Academic Skills Centre

Academic Skills Centre collaborating with Brazil

Wed Sep 10 08:00:00 BST 2014

Maggie Ward Goodbody, Director of our new Academic Skills Centre (formerly the English Language Centre), part of the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office, has recently returned from an exploratory visit to Brazil with the aim of setting up an International Writing Centre.

From left to right: Maggie Ward Goodbody, Director Academic Skills Centre; Professor Dr Osvaldo Novais de Oliveira (Chu), Deputy Director Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos (IFSC) and President of International Relations Office; Jackie Dannatt, Writing Centre LeaderTogether with Jackie Dannatt, our newly appointed Writing Leader, Maggie visited the University of Sao Paulo (USP), University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCA), all in Sao Paulo. Welcomed by the President of USP’s Agency for International Academic Co-operation, Raul Machado Neto, Maggie and Jackie were given an overview of the University’s plan to develop their undergraduate students’ academic English in order to prepare them for study in English-speaking countries.

During the visit, discussions were held with a range of USP academic staff exploring a number of potential collaborative opportunities for the University. The most common theme emerging from these discussions was the need for more English academic writing teachers. A number of ideas were discussed exploring the possibility of addressing this need through online and/or blended courses or face-to-face teaching in Bath or USP. This need was considered within the context of establishing an International Writing Centre, potentially both in partnership with USP and in forging links in other countries.

Professor Colin Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Internationalisation) said;

“I am delighted to hear about this potential collaboration with our Brazilian partner, USP, to establish an International Writing Centre. This would be a very exciting development and would contribute significantly to the University’s international profile. I look forward to hearing of further developments in the coming months.”

Maggie Ward Goodbody outlined some of the main areas that the University’s new Writing Centre will be addressing:

“ We have always envisaged that our new Writing Centre would have both a physical and virtual presence, so this visit has, in a sense, kick-started its virtual presence. We will be addressing three main areas:

• Student-led enquiry into academic writing
• Support for academic staff in the cascading of writing skills’ expertise within the Disciplines
• Guidance and support for early career academics wishing to publish in scholarly journals.

It is hoped that the newly-established virtual and physical presence will put our Writing Centre on a truly international footing.” 

Jackie Dannatt, Writing Centre Leader, will be working with Professor Dr Osvaldo Novais De Oliveira Jr., Deputy Director, Institute of Physics in Sao Carlos (IFSC), and Professor Dr Eleonora C. Albano, Advisor, Science without Borders and Academic Mobility to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Graduate Affairs and the International Relations, University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, over the next few months to progress a detailed proposal and identify a range of collaborative activities.

Further information: Jackie Dannatt, Writing Centre Leader,,
tel: +44 (0) 1225 384962.

From left to right: Laura P. Zuntini de Izarra, Associate Professor; Professor Dr Marília Mendes Ferreira; Maggie Ward-Goodbody, Director Academic Skills Centre; Professor Dr Raul Machado Neto; Jackie Dannatt, Writing Leader; Professor Dr Esmeralda Negrao; Professor Dr Elizabeth Harkot de La Taille. From left to right: Laura P. Zuntini de Izarra, Associate Professor, Department of Modern Letters, USP; Professor Dr Marília Mendes Ferreira, Department of Modern Letters, USP; Maggie Ward-Goodbody, Director, Academic Skills Centre, University of Bath; Professor Dr Raul Machado Neto, President, President of USP’s Agency for International Academic Co-operation; Jackie Dannatt, Writing Leader, Academic Skills Centre, University of Bath; Professor Dr Esmeralda Negrao, Advisor, USP International Office; Professor Dr Elizabeth Harkot de La Taille, Department of Modern Letters, USP