‘An International Challenge, Championing Global Education’

Last month, the ACU sent a delegation to the British Council's Going Global conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including three members of our Internationalisation Community who received bursaries to support their attendance at the conference. Here, Jacqueline Norton, Director of Academic Partnerships at Birmingham City University's Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, shares her experience. 

This year, I submitted a poster for Going Global, focussing on 'Global connections, local impact: Creating 21st century skills, knowledge and impact for society wide good'. This also provided an opportunity to cite specific case studies under the heading 'Partnership Working: Social Impact and the Sphere of Influence on the Student and Academic Community: South Africa – Birmingham (UK) – Mexico – London (UK)'.

After my initial funding falling through, I was truly delighted to be selected for the ACU Internationalisation Community bursary alongside the two other winners Poonam Singh, Director Postgraduate courses in Biotechnology Research, from the University of Ulster, UK and Samiatu Mante, Senior Assistant Registrar, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana. It was wonderful to get to meet my fellow bursary winners at Going Global, along with the Association of Commonwealth Universities team.

Jackie Norton with ACU staff at Going Global 2018

Jacqueline Norton with ACU staff next to her poster at Going Global 2018 (from left to right: Faye Taylor, Liberty Oberlander, Jackie Norton and Kathryn Barnard) 

Participation at Going Global has not only informed my day-to-day role, but also my research area of interest. The topics are current, visionary and truly inspiring. The technology savvy organisers provided a platform that can engage participants in providing a rich discourse community environment that otherwise would take a great deal of time to set up.

The 'Global reach' of this conference is exceptional. It is well attended by a diverse community from around the Commonwealth, mirrored by the equally diverse topics covered within an incredibly organised and varied programme schedule. On this occasion I was the only participant from our university in attendance, however I know there is a great deal of interest for future conference attendance and participation from many of my colleagues for Going Global.

The impact on my personal and professional development has helped to inform both my research area, informing my related subject knowledge, an experience rich in content whilst extending my professional development networks. As a participant it affords one the opportunity to begin a dialogue with institutes and organisations within the commonwealth community not just on a personal level but extending introductions to others not able to attend within my institute on this occasion.

Highlights as a participant included the fascinating discussions relating to some of the sessions I attended, including 'When China leads the world', 'New Challenges for International Leadership' and 'TNE Quality assurance a collaborative approach'. However, the lasting memory for me was the diverse range of speakers including the importance of the student voice at the heart of tertiary education, which seemed to be stronger than ever especially in the closing plenary session, where students shared their 'thoughts from the conference'.

What was truly inspiring was the realisation that all of these students had received a UK education, were confident, articulate, professional individuals wanting to return to their communities – and in most cases wanting to give something back after attaining their achievements within their specialist areas of study. It was indeed humbling to hear Yinbo Yu, International Students' Officer, from the National Union of Students (NUS), UK, sharing his passion for student mobility: 'When you go abroad you carry the dreams of the people you know at home, the importance of student mobility and international student life helps you to travel across borders to fulfil a dream to be empowered by learning'.

It is indeed reassuring to note from an academic perspective that the UK education system remains at the forefront in its global reach within tertiary education and this is likely to continue if the level of communication, participation and engagement in contributing to this rich international community of practice is supported and applauded.

ACU Internationalisation Community

Jacqueline Norton manages the Transnational Education (TNE) Partnerships within the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media (ADM), at Birmingham City University (BCU), ensuring academic quality provision and programme delivery. She supports the Associate Dean International and Schools within the ADM Faculty working with International partners, currently in Asia and South East Asia. The support extends to promoting TNE recruitment and marketing activities, supporting research initiatives, learner exchange through student and staff mobility, and exploring expansion opportunities including developing and launching new TNE partnerships.

Jacqueline is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. She has over 20 years' experience working in the design industry, and has worked as an educator, first in further education, before moving into higher education and for the last ten years has been an international educator and coordinator.

Her research interests and Professional Doctorate in Education relates to creative methodologies and innovative pedagogy within the context of international collaborations, in addition to how partnerships are formed and sustained.

Last modified on 20/06/2018
Tags: ACU Internationalisation Community, Internationalisation, Commonwealth