The University of Bath International Relations Office had the pleasure of hosting the Magalhães General Assembly between the 19th and 21st November 2023. The Magalhães Network consists of a group of 20 European and 20 Latin American member Universities working together to increase academic exchange and collaboration between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean in the disciplines of Engineering and Architecture. The Network promotes the systematic exchange of best practices in the internationalisation of higher education. This allows the member HEIs to learn from each other and improve their internationalisation strategies to strengthen their position in the global educational landscape.

The members were welcomed by Professor Julian Chaudhuri, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education & Global) and the Magalhães Network President, Professor Roberto Zanino from Politecnico di Torino before they heard a keynote speech on Innovation in Higher Education from Professor Vimal Dhokia, Deputy Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

During the General Assembly the visitors toured the campus and met with academics and technical staff from the Faculty of Engineering & Design to learn more about the cutting edge equipment used to support our teaching and research before continuing their sessions to focus on the future of the Network, increasing short-term and virtual student mobility between Latin America and Europe and to explore the inclusion of research and innovation in the scope of the Network's activities.

The sessions were held at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) and we were pleased to hold a drinks reception and dinner at the Roman Baths to showcase the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City.

Professor Julian Chaudhuri, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education & Global) said:

I was so pleased to be involved in the Magalhães Network General Assembly Events. This long standing network goes from strength to strength, and now, more than ever, we need to collaborate positively and collegially across our member countries, for the benefit of our students and staff.

Professor Mirella di Lorenzo, Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Engineering & Design said:

It has been a true privilege to host at Bath the Magalhães Network General Assembly 2023. The event provided a brilliant opportunity to engage with engineering and architecture experts across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and explore opportunities for student exchanges that can enrich the learning experience of our students with an international and multicultural dimension and for international collaborations that can enhance the international profile of our research.

Bath's academic representative for the Network and Magalhães Steering Committee Member, Professor Paul Shepherd said:

2023 marks Bath’s 10th year as a member of the Magalhães Network and so it was a great honour to finally be able to welcome 53 high-profile visitors from across two continents to our campus, the event having been postponed from 2021 due to the pandemic. The General Assembly was a great success, with every visitor congratulating me on the warm welcome they received and the efficient organisation of such complex logistics. It was a great team effort and hugely reassuring to see that colleagues from across the University - academics, technicians, professional services and students – were all happy to go above and beyond to make the visit go without a hitch.

The Network will now build upon the learning and connections made ahead of the 2024 General Assembly which will be jointly hosted by Universidad de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria.