July News Headlines

04 July 2013
Welcome to the July e-bulletin with the latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network.


Higher Education Symposium Event Page Launched

The National Systems of Higher Education Symposium will take place from 6-7 November 2013 at the Regal International East Asia Hotel in Shanghai, China.

This event is closely linked with the annual Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, which has been published by Universitas 21 since 2012. Both the 2012 and 2013 Reports can be viewed the link below:

The Symposium will comprise addresses by invited speakers with ample time for discussion from the floor, and will conclude with a panel discussion. The Symposium is open to both members and non-members of U21. To find out more about this event, including the speakers and to register your participation, please visit the Symposium event page:


If you have any queries regarding this event, please contact Professor Ross Williams (rossaw@unimelb.edu.au).

Researcher Collaboration Group Workshop Registration Announced

This year's Researcher Collaboration Group Workshop will take place from 6 - 7 August 2013 at University College Dublin, with the theme: Accessing and Leveraging International Funding for U21 Universities. The two day workshop will include sessions on benchmarking and international funding opportunities.

To find out more about this event, including a provisional programme and details of how to register, please visit the U21 event page:


If you have any queries regarding this event, please contact Dr Gemma Marakas (g.marakas@bham.ac.uk).

2013 Early Career Workshop Details Now Online

The next ECR Workshop will take place from 2-3 December 2013 at Tecnológico de Monterrey, with the theme: ‘Innovative Technologies: From Research to Impact on Society’.

This workshop will bring together Early Career Researchers within the first eight years of the award of their PhD from across the U21 network within the broad discipline of ‘Technology’, and will provide the opportunity to share knowledge and current projects which are at the cutting edge of research around the world. The two day programme will include small group working, talks by established U21 researchers, poster sessions, a key note address, and sessions with multi-national perspectives on:
• How to develop top level research
• How to increase impact in your research
• How to increase fund raising
• How does Intellectual Property help your research?

Each university may nominate seven early career researchers (three guaranteed and four reserve nominees) from their own institution.

For more details about the workshop and the nomination procedure, please visit the U21 event page:


If you have any queries regarding this event, please contact Dr Gemma Marakas (g.marakas@bham.ac.uk).

Three Minute Thesis Competition Update

First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

A U21 Grand Final will be held in October 2013. Each participating member will hold their own internal 3MT competition to select a local winner who will then be put forward for the final. The Grand Final will be a virtual event where video entries rather than live presentations will be judged by an international panel consisting of industry and academic professionals.

Two prizes will be available: a Judge’s Choice, for which the recipient will be awarded a bursary of US$2,500 to visit a U21 university of their choice, and a People’s Choice, for which the recipient will be awarded US$300. Members will be invited to vote for their favourite People’s Choice finalist.

Member Universities will be asked to submit their finalist’s videos to U21 by Friday 11 October.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 29 October.

For more details, including details of how to prepare a 3MT video, please visit the U21 page:


Details of how to submit entries will be made available in due course, but if you have any queries, please contact Dr Gemma Marakas (g.marakas@bham.ac.uk).

Research Universities and their Regions Group Workshop Planned

U21's Research Universities and their Regions (RUR) group are planning to hold a workshop in Hong Kong on Thursday 21 November 2013.

This event will be held immediately after the Pascal Observatory's 11th conference, being held in the Hong Kong Institute of Education from 18-20 November.

The RUR workshop will build on the theme of the Pascal Observatory conference: 'Cities Learning Together – Local Communities in the Sustainable and Healthy Learning City'.

Further details of the workshop and its registration details will be made available on the U21 website shortly. If you have any queries, please contact Mike Osbourne (Michael.Osborne@glasgow.ac.uk).


Ohio President Retires

Dr E. Gordon Gee retired as President of The Ohio State University on 30 June 2013, after a combined total of 13 years in the role. Dr Gee served as President from 1990-1997 and again from 2007-2013. He served in leadership positions in higher education for more than three decades. On behalf of U21, we wish him well for the future.

Professor Joseph A. Alutto is currently the interim President of The Ohio State University while a successor is found. Professor Alutto has been the university’s Executive Vice-President and Provost since 2007.

Professor Niv Patil Retires from Hong Kong

Professor Niv Patil has now retired from the University of Hong Kong. Professor Patil has been a tremendous champion for the U21 Health Sciences Group for the past 12 years. In 2007, he was a co-founder of the U21 UNMDG initiative and was a member of the U21 UNMDG Steering Committee up to his retirement. The U21 Health Sciences Group would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Patil for his outstanding commitment and contribution to the group.

Birmingham Welcomes New U21 Manager

Current U21 Manager at Birmingham, Professor Michael Sheppard, will be retiring from his role as Provost and Vice-Principal later this year. We would like to thank Professor Sheppard for his dedication to the network during his time as a U21 Manager.

His successor, Professor Adam Tickell, currently Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, will take on the role of U21 Manager from 1 September. Professor Tickell is already active within the Researcher Engagement Cluster and we look forward to his increased involvement with our network.


Waseda President Influences Government Policy

Professor Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University, has presented a report on educational reforms to the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in his capacity as head of a 15-member government panel. His report urges the nation’s universities to be outward-looking in order to foster global talent among Japanese students. The panel also recommends that the nation’s colleges attract more foreign teachers and students and boost collaboration with their overseas counterparts to offer joint degrees. The Prime Minister in return vowed to work to give Japanese universities the competitive edge they need by reflecting those suggestions in his administration’s growth strategies.

Edinburgh & Nottingham Receive THELMAs

We are delighted to announce that two U21 members have been awarded a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award (THELMA) in the recent 2013 ceremony. The awards celebrate the UK’s higher education leadership, management, financial and business skills.

The University of Edinburgh received the award for Outstanding Procurement Team and the University of Nottingham received the award for Outstanding International Strategy.

We would like to congratulate both members on their achievement on behalf of all at U21.

US$1.5 Billion Investment Approved for Connecticut

A government initiative for the US state of Connecticut has received approval to invest US$1.5 billion in the investment of building new scientific laboratories, purchasing advanced equipment, constructing new classrooms and adding housing, which will directly benefit the University of Connecticut. The state will also invest US$137 million in operating funds to hire hundreds of new faculty, and to expand the student body in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and maths). UConn President Susan Herbst says it is unquestionably one of the largest single investments made by a state in its flagship university, and its effect on UConn will be “nothing short of transformational.”