by Jennifer Hilder (PhD Intern)
Reach is the College of Art’s newsletter devoted to Knowledge Exchange. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the newsletter is actually an important part of our KE strategy, to make sure the non-academic community have information about the college’s brilliant and inspiring KE activities delivered to their door or inbox regularly.
The newsletter was named Reach because, logically, its aim is to reach out from the College of Arts to the wider world and establish a connection between the college and other organisations that we would like to be involved in future KE activities, and who (we hope) would like to be involved with us too.
For Dr Fraser Rowan, who leads the college’s KE programme as Business Development Manager, the name Reach also felt right. As someone who has worked for a number of years in Outreach, (which, before REF began assessing the university’s ‘Impact’, was a low priority activity) Reach was a new, positive spin on the old concept.
As someone who grew up in 90’s, though, if I think about Reach too long I get S Club 7’s song in my head, the one that goes: Reach / Climb every mountain / Reach / Reach for the moon… Not completely irrelevant, I don’t think.
Still, we don’t need to reach as far as the moon, as Professor Murray Pittock said in his introduction to the first newsletter back in October 2012. What the College of Arts is interested in is ‘employability for our undergraduates, professions preparation for our postgraduates and knowledge exchange for our researchers’. External organisations can help with every stage of that, by working with academics to make undergraduate programmes better targeted to the workplace, providing placements and research opportunities for postgraduates, and collaborating with academics on exciting new projects.
One of these projects did help to make some moonshine, though, as a team from the College of Arts helped to resurrect an old whisky distillery. Other successful projects showcased that first issue included the BBC television series about the Battle of Bannockburn with Dr Tony Pollard and the collaboration of College of Arts academics with Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Scottish Association of Teachers of History to make sure that that there are resources available to teach that all-important history in Scottish classrooms. Many of these case studies from the newsletter were revised into case studies for Industry Day, and can also be found in the case study magazine.
The second issue of Reach, which came out in May, focused on promoting Industry Day and introduced many of the speakers who joined us on the day, including the Chair and Keynote Speaker, Alastair Balfour who has had a highly successful career in both business and the arts. The second issue also introduced the themes of Industry Day and set out what that theme is and why the college can make a significant contribution.