Going Global 2018: A Truly Valuable Experience

Last month, the ACU sent a delegation to the British Council's Going Global conference, including three members of our Internationalisation Community who received bursaries to support their attendance at the conference. Here, Dr Poonam Singh, from Ulster University in the UK, shares her experience.

I have wanted to attend Going Global for the last few years, but was unable to for financial reasons. This year, however, I applied for a prestigious bursary award from the ACU, which enabled me to attend this year’s event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I was eligible to apply for this bursary owing to my membership of the ACU Internationalisation Community. My employer was able to strongly support my application due to my contribution to the Global Engagement and Academic Recruitment Committee at Ulster University. I have over 20 continuous years of contribution in the university’s academic affairs and curriculum re-designing to recruiting overseas students in the UK onto the Biotechnology Programme (most of whom come from Commonwealth countries).Going Global Poonam Singh

Dr Poonam Singh standing onstage at Going Global 2018.

Gaining new knowledge, insights and contacts

One of the sessions of Going Global 2018 which I most looked forward to attending was the Transnational Education (TNE), which matched with three of my main academic activities;

1.    I have 13 years of experience being the UK coordinator of a successful TNE Program; the joint degree course delivery of 3 Post graduate programmes in Food Biotechnology with two European Partners in Greece;

2.    I have 8 years of experience in managing the Grants from European Social Fund for European students coming to Ulster University;

3.    As Program Director, I also recruit students who are recipients of the award of Overseas-studentships, (funded by the Department for International Development, UK).

Going Global Poonam Singh 2

Dr Poonam Singh sitting with fellow academic delegates at Going Global 2018.

I met many other academic delegates from Commonwealth countries around the world, all of which wouldn’t have been possible without ‘Going Global’ and my ACU Prestigious Bursary. I truly value the experience. 

I had the opportunity to attend several sessions and activities at the event including these workshops:

1.    Global partnerships: time to re-think the dynamics.

2.    Entrepreneurial Mind-sets – Explored!

3.    A new global networks model for local impact.

I also attended a University of Malaya Campus Tour and visited a Fringe Event Putrajaya with Education Malaysia.

During refreshment breaks, social events and in parallel sessions I was able to establish new professional contacts and many of the workshops were very useful in networking internationally. The sessions were well-planned and designed to gain new knowledge and insights about international education, particularly in developing and developed countries. I also had the opportunity to attend the headline speaker’s presentations.

The professional level of the delegates attending this event was a highlight for me. I have remained in contact with some delegates who are interested in developing new international collaborations in my area of work.

I am very thankful to ACU for the opportunity to gain a valuable experience in global tertiary level education, and I hope to attend next year’s event.


Dr Poonam Singh is the Programme Director of the Master’s course in Biotechnology-Research at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Recently, she has been recruiting overseas students who contribute in Academic activities of GLOCAL (Global + Local) IMPACT.

She has twelve years’ experience as the Associate Advisor in Biotechnology at the British Council (2001-2013). Since 2000, she has been involved in the marketing and recruitment of International students from several Commonwealth countries.

Last modified on 26/06/2018