International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Joint activities to raise Bath's profile in Mexico

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

On the 17th February I set off for Mexico City and Bogota, on a visit aimed at meeting with and attracting students to come and study at Bath, consisting of Education Fairs and individual student interviews facilitated by our agents in Mexico and Colombia.

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

The weekend of 20 and 21 February was spent in the Centro Banamex, just outside of Mexico City at the FPP Eduexpo, with higher education institutions from all over the world hoping to meet with high-quality students.

Normally I manage the Bath stand at these fairs alone, or with the help of an agent, or perhaps even one academic from the University of Bath. But this time I was lucky enough to get help from a group of academic staff and PhD students from our Department of Mathematical Sciences (Professor Andreas Kyprianou, Dr Gavin Shaddick, Dr Dan Simpson, Dr Karim Anaya-Izquierdo plus PhD students Dorka Fekete, Matt Thomas and Alice Davis) who had come to Mexico for their 2nd BUC (Bath-UNAM-CIMAT) joint workshop on the theme of 'Thinking Globally: The Role of Big Data', which was taking place at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from 22 to 24 February.

I was also glad to hear from Matt Thomas, our maths PhD student, who really enjoyed helping out at the fair. He told me: "I was pleasantly surprised about the popularity of University of Bath, and during the day I spoke to many different students from different disciplines promoting the University to them. Having been an undergrad at Bath too, I could talk to the students at different levels. They were very interested in hearing a student perspective on the university and hopefully this will encourage a few students to apply at least!"

I’d asked if perhaps one or two of the group could pop along to help me during the weekend fair, so I was quite surprised when the whole group of 7 showed up, willing to help and talk to potential applicants, despite the fact that many of them hadn’t done this before. Normally I would think a stand manned by 8 people is a little excessive, but in fact we were rushed off our feet! The fact that our stand already looked busy helped to draw in more crowds, so we created a good buzz around the Bath stand – something to think about for future events maybe?

It was great to have help from the BUC group and I was so impressed by their willingness to engage with potential applicants.

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

The following Monday was the first day of the BUC workshop at UNAM, with a mini-conference for the PhD students planned for the afternoon. In the morning I joined forces with Silvia Ruiz Velasco from IIMAS at UNAM, which is the Research Institute for Applied Maths and Systems, to present our postgraduate programmes at UNAM and Bath respectively. Our audience was a mix of maths students from different institutions and levels, and our aim was to make them aware of the opportunities for Masters and PhD study at both institutions, also highlighting the opportunities for exchange of staff and students.

I found it really interesting and rewarding to be able to join forces with maths colleagues and PhD students to ensure that there was some synergy between our activities in international student recruitment and partnership development. This approach really helps to raise our profile in Mexico, and demonstrates our desire to engage on many different levels. This engagement in Mexico is important to key partners like Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT), who fund all of our Mexican PhD and most of our Masters students at Bath (a total of 17 students).

Along with Andreas Kyprianou, Gavin Shaddick and Victor Rivero from the CONACyT research institute for Mathematics (CIMAT), we went to meet with Pablo Rojo Calzada, Director of Scholarships and his team at CONACyT, to tell them more about the BUC workshops, and inform them about the value of doctoral training centres such as SAMBa at Bath. We also invited Pablo to come for a visit to Bath in June for the next BUC workshop and Integrated Think Tank, involving industrial partners.

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

 

 

A warm welcome to the International Exchange and Visiting students

📥  Erasmus+, Event, Induction, Mobility

On Friday 29 January the International Mobility team (Lorna, Agathe, Tracey and myself) welcomed 82 exchange students: 64 international exchange, 16 Erasmus (European) and 2 Visiting (fee-paying) to be precise. They were from 26 different nationalities. The largest nationality groups were Canadian, American, Chinese, Australian and French. The smallest nationality groups were, just to mention a few, 1 Italian, 1 Uruguayan, 1 Norwegian, 1 Malaysian and 1 Austrian. Luckily they all made friends quickly.

The day started bright and early for us and at 8.30am we were setting up for registration. The students all turned up for tea and coffee and to collect their University of Bath Induction Pack.

Students arriving for Induction

Students arriving for Induction

We then moved to the lecture theatre for the Induction presentations. We had representatives from Student Services, the Students’ Union and the Academic Skills Centre who came to introduce themselves, organised a game of human bingo and supported the event with information and guidance.

Induction presentations

Students attending the Induction presentations

It all went very well and lunch was served promptly at noon in the foyer. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, as no food was left to waste.

After lunch the students were taken on a campus tour by the Students' Union Officers, had their documents checked and met their Department Coordinators.

At the end of the day we offered two drop-in sessions for the first time this year. One was run by us, the International Mobility team, to help the students create their online timetables. A current Erasmus student also kindly came to support us in answering questions that only a student would know! The second drop-in session was run by the Academic Skills Centre team in order to help the new students enrol onto their classes. They were well attended and proved to be successful.

On Friday 12 February the students will head to the Roman Baths for a tour followed by a drinks reception organised in conjunction with BEN (Bath’s Exchange and Erasmus Network) and the Students' Union. We like to keep them busy!

 

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.

 

Bath International Research Funding Schemes - Second Call Now Open!

📥  Uncategorized

We are delighted to announce the second call for applications to our 2015-2016 International Research Funding Schemes. As you will see from some of our recent guest blog posts the previous calls are already funding a wide range of fascinating research projects across the globe and we are looking forward to receiving further high quality bids this year.

The International Research Initiator Scheme will continue to promote short-term partnership visits (of up to 4 weeks) to University Strategic Partners and vice versa.

The International Research Accelerator Scheme is designed to build upon relationships established as a result of activities funded by the International Research Initiator Scheme as well as existing partnerships with University Strategic Partners.

The Future Research Leaders Incubator Scheme will give excellent PhD students from University Strategic Partners the opportunity to study for a limited period at Bath, and vice versa.

Excellent, high quality proposals with other institutions may be considered for all of the above schemes, in particular if there are concrete plans to create a linkage between the proposed activities and one of our Strategic Partners in the future.

The deadline for the second call of applications is Monday 25th January 2016.

Please note that applicants are advised to submit their applications to their HoD two weeks before the above deadline for comments. HoDs are then advised to forward applications to Faculty Deans one week before the 25th January deadline.

Please visit the International Funding pages to find out more and to explore the whole range of international funding opportunities we offer, including a full timeline of call launch dates and deadlines for the 2015-16 academic year.

Please feel free to get in touch with us via internationalfunding@bath.ac.uk if you have any questions.

 

International Relations Office hosts Agent Conference – 2-4 December 2015

📥  Conference

This week, the International Relations Office welcomed 29 of our international representatives from 16 different countries to Bath for a three-day event showcasing our departments and services.

The conference took place on campus and at the Hilton Hotel in the city, with agents attending themed workshops on admissions and recruitment; visas and immigration; use of digital media; PhD recruitment; and employability. These sessions were delivered by colleagues from across the University, including Faculty Marketing teams and Graduate Schools, Admissions and Recruitment, Careers, the Academic Skills Centre, Placement Offices, Student Services and Digital Marketing and Communications.

Agent Conference brochures

Agent Conference 2015 brochures

Staff involved in recruitment and admission of international students were able to meet with agents during an informal ‘agent-led fair’ in the Wessex Restaurant on the 2nd December, followed by an evening reception at the Holburne Museum, hosted by Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation).

International Relations Office staff at the conference

AC4

Faculty staff at the conference

We have a global network of local representatives who receive training on our programmes, facilities, application procedures and entry requirements in order to increase our recruitment of appropriately highly qualified international students. They act as our year-round representatives 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 £8 million in overseas fee income into the University every year and are a key resource in promoting our programmes worldwide.

Agent representatives at the conference

Agent representatives at the conference

Agent representative at the conference

Agent representative at the conference

Agent representatives at the conference

Agent representatives at the conference

If you wish to find out more about our agents, contact the International Relations Office at: international-relations-office@bath.ac.uk

 

International partnership exchange to Stellenbosch University, South Africa

📥  Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

At the end of May this year I had the opportunity to visit the University of Stellenbosch for 3 months as part of the Global Partner Research Scholarships (GPRS).

I have spent the time on my PhD which examines the process of low energy recovery and the purification of biofuels and biochemicals from the fermentation media used to produce them.

Currently this process is incredibly energy intensive and hinders the cost comparability of biofuels and biochemicals with crude oil derived products. My PhD research explores membrane separations, a novel method for separating different components of a liquid mixture. When applied to the separation of fermentation products, this method would provide enormous energy and cost savings, which results in an improvement in the efficiency of the overall process.

At the University of Stellenbosch, I focused on two parts of my PhD project.

First, I was in collaboration with Professor Len Barbour in the Department of Chemistry to work on applying novel materials called Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to these types of separations and the mechanism of separation involved. The collaboration has opened up new avenues for my research looking at applying some of the new materials being studied within the group.

The second part of the project involved working alongside Dr Percy van der Gryp within the Department of Process Engineering. We attempted to apply the MOF membranes to the separation of a fermentation product from water. The work has produced some promising results which we aim to publish in the near future.

Pervaporation rig used for testing the membranes

Pervaporation rig used for testing the membranes

Between running these experiments in South Africa, I had the opportunity to take advantage of some of the great scenery and fantastic surfing.

Beautiful scenery of Stellenbosch

Beautiful scenery of Stellenbosch

Surfing in Stellenbosch

Surfing in Stellenbosch

The trip was a great chance to work with experts from the University of Stellenbosch. It has allowed for my PhD to go in new directions that would not have otherwise been possible.

Chris Davey is a PhD student at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies working on the low energy recovery of fermentation products using membrane processes with Dr Darrell Patterson and Professor David Leak.

 

Research trip to Ohio State University

📥  Development, Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

Travelling to a new country is always an exciting experience, but working in new country, under a new professor, can be daunting.

Once all the necessities had been acquired - visa, accommodation, flights ect. and the final pint had been drunk with my research group, I hopped on a plane, crossing the pond to the USA.

After a connecting flight to the Midwest (which is really still in the east of the States), I landed in Columbus, Ohio.

Getting off a plane in a country where you speak the same language, you might say it is a little less exciting, but that is not to say there aren't language barriers (and people asking you if you have met the Queen). From the minute I stepped off the plane to the moment I got back on to return home, I had an amazing time.

I spent my first day travelling around the university, and you can call it travelling when they have a university bus service solely for navigating the campus. It was nothing like any university I have been to in my life. I was taken on a tour of their 100,000 seat stadium that was home to the American football team.

Ohio State University crest

Ohio State University crest

Ohio Students Union Building

Ohio Students Union Building

Brutus Buckeye the OSU mascot

Brutus Buckeye the OSU mascot

I had a wander around the power station that they use to burn the waste the university produces, and found the library that looks like an only slightly smaller version of the White House. Finishing my tour with the Chemistry Department where I was to work for the next three months. Though this was a department that had four, six story buildings in its arsenal.

The Ohio State University Library

The Ohio State University Library

At the end of my tour I met with my new Professor, Malcolm Chisholm. While touring his lab, we discussed what I was going to work on for the following months. The facilities at their disposal were fantastic, from having eight glove boxes to the personal NMR machine in the basement. We decided that I would be working on the polymerisation of lactide with an aluminium catalyst, which is closely related to my current PhD research under Professor Michael Hill.

The Koffolt Laboratories building

The Koffolt Laboratories building

Several glove boxes in a lab

Several glove boxes in a lab

The following day was my first day in the lab. I met Malcolm’s research group and with their help, I dived straight into work. I can honestly say from my first day in the lab to my last, I had no idea where the time went. It was incredible.

My group showed me the ropes of Columbus, which is an amazing city. They taught me the do's and don’ts and most importantly, how to cross the road without getting arrested. I have to thank them first because my experience of Ohio State University could have been very different without them.

The research that I worked on with PhD students Mathiu and Bala is now in the process of being submitted. Research collaborations between the Chisholm and Hill groups are continuing.

Finally, I have to thank Malcolm and Mike; without them and the Bath International Research Funding Scheme, my trip would not have possible. If this opportunity ever presents itself to you, I highly recommend taking it. It is not just for personal or professional development, but also for the collaborations which help foster the combined knowledge and drive the research forward.

 

International Visiting Professorships & FAPESP Grants

📥  Funding/Scholarship

We are now welcoming nominations for David Parkin and Global Chairs Visiting Professorships for 2016-2017, and bids for FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) – Bath research funding.

David Parkin Visiting Professorships

The Esther Parkin Trust offers annual funding of up to £20k to support this award. It provides an excellent opportunity to attract an outstanding colleague from outside the UK and to develop ongoing international research and publication partnerships. Further details are available on the HR website.

Deadline:  Monday 8 February 2016

Global Chairs

The Global Chairs visiting professorship scheme has been designed to attract distinguished, globally renowned scholars from outside the UK to engage in a programme of high-profile research activity at the University of Bath for a fixed period of time. Nominations are now welcome for individuals who have an outstanding international research profile in any discipline area that fits in with or compliments the University of Bath’s research strengths and focus.

Please visit the Global Chairs website for further details and nomination forms.

Deadline:  Monday 8 February 2016

FAPESP - Bath funding

We are also now inviting bids for 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.

Visit the FAPESP website for further information and application guidance.

Deadline: Monday 25 January 2016

 

Visit by the Hungarian Ambassador

📥  Event, Visit

On 6 November the University welcomed the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK on campus. As part of the Embassy's new strategic plan, His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy and the Science and Technology Attaché, Anikó Dobi-Rózsa, have been touring universities in the UK to meet with Hungarian students and to share information on Hungary's place in Europe.

In the morning the Ambassador met with the School of Management. Dean Professor Veronica Hope Hailey gave an overview of the School, including its research and range of undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience level programmes. Dr Pete Nuttall, Stephen Rangecroft and Dr Tony Roath also attended from the School. The Ambassador was impressed by the work placements available, and was keen to learn how the School and the University do well in the rankings.

The Ambassador then had an informal lunch with our Hungarian students (there are currently 33 studying here), hoping to learn about the students’ transition from Hungary to studying in the UK. Having studied in New York and London, Ambassador Szabadhegy spoke about his own transition, informing us that his biggest adjustment was in fact moving back to Hungary in the 1990s after growing up in New York.

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

In the afternoon, His Excellency gave a talk entitled 'Hungary’s Place in the Heart of Europe and the World from an Economic and Geopolitical Perspective'. Around 40 staff and students attended.

The Ambassador talking to staff and students

The Ambassador talking to staff and students

The talk focused on the current European migrant crisis, as well as the history and economy of Hungary. It was interesting to note that Tesco is the largest private employer in Hungary, and that the UK is the fourth largest foreign investor. The Ambassador also talked about the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on Hungary, the near-collapse of the country and steps taken to improve the situation.

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

The Ambassador said of the visit: "It was a real pleasure to experience first-hand why the University of Bath has continued to climb the independent rankings of universities in the UK and in the world. I am very, very impressed!" The visit was a great chance to learn more about the Ambassador, our Hungarian students and a country in the heart of Europe.

 

Visit by Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura

📥  Mobility, Visit

We welcomed a delegation from our South American partner, Universidad Chileno-Británica de Cultura (UCBC) on 3 November.

The delegates, Mrs María Cristina Brieba (Vice-Chancellor), Mr Pedro Pfeffer (President) and Mr Pablo Halpern (Vice-President), were here to sign a new student exchange agreement and discuss ways to expand links between the two institutions.

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

The UCBC delegates met with Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), and Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation), together with representatives from the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, and the International Relations Office.

The headquarters of UCBC is located in the city of Santiago, Chile.  The agreement will offer Bath students the opportunity to study and teach in Santiago, and explore the region on their days off. Professor Lambert previously spent time as an English Language Assistant in Chile and was taught by Mrs Brieba.

The delegation visit was part of a tour of their UK partner universities, which also included a meeting with the Royal Patron of UCBC HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex later that week.

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers

MOU Signing and presentations in the Wessex House Council Chambers