U21:Connect - June 2015
2015 U21 Rankings Published
The 2015 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems was published on 21 May, showing that the top HE systems in the world, according to the ranking’s 25 measures, belong to the USA, Switzerland and Denmark. The U21 Ranking is the only one to address a country’s overall performance, rather than looking at individual universities and as such is a powerful tool for governments, HE authorities and institutions. It is now becoming an important point of reference around the world.
Alongside the main ranking, U21 also publishes a ranking adjusted to reflect each country’s economic development, measured by GDP per capita. Against these criteria the ranking takes on a somewhat different shape, with Serbia, the UK and Denmark taking the top three places.
The full 2015 report, along with a useful comparison tool to look at developments over the years, can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/rankings
Presentation of Gilbert Medal & U21 Award
At the 2015 AGM, hosted by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile last month, we presented this year’s Gilbert Medal and U21 Awards for Internationalisation. All three recipients were in attendance – Professor CelsoLafer of FAPSEP received the Gilbert Medal, along with Professor Stephen Hillier (Edinburgh) and Dr Rob Forage (UNSW Australia) who received the U21 Awards.
Professor Lafer’s acceptance speech will be published in the forthcoming edition of U21:Discover and details of all three awards can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/GilbertMedal
Health Sciences Group forging ahead
A number of events organised by the U21 Health Sciences Group (HSG) are taking place over the coming months. The annual U21 European UNMDG/SDG workshop will take place at Lund University from 5 to 6 June, with 58 students from around our European members participating. Topics and guest speakers have also been announced for the U21 HSG 2015 meeting in Chile. The overarching theme is From Public Health to Professionalism: The Challenge ofIntegration in Health Science Education and includes presentations byProfessor Linda Snell (McGill University) and Dr Klaus Puschel (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile). More detail can be found at www.u21health.org/santiago-2015
2015 EI Conference
The 2015 EI Conference is taking Using the Digital to Capture the International in Teaching & Learningas its theme, and will run from 28 to 30 October at the University ofEdinburgh. The conference’s focus will be on developing T&L across traditional geographical boundaries through sharing content, new pedagogies and big data. A programme outline is available on the website and the deadline for registration is 16 September.
Teaching Indicators workshop
A workshop on Teaching Indicators was held in London in April to develop a shared understanding of what, as a network, we value in teaching. Reasons for undertaking the analysis include informing professional development provision, informing performance review processes, and informing review of institutional promotion policies and practices. Questions guiding the analysis asked how teaching is defined, what the main dimensions of teaching are, and evidence should we expect to see to warrant claims of teaching excellence. A workshop will be held in Edinburgh on 28 October 2015 to review a paper with the results of the analysis.
HSG Teaching Excellence Award Launched
The Health Sciences Group has just launched its Teaching Excellence Award. The award is designed to support faculty who are on promotion tracks, and is targeted in particular towards junior faculty to provide them with an opportunity to develop international collaborations and gain international recognition. As U21 aims to foster international co-operation , this award will provide an opportunity for faculty from different institutions to work together. More details can be found at www.u21health.org/teaching-excellence-award
Supervisor Support Workshop
The Research Supervisor Support and Development workshop took place at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in March 2015, a report on which is now available on the U21 website. Alongside some lively and thought-provoking discussion, the key action points which came from the workshop included exploring whether a Group of Eight survey (based on the NSF survey) on supervisor support could be taken up through the network, and investigating the creation of some research supervision web pages. Further developments will be posted online as they evolve and the workshop report can be read at www.universitas21.com/link/RSSD
Researcher Collaboration Group meeting
The 2015 RCG meeting took place at the end of May, bringing together delegates from 17 member universities. Alongside the opportunity to share best practice and develop potential new areas for collaboration, delegates heard key note speeches from both U21’s new Executive Director, Eva Wiberg, on her vision for the network and also Ian Noble, Director of Research and Development Strategy for PepsiCo’s Global Snacks Group. Professor Noble presented some major global challenges for the future and how these might impact on collaboration between universities and industry.
A full report of the meeting will be available on the RCG pages of the U21 website in the coming weeks. www.universitas21.com/link/RCG
Ingenuity Challenge winners announced
A vision for the future in which motorists are persuaded to leave their cars behind and build greener cities one footstep at a time has picked up the top prize in the inaugural U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge. Project Step City, devised by a team of students at UNSW Australia, would pit pedestrian footfall against volume of traffic in a competition designed to reduce traffic congestion in Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD). The concept was awarded first place in the competition, which aimed to test the originality and practicality of students by asking them to find innovative solutions to one of the world’s most pressing problems: how do we move people around cities? The challenge was facilitated through Ingenuity Online, an online creative problem solving tool developed by academics at Nottingham University Business School’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Congratulations to all the teams who entered and provided some stiff competition. A full press release and the winning video can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/GICwinner
SE Cluster presenting at Global Internship Conference in Dublin
Sue Dengate, U21 Student Experience Cluster Manager will be presenting a paper along with colleagues from around the network, entitled Trials and tribulations – setting up a global internship programme at the 2015 Internship Conference in Dublin. The paper outlines the process that Universitas 21 went through to implement the internship programme, which is being rolled out later this year.
Round up of summer activity
June brings with it the start of the U21 ‘summer’ activities for students around the network. The U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps project in Guatemala began on 1 June with the pre-placement online classes, before the students head out to central America in late July. The U21 Summer School, this year at the University of Glasgow begins on 1 July and takes Cities and Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age as its theme. Meanwhile, the University of Auckland is preparing to host the 2015 U21 Undergraduate Research Conference, starting on 6 July, under the title Peoples and Places. Add to this the HSG summer school which is taking place from 6 to 18 July at Tecnológico de Monterrey, with Vulnerability, low budget healthcare as its theme and there’s a host of student activity around the network in the next few months.
People and places
PUC wins architecture prize
With U21 delegates having only left a couple of weeks ago after a very successful Annual Presidential Meeting, colleagues at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile are now celebrating the award of an architecture prize to one of the meeting venues. The UC Innovation Center has been selected as the London Design Museum’s Architecture Design of the Year, for its open and eco-friendly design. The awards aim to celebrate design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.
New U21 Manager for Melbourne
With the departure of Ian Marshman from the network at the end of the AGM, we are pleased to welcome a new U21 Manager for the University of Melbourne. Carmel Murphy, Executive Director Office of Admissions and Director, International at Melbourne has been appointed to take over this role and we look forward to working with her over the coming years.
New SE Cluster Manager
We are sad to be saying farewell to another member of the U21 Secretariat team this month. Sue Dengate, who has been on secondment to U21 from the University of Queensland for the last three years, is returning to UQ in June. We thank her for all her hard work and dedication while she has been part of the team. Starting in July, Ninna Makrinov will be taking over responsibility for the SE Cluster, developing and enhancing the work that Sue has put into the cluster.