New app provides mental skills training for students
A mental skills training programme created at the University is now being rolled out across the UK as part of emotional fitness app Fika.
The partnership sees Birmingham's MST4LifeTM (My Strengths Training For LifeTM) programme feature in the app, with video stories of students working through activities.
The MST4Life™ programme was developed by sports psychologists and academics at the University, in collaboration with youth homelessness charity St Basils. It draws on sports psychology to strengthen the resilience, confidence and coping skills of 16-to-24-year-olds.
Fika is designed for the UK’s 2.3 million university students, offering accessible, evidence-based ‘emotional workouts’ to boost students’ wellbeing, academic attainment and employability.
Important advance in treatment for childhood brain tumours
Scientists at Birmingham have discovered a new, non-invasive technique to assess the aggressiveness of childhood brain tumours. Following a five-year study into the chemical make-up of the tumours, researchers established that an MRI scan and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) could measure the levels of glutamine and lipids in the tumour. As a result, more children will be able to receive treatment, and clinicians will be able to better personalise those treatments.
Whoever thought concrete would float? The new Concrete Canoe Club student society has set out to prove the seemingly impossible by designing and constructing a canoe made out of the building material. Society members have also challenged other universities to take part in a race on Edgbaston Reservoir – the first such competition in the UK for decades. Learn more at the society’s webpage.
Step up (and down) for breakfast
Exercising before eating breakfast burns double the amount of fat compared to exercising after your morning meal, according to new University research. A six-week study by health scientists at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham found that by changing the timing of when you eat and exercise, people can better control their blood sugar levels.
In turn, that meant those in the study group were burning more fat, had an improved response to insulin and were therefore lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Seeing in the Year of the Rat
Music lovers enjoyed a special concert fusing East and West to mark the Chinese New Year, featuring an appearance from the winner of the 'Chinese X-Factor'.
World-renowned pianist Di Xiao was joined by vocalist Mary-Jess, who won the I Want to Sing to the Stars television competition in 2009, watched by more than 70 million people across China.
Birmingham’s relationship with China dates back to the foundation of the University. The first Chinese student joined the University in 1907 and there are now more than 14,000 Chinese alumni.
Partners for good stories
The University has partnered with The National Literacy Trust to launch Birmingham Stories - a ten year campaign to raise literacy levels and change the life stories of young people and adults across the city.
Birmingham is one of the most vulnerable areas to literacy challenges in the UK: 41% of young people in the city failed to achieve good GCSE grades in English language and maths in 2018.
The University will work in partnership with local schools, young people, businesses, adult education services and cultural organisations on a series of events and opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of storytelling and literacy at every stage of life. Activities will include literacy training for teachers, a story writing competition, and poets’ visits to schools.
Student volunteers clear waste from canal
20 Birmingham students have cleared almost two tonnes of waste from the Birmingham canal network.