further & higher education

Developing International Research Partnerships Across Higher Education

further & higher education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Hallam Conference Centre, Central London

This forum aims to provide an arena for universities to learn how to expand their research capabilities and discuss barriers to developing international partnerships. Participants will gain knowledge and key takeaways from UK Research and Innovation among other sector leaders with regards to the latest funding and support available. Attendees will also hear from key research institutions on what is being done to foster international collaboration on key research projects. Furthermore, a range of case studies will offer best practice guidance on establishing and strengthening successful research partnerships, and discuss the potential impact on international research partnerships from the UK’s planned departure from the European Union.


This Forum is designed for the Higher Education sector, Research Councils and Funding Bodies. Typical job titles will include:

  • Academic Development Managers
  • Chancellors
  • Directors of Global Engagement
  • Directors of Research and Enterprise
  • Funding Officers
  • Global Partnerships Manager
  • Head of International Partnerships
  • Lecturers
  • Principals
  • Research Development Managers
  • Research Fellows

The Forum is also open to the Private sector in order to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Dr Neil Kemp, International Higher Education Consultant and Board Member, Council for Education in the Commonwealth
  • Dr Marta Tufet, Executive Director, UK Collaborative on Development Research 
  • Dr Trung Duong, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queen’s University Belfast 
View the agenda and additional speakers

The UK produces 15.2% of the world’s most highly-cited articles, and ranks first by research quality in terms of field-weighted citation impact, according to Universities UK. As a result of this UK universities are world-renowned for their research, through which they make a major contribution to the British economy and society in general.  As plans for the UK to leave the European Union develop, British universities will need to be clear on what this means for their current partnerships and future opportunities for collaboration.

The government recognises the importance of the UK remaining a world leader when it comes to research quality and output and as such provides numerous international funding initiatives through Research England and the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Councils. With an overall research funding budget of £6 billion, Research England works with HEI’s to support them with such issues as double jeopardy, and aims to make it as easy as possible for international research partnerships to flourish. The Newton Fund, as part of the Official Development Assistance (ODA), provides an annual £1 million fund to incentivise innovative research projects that promote economic development and social welfare in Newton Fund partner countries. Furthermore, Research England provides funding for the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (£680 million since 2012) and the International Investment Initiative (£4 million pa) that aim to further the impact and effectiveness of UK/International research collaborations.

In July 2018, Immigration Minister Caroline Noakes announced that the new UKRI-Science, Research and Academia scheme is being added to the Tier 5 visa route. The scheme is designed to encourage international researchers, scientists and academics into the UK for a period of two years in a move designed to enhance UK research projects and evidence the UK’s commitment to global collaboration.

If the UK is to retain its status for world-class research, HE institutions must recognise that more can be done to support and facilitate further international research collaboration. It is essential that universities are aware of the latest funding opportunities available to them and learn how to increase their international research outputs so that UK research is less reliant on EU funding. Having clear, forward-thinking research strategies in place and learning from successful examples of international research collaboration will allow institutions to prioritise international research partnership agreements and prepare effectively for upcoming changes to the UK research landscape.

Tom Windle, Global Partnerships Manager, University of Surrey

Tom Windle is responsible for delivery of the University of Surrey’s Global Strategy, with a focus on the development of international partnerships. Tom is also Head of the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) Secretariat, with responsibility for coordination of UGPN activities including the annual Research Collaboration Fund (RCF).

Tom has worked in International and Higher Education for over 15 years with a focus on international partnerships, roles including:

  • Senior Partnerships Manager (East & South-East Asia) at UCL
  • Senior Partnerships Manager at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Programme Development Manager (TNE) at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Academic Manager at BEO in Tokyo
Nina Tomlin, Director, International Strategy Office, University of Oxford

As Director of International Strategy, Nina Tomlin is responsible for supporting the University’s strategic aims through the design and implementation of international activity and partnerships. The International Strategy team combines its expertise in higher education internationalisation and its analytic ability with other departments’ specialist expertise to deliver on these aims. Within the team, Nina is lead for Europe and Africa, and for international mobility and student matters. Prior to joining Oxford University in 2011, Nina was Deputy Director of the Ditchley Foundation, which convenes high-level international public policy conferences. She has also worked at Amnesty International’s Secretariat, the Home Office, the Electoral Commission, and as parliamentary assistant to the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International, University of Leeds

Professor Hai-Sui Yu is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International and leads on the development and delivery of the University’s international strategy by working with teams across the University and stakeholders to boost the University’s global profile and standing and generate research and educational opportunities with overseas partners. Professor Yu also holds the role of Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011 for outstanding personal engineering achievement.

Previously he served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (2008-2011) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) (2011-2016) at the University of Nottingham, where he led the University’s award winning international and global engagement strategy.

Dr Susan Jim, Institute for Advanced Studies/Worldwide University Network Manager, University of Bristol

Dr Susan Jim is the University of Bristol’s Institute for Advanced Studies and Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Development Manager. She is also Chair of the WUN Coordinators Group and serves on the WUN steering groups for Public HealthUnderstanding Cultures, Global Higher Education and Research, and Global Africa Group

Susan read Chemistry with Studies in Continental Europe at Bristol and spent her year abroad at the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie et Physique, University of Bordeaux, France. Susan holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry (2000) and held a Bioarchaeology Research Fellowship, both at Bristol and funded by the Wellcome Trust.


Registration and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Nina Tomlin, Director, International Strategy Office, University of Oxford (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: International Research Partnerships: What might be possible - and what not?

  • Understanding how a partner’s national operating environment will shape the cooperation between institutions
  • Exploring how UK partnerships might be developed in a few select countries
  • Outlining the role of partnerships in attracting research students. UK universities having a high dependence on international research students for the delivery of their research agenda, and partnerships offer a key channel for their recruitment
  • Reviewing the context of research student recruitment and funding

Dr Neil Kemp, International Higher Education Consultant and Board Member, Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Strategic Frameworks to Build International Research Networks and Create A Global Profile

  • Creating a university with a global outlook, continually developing new collaboration and knowledge exchange opportunities to be at the forefront of worldwide research
  • Launching joint bilateral research funding initiatives with strategic partners, including the University of Ghana and Renmin University of China
  • Establishing the International Research Partnerships and Networks Fund to facilitate sustainable research programmes and enhance international collaboration
  • Providing global opportunities to early career researchers, including international training for undergraduate researchers, dual PhD programmes and postdoctoral fellowships

Leina Shi, Head of Global Engagement, University of Sussex (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing an Outstanding International Research Partnership; Newton Prize Winner Perspective

  • Exploring the benefits of research partnerships between Queen’s University Belfast and Duy Tan University, for instance between 2007 and 2018 the UK and Vietnam produced 1,815 joint research papers
  • Identifying five priority research areas of mutual interest between the UK and Vietnam: Health and life sciences, agriculture, environmental resilience and energy security, future cities and digital innovation and creativity
  • Designing a communications system that works in extreme weather and natural disasters, worth £200,000, helping to ‘Build a Foundation for Sustainable Development: Networked Societies for the Cities of Tomorrow’
  • Sharing success over the past three years, including the Newton Fund disbursing nearly £5 million over 15 schemes and being involved in different Newton Fund research projects with India, Turkey and outlining future plans for UK and Vietnamese university research

Dr Trung Duong, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queen’s University Belfast (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Creating and Maximising Opportunities for Sustainable International Research Collaboration

  • Providing proactive international research support, with dedicated guidance and support through its Research and Enterprise Development (RED) portal
  • Sharing how the University’s involvement in the Worldwide University Network has led to greater international collaboration and ensures future progress is made in this area
  • Promoting synergies between the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies and WUN, leading to cross-faculty interdisciplinary research, researcher mobility, and new projects
  • Outlining how the International Strategic Fund (ISF) supports researchers to develop sustainable research collaborations with an international partner by providing around 30 awards each year with an average grant of £2500 per project

Dr Susan Jim, Institute for Advanced Studies/Worldwide University Network Manager, University of Bristol (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Supporting Mutually-Beneficial Research and International Partnerships

  • Accelerating global development through research and knowledge and by bringing UK research funders together to coordinate efforts and ensure maximum impact
  • Developing relations between UK institutions and overseas partners to achieve mutually-beneficial partnerships and greater connectivity
  • Outlining the core commitments of UKCDR to data mapping, analysis and foresight and how this is beneficial to UK HE institutions
  • Exploring how ODA research funding is used and identifying strategic gaps and opportunities for future international development and research

Dr Marta Tufet, Executive Director, UK Collaborative on Development Research (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Establishing a Robust, Forward-Thinking International Research Strategy

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International, University of Leeds (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing and Implementing an Institutional International Strategy to Effectively Champion International Research Partnerships

  • Discussing the importance of international partnerships for the University of Reading and its clear commitment to strengthening these
  • Showcasing the work of the International Study and Language Institute and the partnerships is has with other institutions around the world to provide programmes and courses for its students
  • Outlining how the International Study and Language Institute works across the University of Reading to help deliver international partnerships and student mobility objectives
  • Exploring how to develop a diverse range of international partnerships to provide a range of opportunities for students

Steve Thomas, Head of International Partnerships, University of Reading (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Using Networks and Funding to Enable Global Engagement

  • Sharing the success of the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) and the relationships that have developed with partner universities
  • Creating international research and mobility opportunities through partnership with overseas institutions and funding agencies
  • Outlining effective models of engagement to catalyse research links with partner institutions

Tom Windle, Global Partnerships Manager, University of Surrey (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme Subject to Change

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