Opening doors to the world - University Global Partnership (UGPN) launches in Surrey, UK

Wednesday 26 October 2011

At the beginning of this academic year, the University of Surrey in the UK played host to distinguished guests from across the globe in honour of the launch and first official business meeting of the UGPN.

Taking place from 30 August – 1 September, the event combined the inaugural business meeting with the official opening ceremony, faculty tours, and multi-disciplinary workshops spanning the Arts and the human, engineering, physical and medical sciences, as well as business, economics and law. Academics from across the partner institutions were thus able to share best practice in research, learning and teaching, and inform thinking about the development of the partnership.

Very rarely would a global event unite representatives spanning the worlds of Higher Education, Government, and private sector under one roof. Delegates included: official partners from North Carolina State University and the University of São Paulo; representatives of educational and corporate partners including Seoul National University College of Education, The British Council, Santander, Samsung, Rolls Royce, and Astrium; and special guest the UK’s Minister for Universities and Sciences, the Right Honourable David Willetts MP.

The event cemented relationships between academics as well as sparking discussion, debate and enthusiasm for taking the partnership forward.

The ambience of the event was enhanced by two cultural performances: a student opera singer from University of São Paulo and a string quartet of University of Surrey graduate musicians, reinforcing the global nature and creative excellence of the partnership.

“It was a tremendous event,” explains Prof Colin Grant, Pro Vice Chancellor (International Relations) at the University of Surrey, “and it was excellent to have all the partners in one place for the first time. Not only did it set the wheels in motion for the partnership in terms of joint working on research and student experience, but it also reinforced the strength of the relationships that we have across the globe. My thanks go to all those who attended and contributed to the success of our launch.”

An image gallery is available with a selection of pictures from the UGPN launch event.

The next UGPN Executive Committee meeting and mini-conference will take place on November 16-18 2011 at North Carolina State University, with a further Committee meeting in São Paulo in early 2012.

Media coverage of the UGPN

The Guardian newspaper, UK
Professor Colin Grant, Pro Vice Chancellor (International Relations) at the University of Surrey interview

University Business Magazine, UK
Professor Colin Grant, Pro Vice Chancellor (International Relations) at the University of Surrey interview