Professional principles

The Faculty of Science and Technology is committed to the University of Westminster’s vision of building the next generation of highly employable global citizens to shape the future.

One of the Faculty’s key aims is to develop the employability of students, as well as develop staff professionally. This involves promoting professional behaviours among all our members – encouraging everyone to perform to a high standard, while working with each other respectfully.

Our Professional Principles are a key element in that process. We talked widely with students and staff about the principles we should adopt as a Faculty, and the Professional Principles we have developed cover the ideals we commonly strive for, whether staff or students. They have been shaped by broad Faculty views about what is likely to increase the success of the Faculty and our members.

The seven Professional Principles below outline what we expect of ourselves and each other. By adopting and abiding by these principles, students and staff can enjoy a learning environment which fosters key values such as respect, integrity, innovation and engagement. When we behave in ways consistent with these principles, others are more likely to be professional too, creating a virtuous circle. Employers also value those who are respectful and supportive of each other.

In addition to the Faculty's specific Professional Principles, the University has a general Student Charter for students and staff to read, which outlines more general expectations at the University level.

FST Professional Principles booklet

FST Professional Principles leaflet

Science involves using “systematic” methods to collect good data to use as evidence to test out our hypotheses and answer our research questions, and to develop concepts and theories.

As a science and technology based Faculty (FST), we have a thirst for credible knowledge about our natural and social worlds.

We encourage each other to adopt a curious approach, to be open to new ideas, yet rigorous in our approach to our studies, research and teaching.

We value creative problem solving, the development of interventions that help communities, excellent research, as well as scholarly thinking.

The community – and our peers – expect us to uphold high moral values. To have greater personal and professional integrity than might be expected in other walks of life.

So it is important for us to become familiar with the ethical and professional codes of conduct put out by our particular professional bodies. Codes, that do already – or will – govern our work.

In particular, we strive to respect human rights and dignity; We honour the trust placed in us as students and staff; We act in the best interests of our communities, be they colleagues, students, clients or others; We avoid harming others to the best of our abilities; and we strive to be fair in all our dealings within the Faculty and more broadly.

We also remind ourselves to take care of ourselves and each other. Balancing our studies, work and home life is key to our wellbeing, and means we can be more available to our significant others, colleagues, teachers, clients and the challenges that we all face.

Being at a university in one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities on earth requires us to move beyond our limitations if we are to increase our personal successes, and the success of the Faculty.

We are all uniquely different in our identities, abilities and cultural backgrounds (e.g. according to age, ability, mental health, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, spirituality, religion, politics and so on). Our diversity and international profile is something we embrace and celebrate. The professions increasingly value such differences, and our Faculty leads in this area.

By embracing our differences, and helping all members of the Faculty to feel safe and supported despite any difficulties, we make our time at the University better for everyone. We also increase our chances of personal success.

Sustainability is about our capacity to go on living on this planet, for our biological systems to remain diverse and healthy, and to limit negative human impacts, like global warming and over consumption of limited global resources. In our Faculty, we take our responsibilities to promote sustainability seriously.

We are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and consumption in all that we do, even in the small things. Be it in our commitment to use recycling bins; use of teleconferencing where possible and public transport; use of iPads; reducing paper use (e.g. by not printing out emails and attachments); using energy savings on our computers; turning off electronic devices and lights when not in use; and re-using plastic bags.

Everyone is valued, everyone is respected.

We all have something to offer, and we all deserve respect.

Whatever our ideas and beliefs, we expect our views to be heard, while promoting scholarly and evidence-based approaches.

We reject all forms of intimidation and bullying, whether online or in person.

Learning, teaching and studying require active involvement.

Being more engaged – in studies as well as wider activities – sets us up for future successes.

Well-being depends on engagement, making connections, and building interpersonal skills.

Being actively involved sharpens knowledge, builds reputations, and reduces stress.

Having rights and making choices about how we live, work and study also brings with it responsibilities. Other students and staff very much depend on – and are affected by – the things that we do. When we make a commitment to do something in our Faculty, we do all we can to deliver. If in the end we can’t keep our promise, then we do our best to minimize any problems caused.

For students, includes being punctual and coming prepared for our learning, reporting problems we see, not being disruptive, getting help when we need it, and ensuring that we are personally looking after ourselves so that we can engage in our studies. Ultimately, it is about realizing that we are responsible for our own learning.

For staff, this means punctuality also, continuous planning of our teaching, getting involved in research, updating our own knowledge and lectures, ensuring our team has the right resources to teach and effectively, and continued professional development.

For both staff and students, it means helping colleagues where it is wise to do so, or assisting them to get the help they need if we are out of our depth.

Finally, we all play a role in guarding the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. We seek out appropriate training and support to do this.

Science and Technology

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