UCL at Going Global 2016, South Africa: exploring the impact of international university partnerships
By Sophie Vinter, on 5 May 2016
Dame Nicola Brewer, UCL’s Vice-Provost (International), joined a panel of higher education leaders from around the world at the British Council’s Going Global conference in Cape Town this week.
Speaking at the session ‘University partnerships: delivering international impact?’, Dame Nicola – who was formerly British High Commissioner to South Africa – presented UCL’s Global Engagement Strategy and our collaborative approach to partnership working with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).
She outlined how both institutions have been taking forward a number of initiatives as part of their emerging partnership. These range from classic forms of international activity (visits and lectures by faculty in each university, exploring funding opportunities to support student mobility) to more ambitious plans for joint appointments, as well as an idea for a co-designed and co-hosted conference about ‘equal partnerships in an unequal world’.
Dr Peter Clayton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University, chaired the session, and fellow speakers represented Brazil’s University of Campinas, The University of Tokyo and Heriot-Watt University.
Wits University Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Zeblon Vilakazi (pictured above with Dame Nicola) also attended the session.
“As London’s Global University, UCL is looking to build reciprocal relationships of mutual trust and respect with partners around the world to co-create fair solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges,” said Dame Nicola.
“Our Global Engagement Strategy provides the framework and the focus for this approach. UCL’s partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand is a great example of how diverse and geographically distant universities can work together and learn from each other to deliver greater impact together than they could apart.”
Professor Vilakazi said the partnership is a perfect fit for Wits, adding: “Wits is located at the heart of a large metropolis that is grappling with a set of dynamics that are often characterised as a collision between the challenges of the ‘developed global north’ and the ‘developing global south’. This makes Wits and UCL ideal partners, as Global City Universities, to share expertise and make a unique contribution in addressing some of these challenges.”
Going Global is an annual conference offering an open forum for global leaders of tertiary education to discuss issues facing the international education community. This year’s theme was “Building nations and connecting cultures: education policy, economic development and engagement.”