Each Global Showcase will link closely with regions of significance to the University across the world. The Global Showcase venture also connects with the recent success of the online Think Kent video series, which presents the research and teaching of the University’s globally-minded and experienced academics in bite-size video form.
The first Think Kent Global Showcase takes place in November 2018 and has an Asia focus. There will be a range of academic activities and events in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok. These include: PhD Workshops in China, A graduation ceremony in Hong Kong and a major event in Thailand for our GCRF-funded Biosciences research. November’s events will be supported in China, Thailand and in the UK by more than 15 colleagues from across Kent’s faculties, schools and professional service departments.
The Asia Global Showcase was launched recently at an event on campus in Canterbury which was attended by representatives of the Chinese Embassy. Part of the Thai dimension of the Showcase will be held in the UK Embassy in Bangkok. Also in November 2018, representatives from Kent were invited to the Chinese and Thai Embassies in London where support for the Asia Showcase Events was provided by Chinese and Thai education ministers.
Dean for Internationalisation Dr Anthony Manning has driven the launch of this new initiative, which is intended to further develop the University’s existing connections with regions around the world.
The Think Kent Global Showcase activities build on Kent’s long history of working closely with alumni, partners, friends and future students of the University, who are integral to the University’s success and impact in different parts of the world, he explained.
Q: Why the need for a Think Kent Global Show case series?
A: The Think Kent Global showcase draws together range of activities which are intended to help us reach out to our overseas communities and to link them with the teaching and research which takes place across our campuses and study centres. The hope is that our contacts and future students will gain additional opportunities to engage with us through these ventures, which we will operate in different regions at different points in time.
Q: How important is it for staff across the University to keep you informed of international activity?
A: As a busy and complex organisation, we are always looking for new ways to collect and communicate our internationalisation and its relevance, both in the UK and overseas. We hope that the showcase model will help our different schools and departments to present their activities even more effectively and that we can use these regional opportunities to support the communication of our shared values and commitment to our international communities.
Q: How can our global partners feed into this new initiative?
A: Our international partners are key to this new initiative as we will be collaborating with universities, alumni and partners in order to inform and shape the showcase activities in different ways. The showcase events will be developed based on our work in the regions and what our partners feel is beneficial to support ongoing connections and engagement. It is really important for us to share what the University is doing and how the different regions we work with interact with our bases in the UK and Europe.
Q: With Brexit looming, does internationalisation become even more important?
A: Given the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Kent’s connections with Europe and the wider international world have become even more important hat before and so our Global Showcase events will support that commitment by demonstrating even more clearly the many ways in which different regions and their people are critical to teaching, research and scholarship at our university.
Q: Following November’s Asia focus, what will be the next region under the spotlight?
A: After the launch of the think Kent Global Showcase Events in November, we will be running events with regional focus in other major regions of the world. The regional focus for our next Global Showcase Events will be announced in January 2019.