April 2016

Portraits-029Today I’m writing this from New Delhi, India, in 40 degree heat – and yet I hear from my team in Bournemouth that they have experienced snow this week! I can’t deny that it is good to be back in India – I’ve never been good with snow – and certainly not in April!

Hubs of Practice

The primary reason I am in India this week has been to introduce one of our new Hubs of Practice – Connect India. Connect India brings together a team of staff and students at BU with their counterparts in India to focus on collaborations in three key areas: media, management, and social care. It was a fantastic launch and I hope we have captured the excitement of our guests, staff and students in our Storify of the event here. The launch was the highlight of what was an intense five-day visit – Storify of the week in India can be found here!

It was also great to see 10 BA students from the Faculty of Media and Communications at the launch event – they have been in India for the last week or so taking part in a student and staff exchange project called Destination India. You can read more about their experiences on their blog.

In addition to Connect India, we are also establishing Hubs of Practice in China and the ASEAN region. More details will become available over the coming weeks, which we will add to our Global BU web pages, so keep an eye out for this!


Global Festival of Learning

I mentioned last month that our inaugural Global Festival of Learning is being run this year in parallel with our Festival of Learning back at home. It will be a busy few days: the Festival kicks off at BU on Saturday 25th June, at which time I’ll be on my way to China for the first global leg on the 27th and 28th June, and then on to Malaysia from the 29th and 30th June. I will be joined by a host of BU staff and students in both Malaysia and China and we hope to be able to live-stream back some of our sessions to the Festival in BU.

Do visit the Festival of Learning website for all the details of this year’s Festival at BU and if you are interested in finding out more about the global locations, more details will be available soon on the Global BU web pages or you can contact GlobalBU@bournemouth.ac.uk.


Global Talent

The Global Festival of Learning and Destination India are just a few of the opportunities on offer to our students enabling them to get direct exposure to other cultures, to develop their team working, and communication and cross-cultural skills. We know how critical this is for our future graduates. In April, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) published Working Futures 2014 to 2024. The report estimates that by 2024, 46% of all UK employment will exist within highly skilled occupations, amplifying the importance of preparing future-ready graduates and up-skilling and re-skilling today’s workforce.

As I’ve mentioned here before, we have been developing our own response to the challenge of developing global talent. Just as a brief recap, last summer, we were one of 25 UK HEIs that successfully applied to be part of the Higher Educations Academy’s (HEA) Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Excellence Initiative 2016. Our project was aimed at nurturing and developing talent in students by equipping them with the skills needed to work in a truly global way, crossing physical and cultural boundaries to deliver outstanding results.

At the beginning of February, we officially launched a pilot programme co-developed and co-delivered with staff, students and a range of local employers and other stakeholders including Hays (the world largest recruitment firm), Amuzo Games, 3 Sided Cube and Bournemouth and Poole Sustainable Food City Partnership. Whilst the HEA part of the project has now concluded, we see so much potential for this programme – not just for BU and our region, but also nationally and dare I say, globally. If you are an employer, student, or HEI and want to get involved in co-shaping the next phase of this programme – please do contact us at GlobalBU@bournemouth.ac.uk.


Celebrating BU’s global staff

Since the beginning of the current academic year, the Vice-Chancellor and I have met with colleagues from across BU to find out more about the great work they are engaged with across the globe. These informal monthly meetings are a chance to personally recognise a sample of the great work that is taking place across the University to help deliver our shared vision for a Global BU by 2025.

Most recently, we met with: Dr Fiona Cownie, who spoke with us about the conferences and recruitment activity she has been involved with in Thailand; Dr Michael O’Regan who was invited to present at a conference in Lima, Peru – ‘Advancing Green Growth in Peru: A spotlight on tourism, transport and the blue economy’; and Dr Amanda Korstjens who – along with her colleague Prof Ross Hill – have been leading a project called LEAP: Landscape Ecology and Primatology – which is a multi-disciplinary research project looking at how human disturbance activities and climate change affect forested habitats.



I know that exceptionally I posted mid-month to share this news – but just in case you missed that – I will unashamedly repeat the news here…

This month, BU was recognised in THE 150 Under 50 Rankings as one of the world’s best young universities, and Global BU was shortlisted in the Outstanding International Strategy category in the 2016 THELMAs awards. A good month all round and a fitting way to end this month’s post!

Outstanding International Strategy

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