U21:Connect - January 2015

14 January 2015
The latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network.

U21 news

2015 U21 Awards announced

We are delighted to announce that the 2015 U21 Awards have been given to Dr Rob Forage (UNSW Australia) and Professor Stephen Hillier (University of Edinburgh), recognising individual efforts towards internationalisation and celebrating wide-reaching global initiatives.

Dr Forage’s award is for his commitment to and leadership in international education, transnational education and English language preparation for both students and teachers, while Professor Hillier is being recognised for his long-term dedication to international education, in particular in relation to the links forged between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Delhi.

The awards will be made at a special ceremony in May 2015 as part of U21’s Annual Presidential Meeting held at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

A full press release can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/U21Awards2015


Fudan International Summer School faculty awards

Fudan University recently announced the visiting teaching faculty for its International Summer School (FISS) and Fudan Summer Session and is pleased to include visiting professors from six universities around the U21 network. Kamil Shah (Queensland), Nicholas Foucras (ITESM) and Xuelei Huang (Edinburgh) will all be teaching at FISS, while Philip Habel (Glasgow), Helena Sandberg (Lund), Stephen Schensul & Jean Schensul (Connecticut), Roberto Gutierrez (ITESM) will be leading courses at the Fudan Summer Session. FISS offers a 4-week course study and cultural experience to international students from all around the world, with faculty drawn from around the world, as well as Fudan University itself. 

Teaching opportunity in Ethiopia

The University of Connecticut is offering an opportunity for engineering faculty with specialisms in water engineering to visit Ethiopia to work with the students and faculty at the Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources (EIWR). This opportunity has been made available through a partnership between Addis Ababa University and the University of Connecticut and has been extended to the Universitas 21 community for a number of years.

EIWR at Addis Ababa University is seeking visiting instructors to teach graduate level courses in their Water Resources Engineering and Management and Water & Health programmes. The courses will be offered in a three week intensive format throughout 2015 and will be scheduled to accommodate instructor’s needs. The courses sought are: at PhD level – Fluvial Processes & River Mechanics; Water Associated Diseases; Advanced Molecular Environmental Biology, and at MSc level – Surface Water Hydrology; Groundwater Hydrology; Reservoir Sedimentation & Management of Operations; Groundwater Modelling; Groundwater Assessment & Management

For more information please contact Dr Michael Accorsi (accorsi@engr.uconn.edu)

Hablas español? 你说中国人吗?

Would you like to receive the bullet point version of U21:Connect in Spanish or Chinese? Following feedback from around the U21 membership, from February 2015 we will be trialling the publication of U21:Connect in both Spanish and simplified Chinese, so that some of our non-native English speaking members can easily forward network news to their staff, students and faculty. While we continue to use English as the business language of the network, we are looking at ways to increase awareness about the opportunities which membership of U21 provides to those whose first language is not English.

If you would like to put on this mailing list, please email u21@universitas21.com with your name, email address and language preference.

Educational Innovation

Fourth EI Position Paper published

The Educational Innovation Cluster has just published its fourth position paper. This latest paper, entitled Recognition of Teaching Excellence: A Discussion Paper seeks to understand the messages that research-intensive universities communicate about the importance and value of teaching, and how they define, recognise and reward teaching quality. While it is acknowledged that the internal and external influences on policy development as they relate to teaching differ by jurisdiction (for example, the differing approaches to counting teaching-only staff in research assessment exercises) and international context, this paper examines the recognition of teaching in current policy frameworks to set out possibilities for the ways in which teaching can be given prominence in research-intensive universities.

Further work is now being undertaken to carry out additional analysis of the criteria used by our members. Informed by the preliminary analysis, a working group will meet in London from 19 to 20 April to prepare a paper on the recognition of and validation of teaching excellence in U21 universities.

The full paper, along with the previous three in the series, can be downloaded at www.universitas21.com/link/positionpapers

Second iteration of U21 SOC begins 9 March

The U21 Shared Online Course (U21 SOC), Critical Thinking in Global Challenges will run for the second time beginning 9 March 2015.

The U21 SOC is an opportunity for undergraduates at top universities across the world to share a learning experience around some of the global challenges we face today. The different relevance and perspectives of students from our disparate institutions provide a uniquely rich learning environment and will take advantage of the global character of the network, challenging our students to engage in cross-institutional, cross-cultural interactions in the context of a meaningful learning experience.


Researcher Engagement

Graduate Research Conference announced

The 6th U21 Graduate Research Conference will be hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University from 6 to 12 June, with the theme Digital Future. The conference will examine how the digital technology landscape has changed over the past years and what that means for the years ahead.

Paper submissions and presentations from multiple disciplines and different domains that are related to the conference theme are welcome and member universities are invited to nominate up to three delegates – one to present a paper, one to present a poster and one to do either a paper or poster.

The deadline for nominations is 15 April 2015 and nominations should be sent to grc2015@sjtu.edu.cn.

More information can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/GRC2015

Supervisor Support & Development Workshop

Registration is now open for the U21 International Workshop on Research Supervisor Support & Development: Practices, Principles & Priorities. It will take place at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on 25 and 26 March 2015, immediately preceding the annual RE Cluster meetings.

The workshop aims to:

  1. help position activity: what are the current practices in Research Supervisor Support & Development within the U21 network?
  2. assist in disseminating and informing positive practice: what works and what has not worked and why?
  3. offer members an opportunity to reflect on the role of the doctorate and the corresponding role of the supervisor 

The workshop is open to all U21 colleagues who have responsibility for supervisor training and/or work in related fields (academics in Education, for example). Please disseminate the programme, available on the website, widely in your institution and forward any questions to Gemma Marakas.


Call for nominations: ECR workshop 2015

The theme for the upcoming three-day Early Career Workshop, which will run from 4 to 6 March 2015 hosted by University College Dublin, is Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The workshop is aimed at researchers from all disciplinary backgrounds.

The key objective of this workshop is to increase the research capabilities of ECRs and develop skills associated with career development in academia. The workshop will also have a strong focus on networking and gaining an international perspective on the role and career routes of researchers.

Each university may nominate seven early career researchers: three guaranteed places and four reserve nominees (who will be offered a place at a later date if spaces are available). Please contact Gemma Marakas for information on who is running the selection process at your university. The deadline for nominations is Friday 23 January 2015.

Accommodation for delegates has now been reserved and an outline programme is available, please see our website for more information.



Student Experience

Student Leaders’ Network meeting registration

Registration for the next Student Leaders’ Network meeting closes THIS WEEK on Thursday 15 January! The meeting will take place at the National University of Singapore from 26 February to 1 March 2015 and takes Nurturing Today’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Challenges as its theme. Delegates will look at a number of topics concerning student leaders and the challenges they face, including how to enable student leadership to become more relevant and engaging to their respective student populations; how student leadership can play a role in education, student representation and student experience; and looking at ways to overcome student apathy towards student leadership.

More information can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/SLN2015

Deadline approaching for U21 Summer School 2015

Nominations for the 12th U21 Summer School, this year hosted by the University of Glasgow under the title Cities & Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age close on 28 February. The Summer School will run from 1 to 15 July and will offer a programme of seminars and practical experiences demonstrating how new technologies can be used to support and improve the vital components of a fully functional city. This will cover citizen engagement, transportation, energy, big data, protecting vulnerable groups and physical regeneration, with a focus on how key services are increasingly informed and influenced by emerging technologies.

Students interested in participating should contact the International Office at their home university and staff are encouraged to nominate students for whom this would be an ideal complement to their studies.


U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps 2015

Dates for the U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps 2015 have been announced, along with details of the registration process and course information. The project, run by the University of Connecticut, gives students the opportunity to volunteer in some of the poorest rural communities in Guatemala, working directly with Social Entrepreneur Corps field professionals and social entrepreneurs in Guatemala to help establish new and grow existing micro-consignment supported businesses.

The programme will run from 28 June to 26 July 2015, with pre-programme courses in the preceding weeks. The deadline for nominations is Monday 9 March 2015 and further information on how to apply is available online at www.universitas21.com/link/SEC2015.

Undergraduate Research Conference

The nomination deadlines for the 11th URC, hosted in 2015 by the University of Auckland, are only a couple of months away. The URC provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate researchers to showcase their research, connect with students from around the world, and this year also experience first-hand the beauty of Auckland, New Zealand, its indigenous culture and what the residents call ‘Kiwi hospitality’.

Students interested in participating should contact the International Office at their home university and faculty are encouraged to nominate students for whom this would be an ideal complement to their studies.


International Summer School opportunities

As universities around the network finalise their 2015 Summer School plans, more opportunities are opening up to students at U21 member institutions. The University of Nottingham has announced summer schools at its China and Malaysia campuses, with reductions in the fees for students from U21 member universities.

More information can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/ISS


People and places

New Year's Honours

We were thrilled to hear that seven people from within the network were listed in the UK’s New Year’s Honours List. In particular, we congratulate Professor Martyn Poliakoff, 2014 Gilbert Medal recipient, on being awarded a knighthood for his services to the chemical sciences. We are also pleased to note that Professor Stephen Hillier, winner of a U21 Award in 2015 (see above) was given an OBE for his services to international education, along with five other professors from Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh in a variety of fields.

The full lists can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-years-honours-2015