July news headlines

02 July 2012
Welcome to the July ebulletin with the latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network.

New Student Experience Manager in post

We are delighted to announce that Sue Dengate has now joined the U21 Secretariat team and taken up the new position of Student Experience Manager. Sue has responsibility for international student engagement across the U21 network, which involves evaluating, developing and implementing a range of activities and programmes which will contribute to the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate students across the network. Based at the University of Queensland, she will work alongside Andrew Everett, lead of the Educational Innovation cluster, and the Secretariat team.


Student “summer” activities around the network

July and August are going to busy for students around the network as the U21 Summer School, URC and Social Entrepreneur Project in Guatemala all take place over the next two months.

Already under way, the 2012 Undergraduate Research Conference, taking place at Waseda University from 1 to 6 July has Connecting to the Future as its theme and has welcomed students from a variety of disciplines to consider how their studies relate to this topic. The annual U21 Summer School, hosted and organised this year by Tecnológico de Monterrey at its Querétaro campus begins on 7 July and takes Shaping the Global Future Entrepreneur as its theme, providing opportunities for participants to learn about the importance of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) that form the base of economic development, and the global forces these companies must face today.

Meanwhile, in Guatemala, 13 students are already a week into a month-long programme in Guatemala, working with social entrepreneurs to help establish new and growing businesses. This is a new activity for U21 and we look forward to following the experiences of those involved through their blog - http://today.uconn.edu/letters-from-guatemala/


Engaging researchers – U21 Researcher Engagement cluster news

Much is happening within the Researcher Engagement (RE) cluster at the moment and the RE steering group is working hard to identify and develop the cluster’s key areas of activity. One of these areas is looking at ways to collaborate on joint research funding bids and a working party will be meeting by teleconference to investigate this further. Alongside this, proposals for a workshop on Research Integrity are being drawn up and of course plans for the 2012 ECR Workshop (http://www.barilan-conflict.com/link/ECR2012) are well under way. It’s shaping up to be a busy summer for everyone involved in the RE cluster!


Three forthcoming workshops – Health Sciences, Digital Humanities and Teaching & Learning

Colleagues around the network are working hard to prepare to host a variety of workshops and conferences in the coming months. Registration for all three events is now open and details can be found by following the links below.

First to take place is the U21 Health Sciences Group annual meeting from 3 to 7 September at the University of Auckland. The programme, themed The University and the Health Care System will be structured around three main strands: Leadership in health care, the role of the university; Relating research to clinical activity; and Developing a clinical academic workforce. More details can be found at http://www.barilan-conflict.com/link/HSG2012

Next comes the third Digital Humanities workshop, hosted by Lund University from 19 to 21 September. The conference will have Interfaces - Digital studies of culture and cultural studies of the digital as its theme and Early Career Researchers and graduate students will be welcome to attend, as well as established academics and practitioners in this area. Further information is available at http://www.barilan-conflict.com/link/DigitalHumanities

Last, but by no means least, the 2012 Teaching & Learning Conference will take place at the National University of Singapore from 8 to 9 November. The conference theme is Towards Transformative Education in the 21st Century and will look at how teaching and learning in higher education should optimize the transformative process and add value to the human capital in the 21st century http://www.barilan-conflict.com/link/TLNConference2012

Nottingham VC and Birmingham PVC on their bikes!

Professor David Greenaway, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, is once more donning his cycling shorts to take on the challenge of cycling from Cape Wrath to Dover, the farthest point in north-west to the south easterly tip of mainland Britain to raise money for Nottingham Potential, a package of measures intended to use education to help deal with disadvantage. Having completed the John O’Groats to Land’s End journey in 2011, he and a team of cyclists from the university are ready for their next challenge and invite you to keep up with their progress at http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/lifecycle/2012/05/10/life-cycle-2/

Meanwhile, Professor Adam Tickell, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham has just completed another cycle challenge, this time over the hills of South Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park to raise money for diabetes research and the Access to Birmingham Scholarship (A2B) scheme, a programme designed to encourage talented students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education to gain access to the University.

We send our warmest congratulations to Professor Tickell and very best of luck to Professor Greenaway.

Blair Faith Foundation embraces another U21 member

Launched in 2008, the Faith and Globalisation Initiative, part of the Blair Faith Foundation, is a worldwide network of leading research universities which seeks, through research, to understand attitudes towards religious faith in a globalised world. The initiative also offers events open to the public that explore the implications and effects of the universities research to inform public policy debate. Although there is not a formal connection between U21 and the foundation, four of the nine lead universities are U21 members, with the University of Hong Kong having recently joined McGill, Tecnológico de Monterrey and the National University of Singapore. More information can be found about the foundation at

New look U21 website!

Have you looked at our website recently?! At the 2012 Presidents’ Meeting in Lund a new structure for U21 activity was agreed upon, with a cluster-lead approach helping to pull the wide variety of engagement opportunities into a more cohesive and understandable format. What we do hasn’t changed but the way in which it is displayed to the outside world – and, for that matter, the U21 world – had been streamlined and clarified. Why not take a look at www.barilan-conflict.com and see the latest developments?

Any more news?

The next edition of The Newsletter will be published later this month. If you have any articles, photos, reports or items of interest to the wider U21 network, we would be pleased to receive contributions by Wednesday 11 July. Please send items to Clare Noakes (c.e.noakes@bham.ac.uk).