Global BU – the Journey to Date

All the excitement and energy that went into our whirlwind Festival of Learning in Bournemouth, China and Malaysia came full circle as we brought all that learning back to BU in early July through our exhibition and presentation to the University Board on Global BU’s journey to date.

It was great to have the opportunity to reflect and take stock on the achievements and progress to date and to be able to share this with the Board, staff and students, through an exhibition of admittedly only a few of the highlights that make up Global BU.

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Board Appointment to UKCISA

In the same week, I also learnt that I had been appointed to the Board of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). UKCISA is a fantastic organisation that places international students and international education at the heart of the UK HE sector, raising awareness of the many benefits and challenges that our sector has to face should it want to keep its position as the second most popular destination for international students (UUK, 2016). I look forward to working alongside other colleagues who are equally committed to providing opportunities for the sector’s development and promoting best practice in global engagement.


The International Commencement Ceremony 2016

Talking of the importance of welcoming our international student community, preparations are well underway now for our upcoming International Commencement Ceremony on the 23rd September 2016. The ICC is one of the ways in which we at BU demonstrably show the value we place on having an internationally diverse learning community at BU. For international students arriving in September click here to find out more and register for a ticket.


Global BU 2016/17

Like last year, the ICC will signal the start of an eventful new academic year. Presently, as a consequence of a series of reflective discussions with colleagues across our executive and committee framework, we are now putting the final touches to both our key project priorities and our calendar of events for 2016/17. Visit the website for more details which will be added in the coming weeks.


Life after Brexit

In just over a month the landscape in Westminster is quite different from what it was during my last post. Previous Home Secretary Theresa May has succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister, and what a difference a day made. Immediately, PM May reshuffled her Cabinet, which has now seen the UK Higher Education sector return to the Department of Education. This move gives us the opportunity to work closely with schools, particularly important after UCAS’ recent report found that pupils as young as ten who know what they want to study in HE are more advantaged in achieving those goals.

At the same time, ensuring that HE remains central to innovation, research and productivity is key, so it was good news to hear that Jo Johnson will continue his role as Universities and Science Minister, working jointly across both the DBEIS (the new body merger of BIS and DECC) and DfE.

There is a lot for us to crack on with still, and even more so now that we find ourselves negotiating a new landscape with both Europe and the rest of the world. We know that nine out of 10 individuals working in HE backed the ‘Remain’ campaign (THE survey, 2016) as did an extraordinarily large percentage of young people (Independent, 2016), but it’s now time to look at the opportunities that Brexit offers. Internally, at a recent meeting of our International and UK Partnerships Committee, we discussed in depth what Brexit means for the UK, Bournemouth, and particularly for our staff and students on the ground.   Whilst negotiations within Government will continue in the coming months, what we all agreed on was that our staff and students will continue to show our global partner colleagues that we are just as eager now as we were a month ago to collaborate, work together, and continue with staff and student exchange programmes, in Europe and around the world.

I will be speaking more about what I believe are the opportunities ahead of us through Brexit at Wonkhe’s event, BrHExit: Where next for universities and Europe?, on Tuesday 9th August at London’s Senate House. So more on that next month.


HE Bill

In the meantime, the Government has decided to crack on with the Higher Education and Research Bill, which received its second reading on the 19th July. Over more than five hours, the Bill was debated in Parliament, which means that we will most likely be seeing new reforms earlier than anticipated, and in some cases, hoped for…..


And Finally….

At BU we have brought the current academic year to a confident close and the Board exhibition at the beginning of the month reminded me how much we have achieved in such a short time really – the Festival, the THELMAs, launch of our Hubs of Practice, our Global Talent Programme pilot….the list goes on. So, we will be spending some time over August readying ourselves for an even better 16/17 – so I’ll be in touch again in September. Enjoy the summer everyone.

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