U21:Connect - May 2014

07 May 2014
The latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network. <br />

U21 news


Gilbert Medal presented to Domenico Lenarduzzi

We were delighted to award Dr Domenico Lenarduzzi the 2014 Gilbert Medal in a private ceremony in Brussels last month.  Dr Lenarduzzi attended with his wife and two daughters and was presented with the bespoke medal by Professor Dymph van den Boom, Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam.  The 2014 U21 Awards, presented to people within the network for their contributions to internationalisation, will be awarded during our AGM week (12-16 May), with Professor Martyn Poliakoff receiving his in London and Professor James Murdoch being guest of honour at the Presidential dinner in Glasgow. 



Glasgow to host U21 Presidents

This year’s Annual Network Meeting and Presidential Symposium are to be hosted later in the month by the University of Glasgow, and final preparations are being put in place.  The Symposium, entitled “The shape of the university of the future”, takes central stage, alongside which a number of strategic and planning meetings will take place, looking ahead to the next year in U21’s life. 


Establishing a librarians’ group

Many years ago, U21 had an Information Services group, but due to staff changes at member universities and structural change within the field, the group disbanded.  Now colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University are interested in building up this group again .  The group would collaborate on areas of mutual interest – collection management, staff development and seeking solutions to the challenges which libraries in research-intensive universities face.  If you or colleagues from your library’s leadership team would like to explore this further, please contact the U21 Secretariat and details will be passed on. (u21@contacts.bham.ac.uk)


2014 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems about to be published

At 00:01 BST on Thursday 15 May, the 2014 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems will be released.  The 2014 U21 Ranking report will include the same 50 countries as in the 2013 report, which will again be ranked separately in four areas (Resources, Environment, Connectivity and Output) and overall. New for 2014, this data will also be compared against the values expected at each country’s level of economic development. Brief text summaries of each country’s ranking will be available for the first time this year and will be accessible via an interactive map on the U21 website.


Lead researchers Professor Ross Williams and Dr Gaetan de Rassenfosse have also had a paper relating to their work on the U21 Rankings, and other related issues, accepted for publication in “Studies in Higher Education” a major journal in the Australian context.  The paper illustrates points with examples drawn from the U21, Times Higher and SJTU rankings.




Student Experience


Student Mobility Network Meeting

The annual Student Mobility Network meeting takes place on 22 and 23 May 2014 in San Diego, immediately prior to the NAFSA Conference.  This year’s meeting will provide members with the opportunity to network with colleagues, meet new members, discuss the latest mobility opportunities, including short-term mobility, receive updates from members, and discover more on good practice in the network.  The group will also discuss the strategic direction of the group and provide input into the strategic initiatives within the SE cluster.


The major topics for discussion this year will be the Student Experience projects - Internships and an annual U21 Incubator.


Members have also expressed interest in discussing  the new U21 OCC (online closed course) “Critical Thinking in Global Challenges”; undergraduate research; community based projects; administration of short-term programmes; student mobility programming; student promotion and outreach initiatives; Erasmus+;  International Staff Week; summer courses; U21 Ambassadors; and short-term mobility opportunities such as the ‘College on Wheels’ organised by the University of Delhi.





Researcher Engagement


New  Academic Lead for Researcher Engagement Cluster

Professor Les Field has been appointed Academic Lead for the Researcher Engagement Cluster.  Les has been a part of the U21 Research Leaders’ Group, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW Australia since 2005, and will provide  a wealth of knowledge and experience to help guide the cluster over the coming years.  We look forward to welcoming Les to his new role at the U21 AGM later in the month. 


We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Professor Mary Bownes who steps down from the role, having been involved since the formation of the cluster in 2012.  Mary has also been an active member of the DDoGS group and was instrumental in seeing through the development and launch of the U21 Joint PhD Programme in 2009, with the first joint PhDs having been recently awarded.  Mary’s presence will be missed and her contribution to DDoGS, the RE Cluster and the wider U21 network is greatly appreciated.





Researcher Collaboration Group report

The report from the second U21 Researcher Collaboration Group meeting is now online.  Hosted by the University of Maryland on the theme “Funding, facilitating and fostering researchers across the U21 network” the meeting was attended by 30 delegates from 18 members.  There was lively and thought-provoking discussion and the full report can be read at www.universitas21.com/link/RCG


Success in Santiago!

The 2014 RE meetings (with parallel workshops for the Research Leaders and DDoGS) were hosted by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in April and attended by 21 delegates from 16 members. Discussions surrounded cluster activities such as the U21 3MT, ECR workshops, Graduate Research Conference and ways to deliver more virtual opportunities to increase participation in network initiatives. The group also shared experiences surrounding current challenges, such as supervisor support mechanisms, research integrity training and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.





New DDoGS chair

Associate Professor Caroline Daley, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Auckland has been named as the new convenor of the U21 DDOGS group, taking over from Professor Mary Bownes who has led the group for a number of years. 




Educational Innovation


New Academic Lead for U21 Educational Innovation Cluster

We are delighted to announce that Professor Bairbre Redmond, Deputy Registrar, Teaching & Learning at University College Dublin, has agreed to serve as the new Academic Lead and Steering Group Chair of the EI cluster for the next three years, beginning on 1 June 2014.  Bairbre is familiar to many in U21, as she has been a valuable contributor to various areas of U21 over a number of years.  Most recently, she oversaw the highly successful 2013 EI Conference at UCD last year and has served as a member the EI Steering Group for several years. 


Bairbre follows in this role from Professor Pip Pattison of the University of Melbourne, who has been an energetic force within the EI cluster for several years.  We are immensely grateful to Pip for her tireless work, enthusiasm, and insight in guiding the EI Steering Group and in her role as Academic Lead of the EI Cluster.  She will be missed around the network and we wish her all the best in her new endeavours.  .





U21 Educational Innovation Conference

The eighth annual U21 EI Conference will be held from 23 to 24 October 2104 at UNSW Australia’s Sydney campus.  This year’s theme is “Personalised Learning” and features three internationally recognised keynote speakers: Professor Eric Grimson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory); Dr Simon Buckingham Shum, (Professor of Learning Informatics at the Knowledge Media Institute at Open University in the UK); and Dr Simon Bates, (Academic Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia).  Details information about the EI Conference can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/EIconference2014



EI workshops

New this year will be two pre-conference  workshops, bringing the EI Conference programme to a full three-day event.  One workshop will look at “Virtual Mobility and Shared Learning in U21” and will be led by Dr Sue Rigby from the University of Edinburgh, and the second will examine research being carried out by the University of Auckland about “Recognition of Teaching Excellence in Research-Intensive Universities”.  That workshop will be led by Dr Graeme Aitken from the University of Auckland. 




U21 Online Closed Course (U21 OCC)

The U21 OCC project is a unique opportunity for U21 undergraduate students from all around the world, to work together to learn and think globally.  “Critical Challenges in Global Issues”, a 5-week course from the University of Edinburgh, will run twice in the next twelve months – the first time from early November to mid December 2014 and again from early February to mid March 2015.  We have 16 U21 institutions signed up to participate in the first trial and encourage others to join by contacting Lavinia Winegar-Gott at Lavinia@virginia.edu.  We have also already seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm from graduate students (both inside and outside the network!) who are interested in this project and want to be a part of it.  Further details can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/OCC





NUS President receives International Energy Award

Professor Chorh Chuan Tan, President of the National University of Singapore (NUS), has been given this year’s Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Energy Award for lifetime achievement in the advancement of educating future energy leaders.  Award winners are recognised for outstanding records of accomplishment in their sector over the whole of a career, and are individuals who have made an exceptional impact on the energy industry with distinct personal achievements for a consistent and prolonged period of engagement.


HE Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Foundation, noted in a recent letter to Professor Tan: “As president of the National University of Singapore, you have created an academic institution that is making large strides in energy research and development. As global demand for oil and gas continues to increase, the world will look to the future energy leaders from your academic institution to help solve the grand challenges of the energy sector.”


We congratulate Professor Tan on this prestigious award.




UNSW Australia & SJTU sign major mobility agreement

UNSW Australia has signed a major student mobility agreement with fellow U21 member, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in what will be the single largest mobility partnership between UNSW Australia and its global network of more than 200 exchange partners.  The new agreement provides reciprocal exchange places for a combined total of 40 students every year from each institution over a period of five years and is an excellent example of the trust, respect and collaboration which forms the very basis of U21’s activity among our members.