Thank you to everyone that has contributed to a busy year of internationalisation at Cardiff Met!
As we prepare to enter a new academic year, reflecting on the activities of the last year highlights just how broad and varied Cardiff Met's international scope is –read on to find out more about just a few of the highpoints over the last twelve months.
September 2017: welcome to new arrivals!
As with every September, we welcomed new arrivals from around the world and helped them acclimatise to life in the UK, from registering with a doctor, opening a bank account, to getting around the city.
October 2017: Cardiff Met awarded ISAS 2.0 Learning Badge for 'Comprehensive Internationalisation'
Following a yearlong self-evaluation, a panel of international experts from the International Association of Universities assessed Cardiff Met for their ISAS 2.0 Learning Badge for internationalisation. The panel heard about the international experiences of staff and students from across the university and awarded their highest badge for 'Comprehensive Internationationlisation' at the end of the three-day visit. Cardiff Met is the first university in the world to be recognised for the achievement. Read more about the Learning Badge here.
November 2017: Partner Graduations
More than 7,000 students study for a Cardiff Met award at partner universities all over the world. Graduation ceremonies at partner universities typically take place between September and December. November was a peak month, with SIST, based in Morocco, and ICBT, based in Sri Lanka both holding theirs.
The ceremonies, as well as recognising the achievements of graduates, celebrate transnational partnerships and strengthen diplomatic links forged through the delivery British higher education overseas.
December 2017: Slovakia's Ambassador to the UK delivers Ambassadorial lecture
The Ambassadorial Lecture series provides perspectives from people with unique insight on issues that affect society.
On a crisp winter's night, Cardiff Met welcomed Slovakia's Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Lubomir Rehak. The Ambassador's lecture highlighted parallels between Slovakia's journey since gaining independence 25 years ago and the challenges that Brexit poses, with the Ambassador suggesting that departure from the EU will come at a cost for the UK. Read more about the lecture here.
January 2018: New call launches for Sanctuary Scholarships
Cardiff Met launched its Sanctuary scholarship in 2016/17, offering scholarships to two students who began their programmes in September. With the launch of the second call in January, the University continues its commitment to supporting those seeking sanctuary in the UK.
The scholarship was developed in partnership with the Students' Union, Cardiff Met STAR student society and Article 26 project with the aim of reducing some of the barriers to education facing those seeking sanctuary in the UK. Find out more about the scholarship here.
February 2018: Internationalisation in Ukraine and the Food Industry Centre becomes a 'Dragons' Den'
February saw the conclusion of a two year British Council funded project with Vasyl Stus Donnetsk National University (Vasyl Stus DNU), based in Ukraine. Forced to relocate following the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014 the University has set up a new campus in a former diamond factory in the city of Vinnytsia.
Staff are keen to re-establish the university and Cardiff Met has worked with them to develop and implement an internationalisation strategy. The final round of training was delivered to staff from Vasyl Stus DNU and twenty other Ukrainian universities who attended the event, along with the head of Ukraine's National Erasmus Office.
Students from Chaptal High School in Quimper, Brittany, took on a 'Dragons' Den' style challenge at the end of the month, during a visit to the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre. Teams of students were tasked with developing a new healthy snack utilising wonky fruit and vegetables or peelings.
Each team had two minutes to sell their concept to a panel of experts, who grilled the students on the products' claims, ingredient sourcing and seasonality, and commercial viability. One product, What's Soup, had a logo that bore an uncanny resemblance to a well-known social media company!
March 2018: it's all go, go, go!
The highlights from March are too numerous to choose one –below is a roundup of a selection.
March began with Global Week, an action packed week based on the sharing of cultures, including themed days, international food options, a global village, language exchange, film screenings and a Kendo taster session. The week culminated with The One Pot Project. Volunteers of the Sanctuary Luncheon Club prepared a traditional dish from their home culture and shared it with students and staff while sharing experiences and understanding of the asylum system. The conversation and the food was both warm and enlightening!
Over the Easter weekend, students from the School of Sport and Health Sciences travelled to Jordan to volunteer for grassroots organisations that support Palestinian refugees. With funding from Cardiff Met and Dr Majid AlSadi's Changing Lives Programme, students visited Jerash refugee camp, home to 30,000 refugees who have fled from Gaza, and helped with painting, planting, and delivering food and aid packages. A truly life changing experience for the students and staff involved. Read more about the trip here.
Meanwhile, Simon Dawson spent a whirlwind week in India, providing workshops on food safety and leadership in the food industry to more than 450 students and staff at universities across the country.
Although the students were aware of problems with food adulteration within their home country, most did not realise the extent of it or that it is significant global issue. For example, a recent survey conducted by Food Safety Standards India found that of the 1791 samples of milk they took throughout India, 68.4% were contaminated. See some photos of Simon's workshops on Twitter here.
April 2018: Mobility Matters
April kicked off with International Week -50 students from across Europe joined students from Cardiff Met to work together on projects on game design. International Weeks take place throughout the year, providing visiting and home students with an international experience.
Cardiff Met welcomed European partners from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Switzerland for a three-day conference on all things mobility. Delegates heard from UUKi and partners shared experiences of mobility in their home countries -with representatives from Switzerland providing interesting insight into their own exit from the EU. Partners also presented their institutions to students during a 'global village', providing a unique opportunity for students considering a mobility to meet their potential hosts in person.
The School of Art and Design meanwhile welcomed colleagues from the University of San Carlos in the Philippines. The exchange builds on a number of initiatives between Cardiff Met and the Commission for Higher Education in the Philippines. Staff from the University spent two weeks learning about Cardiff Met Masters programmes, teaching and assessment methods in preparation for the development of joint programmes. It wasn't all work though –the group found time to learn about Welsh heritage at the Museum of Welsh Life, discovering some similarities between Wales and the Philippines!
May 2018: supporting higher education development globally
Committed to supporting the development of higher education systems around the world, Cardiff Met works with a number of countries to deliver short courses and long-term strategy development.
In May, Professor Mohamed Loutfi, Pro Vice Chancellor (International), travelled to Egypt to lead an EU Commission training programme on internationalisation for university presidents. The training examined strategies, structures and practical implementation within the context of Egypt. Read more about the training here.
June 2018: expanding global links
New partnerships were forged this month and old partnerships celebrated as Cardiff Met's platform for mobility and collaboration expanded.
Cardiff Met staff travelled to Parana State in Brazil to deliver training on internationalisation to senior staff from seven universities, this will be followed by a visit to the UK in October to witness internationalisation in practice.
Professor Loutfi joined British Embassy and UUKi delegations to Tunisia and Egypt, meeting with government officials and touring universities to explore collaboration with the UK.
Following a visit by staff from The Magellan Exchange programme, (who brought the sunshine with them), Cardiff Met is now a member of the network, which includes universities in the USA, Europe, Costa Rica and South Korea.
Finally, following a successful exchange programme between California State University, Long Beach and the School of Sport and Health Sciences, the agreement was expanded to include all schools during a visit to Cardiff. If you are interested in spending a semester in California, or any of the member institutions of the Magellan Exchange programme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 2018: the end of the year but much to look forward to
The EU Commission awarded Cardiff Met more than 700,000 Euros to fund Erasmus+ mobilities within Europe and internationally for 2018/19. Cardiff Met's success in securing funding makes it a leading beneficiary for EU mobility funding in the UK.
The year concluded in July with a week of graduation ceremonies attended by a number of notable figures. Karen Betts, the UK's former Ambassador to Morocco until May 2017, received an honorary fellowship for her work supporting British higher education abroad, and the partnership with Cardiff Met and SIST, and May ElKhalil enthralled the audience when she received her honorary doctorate with her call to never give up on your dreams. Ms El Khalil is the founder and CEO of the Beirut Marathon Association, and established the marathon as a way to support social cohesion and wellness in society following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. The next race is in November, and it's not too late to sign up!