Frequently asked questions

What is The Big Leeds Conversation all about?
Hear from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, on .
What are our current values and why are we changing them?
Our current values are professionalism, inclusiveness, integrity, community and academic excellence.
We published a new academic strategy, Universal Values, Global Change, which charts our course for the next 10 years.
Within it are three overarching elements: community, culture and impact. We can only have a positive impact on the world and truly make a difference if our University community is strong. We can only achieve our ambitions if we foster a culture of collaboration, both internally and externally. 
That’s why we must listen intently to our community to collectively explore, discuss and agree the values that will guide our University and the behaviours of our community in the future.  
We all share a duty to ask ourselves: are we truly clear what our values are, how we will behave and how we treat others on our journey ahead?
It’s time for us all to take on this challenge together.
What is an online conversation?
The Clever Together platform operates like an online virtual room or discussion forum that you can join from any internet-connected device, at any time to suit you, it has been designed to be a psychologically safe place to share your opinions and have your voice heard. 
The Big Leeds Conversation is intended to be an open and transparent place to post comments and suggestions anonymously, vote to support the ideas of others or simply read what is being shared.
Who can get involved?
The Big Leeds Conversations is for staff, students and postgraduate researchers working or studying at the University of Leeds.
How do I access the conversation?
Clever Together will email you directly with your username and password when The Big Leeds Conversation is open. The email will come from thebigleedsconversation@clevertogether.com.  Please check your clutter or ‘other’ folder if you have not received your email.
If you have not received, or cannot find your email, please contact support@clevertogether.com
If you are part of the Facilities Directorate and have opted into text message communications, your login details will be sent to you by text from FD UniLeeds. 
Anonymous, paper-based questionnaires are also being provided for colleagues who do not have access to a University email address or access to the internet.
What are you doing to involve those without access to digital technology?
For those without access to digital technology we will be providing a paper-based form that is submitted anonymously. This feedback will be added to the online discussion during the conversation and considered as part of the analysis carried out by Clever Together. 
Why do I need to complete a survey before I can access the conversation?
You will be invited to complete a short survey before you access The Big Leeds Conversation.  When completing the survey, it is your choice how much personal information you want to share. 
This information is collected to better analyse the views shared in the discussions and to demonstrate reach and diversity of voice when building our draft values and behaviours framework, it will not be used to identify you or what you share within the conversation.
Is this really anonymous?
Your name or identifying information will not appear with any of your ideas, comments or votes on the platform. This means your ideas will be treated by other participants based on what you say, not on who you are.
Circumstances where you may be contacted directly:
  • If a facilitator has made any changes to your idea or comment, you will be sent a response to explain what has happened: this will be sent by the Clever Together team and we will not know who you are.
  • If you are contacted via email and invited to support the implementation of your ideas, the  email will be facilitated via the Clever Together system, and they (and the University) will not know who you are. It would then be your choice to come forward.
  • If the external facilitators of the conversation decide it is necessary to identify you for either your own or someone else’s wellbeing, this will be done only in very rare and specific circumstances.
  • We welcome uncomfortable and controversial ideas, but personal, abusive or offensive content will not be tolerated and Clever Together may remove an idea or comment for this reason, if this happens you will be sent an email anonymously via the platform to explain what has happened. Clever Together may inform the university when they have had to do this, but your identity will not be revealed.
What are the rules of participation?
We have two simple rules:
  • Personal comments - either naming individuals, or comments which make identifying individuals possible - should not be made and will be taken down by Clever Together, the site moderators.
  • Abusive or offensive content will not be tolerated. Clever Together will remove the comment and will email the author through the platform if this is the case. This email will be sent via the Clever Together system and they (including the University) will not know who you are.
How will the conversation be moderated?
This online conversation is being facilitated by an independent organisation called Clever Together. In order to support the conversation, the Clever Together team may need to: 
  • Move some ideas to other sections of the conversation, if that’s where they more logically fit.
  • Split some ideas that discuss multiple topics in one post. If your post contains more than one idea, the facilitation team may choose to break the post up into multiple posts. 
  • Deal with inappropriate contributions. If contributions are reported to the facilitators as being inappropriate or offensive, the moderators may remove an idea or comment.

If a facilitator has made any changes to your idea/comment, you will be sent an automated response to explain what has happened. This email will be sent via the Clever Together system and they will not know who you are.

  • The platform is intended to be open and transparent. No comments will be removed because moderators do not like them. They will only be removed if they are deemed abusive or offensive.
  • If you do not like a comment or idea, just hit the thumbs down button.
  • If you see a post that causes you concern, please hit the report button to let the facilitators know.
How can I access support if I am affected by issues raised in The Big Leeds Conversation?
If you’re a student and are affected by any issues raised in The Big Leeds Conversation, you can find contact details, online platforms and resources such as Togetherall and more in the support and wellbeing section on our For Student website.

If you’re a member of staff and are affected, you can find details about the support available to you in the staff counselling and psychological support pages of the Wellbeing, Safety and Health section on our For Staff website (the pages are at https://wsh.leeds.ac.uk/staff-counselling).
Also, if you are a member of one of our three recognised trade unions, you can seek support from their local representatives at:
Looking at the conversation statistics there have been far more contributions in the conversation than I can see, why is this?
There are different areas within The Big Leeds Conversation for staff, students, and postgraduate researchers. Each group is being asked the same questions, but we are using different areas (for each group) to make sure you have a safe space to share your ideas, comments and have focused conversations that are relevant to you. The numbers you can see reflect the whole conversation and what has been contributed by all groups. 
Will my contributions be analysed by group (staff, student or postgraduate researcher), or as a whole?
The contributions of each specific group will be reviewed by Clever Together to see where views are aligned or different. They will be looking specifically at what is most important to each group as well as combining and analysing all contributions to ensure that the values and behaviours framework is built on the voice of the whole University community.
How is the online conversation analysed?
All contributions, no matter how large or small, will be read and analysed by Clever Together. They will then develop an iterative coding frame and use qualitative thematic analysis to identify key themes and trends. Clever Together will produce a summary report to represent the views from the online conversation, highlighting main areas of discussion and strength of opinion. 
Who can I contact if I am having difficulty with this website?
The platform is provided by our independent partners, Clever Together. If you are having difficulty using the platform, or experience any problems, please email Clever Together at support@clevertogether.com - they will respond promptly.
If you would like to know more about Clever Together, please visit the Clever Together website.
What will Clever Together do with my personal data?
Clever Together will only use your personal data in relation to this conversation. It will never be passed on to parties not involved in the project and it will never be used for any other purpose. Clever Together will delete personal data they hold about you within 30 days of project completion.
This platform is covered by Clever Together's privacy policy. You may request deletion of your data by emailing privacy@clevertogether.com at any time.
Is The Big Leeds conversation accessible?
Clever Together recognise the importance of accessibility on their platform. Most accessibility features today are provided by your own computer or smartphone. All modern browsers and operating systems provide options for:
  • Font sizing and scaling of interfaces;
  • High-contrast colour schemes;
  • Text to voice screen reader technologies; and
  • Translation into other languages
The Clever Together platform conforms to all modern standards that enable the operation of the above accessibility features and ensures that the conversations remains fully functional for people using these tools. 
The Big Leeds Conversation also has the TextHelp ReachDeck accessibility toolbar added to it (Browsealoud), which makes major accessibility features available on any device. If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read or audio recording, please contact support@clevertogether.com.