The podcast version of NLive Radios monthly show SHOUT TO THE TOP with Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton (UON) Professor Nick Petford.
Each show Nick talks to those at the top about key issues and topics of interest to him and the wider Northampton community.
COP26 summit, Climate change and Universities
Professor Nick Petford’s monthly Shout To The Top podcast for NLive Radio – has been released to coincide with the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
The main guest is Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics
He previously headed up the media team at the Royal Society of London and holds a degree in geology from the University of Liverpool. After graduating in 1987, Bob stated postgraduate research into palaeo piezometer. He’s also worked as a freelance journalist at the Daily Telegraph.
In the podcast Nick also speaks to academic, journalist and administrator, and secretary general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Joanna Newman MBE. Joanna is former vice-principal (international) at King's College London, and before that director of the UK Higher Education International Unit (now known as Universities UK International), and head of Higher Education at the British Library. Joanna is a faculty member in the Department of History at King's College London, and has taught history at University College London and the University of Warwick.
Professor Judith Petts also contributes to the discussion. Judith studied geography at Exeter University and went into the commercial world, working for Barclays International and in retail planning. She returned to the sector as a researcher at Nottingham and Loughborough universities, completing her PhD by publication from Loughborough on risk management, where, subsequently, she became director at the Centre for Hazard and Risk Management. In 1999, Judith joined the University of Birmingham as head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, becoming pro-vice-chancellor for research in 2007. In 2010 she moved to the University of Southampton, first as dean of social sciences and then pro-vice-chancellor research and enterprise and took up her current post as vice-chancellor of the University of Plymouth in February 2016. Judith was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to scientific research.
Deputy Director of Universities UK’s policy group, Julie Tam, is the fourth podcast guest. Julie has the task of dealing with some of the most significant issues facing the Higher Education sector while leading work on the financial sustainability of universities and climate action. Julie started her career as an economist and has worked as an adviser for the New Zealand and UK governments. Since 2008 Julie has focused on Higher Education issues, working as a management consultant and as a senior policy analyst, before joining UUK in 2012.
Representing the University of Northampton is Victoria Blake, who has more than 18 years’ experience of working in sustainable development. She leads the Environment and Sustainability Team with the responsibility for developing and delivering our sustainability plans. Prior to joining the University, Victoria worked in the construction sector as sustainability manager at BRE Ltd, where she was responsible for the management and implementation of its sustainability plan. Victoria’s job is to strike the right balance between the objectives and requirements of the University with those of the natural environment.
The podcast also features Cllr Pinder Chauhan, who was first elected in 2017 as a Northamptonshire county councillor, and then re-elected in 2021 as a unitary councillor for West Northamptonshire. Cllr Chauhan is the assistant cabinet member for corporate services, which includes flooding and flood defence responsibilities. Pinder is the Association Chair for South Northamptonshire
Conservatives, and Regional Chairman of the East Midlands Conservative Women's Organisation. She also works for a Global Early Years education provider, and is in her final year of an MBA.
University Chiefs discuss the state of Higher Education
Leading figures from Higher Education will converge for a radio show hosted by the University of Northampton’s Vice Chancellor.
Leading HE commentator, and former head of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook is the special guest on Professor Nick Petford’s Shout To The Top programme.
In her interview, Mary, pictured, looks at the opportunities and risks facing universities, post-pandemic.
She said: “We are all waiting for the autumn Comprehensive Spending Review and anticipating the Government will be changing the way that Higher Education is funded. It might mean there’s less money per student or a cap on the number of students universities can take coming back into force.
“I also think we might see a slow burn towards universities focussing even more on more engaging online teaching. The traditional model of students moving away from home to study for three years might decline over the next few years, in part due to the cost, so embracing technology will be key for universities.”
Mary also reveals what made her change her mind on the often-mooted switch to post-qualification admissions in Higher Education, which would see would-be students in the UK apply for courses after, rather than before, they’ve received their grades.
She will also tell listeners why she didn’t go to university when she left school, and why having as many people as possible benefiting from Higher Education is a good thing. Mary said: “The economic evidence from countries around the world is that those which have a high proportion of people who go to university do better in all sorts of measures.”
The show also features appearances from Universities UK CEO and president, Alistair Jarvis and Professor Steve West, respectively, talks about a range of issues from climate change to pensions. Director of think tank Higher Education Policy Institute, Nick Hillman, and Universities and Colleges Employers' Association CEO, Raj Jethwa, discusses the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and what industrial relations may hold in the coming academic year.
The University of Northampton’s Students’ Union are also be represented by Beth Garrett, who is Vice President for Education.
Originally Broadcast 6th October on Shout To The Top on NLive Radio
Politics past, present and future
Joining Nick this month are two high profile political figures – Former Education Secretary, Justine Greening, and Northamptonshire South MP, Andrea Leadsom – plus leading lights from the local political landscape.
Former Education Secretary, Justine Greening, spoke about her journey from a state school pupil in South Yorkshire to senior government minister, and how she’s now spearheading a movement to protect opportunities and boost social mobility.
Justine is co-founder of the Social Mobility Pledge – a campaign and coalition of businesses and universities committed to being a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose.
Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, spoke to Nick about how her previous career in finance equipped her for a role of politician – and where country, constituency and party loyalties rank when she votes in the Commons. She also revealed why she invited the world’s second-richest man to set up business in the county, before praising the University of Northampton’s role in the Arc Universities Group.
The reluctance of younger people to get involved in party politics was discussed by the University’s Daniel Jones. Daniel is chairman of the Kettering & Wellingborough Liberal Democrats and an archivist at the University’s Searchlight Archive – a major collection of material documenting the activities of British and international fascist and racist organisation.
Daniel also spoke about the Lib Dem-Green Party pact, in the North Northamptonshire Council elections, which saw the groups agree not to contest particular seats in the hope of boosting both parties’ chances – and getting alternative voices heard.
Political journalist and Senior Lecturer in Multimedia Journalism at the University, Kate Ironside, was also a guest on the show. She talked about how she tumbled down a flight of stairs with a Tory MP in the House of Commons, in the race to break the news Margaret Thatcher’s days at Number 10 were numbered. Kate also spoke about the importance of reporting the big decisions politicians make – and the tittle tattle – and how to remain impartial, or not.
Community activist and West Northamptonshire Council councillor, Danielle Stone, talked to Nick about her fears about the county’s new political structures. Explaining why Labour fought for a unitary council for Northampton, she said: “We did not see how it was going to work, putting Northampton in with two very rural areas, where we would be dominated by rural Conservatives.”
Danielle also talked about the under-representation of female councillors at the two new unitary councils, the barriers that can alienate people from politics – and her chance meeting with two young people who are taking on anti-vaxxers.
Secretary of the Green Party in Northamptonshire, Steve Miller, spoke to Nick about the short-termism of politics, which he feels is damaging the prospects of improving the environment. He said: “The Green Party isn’t really bothered about the short-termism of the electoral cycle. Our policies are based around what we actually need to do to make our society more sustainable.” Steve also explained why the Greens are more successful at local elections, compared to national polls.
Meanwhile, Rob Bridge, the inaugural chief executive of North Northamptonshire Council, provided an overview of his role and how the county’s new political structure operates.
Beyond the catwalk to examine the issues facing fashion
The theme of this month’s edition is fashion – and the key issues facing the industry.
Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Gavin Douglas talks about the role of diversity in the industry and fashion education. In 2020, Gavin set up a mentoring scheme for black fashion students at UON, which aims to help them overcome the systemic barriers that cause the underrepresentation of leading black designers within the UK fashion industry.
Gavin’s colleague and fellow Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Emmeline Child, will also be chatting to Nick about the environmental impact of fast fashion. With almost 20 years of experience in sustainability in fashion and textiles, Emmeline has become a pioneer in sustainable issues around upcycling.
With the annual Graduate Fashion Week showcase of UK universities’ best student designers almost upon us, Nick speaks to undergraduates Natasha Finlay and Jonathan Goddard. Both have had their work shortlisted for Graduate Fashion Week awards, and talk to Nick about the inspiration behind their designs. They are also joined by the University’s Textiles for Fashion Programme Leader, Jane Mills.
Meanwhile, Dr Mike Redwood will be outlining the importance of the leather industry to fashion. Dr Redwood spent several years passing on his knowledge to students at the University’s Institute for Creative Leather Technologies, where he was a Visiting Professor.
It's an exclusively UON affair, as Nick also talks to Northampton-based fashion footwear designer, Guy West. Guy went from selling shoes in a market to co-founding the internationally renowned Jeffery-West shoe brand.
Can the Arts revitalise Northampton
What role can the Arts and culture play in the regeneration of Northampton?
Key figures from the town’s cultural scene appear on this edition of the show which is presented by the University of Northampton’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford.
Joining Nick will be Jo Gordon, who was appointed chief executive of the Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust in 2018, and oversees Northampton’s flagship theatre, the Royal & Derngate, and The Core arts venue, in Corby.
The secretary of the 78 Derngate Northampton Trust, Les Patterson, will also be in conversation with Nick, as will Richard Clinton, chief executive of Delapré Abbey.
The University’s Senior Lecturer in Art and the Public Sphere, Andrew Hewitt will also be taking part. Andrew will be able to provide both a town and a gown perspective, as he is also a board member of NN Contemporary Art, in Northampton.
The show ends with Northampton South MP, Andrew Lewer who has a personal passion for arts and culture and it's role in the town.
Cobblers, Saints and Steelbacks chiefs look beyond the pandemic
The men at the helm of Northampton’s three professional sports clubs will be discussing the impact of the pandemic in an exclusive on Shout To The Top on NLive Radio.
Northampton Saints RFC chairman John White, Northampton Town FC owner Kelvin Thomas and Northants CCC chairman Gavin Warren are guests on the next edition of Shout To The Top, the topical discussion show presented by University of Northampton Vice Chancellor, Nick Petford.
All three will talk candidly about how the pandemic has affected their clubs, and their vision as they look forward to a post-lockdown world.
FIGHTING FOR THE CLUB’S FUTURE
Cobblers boss, Kelvin, will talk about the club’s fight for League One survival, how the actions of the previous owners continue to hamper the club and how he is striving to achieve a sustainable future for Town. Kelvin will also lift the lid on his working relationship with US sporting icon, Shaquille O’Neal, and explain the benefits of the University’s sponsorship of the club.
Saints chairman, John, meanwhile, will talk about how injury curtailed his playing career and his belief in the county’s grassroots rugby scene. The brickie-turned-chairman of one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders will also explain how the club has managed to operate in lockdown, without its main sources of income – matchday and events.
Steelbacks chairman, Gavin, will reflect on a tough year for sporty children, and how he’s looking forward to welcoming spectators back to Wantage Road. The club is due to open the turnstiles in May, to a limited number of supporters, followed by full houses when the T20 games begin in mid-June. Gavin will also preview the showpiece India v India A warm-up fixture, which will see some of the world’s greatest players grace the County Ground pitch.
Nick said: “Northamptonshire has an incredible sporting heritage. With a bumper summer of sport lined up, it’s vital now to get the fans back in, and grass roots level up and running again.”
The show, which airs at 7pm on Wednesday 7 April, will also feature an interview with the inspiring Corby mum Mandy Young, who founded Adrenaline Alley, Europe’s largest urban sports venue.
ITV’s Paul McNamara, who produced Match of the Day and has covered major sporting occasions around the world, will also be on the show, along with the University’s very own Kate Williams. Kate, who is Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology, will talk about her BBC Radio career, her passion for sport – and the University of Northampton’s Multimedia Sports Journalism course.
Shout To The Top airs on the first Wednesday of every month, on NLive Radio. Listen via the website – or if you are in Northampton, on 106.9FM.