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Monthly update: July / August 2015

My first year at BU has flown by and with the new academic year fast approaching, the summer period is a good time to take stock and reflect on the year gone and gear-up for the year ahead.

We concluded this academic year by finalising the Global Engagement Plan, which sets out our detailed approach to taking our University vision – Fusion – global. We will launch the Plan formally along with a fuller Global BU launch next month.

Whilst a focal point for the last year has been in the planning and set-up phase for Global BU, there has been lots of action in parallel too!

We concluded our two HEA backed projects on Internationalising the Curriculum and Internationally-Informed Internationalisation - and won a second grant to develop this work further in 2015/16. We hope other institutions may find interest and value in this work and we will share more information as the work develops. Regular future updates will be available for this under the Global Talent Programme banner.

As part of our plans for taking Fusion global, we have also developed a Hub of Practice model that will create a unique regional, national and global network of partners and collaborators by bringing together business, government, community and academia. We have run a competitive process internally to select the first Hub of Practice, which will be focused on the ASEAN region. Watch this space…

Alongside the planning and delivery at home here in Dorset, we have been raising our profile and visibility both in the UK and around the globe.

I started the year with a visit to several current and prospective partner institutions and corporations in China and I’m pleased to report that these conversations have continued throughout the year and plans are in place for some growth in activity in the coming year.

I also participated in an International Unit ministerial delegation to Indonesia earlier in the year, joined the QS Maple team in Qatar as a member of the International Academic Advisory Council, and have just returned from a trip to Thailand where I visited three of our current partner institutions.

Whilst working with partners around the globe is a key thread of my role as PVC (Global Engagement), I feel just as passionate about the importance of shaping global education policy and practice here in the UK. I have held a range of meetings with key regional and national stakeholders/policy makers over the last year and you will see a number of thought pieces and practice reports published in the new academic year under our #GlobalThinking and #GlobalTraction campaigns.

I am looking forward to the year ahead – as ever it will be a busy one! The new term will kick-off with a very special welcome to our new international students at our first International Commencement Ceremony in September. Plans are also taking shape for our first ever Global Festival of Learning, to mirror the hugely successful Festival of Learning that takes place each summer here on campus.

Finally, people are at the heart of Global BU, and I’m delighted to welcome our new Associate Deans for Global Engagement: Dr Yang (Lucy) Lu; Dr Angelos Stefanidis; and Dr Malcolm McIver, who join us on the 1st September.

I am already eager to write my next monthly update in which together we will launch Global BU on campus, regionally, nationally and internationally! Do enjoy the tail end of your summer vacations before that!

Dr Sonal Minocha
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement)