Good afternoon. And thanks for inviting me to Berlin to speak at this yr’s Going International convention.
What better option to show the facility and potential of worldwide higher education than by taking a look at everybody right here in this room right now.
It’s superb to see individuals from all corners of the globe gathered collectively to share information, expertise and concepts. And to study from each other about how higher education can help the most effective outcomes and experiences for individuals, younger and previous, all over the world.
I am definitely encouraged and impressed by your enthusiasm. And I sit up for listening to concerning the ideas and considering that come out of your discussions over the subsequent couple of days.
Definitely, in the UK, our world-leading universities and schools are worldwide at their core. And I’m right here at the moment because I need to see the international connectivity, collaboration and partnership that underpin a lot of our international higher education proceed to flourish.
So, as Universities Minister, I need to share with you my vision for the UK’s strategy to ‘going global’ in higher education. And I hope that, from it, you will be able to draw out synergies with your personal nations’ higher education techniques, and determine opportunities for higher partnership with the UK and our world-leading establishments.
But most of all, I need to ship the message loud and clear right now that, with regards to higher education and analysis, the UK is most definitely open.
As a UK Minister, I can’t stand right here this afternoon without mentioning the elephant in the room that is Brexit. And I’m positive lots of you’re already sat there considering what Brexit means for the UK’s international ambitions.
Brexit might nicely mean that we’re set to go away the European Union, nevertheless it definitely does not imply that we’re leaving Europe or, indeed, any of our international education and analysis partnerships behind.
The UK government is critical about exploring a cope with the European Union to guarantee continued participation in schemes like Erasmus+ and Horizon2020.
And we wish to get on with negotiating the phrases of our future financial partnership with our European pals.
However we can’t ignore the truth that we still face the prospect of leaving the EU and not using a deal.
In fact, this isn’t what we would like.
But if it have been to happen, the UK Authorities would ensure the country is ready for each eventuality – including standing ready to administer the Government Assure to offer certainty for these already collaborating in the Erasmus+ or Horizon2020 programmes.
As Minister for Analysis and Innovation, I have taken half in totally different conferences with my European counterparts. And I made positive the UK’s voice was heard at the meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council in February.
I’ll also be heading again to Brussels to sit on the table at the subsequent assembly on 28th Might.
Europe will all the time remain an in depth associate to the UK.
And we’ll proceed to look outwards to the rest of the world and nurture essential relationships throughout the globe.
That’s why it’s essential we put ahead a transparent, constructive vision for our ambition to remain international.
And I’m now going to share with you the four core rules that I feel should underpin this imaginative and prescient for the longer term.
- 1 The primary of these rules is to construct and amplify the UK’s position on the worldwide stage.
- 2 This brings me on to my second core precept, which is to enable the UK’s Higher Education sector to maximise and profit from the complete vary of worldwide opportunities and interconnectedness.
- 3 So, it is our obligation in authorities to ship my third precept – specifically to offer a world main supply to international students and employees.
- 4 That takes me on to my fourth and last principle, which focusses on supporting UK students be prepared and assured to interact in an increasingly international world. To be really international citizens.
The primary of these rules is to construct and amplify the UK’s position on the worldwide stage.
This implies bolstering the quality and standing of UK higher education and selling it as a centre of worldwide excellence.
The UK higher education system has a fantastic international popularity for high quality, of which we are rightly proud. Based on the QS World College Rankings, we have now four universities in the highest 10, and 18 in the highest 100 higher education institutions in the world.
In research too, we have now a very international footprint. In 2014, the UK produced 15.2% of the world’s most highly cited articles.
It’s this popularity that drives our capacity to draw and nurture talent from all over the world, and grow our valued worldwide partnerships and collaborations.
However we need to do more.
Our Worldwide Education Technique revealed in March sets out our intention to nominate an International Education Champion. This Champion will take to the worldwide stage to grow alternatives for worldwide partnerships, including by means of tackling and breaking down sensible obstacles to cooperation.
We would like the UK to be a world associate of selection. So, the Champion will assist to ensure that we’re providing one thing that resonates with students and researchers all over the world.
We’ve got also just lately launched a new EdTech Technique which, along with the Worldwide Education Strategy, will help UK EdTech businesses to realize success both in the UK and across the globe.
Our EdTech Technique has been formed by worldwide proof – displaying how we’ve appeared to the rest of the world to see how know-how can increase the excellence and high quality of our education and educating.
This brings me on to my second core precept, which is to enable the UK’s Higher Education sector to maximise and profit from the complete vary of worldwide opportunities and interconnectedness.
There are a selection of mechanisms that allow us to do this better.
Transnational education (or TNE) is one such software, as it helps to forge worldwide ties between establishments.
Higher education institutions in the UK already work in collaboration with partners throughout the globe, delivering UK degrees to students in their house nations.
From Lancaster College’s Ghana campus, the first British department campus in Ghana, to Aston College’s dual degree programme with Muscat University Oman.
And European collaborations like the College of Kent Brussels Faculty of Worldwide Research (BSIS) branch campus in Belgium.
Research funds, such as the Newton Fund or the International Challenges Research Fund, supply one other very important pathway for international collaboration.
They convey collectively researchers from throughout the globe, to work collectively to deal with complicated scientific and research challenges.
One such example is the worldwide Interdisciplinary Analysis Hubs we launched in January 2019 – being funded by the International Challenges Analysis Fund.
By way of a £200 million investment, 12 international research Hubs will develop artistic and sustainable options to assist make the world safer, healthier and more affluent.
Over the subsequent 5 years, these Hubs will work throughout 85 nations with governments, worldwide businesses, partners and NGOs on the ground – both in creating nations and around the globe.
To exhibit our long-term dedication to international engagement, we’ll quickly publish an Worldwide Research and Innovation Technique that may set out our ambition to remain the associate of selection for international analysis and innovation.
And, as announced by the UK Chancellor earlier this yr, we may even undertake an unbiased evaluation of our future frameworks for worldwide collaboration, led by Sir Adrian Smith, which can help the early and efficient implementation of the Strategy.
As I expressed in a speech in London simply final week, individuals are key to our success in higher education, science, research and innovation.
We’ve got already spearheaded this precept by setting a clear ambition to extend the numbers of international higher education students learning in the UK by over 30%, to 600,000 by 2030.
However this isn’t just about merely boosting numbers. We additionally need to be sure that these students are coming to us from across a higher number of areas across the globe.
In any case, internet hosting students from different nations offers us with very important cultural and enterprise links.
Opening our doors to others from elsewhere in the world provides us pals, and alternatives to interact and collaborate around the globe – as evidenced so properly by occasions like this here in Berlin right now.
International college students who come to the UK can develop into necessary ambassadors for our country.
As of summer time final yr, 57 of the world’s serving monarchs, presidents and prime ministers have been educated in the UK. And I’m happy to see we’ve just added the new emperor of Japan to this tally, who was a former scholar on the University of Oxford.
Briefly, we would like worldwide students to return to the UK, to take pleasure in their time there, and in the event that they choose to not stay for work, we would like them to go back to their residence nations with comfortable reminiscences and warm feelings in the direction of us. That’s why we need to guarantee international college students have the absolute best experience of their time in UK higher education, the absolute best outcomes, and enriching encounters with their establishments, other students and employees.
We are backing our ambition up with action, reminiscent of growing the post-study depart interval, making it easier for college kids to move into skilled work after commencement. And we are working with Universities UK Worldwide to improve the employability of our worldwide college students – both in the UK and beyond.
We recognise we’ve got a duty of look after all college students who take part in a UK higher education, be they home or international.
It’s straightforward to imagine that the university years are the perfect years of people’s lives. However this is not all the time the case.
I was notably shocked to study, once I gave a speech at a Wonkhe conference on the ‘secret lives of students’ earlier this yr, that over 15% of scholars stated they felt lonely each day. And the figures have been worse for worldwide college students.
The truth is, 20% of worldwide college students stated they do not contemplate themselves to have any true associates at university. So, they will lack help networks and be extra more likely to have considerations over their mental health.
That is why we’re working intently with UK universities to embed the ‘Step Change’ programme inside the sector, which calls on higher education leaders to adopt the psychological health of scholars and employees as a strategic priority.
It’s also why we’re backing the event of the University Mental Well being Constitution, which can drive up requirements in promoting the mental well being and wellbeing of scholars and employees wherever they arrive from in the world.
If we are to invite young individuals from throughout the globe to review and stay in the UK, we’ll meet our duty to ensure that whilst they are with us, they are completely satisfied, enriched and supported as they turn into the worldwide leaders, thinkers and innovators of the longer term.
And we need to benefit from the superb advantages international students deliver to UK students as nicely. We know how they enrich the experience of our home college students, helping to supply globally minded residents and lifelong links between nations. And that is an invaluable asset in a world the place international relationships are so key.
That takes me on to my fourth and last principle, which focusses on supporting UK students be prepared and assured to interact in an increasingly international world. To be really international citizens.
It is my ambition that each one UK higher education college students can benefit from a world experience during their time as a scholar. Whether or not that’s by learning or working overseas as part of their degree, or constructing relationships with international students on campus.
In a very international UK, there’s a wealth of alternative for our young individuals to turn into well-rounded, internationally competent and culturally sensitive citizens. And we need to help them in that endeavour.
That is why the UK’s Department for Education supports a variety of outward mobility programmes, which broaden access to worldwide alternatives, such because the Fulbright and Era UK China schemes.
Each of these schemes have been expanded with elevated funding during the last yr, bringing opportunities to even more students – notably these from disadvantaged backgrounds, who typically find it more durable to access experiences similar to learning overseas.
We now have also just lately dedicated funding, by way of Universities UK, to help UK undergraduate college students from deprived backgrounds take part in brief research internships at Canadian universities by means of the Mitacs Globalink scheme.
And to make outward mobility accessible to even more students, we additionally enable eligible college students learning in the United Kingdom to review abroad for as much as 50% of their course and still be eligible for scholar help.
We consider that, regardless of the result of EU exit negotiations, the UK and European nations should continue to provide young individuals and college students the prospect to profit from one another’s world main universities post-exit.
To this end, we stay open to exploring participation in the successor scheme to the present Erasmus+ Programme.
However, as a responsible Authorities, we are also contemplating a variety of choices almost about the way forward for international trade and collaboration in education and coaching. This includes a potential domestic various to the Erasmus+ Programme.
The potential advantages of the UK establishing its own worldwide mobility scheme would include the power to have a very international change programme. And I can be driving ahead this work in the coming months.
But on the coronary heart of all that is the message that we would like our international relationships to grow, to strengthen and finally flourish in the months and years forward.
We’re here at this time because we need to companion with you, study from you, and share our personal studying in return.
The UK isn’t just ‘going global’ as the identify of this conference suggests. But I can reassure you that the UK has all the time been international, is international, and will stay international for the longer term.