U21:Connect - April 2017

28 April 2017
U21:Connect contains the latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network.

Welcome to this month's news from the Universitas 21 network, please read on for a summary of the latest news from across the Universitas 21 network.


News and Events

U21 Rankings 2017 to be launched on Friday 5 May!

  • The 2017 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education systems will be launched for a sixth consecutive year on Friday 5 May, during the U21 Annual Network Meeting and Presidential Symposium at the University of Nottingham.
  • The full report, including a breakdown of overall results as well as results across core research areas, will be made available online via the U21 website.
  • The U21 Ranking Map and the Data Comparison Tool will also be available, providing a full breakdown of findings for all national systems, giving the option to interact with and explore the full data-set across all areas and regions. These can be accessed via the links below (2017 data will be updated for launch on 5 May 2017).

U21 Ranking Map
U21 Data Comparison Tool


U21 AGM to take place in Nottingham next month

  • The U21 Annual Network Meetings and Presidential symposium will take place at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 May 2017.
  • The series of meetings will see Presidents and Senior Leaders from across the network come together to discuss plans for the forthcoming year. Registrations for this meeting have now closed.
  • The presentation of the 2017 Gilbert Medal and U21 Awards for Internationalisation will take place on Thursday 4 May.
  • On the morning of Thursday 4 May, in a special ceremony to mark the 20th Anniversary of U21, the University of Nottingham will be planting a tree for each U21 member within the grounds of the campus

AGM 2017



Educational Innovation

EI Cluster hold inaugural College of Peer Reviewers Teaching Workshop

  • 10 delegates from U21 member institutions participated in the College of Peer Reviewers Teaching workshop, held in London on 24 - 25 April, alongside members of the EI Steering Group.
  • The workshop aimed to socialise the Steering Group’s Teaching Indicators framework with participants who will become the initial members of the U21 College of Peer Reviewers of Teaching and champions for the framework within their institutions.
  • The outcomes of the workshop will seek to generate standards and evidence for promotion to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor levels and map real promotion cases sourced from U21 institutions against the framework to moderate the level at which the group have set the standards for promotion.



Researcher Engagement

Proposed dates for 2017 U21 3MT® competition

  • With many U21 members starting the process of planning their internal 3 Minute Thesis (3MT®) competitions, provisional dates for the 2017 U21 virtual 3MT competition have now been proposed to help with this planning.
  • The provisional dates are as follows:
  • 6 October 2017 – video submission deadline
  • 9 October 2017 – submissions uploaded online and People’s Choice voting opens
  • 23 October 2017 – People’s Choice voting closes
  • 31 October 2017 – Winners announced
  • The U21 3MT has been running since 2013 and has grown year on year, with 20 members taking part last year and approximately 1000 students participating in heats across the network.
  • The event pits the winners of our members’ internal events against each other and is judged by an international panel of industry and academic professionals.
  • For further details on the U21 3MT or to watch the winning submissions from 2016, please follow the links below:

2016 Winners (YouTube)



CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Program - an opportunity for early career researchers

  • The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program provides funding and support to help early career researchers build their research network and develop essential skills.
  • The programme is open to researchers who gained their first academic appointment within the last five years, and can be from anywhere in the world.
  • CIFAR invites outstanding early career researchers to join one of eleven research programmes which address some of the most complex challenges facing the world today.
  • As a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, researchers receive a two-year appointment to a CIFAR research program, $100,000 CDN in undesignated research support, and specialised leadership and communications training.
  • The application deadline is 23 May 2017, further details of the eleven research programmes covered, as well as application details, can be found via the link below:

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars




Researcher Engagement ‘takeover’ at University College Dublin

  • During the week 20 - 24 March 2017 the Researcher Engagement Cluster held a series of meetings and workshops at University College Dublin.
  • A Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) workshop on ‘The Future of the Doctorate’ included speeches on structured PhD programmes from a range of stakeholders including supervisors, current PhD students, recent PhD graduates and a graduate careers advisor.
  • The Annual Research Leaders and DDoGS meetings were held in parallel following a joint session where the delegates heard from the U21 Provost, Professor Bairbre Redmond, and discussed RE Cluster business as a whole.
  • Research Collaboration Group members Denise Clark and Beth Brittan-Powell from the University of Maryland ran a ‘BRAKE’ workshop on US funding regulations for foreign entities which was attended by delegates from UCD, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Nottingham.
  • In addition to the RE events, a further U21 workshop took place at UCD on Data Sharing across the network, exploring opportunities, challenges, value and impact.



Student Experience

International Staff Week – ‘Supporting (international) students in changing times’

  • The University of Amsterdam and the University of Edinburgh co-hosted an international staff week from 27 - 31 March 2017.
  • The theme of the event focused on ‘supporting (international) students in changing times’ and is the fourth consecutive event of its kind.
  • Although the event was not exclusive to U21 members, tuition fee waivers were offered to staff from U21 partner institutions who work in the field of internationalisation.
  • Aidan Prinsloo, International Relations and Partnerships Assistant, University College Dublin, said: "The ISW 2017 has provided us with a rich opportunity to network with global partners on issues that affect us all, from providing international students with accommodation in cities with few options, to universities' responsibilities to refugees. That two of our U21 partners have organised this with such enthusiasm, reflects a deep commitment in the network itself to tackle major questions on an international level."





People & Places

University of Melbourne appoints new Associate Provost

  • One of Australia’s most respected Indigenous academics Professor Marcia Langton has been appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne.
  • Professor Langton is one of the most significant voices in public debate on many issues relating to Indigenous Australia, and is well known to many at the University as a charismatic teacher and research leader in Indigenous studies.
  • The Associate Provost role will have a remit to provide leadership in relevant areas of engagement, cultural collections and other heritage issues and in the development of indigenous teaching and research activities across the University.
  • Professor Langton will retain her existing appointments as Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies and as University of Melbourne Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor.




Bosch and University of Amsterdam launch joint AI lab

  • Researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have partnered with German engineering giant Bosch to develop deep learning technologies for application in intelligent cameras, self-driving cars, home-care and beyond.
  • The joint initiative will see teams from the university’s Delta Lab (Deep Learning Technologies Amsterdam) and the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence design models and algorithms specifically for the processing of huge amounts of data collected from sensors and vehicles.
  • Based at the Amsterdam Science Park, the collaborative project aims to promote stronger knowledge sharing between the academic and business worlds to help accelerate innovation around AI and deep learning analytics.
  • The research programme will be led by UvA professors Max Welling and Arnold Smeulders, with Bosch agreeing to fund the project for the next four years.




University of Glasgow appoint new Rector

  • Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar has been installed as the rector of the University of Glasgow.
  • The prominent solicitor will hold the post for three years after being elected following a landslide student vote in his favour.
  • Other previous rectors include former Liberal Democrat leader the late Charles Kennedy, actor Richard Wilson and Winnie Mandela.
  • The post of rector involves a number of key duties to represent students.

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