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					                            The Newsletter
                            Issue 17, April 2010                                        

   In This Issue                    Food for Thought
UN recognition
for U21

U21 Events            3


On the move           7
                                                                                                  Delegates at the Food Security Workshop in Edinburgh

New UVa
                      8     T   he Universitas 21 Food Security
                                Workshop, held over two days
                            in early November 2009 at the
                                                                   researchers and academics
                                                                   from U21 member institutions
                                                                   and colleagues from partner
                                                                                                            The structure of the workshop,
                                                                                                            which was co-organised by
                                                                                                            the University of Edinburgh
                            University of Edinburgh, brought       institutions in the Global South,        and University College
                            together over fifty participants       allowing for an open discussion          Dublin, included a mixture of
Around the                  from nineteen countries to             about what specific needs had            presentations which put Food
                      9     tackle the challenges of food          been identified by developing            Security issues in a thematic or
                            security from a multidisciplinary      countries, and how U21 partners          geographic perspective, and
                            perspective. The expertise             could best contribute to the             group activities which allowed for
Equipping                   represented at the workshop            achievement of food security             multidisciplinary discussions on
                            included a broad range of fields,      objectives in these countries,           the challenges and opportunities
Graduates for        10
                            including crop science, climate        regionally and globally. As a            therein. Broadly speaking,
Modern Life                 change, water use, international       result, there were participants          the event was structured
                            development, medicine,                 from Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia,          and facilitated to support
                            biochemistry, public health and        Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa,            participants to develop a shared
U21 Events                  economics.                             Honduras and the Philippines             understanding of Food Security,
Calendar                                                           as well as from eleven countries
                            A particular objective of the          represented by U21 members.                             (continued on page 2)
                            workshop was to bring together
The Back Page

                                                     From the Secretariat...
- David                                                                                                     nature of our network, and how
Greenaway                                                                                                   reliant we are on air transport for
                                                                   closure of airspace over the UK as
                            Spring has very definitely sprung      well as much of northern Europe          moving around the globe.
                            here in the UK and as we look          and things really hot up!
       Universitas 21       out of our office windows we can                                                As we go to press we have the
    c/o Strathcona 109      see spring bulbs, trees in blossom     Contingency planning covered             good news that planes are flying
 University of Birmingham   and a brilliant blue sky ... with                                               once more, so we wish our global
                                                                   what to do if the shipment of
        Edgbaston                                                                                           travellers well in their journeys to
                            no vapour trails. Ah, there’s the      conference papers got no further
                            rub! The last week would - under       then the Heathrow warehouse;             and from home, and look forward
          B15 2TT
             UK             normal circumstances - have been       what if UK based Secretariat staff       to meeting up with delegates in
                            a busy one for the Secretariat, with   could not get to India at all; which     Delhi. We also send our best wishes
   T: +44 121 415 8870      the Annual Presidents’ meetings        Delhi delegates were stranded            to all U21 conference organisers
   F: +44 121 415 8873      and U21 Symposium in Delhi fast        around the globe and unable to           who have been affected by the    approaching. Add to the mix one        make it to India ... Never have we       recent interesting times.     active Icelandic volcano and the       been more aware of the global

                                                               Page 1
 Network News                                        Network News                                  Network News

Recognition at UN for U21                                                                      Professor John Casteen, Chair of the
                                                                                               Universitas 21 network and President of
                                                                                               the University of Virginia welcomed the
                                                                                               announcement, saying “We believe this
U    niversitas 21 has been recommended
     for Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the
                                                                                               represents in particular external recognition
                                                                                               of Universitas 21’s work in the areas of
                                                                                               human capital development through our
United Nations. The recommendation was
                                                                                               engagement with the UN’s Millennium
made at the end of January 2010 by the
                                                                                               Development Goals and other associated
UN Committee on Non-Governmental
                                                                                               projects, and of the commitment of all our
Organizations (NGOs) and places Universitas
                                                                                               members to the application of knowledge to
21 among the first inter-university networks
                                                                                               address real world problems.”
to receive such recognition.
                                                  consultative arrangements are made. It
Consultative arrangements are made for            also enables international, regional, and
the purpose of enabling the Council or one        national organisations that represent
of its bodies to secure expert information        important elements of public opinion to
or advice from organisations having special       express their views.
competence in the subjects for which

U21 joint PhD student
                                                                                               The aim of her PhD is to create a model
                                                                                               to better predict when roads are likely to
                                                                                               need repairs. “New Zealand roads generally
                                                                                               operate at low traffic low volumes, and
A    spiring civil engineer and University of
     Auckland student Megan Schlotjes has
signed an agreement with the University
                                                                                               perform well over their expected lifetime.
                                                                                               However unexpected failures, such as cracks
                                                                                               and ruts, can happen and when they do, they
of Birmingham in the UK, to complete                                                           need to be repaired immediately to prevent
a joint PhD in Civil Engineering. The                                                          further damage,” Megan says.
agreement is an extension of a Universitas                                                     “Having better information about the
21 Doctoral Mobility Scholarship, which                                                        likelihood of road failures will help transport
funds short term overseas placements at                                                        authorities to better target maintenance and
partner universities. This is the first time a                                                 ultimately assist in spending road funding
U21 Scholar will receive a PhD from both                                                       more efficiently.”
                                                                                               The completed risk model has international
“A PhD is such a huge commitment and                                                           applications, as it will be designed for use
it usually means you have to put off your                                                      on any road network in the world.
overseas experience. I’m so glad I’m able to                                                   Megan’s study will be co-supervised by Dr
combine the two while being recognised by                                                      Theuns Henning from The University of
                                                 Road failure
both universities,” she says.                                                                  Auckland and Dr Michael Burrow from the
                                                  PhD in the Department of Civil and           University of Birmingham.
Megan, 24, departs in April to study
at Birmingham for 12 months, before               Environmental Engineering’s Transportation
returning to Auckland to complete her             Research Centre.

Food for Thought
                                                                                                    The development of a network-wide
                                                                                                    taught Masters programme
(continued from page 1)                                                                             Collaboration between natural and
                                                                                                    social scientists in response to EU
identify opportunities for collaboration,                                                           funding opportunities for Africa
and agree priorities and next steps.                                                                The development of a holistic research
                                                                                                    framework designed to underpin
A clear priority for the workshop                                                                   collaboration, research, teaching and
participants was to identify and develop                                                            knowledge exchange in Food Security
practical opportunities for U21 members                                                             across institutions, countries and
and their partners in the Global South                                                              regions.
to collaborate on research, teaching and
knowledge exchange to address the global                                                       Four working groups were formed, and are
challenges of Food Security.                                                                   now taking forward a variety of initiatives
                                                                                               grouped under these four headings.
A number of specific opportunities were
identified:                                                 Joseph Berchie (Ghana) and                                     Dr Erik Lithander,
    The development of a postgraduate                       Professoror van Gardingen
                                                            (University of Edinburgh)                              University College Dublin
    research training network

                                                                    Page 2
          U21 Events                               U21 Events                                 U21 Events
 Gaining both knowledge and friends in Glasgow
T  he fifth U21 Undergraduate Research
   Conference (URC) took place at the
University of Glasgow from 15 to 21
                                                                                       URC delegates at the University of Glasgow

October 2009. 55 people registered for
the conference, and we were delighted to
welcome staff and students from eleven
countries and sixteen U21 institutions.

Delegates who arrived on Thursday 15
October found the university bathed
in warm sunshine, which continued for
several days. They were offered a walking
tour of the campus and a visit to the
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum,
accompanied by student volunteers, all
of whom had spent the previous year
studying at a U21 partner institution.
Two of these students were completely
surprised and delighted to discover former    The academic part of the conference was        discussions. After the final presentation,
classmates amongst the delegates from         concentrated into two days, Monday and         delegates were asked to vote on both
Hong Kong and Melbourne.                      Tuesday. The programme had deliberately        the most effective presentation and most
                                              sought to provide as many social               effective poster. Because of the extremely
Professor Steven Beaumont, Vice Principal     opportunities as possible for the students     high standard set in both categories, this
for Research and Enterprise, opened the       to get to know one another before that         proved to be a very difficult decision for
Conference by first welcoming delegates       time, so that they could feel they were        delegates. Prizes were presented to the
to the university, the city and Scotland.     among friends and presenting their             following:
He spoke of the benefits of research,         research would become less daunting. This
both to the individual personally and to      proved to be a hugely successful formula,      Presentation. First prize: Jessica Harding,
the wider community, and pointed out          and by Monday they had already learned         University of Auckland; Second prize :
that the answer to a specific problem         a great deal, both about their fellow          Emma Laurie, University of Glasgow
often lay in unexpected and apparently        delegates and about their research topics,     Poster . First prize: Padraig Edwards,
unrelated quarters. This demonstrated         which allowed them both to be more             University College Dublin; Joint second
the importance of the URC in providing        relaxed in their presentations and to have     prize: Heather Anderson, University of
an invaluable forum to develop cross-         the confidence to ask questions.               Melbourne and Eric Ma, University of British
cultural and inter-disciplinary links. This                                                  Columbia.
was followed by a public lecture, part        Professor Andrea Nolan, Senior Vice
of a series to celebrate the centenary        Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor,          The conference closed with a short
of Geography in the university. Dr Amy        introduced this section of the programme.      address by Professor Peter Holmes, Senior
Kerr, Director of the Scottish Alliance for   As one of the university’s U21 Managers,       International Development Adviser, who
Geoscience, Environment and Society, gave     she outlined the history of the network        thanked all participants and congratulated
a fascinating talk on Facing up to Climate    and the wonderful things it had achieved,      them on the excellent research which
Change, which was followed by some            and for which it would continue to             had been demonstrated. While urging
penetrating questions from the audience.      strive. She emphasised the importance          delegates to take advantage of the
After lunch the delegates were taken on       of providing this annual opportunity to        opportunity to publish their work in The
a tour of the city with an official guide,    bring outstanding young people together        Oculus,
                                                                                             Oculus, he expressed the hope that they
accompanied again by some student             to share research discoveries and to forge     had gained both knowledge and friends
volunteers. In the evening there was a        international friendships.                     during their visit to Glasgow, and that these
civic reception in the magnificent City                                                      friendships would be maintained once
Chambers.                                     Presentations were given in groups of four     everybody returned to their home country.
                                              throughout the two days, each session
The weekend itinerary contained a series      chaired by a visiting member of staff. The                                        Linda Buchan
of cultural visits and events, giving the     students who were presenting                                             URC 2009 Co-ordinator
delegates the opportunity to get to know      posters also had the opportunity to discuss                               University of Glasgow
each other and learn more about the           their research and conclusions with the
university, city and country.                 audience, leading to some very lively

                                                             Page 3
           U21 Events                                U21 Events                                 U21 Events

Sustainable Cities for the Future
                                                conference in the evaluation. The size
                  University of Melbourne                                                                           University of Queensland
                                                of the conference enabled all delegates
                                                to develop personal relationships while
                                                still providing a diverse and interesting
                                                experience. The social progamme also
                                                encouraged networking between the

                                                The delegates had the opportunity to hear
                                                from eleven guest speakers on the topic
                                                of sustainable cities and these were also
                                                highlighted positively in the evaluation.
                                                                                                be acknowledged that several delegates
                                                These speakers included academics
T  he 2009 U21 Graduate Research
   Conference, hosted jointly by the
University of Melbourne and the University
                                                from a wide variety of disciplines and
                                                domains, and practitioners working
                                                                                                expressed concern about the sustainability
                                                                                                of flying everyone 2000km during the
                                                                                                conference, the fact most delegates
of Queensland was a great success. Fifty-       for local government authorities. This
                                                                                                were travelling much further to Australia
three graduate students from fourteen           was complemented by a field trip to
                                                                                                lessened the impact of this.
U21 universities across twelve countries        Melbourne’s CBD where many of the issues
attended the conference. All delegates          presented by the guest speakers were
                                                                                                The conference concluded with a formal
presented a paper at the conference             observed by the delegates. The student
                                                                                                dinner in the stunning Customs House on
and most also presented a poster and as         presentations were themed to complement
                                                                                                the Brisbane River, where the delegation
well as contributing a short paper to the       the guest speakers.
                                                                                                was addressed by the Vice-Chancellor of
proceedings.                                                                                    the University of Queensland.
                                                The approach of sharing the conference
The quality of the presentations was            between two cities was also a success.
                                                                                                                               Dave Kendal
overwhelmingly excellent, as was the            Melbourne and Brisbane were able
                                                                                                                   University of Melbourne
accompanying questions and debate.              to provide contrasting cultural and
The interactions between the delegates          academic (and climatic!) experiences for
across disciplines and cultural backgrounds     the delegates, many of whom had not
were highlighted as a key feature of the        been to Australia before. While it must

Delhi dreaming                                                                                  Beaton of Beaton Consulting looking
                                                                                                at our strategic focus for the future. We
                                                                                                refined our strategic focus to 2012 at our
                                                                                                meeting hosted by McGill University in
A    t the end of April, the annual series of
     meetings of Presidents will take place
in Delhi, the capital of India and home to
                                                                                                2007; now, over half way through that
                                                                                                period, it is good to take stock of what we
our most recent member, the University                                                          have achieved, what we should be doing
of Delhi. It will be a chance over three                                                        more of and what we should be doing in
days to meet old friends and make new                                                           the future. The report of the Delhi series
ones, to reflect on the past and plan for            The Viceregal Lodge, University of Delhi   of meetings will include a report on this
the future, to share experiences on our                                                         further development of our strategic
                                                perspectives will inform the thinking           offerings to make them even more relevant
own campuses while getting to know a            of participants on important funding
new one for many. As usual, our series of                                                       to members and their communities.
                                                questions, in particular the relationship
meetings will include some formal business      between funding and governance: should
meetings as well as a symposium organised                                                       The other outcome of the Delhi series
                                                he who pays the piper really call the tune in   of meetings is likely to be an increase in
by our host. Colleagues at DU are running       higher education?
a one day programme on ‘Universities and                                                        membership. We will be holding advanced
Government Funding in the Developing                                                            discussions in India with a number of
                                                The symposium follows in the tradition          potential new members as we seek to
and Developed Worlds’ which is a subject        of recent years looking at the utility and
close to the hearts of public and private                                                       further extend our global coverage in the
                                                application of higher education. This           most important higher education ‘markets’.
universities as the world’s economies come      started with the first symposium for
to terms with the 2008/9 global financial                                                       For more information on that, watch this
                                                Presidents which took place in 2006 in the      space!
upheaval. Recent experiences in some            series of meetings hosted by the University
parts of the world have meant that reliance     of Auckland and these symposia have
on the public purse for funding of higher                                                                                   Jane Usherwood
                                                over the years influenced the direction                                        Universitas 21
education is more precarious than hitherto,     the network has taken and the activities
but this has come at a time when options        in which it has engaged. Also in Delhi we
from the private sector are also curtailed. A   will be considering a report by Dr George
day reflecting on and debating differential

                                                                  Page 4
      Collaborative Groups                                                    Collaborative Groups
Employability in a Global Economy
F   ollowing on from a successful inaugural
    conference in Glasgow in 2008, the
U21 Teaching and Learning Network
                                                 and accreditation of
                                                 skills relevant to the
                                                 world of work.
                                                                                                  Teaching & Learning Conference Delegates in Ningbo

convened again in November 2009.
The 2nd Conference took as its theme,            The second day
“Employability in a Global Economy”. A           again began with a
particular feature of this conference is         discussion around
the diversity of delegates – and I don’t         the management of
just mean geographically; the event              teaching learning
brought academics from a range of                agendas within research
disciplines together with careers staff,         intensive universities
learning technologists, learning support         and the challenges in
professionals, senior university managers        moving institutions from
and academic administrators. The                 a culture which accepts
conference took place at the University of       benign competence to
Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo, China. I          one which celebrates
was looking forward to being able to show        excellence and which                              our international students in creating a
the campus to colleagues from around the         integrates skills into the curriculum.            genuinely international experience for all of
network – it’s got impressive architecture, is   Examples of this included highlighting            our students.
beautifully landscaped and surrounded by         the importance of research skills, the
hills. Unfortunately the weather intervened      development of skills at post graduate            But implicit in much of the discussion was
and two days of rain and very cloudy skies       levels, the role of learning support, the role    the danger of creating a false dichotomy
somewhat limited the visual impact. But the      of e-learning and the challenges of working       in relation to employability – our rhetoric
discussion certainly brightened things up.       within and across specific disciplines.           highlighted the fundamental importance
                                                                                                   of employability skills but our practice then
The conference began with a focus                Looking back over the papers, there               compartmentalized them into something
on overarching “big picture” issues.             were a number of strong themes – and              that is done outside of the curriculum.
The employability benefits of                    tensions – which emerged. The U21                 The real challenge that emerged from
internationalisation were quickly                network is potentially in a strong position       discussions throughout the conference at
acknowledged – as were the financial             with respect to the agenda surrounding            the end of the day related to the genuine
pressures that were likely to require            teaching and learning for employability           integration of the skills and competencies
universities to continue to think about          in a global economy whether through               associated with global citizenship into
how to deliver internationally relevant          exchange, through sharing best practice           the student experience in its broadest
employability skills at home. Universities       or through exploiting the opportunities for       sense. The skills for employability are the
were challenged about their ability to meet      cross cultural engagement. The research           skills that make good people – reflection,
the needs of employers, and academics            intensive nature of the member universities       innovation and problem solving and
were challenged to think about how to            has the potential to allow us to offer a          citizenship – and in that sense they needed
build genuinely reflective and critical          distinct skill set to students. The concept of    to be recognised as integral to what we do,
thinking among their students. Three             the “T” shaped student – breadth in terms         not just an optional extra.
different papers provided examples of the        of skills and depth in terms of knowledge
ways in which member universities were           – resonated immediately with participants,                                        Christine Ennew
approaching the development, delivery            as did exhortations to make more use of                                  University of Nottingham

Developmental Psychology Group                                                                      (such as new tests, databases, useful
                                                                                                    publications, textbooks, DVDs, innovative
                                                                                                    teaching technologies etc).
                                                     To facilitate student and staff
                                                 exchanges across partner institutions             To date, the following institutions are
                                                 (for example, student internships,                members of this group:
                                                 postgraduate training visits, short staff         University of Auckland, University of
                                                 visits and sabbaticals, visiting lectures).       Birmingham, University of British Columbia,
                                                     To establish research collaborations          University of Edinburgh, University of
                                                 (from sharing of research expertise on            Glasgow, University of Nottingham,
                                                 particular issues through to small or large       University of Queensland, University of
                                                 grant applications).                              Virginia, Waseda University.

T   he focus of this new collaborative group
    is to link together students, researchers
and practitioners from U21 institutions
                                                     To provide a platform for sharing of
                                                 information and ideas about research              Other institutions wishing to be included
                                                                                                   should contact the convenor:
                                                 (either through workshops, symposia and/
working on issues relating to child              or conference attendance).                        Dr Nicola Pitchford, School of Psychology,
development and learning. The group has              To encourage on-line sharing of               University of Nottingham.
set itself the following goals:                  resources for research and teaching               email:

                                                                 Page 5
        Collaborative Groups                                                       Collaborative Groups
 Health Sciences workshop
 F   or two days at the beginning
     of February 2010, faculty
 and students from a range
                                                                                                                     teaching resources including
                                                                                                                     videos involving students and
                                                                                                                     UN MDG experts; 2) strategies for
 of universities attended an                                                                                         strengthening student involvement
 ‘extraordinary’ U21 Health                                                                                          and leadership; 3) garnering
 Sciences’ United Nations                                                                                            broad-based interprofessional
 Millennium Development Goals                                                                                        involvement; 4) international
 (UN MDG) workshop, organized by                                                                                     partnership building including
 the U21 Health Sciences’ UN MDG                                                                                     a commitment to develop an
 Education Steering Committee,                                                                                       educational research agenda
 and hosted by the University of                                                                                      around UN MDG education; and
                                                                          U21 Health Sciences workshop delegates
 Hong Kong, with financial support                                                                                    5) synergy with eHealth through
 from Korea University.                                                                                               the U21 Health Sciences eHealth
                                                      initiatives at the Universities of Queensland
                                                                                                            committee and partners.
                                                      and Hong Kong and at Tecnológico de
 More than fifty delegates from a variety of
                                                      Monterrey in Mexico; synergy with global
 disciplines including medicine and public                                                                  The U21 UN MDG Education Steering
                                                      e-health; and practical case-writing
 health, dentistry, nursing, health and                                                                     Committee will meet and look at the range
                                                      workshops as part of UN MDG curriculum
 rehabilitation sciences (speech pathology,                                                                 of outcomes from this workshop, and
                                                      development. The workshop also included
 occupational therapy and physiotherapy)                                                                    prioritise work packages over the coming
                                                      discussion of the longitudinal evaluation
 and pharmacy attended the workshop.                                                                        months. Progress will be reported on at
                                                      framework prepared by the University of
 Professor Kenneth McGillivray, Secretary                                                                   the upcoming U21 UN MDG workshop in
                                                      British Columbia’s e-Health Strategy Office,
 General of APRU, whose members were                                                                        September 2010, and at the U21 Health
                                                      and the potential for research output
 also invited to attend, was a featured                                                                     Sciences annual meeting at Tecnológico de
                                                      relating to the UN MDG initiative.
 presenter at the workshop,                                                                                 Monterrey in Mexico.
                                                      Key outcomes of the workshop in Hong
 Major themes included UN MDGs and                                                                                                   Lorraine Devitt
                                                      Kong included: 1) progress on the U21 UN
 sustainable health; examples of public                                                                                         U21 Health Sciences
                                                      MDG module, involving a broad outline for
 health engagement at Fudan University;
                                                      a syllabus, additional case development,
 current engagement strategies, with
                                                      and a strategy to build on existing learning/
 presentations on UN MDG student-led

 Waterfronts and Climate Change
 Stressed coral is linked to climate change                            We brought together                 Definition of fundable questions
                                                                       key researchers in the           around this waterfronts theme. Who are
                                                                       fields of urban drainage         the funders? Who is the audience for the
                                                                       systems, civil engineering       research?
                                                                       and waterfront/ coastal             A list of sub groups (of researchers) and
                                                                       systems, urban water plan        components of the research theme.
                                                                       strategies, governance,             Identification of industry and
                                                                       biodiversity, urban ecology,     commercial interest groups.
                                                                       sediment transport,                 A list of ports (shipping and air)
                                                                       dredging practices, strong       and their problems and location for
                                                                       surges and tsunami               development as case studies. Who is
                                                                       models, wave energy              adapting already? What can we learn?
                                                                       modelling, design for
                                                                       public space and quality         The workshop group have pledged to:
                                                                       of life, river and marine           finish the position paper and case
Photo: Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Queensland                    ecology, and insurance/          studies by late May 2010 and then to use
                                                                       economic development             this information to apply for funding for
 T   he U21 Water Futures for Sustainable
     Cities held a project development
 workshop for its Theme 5, Sustainable
                                                      and climate change. These researchers were
                                                      complemented by representatives from
                                                                                                        the component research projects and
                                                                                                           publicise our team and expertise at
                                                      port authorities and port cities.                 several international conferences in 2010.
 Waterfront Adaptation to Climate
 Change programme, in Rotterdam on
                                                      The workshop outputs were:                       For further information contact WFSC
 12-13 January. Our approach was to
                                                          A draft Position Paper describing            Program Manager Graham Steed (gsteed@
 recognise that port cities can increase
                                                       a U21–led team, its expertise, current
 their adaptability and resilience to climate
                                                       best practice and the priority research
 change while also increasing quality of life
 for their residents.

                                                                      Page 6
          On the move                                        On the move                              On the move
Fantastic and life-changing
Harry Wright, an Undergraduate                                                                              amount, especially in the southern
in History at the University of                                                                             States. Nashville, Tennessee
Edinburgh, won a place to study for                                                                         and Charleston, South Carolina
a year at the University of Virginia                                                                        were two highlights, as well as
(UVa). This is his report.                                                                                  Washington DC and New York.

UVa is utterly brilliant; extremely                                                                         I made many good friends, several
well-funded, beautiful and full                                                                             of whom have come over to visit
of enthusiastic and welcoming                                                                               since. And I am a lifelong convert to
people. The teaching was of a very                                                                          the excellent American institution
high standard and assessment                                                                                which is Thanksgiving!
levels were comparable to those
at Edinburgh. The overall level of                                                                           The fact that Edinburgh students
student satisfaction was extremely                                                                           have the opportunity to spend a
high I would say; there was a              Harry (right) with fellow Edinburgh exchange                      whole year at such a phenomenal
striking level of pride amongst the        student Archie Matheson in New York                               school speaks volumes for the
student body that they attended                                                                              quality of the International
Virginia.                                                                                                    Exchange Programme which
                                                      Some highlights of the year: most              Edinburgh offers. This is especially true
I managed to find accommodation in                   important of all, I went to Obama’s             when you consider the cost which
a private apartment with three other                 Inauguration in Washington! It was an           such an education entails for full-time
American students, so I got a very good              amazing experience. I also got involved         students. I only wish that more students at
introduction to US student life. I loved the         in his election campaign and US politics        Edinburgh would take advantage of such
‘Greek life’ at UVa; fraternities and sororities     in general, meeting a US Senator, Hilary        an outstanding opportunity. In short, this
provided some brilliant opportunities for            Clinton and two State Governors during          was a truly fantastic and life-changing
socialising.                                         the course of the year. I travelled a good      experience.

Just do it!
 Maria Jihye Kim, Double Major in Asian
 Studies & Sociology, at University of British
 Columbia went on a full-year exchange to
 Waseda University, Japan.

 What was the highlight of your

 The highlight was definitely meeting
 people from all around the world and                      Maria Jihye Kim and family
 from all walks of life. Interacting with them
 and learning about different cultures and            As a Japanese language and culture major,      to get more involved with UBC, which I’m
 languages, while absorbing “everything               I was really in the best place to study        doing now!
 Japan,” was just amazing!                            subjects in my field. I fulfilled most of my
                                                      Asian Studies requirements in Japan, and       What would you say to other students
 Why did you choose this particular                   more. I also got to extensively study about    thinking about going global before they
 university?                                          Japanese society and culture, which was        graduate?
                                                      relevant for my other major, Sociology.
 I chose to go to Japan, particularly Waseda                                                         Step out of your comfort zone and JUST DO
 University in Tokyo, because I wanted                How has this opportunity impacted you          IT! It may be intimidating at first to think
 to sharpen my Japanese skills. In Asian              as a person?                                   about waking up in a foreign country and
 Studies I focus on Japanese language and                                                            communicating with people who speak a
 literature, so it made perfect sense to me           This experience has provided me the            completely different language from you,
 to go there and spend a year studying the            opportunity to grow a lot as a person.         but when you actually do it and look back
 language I love.                                     I came to be more accepting of other           on your experience, you will love every
                                                      cultures, to be more critical of the           moment of it — just like I did.
 How has this opportunity impacted your               way I think and act, and became more
 studies at UBC?                                      independent. Having had such a blast
                                                      during the exchange also motivated me

                                                                        Page 7
           Movers and Shakers                                                     Movers and Shakers
New UVa President announced
                                                                                                            Enhancing international outreach and

                                                   capabilities and to enhance our student             What drew Professor Sullivan to a career in
                                                   experience. We are pleased to have attracted        higher education was her own experience
                                                   a person of Terry’s integrity, experience and       as an undergraduate at Michigan State.
                                                   vision.”                                            “I developed a real appreciation for what a
                                                                                                       good undergraduate experience means to
                                                   Professor Sullivan said she was drawn               shaping your life,” she said. “I still see today
                                                   to the University of Virginia because of            what it does for students. It transforms them
                                                   its Jeffersonian values and traditions,             the way it did me.”
                                                   its academic reputation, its powerful
                                                   undergraduate student experience and its            After graduate school at Chicago, she
                                                   firm commitment to a public mission.                joined the University of Texas as a sociology
                                                                                                       instructor. She worked her way through
                       Professor Teresa Sullivan   “It is one of the truly great public universities   the ranks of assistant, associate and full
                                                   in the country,” she said. “In fact, it is one of   professor. In 1990, she became chair of
                                                                                                       the sociology department. In 1994, she
I t was announced on January 11, 2010
  that Teresa A. Sullivan, the University
of Michigan’s provost and executive vice
                                                   the great universities in the world.
                                                                                                       became vice provost and a year later was
                                                                                                       named vice president and dean of graduate
                                                   “I am honoured by the opportunity to lead
president for academic affairs and a leading       this University – and to follow John Casteen        studies. She has continued to teach and
scholar in labour force demography, is to          in this role. He has set the standard for what it   publish throughout her career. A prolific
become the University of Virginia’s eighth         is to be a university president and a leader in     writer, she is the author or co-author of six
president on August 1 2010. Professsor             higher education.”                                  books and more than 80 scholarly articles
Sullivan, will succeed John T. Casteen III,                                                            and chapters.
who announced last summer that he will             Profesor Sullivan said she is looking forward
step down as president at the end of his           to the challenges identified by the Board of        “I have never stopped teaching or publishing
20th year.                                         Visitors, among them:                               – no matter what job I had,” she said. “But
                                                        Focusing on a financial model that will        I think something will have to go when I
University Rector John O. Wynne, who                    ensure the long-term health of the             become president.”
chaired the Special Committee on the                    University;
Nomination of a President, officially                   Strengthening academic excellence              Professor Sullivan’s research now focuses on
welcomed Professor Sullivan to the                      across the University and further              labour force demography with emphasis on
University community, calling her “an                   enhancing the student experience;              economic marginality and consumer debt.
extraordinary talent who brings to the                  Successfully completing the current            She has served as chair of the U.S. Census
University an enormous depth and breadth                US$3 billion fund-raising campaign;            Advisory Committee and is a fellow of the
of experience in every aspect of public higher          Strengthening the University’s                 American Association for the Advancement
education.”                                             graduate programs and increasing               of Science.
                                                        graduate student financial support;
 “The University of Virginia has enjoyed                Increasing the University’s funded             Universitas 21 looks forward to welcoming
strong leadership in John Casteen for the               research in the sciences, technology           the new President of UVa to her first
past two decades,” Wynne said. “The board               and engineering;                               meeting later this year.
is confident that in Terry we have found an             Sustaining AccessUVa, the University’s
excellent successor to lead the University as           financial aid program; and
we work to elevate our teaching and research

New Secretariat Administrator
                                                                                                       recently at the University of Birmingham.
                                                                                                       Sheila does however wish to warn
                                                                                                       delegates that her ‘tour guide’ persona may
                                                                                                       re-emerge on the transfer coaches at the
Sheila Raby has been appointed as                                                                      Delhi series of meetings!
Secretariat Administrator to cover Clare
Noakes’ maternity leave until May 2011.                                                                Sheila shares with Clare a love of classical
Sheila is a graduate of Modern Languages                                                               music (particularly those composers with
from Aston University in Birmingham and                                                                Austrian links such as Beethoven, Mozart
split her year abroad between studying at                                                              and Mahler), although – unlike Clare -
Dijon University in France and undertaking                                                             she neither sings or plays any traditional
voluntary work with older people in                                                                    instrument! She does, however, admit to
Vienna, Austria. She has mostly worked in                     Sheila Raby                              playing a djembe (a West African drum) in a
the voluntary sector in the UK, in the field                                                           local community group in her spare time.
of alcohol and drug misuse, and is the             mountains of Austria (scenery which will
designer – and occasionally the author – of        be well known to any fans of The Sound of           Sheila is very happy to have joined the
numerous publications in this subject.             Music film). Unfortunately, this adventure          U21 family, and looks forward to making
                                                   was cut short by a fall, requiring a return to      your acquaintance - whether by email or in
Sheila recently took time out from office          the UK. Since her return, Sheila has been           person - over the coming months.
work in order to work in tourism in the            working in various temporary jobs, most

                                                                     Page 8
          Around the Network                                                                 Around the Network

Embracing the U21 Statement on Sustainability

          Staff Workshop on Sustainability, University of Auckland

B   efore committing to the Universitas
    21 Statement on Sustainability,
The University of Auckland’s Senior
                                                         wastes and emissions. Thousands of staff
                                                         and students are now involved in helping
                                                         to reduce the university’s environmental
                                                                                                                     The project is funded by the Vice-
                                                                                                                     Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund,
                                                                                                                     and is led by an inter-disciplinary steering
Management Team considered carefully the                 footprint. Activities include retro-fitting                 group that includes senior representatives
progress the University had already made,                and refurbishing for energy efficiency and                  from each of the University’s faculties: Arts,
and what still needed to be achieved. There              the inclusion of sustainability principles                  Business and Economics, Creative Arts
was a strong feeling that the university                 in building design, procurement and                         and Industries, Education, Engineering,
did not want to pay lip service to the                   transport planning.                                         Law, Medicine and Health Sciences and
statement, but take the commitments                                                                                  Science. Over a hundred staff members
within it seriously.                                     In terms of education for sustainability,                   have worked, through a series of
                                                         the university offers over 250 courses that                 independently facilitated workshops, to
In terms of leading by example, the                      provide students with the motivation and                    identify specific actions the University
university has a long-standing and award-                knowledge to contribute towards the                         can take to implement the Universitas 21
winning energy management programme.                     transition to a sustainable future. However,                Statement further. The workshops will
While the university’s student numbers                   most of these courses are offered within                    be followed by national and international
have tripled since the early eighties                    specific faculties, and until recently little               networking. A select group of international
when energy monitoring began, in 2009                    had been done at an institutional level                     advisors will be invited to the University
the university used 44% less energy per                  to support the interdisciplinary nature of                  to participate in a symposium designed
student and 73% less water per student                   education for sustainability. To address                    to build a ‘community of practice’ around
than it did three decades ago. Three years               this, a number of interdisciplinary activities              sustainability.
ago, the university began a concerted                    have recently been initiated, including
effort to build on energy and water                      the ‘Universitas 21 Sustainability Project’.                For further information contact Dr. Lesley
saving initiatives and engage staff and                  The project aims to advance excellence in                   Stone, Sustainability and Environmental
students in a broader range of activities                teaching and research for sustainability.                   Coordinator, The University of Auckland,
that further reduce the use of resources,                                                                  

A new way of doing things                                                                                            Three focus areas for research at the GCI
                                                                                                                     will mirror some of the most urgent areas:
                                                                                                                     water sensitive cities, climate change and

A    major new international research
     institute that will address the problems
of a rapidly changing world and develop
                                                                                                                     food security.

                                                                                                                     The new building to house the GCI will be
innovative solutions was launched in                                                                                 an example of modern “green” technology
Brisbane on 10 March 2010.                                                                                           in action. Made possible by a A$15M gift by
                                                                                                                     philanthropist Graeme Wood, it will employ
UQ Vice-Chancellor and Global Change                                                                                 sustainable design, construction and
Institute (GCI) Board Chair, Professor Paul                     The Global Change Institute (artist ‘s impression)   operating practices, including Australia’s
Greenfield, said that the University of                                                                              largest solar photo-voltaic grid electricity
Queensland new Global Change Institute                   “To tackle these challenges effectively you
                                                                                                                     generator. It is estimated that this alone
represents a major commitment by the                     need the best minds from different fields of
                                                                                                                     will reduce the St Lucia Campus’s peak
university and signals a new way of doing                research, all working together,” he said.
                                                                                                                     electricity consumption by 6 percent and
things. It will focus on a world where                   “UQ has many brilliant people across the
                                                                                                                     carbon emissions by 1.14 kt CO2e per
the biggest challenges of the future are                 spectrum of research who will investigate
interconnected and of a global scale.                    ways of anticipating and responding to
                                                         global change.”

                                                                             Page 9
    Issues for All                                   Issues for All                                  Issues for All
Equipping Graduates for Modern Life
H   igher education worldwide faces
    a great challenge in designing an
undergraduate curriculum that prepares
                                                A flexible curriculum structure is essential
                                                so students can incorporate all of these
                                                demands, make choices relevant to
                                                                                                specially to address issues of concern
                                                                                                through a multi-disciplinary approach. For
                                                                                                example, a pilot course on Feeding the
young people to meet the demands of             their learning goals, and thus be more          World is looking at global food production
the 21st century. Not only must graduates       fully engaged and responsible for their         and distribution from technical, economic
have discipline-based training, they            learning. HKU students have traditionally       and political perspectives.
must also be equipped with generic              entered the university and splintered into
capabilities to cope with rapid changes         major disciplines offered by their home         Common Core courses require a good
and increasingly complex issues that            faculties. Cross faculty selection of courses   deal of effort and thought on the part of
characterise modern life.                       is rare, save a few double degrees, some        the teachers. This makes the response to
                                                electives and a few minors. This is too         the call for courses particularly astonishing
By 2012 all universities in Hong Kong will      restrictive in terms of student choice and      – 225 in the first stage. Six courses
be required by government to offer a            is not flexible enough to allow students        were piloted in 2009-10, 68 have been
four-year undergraduate curriculum, from        to respond to demands brought about             approved by the Senate for introduction
three years at present. The University of       by rapid global changes. In the new             in 2010 (under the existing 3-year
Hong Kong (HKU) regards this change as          curriculum structure at HKU, students           curriculum structure) and this will increase
a rare opportunity to re-visit the whole of     will design their own combination of            to over 150 in 2012. They will be taught by
the curriculum and to set out a vision for      disciplinary majors, minors and electives,      professoriate staff, one-third of which are
the kind of education it wants to provide       and will have plenty of opportunities to        full professors and chair professors.
for its students.                               take courses outside their home Faculty.
                                                                                                The enthusiasm for these Common
This vision, developed after several years       HKU students
                                                                                                Core courses has sprung from intense
of consultation and intense discussion                                                          efforts to engage key stakeholders in
at Senate, encompasses six educational                                                          the development of the new curriculum,
aims that seek to address the ambiguities                                                       through both top-down and bottom-
of 21st century life. In essence, in addition                                                   up approaches. Ideas on the goals and
to academic excellence and life-long                                                            outline of the curriculum have been put
learning, HKU aims to help students                                                             forth to academic staff and students for
to develop capabilities to deal with            While a flexible curriculum structure           their input, modified to incorporate their
situations that they have never come            catering for student choice is important,       ideas and put back to them again. The
across before and in which problems             there are certain learning experiences          forums for these exchanges have included
are not well defined, to understand and         that should be common to all graduates          faculty-level committees, advisory groups
respect cultural differences, to uphold         of HKU. A major one is the Common Core          and four curriculum reform retreats, to
personal and professional ethics, to play       Curriculum. The word “Common” refers            which students were invited to not only
an active role as global citizens and to be     to the common human experiences that            participate, but also make presentations.
advocates for the improvement of the            will be studied, including the aesthetic
human condition.                                expression of emotions and ideas; the           The new curriculum will no doubt
                                                interaction amongst communities; the            require adjustment as it is implemented
These aims clearly cannot be achieved           relationship between the individual and         because the changes involve not only
only in the classroom. HKU has therefore        the community; the relationship between         the content but also the manner in which
re-defined the curriculum as the totality       human beings and nature, and the                courses are taught. HKU is preparing for
of experiences afforded to students.            interdependence of nature; the beliefs and      these changes by supporting teaching
We consider not only what students              values essential to human bonding; and          development efforts, adjusting the
can learn in the classroom but also             the relationship between past, present          expectations of both academic staff and
what opportunities for learning are             and future. It also refers to common            students, and setting target dates to
made available to students outside the          learning experience of all undergraduates.      review progress. It is an ongoing process
classroom that will help to achieve the         The word “Core” denotes the centrality          that is expected to enrich learning
educational aims. We look for ways to           of such experiences in all societies and        immensely. Students will be much better
synergize the so-called “formal” and the        the centrality of these courses in the new      equipped to navigate a dynamic job
“informal” curricula. The latter includes       curriculum.                                     market, where over their lifetimes they are
overseas exchange and placement,                                                                likely to travel down several career paths.
workplace learning, internship, service         The Common Core, which will make up             Most importantly, they will be prepared to
learning, and student activities on campus      15 per cent of the undergraduate course         become global citizens who understand
and in halls of residence. The diversity        load, is put under four Areas of Inquiry as     the challenges facing the world today and
and range of learning experiences               points of departure for studying common         who can act as leaders and advocates for
and approaches matter here. The new             human experiences: scientific and               the improvement of the human condition.
curriculum encourages staff and students        technological literacy, humanities, global
to cross the boundary between the               issues, and Chinese culture, state and                            Professor Amy B.M. Tsui,
campus and the community, to conduct            society. The courses in these areas will not           Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and
enquiry in multiple contexts and to ensure      be simply introductory, but will illustrate     Learning) & Vice-President Chair Professor
that multiple modes of assessment are           the inter-connectedness of human                      (Chair of Language and Education),
adopted.                                        experiences. Each course will be designed                        University of Hong Kong.

                                                                Page 10
Forthcoming U21 Events Forthcoming U21 Events
      28-30 April 2010                         U21 Annual Presidents’ Meeting and AGM                                        University of Delhi, India

        29 April 2010                                            U21 Symposium                                               University of Delhi, India

        29 April 2010                                              FINE meeting                                                       Denver, USA

        30 April 2010                                U21 Deans of Education Meeting                                                   Denver, USA

        1-3 June 2010                                    U21 PVC Research Meeting                                         University of Nottingham, UK

        1-7 July 2010                          U21 Undergraduate Research Conference                                   University of Melbourne, Australia

                                                                                                                       University of Nottingham, Ningbo
       4-15 July 2010                                         U21 Summer School
                                                                                                                               Campus, PR China

        7/8 July 2010                                     Managers’ Teleconference                                                      14:00 BST

     15-17 September
                                                    U21 Digital Humanities Workshop                                       University of Birmingham, UK
       27 September -
                                                        U21 Health Sciences Meeting                                    Tecnológico di Monterrey, Mexico
       1 October 2010

   14-15 October 2010                                       U21 Managers’ Meeting                                           Fudan University, PR China

    8/9 December2010                                      Managers’ Teleconference                                                     23:00 GMT

                        Details of all U21 activitives and events can be found online at

Who’s been where?
                                                                                                            Nigel Alvares from the University of Auckland went on
                                                                                                            an exchange to the University of Melbourne
Ruffin Evans, Kathryn Strobe and Thushare Gunda from the University of Virgina
were delegates to the URC in Glasgow (see page 3).

                                                               Katie Henderson from University College Dublin spent
                                                               a year at the University of Virginia on exchange

                                                                                 Page 11
The Back Page Interview                                                   The Back Page Interview
This edition’s Back Page Interview is             What are your favourite parts of your        And of course we have committed to the
with Professor David Greenaway, Vice-          job?                                            University of Nottingham, Ningbo China
Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.                                                    and University of Nottingham Malaysia
                                               Comprehensive research intensive                Campus. These are unique institutions
   What is a typical day in your job as        universities are remarkable places with         which deliver all of the above, but also
Vice-Chancellor of the University of           endless opportunities for stimulus from         give us real insights into the region which
Nottingham?                                    the huge array of creative work that takes      is rapidly becoming the world’s economic
                                               place on a daily basis. There are lots of       centre of gravity.
One of the great things about my job           ways of being exposed to this, from chance
is that there are no ‘typical days’. Being     conversations with colleagues, through             What are your hobbies/how do you
Vice-Chancellor of a university as large       visits to schools and attendance at public      switch off from academic life?
and comprehensive as Nottingham, with
its international campuses in China and                                                        I hugely enjoy the company of family and
Malaysia and our excellent community                                                           friends. I am also something of a sports
engagement at home makes the job                                                               nut and watch a lot, football and rugby
endlessly varied.                                                                              in particular. I have held a season ticket
                                                                                               for Nottingham Forest for a long time. I
   What are the key challenges you are                                                         continue to play football on a weekly basis,
facing currently?                                                                              at the university, with PhD students, Post-
                                                                                               Docs and faculty. When I am travelling I
The global financial crisis and recession                                                      read a lot, lay person’s science and history,
it triggered, has brought in its wake a                                                        and modern fiction
dramatic increase in public debt in the UK.
In addressing that, public expenditure on                       Professor David Greenaway
                                                                                                  What’s on your ipod at the moment?
higher education will be squeezed and
we will need to adjust. That said, it has                                                      Wild Beasts – Two Dancers; Noah and the
been obvious for a couple of years this        lectures. More specifically, I greatly enjoy    Whale – The First Day of spring; Elbow –
was coming, so we got on with ensuring         student engagement of one form or               Seldom Seen Kid; Broken Bells – Broken
we are operating efficiently and alert to      another. I continue to teach a Year 1 class     Bells; Amy MacDonald – This is the Life.
opportunities to diversify our income          in Current Issues in Economics, which
streams. My biggest challenge will be          remains stimulating, despite having taught         What or where was your most
to ensure we continue to invest in our         undergraduates for decades. Alumni              memorable holiday/business trip/
university over a period of declining public   engagement is also very rewarding. I see        lecture?
investment. I am confident we can do that.     great affinity for Nottingham and am proud
                                               of that.                                        Most memorable holiday: Jordan, a
  What does the University of                                                                  wonderfully varied country in every sense,
Nottingham have to offer U21? What                What does ‘internationalisation’ mean        with charming and hospitable people.
does it/you hope to get from it?               to you?                                         Most memorable business trip: Helmand
                                                                                               Province in Afghanistan, as Chairman
Nottingham is not new to                       The last 30 years have seen a remarkable        of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body,
internationalisation and the many benefits     increase in globalisation in all areas of       visiting people doing a remarkable job in a
it brings. This is the key reason we signed    economic activity. Higher education is a        remarkable environment. Most memorable
up as a founding member of U21. It is          welcome part of that process. It brings         lecture: at Umea University in Sweden,
an outstanding collection of universities      more and more opportunities for student         where I thought I was going to examine
from across the world which offers us real     and staff mobility, research collaboration      a PhD ‘British style’, and learned with 10
opportunities to benchmark, exchange           and curriculum development as well as           minutes notice that the event was public
staff and students and collaborate in          giving us access to a wider pool of ideas       and I had to deliver a lecture on the subject
curriculum development, staff enrichment       and innovations. We embrace this by             area of the PhD dissertation.
and research. We can offer the network         recruiting international students from
a gateway to an international university       around 150 countries and a quarter of our          How would you like to be
embedded in three countries, with links to     faculty are international. This enriches our    remembered?
many others, as well as our enthusiasm and     university and city. Increasingly we embed
commitment                                     internationalisation in the curriculum          Just being remembered would be fine.
                                               and promote staff and student mobility.

                                                           Universitas 21
                       Strathcona 109 • University of Birmingham • Edgbaston • Birmingham • B15 2TT • UK
                           T: +44 121 415 8870 • F: +44 121 415 8873 • E:

                           The deadline for receiving articles for the next newsletter is Wednesday 30 June 2010.
                        Please send any text, photos or ideas to Sheila Raby ( in the Secretariat.

                                                               Page 12