Friday G&T

Friday G&T

Your Friday ‘Gift and Tonic’; a short, inspiring piece of writing delivered to you weekly. Why? Because in among the to-do lists we need to find a moment to stand still, to re-focus and to energise our inner writer. All that is required is a minute (or two).

Friday 16 March 2018

What inspires your students to come to university?

Putting aside metrics, measurements and analysis, how do we understand what attracts people to pursue their education at university? Rebecca Solnit, environmentalist and public intellectual, writes about what inspired her interviewee, American architect Teddy Cruz, to go to university:

Rebecca Solnit is an American writer and contributing editor to Harpers Bizarre. In this glimpse into her interview with Teddy Cruz, these 30 quoted words say volumes about his motivation for going to university. What more can we learn about motivations by looking beyond analytics?

Source: Solnit, R. (2007) Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).

Friday 9 March 2018

Yesterday marked this year’s International Women’s Day. On this day, we committed to sharing and celebrating the amazing stories of women who work in higher education. So for this week’s G&T, we bring you an inspirational quote from Baroness Valerie Amos, taken from her interview for BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour (hyper link to:

Baroness Valerie Amos (hyperlink to: is the Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and is the first-ever black leader of a UK university. Prior to her role with SOAS she served as the Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN.

Friday 2 March 2018

Have you considered changing the starting point of your current or next project?
We can only shape the future if we can start by imaging it. So try the advice from this dramatist, change your start to the end.

Robert Holman is a British playwright and dramatist. His works have been produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, and for the West End to name but a few.

Invisible Grail apply this principle directly into Writing your Future, a two-day residential programme created to enable leaders to try new approaches to articulate the future for their department, team and for their own leadership.


Friday 23 February 2018

Pressures of time and energy may push us to rely on stock phrases and dry, repetitive messages. Whilst we can’t always escape these pressures, we can choose to make vibrant the language we use to respond. In his book ‘Landmarks’, Robert MacFarlane encourages us to ‘particularize’ language, finding passion in words that often fall through the cracks of our everyday vocabulary.


This G&T was nominated by Corony Edwards, an education consultant that has been working in higher education for the past 25 years. Corony’s original subject area was Applied English Linguistics, and she still retains her passion for language.


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