Fresh from being named ‘Inspiring Leader’ at the Guardian University Awards, Pro Vice Chancellor Ian Dunn takes to unCOVered to tells us what it means to him, the University and most importantly, to you our students…
I am absolutely stunned, incredibly humbled and, yes, just a little embarrassed. They can’t have said “Ian Dunn”, the other names on the shortlist were so much more the establishment.
So first of all I salute the other names on the shortlist for the Guardian HE Award, they are deeply distinguished people all of whom have accomplished so much. It is people like these and, in my case, John Latham and Madeleine Atkins, our VC and former VC, who inspire me to want to work to make Coventry the very best modern university.
Inspiring people is what HE is all about.
Each day across the whole of the University people are inspired through great teaching, meeting interesting people, discovering something new and making exciting connections. Of course it is true that we don’t get everything right, no one ever does, but the fight to make things better, to remove barriers and to challenge the norms is what makes it really exciting.
The most amazing aspect of working at Coventry University is the strength and diversity of our students.
We have immense diversity across just about every dimension of difference; the real value comes as we bring those people together to share their experiences and to learn from each other.
The University will continue to invest in great learning spaces and trying to make the teaching exciting and passionate, but in the end that is just the start of the experience. We are looking at how we help our students to really get to know each other and not just within your course. The Students’ Union are fundamental to this, the societies and sports clubs are great ways for people to meet. The Global Leaders Programme and the Culturae Mundi programme, both offer excellent ways for groups to meet and to do interesting things.
Most of all I would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone to consider what they can offer to the University community and the wider City of Coventry community. Through volunteering, community based projects and engagement in the City we can create even more opportunity.
The University has received very many awards over the last few years and this is great news for the whole of our community.
For students it means that the hard work that you put in is better recognised and offers you even better chances of getting the best graduate placements and jobs. For our research groups it means that more of the very best want to work with us. Internationally it means that we can create amazing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and people. In working with business that we can add real value to more and more enterprises, small, medium and large.
Most of all it means that we can all hold our heads up high and say with immense pride that Coventry has played a part in our development and we are proud to be making a real difference.