The Vice Chancellor and PVC (I) travelled from Abu Dhabi to Amman on Thursday of last week. That the note from Amman follows only now (a few hours after touchdown in Heathrow) gives you a sense of the intensity and richness of the programme so carefully designed by the office of Their Royal Highnesses Prince El Hassan and Princess Sarvath El Hassan. Amman ranks amongst our most memorable overseas experiences.
We met with sitting senators and former ministers, PhD alumni in education and political communication, the British Institute, the Princess Sumaya University of Science and Technology, the Royal Scientific Society and the Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS), of which Princess Sarvath is patron.
We had the immense pleasure of meeting Jeff Thompson and Mary Hayden at the launch of a University of Bath Study Centre at the ABS. Here, our colleagues will deliver units of our MA Education. Demand is very high and the school offers a world-class educational experience. The pupils were outstanding. And what’s more: over dinner the principal had placed a special order of my favourite salad – tabbouleh. That clinched it!
It is clear that there is a meeting of minds with all our new partners in Jordan – we spoke at length about our IMI, Water Institute, IPR and MENA Network and our international values (don’t forget: Rajani, Robin and Juergen from the School of Management are delivering the DBA in South Africa right now).
Our strength in science and engineering, in policy and education and our understanding of the urgent need to commit to the Levant places us ideally for a concrete engagement with real-world impacts for the benefit of Jordan and beyond.
It was an immense pleasure being in Amman. Tolerant, lively, open, multicultural. A lesson in co-existence. Oh: and very cold with snow forecast for tomorrow.
And yes – for those who have followed the other blogs – I was able to grab a rather cold espresso at 0430 this morning. All is well.
In sum: an amazing trip and a major opportunity to connect with our Strategy.