Like so many other colleagues this month, I find myself thinking – where has December – and the entire year for that matter – gone?! I can’t quite believe that I’m writing my final monthly update of 2015….
Ministerial Delegation to India
We have ended the year though with the great opportunity of being part of the recent ministerial delegation to India led by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid MP, and the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP.
Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney and I joined the three-day delegation in India to promote and enhance existing university links between India and the UK and share the many benefits of the UK as a study destination.
For us here at BU, it has re-enforced our plans for establishing our first India Hub of Practice as early as possible in 2016 and has got me thinking about all sorts of other opportunities for working with our Indian counterparts, both here in the UK and back in India.
If you want to see all that we were involved in whilst in India follow #UKIndia on Twitter to see the digital content from myself (@PVCBU) and others who were involved in this important trip. You can also check out our summary on Storify, which wraps up the key headlines of the visit from our perspective.
As an aside, and new for this month, is my page on the Global BU website – a one stop shop if you like for sharing and signposting a range of activity that the Global Engagement Team are involved in. You will be able to find links here to our latest publications, presentations and so on.
Global BUzz events
Whilst I’m away, the work doesn’t of course stop back at home, and December indeed proved to be another eventful month for Global BU! After the success of our first Global BUzz event of the year – Global BUzz India – in November, key highlights of which are now on Storify, we presented Global BUzz Europe on the 17th of December. This event celebrated everything European at Bournemouth University and highlighted some of the excellent work that colleagues are engaged in.
Other speakers on the day included our special guest and keynote, Nuno Almeida – founder and CEO of Nourish Care Systems – who spoke about the opportunities that Europe offered knowledge-intensive start-ups, and students from BU’s European Society who spoke about their experience of life in Bournemouth.
You can check all the highlights from the day on Storify, which will come out shortly on our Twitter account. Next up is Global Buzz China in February, so look out for further news soon!
Comprehensive Spending Review
In terms of policy news, while most of us were still chewing over the contents of the Green Paper in preparation for the Government’s consultation deadline of 15 January, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) quickly followed. Thankfully, this wasn’t quite as apocalyptic as some were predicting – it left BIS with a 17% spending cut, which was not quite as severe as anticipated.
It nevertheless still received a mixture of reactions from the HE sector, and together with the Green Paper signals quite a change for UK HE. Whilst the sector welcomed the Government’s decision to implement the Nurse Review, which recommends that research councils be led under a new body, the Research UK (RUK), the two key disappointments came with the announcement that both student opportunity funding which encourages social mobility for the poorest students, and the teaching grant will see considerable cuts, the latter by £120 million.
Despite this disappointing news, at BU, we nevertheless remain committed and believe firmly in the value of global opportunities for all our students. It is for this reason that we just recently have made the explicit commitment to enhance our own student mobility resources within BU – through the appointment of new staff in this area. We received great interest in these posts and look forward to colleagues joining us in the New Year for what promises to be a critical time in our journey towards a Global BU – as we complete our shift from strategy and planning to action and delivery. Exciting times!
So, I’m posting this earlier than usual, as I shall sign off now for a few weeks and ready myself for 2016. In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. See you in the New Year!