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Best of Bristol lecture series launched

Tom Corfield (MEng 2009), founder of BoB Lectures

Tom Corfield (MEng 2009), founder of BoB Lectures

16 November 2010

Staff, students and alumni can now access some of the University’s most inspiring lecturers thanks to a new initiative set up by Bristol graduate Tom Corfield (MEng 2009).

Tom Corfield (MEng 2009), founder of BoB Lectures

Staff, students and alumni can now access some of the University’s most inspiring lecturers thanks to a new initiative set up by Bristol graduate Tom Corfield (MEng 2009). The Best of Bristol (BoB) Lecturesis a programme of lunchtime lectures showcasing Bristol’s favourite academics.

The original idea, inspired by Tom’s own experience, was to give students the chance to experience teaching from outside their subject area. Tom said: ‘I studied engineering, but spent a lot of my time at Bristol going to see my friends’ favourite lecturers in action. This turned out to be the most rewarding thing I did. I came up with the BoB Lectures to allow other students to share this fantastic experience.’ Tom soon found that staff and alumni were interested in attending the lectures too.

To gather backing for his idea, Tom set up an online petition to allow people to register their support. Within three months there were over 1,000 signatures and statements of support on the petition from students, staff, alumni and others. To choose the line-up of lectures, Tom asked the 1,300 people on the BoB Lectures Facebook group to vote for their favourite lecturers in an online survey. 

The series consists of ten lunchtime lectures that are taking place over week three to 12 of the 2010/11 academic year. All lectures take place in the Victoria Rooms and are free of charge. Alumni are welcome to attend. If you can’t make it in person, most of the events are being filmed and will be posted on the BoB Lectures website.

Tom sees the lectures as a way to celebrate great teaching. He said: ‘For undergraduates, inspirational teaching is what university is all about. Ask any undergrad about the highlight of their student experience and they’ll describe the brilliant lecturer who inspired them to study.’

The next lecture, ‘Higher Education: From Robbins to Browne’ by Gervas Huxley from the Department of Economics, will take place on Thursday 18 November at 1.10 pm.