International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

International Healthcare Workshop with Koç University, 28-30 July 2017

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📥  Conference, Research

An early-career researcher workshop on "Improving healthcare operations through modelling and simulation" brought together scholars from the UK and Turkey in Bath, 28-30 July 2017.

Invited by the School of Management, 25 early career and senior researchers from the UK and Turkey explored innovative decision-making tools to pressing challenges in healthcare planning and management, with a particular focus in applying systems modelling and computer simulation techniques to problems in health and care.

The session was organised by Professor Christos Vasilakis, Director of the Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement (CHI2) at the University of Bath, and his colleagues Profs. Evrim Didem Günes and Lerzan Örmeci at Koç University in Istanbul.

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With support from a British Council/Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, the workshop provided a unique opportunity for early career scholars to engage with senior researchers and healthcare practitioners, and to work together on a number of challenges in areas of care such as stroke prevention, outpatient care for chronic illness and hospital appointment scheduling.

Implementing a collaborative approach

Collaborative research with practitioners is of significant value, as operational researchers rely on rich data and realistic scenarios to design mathematical models and computer simulations that can have meaningful impact in the way healthcare is provided. This also means that researchers need to acquire the skills to communicate with diverse stakeholders such as policy-makers, health planners or clinicians in designing research questions, sharing data and creating practical, easy-to-use toolkits for decision-making.

This was an excellent workshop! The research challenges provided lots of new information and perspectives. I appreciated the friendly environment and effective communication between researchers from UK and Turkey, which I believe will lead to many fruitful collaborations.

Dr Erhun Kundakcioglu, Ozyegin University

To facilitate a similarly collaborative approach, the workshop organisers encouraged participants to form smaller problem-solving teams and work together to design initial modelling solutions. Each team then had the opportunity to present their outcomes in a plenary setting and receive feedback from senior mentors and practitioners, including Dr Monica Baird, Deputy Medical Director at the North Bristol NHS Trust.

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Building networks to improve data collection

The workshop’s collaborative design also benefited from the international exchange of scholars based at institutions in the UK and Turkey.

Turkey’s fragmented healthcare system makes data collection in the country very difficult. Scholars therefore stand to gain from networks with UK partners to complement expertise in theoretical mathematics with building capacities in applied healthcare research.

As research skills training, this working-group format has lots of potential to be developed further to ensure researchers are connected to actual problems in the health and care sector. It is also a model that can be applied to other areas of operational research such as transport or logistics.

Dr Paul Forte, the workshop’s facilitator and an independent health care consultant at the Balance of Care Group

For the past five years, my research focus has been operating room scheduling: how to best allocate expensive operating room resources to benefit the patients, surgical team and the hospitals. This workshop gave me the perfect opportunity to meet with fellow colleagues with similar research interests and to establish potential collaborations in a warm and welcoming setting. I absolutely loved the workshop’s design around small and focused working groups around exciting and challenging problems. I look forward to reuse this workshop’s collaboration style to design similar study groups in the future.

Dr Enis Kayış, assistant professor at Ozyegin University’s Department of Industrial Engineering

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Taking partnerships forward

Researcher Links grants like the one Professor Vasilakis received are designed to support international networking activities for early-career researchers between the UK and select partner countries. Most of this workshop’s participants had been trained at institutions around the world, and were already familiar with working across diverse research cultures. Sustaining such links and transforming them into long-term projects can be more of a challenge.

Professor Vasilakis’ links with his Turkish colleagues grew out of opportunity and personal contacts, as is often the case in academia. A University of Bath “International Research Initiator” grant in 2016 was instrumental in building on these initial contacts and paved the way for visits and joint funding bids. It is important for him to take the partnership forward:

We had great fun organising and running this interactive research workshop with our collaborators from Koç University. We took full advantage of the School of Management Executive Education suite at The Edge to have teams working together over two and a half days on one of a number of research challenges drawn from real life problems in health and care. The close links between CHI2 and the local health economy made this possible. I think we managed to give early career scholars new ideas for research projects, and also create friendships and networks that can take some of the research ideas forward. All this was made possible with the generous support from the International Relations Office of the University of Bath.

Professor Christos Vasilakis

Contact for enquiries: Professor Christos Vasilakis


Further international funding opportunities

The International Relations Office at the University of Bath runs an internal funding scheme to support researchers at the university. Applications are made for seed funding to initiate new international networks, or to transform existing contacts into larger joint research projects and activities.

The next call for funding will open in October 2017.

For more information, contact: Dr. Tina Schilbach, International Partnerships Manager

 

International Relations Office hosts Agents’ Conference - 13 to 15 June 2017

📥  Conference, International Strategy

The International Relations Office hosted its three-day Agents’ Conference from 13 to 15 June 2017, welcoming 31 international representatives from 16 different countries to the event showcasing the University of Bath.

A background to the agents we work with

As part of our international recruitment strategy, the University has a global network of local representatives who receive training on our courses, facilities, application procedures and entry requirements. This allows agents an insight into our processes, requirements and strengths, consequently increasing our recruitment of highly qualified international students.

Agents act as our year-round representative in key markets and offer a support service to potential and actual applicants to the University of Bath. They also act as our ‘eyes and ears’ in each market by feeding market intelligence and guidance on education systems and qualifications back to us.

Our educational agents are responsible for over £9.4 million in overseas fee income into the University every year and are a key resource in promoting our courses worldwide.

Collaboration across the University creates a successful conference for all

The agents’ conference was a great success, in no small part due to the collaboration of departments across the University.

University Secretary Mark Humphriss opened the conference by welcoming our agents, highlighting the important role they play in our international recruitment strategy. Students’ Union President Lucy Woodcock followed this with an exciting and informative introduction to the SU, providing agents with a view of the sporting and social elements of the student experience.

Interaction and collaboration were key themes of the conference, and these were delivered in part through a series of workshops focusing on a number of crucial topics related to international recruitment:

·         the current recruitment cycle and looking ahead to the next

·         our postgraduate taught offering and new courses

·         the University's existing processes

·         the University’s digital and marketing initiatives, including the new website design

·         the University’s strengths in the employability of our students.

An interactive workshop at the agents' conference

Agents were run through their paces at a series of workshops

Colleagues involved in recruitment and admission of international students from around the University also had the opportunity to meet our agents informally during an evening drinks reception at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.

International agents talking to each other at a drinks reception

Agents were welcomed to Bath at a drinks reception at the Victoria Art Gallery.

The conference concluded with our agents attending the University of Bath Open Day, listening to subject talks, tours and visiting the Information Fair at the Sports Training Village. Being able to experience the energetic and engaging atmosphere of our Open Days first-hand gives our agents a unique insight into the diverse and welcoming atmosphere at the University, which they can then relate to prospective applicants.

Anamaria Puicar from Global Study, our representative in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) commented: “Seeing the campus has shed a new light on the university… the informative sessions made me understand more about the USPs and the unique courses the University provides. Overall, it was a great experience and exploring the beautiful city of Bath was the cherry on top.”

If you wish to find out more about our agents, contact the International Relations Office.

You can also view more photos of the event through the University's Flickr account.

The International Relations Office would like to extend our thanks to all colleagues involved across the University for contributing to the success of the event.

 

International Mobility Students: Leavers' Party 2017

📥  Erasmus+, Event, International Strategy, Mobility

2017 marks two birthdays: after the 50th Anniversary of the University of Bath, the Erasmus Programme turns 30!

In 30 years, 9 million people have benefited from the European scheme, and it is becoming more popular every year. The University of Bath sends an average of 450 students on the Erasmus+ programme every year on both study exchange experiences and work placements. In turn, we receive around 200 incoming students from European partner universities annually, also.

Read more information about the Erasmus Programme’s 30th Anniversary.

The International Mobility Student Leavers’ Party

On Monday 8th May, the International Mobility Office held the second International Mobility Leavers’ Party in the Roman Baths. The event gives current Bath students who will be going abroad in 2017-2018 the opportunity to meet with incoming exchange students.

Shoot ref: 29262 Shoot Date 08052017. International Mobility Leavers’ Party took place at The Roman Baths Great Baths. This is a send-off evening for Bath students going on an exchange abroad in 2017/2018, and incoming exchange students who were at Bath this year and are going home. Introductory speech followed by drinks reception and a photo competition.

Students at the International Mobility Leavers’ Party, The Roman Baths. Image by Anthony Prothero.

We were also joined by University of Bath alumni from Chile and the USA, who decided to stay a bit longer after enjoying the Bath Festival the weekend before.

Encouraging collaboration between attendees

A key concept behind this event is that it is an opportunity for attendees to make connections with their international peers, and to encourage collaboration between them over the following year. As part of this, tasks were arranged for attendees leading up to and during the event.

Around 150 students were welcomed at the Roman Baths with a card explaining their mission for the night: to find someone who will be in the same country as them next year. The first few pairs to come together were awarded prizes.

'Matched Pairs' at International Mobility Leavers’ Party

'Matched Pairs' at International Mobility Leavers’ Party. Image by Anthony Prothero.

Attendees were also asked to vote for the best pictures of the Incoming Students Photo Competition; the theme this year was 'Birthdays and Celebrations'.

• First prize: Anika Klassen (pictured), from Queen’s University (Canada)
• Second prize: Sofia Pavlova from TU Munich (Germany)
• Third prize: Fede Anselmo (Third Prize) from Universidad San Andres (Argentina).

First Prize winner in the Photo Competition: Anika Klassen

First Prize winner in the Photo Competition: Anika Klassen. Image by Anthony Prothero.

Several students have already made plans to reunite with their new friends next year, and the feedback we received was very positive:

“This was an incredible event. As an exchange student, it was truly unforgettable and an amazing way to say goodbye to Bath’.

“I enjoyed that there was an incentive to meet people from the country you're going to/going to the same country as you - and an excuse to go up and speak to them!”

You can also view more photographs of the evening.

The International Relations Office would like to extend particular thanks to Agathe Lairy, International Mobility Coordinator (Outgoing), for organising the event.

 

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.