Tag Archives: University of York

Strategic Partnership For University Of York

The University of York has signed a strategic partnership agreement with O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) that will support student mobility opportunities and academic collaboration.

JGU is ranked as India’s Number 1 Private University and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions will lead to a number of initiatives, including PhD projects, academic research partnerships, and student exchanges in areas including politics, law, sustainability, film and music studies, and public health.

JGU is recognised as an Institution of Eminence by the Ministry of Education and was established through a philanthropic initiative of its Founding Chancellor, Mr. Naveen Jindal.

International Learning
Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said: “I would like to thank our colleagues in India for this opportunity to work together to provide our students with a truly international learning experience, and collaborate on research that will make a difference to people’s lives globally.”

“Underpinning our relationship is our shared mission to bring graduates into the global workplace fully equipped to deliver their knowledge in a way that allows communities anywhere in the world to flourish.”

Lasting Benefits
JGU is ranked as India’s Number 1 Private University by the QS World University Rankings, and was also recognised among the Top 150 universities globally under the age of 50 years by the QS Young University Rankings 2022.

Professor C. Raj Kumar said: “We welcome our colleagues from York, and look forward to an exciting future together where our combined expertise will create lasting benefits for society.”

“International collaboration is essential to breaking down barriers, providing solutions to significant global challenges, and producing the next generation of experts in fields that will improve the ways in which we live and work.”

Managers In Small Businesses Face Mental Health Balancing Act

Managers in small and micro-businesses in the UK face major challenges in supporting employees with mental health difficulties, according to a new study.

The study, by researchers at the University of York’s School for Business and Society and the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London, reveals a picture of managers, many with little training or experience of dealing with mental health issues, ‘juggling on a tightrope’ as they navigate a delicate balancing act between support and performance management.

In a series of in-depth interviews with managers, researchers found that one employee’s mental ill-health could have a swift impact on co-workers in small and microbusinesses and quickly permeate the entire workforce. The close-knit social and physical proximity of small workplaces intensified the impact on colleagues.

The researchers identified tensions for managers in balancing the individual employee’s needs with the impact on performance and wellbeing of the workforce as a whole. Those who had some experience of managing mental health issues adopted a more confident approach to addressing these challenges, while inexperienced managers were often more cautious.

Managers also grappled with the dilemma of whether to approach an employee’s mental health issue informally or through more formal procedures.

The study revealed that small and microbusiness managers rarely had access to advice and guidance from occupational health or human resource management departments, which is the norm in larger organisations.

Similarly, the option of redeploying an employee struggling with a mental health problem to other duties or perhaps another team, which is routinely available to larger firms, was not an option in small and microbusinesses.

Dr Jane Suter, from the University of York’s School of Business and Society, said: “When dealing with a colleague’s mental health challenges, managers can often feel incredibly isolated. It can take an emotional toll on the managers themselves. Some feel that balancing everybody’s needs is like juggling on a tightrope”.

“Many managers were very close to their employees, some viewed them more like friends and family. They were often worried that being too heavy-handed in dealing with mental health issues could impact the entire workforce.”

Online Support
A vast amount of online support was available for managers to address employee mental health issues, but some small and micro-business managers found the challenge of seeking appropriate support overwhelming.

Dr Suter said: “It is important to point out that many of the problems around mental health in small and microbusinesses don’t have straightforward solutions. An employee’s mental health problem doesn’t necessarily stem from within the workplace and a manager just cannot resolve it. But he or she still has to manage it.”

“More needs to be invested in management and leadership skills. In a small organisation of, say, 10 employees, it is just the owner-manager shouldering all the management responsibilities.”

The study, which is published in International Small Business Journal, involved interviews with managers in 21 UK-based small and microbusinesses and focused on 45 individual employee cases.

University of York Collects Prestigious International Collaboration Award

The University of York has won International Collaboration of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2022.

The Global Monitoring of Pharmaceuticals Project is led by Dr John Wilkinson and Professor Alistair Boxall from the Department of Environment and Geography and involves 127 people across 87 institutions located across all 7 continents of the world.

The project established the Global Monitoring Consortium which aims to better understand the distribution and impacts of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment.

The researchers faced significant challenges to collecting water from rivers located on all seven continents at more than 1,000 locations scattered across 104 countries.

The project uncovered the ‘pharmaceutical fingerprint’ of about half a billion people worldwide and produced transformative scientific findings.

One study looked at 258 rivers across the globe, including the Thames in London and the Amazon in Brazil, to measure the presence of 61 pharmaceuticals, such as carbamazepine, metformin and caffeine.

The researchers studied rivers in over half of the world’s countries – with rivers in 36 of these countries having never previously been monitored for pharmaceuticals.

Other key findings include:

  • Pharmaceutical pollution is contaminating water on every continent
    strong correlations between the socioeconomic status of a country and higher pollution of pharmaceuticals in its rivers (with lower-middle income nations the most polluted)
  • High levels of pharmaceutical pollution was most positively associated with regions of high median age as well as high local unemployment and poverty rates.
  • The most polluted countries and regions of the world are the ones that have been researched the least (namely sub-saharan Africa, South America and parts of southern Asia)
  • The activities most associated with the highest levels of pharmaceutical pollution included rubbish dumping along river banks, inadequate wastewater infrastructure and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the dumping of the contents of residential septic tanks into rivers.

    Known as the ‘Oscars of higher education,’ the award ceremony took place in London on 17 November, attended by leading figures from the HE sector.

Dr Wilkinson said: “This represents a truly collaborative undertaking on a global scale. We worked with partners on every continent of the planet to bring together the most global and largest view of medicinal pollutants in the world to date. I’d like to thank all of our partners around the world and we, as a global consortium, look forward to pushing the science even further in years to come.”

The Global Monitoring Consortium is still intact with several follow-on projects either underway or planned.

The researchers say the power of a truly global consortium means scientists can adapt methods as analytical techniques advance to study the most pressing questions affecting global society.

The University was shortlisted in three categories at the Awards: International Collaboration of the Year, Outstanding Support for Students and Outstanding Technician of the Year.