2015 U21 Awards for Internationalisation announced

15 January 2015
2015 U21 Awards given to Dr Rob Forage and Professor Stephen Hillier, recognising individual efforts towards internationalisation and celebrating wide-reaching global initiatives.

Universitas 21 has announced the recipients of this year’s U21 Awards for Internationalisation, recognising individual efforts which further internationalisation and build relations between U21 members and beyond. The 2015 awardees are Dr Rob Forage of UNSW Australia and Professor Stephen Hillier of the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Forage’s award is for his commitment to and leadership in international education, transnational education and English language preparation for both students and teachers.  In particular he has shown innovative ways of thinking about foundation programmes, tailoring and adapting them to local communities in places like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam,  and overcoming significant hurdles to provide educational pathways for overseas students.  His work has not only included curriculum development, but also sound educational advice, building relationships with senior government officials and increasing the opportunities for and capabilities of English language learners and teachers wanting to access higher education.  Speaking on notification of the award, Dr Forage said “It is a great privilege to be recognised by Universitas 21 in this way.  I know it will also have very special meaning to all my colleagues at UNSW and UNSW Global, past and present, who have contributed to more than 60 years of high-quality international education.  They have laid very strong foundations on which we are still building.”

The second 2015 U21 Award has been given to Professor Stephen Hillier for his long-term dedication to international education, in particular in relation to the links forged between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Delhi.  Over the past fifteen years, Professor Hillier has transformed the way in which the University of Edinburgh has thought about internationalisation, developing a coherent and highly successful strategy.  He has established deep academic links with overseas institutions, establishing international centres of excellence at Edinburgh with Russia, China, India, Latin America and in Islamic studies.  Most recently, the work to establish the Edinburgh-Delhi link has been of significant value, bringing together pioneering lecture series, symposia, study trips for students of both universities, including the innovative ‘College on Wheels’ initiative alongside more localised interactions between faculty and staff across the two cultures.  Professor Hillier commented: “It is a privilege to accept this award.  International partnering is in the blood of the the Edinburgh Global team and it is made all the easier through the many exciting opportunities that exist across the U21 network.”

Jane Usherwood, Secretary General of Universitas 21, congratulated both awardees, saying “Over the past years we have recognised some outstanding contributions to internationalisation, and the 2015 recipients are no exception.  Both Professor Hillier and Dr Forage have shown that internationalisation is more than just an abstract concept, by putting time, energy and talent into creating higher education openings for students across the world, irrespective of background or nationality, turning potential problems of language, location or circumstance into positive learning experiences, challenges and opportunities.  We are delighted to acknowledge the impact of their outstanding work.”

The hand-crafted wood and glass awards will be presented at a special ceremony in May 2015 as part of U21’s Annual Presidential Meeting, being held at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.