U21:Connect - November 2014

12 November 2014
The latest news and items of interest to staff and students across the Universitas 21 network.

U21 news

U21 3MT Competition winners

The U21 Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT) saw over 800 entrants from PhD candidates around the world, all trying to explain their research and its importance to an audience of non-specialists in three minutes. 17 U21 member universities took part this year and the research topics presented ranged from the ancient Demotic language to spinal cord repair to the design of wind turbines. The winners of the 2014 competition were:

  • First Prize - Amy Marquardt, University of Maryland
  • Highly Commended - Bevan Main, University of Melbourne
  • People's Choice - Amy Marquardt, University of Maryland

The full press release can found on the U21 3MT pages – www.universitas21.com/link/3MT

Photo competition winners

Judging in the second U21 photo competition took place at the start of the month. With over 85 entrants from across the network and some excellent photographs to choose from, it was a difficult decision, but in the end a winner and two runners up were selected, with a further four photos given a ‘highly commended’.

This year’s winner was Tomi Adedeji from the University of Nottingham, whose photo featured a student discussing a project via Skype with a colleague overseas. Md Mahbubul Alam from Queensland and Li Jiaying from Fudan were awarded the second place prizes.

A full press release can be read on the U21 website, along with a gallery of the winning photos.

Educational Innovation

2014 U21 Educational Innovation Conference and Workshops

UNSW Australia hosted this year’s U21 Educational Innovation Conference, with a theme of Personalised Learning. 43 delegates from 17 U21 institutions attended, exploring and discussing the value and impact of offering students tailored learning experiences, largely made possible through the greater use of educational technology. This topic also provided an effective bridge between the debates which took place in the 2012 and 2013 conferences on the overall challenges of online learning to focus on the student experience and how technology can adapt educational opportunities to respond to different learning and life styles.

A fuller report can be found on the website, including insights into the pre-conference workshops and the new student-led elements of the conference via video reports and a student panel.

Next year’s U21 Educational Innovation Conference will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh from 28 to 30 October 2015.


U21 Shared Online Course (U21 SOC)

U21’s initial pilot of the U21 Shared Online Course (SOC), Critical Thinking in Global Challenges successfully went live on 3 November. Within the first 48 hours, 805 students enrolled from nine U21 institutions. This is exciting news and we are eagerly watching the course unfold.


Researcher Engagement

UNNC ECR workshop

On Saturday 1 November, the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) hosted a one-day workshop on the future of international higher education, which it sponsored jointly with U21’s Researcher Engagement cluster..

Over 60 people attended the workshop, primarily coming from the Asia-Pacific and Australia/New Zealand regions. The guest speakers and attendees were all from U21 partner institutions with the University of Hong Kong’s Professor Rui Yang, a leading expert on international education, delivering the keynote speech.

A full report can be found on the U21 website – www.universitas21.com/link/ECR2014report

RE Cluster – keeping in touch

There is an opportunity approaching for all who are responsible for research strategy or for graduate education and research to meet, virtually, with colleagues from around the network. The Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) teleconference will be held on Wednesday 19 November at 22:00 (GMT), and the Research Leaders’ teleconference will be held on Monday 24 November at 22:00 (GMT). All with an institutional-level responsibility in these areas are very welcome to join.

Should anyone want further information or wish to be added to mailing lists about RE matters, please do not hesitate to contact Gemma Marakas or log on to www.universitas21.com/link/RE

Student Experience

2015 Summer School details announced

The dates and theme have been announced for the 2015 U21 Summer School, hosted by the University of Glasgow.

Cities and Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age, taking place from 1 to 15 July 2015, will explore the use of technology in civic regeneration, including citizen engagement, population health, education, resilience and urban big data. U21 Summer School 2015 will offer a programme of seminars and practical experiences demonstrating how these technologies can be used to support and improve the vital components of a fully functional city.

It will also explore the importance of citizen engagement within sustainable cities: in asset-based community planning, protecting vulnerable groups, addressing youth inequalities and democracy and governance.

More details will be available in the coming months on the U21 website – contact your home university’s International Office for details on how to apply to represent your university.


Student Leaders’ Network dates announced

The next Student Leaders’ Network meeting will take place at the National University of Singapore from 26 February to 1 March 2015. Further details will be announced online shortly and will also be available from the International Office (or equivalent) at each university.


International Summer School opportunities

Three more opportunities are now available for U21 students wishing to study at a U21 university over the summer of 2015. The University of Edinburgh is offering 10% off all courses in its summer programme. Meanwhile, University College Dublin is offering 10% off its Architecture International Summer School and its Sport and Exercise Summer Abroad programmes.

More information on these and other summer schools can be found at www.universitas21.com/link/ISS

Next Student Mobility Network meeting

The University of Connecticut will host the annual Student Mobility Network meeting in 2015. The meeting will take place on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 May. This will allow plenty of time for members to return to Boston for the NAFSA Conference in Boston (24 – 29 May). All involved with student mobility in relation to Universitas 21 are welcome to attend. More details will be available online, or contact Sue Dengate (sue.dengate@universitas21.com) for further information.


People and places

New President at Fudan University

Professor Xu Ningsheng was appointed new the President of Fudan University on 24 October. He takes over from Professor Yang Yuliang, who was Deputy Chair of the U21 network and member of the U21 Executive Committee, and who is now retiring from the role. We thank Professor Yang for his commitment to U21 over the years, and welcome Professor Xu to the network, looking forward to continued collaboration with Fudan in the years ahead.


International Staff Week 2015 at Lund

The Universities of Lund and Amsterdam are organising an International Staff Week with the theme International student support. It will take place from 13 to 17 April 2015. U21 members are especially welcome and the fee will be waived for up to two members from each U21 university. More details will be announced in the coming weeks and registration will open in December.

Professor Hai-Sui Yu awarded honorary citizenship of Ningbo

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Nottingham, has been awarded the honorary citizenship of Ningbo in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the development of Ningbo over the past decade. Known to many around the network, we congratulate Professor Yu on this award.