International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

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).

 

Pre-departure Briefings

📥  Event

Each summer we hold a series of events in some of our larger markets that close out the recruitment cycle and to which students who have been offered admission to the University of Bath are invited. Brian and colleagues from the School of Management kicked off these pre-departure briefings in India at the end of May. I hosted the sessions in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing over 5 days, starting on Sunday 28 June in Bangkok. Around 350 students and parents attended the briefings and we were supported by alumni and stakeholders in each location.  Who better to tell you more about this activity than some of those who were involved….

Andy with Thai alumni and University of Bath representatives in Bangkok

Andy with Thai alumni and University of Bath representatives in Bangkok

A group photo of Andy and students at the Shanghai Pre-departure Briefing

Shanghai Pre-departure Briefing

"It is quite important to feel connected with the University - I would say especially during the admission process - as it ensures that the process was done properly and calms my nerves. I have never applied for schools in the UK. Hence I am a bit unfamiliar with the process and am constantly worried about making mistakes (for example, submitting the wrong document) which lead to failures in school/visa application. Although most of the information is accessible online, communicating directly with the school is always the best way to make sure that there was no error and I am not ignored/abandoned by the University (hah).

"Meeting the representative face-to-face helps a lot. The pre-departure briefing clarified certain issues (e.g. visa application) and gave useful information which is not listed at the time online (for example, airport pick-up service). Also it allows the students to have a peek at the university staff!

"Overall I would say the meeting is very helpful. I appreciate the effort and the time that the University put in in terms of the communication with its prospective students."

Chen Chi (Gina) Tang – Taiwanese MA applicant – attended Hong Kong PDB

*****

"In-country Pre-Departure Briefings (and indeed other similar events) are a most useful and a vital contribution to the whole application and enrolment process.  They provide that most necessary human touch away from the smart phone and computer screens that can sometimes be so confusing for students who are trying to find important information, which by its very nature has to be fairly generic – a PDB gives students the chance to meet a person from the University and get specific advice on their own situation. They also serve as a way for students of the same nationality who are attending Bath to meet up and form friendships before they set out on what can be a pretty daunting experience. In Thailand we have always had alumni at PDBs who can also add that personal touch which students may find useful."

Justin Moseley, MD Consortium UK - representative of University of Bath since 2002

*****

"Technology changes our life dramatically. We use PayPal more often than cash. We prefer Facetime than visiting each other. Sometimes, we would rather go to Twitter or Facebook to find out what someone up to instead of picking up the phone to say 'hi'.  However, there is something that cannot be replaced by technology! Face to face communication, especially cross-cultural communication being one example. I personally attended some British Universities Pre-departure Briefings recently. From the feedback from the students, I feel they really need it. Not only for the information provided by the officers but they felt they will be taken good care of and the universities really care about them. Or, in some parents’ words: you gotta know who you send the child to...... Well, this might be a too extreme case. However, in Chinese culture, or East Asian culture, it is a very big thing to send children miles away. It is a nice gesture from the University to show their responsibility and care."

Xiaoyang (Sarah) You, Education Marketing Manager, Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate General, Shanghai

*****

"The Thai applicants asked many questions. The main things they want to know from Alumni were:

1. Student life at off-campus accommodation. In Thailand, normally living at off-campus is considered less safe, so many students and parents worry about this. All alumni confirm that Bath is a safe city and off-campus accommodations are secure.

2. Preparation for Pre-sessional English course. (Especially, is it more difficult than IELTS preparation?)

3. Difficulty of Master courses and Dissertation. They would like to compare with university life in Thailand. For example, some students do not have a background in accounting and finance and they worry about this.

4. Transportation in Bath and also on their arrival date. (I gave them a contact number of Thai taxi driver in case they need any help.)

5. International classmates (particularly the cultural experience they could expect)."

Supasinee Charoenvidhya, School of Management alumnus living in Bangkok

The University will enrol somewhere in the region of 1,200 new full-time degree students from outside of the EU this coming academic year. If you would like to find out more about the work of the IRO please feel free to contact us:  international-relations-office@bath.ac.uk

 

THELMAs Awards night

📥  Event

The University of Bath was one of the 6 universities which received a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) nomination for Outstanding International Strategy. Andy, Katja, Lorna and I had been invited to the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London. Bath‘s Open Day happened to be the same day, so it took us over 3 and a half hours to get to the ceremony and the festivities were just starting when we arrived.

Being shortlisted was already a fantastic accomplishment. This is about the whole university's hard work and the dedication of everyone in delivering aspects of our very ambitious international vision.

The evening was also an opportunity to catch up with former colleagues. I bumped into my former line manager and she told me how proud she was of my achievements.

We did not win in the end. But this was a good opportunity for us to showcase Bath's rapid transformation to the sector. We had a very enjoyable evening with our colleagues from the Planning team, who were also short-listed for an award!

A view of the THELMAs Awards Dinner

THELMAs Awards Ceremony

 

Incredible India

📥  Culture, Visit

Nervous students, worried parents, a difficult maths paper, and hot like an oven... All came together for one thing: the dream of studying at the University of Bath. As part of the IRO recruitment team, I spent a few days travelling around India to meet with new students hoping to arrive in September and, as always, India offered some memorable experiences.

A view of Bara Gumbad tomb and mosque, Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi

Bara Gumbad tomb and mosque, Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi

The main point of this trip was to reassure students that their results were enough to meet their offer and to reassure the parents that their children would have accommodation to stay in the UK. Over five days we met with over 200 students in agents' offices, education events and pre-departure evenings at all hours in both New Delhi and Mumbai. Parents are very keen to know the details of their children’s lives as students in the UK, from the dimensions of their rooms to what places they can go to eat.

It was a real treat for me to come and visit India again as I haven’t been for nearly three years. People are always so friendly – our alumni who insisted on taking us for a drink, the concierge who helped us find a suitable venue to enjoy the night life and the hotel driver who made sure I got to all my appointments on time. And of course, our agents who made sure we had everything we needed!

A view of taxi lane in India

Taxi lane in Delhi

India is all about the senses, the food, the colours, and the smells. One thing I particularly love about this place is the tea - being typically British I drink lots of it! India is a place where they know how to make a good cup of tea. I can’t wait to go back!

Delhi street view at night

Delhi street view at night

 

NAFSA 2015

📥  Event

At the end of May, Tracey Stenson-Jukes, International Mobility Coordinator and I were joined by Pete Nuttall, the Director of International Relations for the School of Management at the 2015 NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Advisers) Annual Conference & Expo in Boston. It is the largest of its kind with 12,000 delegates attending the 4-day event.

With a focus on the undergraduate mobility, it was an excellent opportunity for us to meet with our existing partners, such as Florida International University and University of Queensland and potential partners to discuss opportunities for our students.

The conference was very successful for us. We had a lot of excellent feedback about our students' performance overseas and we have agreed many areas for growth. Now we are back in Bath and it's time to put everything we've gained into practice.

image1

 

Visits from Latin America

📥  Event

Last week we welcomed senior colleagues from two of our international strategic partners in Latin America: the National University of Colombia (UNAL) and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP).

National University of Colombia, 4th June

Professor Catalina Arévalo Ferro, the Director of External Affairs, met with representatives from all Faculties and the School of Management. Professor Ferro’s visit was aimed at creating more opportunities for UNAL staff to collaborate with Bath and for UNAL students to study at Bath, due to an increasing demand from their students for exchange placements at Bath.

During the meeting we also discussed the opportunities for Bath students to benefit from our partnership with UNAL, including Spanish language courses, internships at UNAL’s research centres and summer schools.

University of Campinas, 5th June

Professor Alvaro Crósta, the Vice Rector, and Professor Eleonora C. Albano, Advisor in the International Relations Office, were here to meet with the Academic Skills Centre to discuss a bespoke teacher training course at Bath for UNICAMP academics.

The course will enable UNICAMP academics to improve their English language skills, and will teach them how to pass on their skills to others when they return to Brazil. This is an important skill to have, as a growing number of publications are written in English.

UNICAMP1 6 June 2015

 

More information about our partnership with UNAL and UNICAMP is available on our wiki page (Bath staff only).

 

 

Going Global 2015

📥  Event

Last week, I joined the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation), IRO Partnerships Manager and the Director of ICHEM at the British Council’s annual international conference - Going Global 2015 in London. This annual event gathering leaders in Higher Education from around the world was a fantastic opportunity for us to take part in important debates and discuss issues and challenges facing our sector.

With over 1000 participants at the conference, it was a great opportunity for us to catch up with existing partners, develop new relationships and showcase the University to international stakeholders.

VC and Rajani

 

One of the popular sessions - “TNE: global wellbeing or new imperialism?” was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and entirely curated by Professor Rajani Naidoo (pictured with the Vice-Chancellor above). Focusing on how transnational education can develop creative synergies across borders and cultures, speakers discussed its impacts at local, regional and national levels. Through an innovative concept - fishbowl conversations, participants also shared their opinions on whether transnational education contributes to global well-being through mutual benefit or whether it’s simply a new form of imperialism. Participants were divided in a number of groups, each focusing on a specific topics, shared examples of best practice and made policy recommendations as well as suggestions for further research to be carried out within the field of Higher Education Management.

Going Global blog pic

 

International visits in June

📥  Event

We have a series of exciting visits involving our Strategic Partners this month. Here are some highlights to look out for:

  • On 4 June the Director of External Affairs from the National University of Colombia (UNAL) will be visiting the University to discuss the consolidation of existing and development of new activities under our university-wide partnership.
  • The Vice President Professor Alvaro Crósta and his adviser from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) will be visiting on 5 June. They are here to meet with the Academic Skills Centre to finalise a collaborative programme of teacher training activities that has been in development for the past year.
  • Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation) is in South Africa this week visiting our Strategic Partner, Stellenbosch University. He will be discussing the next steps in our bilateral agreement and multilateral interests. Whilst in South Africa, he will also be in Pretoria to engage with policy makers.
  • A delegation from the Faculty of Engineering and Design, led by Dean Professor Gary Hawley, will be in Singapore to meet with Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore. Whilst in Singapore, there are also plans to meet with Dyson, Rolls Royce, Airbus and the Singapore Public Water Utility.

Exploring new opportunities for collaboration in research, Professor Grant will be in Qatar at the end of the month to meet with the Qatar Foundation, and in Dubai to meet with alumni and UK universities based there.

If you are a member of staff and have an international visit coming up, we'd like to know. Just send us an email to a.allonby@bath.ac.uk.