughts and extreme weather.

  • Is the Jury out on the Jury?

    crowd sourcing criminal justice and swearing as democracy

    By Mike McGuire

    Having recently been called to Jury service for the first time, the significance of the jury and its function as a feature of civil society is something which I had a fair amount of time to reflect upon. A very fair amount. I hadn’t appreciated quite how much waiting around jury service appears to involve. Waiting to be searched on the way into the court; waiting in line to show ID and to get my £1.45 lunch token (10p short of the only available main meal option at £1.50…), then waiting (and waiting, and waiting) in the jury room for something to happen. From time to time the jury foreman showed up, read out some names and off went a group from the large pool of potential jurors also assigned to sit around and wait with me for the 14 day call up period. It was two days before my name was finally called and after assembling with my fellow members in the corridor outside, we were led on a long and winding road through the bowels of the Inner London Crown Court. But having arrived outside our assigned court no grand trial was awaiting.  Instead, a legal technicality meant the judge had adjourned the case – so back we all went for some more waiting. As I did, I reflected upon how, of all the (often peculiar) institutions which go to make up our civil society, amongst the oddest – and certainly one of the oldest – is the jury. The idea of deferring judgement upon normative violations to a body representative of the community is an old one, though it has been managed very differently across different societies. In 5th century Athens, between 500 – 1500 citizens chosen randomly (by lot) heard trials in the Peoples Court. The body was composed entirely of males over 30 but jurors received a small payment which permitted poorer Athenians to participate. Elaborate safeguards were taken to prevent bribery – crucial given the authority granted to the jury. There were no judges and often no relevant statutes to guide juries who were simply expected to ‘exercise their best judgement’’ to arrive at a majority (rather than a unanimous) verdict. Privilege played a greater role in the Roman system with Praetors making an annual selection of senators, knights, or other respectable citizens, to sit in judgment. Verdicts were again decided by a majority but as well as ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ decisions jurors could also say that they were ‘uncertain’’. This would usually mean that the case was deferred; though if the verdict was ‘hung’ i.e. votes for acquittal and condemnation were equal), the accused could also be discharged.

  • Starting your own business – is it for you? Enterprise Skills Ladder Workshop, Wednesday 29 October 530-7 pm LTA

    200451593-001Unsure if you want to start your own venture?  Need help to decide?  Then this informative workshop is for you.

    Janet Preston from Cold Fuzion will guide you through the workshop.

    By the end of the workshop, you will have:-

    1.  Looked at the factors you need to consider when starting a business

    2.  Been introduced to planning and decision making techniques

    3.  Understood your attitude to risk and been introduced to risk assessment techniques

    The workshop will take place on Wednesday 29 October, 5:30-7:00 pm, Lecture Theatre A.

    To book you place, please email

  • Remembering Battersea

    Over the past few month the University archives have been working collaboratively with Alumni and Development on a project aimed at capturing the history of Battersea Polytechnic from alumni, through a programme of Oral Histories, encouraging items to be deposited into the archives and volunteering in the archives.  Please do look through the alumni pages to get a better understanding of the project

    It’s safe to say that this project has exceeded all expectations in its popularity and the impact this has had on the archives.  To date we have received deposits from well over 30 alumni from Battersea Polytechnic.  The material deposited has been a real mix – in a good way!  Ranging from student publications and photographs, to football shirts, ties scarves and tankards

  • Stock-taking on Britain and the EU

    As we enter the last 200 days of this current Parliament, it’s perhaps useful to spend a moment thinking about where the UK finds itself in relation to the EU.

    Knee Pain 11-19-13 C

    Always remember to warm-up before jerking your knee

    At one level, euroscepticism seems as rampant as it’s ever been. UKIP have secured their first elected MP, and only narrowly missed out on a second. The other parties talk about cutting back on European obligations: from human rights (which is not the EU per se, but which does have implications thereon) to free movement of people. Public opinion is as negatively disposed as ever. Throw in a broadly sceptical print media and the picture looks rather bleak for those who support the EU.

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