My previous role was inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Bath. I led the strategy delivery for international research, staff and student mobility (ie engagement with international partners in the UK and overseas), recruitment at all levels and profile. I also led direct partnerships with key institutional and high-value discipline partners such as Stellenbosch University, State University of Campinas, Zhejiang University and Yonsei University. I also led partnerships with governments in Peru, Malaysia and South Africa to build excellence in higher education systems in such areas as advanced training at doctoral level for future university leaders.
While at Bath, I also devised a strategy to build resilience of people and systems in Jordan (a policy collaboration with the Amman-based British Institute, doctoral training in computer science with Princess Sumaya University of Technology and joint research in water with the Jordanian Royal Society. I have led Universities UK delegations to Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. These delegations, typically 15 senior colleagues from across the UK, engaged with leading universities, businesses and government agencies to drive long-term collaboration.
Excellence is defined against international benchmarks. As a major powerhouse we need to be operating in fast-moving contexts and at a world-leading level. The new strategy will make us stronger together in everything we do.
I hope with envy!
Resilience, engagement and stamina. Creating meaningful partnerships between complex organisations requires a lot of trust-building and we have good experience in our relationships with Xiamen University in China and the Worldwide Universities Network, for example to build upon. This means bringing communities together and providing the support that will make things happen. Results rarely happen overnight and there is a real sense of urgency to what we are doing as a University. However, we need to prepare for long-term commitments.
I am really looking forward to engaging and supporting the very large community at Southampton and overseas. We are a powerhouse across a very wide range of fantastic disciplines. In my mind, a powerhouse means excellence in depth and range, but also in scale.
These qualities deserve greater global visibility. This means that strong engagement with the student community at all levels and the research community in all disciplines will be vital. And the same applies to our alumni, industry and government contacts around the world.
This is an understandable question, but actually tricky to answer by specific country. We already have great links in Asia and through the Worldwide Universities Network, and colleagues engage strongly with partner universities in Mexico, Africa and MENA (Middle East and Africa universities). I personally feel that an international strategy needs strong global reach, but that requires selection. The selection for me is guided by impacts – academic, economic, cultural or social.
Short answer: very. Without their engagement our mission will be impossible.
They can engage in so many ways: by supporting us by word of mouth, by attending events, by mentoring, by providing access to their networks and by keeping in touch. They are our global family and I can’t wait to meet them.
If you do want to get involved, there is a number of ways you can do so:
– Help us find a cure for cancer through our campaign for the Centre for Cancer Immunology.
– Inspire present and future students through our volunteering opportunities.
– Support our students by giving to one of our strategic funds
– Tell us how your career and life have developed since leaving the University by filling in one of our student profiles
We always love to hear what you are up to so please do not hesitate to get in touch.