Another year is about to draw to a close, and thankfully we are ending with a significantly different feel than the previous two Decembers. We think many will agree that this year has felt more “normal” with the Covid-19 restrictions being dropped, more people having the freedom to travel and students once again enjoying being back on campus.
Before we say goodbye to 2022 and head into 2023, let’s reflect on some of the top moments our RGU community have had this year, and wow do we have lots to celebrate!
In no particular order, let’s celebrate RGU’s top moments of 2022.
1. Celebrating our graduates from the pandemic
We were so thrilled to finally be able to offer graduation celebration events to all our students who graduated during the pandemic. Graduating online just wasn’t the same, so when April came we were really excited to run a week long celebration. It was fantastic to see our graduates with their friends and families celebrate this significant milestone in person!
2. Aberdeen Inspired Umbrella Project
As part of a project ran by Aberdeen Inspired in partnership with the ADHD Foundation, RGU installed 25 multi-coloured umbrellas in the Ishbel Gordon Building. These umbrellas could be seen in a variety of locations around the city in a bid to raise awareness of the “umbrella” term of neurodiversity, including ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia.
We are proud to say that our umbrellas will remain a permanent fixture as we celebrate our neurodivergent community at RGU.
3. Stories from our Home with VisitAberdeenshire
As part of Scotland’s Year of Stories, our Chancellor, Dame Evelyn Glennie, joined others in sharing her own story about her connections to Aberdeen, her love for the natural outdoors and why she’ll never forget where she was brought up. Watch her inspiring video filmed on our stunning campus.
4. Exciting results and accolades
We were proud to be listed in the Top 10 in the UK* and top three in Scotland for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022 AND 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK in the Graduate Employment Rate measure in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022.
If that wasn’t good enough, we were also placed 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK (excluding small, specialist institutions) for employability and/or further study by the HESA Graduate Outcomes 2022. We can’t stop smiling!
*excluding colleges, small, specialist and private providers.
5. 2022 Scottish Sports Awards Nominees
Two members from our RGU community were nominated for top awards at the 2022 Scottish Sports Awards this year.
Kiana Coutts from Streetsport was nominated for the Community Hero award, whilst rhythmic gymnast, RGU Sport Scholar and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Louise Christie was up for Sporting Moment of the Year!
An amazing achievement by both.
6. Leading research from RGU in medical law
Critical research into how conflict can be avoided between families and medical professionals when it comes to a child’s end-of-life care, is being led by Dr Sarah Sivers, in RGU’s Law School. Funded by the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, this multi-disciplinary research will explore what kinds of dispute resolution methods would be best suited in Scotland. Find out more about the research project.
7. RGU Start-up Showcase
This year’s annual Start-up Showcase took on a hybrid model, with attendees enjoying the event both live streamed and in-person at the Sandman Signature Hotel. Nine finalists undergoing the Start-up Accelerator Programme went head-to-head to pitch their ideas and win several cash prizes of up to £80,000.
The fifth Start-up Accelerator will launch in the New Year where a cohort will undergo a five-month period of training, mentorship and support including access to equity-free seed funding.
8. Grampian Community Law Clinic launched, the first of its kind in Scotland!
Scotland’s first holistic, student-led law clinic opened this year in Aberdeen. This free legal service forming part of RGU’s Law School, is available to those on low incomes across the city. The clinic aims to help tackle the root cause of issues which may be contributing to mental and physical health difficulties.
The opening of the clinic not only helps benefit the public, but is a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their skills and professionalism.
9. Gray’s Degree Show and the Scott Sutherland End of Year Show – back on campus!
The Gray’s Degree Show titled “Welcome to the real world” celebrated final year students in painting, contemporary art practice, fashion and textiles, communication design, three-dimensional design and photography. Such a special moment for our Gray’s students.
The Scott Sutherland End of Year Show titled “Ideas for Living” offered both an on-campus and virtual experience, showcasing work from final year architecture students and celebrating their talent and achievements.
10. Five Year collaboration announced at National Subsea Centre
Earlier this year RGU and University of Strathclyde announced a five-year Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate in research and technology development at the National Subsea Centre.
As part of this, an Industrial Doctorate Training Centre will be formed which will support the National Subsea Centre’s three strategic research programmes: Transparent Ocean, Integrated Energy and Marine Operations. In addition, the SeaSense project will aim to develop technology that allows Remotely Operated Vehicles to function in harsh, visually compromised environments and advance the knowledge and capability in robotic manipulation.
11. University Challenge – we’re back!
We were over the moon to see a group of RGU students/alumni take to the stage to represent us in University Challenge earlier this year. This is only the second time RGU have appeared on the show, with the last time being 1994.
Congratulations to Emily Cullen, Samuel Fregene, Faye Cooke, Donald Anderson and reserve member Ingrid Taylor who beat University of Roehampton. We can’t wait to cheer you along in the next round!
12. Vibrant Campus
In a bid to move forward from the pandemic, RGU staff and students created the Vibrant Campus Initiative. This new project encouraged the RGU community to create events and activities for staff, students and the local community, bringing us all together beyond work and study.
We have seen some amazing events taking place this year such as the Fired Up event run by Gray’s School of Art, enabling the RGU community to make their own masterpieces out of clay and witness them being fired-up in a wood burning kiln.
RGU Vision saw staff and students alike compete in our first ever song contest. Think Eurovision, but on an RGU scale. We saw students and staff from around the world take to the stage to showcase their talent and culture.
@robertgordonuni PART 1. What song would YOU sing? #rgu #eurovision ♬ Eurovision Theme (Trumpet Prelude) – The Royal Artillery Mounted Band
As part of Black History Month, the vibrant campus initiative also ran “Who am I?”, to promote race inclusion and educate staff and students on the importance of celebrating cultural diversity and creating safe spaces to encourage individuals and groups to come together and examine issues around race and ethnicity.
RGUvenate, run by postgraduate student Joyce Watt in collaboration with RGU Sport encouraged walking in nature throughout autumn and winter. These walks not only boosted participants’ fitness and wellbeing but educated about foraging and exploring products that could be made from the natural diversity on our campus and alongside the riverbank.
13. RGU joins National Breastfeeding Scheme
RGU became one of the first higher or further education establishments in Grampian to sign up to the national Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland scheme to further its commitment to support, normalise and celebrate breastfeeding.
The university will not only display banners and posters across campus, but RGU staff have received training by NHS Grampian to champion and protect mothers’ rights and enable a safe environment.
14. Grampian Pride 2022
This year, members of the LGBTQIA+ Network, Rainbow Network and allies from around the university came together to participate in the Grampian Pride March 2022. Another event which had been affected by the pandemic, it was great to get the RGU community involved and show our commitment to inclusion. Around 40 members from the RGU community came together to celebrate!
15. Transparent Open Sea Research
An ambitious research portfolio beyond the visible spectrum of light has set course for the depths of our oceans to make them completely transparent to us for safer, clearer, and more environmentally calm waters.
The application of this research is remarkably broad, from detecting natural resources, improved condition monitoring of industrial installations, to gathering valuable “big data” that will support smart decision making around the global push towards Net Zero.
Find out more on the National Subsea Centre website.
16. Are you following RGU on TikTok?
It’s the only place to get the true inside look at what student life is like at RGU. Delve into our Fresher’s Fayre, be swept along with the emotion of our graduation ceremonies and get top tips on the best places to explore on campus and in the city!
Here are a few of our favourite videos from this year. Find us on TikTok @robertgordonuni
@robertgordonuni Ooh stunning 👻 #rgboo #rgu #aberdeen ♬ a negroni sbagliato w prosecco l hbo max – hbomax
@robertgordonuni It’s 🌈RAINBOW STAIRS🌈 Have you visited the most colourful part of campus yet? #rgu #itscorn ♬ It’s Corn – Tariq & The Gregory Brothers & Recess Therapy
@robertgordonuni We love our city and shire💜 #aberdeen #rgu ♬ sweetest pie – evie
17. RGU wins national award for enhancing student support during the pandemic
Earlier this year RGU was awarded a prestigious Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from Advance HE, recognising the positive impact that a new welcome package developed during the pandemic has had on the student journey.
Acknowledging the educational disruption students faced due to COVID-19 restrictions and the added strain on their wellbeing, RGU launched the Welcome Leadership Group. The project brought together students and professional and academic staff to co-create an innovative Student Welcome to ensure a supportive and smooth transition for those joining and returning to university.
18. RGU Student Blog – our best year ever!
We are going to end the year with a shout out to you the reader for helping make 2022 the best year ever for the RGU Student Blog since it started in 2016! This year we were also named one of the Top 2022 Education Blogs by Study Smarter. We are thrilled to see the blog go from strength to strength and we welcome you to share any ideas of what you would like to see in 2023 in the comments below.
We think you can agree that 2022 has been a year full of amazing achievements throughout the RGU community. We can’t possibly feature them all in our RGU’s Top Moments of 2022 blog , but we hope that you have been given a flavour of what is possible at this incredible institution. Thank you to everyone for making RGU the place it is, let’s enter 2023 with a bang!
RGU wishes you all the best for 2023