The 2013 U21 Awards for Internationalisation were awarded to Ms Jenny McGregor from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Dr Xu Qian of Fudan University, China during the Presidential Meetings at the University of British Columbia.
Ms McGregor’s award was for her involvement with Asialink, an organisation that she founded at the University of Melbourne. Under her leadership Asialink has become Australia's largest non-government centre for the promotion of Australia-Asia relations, with an annual budget of over A$10 million and activities spanning education, the arts, leadership, health, and corporate and public programmes. Among the many facets of Asialink’s work, of particular note to the U21 network were the ways in which the organisation works with young Australians, both at school and university level, to instil a real understanding of Asia, developing meaningful and important links and giving them the potential to go on to flourish in areas of diplomacy, business and government leadership and increasing understanding and partnerships between Australia and Asia. On being notified of the award, Ms McGregor said:
I am delighted to receive this award, which reflects the ongoing and vital work of the entire team here at Asialink, the Asia Education Foundation and the University of Melbourne. Asialink is proud to lead engagement between Australia and the countries of Asia – a relationship that grows in significance every day. This award recognises the importance of that ongoing engagement and celebrates the role universities, and centres such as Asialink have in contributing and collaborating on a global scale.
Dr Qian was nominated on the strength of her significant contributions to global health education. Her work began with a project entitled Multidisciplinary Approaches to Reproductive Health in Global Context, which received a high level of funding and formed the basis of Dr Qian’s subsequent work in promoting health education, both in China and further afield. The U21 network was especially impressed with Dr Qian’s devising and organisation of a Fudan University summer school focusing on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which she began in 2010 and which now incorporates participants from around the U21 network, as well as other students and gives young medical professionals valuable opportunities to share strategies and experiences for promoting and achieving the health-related MDG in their own region or country.
Jane Usherwood, U21’s Secretary General commented:
Universitas 21, and in particular colleagues in health sciences, have long had an interest in seeing how we can support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Dr Qian played an active role in raising awareness of the MDG and looking at how students and staff can help to advance them, both at Fudan University and more widely in our network. Her contribution over a number of years has helped broaden the experience and the outlook of many young professionals and for this reason she is fully deserving of the recognition of a U21 Award.