U21:Connect - February 2015

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

Bullet point versions of this are available in Spanish and Chinese.


U21 news

2015 Gilbert Medal Winner Announced

We are delighted that the 2015 Gilbert Medal will be awarded to Professor Celso Lafer. Professor Lafer is Emeritus Professor of the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo, Brazil and President of Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), the state research funding council for São Paulo. He served twice as Brazil’s foreign minister (1991-92 and 2001-02) and also as the commerce minister in 1999. From 1995-98, he was Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and to the World Trade Organisation.

Professor Lafer is a strong believer in the importance of internationalisation of higher education, as witnessed by his development of schemes with overseas universities at FAPESP, and in his promotion of English as a key skill for academics and diplomats.

The award presentation will take place on 7 May at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile as part of the 2015 Presidential meetings.


U21 appoints first Executive Director

Universitas 21 is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Eva Wiberg as U21’s first Executive Director. Professor Wiberg, currently Deputy Vice Chancellor at Lund University, took up the position from 1 February 2015 on a part-time basis, combining this role with her duties at Lund. The creation of the new position arises from a new strategic framework for the network, discussed and developed from discussion by U21’s Directors at the 2014 AGM. Professor Wiberg will be instrumental in more closely defining and implementing this framework, building on the solid base of experience developed over the past 18 years.


2015 Presidential Symposium

Registration has opened for the 2015 AGM and Presidential Meetings, this year hosted by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Alongside the usual business meetings, the 9th U21 Presidential Symposium is taking place, on the theme of Building and maintaining sustainable relations with universities in South America, an obvious topic given the location of the meetings and the increasing importance in international education played by South American universities. The 3rd U21 Student Summit is also taking place – more details in the Student Experience section!


Educational Innovation

U21 SOC second iteration starts 9 March!

Registration is now open for the second iteration of the U21 Shared Online Course, Critical Thinking in Global Challenges. It offers students the chance to work in an online environment with staff and students from world-class research intensive universities across the globe. This course provides excellent opportunities for cross-institutional and multicultural interaction around thought-provoking challenges such as:

• Human health and wellbeing
• Infectious diseases
• Increasing population
• Climate change

More details and information on how to sign up can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/SOC

2015 Educational Innovation Conference

This year's annual U21 Educational Innovation Conference will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh from 28 to 30 October. Registration is now open for up to three members of senior staff from U21 institutions to join us for an exciting programme looking at Using the Digital to Capture the International in learning and teaching. A programme outline and information about registration and hotel accommodations are available online (see below). As last year, there will be a preconference workshop (on 28 October) to discuss pertinent issues in learning and teaching in an informal and interactive environment. Additional details about the workshop will be coming soon.


Researcher Engagement

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:
i) help position activity: what are the current practices in Research Supervisor Support & Development within the U21 network?
ii) assist in disseminating and informing positive practice: what works, what has not worked and why?
iii) 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 (gemma.marakas@universitas21.com).


Researcher Collaboration Group meeting

The Researcher Collaboration Group will be holding its next meeting at the University of Nottingham from 28 to 29 May. Colleagues at Nottingham are seeking input from Research Collaboration Group members to help tailor the programme to ensure a productive and fruitful meeting. Further details about the programme and the hotel accommodation will be sent out in the coming weeks.

The meeting dates have been arranged to coincide with two other conferences in the UK which may be of interest to RCG members: the Annual Conference of the UK Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA), 1-3 June 2015 in Brighton and the British Council’s Going Global 2015 Conference, 1-2 June 2015 in London.

More details can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/RCGmeeting2015

The RCG has also just redefined and published its vision, aims and terms of reference, which can be found on the group’s webpage.


Student Experience

Student leaders’ meeting in Singapore

The second U21 Student Leaders’ Network meeting is hosted this month by the National University of Singapore, from 26 February to 1 March. Taking Nurturing Today’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Challenges as its theme, the meeting 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.

A report will be published online after the event.


Student event deadlines approaching!

The flagship U21 student events which generally take place in June, July and August, all have deadlines looming. The registration deadlines are as follows:
Summer School (Glasgow) – 28 February deadline
Social Entrepreneur Corps (Guatemala) – 9 March deadline
URC (Auckland) – 6 March / 10 April deadline (northern / southern hemisphere)

Full details of all the events can be found on the SE page - www.universitas21.com/link/SE

International Summer School opportunities

Two more U21 universities have announced special offers to students from member universities wishing to take part in their international summer programmes. McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management will be running an International Summer Programme from 1 to 31 July July 2015, open to students from all over the world. The programme will include a course on Global Branding and a new course Managing in the Global Context. The courses have no pre-requisites and students from all disciplines can apply. A 10% discount is offered to all applicants from U21 universities.

The University of Birmingham is also offering a discount to U21 students on all its summer programmes. Courses include: British Cultural Heritage; Mathematical Finance and Financial Time Series Analysis; and Sport: From Molecules and Muscles to Money.

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

People and places

New Vice Chancellor at UNSW Australia

We are pleased to welcome Professor Ian Jacobs to the network, as he takes up the position of Vice Chancellor at UNSW Australia, succeeding Professor Fred Hilmer who also served as the Chair of the U21 network from 2013 to 2014. Professor Jacobs comes to UNSW Australia from the University of Manchester in the UK and we look forward to working with him and his colleagues over the years to come.


Vice Chancellor reappointed at PUC

It was announced at the end of January that Professor Ignacio Sanchez will serve a second five-year term as Rector of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. We are delighted to hear this, particularly as PUC has become an enthusiastic and engaged member of U21 since joining the network in 2012, and is about to host the U21 Annual Presidential Meeting, as well as the 2015 Student Summit and, later in the year, the U21 Health Sciences Group meeting.


Australian Honours

On Australia Day (26 January) honours were announced for a number of colleagues from our U21 members in Australia. Staff, faculty and alumni from all three of our Australian members, UNSW Australia, University of Queensland and University of Melbourne were mentioned and we congratulate them all.