Proposed strategy theme

Healthy lives, thriving society

This theme brings into focus our commitment to the UN Sustainable Goal to ensure health and wellbeing for all. It embeds this way of thinking in all areas of our work.

How health shapes a better world

We have a history as a University that looks to make a positive impact on major issues in society.

So it makes sense that one of our proposed theme areas is ‘health’ in all its forms: dealing with global pandemics, raising awareness globally about mental health, supporting our own students and staff with their wellbeing and working with local, national and governments worldwide to reduce health inequalities.

Our current activity

Our holistic response to COVID-19

This theme is demonstrated in our engagement and support for our staff and student community and local area. During lockdown and the global coronavirus pandemic, we recognised the enormous challenges that students and staff faced. In response, we invested in innovative online mental health support, Zoom fitness sessions and counselling services.

To help with practical concerns, we distributed emergency food parcels across our campuses and sent IT equipment to students. We worked with Barnet Council so that those experiencing domestic violence could use our halls of residence as a safe place to stay. In Malta, staff donated their 3D printer to Malta’s general hospital. Across Dubai, Mauritius and Malta, staff worked hard to get students flights home in the early 2020 lockdown.

Health research for global health

We are leading ground-breaking studies to improve health, including wastewater analysis for early detection of coronavirus outbreaks and non-invasive imaging of lung function of COVID-19 patients.

Our research on reducing global health inequalities, due to obesity, cholesterol and maternal mortality, has been published in journals such as Nature and The Lancet. As a result of work led by Middlesex academics, the drug Dabigatran, a treatment for atrial defibrillation, has been included in the 21st Edition of the World Health Organisation Model List of Essential Medicines. That means this clinically-effective treatment will be more accessible to patients in developing countries.

Partnering to create a healthy thriving society

We are committed to sharing our expertise to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and working hand in hand with communities.

In Hendon we work with the London Borough of Barnet, NHS Trusts, RAF Museum and Dementia Clubs. Our staff and students volunteer in schools teaching Maths and English and engage with local children to help widen horizons about future career options.

Thank you

We are grateful to you for taking time to answer our consultation questions. Your answers will help shape the future of our strategy – and of Middlesex towards 2031.

We will bring together feedback from across our community and share them with you over the next few months.

Success stories from our community

Improving care through culturally competent robots

We are a UK partner in CARESSES, the largest ever global study investigating the use of robots in caring for the elderly.

Our research team was responsible for developing cultural competency in the robots so they were able to respond to the culture-specific needs and preferences of individual older people. The research was funded by the EU and Japanese government.

The work has important implications for countries with more people are living longer and fewer people to look after them. Evaluation shows that using artificial intelligence in this way should have real benefits, for example to help alleviate mental health problems and loneliness which are both significant health concerns.

Innovative testing possibilities for COVID-19

During 2020, we successfully launched an international initiative to support testing for COVID-19 in sewage. This work is significant as the presence of COVID-19 in sewage could provide early warning of local outbreaks of the virus.

Now a major research proposal in this field has been approved for a funding grant of £5million by the UK’s Department of Health Track and Trace Innovation Team. The project is led Dr Maria Chiara Di Cesare with the participation of 100 local schools to investigate the occurrence and prevalence of COVID-19 in sewage. This will then be triangulated with GP data sets on respiratory illnesses. Sewage samples from schools could provide another method to track progression of the coronavirus and act as a warning that more action needs to be taken in a local area.

More success stories

Mental health as a top priority

We understand that mental health is more important than ever for our society. In the UK we have worked with the Samaritans and Network Rail to raise awareness about suicide prevention with materials to empower transport staff and help the general public. We’re also part of a Universities UK project on strategic leadership and mental health that showcases Middlesex’s good practice in this area to the rest of the higher education sector.

Removing barriers for women in sport

Our Sports Department are looking to change the game for women in sport and exercise. This important work highlights that women report significantly lower physical activity levels than men (Sport England). This puts them at more risk from premature death from chronic diseases and means they miss out on other benefits, such as improved mental health, decreased anxiety and better social connections.

Government lockdown restrictions during the global coronavirus pandemic have disproportionally affected women and reduced their participation in sport further. We are working to identify and tackle these barriers so that women of all ages can return to sport or take up new activities.

We want to hear from you

We have set the scene with some examples of the work we do in this area. We know this is not a complete list by any means, so now we are looking for your help.

Help us enhance our reputation and build up a better picture of activity by sharing examples of your work and from outside Middlesex.

Thank you

We are grateful to you for taking time to answer our consultation questions. Your answers will help shape the future of our strategy – and of Middlesex towards 2031.

We will bring together feedback from across our community and share them with you over the next few months.

More on our themes

Find out more about the themes and help us to build up a picture of work around them.

Environment and sustainability >

Social justice and EDI >

Radical creativity >

Changing society through entrepreneurial action >

Technological innovation >

Engage with our strategy

Want to share more detail or files with us? We are very keen to hear more.

Email us at [email protected]