Discussions at the Going Global event, which take place in Cape Town from 3 – 5 May, will focus on the major challenges facing international higher education and the importance of international collaborations in finding innovative solutions.

On 4 May, the Vice-Chancellor will address delegates on the theme ‘trust and leadership’ within Higher Education.

For the University, Going Global marks a clear opportunity to build on our existing strong research ties in the region and to drive momentum for further development of our internationalisation efforts.

Last year we embarked on a ground-breaking initiative in partnership with the South African government to offer education leaders in the country the opportunity participate in our Doctorate in Business Administration, delivered by academics from our School of Management at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Working with our partner universities

Our strategic ties to Stellenbosch University, one of our closest international partners, date back prior to 2012 when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two institutions. This partnership is yielding important results both for international research collaboration and international engagement.

With partners in South Africa our researchers are engaged in projects tackling irrigation and mitigating water related disease, as well as work in nearby townships tackling entrenched challenges in relation to childhood trauma.

In addition to using the opportunity to profile our work in the region, including with Stellenbosch, as part of the visit the University is hosting a multilateral event to bring together our other Strategic Partners including State University of Campinas (Brazil), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia) and Zhejiang University (China). This builds on other multilateral events to have been hosted off campus in recent years.

Key areas for discussion at these events include how we best work with our international partners to promote high-impact collaborative research, influence national and international policy makers, and encourage greater student and staff mobility. Proposed international focus areas also to be discussed include collaborative research into sustainable development, bio-economy, big data and innovation.

Looking to the future

Commenting ahead of the visit, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE, DL said: “As we enter our 50th year the University’s commitment to international impact has never been more important to our work. This week’s delegation to South Africa is a unique opportunity to further foster our international ties and to profile to world education leaders how Bath is leading the way with some of the recent international initiatives we have embarked on.

“I look forward to engaging with our international partners old and new and setting out our vision for the future which has internationalisation at its core.”

The Vice-Chancellor will attend Going Global alongside Professor Colin Grant (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Internationalisation), Pete Nuttall (Head of the IRO) and Katja Nieminen (International Partnerships Manager).

During the visit, she will attend a reception and ceremony in honour of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Rev Canon Mpho Tutu. In addition, she will meet South African Minister for Education & Training, Blade Nzimande, and will participate in a roundtable meeting on UK responses to the refugee crisis with Professor Grant.