Childhood Bereavement Study – participants wanted

ARE YOU A PARENT SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD THROUGH PARENTAL BEREAVEMENT?
IS YOUR CHILD AGED 3-6 YEARS OLD?
This study by Staffordshire University needs parents with children aged 3-6 years’ old for a study on how children cope in education when one parent dies. Your participation is voluntary and is a 30-minute interview about your experiences and the involvement of nursery or school staff in helping to support your child. All interview data is collated on a digital device that is password protected.

For further information, please contact Ruth Gill on r.gill@staffs.ac.uk / 01782 294969

This project has the full support of Child Bereavement UK

Access to Learning course for adults in addiction recovery – RECOVEU

RECOVEU – A participative approach to curriculum development for adults in addiction recovery across the EU

RECOVEU is a project funded by the EU and based on an international partnership of educators and practitioners working in the field of drug addiction.

During the course of the project an ‘Access to Learning’ pack to help adults in addiction recovery prepare for, and succeed in, further learning has been developed. The activities within the course take into account the specific barriers that socially disadvantaged people, such as those in addiction recovery, often face and their development has been informed by people in recovery and drug treatment providers.

The full Course Pack consisting of the ‘Access to Learning’ materials, Evaluation Toolkit and Guidelines for Delivery is freely available on an E-Learning Platform on the RECOVEU website together with an online ‘Train the Trainers’ module: www.recoveu.org

For further details of the project please contact: Tom Ward, Project Administrator (t.ward@staffs.ac.uk)

A Plan for Economic Renewal in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire

With Ruth Smeeth MP -(Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove)

You are cordially invited to join us for a discussion on ‘Economic Renewal in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire’, organised in partnership with Staffordshire University.

This is an opportunity for academics, business leaders, students and local residents to begin a serious discussion about how to develop a long-term vision for the area.

The event will feature a keynote speech from Ruth Smeeth MP on the economic challenges and opportunities for Stoke-on-Trent followed by workshops and discussions on some of the issues facing North Staffordshire.

Date: Wednesday 15th Feb

Location: LT111/113 Ashley Building, Leek Road, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent ST4 2DF

Time: 1.00 – 3.30pm

Facilitators from Staffordshire University (Business and Education)

Twitter – @RuthSmeeth @BusinessStaffs

To register please email ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk or contact us on 020 7219 4844

For further details please contact Glen Watson on glen.watson@parliament.uk or by phone on 01782 454 370

New paper: R&D Programmes, Policy Mix, and the ‘European Paradox’: Evidence from European SMEs

by Dr Dragana Radicic and Prof Geoff Pugh

Abstract
Using a sample of small and medium-sized enterprises from twenty-eight European countries, this study evaluates the input and output additionality of national and European Union (EU) R&D programmes both separately and in combination. Accordingly, we contribute to understanding the effectiveness of innovation policy from the perspective of policy mix. Empirical results are different for innovation inputs and outputs. For innovation inputs, we found positive treatment effects from national and EU programmes separately as well as complementary effects for firms supported from both sources relative to firms supported only by national programmes. For innovation outputs,we report no evidence of additionality from national programmes and cannot reject crowding out from EU programmes. However, crowding out from EU support is eliminated by combination with national support. These findings have policy implications for the governance of R&D policy
and suggest that the European paradox—success in promoting R&D inputs but not commercialisation— is not yet mitigated.

Key words: R&D support; SMEs; policy mix; input and output additionality; European paradox

Science and Public Policy, 2016, 1–16
doi: 10.1093/scipol/scw077

http://spp.oxfordjournals.org/content/by/year/2016 

Environmental Justice, Indices of Multiple Deprivation and international progress

My latest paper written with Werner Maier (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany) and Matthias Braubach (World Health Organisation) has just been published. The first draft of this was written using the Boice method that I have discussed previously  

Incorporating Environmental Justice into Second Generation Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Lessons from the UK and Progress Internationally has been published in an open access journal in a special issue focused on Environmental Justice in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

Abstract

Second generation area-based indices of multiple deprivation have been extensively used in the UK over the last 15 years. They resulted from significant developments in political, technical, and conceptual spheres for deprivation data. We review the parallel development of environmental justice research and how and when environmental data was incorporated into these indices. We explain the transfer of these methods from the UK to Germany and assess the progress internationally in developing such indices. Finally, we illustrate how billions of pounds in the UK was allocated by using these tools to tackle neighbourhood deprivation and environmental justice to address the determinants of health.

 

Eroica Britannia – Day 1

So here I am in Bakewell for day 1 of the fantastic festival known as Eroica Britannia.

Riders are getting registered

Rider registration at Eroica

and then having a quick drink in the tent

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There’s all sort on including talks about racing on penny farthings

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There’s lots of bike stuff to buy

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Plus great food including vegan

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Local stalls such as British Boxers

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Great music from Lewis and Leigh

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So come along and join in . You can follow Eroica on twitter , facebook, and instagram

My report from 2015 with lots of great pictures is available as pdf here web version or here print version.

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an Open Day.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu  and we have a Sustainable Tourism in Europe facebook page

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Eroica Britannia 2016 – get ready !

L'eroica BritanniaEroica Britannia at Bakewell is now in its third year and what a great event it is. A vintage bicycle festival over three days (17-19th June) with the bicycle races on the Sunday. Over the first two days activities include

  • live music
  • vintage fairground
  • dancing
  • great food and drink
  • family cinema
  • best in show
  • bicycle jumble
  • talks and debates
  • plus loads of great bike and vintage stalls

On the Sunday 4,500 riders will take part in the races over 30, 55 or 100 miles. The routes around the Peak District are here if you want to cheer them on.

At Eroica

You can follow Eroica on twitter , facebook, and instagram

My report from 2015 with lots of great pictures is available as pdf here web version  or here print version.

Eroica Britannia

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an openday.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu  and we have a Sustainable Tourism in Europe facebook page

Keep an eye here as I will be blogging from the event.

Eroica

£10 for 10 days writing challenge

Today, I delivered a Research Conversation (organised by Dr Katy Vigurs) . The theme was pre-research activity and then getting started. I have previously blogged about Boice Advice for New Faculty Members so I adapted some of that and some ideas of my own to develop and issue a challenge to the audience at the end

£10 for 10 days writing challenge rules

  • 10 days of writing
  • 20 to a maximum of 30 minutes writing per day
  • Monday to Friday only
  • 8am to 6 pm
  • No references needed but you can include them if you want
  • ONLY Writing – not find references, etc.
  • Email partners to say done each day (optional but you will find it useful)
  • Email me the writing when finished to claim the £10

When I have used this approach I have found that I can write 200-250 words per day, so if everything goes to plan they should have roughly a 2000-2500 word draft at the end. Let’s get writing a little and often.

The idea is to change existing behaviour!

I accompanied the challenge with some tips:

  • Choose the same time everyday.
  • I chose to make it the first thing I did every day, so sitting on the desktop as I logged in was the word document.
  • Put a sign on the door DO NOT DISTURB !

Anyway the following signed up to the challenge:

Law – Hannah Jones, Rhona Hammond-Sharlot, Jo Beswick,

Business – Zedias Mutema, Hazel Squire, Ahmad Mlouk, Mark Wordley, Andy Hanks, Carol Southall, Stephen Kelly, Andras Kenez, Carl Cattell, Ganess Dirpal.

Education – Katy Vigurs, Sarah Misra,

I can’t recommend Boice highly enough and we have copies in our library. Quite frankly this book should just be issued to all academics when they start working at any University. Anyone who accepted the challenge will find it useful.

Good luck to all those that accepted the challenge.

£10 for 10 days writing challenge

£10 for 10 days writing challenge

 

Middleport Pottery 中港陶器 – a guide for Chinese Visitors

Middleport Pottery

Provision of tourism attraction material in foreign languages is one way of attracting international visitors and the largest group of international travellers in the world are the Chinese middle classes. Staffordshire University often acts as host to Chinese visitors in the region due to the links we have with universities in China we also host to many Chinese students every year who come here to study.

Charlotte Rabey, Vincent Law, John Lowther and Frances Hunt

Charlotte Rabey, Vincent Law, John Lowther and Frances Hunt

The project team is composed of Vincent Law (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track), Charlotte Rabey (BA Events Man. Fast Track) and Frances Hunt (BA Bus. Man. Fast Track). They have been working with Prof Jon Fairburn and Dr Junie Tong to support Middleport Pottery in producing tourism materials in a range of print and audio formats.

As well as the general guide and plan of the site being available in simplified Chinese, a number of audio files have been created in Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Middleport Pottery 中港陶器 – general introduction in simplified Chinese (pdf)

Middleport Pottery Plan – Chinese (pdf)

 

Sound files in Cantonese – 廣東話录音

Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器

The Lodge – 游客中心

 The General Office – 办公室

The Designers Room – 设计师房间

Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室

Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览

The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑

The Mould Store – 陶冶房

The cafe – 咖啡馆

The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店

The Factory Tour – 工厂旅程

 

Sound files in Mandarin – 普通话录音

Introduction to Middleport Pottery – 中港陶器

The Lodge – 游客中心

The General Office – 办公室

The Designers Room – 设计师房间

Centenary Showroom 1951 – 百周年纪念室

Upstairs above the visitor centre 第二楼展览

The Bottle Oven Kiln – 瓶形窑

The Mould Store – 陶冶房

The cafe – 咖啡馆

The Burleigh shop – 伯利商店

The Factory tour – 工厂旅程

 

Sound files in English – maybe useful for those with sight difficulties or who just prefer an aural medium – research by Charlotte Rabey, voice files by Frances Hunt.

Introduction to Middleport Pottery

The Visitor Centre

The General Office

The Designers Room

Centenary Showroom 1951

Upstairs above the visitor centre

The Bottle Oven Kiln

The Mould Store

The cafe

The Burleigh shop

 

The Factory tour

 

If you are interested in working on projects like this with us then please get in touch with Prof Jon Fairburn tel 01782 294094

Jon Fairburn and Vincent Law

Jon Fairburn and Vincent Law

If you would like to study tourism management or events management with us more information can be found here or come along to one of our open days.

Keep up to date with all things tourism and events by following our twitter feed @tourismsu

 

 

Please help us with our tourism questionnaire

We have a project to assist the tourism industry and a first activity is to find out the views of the different groups involved. A facebook group is also available if you are interested in these issues. 

The first questionnaire is for accommodation providers, visitor attractions, cafe/restaurants and other parts of the tourism industry – these are the main focus of the project and we will be developing an online training site based on this feedback. The site will allow the training to be customised (e.g. according to the type of establishment, type of staff etc) and provide feedback on progress.Please access the tourism industry survey here.

The second questionnaire is for  people living in areas with a tourism industry present. We have a short questionnaire of only 9 questions to get your views.Please access the community survey here.

The final questionnaire is for people who are tourists and who have been on holiday in the last year. Please access the tourist questionnaire here.

Thank you very much for your help and if you have any questions please get in touch with me on 01782 294094 or jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk

Partners in the UK include Newcastle under Lyme college where the team is led by Vicky Disley

Newcastle under Lyme College and Jonathan Karkut and Dr Julie Scott at Touch TD

Touch TD

Funded under ERASMUS

ERASMUS PLUS

ERASMUS PLUS

 

 

The best places to eat and drink in Europe

Do you enjoy food and drink plus prefer exploring new regions? Then the recent announcement of Winners of the EU EDEN Destinations of Excellence Awards for Tourism and local gastronomy  is just what you need if you are planning this year’s holidays in Europe.

According to data of the UNWTO, for about 44% of travellers around the globe, food is one of the three criteria they take into consideration when they decide where to travel. It is one of the top 5 factors driving visitors’ satisfaction. 1 in 5 international visitors to Europe are involved in gastronomic activities on their trip.

The EDEN Awards recognise the important work that is being done by the winning destinations with their specialised tourism offers. The awards help raise awareness for sustainable food tourism, and draws attention to exciting, little-known European destinations that are off the beaten track.

If you would like know more about sustainable tourism and building a career in the industry we have a range of courses or visit us on an openday.

You can also follow us on twitter @tourismsu

On the links you will find a description of the region and their specialties as well as links to the official tourism sites to get you started. 

Of course if you are wondering where to visit in England then Staffordshire is fantastic, and here are some great events happening in Staffordshire in 2016

 

16 great regional events in 2016

This is just a flavour of the events that are happening in the region over the next year. Many of these events provide volunteer opportunities for our students, credited work experience and some organisations become partners in our research. The Peak District is the most popular national park in Europe and provides a great laboratory for our  field visits as well. So see the link if you want to know more about our courses in Events Management and Tourism Management or visit us on an Open Day.

Remember to follow us on twitter @tourismsu 

If you are reading this from abroad here is a guide for how to get to Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire

Students getting ready for Stone Food and Drink festival

How to get to Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire – a guide for European visitors

Train

If you are coming from France, Belgium, the Netherlands or even parts of Germany it is worth considering the train. If coming from Brussels or Paris it will be both quicker and cheaper than flying plus you can usually travel at a better time of day.

The Eurostar site may be all you need.

The German national railway site where you can look for journeys all across Europe is very good. Available in lots of languages click the flag icon at the top.

http://seat61.com/  an amazing site site full of hints and tips on train travel across Europe.

You will need to change trains in London. You arrive in London St Pancras and you will need to go to London Euston. The easiest way to do this is to walk it (about 10-15mins), come out the main entrance onto Euston Road and then follow that in the south west direction (see http://goo.gl/maps/3t6Yt )

Flights and airports

There are four possible airports, in descending order of ease of travel to reach Stoke on Trent – Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool.

Manchester – Has a dedicated train station (Manchester Airport) to connect to the main Manchester Piccadilly train station. Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke is about 45minutes on the train direct.

Birmingham – Has a dedicated train station Birmingham International with frequent services to Birmingham New Street which is the main station where you may need to change but there are also direct trains to Stoke on Trent. Direct journey time is about 1 hour 10 minutes.

East Midlands – If you are going to be hiring a car then this airport may be suitable. From the airport by car you come along the A50 in about 45mins to 1 hour.

Liverpool – again if you are hiring a car this may be suitable

You might want to try the websites http://www.skyscanner.net/  or google flights when looking for flights.

Travelling within the UK 

Airport taxis – the University supplier is A Star Travel and they are excellent, friendly people used to working with overseas visitors. Email information@a-start-travel.com

Tel +44 1782 633555             Mobile +44 7774 808083

Trains within Britain

There’s lot of train sites but don’t let that fool you, underneath they are all using the same database!

Try http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/  which doesn’t have booking fees. They also offer E-tickets (so that you can print them out in advance), M tickets to your mobile phone, or the availability to pick up tickets at machines in the station. Remember to bring the same credit card with you as you booked the ticket.

http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/mobile-app/ they also have a mobile phone app

Arriving at Stoke on Trent by Train

Stoke on Trent train station is right next to the Campus and forms part of the University Quarter.

As you come out the main entrance you will see a statute of Josiah Wedgwood opposite. If you go left you will come to College Road, if you go right you will come to Leek Road (see the campus map link below).

 Taxis within the Stoke on Trent area

Sid’s Taxis is excellent/  they will send you an email with the car make, colour registration and name of the driver when it arrives.

Tel +44 1782 713999   or +44 1782 565200.

 Other useful information

 

If you want to know where to stay and eat in area then visit this link

 

Forum on Postgraduate Education

I’ve just come back from a day long forum in Manchester (at the Radisson Blu – looks like a nice hotel, shame about the low-ceilinged, poorly lit, stuffy and cramped conference facilities.  Oh well). It was run by ‘Inside Government’ and comprised a series of speakers from all over the country on postgraduate education. Some things I want to magpie:

  • Most presentations were reports on particular, innovative projects at various universities. Some were on postgraduate taught courses (PGT) and some on (PGR. Almost no one reflected on both. They seem to be viewed, almost instinctively,  as entirely separate processes. I wonder if this is a trend on the increase?
  • Most, again, were focused on skills delivery, and of these, most on employability skills. It is flavour of the month (and for good reason, after all!), but I was taken aback at how few reflections there were on new types of route, new pedagogy, etc. Since the general consensus in the room seemed to be that ‘targeted’ PGT programs — programs designed for specific industries, even specific organisations — the focus on employability seemed to me particularly short-sighted. If all we can offer to a company is an enhancement of their employees’ ability to get a job elsewhere, that’s not helpful.
  • Some presenters spoke of p/t students, some of full-time. Few talked of both. Once again, the almost instinctive sense that these two groups might as well have been on different planets.
  • A PGT approach at Aston struck me as offering a great looking program, and a model for others: free language tuition, comprehensive peer mentoring, a specialist postgrad careers centre – these were a few examples of good practice. There was also an observation which hadn’t occurred to me before: that employers have a poor sense of what postgrad education offers by way of enhanced skills. We have to educate them. Not surprisingly, Vitae has taken a lead, with specific resources targeted at employers.
  • Data heavy presentation by Dr. Iain Cameron from RCUK, looking at some interesting conclusions drawn from HESA and other data-sets. Not a lot was surprising. More interesting to me were other instances of the ‘other world’ phenomena. There was a real sense that RCUK regularly distinguishes between haves and have-nots among PGR providers: big focus on doctoral training centres, for example, and some of the results (remember, we are talking about PhDs, here) were divided up by quartile of undergraduate admissions tariff (i.e. first year undergraduate selectivity).
  • A similar point was made by the presenter from Durham, who talked about some great PhD programs they run, always connected to a doctoral training centre. These were cohort based PhDs – in that way similar to a professional doctorate – except that these were full-time research council funded programs. Not many institutions, and fewer subject areas, would have the critical mass to do this. Are there now “two classes of PhD?” he asked, and “class” didn’t just mean type!
  • Finally, a good looking program from Edge Hill Business School. What struck me here was that the program was designed from the beginning to be both an MA route, and for individual modules to be available as CPD opportunities. That kind of flexibility should be a more common aim.

 

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

As with both undergraduates and taught postgraduates, there is an official, national survey of their satisfaction levels with the University at which they study. For research degrees students, the survey is once every two years. I’m pleased to report that Staffordshire University’s results are out and look very welcome. Specifically, we are among the top slice of UK Universities in three categories — and important categories, I’d have thought! — quality of supervision, provision of research skills, and professional development (i.e. how well we improve the ’employability’ of research students).

The History of Philosophy — and the REF

An amusing, but also revealing, little piece in the Guardian. Which of the great philosophers would have been REF-able? Turns out not that many. The publishing industry didn’t have as firm a grip on our sense of research outputs as they do now. Even more recent figures, though, might have struggled: Heidegger (most of whose work were lecture notes not published until much later), or Wittgenstein (published at the rate of a book every two or three decades).

Of Graduate Schools

Well, so Staffordshire University now has a Graduate School, and I am its Head. Run for the hills!

I thought it might be worth thinking about what is a Graduate School?

Coming as I do from the States, the phrase ‘Graduate School’ has two very distinct meanings. On the one hand it means, as it does here, a part of the University in some way responsible for ‘graduate’ students and their studies. A Graduate School is a place, a thing. It often has a building, or set of buildings — sometimes a whole campus! On the other hand, though, it is most commonly used to mean exactly the same as ‘I am studying for a Masters/ a Doctorate’. So, an undergraduate might be asked ‘Are you going to graduate school?’. By this the questioner simply means ‘Are you planning on studying for a Masters/ Doctorate?’ ‘Graduate School’ here is an activity or a pursuit, not a place or thing. Up to last year, a student could be at graduate school here at Staffordshire, even though we didn’t have a Graduate School.

Why is this important? For someone in my position, a newly appointed Head and trying to set up the GS, it is a salient and humbling lesson. What is being set up here need not and perhaps should not have an identity of its own, as a place or thing would. It does not need and again perhaps should not have a shiny new building (which is fortunate, ’cause that ain’t going to happen), nor a fancy name (although The Charles Darwin Graduate School springs to mind — we have as good or better claim to that name than anyone else). The Graduate School first and foremost should be a service, designed simply to help the graduate-level education that was already happening run a little more smoothly.

Global Entrepreneurship week events at Staffordshire University

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Organisers – Prof Jon Fairburn, Clair Hameed, Ben Dyer, Angela Lawrence, Hazel Squire, Mark Wordley Contacts Jon Fairburn 01782 294094 or Clair Hameed 01785 353518 with initial queries or media requests Social media Business School twitter Be Inspired twitter Ben Dyer – Enterprise Days … Continue reading

Tenure track and its branch line … some speculative thoughts

A report here from Canada where career-teaching positions are becoming increasingly common, along side career-researching positions. Some interesting data is presented, such as the facts that career higher education teachers produce students who are more enthusiastic about the subject, and receive higher grades, than when taught by research staff. I don’t find this surprising, but I suggest it reflects more the lack of professionalisation of higher education teaching than any intrinsic difference of quality or approach. The fact is that we train researchers to the nth degree, and train primary and secondary teachers likewise — but as near as I can tell, world-wide, higher education teaching remains a stubbornly amateur field.

The report also reflects the idea that higher education teachers must be engaging with up-to-date research, if they are going to be able to work at that level. It follows that teaching-tenure staff are just research staff with a lot less time on their hands, which is not a terribly productive situation for anyone.

One admittedly rather speculative way of thinking about this is in terms of what a university degree is supposed to mean in terms of the quantity of skills or knowledge acquired. Originally, the highest degree that would be obtained was a Masters, equivalent to the University of Paris’ ‘License to Teach’ (Licentia docendi).  When the first ‘modern’ universities appeared in German at the beginning of the 19th Century, what we now call a research degree was introduced, but remained a rarity. The initial four (or however many) year period made a student into an expert, and only a very few research degrees were offered and obtained.. By the middle and end of that century, the PhD idea had become very popular in Germany and then the United States as a way of extending one’s knowledge and establishing one’s research credentials. The UK introduced PhDs as late as 1917. This is normally understood in terms of the increasing need for an valuing of researchers, both within and outside universities, and in terms of the need for specialisation in all disciplines. However, can part of this long historical development be understood in terms of the increasing quantity of information and skills needed to become proficient in any given discipline? Or, in brief, there is just so much more to know?

If so, and if this trend continues, the first years of a University degree are or are becoming — for all practical purposes — essentially what the last years of a secondary education were for decades ago. A grounding in basic knowledge and skills: e.g. mathematical tools, lab techniques, etc. It would follow that there is no reason why a University should not have teaching-tenure staff, who need not participate in research activity, and who may quite rightly be unaware of what is happening in the latest journals in their field. They are no less useful at this level than good teachers are in high schools.

HOWEVER, there is a sting in this tale. Once this is admitted, then ALSO the standard model of university education has to change. It becomes plausible to argue that no longer are three or four years sufficient for anything beyond what a high school diploma or set of A-levels meant thirty-odd years ago. It becomes plausible to argue also that university education should be a requirement of all citizens, rather than an option — in the same way that many countries have compulsory education up to 16 or 18; and that what we now call post-graduate degrees should be the first optional stage; and moreover that research of any kind should be no more expected of undergraduate teachers at any university than it is among those in secondary schools. The funding implications would be enormous, the cultural change no less so. We haven’t had a reform of further and higher education of that magnitude since … well since Germany in the first years of the 19th Century. Maybe it is time.