Dear All,

On Thursday, 24th September, 500 students joined around 170 staff, alumni, and a host of local dignitaries all of whom arrived in their finery at the inaugural International Commencement Ceremony. Our vision was to welcome these students with the same sense of ceremony and occasion as we do our goodbyes at graduation - creating and sharing a sense of inspiration for their futures.

The International Commencement Ceremony is therefore, perhaps a fitting backdrop against which to formally introduce our wider plans for Global BU.

The focus of the last academic year was about setting the foundations for Global BU as a derivation of our ambitions in BU2018. Working with staff and students across the University we developed the Global Engagement (GE) Plan, which sets out our detailed approach to taking our University vision of Fusion global.

Through this short update I hope to provide a brief introduction to Global BU Today and Tomorrow – and I hope that you will join us in creating, sharing, inspiring a Global BU 2025.

Global BU centres on three value propositions – derived from Fusion: developing global talent, driving global thinking, and delivering global traction.

  • Briefly, Developing Global Talent is expressed through our Global Talent Programme. This is an educational expression of our vision which is underpinned by the fusion of two core agendas - Internationalisation and Employability - and sets out to develop our students as the future talent workforce for our regions and for the globe.
  • Driving Global Thinking is at the heart of shaping a global BU and reflects our passion for taking our academic model global. We will be commissioning a range of research projects to celebrate the values of internationalisation, and the experiences of our international staff and students. Daily, weekly and monthly updates on our own research and thought leadership related to external updates can be found here.
  • Global Talent and Global Thinking have to deliver impact for our students, our staff, and our societies. Delivering Global Traction is therefore the third and final element of Global Fusion. Towards the latter part of last year we invited applications through the internal Fusion Investment Fund for establishing Hubs of Practice. These are intended to be instrumental in expanding our intellectual capital and its impact beyond our campus into the region, nationally and internationally. I’m pleased to say that the first Hub of Practice will be launched in Malaysia over the coming months.

Taking the lead for driving forward Global Fusion within Faculties is our newly appointed Associate Deans (Global Engagement) - Dr Lucy Lu (Faculty of Management), Dr Malcolm McIver (Health and Social Sciences), and Dr Angelos Stefanidis (Faculty of Science and Technology). Our final ADGE for the Faculty of Media and Communication will be joining very soon early in the New Year.

In addition to Global Fusion, the GE Plan sets out our approach to conducting ourselves coherently and in a joined up way across the core services areas of Partnerships, Recruitment and Mobility.

  • We have a refreshed approach and commitment to developing corporately led strategic partnerships that deliver impact. I will be working very closely with Faculty colleagues via the ADGEs to identify and launch these strategic partnerships over the next 2 years so we can begin to realise our partnerships ambitions in line with BU2018. To support this we will be working closely with our IT colleagues to develop an integrative system for the management of partnerships. A first step in this direction is the availability of partnership support toolkits developed by the Academic Partnerships Team.
  • The International Marketing and Student Recruitment Team have developed a series of in-country plans setting out the activities and priorities for the coming year.
  • Likewise for mobility, we have renewed ambitions and focus to support student mobility across the institution. In particular, we recognise that this area requires further resources and we are committed to making this investment over the coming months.

Finally, the ambitions within the GE Plan can only really be delivered with the right investment in our organisational capacity and capability. Hence the need to mobilise the BU2018 enablers to deliver a Global BU.

  • Activating our People enabler we have established the Global Engagement Team as champions for the delivery of a Global BU. However, a Global BU can only truly be realised if all staff can access global opportunities. Hence it is very important for us to have a rolling calendar of engagements and events which includes monthly Global BU Walkabouts with the Vice-Chancellor,  Global Café Forums and themed Global BUzz events.
  • In terms of our Environment enabler, I’m pleased to announce the opening of the Global Hub, located on Talbot Campus, the Global Hub is a key physical enabler for delivery of our global engagement ambitions and offers everyone across the wider BU community a designated space in which to collaborate, share ideas and innovate. If you are interested in using the space please email us at [email protected]
  • Under the Finance and Performance enabler, the GE Plan sets out the approach to measuring the success and delivery of the GE Plan. We now have a clear set of Governance PI’s and a range of GE milestones that we will regularly monitor to attain a Global BU. More on these in our First Quarterly Review Report to be published next month.

All of the above are linked through a single purpose – Global Fusion. But to maximise the impact of Global Fusion we must also enhance our profile – by showing and telling our students, our staff, our policy-makers, our partners both locally and globally what it is that makes Global BU different. So please do follow us via Global BU’s many social media channels. Or you can follow our website link for regular updates. Or you can email us on [email protected] and we’d be delighted to tell you more.

With every best wish,