International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Topic: Announcement

Visiting our Study & Work Abroad students in Asia

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📥  Announcement, Culture, Development, Mobility, Visit

Kirsten Brown, Placements Manager in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, tells us about her experience of meeting our Study & Work Abroad programme students in Hong Kong and Singapore.


The beginning of September saw me visiting the first cohort of Economics students studying on the Study & Work Abroad programme. Six students, two at each institution, are studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).  To say our students were having a great time is rather an understatement; never have I seen such happy and enthusiastic students, brimming full of confidence and waxing lyrical about their experiences so far.

First stop: Hong Kong

The chaotic but vibrant city of Hong Kong offers an intense experience for our students. CUHK, however, is based 45 minutes out of the centre of Hong Kong, close to the Northern Territories. Surrounded by views of islands and green hills the campus is a haven, perfect for study. Francisco and Alex, our students based at CUHK, took me on the short, minute walk to their college.

Part of the charm of this university is that it is based on the collegiate model popular in the US; both Alex and Francisco share a room with other students, local and international. Although not an experience they are used to, this is very common in Asia. Both are embracing the opportunity to live dorm style and build strong new friendships. The international student community is very active and CUHK offers a comprehensive and, most importantly fun, two- week induction for their international students. Alex and Francisco appeared to know everyone, and so far had managed to climb (yes, climb!) to the top of The Peak, sample the local street food and travel for a weekend to Thailand.

Students have a wide array of courses to choose from, including learning Putonghua (Standard Mandarin), and Chinese History. There are also courses offered by the Centre for China Studies, including ‘Chinese Business and Economy’ and ‘Investment and Finance in China’. Both Francisco and Alex were extremely keen to attend all their lectures, whether or not they were graded. The opportunity to study with such a multicultural community, located in a stunning setting and embracing the cultural experience through extra-curricular activities made me wish I had this awesome opportunity.

Although Hong Kong is as expensive as London, probably more so if you take in account the size of accommodation you get for your dollar, living at CUHK is cheap, and the students had already learnt how to budget. Your room for the entire semester is approximately £600, and you can eat at a wide variety of campus canteens for just over £5 per day; the sports facilities are free! Travelling on the MTR is super cheap, fast and efficient, and many bars in Lan Kwai Fong, the Soho of HK, offer happy hours most evenings. Hong Kong living is not for the faint-hearted; the heat in the summer, the grey drizzle in winter, the overwhelming crowds of people day and night, close-packed tower blocks and little space make for an intense experience. But, if you like buzz, raw culture, bright lights and skylines that take your breath away and the sense that you are part of a dynamic visionary city, then this experience is for you.

Second Stop: Singapore

NTU and NUS are two of the highest ranking universities in the world, both based in Singapore. Both of these institutions are the size of a small town, to the extent that it can take half an hour on a bus to travel from one end of NUS to the other. Senior Lecturer Dr Maik Schneider joined me in Singapore as he was on a two-week trip as a visiting scholar at the Department of Economics at NTU. Working collaboratively, between us we:

·         presented to groups of potential incoming students at NUS representing the university

·         visited students on the Study Abroad programme from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science, on behalf of the IRO.

Maik led a research seminar at the Centre for Economic Growth (NTU) attended by some of our Economics students and also presented at our other partner university located in the centre of Singapore, NUS.

Arguably, I had the more enjoyable task of spending time visiting our students on and off campus, and finding out more about the nitty-gritty of Singapore student life. Gabriele, Rodolph, Elanor and Jeremy, our Study Abroad students in Singapore, met me at one of the numerous eateries at NUS. Like Hong Kong, if you live and eat on campus it is as cheap as chow mein. There are differing standards of accommodation, with UTown being the highest standard of luxury student accommodation. From SGD2800 a semester (£1563 per semester/£520 a month) you can stay in a four-bed apartment; bearing in mind this doesn’t include food. Some accommodation you have to pay extra for air con (worth considering when the average daily temperatures tops 30 degrees!).

Something else to consider is how long it may take you to adjust to the heat and humidity. All students told me this was something they hadn’t anticipated; it can affect your sleep, your skin, and make you much more tired than normal. It takes a few weeks and then you will be back to using the free sports centres with aplomb, while visitors like me break out into a sweat just walking outside. This also applies to the change in a diet that is different to home - all that spicy food can take a little while to adjust to.

Extra-curricular activities are a big thing at NUS and a must to get the most out of your time spent here. Societies and groups the students are members of ranged from football to boxing, salsa, climbing and Lindy Hop. This is how you meet many more of the local students and break down those cultural barriers.

All students agreed that the stand out benefits of living and studying in Singapore were the lectures and the travelling. The students were all enthralled by the range of subjects on offer to study and the highly engaged and motivated lecturers. Like Hong Kong, students are awarded an attendance mark of 10% to their final grade for attending all of their lectures, but the students enjoy the teaching environment so much they are eager to attend all lectures, seminars and tutorials even without this incentive. There is also the opportunity to switch courses within the first three weeks of the semester, which really helps if you start a new subject but don’t feel it is really for you.

Alternatively, you could front-load your week full of lectures so that you have a long weekend to travel around South East Asia. With Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia all within a two-hour flight, with airlines offering prices to go to Bangkok for less than a few pints and a burger in Bath, why not?

The trip came to a joyous end teaming up with Katie Calvert-Jones from the School of Management and hosting a drinks event in Clarke Quay on a balmy Tuesday evening. Katie, Maik and I met over 20 students on placement or studying in Singapore from the School of Management, and the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences Science.

It was a great opportunity to bring everyone together, many of them not knowing each other despite sharing not one but two universities! We were all so proud of our students and the global attitude they had already acquired, fully embracing life in this city far away from home. Each of us came away from that evening inspired by the students we had met and excited about the university’s partnerships in Asia, which are going from strength to strength.

 

First round of 2015/16 Bath International Research Funding Scheme award winners announced

📥  Announcement, Award, Funding/Scholarship, Research

Following the first call for funding applications to the 2015/16 Bath International Research Funding Schemes we are delighted to announce the winners are:

International Research Initiator Scheme

  • Dr Petra Cameron (Chemistry) will visit Koç University to increase collaboration in the field of Energy Materials and Photovoltaics leading to joint research bids.
  • Dr Bryan Clift (Health) will develop long term collaborations with colleagues from University of Sao Paulo (USP) and host a workshop in Bath  on the topic of urban transformation and mega-sport events in Brazil such as Rio 2016.
  • Dr Katharine Fraser (Mechanical Engineering) will conduct biomedical engineering and cardiovascular fluid dynamics research with collaborators at Koç University.
  • Prof David Galbreath (Politics, Languages & International Studies) will welcome colleagues from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to Bath to develop research proposals and grant applications in the field of technology, politics and society.
  • Prof Andrew Heath (Architecture & Civil Engineering) will travel to Stellenbosch University with colleagues from Bath to further links between the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM) and the Stellenbosch Unit for Construction Materials and initiate research projects that will lead to joint funding proposals.
  • Prof Andreas Kyprianou (Mathematical Sciences) will visit colleagues at Koç University and host a reciprocal visit aimed at furthering collaboration in the field of probability theory.
  • Dr Jane White (Mathematical Sciences) will collaborate with colleagues at Stellenbosch University to research the control of HIV-related cancers and mathematical modelling for infectious disease control with plans to develop joint funding bids.
  • Dr Chenjian Zhang (School of Management) will work in collaboration with Zhejiang University and Cornell University researching the emergence of the social enterprise sector in China.

International Research Accelerator Scheme

  • Dr Wali Aslam (Politics, Languages & International Studies) will host workshops in Cape Town and Singapore to bring together colleagues from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Stellenbosch University and the University of Sao Paulo (USP) on the topic of Misplaced States and the Politics of Regional Identity.
  • Dr Lee Bryant (Architecture & Civil Engineering) will be working with colleagues from Stellenbosch University to conduct fieldwork and develop a WRC proposal in the field of water quality, pathogen transport and mobilization, and mitigation.
  • Dr Sarah Halligan (Psychology) will conduct a small scale research project looking at child and adolescent mental health following PTSD in South Africa in collaboration with colleagues from Stellenbosch University to develop joint research funding bids.
  • Prof Alastair Spence (Mathematical Sciences) will host a workshop at Bath with colleagues from with Koç University to explore further collaborations in the field of Eigenvalues: Numerics and Applications. Joint funded with the Faculty of Science.
  • Prof Tamas Szekely (Biology & Biochemistry) will host workshops at Bath and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) discussing new genomic and phylogenetic approaches for sex determination systems and to develop joint research proposals.

Future Research Leaders Incubator Scheme

  • Dr Lee Bryant (Architecture & Civil Engineering) has a PhD student that will spend 6 months carrying out field work with colleagues from Stellenbosch University and collaborating on a review paper with colleagues at Emory University on the topic of water-quality effects of storm water runoff in South African slums.
  • Dr Emma Carmel (Social & Policy Sciences) has a PhD student that will visit the Harvard Graduate School of Education for 4 months to research and present findings on 'race', ethnicity & education.
  • Prof Dimo Dimov (School of Management) will supervise a PhD student from Stellenbosch University for 6 months whilst at Bath researching enterprise engineering, innovation management and entrepreneurship.
  • Dr Darrell Patterson (Chemical Engineering) will supervise a PhD student from the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain for 3 months to research Catalysis and Reaction Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Chemical Technologies and Water Engineering.
  • Dr Weijia Yuan (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) has a PhD student that will visit Tsinghua University for 6 months to research and build a novel power electronic controller for a superconducting magnetic energy storage and battery hybrid energy storage system. Dr Yuan will then host and supervise a PhD student from Tsinghua University here at Bath for 4 months to continue testing and research.

 

International funding award winners announced

📥  Announcement, Award, Funding/Scholarship, Research

Congratulations to all FAPESP-Bath and Accelerating International Research Collaboration award winners!

In this year’s FAPESP-Bath funding call we have funded three projects. The lucky winners will be collaborating with colleagues from University of Sao Paulo on the following projects:

  • Dr Pedro Estrela (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) will be developing novel biosensor devices for improved cancer diagnosis.
  • Dr Jonathan Evans (Mathematical Sciences) will be investigating a hierarchical set of model equations that describe complex viscoelastic fluids.
  • Professor Stephen Payne (Computer Science) will design and pilot a series of experiments on the perception of meaning from Information Visualizations (InfoVis).

The Accelerating International Research Collaboration award winners will be working on exciting new projects with a number of our Strategic Partners:

  • Dr Ana Dinerstein (Social & Policy Sciences) will be bringing together colleagues from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in a workshop to investigate how changes in the nature, perception, form and experience of labour, work and employment provide a unique window of insight into a range of interconnected phenomena responsible for the transformation of urban life and landscapes in both the Global North and the Global South.
  • Professor David Galbreath (Politics, Languages & International Studies) will be hosting a sandpit at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) with the focus on identifying and developing common interests in the field of comparative regional security with colleagues from Stellenbosch University, UNAM, UNICAMP, USP, Yonsei University and Zhejiang University.
  • Dr Apala Majumdar (Mathematical Sciences) will be working with colleagues from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to explore the crucially important question of “bridging scales” or “bridging the gap between microscopic molecular-level details and macroscopic experimentally observable phenomena” in liquid crystals (LCs) and more generally, partially-ordered materials.
  • Dr Davide Mattia (Chemical Engineering) will be hosting a two-day workshop to broaden and accelerate our collaboration with NTU in the areas of membranes, water and sustainability.
  • Professor Paul Milewski (Mathematical Sciences) will be working on a large-scale grant application on Hydrodynamic Quantum Analogues with colleagues from Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Brazil and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.
  • Professor Rajani Naidoo (School of Management), in collaboration with University of Stellenbosch Business School and the European Foundation for Management Development, will be hosting two workshops and a conference with a focus on the role of business schools in contributing to inclusive development in Europe and Africa.
  • Dr Hugo Santiago Sanchez (Education) will be conducting an instrumental small-scale qualitative study, with colleagues from USP, into conceptualisations of pedagogical contexts and development of appropriate pedagogies using pre-service language teachers working in peripheral urban state schools in São Paulo as a case study.
  • Dr Gavin Shaddick (Mathematical Sciences) will be working with colleagues from UNAM and Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas (CIMAT) in Mexico to establish a continuing series of workshops in the area of statistical applied mathematics, with a view to leveraging future high-quality research, PhD exchange and research funding.
  • Professor Phil Willis (Computer Science) will be bringing together three academic expert teams in graphics and vision topics from Bath, Zhejiang and Tsinghua universities, to share and extend their research knowledge and set the agenda for the future of fast-moving research in computer graphics and computer vision.

International Relations Office wiki pages

📥  Announcement, Development, International Strategy

We have recently created the International Relations Office wiki pages for everything related to the International Strategy. We are using the wiki to share information with staff whilst our International Relations Office website is being developed. Here you can find more details of the three strands of IRO: International Partnerships, International Mobility and International Student Recruitment.

International Partnerships

  • international funding schemes (Bath International Research Funding Schemes, FAPESP and the Newton Fund)
  • international strategic partners
  • international strategic partner coordination groups
  • international visits

International Mobility

  • student exchange and summer school opportunities
  • setting-up and renewing international exchanges
  • exchange coordinator forums
  • the Erasmus+ Programme
  • funding to support studying overseas

International Student Recruitment

  • admissions information
  • market information
  • summary market plans
  • visit reports
  • country manager information

The page also includes guidance on travelling overseas on University business. Here you can find travel information, country-specific travel advice and useful links to travel and visa services.

 

Newton Fund and international grant successes

📥  Announcement, Funding/Scholarship

Many of our academics have recently been successful in securing financial support through the Newton Fund and international grants. It’s great to see them working on interesting international projects with the funding.

Some of these have been a result of seed funding from our International Funding Schemes. Here are some highlights:

  • Professor Karen Edler, from the Department of Chemistry, has gained Royal Society funding and run a UK-South Africa workshop called “Smarter Materials for a Sustainable Future - ordered and semi-ordered materials for application in sustainable chemical technologies”, in collaboration with our international strategic partner, Stellenbosch University.
  • Professor Anna Gilmore and Dr Karen Evans-Reeves, both from the Department for Health, have received Gates New Venture Funding to collaborate with the Cancer Council Victoria, the Centre for Behavioural Research on Cancer (CBRC) in Melbourne, Australia and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids in Washington DC. The project is entitled “Establishing a Sustainable Model of Tobacco Industry Monitoring in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
  • Dr John Chew, from the Department of Chemical Engineering, has secured funding from the Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund to work with Nanyang Technological University (another of our international strategic partners).
  • Dr Weijia Yuan, from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, has gained a Royal Society International Grant to work with the Chinese Electric Power Research Institute. The project is called “Applications of Large Scale High Temperature Superconducting Energy Storage Systems in Meshed Renewable Power Grids in the UK and China”.
  • Professor Simone Fullagar, from the Department for Health, has gained a Researcher Links Workshop Grant, which was used to run an international ECR workshop in Brazil on sport and transformation in March 2015 with our strategic partner, the University of São Paulo.
  • Dr Michael Proulx, from the Department of Psychology, and Dr Alexandra de Sousa, from Department of Biology and Biochemistry, will be making links with the Bandung Institute of Technology (in Bandung, Indonesia) and Universitas Indonesia, using a British Council Indonesia Second City HE Partnerships Travel Grant. They plan to visit this summer.
  • Dr Paula Kover, from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, has won a Newton Mobility Grant with our strategic partner, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The project is entitled “The influence of genomic and phenotypic differentiation in determining a species’ range”.
  • Dr Ana Dinerstein, from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, has secured a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant to work on “Social Movements and Autonomous Education: New Pedagogical Experiences in Brazil and the UK” with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Drs Chris Chuck and Valeska Ting, both from the Department of Chemical Engineering, have won a travel grant from the Newton Research Collaboration Programme. They will be working on applying an algae solution to industrial waste with Hanoi University of Mining and Geology in Vietnam.
  • Dr Albert Bolhuis, from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, has won a Newton Fund Researcher Links Travel Grant to work with the Vietnamese Academy of Sciences Institute of Biotechnology (IBT).

If you are interested in applying for international research funding or have any questions, please get in touch with Dr Caroline Ang and Dr Gillian Overend (Research & Innovation Services). For support for non-research related grants (e.g. travel grants), please contact Katja Nieminen (International Relations Office).