BCU pledges to support technical staff

Birmingham City University (BCU) is the latest signatory to the Technician Commitment, a sector-wide initiative to help address key challenges facing technical staff in teaching and research.

Launched in 2017, the Technician Commitment is a higher education and research institute initiative that seeks to ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians across all disciplines.

BCU Vice-Chancellor Professor David Mba said: “It’s hugely important to recognise and value the work that technicians do here at Birmingham City University.

“They make an enormous contribution supporting staff and students as well as ensuring the working environments are kept in good order at our campuses around the city. Without them, BCU could not function properly.”

Technicians play a key role in the student experience by demonstrating complex technical skills and equipment, assisting the delivery of teaching, and maintaining and managing specialist facilities.

There are around 120 technicians operating across the four faculties at BCU.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Dean Hughes, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Art, Design and Media, said it is a “privilege” to be BCU’s institutional lead for the Technician Commitment.

“As Executive Dean of the faculty with the largest technician community, I am already very aware of the crucial role technicians play at the University,” he said.

“Work towards the key themes of visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability has already begun. Every area of the University is represented in our Technician Commitment steering group. We want the collective voice of technicians to be central to our plans.”

Pro-Vice Chancellor Hanifa Shah, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, added: “The Technician Commitment presents a great opportunity to ensure that technical facilities are integrated into the university, recognising the valued contributions of technicians to research as well as teaching and learning.”

BCU’s decision to sign the agreement has been welcomed by Carly Dellar, Operations Manager for the Technician Commitment:

She said: “BCU joins a global community of over 120 signatories and supporters pledging to enhance the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of technical staff in their institutions.

“We look forward to supporting their development of an achievable and innovative action plan.”

BCU has already appointed two staff members - former BCU technicians Daniella Webb and Peter Crowther - to support the creation of a self-assessment and action plan.

Now working in the Learning and Organisational Development team, they said they are “incredibly pleased” with the University’s commitment.

They added: “Our focus is on making sure the voice of the technical community is heard throughout the development of the action plan, which will complement BCU Values and ensure the sustainability of technical skills.”

To learn more about BCU’s technicians, email: technicians@bcu.ac.uk


If you are interested in signing up your institute or organisation to the Technician Commitment, email tc@itss.org.uk