U21:Connect - May 2017

17 May 2017
The latest news and updates from the Universitas 21 network

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

News and Events

University of Nottingham host U21 Network Presidents and Senior Leaders - May 2017

In May '17 the University of Nottingham hosted U21 Presidents and Senior Leaders for the 2017 Annual Network Meetings and Presidential Symposium to set the network agenda for the forthcoming year.

In celebration of U21 collaboration, 25 trees were planted at U. Nottingham's 'Universitas 21 Avenue’ during the meetings, one to represent each of the twenty-five U21 member universities.Further details are available on the University of Nottingham Website

The prestigious Gilbert Medal and U21 Awards for Internationalisation 2017 were also presented at a celebratory Gala Dinner, full details of the recipients and the 2017 awards can be found on the U21 Website

Two new Universitas 21 Members Join Network

Universitas 21 is delighted to welcome two more world-class universities into the U21 network. The University of Zurich (Switzerland) and Waseda University (Japan) officially joined U21 during the recent AGM at the University of Nottingham, May 2017.

“The global standing of both of our new partners and the internationally acknowledged quality of their education and research represents a hugely positive addition to the U21 community” said U21 Provost, Prof Bairbre Redmond. “Both of our new members have a very strong commitment to internationalistion and their membership of the network increases opportunities for student mobility (undergraduate and postgraduate), research, staff exchanges and project development across U21’s twenty-five research-intensive universities.

Full details and profiles of both universities are available via the links below:

University of Zurich

Waseda University

U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems launched for sixth consecutive year

The Universitas 21 Ranking System is the only one in the world to assess national higher education systems, thereby shifting discussion from the ranking of individual universities, to the best overall national systems.

The 2017 U21 Ranking includes the same 50 countries as in previous reports, which have again been ranked separately by four areas and also given an overall rating. The top five countries overall, in order, are the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden.

The U21 Rankings also allow countries to benchmark with others at similar stages of economic development. Relative to levels of GDP per capita, the top countries, in alphabetical order, are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

To access the full U21 Rankings Report, the 2017 rankings data comparison tool and our interactive map which includes a summary for all 50 countries, please click the links below: 

U21 Ranking 2017 - Full Report

Ranking Data Comparison tool (2012-2017)

Interactive Ranking Map


Upcoming U21 Staff Events

2017 Educational Innovation Conference - Save the Date!

The 2017 U21 Educational Innovation Conference, “Challenging Traditional Thinking: Technology Enhanced Learning + Design Thinking”, will be hosted by Tec de Monterrey, on their Monterrey, Mexico campus, on 31 October 31 - 2 November 2017.

Each U21 institution may send up to three senior members of staff to this "must attend" event. 

EI Conference Details

Register Here

Senior Leaders' Meeting registration now open!

Registration is now open for U21 Senior Leaders' Meeting, hosted by Korea University on 18 - 20 October 2017.

A preliminary programme is available via the link below. Senior Leaders can register by clicking the 'Register Here' link below. Registration for this event will close on Friday 8 September 2017. 

U21 Senior Leaders' Meeting Event Page

Register Here


Student Events & Opportunities

Graduate Collaborative Research Awards

The next funding round of the U21 Graduate Collaborative Research Awards is now open, which enable doctoral candidates to develop international research collaborations within the U21 network.

The Awards fund doctoral research collaborative research projects (in any discipline) from at least three U21 members, in at least two countries (normally from different global regions). Applications close on 1 August 2017, click below for more details.

Graduate Collaborative Research Awards

U21 2017 Global Ingenuity Challenge

The winners of the U21 2017 Global Ingenuity Challenge (GIC) were announced in May 2017. The first prize was jointly awarded to teams from the U. of Amsterdam and U. of Nottingham, the second prize to University College Dublin, and the third prize to the University of Birmingham.

Congratulation to all entrants who receive a commendation and token of appreciation from U21 for their initiative and hard work in preparing their video submission. We strongly recommend viewing the submissions on the link below:

U21 GIC 2017


U21 People & Places

University of Nottingham announce incoming Vice-Chancellor

Professor Shearer West has been appointed as the next President and Vice-Chancellor of the Univesity of Nottingham
Professor West will take up office in October 2017 following the retirement of Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway.

Professor West will be the seventh Vice-Chancellor in the University’s history and the first woman in the role.

University of Melbourne announce search for new VC

The University of Melbourne has started a global search for its next Vice-Chancellor after Professor Glyn Davis elected not to renew his contract beyond the end of 2018.

Known for his visionary design and delivery of the successful 'Melbourne Model', Prof Davis also oversaw largest building program in the history of the university and led the Campaign for the University of Melbourne, raising than $640m in philanthropic funds.


University of Birmingham announce plans to launch two satellite campuses

The University of Birmingham will open an overseas campus in Dubai in 2018, making it the first globally-ranked Top 100 university to open a branch in the United Arab Emirates.

Chair of the U21 Network and Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: "We are a research intensive university and research will be at the heart of what we do in Dubai. Opening a campus in Dubai is the next step in our global mission and demonstrates our ambition as an outward looking, world-class institution."