U21:Connect - July & August 2015

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

U21 News

Gilbert Medal & U21 Award nominations open!

Nominations for the 2016 Gilbert Medal and U21 Awards have now opened, as these prestigious awards enter their fifth year. The Gilbert Medal honours someone from outside the network who has been instrumental in the internationalisation of higher education. The U21 Awards celebrate excellence in internationalisation from within the network, recognising two people or projects who have made a significant contribution in this way.

More details are available on our website and from each member university. Nominations close on 18 September 2015.


Health Sciences Social Media competition

The U21 Health Sciences Group has launched an online competition, open to all students at U21 HSG member universities. Students are invited to produce a three-minute YouTube video to illustrate the use and/or impact of social media on knowledge sharing and education in health. The approach will be used to educate health sciences students around the network to use social media responsibly and direct students to a repository of social media policies. More information can be found online and the closing date is 21 August 2015.


U21:Discover online in early August

The next edition of U21:Discover, U21’s online newsletter, will be available in mid-August. It will feature the usual summary of events and activities from around the network, including participant reports from the recent Student Summit and Graduate Research Conference. It also includes an interesting article about the University of Maryland’s International Graduate Research Fellows, an update from U21’s new Executive Director, Eva Wiberg, and a Back Page Interview with Professor Peter Mathieson, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong.


Educational Innovation

U21 2015 Educational Innovation Conference

The registration deadline for the EI Conference (29-30 October, University of Edinburgh) is approaching! There is also a pre-conference workshop on 28 October. This year’s theme is “Using the digital to capture the international in learning and teaching”. In very interactive sessions, we will explore how we can capitalize on the universality of the internet to internationalize our teaching and learning. Through sharing content, sharing the created material of our students, sharing new pedagogies and the opportunities of big data and crowd sourcing, through the development of shared programmes, can we develop teaching and learning across traditional geographical boundaries?

Among the keynote speakers leading the discussions are:

  • Dr Dave White, University of the Arts, London, will explore the use of digital objects in learning and teaching, and the ways in which this shared production and use can help staff and students to see international dimensions to their subjects.
  • Dr Matt Ratto, University of Toronto, will explore how students using the digital domain can be sensitized to the ubiquity and cultural specificity of design in all aspects of their lives.
  • Professor Belinda Tynan, Open University, will share insights into combining digital strategies to engage learners at a range of levels.
  • Professor Agneta Bladh, past Rector of University of Kalmar, Sweden, past Director General at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education and co-author of the recent, major EU report on the modernization of higher education, will end the conference on a strategic note.

DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION IS 16 SEPTEMBER! We are limited to three members of senior staff from each U21 institution, so secure your spot now!


Researcher Engagement

Graduate Research Conference

U21 has run a Graduate Research Conference (GRC) for graduate students since 2008, the most recent one having just concluded at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The feedback from participants has been extremely positive and it is clearly giving great value to those who attend. The Deans & Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) recognise, however, that only a relatively small number of graduate students at member universities are able to take part and so are reviewing the GRC to see whether and how it might be possible to develop a wider suite of activities so that more graduate students will have the opportunity to have an international experience with Universitas 21. This means we shall not be organising a GRC in 2016 while this review and development is underway.


U21 3MT competition

The U21 Three Minute Thesis Competition, based on the successful model developed by the University of Queensland, will run again this year. Building on the lively engagement of many hundreds of doctoral students around our network explaining their theses in a brief amount of time, local competitions are in the process of being organised around 17 members to identify the researcher who will represent their university in the U21 3MT competition 2015. We are delighted that NUS will be taking part in the U21 3MT for the first time this year. As before, there will be two prizes – one picked by our judges and the other, a ‘People’s Choice’, chosen by popular vote via our dedicated website; details of that will be circulated shortly. We hope you manage to find the time to view these really impressive pieces of work – and to vote for your favourite in October.



Student Experience

U21 Ingenuity Competition winners going to Milan

The five UNSW students who claimed first prize in the inaugural U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge have been invited by fellow U21 member Fudan University to join them at the Summit of Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance in Milan this August. Since its debut at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, the summit has served as a platform for young entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative solutions to global challenges on an international stage. This year, the summit will see an estimated 70 student entrants present projects on the theme, ‘Youth in Food Security Innovation’. We wish students all the best for a great experience at the summit and will look forward to finding out all about it when students return in late August.


Round up of summer activity

Students across the network have been taking advantage of the summer (or winter!) holidays and participating in a host of events organised by U21. The U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps project in Guatemala began on 1 June with the pre-placement online classes and students are in South America completing their placements.  The U21 Summer School, this year at the University of Glasgow has just concluded, with Cities and Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age as its theme. Meanwhile, the University of Auckland has just said goodbye to the 2015 cohort from the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference, which they hosted under the title Peoples and Places. Reports from all of these, plus the Health Sciences Group’s summer school will be available soon!


People and places

Professor Sir David Greenway honoured with Festschrift

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor at The University of Nottingham, was honoured at the end of June with a Festschrift celebrating his work in the field of economics. A special edition of Review of International Economics celebrates Sir David’s contribution to research in international economics, and was accompanied by a conference on Thursday 25 June in honour of his work.

A programme and photos of the event can be seen at http://ow.ly/PDYh0

Farewell to U21 Administration Manager

Finally, after nearly ten years, U21 Administration Manager Clare Noakes is leaving the U21 Secretariat team at the end of July. Having started work with U21 in 2006, she has become a well-known face (and email presence!) around the network and we are sorry to see her go. Clare is going on to work for the Vice Chancellor at Aston University and we wish her well as she takes on this new challenge. Taking up the Administration Manager role in the team is Ben Griffiths and we look forward to having him bring some new ideas and fresh perspectives to the network.

Congratulations to HSG Executive Officer

We wish Health Sciences Group Executive Officer Caroline Voisine the very best as she awaits the imminent arrival of her first child. While Caroline is on maternity leave, the HSG is being looked after by Kelly Jacobs, based at the University of British Columbia, and we welcome her to the team until Caroline’s return in April 2016.