- 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