Sarah Broadberry - Principal Lecturer - School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences

The students come first at NTU. They’ve worked really hard on that balance between teaching and research.

I absolutely love my job – and you can quote me on that.

I absolutely love my job – and you can quote me on that!

I started here on 1 October, 2001 – I was lucky enough to get my break in lecturing whilst I was doing my PhD. I’d never had any ambition to teach – there’s a reason I’d always preferred working with animals, after all! – but I just fell in love with it.

I think what makes NTU special as a learning environment is the value they put on good teaching. That sounds simple, but they’ve really worked hard on the balance between teaching and research. The students come first at NTU, and for someone like me – who isn’t as heavily involved on the research side, but loves working with students – that approach is reassuring. There’s great research going on here, but they also harness and reward that passion for developing knowledge in the classroom.

The support I’ve had here has been phenomenal, and it’s something people should know about. I’ve had two periods of maternity leave, and also a significant period of illness in 2016: at every step, I’ve felt accommodated and respected. They valued me as a colleague, and an academic, and a mum: because of that, I’ve been able to achieve the kind of work-life balance I didn’t think would be possible.

It’s a genuinely fantastic place to work. People don’t leave Brackenhurst: the place means so much to us all. It’s stunning, and they’re improving it all the time. If I’m having a rough day, I just go outside for a walk – there’s so much beautiful space and freedom to clear your head. We’ve even started having walking meetings in the department, and holding your meetings in a rose garden really makes a difference!

I love the approach to conservation and sustainability here. It’s just so ingrained in the culture of our students: if we didn’t satisfy that, they wouldn’t be here. There’s so many schemes being introduced all the time, and it feels like we’re streets ahead of many other universities in that regard.

Aside from my teaching, I’m also heavily involved in NTU’s Success For All programme, and I’m our Athena SWAN champion. They’re initiatives I feel passionately about, and as time goes by the scope of them continues to broaden, becoming more and more inclusive. We’re creating an environment that allows everyone to succeed at NTU – colleagues and students alike.

In that regard, you really do get back what you put in here – and you can count on being supported and encouraged all the way.

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