Rachael Richards, Director of Public Affairs and Claire O’Malley, PVC Global, hosted a visit from local MP Paul Howell, to highlight the many ways the University contributes to the regional community beyond teaching and research. The visit focused on the role the University plays in community engagement, highlighting various outreach projects currently being undertaken to support schools, businesses and support groups.
As a local MP for the constituency of Sedgefield and alumnus of the Business School, Paul was keen to learn more about what we can offer his constituents and identify new ways of working together that can benefit the community. region as a whole.
Wonders of the Orient
The visit began with a guided tour of the Oriental Museum, by Director of Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions, Dr. Craig Barclay. The museum houses collections of national importance and more than 36,000 objects from Africa and Asia, dating from prehistoric times to the present day.
As well as hosting a regular program of activities, the Museum works closely with local schools to deliver an extensive outreach program, hosting school visits, performing the under 5 group “Baby Dragons” and “Creative Age”, a project especially aimed at elderly visitors suffering from dementia.
Senior Culture Manager Ged Matthews also had the opportunity to speak to Paul about the Street Museum project, in conjunction with the Blackhall Community Association, which emerged during the lockdown. He explained how his team is working on plans for the next phase in the coming months.
To look forward
The visit also included a trip to the business school to learn about the planned move to a new location at The Sands building in Durham city center and how this will support further engagement in the area.
Professor Kieran Fernandes, Associate Dean for Internationalization, highlighted how the business school is supporting the ‘race up’ and was closely involved in the report commissioned by the Atkins firm – titled ‘Regional Rebalancing’. Professor Fernandes also explained how the business school organized events with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) entitled “Competition, recovery and challenges ahead”, as part of the continued commitment to support Northeast businesses.
The Business School is currently ranked 7e in the World in the Financial Times Online MBA Rankings, attracting students from around the world to Durham and showcasing the region.
Speaking about the importance of this visit, Rachel Richards, Director of Public Affairs, explained; “We were delighted to welcome Paul to the University to show him first hand some of the many projects we are involved in and how they benefit many different groups in our region. Paul is a great supporter of Durham and allowing him to talk to colleagues and learn more about some of the University’s work will hopefully support his understanding of the University’s role regionally, nationally and international. We look forward to welcoming her again in the future.