On 31st October Bournemouth University was delighted to jointly facilitate a groundbreaking video conference, initiated by the UK-Nepal Friendship Society [UKNFS] that explored academic collaboration with leading Nepalese universities.
This was the first occasion that Vice Chancellors of three Nepalese universities gathered together and made direct presentations at an international video conference. Further, with the presence of senior representatives of key Nepalese government ministries, the conference provided a unique opportunity to learn of the current important work being developed in Nepal around interrelated new collaborative priorities and initiatives of international and national importance.
At the conclusion of the video conference, Dr Richard Shipway [Bournemouth University: Associate Dean: International Engagement in the School of Tourism] outlined, on behalf of Bournemouth University, three key areas of envisaged collaborative partnership, to be subsequently developed in more detail:
● Health and social care related;
● Tourism management and development across a range of disciplines and study areas;
● Media studies.
Forthcoming major direct outcomes of the video conference include:
● An official visit to Bournemouth University before the end of 2012, by Dr Suresh Chandra Chalice, Ambassador of the UK Embassy of Nepal, who will provide a keynote speech concerning the evolution and further development of the substantial historic ties between the nations of the UK and Nepal;
● Bournemouth University participation in a national level initiative to provide a UK Nepali community health needs identification and mapping survey that will be facilitated by the UKNFS at the official request of the UK Embassy of Nepal. This project will have benefits to the UK’s National Health Service not only in terms of greater support for the UK Nepali community, but also to enhance awareness of, and representation of, UK BME communities health needs generally within the NHS.
The School of Tourism expressed interest in several specific areas which were aligned to both individual, departmental and University wide research interests. These include:
- Cultural heritage tourism (including Buddhism philosophy and practices / Gender and Buddhism);
- Research on migrant workers in Nepal (incorporating issues linked to integration, language and employment);
- Religion and Leisure
- Health and wellbeing
- Yoga related studies
- Tourism and Media
The video conference also highlighted the unique role that Nepal has internationally in being a focal point of cultural bridging between the West and both East and Southern Asian cultural spheres:
● It was noted that Nepal is the location of the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, and has up to 100 related historical and pilgrimage sites associated with the Buddha and his previous incarnations
● It was noted that Nepal contributes unique resources in regard to the holistic medical system and philosophy of Ayurveda (that is as ancient as and may predate the better known but related Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM])
Ram Hari Adhikari (UKNFS Secretary and Project Lead. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Mercel-Sanca (UKNFS Vice-chair and UK public service organisations and academic institutions lead). Email: email@example.com
Dr Richard Shipway (Associate Dean: International Engagement, School of Tourism, Bournemouth University). Email firstname.lastname@example.org