International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

HSS delegation visit Universidad Nacional de Colombia

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📥  International Strategy, Mobility, Partnership, Research, Visit

I write from Colombia where this week I led a delegation from the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences to visit international colleagues at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) in Bogota. With staff from our Departments of Education, Psychology, PoLIS and Health we used the visit to strengthen ties and to seek opportunities to collaborate and broadcast shared research and teaching agendas. As one of the University strategic partners, a visit to UNAL has been a great opportunity to view the many changes that are happening within Colombia.

These changes are dominated by the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) signed in 2016 following the rejection of a peace deal in a national referendum in the Summer. At the same time, as a middle income country with considerable historical socio-economic cleavages between the rich and poor, urban and rural, as well as ideological divides between Left and Right, Colombia has a great opportunity for change but many challenges that may take as long to fix as they have been around.

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in the same year that the University of Bath is celebrating its 50th anniversary, UNAL is the largest university in Colombia with 8 campuses and 2 research stations throughout the country. The delegation from Bath met with UNAL colleagues at the Human Sciences Faculty and the Medical Sciences Faculty.

In the Human Sciences Faculty, Jorge Marco and I met colleagues working with the FARC camps and local communities, focusing on communication, education and local approaches to peace-making. Santiago Sanchez, Trevor Grimshaw and Andres Sandoval from our Department of Education, met colleagues in the Institute for Education and the Departments of Linguistics and Modern Languages.

In the Medical Sciences Faculty, Jo Cranwell, Nikki Caghill and Abby Tabor from the Department for Health and Sally Adams from the Department of Psychology met with UNAL researchers working on the public health challenges facing Colombia, particularly in the area of tobacco and alcohol control, inequalities in health, and pain research.

Furthermore, several colleagues met with researchers from the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Physics and Chemical Engineering to look at the ways the University are seeking to overcome some of the technological challenges of the war, such as identifying and destroying landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The delegation also took part in a Development and Alumni Relations event on 29 March which included alumni, current placement students, prospective students, and local researchers as well as guests from local businesses and the British Embassy in Colombia. Trevor Grimshaw and Santiago Sanchez showcased their current research on global English and inequalities in Education.

Overall, the Delegation came away with two points. The first is that researchers are doing very interesting and relevant work in applied research on many of the problems that face Colombia but are by all means not limited to Colombia. The second is that the post-conflict environment represents a much more complex period as the problems of inequalities, land ownership and use, education and public health, which were often grievances in the civil war, are now facing the Colombian government and society with a legacy longer than the war itself. UNAL, as well as other universities in Colombia, has been invited to play a key role in attempting to overcome these challenges and the University of Bath has much to offer and gain from this process of social transition and peace building.

My thanks to the UNAL Department of External Relations who helped make the trip possible, and to University of Bath International Relations Office and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

One of the sessions where our HSS delegation shared both research and teaching ideas with our partners in Colombia.

One of the sessions where our HSS delegation shared both research and teaching ideas with our partners in Colombia.

 

A warm welcome to the International Exchange and Visiting students

📥  Uncategorized

On 2 February the International Mobility team (Lorna, Agathe, Tracey, Cori and myself) welcomed 120 exchange and visiting students. The largest nationalities represented were Canadian, American, French, Italian and Singaporean. The smallest number of nationals attending– just to mention a few – were one from Norway, one Fin, one Pole, and one Romanian.

Newly arrived students getting to know each other over tea and coffee.

Newly arrived students getting to know each other over tea and coffee.

As usual, the day started bright and early for us, and at 8.30am we were welcoming the new students with tea and coffee and their University of Bath induction pack. We then moved to the lecture theatre for the induction presentations. Representatives from Student Services, the Students’ Union and the Academic Skills Centre joined us to provide information and guidance, and Student Services organised a game of ‘human bingo’ to encourage everyone to mingle.

Students completing the 'human bingo'

Students completing the 'human bingo'

Students on a tour of the Roman Baths

Students on a tour of the Roman Baths

In between the rain, the students were taken on campus tours by the Students’ Union Officers. Thankfully, the rain held off until noon when they regrouped for lunch and everyone seemed to have enjoyed the morning’s events!

On 10 February the students went on a tour of the historic Roman Baths, and on Thursday 16 February there will be a reception organised by Bath’s Exchange and Erasmus Network (BEN) at the Westgate, sponsored by the International Mobility Office.

The exchange and visiting students got involved with events and activities during Refresh week, and on Saturday 11 February, 56 of them joined the international lunch at the Widcombe Baptist Church. It truly was an International Café as 18 different countries were represented at the meal. Despite the freezing conditions 30 students were brave enough to join the Skyline walk afterwards and 14 of them completed the walk. Well done everybody!

Students attending the International Lunch at the Widcombe Baptist Church.

Students attending the International Lunch at the Widcombe Baptist Church.

 

My internship at Université Laval, Canada

  

📥  Culture, Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

I have recently returned from Quebec City, Canada after completing a six-month internship at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences, Université Laval. It was funded by the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship worth CAD $11,000. This scholarship aims to activate a dynamic community of young global leaders across the Commonwealth countries, creating an impact at an international level through inter-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences.

Entrance to the Université Laval

Entrance to the Department of Architecture, Université Laval

The facilities were impressive in terms of a wide range of equipments available to carry out state of the art research and experimentation in laboratories. The lab staff were very helpful in providing training on new equipments, helping with experiments and making sure labs are running smoothly. The department staff members were also very friendly and I felt welcome throughout my stay.

The department laboratory

The CIRCERB department laboratory

I attended some departmental events such as the 'Summer School' and 'Direction de Bureau' nuturing networking opportunities with industrial partners who have collaborated projects running with the Department. The all-day event was packed with presentations by people from industry, poster sessions by students and group discussions.

I took part in the "Festival Forestier" with other Queen Elizabeth scholars. It was interesting to visit the countryside over the weekend and experience the artwork (wood, iron, farming and cultivation) of local Quebec residents during this festival. I also volunteered in the 'Fall Festival' event organised by the Voice of English-speaking Quebec. It was enjoyable meeting English-speaking families in Quebec City.

Volunteering at Fall Festival

Volunteering at Fall Festival

A view of Quebec City, Canada

A view of Quebec City, Canada

The internship was an overall good experience to work in a new environment and establish good networking opportunities for future. The work completed there is a substantial part of my PhD research contributing to scientific publications. Having the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II scholarship during the PhD would be a plus on my CV. Moreover, doing a collaborated research work opens new doors for my career by meeting new people in the field.

I would like to thank my supervisors here at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Dr Mike Lawrence and Dr Juliana Holley, who encouraged me to apply for this scholarship and guided me throughout the internship. I wish to acknowledge the BRE Centre for Innovation Construction Materials and the ISOBIO project for supporting my PhD research at Bath. Being the first student to go under this scholarship from Bath, it has been a highly enriching experience right from the application process till the end of the internship. Special thanks to Prof Pierre Blanchet and Dr Diane Schorr at the Université Laval for their support for the smooth progress of my research work.

Atif Hussain at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences

Atif Hussain at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences

MAIT students on internship at EU delegation in China

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

We are currently on a several-month-long translation and interpreting internship at the EU delegation in Beijing, China, where we are working under the tutelage of Tom Peart, the in-house interpreter at the EU delegation in Beijing, to translate important documents from Chinese into English and English into Chinese for the EU delegation website on a wide variety of subjects ranging from agriculture, economics and trade, technical standards, human rights, politics and education.

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

As part of the internship, we have also had the chance to interpret for the EU delegation in meetings on the foreign NGO law in China, for the Finnish ambassador to China on human rights and arts, and most recently for several European companies at the China International Circular Economy Exhibition. One of our first jobs at the EU delegation was to interpret some introductory remarks at the opening ceremony of the EU Film Festival in China in front of a large audience.

These interpreting opportunities are a great way for us to further consolidate our skills, perform in real interpreting situations and put into practice the key note-taking and consecutive interpreting techniques that we learnt on the MA in Interpreting and Translation at Bath. Consecutive interpreting is where the interpreter takes notes and then renders a speech into another language after the speakers have finished speaking. Sometimes this means interpreting a few sentences at a time, but at other times speakers speak for up to six to seven minutes without stopping. That is where our memory skills and ability to take notes well really comes into play. Add to that the pressure of having to face a live audience who are awaiting expectantly for you to deliver the message of the speech in a clear and coherent manner, and consecutive interpreting can be a somewhat stressful experience. Nonetheless, the process of interpreting is also very enjoyable and extremely rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of having done a really good job in an interpreting situation.

Written translation, whilst often less stressful, can also be tough and demanding. But once again, the hours spent working on important translation assignments can be very rewarding as it is always great to see our translation work posted on the EU delegation website.

For the past three years, this internship has run through an open competition. However, the vast majority of these internship places have been filled by Bath graduates that have completed the MA in Interpreting and Translation. This is a great opportunity for us and we hope that other Bath interpreting and translation graduates will see the value of internships such as these that fill an important gap between the classroom and the workplace.

Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge studied MA Interpreting and Translating at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

 

Interpreting for the Portuguese Prime Minister

📥  Event, Visit

I’ve just returned from China where, as an interpreter, I was part of the official five-day state visit led by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, designed to strengthen ties between the two nations.

This is not the first time I’ve provided interpretation at high-level meetings between Portugal and China, but being privy to important discussions about trade and cooperation is always an exhilarating experience. During this most recent delegation, I provided interpretation between Prime Minister Costa and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and President of the Chinese National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang.

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

During the visit, Prime Minister Costa visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and the former Portuguese colony of Macao, where he took part in the Fifth Macao Forum for Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. I was responsible for interpreting, both consecutive and simultaneous, for all of the Prime Minister’s speeches, and for interpreting between Portuguese and Mandarin at all the high-level meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

The delegation was considered an important step in furthering cooperation between Portugal and China. In discussions, officials expressed the wish to deepen cooperation by strengthening trade, economic and cultural ties, and to further people-to-people contacts by continuing to provide a good environment for two-way investment and working together to use Macao as a platform for cooperation between China, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue (more spoken in fact than French or Russian). China recognises the importance of the Portuguese language as an essential tool for communication. This is especially true between Portuguese-speaking countries as geographically and culturally diverse as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique in Africa, and East Timor in Asia.

During the talks, Portugal expressed the wish to engage in more collaborative research into marine technologies, volcanology, climatology and other areas affecting the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Among other matters on the agenda, officials also discussed the use of the Port of Sines - the largest deep water port on Portugal’s long Atlantic Coast - as a gateway to Europe for the new Super Panamax ships that will come through the extended Panama Canal from the Pacific.

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Mr Miguel Fialho joined the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies in September 2013 as Teaching Fellow in Interpreting/Translating (English-Chinese). He teaches on the Chinese stream of the MA in Interpreting and Translating. He is an EU-accredited conference interpreter (Chinese-English).

Miguel has acted as the official interpreter of the Portuguese delegation on all high-level visits between the Portuguese and Chinese governments since 2007, including for the visit of Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva, to China in 2014.

 

October visits from Oman and Jordan

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

This month we welcomed delegations from Oman and Jordan.

Visit from Oman Ministry of Education, 11 October

Dr Al Kharusi was here to gain an understanding of our student support services and work placement options, as well as exploring the possibility of sending fully funded students to Bath to study at undergraduate level in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Education. Dr Al Kharusi met with colleagues from the Admissions and Outreach team and Faculty of Science.

Visit from Jordanian universities, 12 October

Representatives from the British Council, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, German Jordanian University, Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship, Jordan Applied University and Al Quds College visited Bath as part of a UK study tour.

The visit was hosted by Professor Peter Lambert (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching) and provided an opportunity for members of the roundtable (Dr Joe Devine, Dr Mary Hayden, Professor Jeff Thompson, Professor David Coley and Dr Jason Hart) to present an overview of their work in Jordan. The visitors later met with colleagues from the School of Management and Research & Innovation Services. The visit finished with a session on employability and student experience, getting information from International Mobility colleagues and placement managers, along with representatives from the Careers Service and the Students' Union.

The visit was well received and led to an invitation for Professor Lambert to visit the German Jordanian University.

 

Greetings from Seoul!

📥  International Strategy, Partnership, Research, Visit

Seoul in September is a city in transition from the baking heat and humidity of high summer to something crisper and altogether more comfortable for a northern European like me. Over the 10 days I have been in South Korea, I have seen - and felt - this transition take place as more autumnal weather arrives in town. Tomorrow I shall be coming back home to Bath.

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

My trip to Seoul was made possible by an award of £4,000 from the University of Bath’s International Research Accelerator Scheme to visit colleagues at Yonsei University, as part of a planned research project with the provisional title Discounting our future: towards an understanding of how we model pure time preference and how this impacts upon environmental policy making. Once again, I would like to thank the University and colleagues who took the time to look at my proposal and give me this opportunity to deepen research links with colleagues at Yonsei.

Hans Schattle, who is a Professor of Political Science at Yonsei and also visited Bath last year as part of our Global Mobility Scheme, is hosting me on my visit. I first met Professor Schattle when I visited Yonsei as part of a University of Bath delegation in June 2013. We have kept in touch, through a PoLIS delegation I led to Yonsei in October 2013 and at the official University of Bath reception hosted in Seoul in October 2014 by our Vice Chancellor and Chancellor. Yonsei University is one of Bath’s key strategic partners and my working relationship with Professor Schattle is further evidence of our International Strategy starting to generate stable and productive research collaboration around the world.

While I was in Seoul, I also hosted a reception for a group of Bath alumni in the buzzy downtown district of Gangnam (made familiar to many outside South Korea through the K-pop star PSY’s worldwide hit ‘Gangnam Style'). We had a really excellent turnout, with one alumnus travelling over three and half hours from elsewhere in South Korea to attend the event. Bath alumni also took the opportunity to wish the University of Bath a Happy 50th Anniversary. I would like to thank Cassie Long for her organisation at the University of Bath and to our local alumni volunteer Youseok Cho, who was responsible for the logistics in Gangnam.

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Finally, whilst at Yonsei, I gave a public lecture on what still appears to be the number one topic worldwide at present: Brexit. Over 50 students, Bath alumni, and other stakeholders attended the lecture and the question and answer session was a pleasure: Yonsei students are sharp, well informed, and engaged. Just like our own students, in fact, whom I look forward to teaching again in just over a week’s time.

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture in Seoul

Charlie Lees is the Professor of Politics at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

International Mobility Leavers’ Party

📥  Event, Mobility

On Tuesday 3 May, the International Mobility team organised its first International Mobility Leavers’ Party.

The aim of this event was to give an opportunity to Bath students going abroad in 2016-2017 to meet with incoming exchange students currently studying at Bath who will be in the same cities and countries as them next year.

The party was held at the Roman Baths, a nice setting for students to say their final goodbyes and exchange contact details with their first friends from their year abroad.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Attendance was very impressive for this first gathering. Around 220 students came, and it was an even mix between incoming and outgoing students!

At the entrance, students were given badges with their name and destination/origin on, and their mission was to find someone who will be in the same city as them next year. The first pairs to show up at the Mobility desk received prizes. Mission accomplished for many of them, as we could witness the new friendships forming throughout the evening!

We were honoured to welcome Lizzie Fane, the Founder of ThirdYearAbroad.com, who opened the event with a wonderful speech about making the most of studying/working abroad, and gave useful tips to our students.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Lizzie giving an opening speech at the party

Incoming students were also invited to submit entries to a photo competition. The pictures, around the theme 'What represents your study abroad experience in Bath', were displayed around the Roman Baths during the evening, and attendees were invited to vote for their favourite series of pictures.

Among the 11 photographers, Madeleine Harlow, an incoming Biology student from Dalhousie University in Canada, won the first prize, followed closely by Nicolas Glanzmann (Science without Borders Student from Brazil) and Chloe Lindsay (University of Queensland, Australia)/Liv-Josephine Dahl-Rossau (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), both ex-aequo.

The International Mobility Leavers Party at Roman Baths

Photo competition winners (from left to right): Madeleine Harlow, Nicolas Glanzmann and Chloe Lindsay

It was such an enjoyable night for all of us, and we hope to make this an annual rendez-vous! Here are a few quotes we gathered from our feedback questionnaires:

  • “Thank you! It was wonderful! Please do this every year as it's such a great event!”
  • “I really enjoyed the evening, it was exceptionally well organised and made me excited about the year abroad!”
  • “I think it is an excellent opportunity to not only network but also to experience the open-mindedness of students who are taking on such amazing opportunities.”

Check out more pictures of the event in our gallery.

 

Bath International Funding Schemes - an update!

📥  Funding/Scholarship, International Strategy, Partnership, Research

International Research Accelerator Scheme

The deadline for the extraordinary call for the International Research Accelerator Scheme is fast approaching - Wednesday 25 May!

The ‘International Research Accelerator Scheme’ supports larger scale research activity with University Strategic Partners, such as the organisation of interdisciplinary and multi-partner workshops or symposia. Successful applications will be expected to lead to a number of concrete, high-quality research outputs, including external funding bids and joint publications.

Visit the Bath International Research Funding Schemes pages for further information.

Don't forget that applications should be submitted to the Head of Department for comments two weeks before the submission deadline and then to your Dean for comments one week before the submission deadline.

FAPESP-Bath Scheme

In this year’s first FAPESP-Bath funding call we have funded one project.

  • Dr Davide Mattia (Chemical Engineering) will be collaborating with colleagues from the University of Sao Paulo on tailoring oxide based nanoparticles for the mineral nutrition of plants.

Second call now open

We are now inviting bids for the next call of FAPESP - Bath funding to support projects in all fields of knowledge that involve the exchange of researchers. The invitation is open to researchers affiliated to either the University of Bath or higher education and research institutions in the state of São Paulo who are Principal Investigators of ongoing research projects funded by FAPESP.

Want to find a potential collaborator with an ongoing FAPESP research project? Why not use the FAPESP search engine.

Visit the FAPESP-Bath website for further information and application guidance. Deadline: Monday 25 July 2016

 

Major funding opportunity to deepen strategic international research partnerships

📥  Funding/Scholarship, International Strategy, Partnership, Research

International Research Accelerator Scheme – extraordinary funding call now open

Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday 25 May 2016

We are delighted to announce an extraordinary call for applications to the University’s 2015-16 International Research Funding Schemes. The ‘International Research Accelerator Scheme’ supports larger scale research activity, such as the organisation of interdisciplinary and multi-partner workshops or symposia. Successful applications will be expected to lead to a number of concrete, high quality research outputs, including external funding bids and joint publications.

The call is open to all disciplines in the faculties and the school.

A total of up to eight awards of a maximum of £15,000 each will open for applications until 5pm Wednesday 25 May 2016.

Details of our Strategic Partners can be found on the website.

Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation)

Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Eligibility: Academic staff in Education and Research job family (and Research Officers)

Key assessment criteria: A clearly articulated plan for the step change in scholarly activity with concrete outputs detailing:

  • academic rigour
  • clear articulation of the sustainable development of the relationship
  • leveraging critical mass at Department/ Faculty or Institutional level
  • plans for creating impact that enhances our institutional reputation
  • preparation and delivery of joint bids and publications in excellent, high-citation outlets
  • planning and organisation of larger-scale research activities (workshops, symposia, conferences)
  • commitments to leveraging or attracting clearly identified external funding at an appropriate scale
  • commitments to interdisciplinary and/or multipartner research activities
  • value for money
  • strategic fit with University's International Strategy

Application forms and assessment criteria are available.

Alternatively, please visit the International Relations Office wiki pages where you will also be able to find details of other internal and external international funding sources.

For further information, please contact Katja Nieminen, International Partnerships Manager.