January 2016

Since this is my first update of 2016 – Happy New Year everyone!

And a very special welcome to our new international students who celebrated the start of their BU life at the International Student Welcome Reception last week. We have captured the excitement of our students and staff in our Storify of the event – here.

IMG_0337 IMG_0356Our international students come from all over the world – last week I think we had over 50 different nationalities represented. One such student, Ana Carolina, has travelled from Brazil to Bournemouth as a Chevening scholar – read more about her experience here.

In welcoming our new international students, our future Global Talent, it was evident that I was looking at a room that would be producing the next group of teachers, leaders, entrepreneurs – or whatever aspiration it is they might have come to BU to pursue. And it is in this development of talent that HE plays such a vital role. This was acknowledged in the Green Paper released just before Christmas, which stated that although HE plays a vital role in productivity there is a shortage of skills and mismatch of graduate qualification and suitable employment. It suggested that both employers and societies representing professions should be involved in the designing of relevant curriculum. We are doing our bit to address this in our new Global Talent Programme (GTP) – which we are just about to pilot. The GTP is an innovative programme aimed at fusing both the internationalisation and employability agendas and has been designed and developed in partnership with staff and students. This project has been a few months in the planning and I’m excited, and dare I say a little nervous, about getting back into the classroom myself as part of this pilot! I’ll report back on the outcomes of it next month.

The Global Talent Programme and the International Student Welcome Reception are fitting reminders of what Global BU is all about – something that we have now been officially recognised for by joining the prestigious Times Higher Education top 200 list of the most international universities in the world. Congratulations to all BU students and staff who make up Global BU. Take a look at some of the responses of our staff and students on social media here.

As I’ve mentioned before, GTP is a key objective of the Global Engagement Plan, which we introduced to all staff at BU back in October. Whilst we are only really in the first full year of GE Plan delivery, we are mid-way through our University Strategic Plan, BU2018. I therefore joined my University Executive Team colleagues last week to reflect on a number of themes at this mid-point. We have a lot to celebrate – not least the latest Times Higher news – but we are ambitious and we still have a lot that we want to achieve in the next few years.

The Vice-Chancellor and I continue to enjoy our monthly walkabouts around campus, and just last week we met with Holger Schutkowski (SciTech) to hear about his ERC funded research into the Hyksos enigma; Hanaa Osman (Management) and her recent trip to Univerita degli studi dell’Insubria; and Zhidong Xiao (Media and Comms.) who told us about the guest lecture he gave at Communication University of China before Christmas.

The monthly walks are a good reminder of how easy it can be for us in the leadership team to become distant from what is going on around our organisation day-to-day. It is for this reason that this month, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor John Fletcher and I started our Faculty Days. Faculty Days are intended to provide an informal opportunity for us both to immerse ourselves in the unique context of each Faculty. In January, we joined our colleagues in Health and Social Sciences – thank you to all who talked to us about their work – the highs, and the lows, and everything in between!

Finally, our Global BUzz series celebrated India and Europe in the latter part of 2015 and on 10th February moves onto China. Working in partnership with students from the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year and showcasing BU’s research and engagements across China. For more information visit our Global BU webpages here. So, whilst I may have started this update with an arguably late ‘Happy New Year’, for our Chinese friends, let me nevertheless close with 猴年大吉!



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