All posts by kjm146

UC Values – staff co-creation workshops in October

Kia ora colleagues

A desire to co-create Organisational Values for UC came through strongly in the focus groups and other feedback mechanisms in the Strategy development process.

Two alternative times providing an opportunity for you to participate in this co-creation are available next month:

  • Friday 02 October 10.30 to 12 noon OR
  • Friday 09 October 1.30 to 3pm.

The sessions will include a short introduction to Organisational Values and the context and benefits of Values to an organisation and its staff. We’ll then take you through an exercise to identify concepts that are important to us as an organisation. Your conclusions will be added to those from other staff workshops as part of the process to identify 3 or 4 core UC Values and the behaviours that are the Values translated into day-to-day actions.

If you wish to participate in either of these sessions please email me  by  29 September. Indicate which date and time suits you and I will then send you an invitation with details. If you are unable to make these options but are interested in further sessions, let me know.

Please pass on this information to your colleagues. Thank you.

Kia pai tō koutou rā .

Karen Mather

People and Culture


News from the Association of Commonwealth Universities

Included below:

  • Internationalisation and the challenges and opportunities for international offices going forward.
  • Policy brief featuring recommendations for governments and universities to take swift action to ensure no one is left behind in the shift online.
  • Funding – gender initiative grants and fellowship funding.
  • Librarians – virtual conference.
  • Sustainable Urbanisation Programme news.

Almost six months into the global pandemic, the impacts upon universities have been – and continue to be – profound.

In response, universities – and the individuals and offices within them – have shown incredible resilience in adapting and innovating to advance their teaching and learning, research, and service missions. Those particularly responsible for internationalisation within their institutions are no exception.

The ACU recently convened a group of internationalisation leaders from six member universities to reflect upon the challenges and opportunities for international offices going forward.

These leaders shared experiences of the ways in which their work had changed significantly. The need for more virtual internationalisation opportunities in the wake of limited mobility activities (a traditional mainstay of universities’ internationalisation efforts) is one key example.

Collectively, they agreed that internationalisation remains a core priority for their respective universities. Indeed, this period has highlighted the critical importance of, for instance, cross-cultural learning and transnational research collaboration. The ACU will be taking these discussions forward through its member Champions.

My own work with the ACU so far this year has shown me the value of the symbiotic relationship between international university networks and individual universities.

Networks, for their part, connect, convene, innovate, and advocate to create the right opportunities for their members for the times we are in. This, in turn, allows universities to focus upon what they do best – directly engaging their students, researchers, and communities.

I invite you to review this issue of Synthesis – and the ACU’s latest activities – to see how such a synergy is playing out in real time. With its online events, Networks and Communities, programming, and UN engagement, the ACU has built an international structure of opportunities. Members can then select those that advance their particular priorities.

While calls for transparency and effectiveness predate, of course, the pandemic, they have become louder during recent months. Judicious engagement in international networks by universities can help all achieve their goals. I look forward to future opportunities to work with the ACU to help convene and support universities as they navigate this new landscape in higher education.

Kind regards, Professor Ian Rowlands,
School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability,
University of Waterloo, Canada

A snapshot of digital engagement in Commonwealth universities 

The results of the ACU’s recent digital engagement survey highlight a stubborn digital divide and its impact on higher education. Our new policy brief features recommendations for governments and universities to take swift action to ensure no one is left behind in the shift online.

ACU Gender Grants 2020 – applications now open!

10 ACU Gender Grants, up to a maximum value of GBP 1,000 each, are now available to staff at ACU member universities who are working to promote gender equity and equality in their institutions. The deadline for applications is 20 September 2020, 11.59 pm (BST).

ACU Fellowships – coming soon

Applications will open this month for ACU Fellowships, aimed at academic and professional staff of ACU member universities in any country to promote the exchange of knowledge, skills, and ideas. These virtual fellowships will support collaboration at a distance and enable the creation of valuable new partnerships, as part of the ACU Digital Now strategy.

From zero to hero: Rising to the challenge in a time of crisis

The ACU is partnering with the University of Johannesburg’s Library for their virtual conference ‘From zero to hero: Rising to the challenge in a time of crisis’, on 14-15 September 2020.This conference will focus on the changing roles of librarians in the transforming landscape of information science in a time of global disruption.

Commonwealth Sustainable Urbanisation Programme

‘The Commonwealth Sustainable Urbanisation Programme was a great learning experience where I understood multiple stakeholders’ perspectives on a range of issues surrounding urban development. Such initiatives can push for more innovation and collaboration, which is significant in addressing any crisis.’ – Rohit Pradeep Lahoti, 2019 Commonwealth Scholar

This programme of online events on the important issue of sustainable urbanisation was curated by the ACU and our partners.

For all information go to the ACU home page.

Ka kite anō au i a kōrua Karen Mather, People and Culture

The annual Times Higher Education (THE) World Academic Summit

I have just received this information from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Please note the 50% discount.

The annual Times Higher Education (THE) World Academic Summit brings together pre-eminent global thought leaders across higher education, research, industry and government to share best practice and innovation in the development and leadership of world-class universities and research. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘A new dawn for higher education?

The summit has a full programme of content running across 1-2 September. A copy of the programme can be found here.

As an alliance partner of this year’s event, the ACU is delighted to offer our members an exclusive 50% discount on tickets. Use the code ACU50 to claim this specially discounted registration fee via this link.

The ACU will take an active part in the debates and is co-organising the following sessions with our partners and members. Click on the links below to find out more:

  • 1 September 2020 | 14.30-16.00 BST | Is the decolonisation of the academy realisable? Hosted by King’s College London in collaboration with the ACU, this workshop will convene senior academics, university and thought leaders from across the global South who will be in dialogue with their counterparts in the North. The panel will address how the events of the COVID-19 moment and the anti-racism protests are shaping a new discourse on decolonisation of the university.

The ACU will also have a virtual stand throughout the conference where delegates can drop in for a live chat or virtual 1-2-1 meeting with us and download helpful resources. We look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,  The ACU

Karen Mather, People and Culture

Gender Grants – to support those who are working to promote gender equity and equality

UC’s membership with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) provides access to these grants.  Grants open on 20 August and I anticipate more information will be available on ACU’s website then. Please promote this opportunity. Thank you.

“For more than 30 years, the ACU has worked to further gender equality and women’s empowerment – such as championing women in leadership and combating sexual violence on campus – in partnership with our members. We’re delighted to announce that 10 ACU Gender Grants, up to the maximum value of GBP 1,000 each, will soon be available to ACU members who are working to promote gender equity and equality in their institutions. Now entering its fourth year, the Gender Grants help members to meet the costs of a diverse range of projects, workshops, and events in areas such as supporting women in science and research; mainstreaming gender equity into the curriculum and developing anti-sexual harassment initiatives. The next round of applications will open on 20 August 2020.”

Karen Mather, People and Culture

UC Values – opportunity to participate in deciding our way forward

Kia ora  koutou

A desire for organisational values for UC came through strongly in the focus groups and other feedback mechanisms in the Strategy development process.

I am looking for volunteers to form a pan-UC working group to establish how we go about developing and implementing a set of meaningful UC Values.

Your likely initial commitment would be:

  • A two-hour workshop on the afternoon of August 28
  • Two additional one hour follow up meetings.

Then it will depend on what we as a group decide.

I will pick about 20 names from those who put their hand up – the group will need to be a good representation of staff. If you miss out on this initial group there will be plenty of opportunities to participate further and your enthusiasm to support this mahi will greatly appreciated.

Please email me by  07 August.  Thank you.  Kia pai tō koutou rā .

Karen Mather

People and Culture