June 2016

I know I say this every time but June has been a particularly busy and significant month – both for BU and the sector.

UK votes to leave the EU

For the past few months, UK voters have been considering whether we should stay in or leave the European Union (EU).  In the end, the majority, 51.9% of voters, chose to leave the EU. In the last few days, the HE sector has made clear statements about the UK’s commitment to our overseas student and staff community: we heard from our Minister of Universities and Science, who assured us that there will be no immediate change to the status of EU students currently studying in the UK, and who are about to start in this coming academic year.  We also heard from UUK who will continue to work towards promoting ‘the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds’.

At BU, you may remember that we made our own very clear statement of welcome to our international student community at our International Commencement Ceremony last September – and I’m pleased to say we are gearing up for this again as we have now set the date for this as the 23rd September 2016. We have plans to make the ICC 2016 even bigger and better than before – so watch GlobalBU’s ICC 2016 website for more information!


2016-06-29 01.28.16Festival of Learning goes global for the first time ever!

Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning is now in its third successful year – and we have this year, for the first time – taken thIMG_7793e Festival of Learning to a global audience with festival events running simultaneously around the world in an international celebration of learning.

So, this was the schedule……the Vice-Chancellor and I were in Bournemouth to see in the start of the Festival on Saturday the 25th June, later that day we both then boarded a plane to China where we met with 30 BU staff and students along with colleagues from our co-host, SIAS International University, for the China leg of the Festival, running from Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th June. We then flew overnight to Malaysia to join over 25 BU staff and students for the final leg – hosted by Sunway University on the 29th June and Cyberview on the 30th June. There were so many highlights to the Festival it is hard to pick just a few but it was particularly great to hear Dr Shawn Chen, Founder and Chairman of Sias International University, highlight how the Festival in China was such a clear expression of our shared vision. On the second day of the Festival in China, we also had the pleasure to host an insightful Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, where both Sias and BU students had theDSC_0548 opportunity to engage in global conversations and share their experiences of starting a new business.

Our Festival in Malaysia was equally inspiring with a range of talks by both BU and Sunway University staff and students, such as Prof Heather Hartwell and Sarah Pyke. In Cyberjaya we had the opportunity to hear Matt Desmier’s talk on what turned a Victorian tourist resort into the UK’s fastest growing digital hub, in addition to presentations from creative talent from both BU and Cyberview.

For full details of all that went on during the Festival – both at home and abroad – see our China Festival Storify here and our Malaysia Festival one here and visit BU’s Global FoL website.

This was a significant undertaking in terms of the planning and engagement for these events and I would like to put on record my thanks to all the staff and students – from BU and SIAS University, Sunway University and Cyberview – for putting on such an amazing celebration of global education, research and practice.


THELMAs – the highs andClp75MDWYAIHcxP lows

Against the backdrop of torrential rain in the capital, and of course the small matter of the EU referendum, it was great to be with so many HE colleagues from across the UK at the annual Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards on the 23rd June.

As we all know, the THELMAs are recognised for rewarding excellence across the sector and it was a great honour for us at BU to be shortlisted for ‘Outstanding International Strategy’. Unfortunately we didn’t win this year but we are so young on our journey that truthfully to even be shortlisted was surprise enough. Congratulations to all the winners! It was fantastic to be part of such a prestigious event that celebrates those leaders and managers who are helping to ensure that UK HE remains amongst the very best in the world.


The staff that make a Global BU

We continue to celebrate the excellent work of colleagues from across BU who are helping to take our vision of Fusion global, through our monthly Global BU Walkabouts.  This month the Vice-Chancellor and I met with Dr Milena Bobeva from the Faculty of Management to hear about the array of international projects that she has been involved in and the work she has done to help promote our MBA programme.  Milena then swiftly hopped on the plane with 14 BU students on our Destination China Summer School programme – concluding with the Festival of Learning at SIAS University, China! A busy few weeks for Milena!


And in other news across the sector

 We have also been told this month that the Government intends to ‘press ahead with the Higher Education and Research Bill’, which – as we know – will introduce the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). We see this as an opportunity to actively engage with staff, students and employers in providing a response to TEF, where employability and graduate outcomes, projected through a refreshed DLHE, are set to be high on the agenda for the Framework. We have taken on this opportunity through the work on employability that we, at Bournemouth University, have been doing over the past few months. There’s a lot going on for HE both at home and also internationally, but I think it’s really important to remember that students are at the heart of these changes. We know that 37% of full-time undergraduates feel they get good value for money (HEPI, 2016), but clearly there’s room for some significant improvement here…


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