We’re lucky in Beeston to have two great universities on our doorsteps, and many of you reading this may well have connections to one or both of them. Following our recent Beestonian decadal size-and-shape review we’re going to use these pages in future issues to highlight some of the exciting work that’s going on east of Broadgate and south of the Trent, and in the other campuses linked to Nottingham’s two universities. As our universities work closer together through the recent Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement, we hope to do our little bit to help spread the word. There’s a lot of things to choose from; recent work around Covid, understanding the impacts of Brexit, electric powered flight, feeding a growing global population whilst our climate changes…

You find amazing people and amazing things in universities; in many other places too, but this column is about universities and some of the amazing things you find in them, so please excuse the bias.

We encourage those of you working in our universities to get in touch and tell us and our readers about your work. We’re particularly interested in highlighting work that spans traditional subject spaces, work that spans science and the arts for example. There’s no further agenda, other than to provide a space to write and read about interesting stuff.

I can’t ignore that I’m writing this intro piece in the midst of another round of UCU strikes. There’s a lot of pissed off people around, there’s a lot to be pissed off about. But this isn’t the place, at this time, to dwell on those things. While we’ve been planning the content for the next few issues it’s again highlighted there’s so much great stuff going on in our universities driven by inspired and inspiring folk. I hope things can be resolved so that can be the focus for everyone soon, that systems put in place to drive strategy will encourage innovative thinking and collegiate working, rather than putting barriers and division in place.

I hope these pages can be somewhere to celebrate all that until our next decadal review.