UCL hosts Celebrating Global Engagement 2018/19 event

UCL hosts Celebrating Global Engagement 2018/19 event

Staff and students from across UCL came together to celebrate UCL’s wide-ranging global partnerships and the successes of recent seed funding recipients.

Last week saw more than 160 academic and professional services staff from across UCL join President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur at an annual event to celebrate UCL’s wide-ranging global research, teaching and enterprise partnerships.

Students who had achieved notable international success in 2018 were also in attendance, including the winners of the 2018 $1 million Hult Prize.

Attendees heard how academics had used funding streams such as the UCL Global Engagement Funds and UCL-Toronto match funds to collaborate with partners overseas.

Vice-Provost International Dr Dame Nicola Brewer, Pro-Vice-Provost International Dr Karen Edge, and UCL’s network of Regional Pro-Vice-Provosts and Vice-Deans International also welcomed guests to the event.

Accelerating the process of discovery

Introducing the event, Professor Arthur said: “I know it takes a great deal of time and effort to nurture relationships at a distance, but the fact that we’re joined here tonight by partners from as far as Mexico and Japan is testament to the strength and truly collaborative nature of your partnerships.

“External developments since last year’s event mean that global engagement is both harder and more important than ever […] and I’m very proud of the fact that you have made UCL the most successful higher education institute in collaborative research in Europe, according to the European Commission’s own data.”

In her speech, Dame Nicola said: “The achievements of the UCL Global Engagement Funds recipients once again provide real evidence that small amounts of seed-funding help to accelerate the process of discovery and knowledge sharing.

“Over the past three years, Global Engagement Strategy funding programmes have benefited more than 550 academics. We now know that these grants, totalling £760k, have generated an impressive £13.4m of external funding.”

Successful international partnerships

Guests heard from a range of UCL academics who have received funding for their international collaborations during the event. Professor Colin Marx (UCL Development Planning Unit) explained how he used the Global Engagement Funds to strengthen his collaboration with Associate Professor Shuaib Lwasa at Makerere University in Uganda.

Their resulting publications led to additional larger-scale, external-funded partnerships that are helping to make cities fairer.

Professor Daisuke Kawata (UCL Space & Climate Physics) shared how his partnership with colleagues at the University of Toronto, supported by the UCL-Toronto matched funding stream, has furthered his research into understanding the structure of the Milky Way.

Cities partnerships Programme

Academic Directors for the recently-launched Cities partnerships Programme, Dr Florian Mussgnug and Dr Claire Colomb, invited the assembled academics to participate in the programme, which will support interdisciplinary academic work with partners in global cities, starting in Rome and followed by Paris. Applications for the next round of funding in the two cities will open on 18 March 2019.

Staff from the UCL Summer School, UCL Careers, UCL Consulting and UCL Study Abroad attended the event to provide information on supporting student mobility, global consultancy and other international opportunities for staff and students.

Attendees also had an opportunity to try out GEO’s interactive data dashboard, which displays the location of existing collaborations in countries worldwide, demonstrating the breadth of UCL’s engagement around the world.

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