Big news this month with the publication of the Government’s HE White Paper – potentially marking the biggest reforms to HE for nearly thirty years. We covered this through our daily Global BUzz of course – for brief highlights go to Global BUzz.
As for me, I write this month’s update having just stepped off the plane after a fantastic week-long trip in China…
Working in and with China
The trip started with the Vice-Chancellor and I marking the commencement of our collaboration with the Federation of University Sports of China / China School Sports Federation and the China Scholarship Council. This one is for the football fans out there!
For those of you who may not know, in 2015 President Xi announced a 50-point plan to turn China into a ‘football powerhouse’. This plan would include growing grass-roots participation in football, making football a mandatory part of the school curriculum and professionalising the Chinese Football Association. The aim is to substantially increase the number of young people playing football, with the number of special soccer schools set to increase to 20,000 in five years and to 50,000 in a decade. BU has been selected as one of the partners in the UK, with AFC Bournemouth, to help achieve this goal of developing China’s football industry – and so we met with our partners in Beijing to officially mark the start of this extremely exciting programme.
I’m also thrilled to confirm that we launched our second Hub of Practice during the trip – BU’s China Innovation Hub. We know only too well that the global economy in the 21st century is experiencing major challenges in terms of growth and development. In China, we also know there is a significant demand for innovative solutions for developing and implementing China’s growth strategy. Launched in partnership with a number of high profile organisations including the Henan New Energy Chamber of Commerce and the Research Centre for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University, amongst others, the China Innovation Hub will bring together our global expertise in technology and innovation management to work together in tackling these global challenges and in so doing, deliver traction and impact in China at a regional and national level.
To see the highlights from the trip – check out our Storify of the week.
Celebrating BU and ASEAN
ASEAN higher education was a topic under discussion at the Going Global conference in Cape Town on the 3rd – 5th May. The Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) presented the ASCC Blueprint 2025 and the state of higher education in ASEAN emphasising the need for ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (ASEAN.org). A recent British Council report The Shape of Global Higher Education: National Policies Framework for International Engagement evaluated the policies of 26 countries and identified three areas where national governments can provide an enabling environment to their HE institutions to internationalise and forge collaborations. An ASEAN country, Malaysia, emerged as one of the top performers scoring the country “very high” across all three categories of openness, quality assurance and degree recognition, and access and sustainability in international higher education. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that in the past decade, Malaysia’s rise in status internationally has been reflected in an average 16% annual growth in International Student Enrolment. The country now has five HEIs in the worlds top 100 of QS University Rankings: Asia 2015; 13 subjects in the top 100; and various academics recognised in the Worlds Most Influential Scientific Minds 2015 (Reuters).
At BU we have strong relationships with ASEAN and in particular Malaysia, and testament to this was our fourth and final Global BUzz event for the 2015-16 academic year – this time a celebration with our students and staff of everything ASEAN. Global BUzz ASEAN commenced with a welcome address by Professor John Fletcher, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), who set the scene for our showcase of Bournemouth University’s engagement in the ASEAN region. This included an introduction to the ASEAN Hub of Practice, alongside a range of other exciting talks on staff research and student experience in the ASEAN region. Check our Storify of Global BUzz ASEAN here.
Global Talent Programme Awards Ceremony
On 16th May 2016 we held our celebration event for our pilot Global Talent Programme, where eligible BU students – our future Global Talent – were presented with their participation certificates by our Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney. Professor Vinney highlighted the importance of undertaking the Global Talent Programme in developing a whole range of skills and attributes that will give graduates a competitive edge in their future careers. University Board member Jonathan Clark, Executive Chairman and Founding Partner of Bright Blue Day, was our inspirational guest speaker for the evening and provided students with a personal account of his own experience and successful career story. Check our Storify of the Global Talent Programme celebration event here.
US Embassy Visit to BU
BU welcomed representatives from the London-based U.S. Embassy during a recent visit to Bournemouth and Poole. The delegation visited the region as part of their ‘Beyond London’ Outreach Programme, which aims to gain an understanding of and to develop networks with UK cities and towns outside of London.
Their two day visit to the region was jointly hosted by BU and Bournemouth Borough Council and focused on the economy, technology, science and the environment. During their visit to BU, Embassy colleagues met with representatives from Bournemouth University’s Cyber Security Unit, the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), International VFX Hub and the Global Engagement Mobility Team. The University also arranged and accompanied them on a visit to 3 Sided Cube, who specialise in designing and developing mobile apps. 3 Sided Cube has already established strong links with the USA via their work with the American Red Cross.
As part of the visit, the Embassy provided a briefing on the visa process for students going to America on exchange next academic year. The visit provided an excellent opportunity to establish relations with the Embassy and to identify possible areas for collaboration.
In or out?
While this month has been a busy time for BU’s engagement with our international partners, next month I will be writing after the UK votes in a historic decision. As the June Referendum nears and discussion and debate heightens from both sides, it is clear that whatever decision the UK people take, our relationship with the rest of the world will be impacted. I therefore would like to take this opportunity to encourage all our students with the right to vote to take that right seriously, and to register to vote, keeping in mind the address where you will be based at the time.