Every January, Regent’s University London hosts the International Partners' Conference (IPC), a three day event looking at the issues facing international higher education.
The focus of this year’s conference was transnational education (TNE) – purpose and models. With high-profile key-note speakers covering a wide range of topics, the event provided a forum for over one hundred of our international partners to network and share good practice with institutions from across the globe.
Pre-conference day commenced with an opening address by Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Regent’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, who highlighted the importance of collaboration in the sector: “The coming year promises to be just as exciting and challenging as 2013. Both nationally and internationally - the higher education landscape is developing and in many ways becoming increasingly competitive however I am confident there will be many opportunities to collaborate.”
After a scheduled meeting between guests and Regent’s US affiliates, visitors had the option of attending various sessions in the afternoon ranging from cross-cultural workshops, to a King Richard III lecture and discussions regarding MOOCS and transnational education. The pre-conference day concluded with a drinks reception hosted by Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture.
First Day of the Conference
After an introduction by Professor Aldwyn Cooper, the first day of the International Partners’ Conference began with an opening keynote by Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, who reiterated the importance of alternative providers in higher education.
Rt Hon David Willetts MP said: “The history of the growth of higher education in England, for over one hundred and fifty years, is the arrival of insurgent new providers challenging a conventional incumbent and I regard Regent’s University London to be an exciting part of that great tradition.”
Two panel sessions followed in the morning, the first on the topic of governance and policy making in TNE and global citizenship, was introduced and chaired by Judith Lamie, Head of External Relations at Regent’s. The second session was concerned with the TNE Higher Education Institutions’ Perspective and was chaired by Regent’s Toni Hilton, Dean of Business and Management Faculty.
Several breakout workshops were offered in the afternoon on a variety of TNE subjects including governance, policy making and institution practices in general. After a final feedback session, the first day concluded with a theatre trip to the West End.
Second Day of the Conference
The second day of the conference launched with a lively panel session on TNE and employability, chaired by Cornelia Meyer, Honorary Fellow of Regent’s. Breakout sessions followed on the same subject and were led by partner institutions and university staff who encouraged debate.
After lunch, the final panel session was based on the Student Perspective on TNE. Chris Marlin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Sussex, introduced and chaired the session which featured various alumni sharing their experiences and offering insights on a range of TNE subjects including living abroad, networking and the importance of multiculturalism while studying.
The closing keynote by Sir Drummond Bone, FRSE, FRSA, Master of Balliol College, Oxford, focused on the value of transnational education along with suggestions on how the system will continue to evolve. The International Partners' Conference 2014 concluded with a drinks reception and dinner - both of which were hosted by the Vice Chancellor.