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New resources to support LGBT staff and students working abroad

Sophie Vinter14 July 2016

The charity Stonewall has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings to support LGBT employees travelling overseasForty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can be imprisoned, just for being themselves.

UK charity Stonewall is fighting to change this and has launched a set of Global Workplace Briefings open to UCL staff and students to access the latest information.

UCL has a history of opening up education to people previously excluded from it, and was the first UK university to join Stonewall’s Global Diversity Champion programme for international employers, helping to promote equality around the world.

The new Global Workplace Briefings shine a spotlight on the situation for LGBT people in different countries, which will enable UCL staff and students planning to work overseas to keep up to date on changing laws and the potential implications.

Protecting from discrimination

In more than half the world, LGBT people are not protected from discrimination under workplace law.

The first set of briefings, which are available via UCL’s Equalities website, cover Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey.

Further briefings will follow later this year.

Each briefing outlines the legal, socio-cultural and workplace situation for LGBT people in the specified country and showcases progressive workplace practices from Stonewall’s membership.

They provide an important summary of in-country contexts for global mobility teams, helping them to identify where colleagues may need additional support when travelling internationally.

Supporting UCL’s LGBTQ community

Dr Fiona Leigh, a member of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group (LEAG), said UCL is now working further with Stonewall to produce additional briefings specifically for those working within higher education.

She said: “UCL is committed to providing resources and information for the safety and support of all of our staff and students, when travelling and working internationally.

“These briefings provide a very useful background in this endeavour, whether for LGBT staff or students or those supporting others with international visits.”

Strengthening UK-India industry collaborations: UCL hosts UUKi high-level roundtable

Sophie Vinter13 July 2016

CII delegates talkingA delegation of ten top Indian CEOs met with UK higher education leaders to discuss future collaboration opportunities at a roundtable discussion hosted by UCL – part of an annual visit to the UK organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Universities UK International (UUKi).

Dame Nicola Brewer (UCL Vice-Provost International), Professor Marie Lall (Pro-Vice-Provost, South Asia) and Roger de Montfort (UCL Consulting Ltd) joined the discussions alongside university leaders from across the UK. The roundtable was chaired by Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit.

The aim was to celebrate economic engagement between India and the UK and to highlight new business opportunities.

India is currently the third largest investor in the UK economy, reciprocated by the UK being India’s third largest foreign investor.

It also has the fastest growing GDP among large economies, supported by large-scale campaigns such as ‘Make in India‘ for manufacturing, ‘Smart Cities’ for urbanisation, ‘Clean Energy’ and ‘Digital India.’

Identifying new ways of working

Guests from UUK and CII in front of the PorticoDame Nicola spoke of UCL’s commitment to intensify its global engagement in the wake of the EU referendum and its continuing work with partners across the world to address global challenges.

The Indian CEOs expressed strong interest in strengthening their links with the UK.

Earlier this year Dame Nicola led a cross-institutional scoping visit to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi, with academics from four Faculties at UCL.

UCL academics are currently working on a number of exciting initiatives with partners in India, from improving water, sanitation and lighting provision in public toilets in Mumbai to combat gender-based violence, to using supercomputers to develop personalised medicine.

Building on potential

Lesley Hayman, UCL’s Head of Global Partnerships, said: “India is a vital partner for the UK and there is huge potential for UCL academics to share their expertise and work more closely with Indian industries in areas such as manufacturing, engineering, education and health to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“We are looking forward to visiting India again later this year to explore how we can further develop the ideas identified during the roundtable in the areas of research, capacity building and student experience.”

UCL in India: strengthening partnerships

Sophie Vinter15 April 2016

Group photo at Mumbai Alumni ReceptionAcademics from across UCL joined Vice-Provost (International) Dame Nicola Brewer on a major recent scoping visit to India.

Representatives from the fields of engineering, population health sciences, management, architecture and education met with leading public and private higher education institutions, top private schools, charitable foundations and UK and Indian government bodies during the visit.

At a time of strengthening ties between the UK and India, the group visited Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi between 29 March and 12 April.

Alumni receptions in the latter two cities attracted over 50 alumni at each – twice the number than at previous events.

Interdisciplinary approach

The aim of the visit was to review UCL’s current engagement with India and to investigate new opportunities in line with the Global Engagement Strategy (GES).

Lesley Hayman, Head of Global Partnerships, said: “The response to UCL’s visit was clear – there was considerable enthusiasm for working with UCL in all the sectors represented and more, both from our existing partners and those that we met for the first time. Several of the charitable foundations we visited expressed an interest in partnering with us for joint research and capacity building.

“Many of our discussions centred on how an interdisciplinary approach combining education, engineering for development and child health could tackle long-standing community problems effectively.”

Long-term partnerships

Among organisations visited during the trip was the Mumbai-based Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA), with whom Professor David Osrin from UCL’s Institute of Global Health has been working in the Dharavi slums for over a decade.Made from tobacco packets, the Dharavi Art Biennale Sculpture "Hollow Man" shows how smoking hollows out the inside of a person

Through their long-term partnership, they are successfully helping to improve children’s health and reduce gender-based violence.

Lesley added: “There were many lessons to be learnt from the project, not least that it takes years to build up trust and to effect change at the community level.

“Although the work with SNEHA predates the GES, it is a living example of how co-creating wise solutions to global problems can work in action.”

The delegation left India with a strong list of contacts and ideas from which they hope to build future collaborations.

What is the Newton Fund?

Kerry Milton27 October 2014

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official international development assistance. This new funding is designed to promote the long term economic development and welfare of people in partner countries and unlock new opportunities for HEIs to contribute and build partnerships.

The fund is worth £75 million each year from 2014 for 5 years, predicated upon reciprocal funding in cash or kind from each partner country.

The partner countries have been confirmed as 15 fast-developing economies, identified by OECD:

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Vietnam

The fund has a governance board chaired by the Minister for Universities and Science, while BIS will oversee the management of the fund via a core group of ‘delivery partners’, including various academies, the British Council and International Higher Education Unit, Research Councils UK, Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Met Office.

The fund is organised into a wide-ranging series of collaborative programmes grouped into three ‘pillars’: People, Programmes, Translation.

Each UK delivery partner has a particular role in promoting different programmes; see Newton Fund Programme Descriptions [PDF] for further information.

Each partner country decides upon its own priorities in consultation with the UK delivery partners and UK diplomatic centres in-country, according to local need and the local availability of reciprocal matching resources.

How to apply

UCL applications for Newton funding will follow the applicant’s usual departmental procedures in line with the relevant Newton Fund delivery partner’s requirements. Further guidance if required can be obtained from the research facilitation team member for the appropriate School, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Research website for contact information

Useful information

An overview of the BIS policy [webpage]

The Newton Fund Programme Descriptions [PDF]

Government Newton Fund Presentation [PowerPoint]

Frequently asked questions [PDF]

Universities UK International Unit maintains an up-to-date web page as a one-stop for all current calls [webpage]

Universities UK International Unit runs an email alert service for all new calls, and UCL colleagues are encouraged to sign up for this [webpage]

UKIERI award success

Kerry Milton14 February 2014

Dr Daniel G. Bracewell from UCL’s Department of Biochemical Engineering and Physicist Dhiren Kataria from the Department of Space and Climate Physics, in collaboration with academics in the UK and India, have both received prestigious funding awards from the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

A joint initiative between the UK and Indian Governments, UKIERI aims to enhance educational links between the two countries, providing opportunities and funding for UK and Indian universities to collaborate on thematic partnerships and collaborations to enhance the innovation and research capacity of the two countries.

Dr Bracewell and his team at UCL, in partnership with the Department of Biosciences at the University of Kent and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi), will explore imaging technologies in order to understand bioseperations, building on existing work between UCL and IIT Delhi.

Dr Bracewell explains, “These funds will be critical to take our collaboration in biochemical engineering with IIT Delhi to the next level.”

Dhiren’s project aims to develop a strategic research and innovation partnership in the area of space science and instrumentation between teams at the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in India, and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) at UCL.

“I see the partnership as an exemplar,” commented Dhiren, “with the long term vision of extending such partnerships to other areas of space research between Indian and UK institutions, tapping into India’s already incredibly successful space programme.”

Established in 2006, UKIERI has so far committed £25 million in the first phase of the programme, and has recently been extended by a further five years.

For further information visit the UKIERI website