March news headlines

06 March 2012
News, events and items of interest for colleagues around the Universitas 21 network.

Gilbert Medal design winners announced

We are delighted to announce that Piotr Szpryngwald and Mirko Ihrig have beaten off some stiff competition to be the winning designers of the U21 Gilbert Medal. The competition was open to students at Lund University, the host of the inaugural Gilbert Medal award ceremony, and received a number of highly creative and original entries. After much consideration, Piotr and Mirko’s design was chosen as it was both innovative and attractive, integrating the locations of Universitas 21’s members with an eye-catching design. The designs are now with a manufacturer in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, world famous for metal work, and will be awarded on 11 May 2012. The Gilbert Medal (and U21 Awards) winners will be announced in early April and the winning designs will be available to view online shortly.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University offers U21 scholarships

Colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University are pleased to announce the Chinese Government Special Scholarship Programme which will fund five U21 students, as well as twenty students from non-U21 universities, to complete a full-time Master's or Doctoral Degree at the university. The programme is open to any non-Chinese graduate students from a U21 university and will fully fund a 2-3 year Master's degree or 3-4 year Doctoral degree, starting in the 2012/13 academic year. Study can be undertaken in English or Chinese.

The scholarship includes tuition waiver, basic teaching materials fee waiver, on-campus dormitory fee waiver and a monthly stipend. All Chinese-taught and English-taught programmes are open to international students, with the exception of the MBA, IMBA and all SJTU co-operative programmes with foreign institutions.

For more information, log on to

Digital Humanities Conference 2012

The third U21 Digital Humanities workshop will take place at Lund University from 19 to 21 September 2012. It will have the theme Interfaces - Digital studies of culture and cultural studies of the digital. Provisional sessions titles include Digital heritage and digital preservation; Learning games and gamefication and Teaching and learning - the digital classroom. Early Career Researchers and graduate students will be welcome to attend, as well as established academics and practitioners in this area. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks and initial enquiries and contribution ideas should be directed to Stefan Lindgren

U21 Scholarships and Fellowships at Nottingham and Birmingham

Two U21 members have announced their internal U21 Fellowship schemes for 2012, available for members of their own universities to visit other U21 members. The University of Nottingham is offering Prize Scholarships for graduate students, while at the University of Birmingham students can apply for U21 PhD Scholarships and Travel Bursaries and all staff can apply for the U21 Fellowship Programme.

We would be pleased to hear of any further universities’ activities in this area and will be establishing a page on the U21 website to list all these opportunities soon.

University of Amsterdam welcomes new President of Executive Board

Professor Louise Gunning-Schepers has been appointed President of the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) effective as of 1 April 2012. Professor Gunning is currently President of the Health Council of the Netherlands and Professor of Health and Society at the UvA. She previously served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA) and as dean of the UvA’s Faculty of Medicine.

The Executive Board is responsible for the general management of the UvA and the HvA. The joint Board, which is the result of a staff merger, further comprises Professor Dymph van den Boom (Rector Magnificus UvA), Dr Jet Bussemaker (Rector HvA) and Mr Paul Doop (Vice-President).

We look forward to working with her and her colleagues over the coming years.

The full press release can be read at

University of Nottingham announces China fellowships

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China will award scholarships worth about ¥9,000 (about U$1,500 or £900) to graduates from all universities in the Universitas 21 network who enrol for its Master’s degree programmes. The scholarship, equivalent to 10% of the maximum annual tuition fee of ¥90,000 (£9,000), will be awarded on a non-competitive basis to all U21 alumni who register for full-time degree programmes from September.

Further information can be obtained from Lauren Quinn Taylor at

Undergraduate Research Conference 2011 papers published

The U21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2011 proceedings have been published and are now available in an online version of The Oculus, the University of Virginia’s undergraduate research journal. At each U21 URC, participants are given the opportunity to publish their presentations, giving undergraduate students some valuable experience of preparing a paper for print, skills which will be useful to any considering continuing their academic careers at postgraduate level. The URC publication, a special edition of The Oculus each year, can be found at

Plans are well underway for the 2012 URC, this year taking place at Waseda University. Registrations will open in April and details can be found at

2012 Teaching & Learning Conference

The 2012 Teaching & Learning Conference will take place at the National University of Singapore from 8 to 9 November. Building on the successes of the previous years and the renewed vigour which the group has experienced over the past year, the theme will be Transformative Education and will include key note speakers, round table sessions and informed debate on this wide-ranging topic. Details will be available on the U21 website in the next few weeks, so please keep an eye out for further information.