This month has been a very eventful and successful start to the new academic year as I needed a few days to recover from putting on our first ever International Commencement Ceremony at the end of September but on seeing the short video of the event, I am reminded of how special the evening was and the warm welcome that our international students received from Bournemouth University as well as all our local dignitaries dressed in their finery!

Introducing Global BU to our Staff

The International Commencement Ceremony not only represented the start of our international students’ journey, but also that of Global BU itself as we formally shared our co-shaped and co-created Global Engagement Plan with the wider BU community. Feedback has been very positive and I’m delighted that colleagues are coming forward to share with me the research and collaborations that they are involved with that span the globe.

Whilst it feels like an important milestone to introduce the Plan to my colleagues, I know that this is where the hard work really starts! The focus for the wider team and me is to now turn this plan into reality…

#GlobalTraction – Making an Impact

We’re celebrating this month because BU is featured for the first time in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16. Only four post-92 institutions from the UK are featured in the top 500 HEIs and BU is now one of them. This rankings success is only just the beginning for all that we are lining up for global traction and impact!

#GlobalThinking – Sharing and Inspiring Knowledge

I introduced our new Global BUzz page last month which I’m pleased to see is attracting more and more visitors – the page now being among the top 5 most visited Global BU pages  – we are continually evolving these to ensure they appeal to as wide an audience as possible. My updates and blog on the website are all about sharing with you the key activities that we are collectively driving forward and which I hope will be of interest to colleagues both within and beyond BU. Remember though, this update is only one of many forums for sharing events, news and commentary on Global BU and Global HE more generally: our ‘Daily BUzz’ section provides food for thought on topical news and events from across the sector, and our ‘Global BU blog’ shares some of the exciting projects, research and activities being undertaken across BU. In driving #GlobalThinking, the Global BU team is undertaking a number of research projects and think pieces to celebrate the values of internationalisation, global talent, HE policy and global cities. Do continue to visit our webpages to find out more. 

Discovering Global BU – Monthly Walkabouts

The first Global BU Walk took place at the end of September. These informal monthly sessions with the Vice-Chancellor and myself provide the opportunity to share and celebrate the excellent work being undertaken by staff across BU to help deliver our shared vision for a Global BU.  This month we met Professor Dimitrios Buhalis from the Faculty of Management to discuss smart tourism key-notes in Greece and a forthcoming ‘world tour’; and Dr Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences who provided her insight into post-war conflict reconciliation in Kosovo. Both very different but equally fascinating subjects. And just yesterday, during this months walkabout with the Vice-Chancellor, we met with Dr Chindu Sreedharan to hear about his Nepalese quake journalism project; Dr Xiaosong Yang about a PhD exchange programme funded by BIS (UK) and Ministry of Education (China) on data analysis and motion capture; and finally, we also met with John Powell from the Faculty of Science & Technology for the first time. He is involved in a truly fantastic project that aims to reduce the number of drowning cases in some of the most resource-low countries across the globe. I personally felt truly humbled by this life-saving work. 

Global BU in Dorset-Learning from our Local Employers

Working with and supporting our regional businesses is core to our University’s vision and values and we are extremely lucky in what many think to be a sleepy rural county to have such a thriving business community ranging from large multinationals through to innovative start-ups and successful small businesses. A team of staff and students visited Ceuta Healthcare Group this month. We are very grateful to Annette D’Abreo, MD of Ceuta Healthcare Group for sharing her experiences of co-founding this business back in 1994 and how she turned it into the thriving international company it is today with staff of over 200 people. Annette is an inspiration to us all. 

Visit to Malaysia

My international travels this month took me to Malaysia with the Vice-Chancellor where we did a roundtable with local employers and industry organised via the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce, after which we met up with a number of our Malaysian alumni. We also held various meetings with our partners in Kuala Lumpur towards the ASEAN Hub of Practice.

Yet another busy month here at Global BU and I very much look forward to reporting back next month on a successful Global BUzz India. We’ll then be making preparations for Global BUzz Europe in December and gearing ourselves up for piloting the #GlobalTalent Programme in the early part of 2016.