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Positive progress in Europe to support University’s 2030 strategy

23 November 2021

4 minutes to read

Positive progress in Europe to support University’s 2030 strategy

In the latest Europe Blog, Professor Sally Faulkner, Exeter’s Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor (Europe) talks about how our European strategy aligns to the University’s new ten year strategy and progress on partnerships, research and education.

I am delighted to see the University’s new ten year strategy focus on using the power of our education and research, and on our goal to “be partners in global networks of universities with shared values, creating new research and education opportunities.” These priorities lie at the heart of Exeter’s Europe strategy.

Sally Faulkner

Prof Sally Faulkner

Our work with 8 European strategic partners and the Venice International University is going from strength to strength and this month we have signed a 5 year Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Hamburg, Germany, we are developing joint doctoral programmes with Paris-Saclay University, France, and there is a new co-taught online PGT module in Epigraphy with Leiden University, Netherlands. At the Venice International University (VIU) we have academic staff lined up to teach on the Globalisation Programme every semester until 2024 and in this semester we have 19 Exeter students at the VIU accessing fantastic learning and employment opportunities.

We have also done exceptionally well out of the new Turing Scheme, the UK government’s new programme to support international opportunities in education and training. I want personally to thank Anna Moscrop and the Global Opportunities Team, as well as everyone who supported our successful funding bid. There have obviously been frustrations transferring from the Erasmus+ scheme, but on the positive side we have managed to offer more global opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Government has confirmed the funding for the Turing Scheme for a further 3 years so we will continue to enhance our offer in the years ahead.

On research, we continue to collaborate effectively to obtain European funding and I am delighted to announce that Professor Gabriella Giannachi has been appointed as the inaugural Chair of the Europe Funder Advisory Network (FAN) to support future participation in EU funding opportunities. This academic group brings together expertise from across the University to help colleagues identify research opportunities for the 2021 to 2027 Horizon Europe programme.

This term we have also seen another fantastic range of European news stories, events and activities connecting students, academics and the wider community. Back in September, for example, Modern Languages and Cultures colleagues and students took part in teaching activities at Rokeby School, in Newham, East London to mark the European Day of Languages, where around 80 per cent of pupils speak English as an additional language and more than 60 languages are spoken in total. Dr Francesco Goglia has been carrying out research with the school for the past four years and this year our students helped produce teaching material such as videos and learning activities in languages such as Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German.

At the Chagford Film Festival in September, Modern Languages and Cultures and Film Studies colleagues, PhD and MA students also ran a ”collaboration day”, showing three films which focus on unsettled history and political turmoil in Hispanic nations – Pan’s Labyrinth, No and The Silence of Others. I was delighted to take part in the question and answer sessions as part of this event.

Also in September, a festival celebrating European research took place with events in Bodmin, Exeter and Lyme Regis. Futures2021 is the annual celebration of the innovative research taking place in universities across Europe. The diverse programme includes a pop-up shop, guided walks, an event about creativity and climate change and a Festival of the Sea.

At both our Streatham and Penryn campuses, colleagues, students and members of the public are taking advantage of over 50 language courses, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Portuguese and Swedish at different levels. New courses this term include Cornish and Ancient Greek.

In the Graduate School of Education, Dr Phil Durrant has been collaborating with researchers from the universities of Oslo, Agder, and Bergen on the MULTIWRITE project, funded by the Research Council of Norway. This project explores how the different languages in which children write develop and interact with each other, how teacher feedback influences this process, and how teachers of different languages can work together to improve instruction. And Dr Lindsay Hetherington leads the UK team on the Erasmus+ Ocean Connections Project, which has been working on exploring the way in which pupils learn about Ocean Literacy using creative pedagogies combined with innovative digital technologies with European universities.

In classical archaeology, Professor Martin Pitts (University of Exeter) and Professor Dr Simon Hammann (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)’s project on ‘Roman melting pots: Tracing food residues and cultural diversity in a frontier zone’ is one 19 collaborative research projects awarded in the third round of funding delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) partnership. The awards bring together arts and humanities researchers in the UK and Germany to conduct outstanding projects spanning a wide range of academic disciplines.

In December, Professor Caitlin DeSilvey, from the Environment and Sustainability Institute and Professor Martin Grünfeld, of Medical Museion and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen have a new exhibit at Copenhagen’s Medical Museion which explores what happens when museum objects are allowed to change and decay. Opened to the public in November 2021, the room in the museum’s basement contains objects that are not part of the official collection and which would otherwise have been disposed of.

Find out about all our European News Stories on our news site.

Please do send any feedback about the Europe Blog, including stories and content you would like to see included and I will leave you this time with a quote from Professor Fiona Cox, Head of Modern Languages and Cultures, about our brand new International Business with Modern Languages course:

“It is easy to promote the benefits of learning another language – the pathway to a different culture, new friendships, new ways of seeing the world. One aspect of language learning that can be overlooked, however, is power. To speak just one language means that you are liable to be excluded from the backroom conversations that can be so vital in business negotiations or intercultural communications and automatically placed at a significant disadvantage. This is an aspect of language learning that we hope will inform the experiences of the first cohort on our new International Business with Modern Languages students, who have joined us in 2021.”

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