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Former Development Studies students launch new textbook

last modified Jun 26, 2019 01:29 PM

Stressing the need to exploit the momentum of the current global youth movement against climate change, 28 young authors recently launched the first Danish high school textbook in development studies. The launch took place in front of 130 teachers, development professional, academics, and interested public in the UN City in Copenhagen, the Nordic headquarters of 11 UN organisations.

Of the 28 young development students and professionals behind the book, four are former students of the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. Anders Kjemtrup, Selma Skov Høye, and Georgios Marinos all hold an MPhil in Development Studies while Peter Andreas Nielsen holds an MPhil in Economics with an elective in Development Economics.

Georgios and Peter, who initiated and co-edited the book, met in Dr Ha-Joon Chang’s Development Economics class in 2017/18 and one year later, Dr Chang participated in the book launch in the UN City. Alongside Mogens Lykketoft, former Danish Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs and President of the UN General Assembly, Dr Chang discussed the role of teaching and youth involvement in tackling the current  global development challenges. In addition to participating in the book launch, both Dr Chang and Mr Lykketoft have provided forewords for the book.

The textbook has been tailored to the requirements of Danish upper secondary education which allows teachers and students to jointly decide on course content and syllabus which is required to cover certain core content. The book provides a wide overview of themes and diverging theories and strategies in development, and invites students to apply theory and analytical frameworks to real life cases and data. It is complemented by a webpage and a short documentary partly funded by Danish DFI Danida.

The authors have founded an NGO, open to membership applications, through which they will channel authors’ royalties to charitable causes and continue lobbying for greater focus on global development issues in Danish education.

Visit the book’s website (in Danish):

Visit the website of the newly founded NGO (in Danish):

The Centre offers congratulations, we are very proud of you!Book Launch 1

Dr Denyer Willis Publishes in the American Political Science Review

last modified Mar 19, 2019 03:07 PM

Dr Denyer Willis has published a new article in the American Political Science Review titled 'Legitimacy in Criminal Governance: Managing a Drug Empire from Behind Bars'.

The abstract and full article can be found here.


'The Trade and Gender Nexus in Pakistan', a New Publication by Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Richard Sidebottom

last modified Feb 12, 2019 11:19 AM

Congratulations to Drs Tanwir and Sidebottom who have just published in the Journal of International Women's Studies. The article, 'The Trade and Gender Nexus in Pakistan', 'investigates the stories of Pakistani women as workers, farmers and entrepreneurs across a range of economic sectors'. 

The full abstract and article can be found here: 

New publication by Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Richard Sidebottom

last modified Feb 12, 2019 10:49 AM

We are delighted to announce the new publication by Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Richard Sidebottom: The trade and gender nexus in Pakistan.  Please find it on:

CDS PhD Candidate Matthew Mahmoudi receives 'Social Impact Award' from Vice Chancellor

last modified Feb 11, 2019 12:00 PM

We would like to congratulate our very own PhD candidate Matthew Mahmoudi, who received the 'Social Impact Award' from Vice Chancellor Professor StephenToope. The Vice-Chancellor's Social Impact Awards are presented every year to students who show exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change. Candidates are nominated by anyone both internal or external to the University, highlighting students who have demonstrated leadership, ongoing commitment, passion and proven social impact.

For more information, check out the Cambridge Hub twitter page and website: 

African Affairs Article Published by Dr Jon Phillips

last modified Jan 03, 2019 03:06 PM

Our new academic Dr Jon Phillips has published an article in African Affairs: “Who’s in charge of Sino-African resource politics? Situating African state agency in Ghana” African Affairs is published on behalf of the Royal African Society and is the top ranked journal in African Studies. This article is available for free for a limited time here.

Centre Closure Over Christmas and the New Year

last modified Dec 20, 2018 11:24 AM

The Centre will be closed from Friday 21st December and will reopen on Wednesday 2nd January, 2019.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Jaime Royo-Olid, PhD candidate at CDS and Dr Fennell edit 'Building, owning & belonging: from assisting owner-driven housing reconstruction to co-production in Sri Lanka, India and beyond'

last modified Dec 07, 2018 12:23 PM

It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of Building, owning & belonging: from assisting owner-driven housing reconstruction to co-production in Sri Lanka, India and beyondedited by Jaime Royo-Olid, a CDS PhD candidate and Dr Shailaja Fennell. The book can be downloaded for free in PDF format from the EU Publications Office website (see hyperlink in the book title above).

The book has been produced by the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka in Collaboration with UN-Habitat and includes articles from over 30 authors. H.E. the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Tung Laï Margue's foreword reads: 'The EU takes pride in having continuously supported communities in major reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of war, tsunami and earthquakes in South Asia. This has been possible by the generous contributions of EU citizens towards international development cooperation. This book emerges more specifically from the EU's Aid to Uprooted People (AUP) regional facility which has been the main vehicle of assistance to housing in Sri Lanka since 2006. In the last 12 years, the EU has committed EUR 64 million on the highly successful homeowner-driven approach in Sri Lanka alone. I would like to congratulate the implementing organisations that have been involved in cooperating with the EU in making the best of people's contributions to their own reconstruction and development. 

The  Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif adds: 'This publication hence documents perspectives of the processes and the challenges faced along the way not only in Sri Lanka, but in various South Asian countries and others. But it is fitting that a review of the owner-driven approach and of the people's process highlights Sri Lanka as the focal case study for being at its origin. UN-Habitat is grateful to our funding partners — the EU, the government of Australia, the government of Switzerland and the Government of India (GoI) — who have supported the principles of owner-driven housing in Sri Lanka in recent years.'

Dr Yan Zhang Awarded Visiting Fellowship at Bennett Institute for Public Policy

last modified Nov 20, 2018 12:41 PM

Congratulations to British Academy Research Fellow Dr Yan Zhang for being awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the University's Bennett Institute.

Based here at the Centre of Development Studies, Dr Zhang will be focusing on sustainable development, public policy and environment/ resource studies which emphasis on China. 

The full article from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy can be found here: 

Adam B. Lerner, PhD candidate at CDS, awarded the 2018 Emanuel Miller Prize

last modified Nov 07, 2018 02:55 PM

Adam B. Lerner, a PhD candidate at the Centre of Development Studies, was awarded the 2018 Emanuel Miller Prize from St. John's College for his essay 'The Useful Fiction of Identity in International Politics.' The prize recognises achievement in Philosophy of Science with special reference to the behavioural sciences (psychology and social science) and is open to all members of the University of Cambridge community. An abstract of the essay is included below:

Over the past few decades, International Relations (IR) scholarship has wrestled with the concept of identity. Early constructivist IR scholarship introduced identity as a variable mutually-constitutive with the international system, but later work began to question whether identity was too nebulous a concept at even the individual psychological level to be scaled up to the macro-social world of states, nations and other transnational actors. Do macro-social entities have identities akin to those of individuals? Are the identities macro-social dynamics impose on individuals not simply artificial impositions of continuity on variegated human experience? This essay argues that the term identity, as it is used in IR scholarship, serves as a 'useful fiction,' suitable for encouraging conversations between the social, behavioural and natural sciences on how individuals and groups variably articulate and internalise narratives of self. In this sense, identity as a concept is ontologically fluid—a heuristic suitable for organising interdisciplinary study of the pushing and pulling influences that shapes patterns in these narrations over time. To demonstrate this fluid ontology, this essay breaks down the memory content behind identity narrations by drawing on psychologist Endel Tulving's seminal typology of memory—particularly his distinction between semantic and episodic memory. Incorporation of Tulving's typology problematizes some scholarship's simplistic division between individual and collective identity and suggests that identity is best understood not via its amorphous structure, but rather via analysis of the different blends of memory content that can constitute it. The essay concludes by suggesting that identity's fluid ontology should orient IR scholarship towards analysis of the political motivations at play in various identity constructions, rather than trying to pinpoint their ever-changing structure.  

Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Nitya Mohan Khemka publish article: 'Breaking the silicon ceiling: Gender equality and information technology in Pakistan'

last modified Nov 06, 2018 11:45 AM

We are delighted to let you know that Dr Maryam Tanwir and Dr Nitya Mohan Khemka's final published article (the Version of Record) is now on Taylor & Francis Online. 'Breaking the silicon ceiling: Gender equality and information technology in Pakistan'  can be found online at: (

Amir Lebdioui, PhD Candidate at the Centre, has published an article in ScienceDirect.

last modified Nov 08, 2018 10:59 AM

Amir Lebdioui, publishes “Uncovering the High Value of Neglected Minerals: Development Minerals as inputs for industrial development in North Africa”, Extractive Industries and Society.

This paper is part of a special issue on Development Minerals based on the Industrial Minerals Research Symposium that took place at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2016, under the auspices of the Africa Mining Legislation Atlas, a partnership between the World Bank Group, the African Legal Support Facility, and the African Union Commission, as well as the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, a partnership between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, European Union and United Nations Development Programme.

In this meeting, twenty-one African policy makers, academics and development practitioners came together at the headquarters of the African Union Commission to draft model legislation for the quarrying and small-scale mining of 'Development Minerals' and contribute to a special issue about Development Minerals in Africa.

New book published with contributions from members of the Centre of Development Studies

last modified Oct 19, 2018 02:23 PM
New book published: New Frontiers of the Capability Approach, with contributions from members of the Centre of Development Studies.
Edited by CDS lecturers Dr Flavio Comim and Dr Shailaja Fennell, as well as Dr P. B. Anand, the book explores the new frontiers of the capability approach and its links to human development in three main areas. First, it delves into the philosophical foundations of the approach, re-examining its links to concepts of common good, collective agency and epistemic diversity. Secondly, it addresses its 'operational frontier', aiming to give inclusive explanations of some of the most advanced methods available for capability researchers. Thirdly, it offers a wide range of the applications of this approach, as carried out by a mix of renowned capability scholars and researchers from different disciplines. This broad interdisciplinary range includes the areas of human and sustainable development, inequalities, labour markets, education, special needs, cities, urban planning, housing, social capital and happiness studies, among others.
New Frontiers contains a key chapter by Dr Gay Meeks, lecturer in the department, as well as chapters by CDS staff Dr Flavio Comim, Dr Tadashi Hirai, Dr Shailaja Fennell, and students Jaime Royo Olid, Josh Platzky Miller, and Caroline Souza.
The book can be found online, and is set to be published in print on 25 October 2018.
The project arises from the annual Cambridge Capabilities Conferences, hosted by the Centre of Development Studies.


CDS Speaker Series - Michaelmas Term 2018

last modified Nov 07, 2018 02:27 PM

The Centre of Development Centre runs a weekly Speaker Series, which is attended by all of the centre's students and academic staff, with both external academics and internal PhD students presenting papers.  Please do join us on Thursdays at 15h30 in ARB (room SG1).


Dr Ha-Joon Chang appointed as member of Development Policy of the UN Economic and Social Council

last modified Oct 05, 2018 10:25 AM

Congratulations to our Centre Director, Dr Ha-Joon Chang, who has been appointed as a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He will sit on the committee from the 1st January, 2019 to 31st December 2021.

Graduate Open Day - 2 November

last modified Oct 25, 2018 12:08 PM

The Open Day for students interested in coming to Cambridge to study on a postgraduate course will be on Friday 2 November 2018, between 2:30 - 4:00pm.

The University of Cambridge Postgraduate Open day is open to current final year students or graduates who are seeking to enter into postgraduate study at Masters or PhD level.  

During the day there will be detailed information about the graduate application process. Current graduate students and Graduate Admissions staff will be on hand to answer questions about postgraduate study and student life in the vibrant city of Cambridge. Staff will also be available to give you advice on the application process, funding opportunities and careers after your course.

You will have the chance to speak to department staff at the Exhibition Hub and you may be able to visit the department to learn more about individual courses and discover which course will be best for you by talking to the staff and students here.

You will also have the opportunity to visit some of the Colleges, find out about their unique character and see how College life complements academic life in Cambridge.

There is no charge for attending the open day although you will need to arrange your own travel and accommodation if required.

Visit the Graduate Study website now to register your interest.

Fernando Bucheli, PhD student, winner of the Kuklys Prize at the Annual Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Conference 2018.

last modified Sep 20, 2018 09:51 AM

Fernando Bucheli, one of our PhD students, has recently won the Kuklys Prize at the Annual Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Conference 2018 for the best conference paper by a graduate student.

The conference's main theme was  'Human Development and Social Inclusion in an Urbanising World'. The winning paper is entitled 'Mapping marginal youth: quality of life and spatial exclusion in Bogota' and brings together aspects of spatial justice and the capability approach to understand young adults' quality of life in Fernando's native city. 

Matthew Mahmoudi, PhD Candidate at CDS, receives the Jo Cox Studentship

last modified Aug 29, 2018 09:30 AM

Matthew Mahmoudi is a PhD candidate at the Centre of Development Studies (POLIS) and the recipient of the Jo Cox Studentship from Pembroke College. Matt talks with the College's Master, Lord Chris Smith, about the role academia and politics can play in responding to refugee crises. 

Hear more from Matt and Lord Smith's discussion on the Declarations Podcast.

Danish Cambridge students set to publish the first textbook on Development Studies for high schools in Denmark

last modified Jul 26, 2018 02:11 PM

Georgios Marinos (MPhil in Development Studies, at the Centre of Development Studies) and Peter Andreas Nielsen (MPhil in Economics, at the Department of Economics) are leading a project from the University Cambridge that aims to bring together Danish graduate students worldwide to author the first textbook on Development Studies for high school students in Danish.

The inspiration for the text book was borne out of the observation that a significant proportion of Danish high school students study social sciences and politics with very limited material in Danish to engage with important development-related questions. For example, what the root of global wealth inequality is, what the impact of climate change is in poor countries, whether aid or trade is the solution to global poverty, and how we can create positive impact in poor countries in our daily lives? The purpose of the textbook is to provide young Danes with a basic understanding of development issues and tools with which they can critically engage with development in their lives, whether that be as voters, consumers, or influencers.

Georgios Marinos and Peter Andreas Nielsen have signed a contract with the publishing company Columbus Forlag and assembled more than 20 co-authors from top universities around the world. In addition to this, they have secured the support of Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, Director of the Centre of Development at the University of Cambridge, who will write the foreword of the textbook. So far half of the text book has been written and peer reviewed by Danish development specialists. The textbook is due to be published by the end of the year, with 100% of profits going to charitable causes.

The Centre of Development Studies wishes Georgios and Peter the best of luck!

Dr Maha Abdelrahman and Dr Shailaja Fennell, Winners of the CUSU Student Led Teaching Awards 2018

last modified Jun 29, 2018 03:00 PM

A massive congratulations to our academics Dr Abdelrahman and Dr Fennell for winning not just one, but two Student Led Teaching Awards each! 

The Cambridge University Students' Union Student Led Teaching Awards nominees are chosen by students within the University to recognise outstanding teaching and support by their academics, falling within eight categories regarding supervision and teaching. 

The full story can be read here

Booking for Capability Conference Open

last modified Jun 19, 2018 04:56 PM

Booking is still open for the Cambridge Capability Conference.

Please visit this link to ensure you reserve a place to this event.

There are 7 exclusive places remaining to join us at St. Catharine's College for a formal dinner on the evening of the 22nd June. Should you wish to attend this, please ensure you indicate this on the online booking form under the 'Optional Items' tab. Dinner will be £44 per person which includes a 3 course meal and coffee. 

For Conference schedule, please click here.

2018 Gates Scholars for Centre of Development Studies Announced

last modified Apr 12, 2018 01:48 PM

Congratulations to Ms Tessa Laing and Mr Dillon Muhly-Alexander who have been awarded the GATES Cambridge scholarship to commence their programmes this October.

Ms Laing, from New Zealand, will be commencing the PhD programme focusing on interactions between local government, citizens and international non-governmental organisations in Gulu and the struggle to transform a key aspect of local service delivery: absenteeism amongst teachers and health workers.

Mr Muhly-Alexander, from West Virginia, USA, will be completing the MPhil in Development Studies, with interests in food security and accessibility, as well as an appreciation of the impact politics exerts on the economic development process. 

We would also like to congratulate our current MPhil student Papa Momodou Jack who has been awarded a GATES scholarship to study a PhD in Geography.

For further information regarding GATES funding, please check out their website.


Development Studies Academics Take Part in the Official Launch of TIGR2ESS

last modified Apr 05, 2018 12:37 PM



During the week of February 21st Dr Shailaja Fennel and Dr Richard Sidebottom from the Centre of Development Studies took part in the official launch of the TIGR2ESS (Transforming India's Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies) research project in New Delhi, India.

TIGR2ESS spans multiple disciplines across Cambridge University and includes numerous Academic and Civil society partners in India. Led by Professor Howard Griffiths and funded by the Global Challenges Research fund, TIGR2ESS seeks to frame new understandings of a new Green Revolution scientific and social science approaches designed to empower stakeholders through participation, education and capacity building.

Formal Message from the Vice Chancellor Regarding Giulio Regeni

last modified Jan 17, 2018 12:24 PM

It has been almost two years since the murder of Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge student, in Cairo. As we approach this anniversary, we are no nearer to knowing the truth of what happened to this promising post-graduate, tortured and killed while pursuing wholly legitimate academic research. Once again, we recognise the deep pain experienced by Giulio's family, which nothing can relieve.


In our community, the sense of hurt and outrage has not abated. His murder was an affront to all of us. It remains an affront to the values of openness, freedom of thought and freedom of academic enquiry that our University stands for. The heinous manner of Giulio's death has diminished us all.


It has been especially troubling to note that, in the absence of apparent progress in investigations into Giulio's death, attention has been turned to his doctoral supervisor, Dr Maha Abdelrahman - an honourable and distinguished scholar.


An investigation led by Italian authorities, with the help of Cambridgeshire police, is underway. As Giulio's supervisor, Dr Abdelrahman is a witness in this investigation, and has cooperated fully.


It is very disturbing, therefore, to find that she has been the victim of seemingly concerted efforts to implicate her directly in Giulio's death.


Public speculation about Dr Abdelrahman's involvement in the case has been inaccurate, damaging and potentially dangerous. It stems from a fundamental misapprehension about the nature of academic research. It demonstrates a lack of understanding of scholarly aims and methods. It shows a failure to understand the intellectual relationship between a PhD student and his or her supervisor.


It is not uncommon for academic research in the humanities and social sciences to impinge on politically sensitive issues. Giulio was an experienced researcher, who had already spent time in Egypt, and was a fluent Arabic speaker. He was using standard academic methods to study trade unions in Egypt.


Since Giulio's death was confirmed in February 2016, Dr Abdelrahman and the University of Cambridge have repeatedly expressed their willingness to cooperate with the investigation. Last week, Dr Abdelrahman welcomed the opportunity to speak again to Italian investigators in Cambridge - the third time she has answered their questions - and voluntarily handed over material requested by them.


In light of her willingness to assist, the public campaign of denigration, fanned by political expediency, is shameful.


The University has sought all opportunities - public and private, formal and informal - to push for progress in the investigation into Giulio's death. It has urged Egyptian, Italian and British authorities to pursue all avenues of investigation to arrive at the truth.


Throughout, the University has been respectful of legal constraints (including on the ability to comment publicly) posed by the continuing legal process. It has been particularly disappointing, then, to see that the same restraint has not applied in other domains, where the confidentiality of the legal process has been blatantly ignored.


The University will of course continue to assist authorities as they seek justice for Giulio and his family. It will also defend the right of academics to engage in legitimate and lawful research, wherever they wish to do so.


As well as doing everything it can to ensure that the death of one of its students is redressed, the University of Cambridge is committed to ensuring that the reputation and wellbeing of its scholars are always safeguarded.


This brutal killing calls for justice. But justice will not be served by undermining the very thing that drove Giulio in his brief but inspiring academic career - the search for truth.





New Alumni Online Platform Available

last modified Dec 20, 2017 04:25 PM

We are very pleased to announce that a new online alumni platform is available on the Development Studies website. Created by Sebastian Manhart and Will Fairbairn, who completed the MPhil programme here at the Centre in 2015, by joining you will be connected to over 300 alumni from over 60 different countries. This is great way to share news, relevant events and job listings. 

Should you wish to join, be you student or staff, please go to the alumni tab above and click the hyperlink to sign up. 

Centre Team Continue Efforts to Establish Research Partnerships with the University of Rwanda

last modified Nov 14, 2017 01:34 PM

A team from the Centre of Development Studies recently made the second in a series of trips to Rwanda as part of an ongoing effort to establish research partnerships with the University of Rwanda (UR). With the valued assistance of the Alborada Research fund, the Rwanda UK Goodwill Organisation (RUGO) and Professor Albert Bizozi of UR, Jolly Dusabe, Jane Lichtenstein and Richard Sidebottom made presentations to academic staff and students covering their research in agricultural innovation, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. Fruitful discussions were also held with the Kigali Institute of Education and DiFD officials that will potentially lead to exciting areas of research collaboration.

Winners of the CRIA MPhil Prize Announced

last modified Oct 05, 2017 01:48 PM

Generously supported by the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (CRIA), the Department is delighted to announce the first winners of the CRIA prize for the highest average mark on an MPhil course in 2016-17.

The Cambridge Review of International Affairs is a peer-reviewed journal which publishes original scholarship on international affairs. It is committed to publishing diverse approaches, methods and areas of analysis, and encourages the submission of interdisciplinary work from academics and policymakers.

This year the journal celebrates 30 years of publishing and the prize was launched to mark the occasion. 

The joint winners are Chelsea Donelon and Byron Hewson, who completed the MPhil in Development Studies and the MPhil in Public Policy, respectively. They both achieved an overall mark of 78 and will receive £150 in prize money

'South Koreans Worked a Democratic Miracle. Can They Do It Again?', a new article by Dr Ha-Joon Chang

last modified Sep 15, 2017 09:43 AM

The New York Times has published an article written by our very own Dr Ha-Joon Chang. The article, 'South Koreans Worked a Democratic Miracle. Can They Do It Again?' was published in the 14th September edition, and can be read here:

Tammy Chen 1984-2017

last modified Aug 15, 2017 04:32 PM
The Department wishes to express our profound shock and sadness at the death of our student Tammy Chen
Tammy Chen 1984-2017

The Department Politics and International Studies and the Centre of Development Studies wish to express our profound shock and sadness at the death of our student Tammy Chen in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso.  Our very deepest sympathy goes out to Tammy’s family and her many friends.

Tammy was finishing a PhD in Development Studies focusing on poverty, gender and women’s empowerment. Staff at the Centre of Development Studies paid tribute to her –

“We are profoundly saddened by the recent killing of our student, friend, and mutual inspiration, Tammy Chen. She was a superlative woman whose steps through life reflect a kind of conviction that few people show, or care to show. Whether she was teaching Canadian anglophones French, or working with impoverished women in Sub-saharan Africa to build new pathways to safety, food security and self-sufficiency, Tammy was an embodiment of what the world should be.  She moved against the grain of injustice and inequality, pushing and breaking through boundaries to make mutual understanding and care for others a foundation of a world that we do, in fact, all share. We hold Tammy, and all that she worked for and was inspired to make, as a model of what a human being should be. She made the Centre of Development Studies, and those around her, better.”

As a member of Gonville and Caius College, Tammy has been remembered as “a bright and enthusiastic student, and a warm and compassionate human being” and a studentship is to be established in her memory. You can read the College’s full tribute to Tammy, here.   

You can read the University's statement here

Student-Led Teaching Awards for Centre of Development Studies Academics

last modified May 23, 2017 03:53 PM

Congratulations to Dr Gay Meeks who won the 'Lecturer' category at the 2017 Student Led Teaching Awards. Recognition was also given to Dr Richard Sidebottom, who was also short listed.  The Awards are organised by the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU). This year they received 590 nominations from students eager to reward and celebrate the outstanding efforts of lecturing, teaching, supervising, teaching support and pastoral support staff from across the collegiate university.