Principal attends world's largest global gathering of Vice-Chancellors

05 August 2014

Emilio Botn, Santander Chairman

Emilio Botn, Santander Chairman

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE has attended the world’s largest global meeting of heads of universities, with more than 1000 rectors, presidents and vice-chancellors in attendance.

Professor Gillies and Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Principal & Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement, joined university leaders from 46 countries at the third Universia International Meeting of Vice-Chancellors, a Santander Universities initiative, on July 28 and 29.

The theme of this year’s meeting was “The University of the 21st century: a reflection from Ibero-America” and delegates analysed the future of higher education and how institutions can respond to the demands of today’s society.

Professors Gillies and Stanton also visited Unigranrio University and had very productive talks about a possible joint Master’s degree in writing for television, and in a range of health subjects. It was also agreed that the institutions will explore a possible collaboration in social-impact indicator assessment with GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.

Unigranrio’s Professor Sonia Mendes and her outreach team took GCU’s visitors to observe some of their health and nursery education projects in one of Rio’s favelas. Early discussions took place about establishing an outreach project, based in one of these urban areas, adapted from the successful model of GCU’s award-winning Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Dhaka.

GCU has also been awarded a new round of funding from Santander Universities’ Global Initiatives Division. The University will receive more than £54,000 to support new internship and mobility opportunities for GCU students and staff.

Professor Gillies said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the third Universia meeting of Vice-Chancellors. It was an outstanding event, and provided an opportunity to build new relationships with colleagues from other universities. It was very encouraging to see how positively colleagues from other institutions responded to our commitment to deliver on our social mission, to work for the common good.

This event was just part of Santander Universities’ wide-ranging support for higher education around the world. I am delighted, and hugely grateful, that with our new range of funding GCU will continue to benefit from this activity.”