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Piano man

Alistair McGowan's latest role.

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Making a splash

Leeds is working to attract students, whatever their background.

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Going deep

Alison Lowndes, artificial intelligence expert, returns to campus.

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A special connection

A challenge 20 years ago sparked research which is now offering hope to stroke survivors.

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Celebrating Tony Harrison

One of the most eminent poets and playwrights of our time returned to campus.
Photo: James Drew Turner / The Guardian

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From the Editor

Something rather strange happened in Leeds in the summer.

Right across the city, pianos started appearing, an opportunity for members of the public to demonstrate their hidden talents, and bring music to the city’s public spaces.

This was, of course, to celebrate the return of the Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, and one that the University
has been intimately involved with from its founding in 1963.

The competition was bigger than ever, and demonstrated the power of music to cross international boundaries – with initial rounds played out in Berlin, Singapore and New York – and to engage young people to develop their talents and interests. It was also a fantastic opportunity to welcome one of our own – Alistair McGowan – back to campus.

‘The Leeds’ is just one example of the connections this University makes – across communities, across countries, through our people and our research. Our worldwide alumni community continues to grow and change. Well over 250,000 of you now read this magazine, and increasing numbers of you receive this in digital format.

Do continue to let us know what you’re enjoying and how we can help you stay part of such a vibrant network.

Phil Steel (English Language and Literature 1997)

Head of Alumni Engagement

From the Vice-Chancellor

A diverse and talented body of staff and students makes for a dynamic, innovative, and outward-looking University.

At Leeds, we are proud to have welcomed almost 7,000 new UK undergraduate students at the start of this academic year, 47 per cent with AAA or better at A-level. More than 1,000 of these students came through our Access to Leeds programme, demonstrating our firm commitment to widening participation in higher education. They join students from more than 150 countries across the world, as well as a growing postgraduate community.

Our impact on the world also continues to grow. In 2017-18 we were awarded more than 1,000 new research awards totalling £175 million, fuelling the creation of new knowledge and innovative applications. This includes notable success in Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund awards – in which Leeds was among the top three recipients in the UK – and which will help change the lives and livelihoods of people in many of the world’s poorest communities.

UK universities face many uncertainties in the coming year, not least the implications of Brexit. However, Leeds is a successful global university, and we will continue to focus on our mission to increase knowledge and opportunity, and to make a positive difference in the world.

I never underestimate the role Leeds alumni play in helping us to do this – as our supporters, advocates and ambassadors. I would like to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do, and to wish you all the best for 2019.

Alan Langlands

Vice-Chancellor

From the Editor

Something rather strange happened in Leeds in the summer. Right across the city, pianos started appearing, an opportunity for members of the public to demonstrate ...

From the Vice-Chancellor

A diverse and talented body of staff and students makes for a dynamic, innovative, and outward-looking University. At Leeds, we are proud to have welcomed ...

The air we breathe

Poor air quality is harming our health and Leeds is influencing plans to change this...

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Magazine Highlights

Alumni news

The Flying Doctor

“I travel light,” says Dr Alex Kumar (International Health 2006), “with a camera, stethoscope and...

Alumni profile

Alison Lowndes

From self-driving vehicles and personalised healthcare to natural disaster predictions...

Florence Bell's x-ray

Dr Florence Bell paved the way for one of the biggest scientific discoveries in history, yet her name is largely unknown. Kersten Hall tells her story.

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Robotic rehab for stroke survivors

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"Do you call it a 'spelk', 'spell' or 'splinter'? Dialects at Leeds

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BGT

Leeds alumni are based right across all parts of the world. The annual BGT brings everyone together. Over the last three years, Leeds alumni have organised events big and small over the same few days, making new connections and friends, and creating a little bit of Leeds right across the globe.