Brexit, Covid-19, and the climate emergency are forcing us as a sector to review, and in some cases, reset, the way we do things. The pandemic in particular has both accelerated existing trends and halted well-intentioned plans while efforts are focused on recovery.
While the UK higher education sector is working through what the UK-EU deal means for cooperation in higher education and research, the sector is also facing questions over academic freedom, foreign interference and sustainable partnerships. Around the world, the UK’s competitor markets are facing challenges around troubling visa policies and border restrictions.
International partnerships have been a vital part of the UK’s response to Covid-19, and will be a cornerstone of its recovery. At this crucial time in higher education, we, as a sector, cannot afford to lose our strategic and valuable partnerships across the world.
In line with the current health situation in the UK, the event will be held fully online over two days, with networking opportunities.
IHEF 2021 will bring together hundreds of higher education professionals. Our sessions include:
Our headline speakers and Chairs recently announced include:
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Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool
Speaker to be announced
Chair: Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (THE)
Katherine Fleming, Provost, New York University
The Rt. Hon Lord David Willetts FRS, President, Resolution Foundation
Adam Habib, Director, SOAS University of London
Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President and Vice Principal, King's College London
Dr Michael Spence, President and Provost, University College London
This opening plenary will see two speakers, Katherine Fleming and the Rt. Hon Lord David Willetts FRS, take opposing positions on the question: has everything changed or has nothing changed?
Will the Covid crisis fundamentally reshape international higher education, with universities rethinking their internationalisation strategies, or are the effects of the pandemic temporary, with universities returning to previous international activities as soon as the crisis is considered to have passed?
Hosted by Sirin Myles and Charlene Allen of the IC Café, this afternoon networking session will provide a curated space for a global dialogue with delegates across the conference. Collectively, Sirin and Charlene have over 40 years of UK higher education internationalisation sector-specific operational and leadership experience and will help to facilitate a thought-provoking discussion on topics to be announced. This networking is designed for those that prefer to have structure to their online conversations.
David Sweeney, Executive Chair, Research England
More speakers to be announced.
With the UK's participation in Horizon Europe confirmed subject to final agreement, and with the pandemic having brought significant challenges for international research collaboration, what does international research collaboration look like now and in the future? What challenges are presented by the limitations of the short-term Spending Review 2020, and where do the opportunities lie for the UK to be a science superpower? This session will explore the landscape of international research collaboration, specifically focusing on funding elements.
Albina Szeles, Interim Co-director, Centre for Global Engagement, Coventry University
Dr Lavern Samuels, Director of International Education, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Divinia Naidoo, Specialist in International Education, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
With borders closed and campuses locked down, virtual mobility seems like the only reliable option for some institutions to achieve their goals to internationalise the student experience and to create outward student mobility opportunities.
This panel will feature two university case studies, providing an overview of the evidence on international student experience and practical tools for building equitable and reciprocal virtual learning partnerships.
Rob Carthy, Director of International, Northumbria University
The changes in immigration and funding regimes for students from European Union (EU) countries from 2021 will have a significant impact on institutional behaviour in the UK.
This session will provide a snapshot of the impact of Brexit on recruitment strategies, in-country campuses, staffing as well as the approaches that are being taken to address the challenges posed by the implications of EU fees?
David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International Development), Coventry University
Hillary Vance, Southeast & South Asian affairs, University of Arizona
Fabrizio Trifiro, Head of Quality Benchmarking Services, UK NARIC
Jenny J. Lee, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona - invited
Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities
Chair: Professor Sir Steve Smith, UK government International Education Champion
Professor Margaret Gardner AC, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University
Professor Steven Toope, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
Professor Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Continuing the debate from plenary one, this session will bring together representatives from different systems to discuss whether it is time for radical reform in international higher education. You can expect discussions on transnational education and international campuses, ed tech, sustainability and much more as we dive deeper into the question 'what will international higher education look like in the future'?
Anne Marie, Graham, CEO, UKCISA
Yinbo Yu, Strategic Partnership Lead, UKCISA
WAI Student ambassadors
Further speakers to be announced.
Alejandra Vicencio, Head of International Mobility, Northumbria University
Elsa Zenatti-Daniels, Student Development Lead, Aston University Business School
Speakers to be announced.
If you're missing those informal chats over a coffee or a pastry, this session is for you. Jump into our speed networking session to be randomly allocated a friendly face to have a 10-minute chat with. You'll get an opportunity to have two 10-minute chats with people who join the session. We'll provide you with a couple of questions or prompts to help you get started or you can talk about whatever you would like. This is perfect for those that miss bumping into colleagues at registration, in the queue for the bathroom or at the refreshment table.
Dr Joanna Newman MBE, Chief Executive & Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities
Mostafa Al-Mossallami, Tertiary Education Specialist, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General, African Research Universities Alliance
Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, and a reduced UK ODA budget, this session will bring together representatives from government, UK universities, and from those implementing reform projects to ask why we should be investing in higher education reform, and how more UK universities can leverage their expertise and partnerships to support this.
Anthony McClaran, Vice-Chancellor, St Mary's University, London
Professor Lesley, Haig, Vice-Chancellor, AECC University College
Clarie Middleton, Principal, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
Gordon McKenzie, Chief Executive, GuildHE
This session will look at how, if indeed at all, small and specialist institution need to change their international strategies in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world.
Speakers to be announced
Professor Saul Tendler, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, University of York
Rachel Sandison, Vice Principal, External Relations, University of Glasgow
Do you have a burning question about international higher education? Is there something keeping you up at night that you'd like the virtual room to explore? What do fellow international higher education experts think about your innovative solutions?
Dame Janet is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. She was awarded a Damehood for services to higher education and equality and diversity in 2018.
Janet is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and chairs their Assurance Board, and is a member of the boards of Universities UK, Russell Group and National Leadership Centre. She took up a 3 year term of office as the International Policy Lead for Universities UK in August 2020.
Janet is a member of the Liverpool City Region LEP and is an adviser to the Metro Mayor on Higher Education for the City Region.
Phil Baty is an international authority on university performance and strategy, with more than 24 years of experience in global higher education, including a decade as Editor of the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and its derivative analyses. He is an award-winning journalist and a sought-after speaker and commentator. Phil was the creator of the THE World Academic Summit. He leads the team that organises the summit and THE’s extensive series of global university leadership events.
Katherine E. Fleming is Provost of New York University, where she is also the Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization.
From 2007-2012 Fleming was Associate Professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and from 2012–2016 served as President of the Board of Directors of the University of Piraeus, Greece. She currently serves on the Administrative Board of the Universities of Paris system. A specialist on the modern history of Greece, she holds honorary doctorates from the University of Macedonia (PAMAK) and from Ionian University in Greece. Fleming was educated at Barnard College, the University of Chicago, and the University of California Berkeley.
Professor Adam Habib is an academic, activist, and public intellectual. He is Director of SOAS University of London and previously VC and Principal of University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa. He holds qualifications in Political Science from the University of Natal, Wits and the City University of New York.
Professor Habib is a co-founder of the African Research Universities Alliance, an affiliation of research-intensive universities on the continent.
He has published numerous edited books and journal articles over the last three decades in the thematic areas of democratisation and its consolidation in South Africa, philanthropy, inequality, institutional reform, and South Africa's role in Africa and beyond.
Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin is Vice-President and Vice-Principal International and Professor of Security, Leadership & development at King’s College London. She founded the African Leadership centre (ALC), which aims to build the next generation of African scholars and analysts generating cutting edge knowledge for peace, security and development in Africa. She was Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group (CSDG) at King’s College London from 2003 to 2013. Prior to this, she worked in the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. In 2018, she was appointed to the Council of the United Nations University.
Dr Spence took up his post as President & Provost of UCL on 11 January 2021. Prior to this he was Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, which under his leadership rose to first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability. He was also responsible for the largest philanthropic campaign in Australian history, raising a record one billion Australian dollars.
Dr Spence is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of intellectual property theory and holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he headed Oxford’s Law faculty and Social Sciences division. An alumnus of the University of Sydney, Dr Spence has a BA with first-class honours in English, Italian and Law. His other languages include Chinese and Korean.
In 2017, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours for service to leadership of the tertiary education sector, to the advancement of equitable access to educational opportunities, to developing programs focused on multidisciplinary research, and to the Anglican Church of Australia. Dr Spence is an ordained Minister in the Anglican Church.
The Rt Hon. Lord Willetts FRS is the President of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit.
Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a Board member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a Board member of Surrey Satellites and of the Biotech Growth Trust.
Lord Willetts has written widely on economic and social policy. His book “A University Education” is published by Oxford University Press. A second edition of his book on the Boomers and the young generation “The Pinch” was published in November 2019.
Professor Sir Steve Smith is the UK Government International Education Champion, a post he took up after retiring as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter in August 2020. He had held that position since October 2002. In November 2020 he was also appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative to Saudi Arabia for Education.
Sir Steve holds a BSc, an MSc, and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Southampton. He was Chair of the UCAS Board from 2013 – 2019 and was President of Universities UK (UUK) from 2009-2011. He was a Board member of the Russell Group (2012-2020); Chair of UUK's International Policy Network and Chair of UUK's International Strategic Advisory Board (2015-2020); Member of the UUK Board (2006-2020); Board member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (2013-2020).
From 2007 until 2010, he led for higher education on the Prime Minister’s National Council of Excellence in Education, which provided advice to Government about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people. Sir Steve was knighted in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to higher education locally and nationally. In 2019, Sir Steve was made a Freeman of the City of Exeter for his extraordinary contribution to Exeter and the local community.
Professor Margaret Gardner AC is President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University. She has previously held leadership positions at RMIT, the University of Queensland and Griffith University.
Professor Gardner is Chair of the Group of Eight Universities and was Chair of Universities Australia from 2017-2019. She is a Director of Infrastructure Victoria, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and a member of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Inclusion and Diversity Committee.
Professor Gardner’s previous roles include Chair of the Expert Panel of the Office of Learning and Teaching, Chair of Museum Victoria, Board member of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission and ANZAC Centenary Advisory Board.
Professor Stephen J. Toope OC, LL.D. is 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the first non-UK national to hold the post. He was Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and President, the University of British Columbia. A former Dean of Law, McGill University, Toope was also Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.
Toope publishes in global journals on human rights, international dispute resolution, international environmental law, the use of force, and international legal theory, and has lectured at universities around the world. His current book project with Professor Jutta Brunnée explores mechanisms and processes fostering stability and change in international law.
Prof. Rocky S. Tuan is a world-renowned biomedical scientist specializing in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. He received a PhD in Life Sciences from Rockefeller University in 1977 and has authored nearly 500 research publications. He had held various academic and administrative positions at the University of Pittsburgh and other renowned universities in the US and research leadership position at the National Institutes of Health before he assumed the presidency of CUHK on 1 January 2018.
Professor Tuan was elected to the fellowships of the National Academy of Inventors, the Chinese Association of Inventions, and the American Association of Anatomists for his accomplishments in innovation and translational research that bring significant impact on society.
Professor Tendler is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of York. He has responsibility for planning and resource allocation across the university. In addition, he is the academic lead for the university’s internationalisation strategy, developing strong networks and appropriate partnerships to enhance the reputation of the university.
He undertook his first degree in Pharmacy at Manchester and his PhD at Aston. He was appointed to a Lectureship at Nottingham. He was subsequently promoted to Professor of Biophysical Chemistry. He headed Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy before becoming a Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He is the co-chair of the UUKi PVC International network.
Rachel Sandison is Vice Principal, External Relations at the University of Glasgow. As a member of the university’s senior management team, Rachel's responsibilities include strategic leadership for domestic and international student recruitment; marketing, brand and reputation; undergraduate and postgraduate admissions; international affairs and partnership development; fundraising & alumni relations; and widening participation. She is also the university’s Refugee & Asylum Seeker Champion.
Rachel is a chartered marketer and a CASE Global Trustee. She is a member of the Universities Scotland International Committee and sits on a number of sector advisory boards. She is also the University of Glasgow’s senior leader for the Universitas 21 network and The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities.
Responsible for all Coventry's international activities including joint ventures, student recruitment, collaborative partnerships, curriculum internationalization and mobility, Pilsbury heads a sector leading global engagement agenda recognised by many awards including the Queen's Award for Enterprise. He holds a number of Board level positions including JISC, China-Britain Business Council & IDP Connect and advisory positions including with EURIE, NARIC and Hainan Provincial Government. Previously the founding CEO of the Worldwide Universities Network, HEFCE Head of Research Policy and Assistant Director R&D at Cambridge University Hospital. He was a strategic consultant and investment banker after undertaking a D.Phil and research at Oxford.
Jenny J. Lee is a professor at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the Univeristy of Arizona. Her research examines ways that policies, geopolitics, and social forces shape inequities in higher education, in the US and abroad. Her comparative research on international student mobility and experiences in the U.S., Mexico, South Korea, and South Africa over the past decade have especially been cited widely. Professor Lee has authored and co-authored over 120 publications, which regularly appear in the top journals of higher education. Her latest research focuses on the geopolitics of global science, which will be featured in her forthcoming edited book, “U.S. Power in International Higher Education,” to be published by Rutgers University Press in 2021.
David Sweeney is the Executive Chair of Research England, one of the nine research councils that forms UKRI, who are the biggest research funder in the UK with responsibility for university block-grant funding for research and knowledge exchange.
Previously Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), David was appointed as Executive Chair designate of Research England in early 2017, and took a lead role in shaping the new Council and leading the transition of responsibilities from HEFCE into Research England.
Steven Hill is Director of Research at Research England. Steven was formerly Head of Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and leads on all aspects of research policy and funding.
Steven is responsible for research funding, including quality-related funding (QR), general capital funding and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). He also leads Research England's research assessment and policy work, and is the chair of the steering group for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Policy responsibilities include research integrity, public engagement and open research, and Steven contributes to debates and discussions at home and overseas on the enhancement and assessment of research impact. His team also includes Research England's analysis function.
Anne Marie joined UKCISA in 2019 from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, where she was Director of Chevening, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s flagship global scholarship scheme. Prior to that, Anne Marie has led on a range of educational programmes and projects promoting international mobility and intercultural exchange. At Universities UK International, she developed the first government funded UK Strategy for Outward Mobility, and established the Go International programme to build capacity and influence institutional change in UK universities to increase the proportion of UK domiciled students with international experience.
Before moving into the education sector, Anne Marie spent several years in the language services industry managing high profile accounts with multinational engineering and pharmaceutical companies. Anne Marie is a linguist, with a first degree in Modern Languages from Anglia Ruskin University and a postgraduate translation qualification from University of Westminster.
Elsa Zenatti-Daniels is Student Development Lead for Aston Business School’s Postgraduate Programme. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of international education management and student support. Key aspects of her activities have been internationalisation of postgraduate programmes, support of international students, development of transnational education and partnerships, and, recently, the integration of employability in Aston Business School’s postgraduate programmes. Elsa designed and implemented a cross-disciplinary professional development programme, bringing together careers management, academic programmes and experiential learning. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature and Master’s of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of Nantes. Elsa is the current Chair of the Business Education Expert Community as part of the European Association For International Education Leadership.
Alejandra has been working in International Education for 20 years in several countries in the Americas and in the UK. Her research focus is the value of internationalising higher education as a development tool. In the last 10 years she has developed international partnerships and projects for three higher education institutions in the UK and led the centralisation of international mobility for Northumbria, which resulted in a dramatic increase in outward mobility. Her role is now focused on a comprehensive internationalisation and student employability strategy. Alejandra is also an Assessor for Chevening and Mentor for EAIE. She has presented at international conferences such as NAFSA and EAIE.
Professor Lesley Haig is Vice-Chancellor and CEO of AECC University College, a specialist health sciences institution based in Bournemouth, UK. She is a UK-registered physiotherapist who has worked for over 25 years as a senior academic leader, researcher and clinician in several UK universities. Prof Haig has extensive experience in developing successful partnerships with universities, healthcare providers and research organisations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. In doing so she has worked variously and closely with international colleagues and representatives from Healthcare UK, the Department for International Trade, Government Departments, Embassy and Consular staff.