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GCU London secures major research grant to work in Latin America and Europe

26 September 2018

GCU London is to lead a £615,000 project to help academics and university staff across Latin America and Europe work effectively with students from diverse cultures.

The award is the first major research grant secured by Glasgow Caledonian University’s London campus and will see researchers work with their counterparts at universities in El Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Italy over the next three years.

Eleven partners will take part in the project, Professional Development in Intercultural Competence in Higher Education Institutions (PROFIC), which is being backed by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education fund.

Staff will be offered the chance to develop with their own intercultural knowledge, learn skills to help students increase their cultural awareness, and build intercultural competence into their own personal development programmes.

A free online toolkit will also be created which will highlight the richness and creativity diversity brings to university life. The open source toolkit will ensure the study has a wider impact on the HEI sector, both within the UK and around the world.

Dr Dane Lukic, Research Lead for GCU London and the Principal Investigator, said: “We will be working with higher education institutions all over Latin America and Europe on this exciting project.

“Previous studies show staff in Latin America, in particular, lack support in developing new learning methodologies and technology. Although the project focusses on Latin America, all higher education institutions around the world could benefit from dedicating more efforts to developing the competence for an intercultural, innovative, global and responsible world.

“The funding is a great boost and shows that our focus on research-led teaching and educational innovation is paying off.

“We are looking forward to being supported in our endeavours to further establish GCU London as a research-led academic hub, with the British School of Fashion and the development of the British School of Management.”

The GCU London project was one of 147 chosen from 874 highly competitive international bids.

Partners in the project include the Union of Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UDUAL), the University of Guadalajara and Veracruz University, in Mexico, the University of Cordoba, the University of La Plata and the University of Lanus, in Argentina, Guglielmo Marconi University, in Italy, the University of Deusto, in Spain, and the University of El Salvador and Don Bosco University, in El Salvador.

Professor Antony Morgan, Dean of GCU London, said: "The acquisition of these funds is a significant milestone.

"It will boost the confidence of other research-active staff to build our capacity to deliver innovative research that supports continued improvements in our strategies for learning, internationalisation and student experience."