Way Back When – A Walk along the Hawkhill

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :
Way Back When – A Walk along the Hawkhill
Saturday 29 April 2017, 2.30pm
Meet in the exhibition, Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee
Many of the photographs in Walter Simms’ exhibition were taken in the Hawkhill, parts of which were then changing beyond all recognition. 
In this special guided walk we will explore the changing face of this historic street, with the help of photographs, artworks, poetry and memories, to try to bring its rich and varied past back to life. 
The event will include a chance to see some of Duncan of Jordanstone tutor Joseph McKenzie’s acclaimed photographs of the Hawkhill, courtesy of our colleagues at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.
Free admission but please book here.

Zoology Museum talk – Conservation in the Quarry

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :
The next evening talk in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum will be on Tuesday 25th April at 6pm, when Jim Cook of the Dundee Naturalists’ Society will be speaking about Conservation in the Quarry: Care and Maintenance of a Small Nature Refuge.
Well over 150 members and friends of the Dundee Nats have been working at Carsegowniemuir Quarry over recent years carrying out a wide variety of conservation tasks, including planting some 1,400 trees of 23 native species. 
The site has developed and improved, with the full support of the owners, and is now starting to attract an increasing number of different species. Jim will tell us what’s involved in organising a small nature refuge such as this – what kind of tasks are needed? How can you find out what’s there to begin with and what can you do to encourage more wildlife in? 
Jim is a long-standing member of Dundee Nats and has lectured in biology for many years. He has been the sub-committee organiser for the quarry for the last 15 years.
Refreshments will be served after the talk. Please enter the Carnelley Building by the main front entrance. Latecomers may not be admitted.
Admission is free but please reserve a space here.

Way Back When – Life as an Art Student discussion event

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :
Way Back When – Life as an Art Student discussion event
Tuesday 18th April 2017, 5.30pm at the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee.
To accompany the exhibition of Walter Simms’ photographs in the Tower Foyer Gallery, this special event will feature Walter and some of his fellow graduates from Duncan of Jordanstone College reminiscing about their experiences as art students in Dundee in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
Free admission but please book here.

Good Vibrations – The University of Dundee in 1967

Good Vibrations – The University in 1967
An exhibition by Archive Services and Museum Services in the Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee

As the University of Dundee celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent institution, this special exhibition explores what was going on in that pivotal year, both on campus and in the city as a whole. 
Using rarely seen photographs, documents, artworks and artefacts it describes the major developments in the University – its new buildings and departments, its pioneering research areas – as well as looking at what life was like as a student in Dundee at that time. 
The exhibition also explores what was happening in separate institutions that are now part of the University such as Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Dundee College of Education.

The Drever Commemoration Lecture

University of Dundee – Saturday Evening Lecture Series 2017 – Dundee to the World
Saturday 25th March 2017
An evening with three graduates who shaped and reported on global events. This is also the Drever Commemoration Lecture.
This event will celebrate three of our prestigious graduates who studied here during James Drever’s time as Principal. James Drever was a massive advocate for political discourse, encouraging students to strike and make stands against funding cuts. Each of these graduates has gone on to make an impact in the field of politics:
• Sir William Patey has played a leading personal role in some of the most challenging diplomatic events of our times during his Ambassadorial roles in Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
• Lord George Robertson is a former politician and was Secretary of State for Defence between 1997 and 1999. 
• John Suchet is a former foreign correspondent, presenter and a commentator on major ceremonial occasions.
You can register for this event here.

Way Back When – exhibition opening

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
The opening of a new exhibition of rarely seen photographs taken by a Dundee art student in the early 1970s – “Way Back When” – opens today – Friday 3rd March – from 5pm – 6.30pm in the Tower Foyer Gallery at the University of Dundee. 
The photographs were all taken by Walter Simms, who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1968-1973, specialising in Graphic Design and Photography.    He went on to have a successful career in graphic design and museum exhibition design, retiring in 2012.
The exhibition has been assembled by Walter in association with one of his contemporaries, Gordon Robertson, a lecturer in Graphic Design at the college for many years.    
The photographs include portraits of Walter’s fellow students at the Art College at work and at play, including at the Tav Bar and the famous Revels.    They also feature fascinating glimpses into a Dundee that has changed completely – the ruined remains of the old Hawkhill; workers at the docks and at NCR.   It is a time capsule of a very different Dundee.
The exhibition runs until 6th May and is open Monday to Friday (9.30am to 7pm) and Saturday (1pm to 5pm).
Admission is free but if you would like to attend the preview, it would be helpful if you could book here

Concern over closure of university adult learning classes

Following concerns from constituents, I have written to University of Dundee Principal Professor Sir Pete Downes expressing dismay at the closure of the School of Humanities’ educational and creative adult education classes as of April 2017.
Residents are concerned that the replacement which is a suite of credit-bearing modules will be more costly and deviates away from the principles of the adult education classes that have been so successful over the years.
These adult learning courses have run for many years and have been really successful.    Many, but not all of the students, are at or beyond retirement age and many are already well- qualified, so replacing the courses with award bearing courses sadly will end a long tradition of offering general interest courses to members of the public.  
At present there are 13 courses on offer at Dundee University, with over 200 registered enrolments.   It seems such a shame to end the courses and I have asked the university for a re-think.
Professor Downes has now advised me :    

We are replacing the current `Courses for Adults’ programme with a new suite of modules for students of all ages, which will give an introduction to studying at higher education level and will be credit bearing.

This aligns with our commitment to widening access to higher education. Modules will be available at the start of the next academic year in English, History, Creative Writing and Philosophy. There will be an option for students to opt-out of studying for credit.

These courses are replacing our previous provision, which was no longer sustainable and did not align with the priorities of the School of the Humanities and of the University.

The University’s contributions to the local community are very important to me and to many of our staff and students. The breadth of these depends on building sustainable models of delivery wherever possible. I expect adult education will remain an important part of our work with the local community but we need to consider adult education in a broader context and across a wider range of subjects and disciplines. The approach being taken by the School of Humanities to ensure sustainable provision of Continuing Education is as follows:

•         The School of Humanities initiative to change its continuing education offering to a suite of four 10 credit bearing modules will widen access to higher education and be in line with the Universities commitment to public engagement and outreach.
•         This offering will extend the opportunity to reach people who may wish to engage with HE later in their lives, or who wish to study whilst having other commitments which prohibits them from a full time programme.
•         A matriculated student undertaking study for credit may be able to apply for help with course fees from the following:
o   Individual Learning Account (ILA) 
o   Part-time Fee Grant 

There are wider implications for the University as a whole and for our commitments to, and responsibility for, public engagement.  Much work is currently being done to prepare the University’s strategic plan for the period from 2017 to 2022 and I have asked our Vice Principal (Learning & Teaching) to review Continuing Education and its part in our widening access and public engagement work as part of the refreshed University strategy, which will be in place from the start of the next academic year.

I hope that the Vice Principal (Learning & Teaching) when reviewing Continuing Education will bear in mind that many constituents and the Dundee University Courses for Adults Association committee do not want the present provision to end.