50 Years

Professor Jeanne Keay, Pro Vice Chancellor Global Engagement

Over the past 50 years, Leeds Beckett University’s academics and graduates have used their skills to help shape the world and make a difference to the global society that we live in. 
Published on 05 Aug 2020
Professor Jeanne Keay introducing global impact

Throughout August we are celebrating our global impact which is driven by world-leading research, partnerships with a range of institutions and an international-based community of students and colleagues.

Our academics tackle global issues through their expertise in areas ranging from engineering, the arms trade, international peace and conflict resolution, and communications excellence.

We have 185,000 alumni in 153 countries across the world, some of whom are prominent figures in early childhood research and education while others are helping inspire future generations of sport and exercise scientists. 

Our seven international hubs in almost every continent allow us to reach out to help educate and recruit international students. This approach has led to phenomenal growth in international recruitment, with applications up 60% this year.

We do research that matters, influences policy, changes people’s lives and helps us to better understand the world around us. 

Professor Chris Gorse, in our School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing is a major figure in the building performance and sustainability industries.

He has amassed one of the most comprehensive sets of building thermal performance data in the UK. His work informs government policy and regulation and forms part of international energy programmes.

Professor Ralph Tench, from Leeds Business School, has put forward a new framework of communication excellence based upon 10 years of empirical data and the views of over 21,000 practitioners in communication across 46 countries in Europe.

His nine commandments are now shaping what defines communication excellence and offers insight to practitioners and researchers about what factors contribute to high performance in this competitive environment.

The work of Dr Rachel Julian, a Reader in the Leeds School of Social Sciences, in international peace and conflict resolution reflects a commitment to end armed violence in communities that spans 25 years.

She has shown that using the military is not the only option when civilians are threatened by violence. In fact, unarmed, trained, civilians are effective in protecting people, themselves, their communities, by putting an end to violence.

Dr Jill Gibbon, a reader in the Leeds School of Arts, produces work that has impacted the global scene and she is currently working on a project documenting the secretive world of the international arms trade by drawing undercover in arms fairs.

Many of our alumni have gone on to receive global acclaim including Dr Putri Afzan Maria Zulkifli who after receiving her Masters degree from Leeds Beckett in 2006 and returning to Malaysia has become a prominent global figure in early childhood research and education.

She is an advocate for the importance of ‘play’ in early childhood education, pioneering the importance of supporting children’s emotional and cognitive development through play-based learning.

In 2015, Bedour Al-Mousawi was the first Qatari female to graduate with a Sport and Exercise Science degree from a UK institution.

She now works as an exercise scientist at Aspetar Hospital, Doha and is looking forward to contributing to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

What gives us the perfect springboard to achieve global engagement is our partnerships with regionally embedded organisations which have international links.

Despite these particularly challenging times we continue to carry out world-changing research and innovation through international collaboration to maximise global impact.