Global engagement

GCU is helping Sri Lanka meet its renewable energy targets

The University is at the centre of a global network of campuses and long-term partnerships. Our renowned research and programmes run internationally and are helping find solutions to worldwide challenges.  

We are helping Sri Lanka train its workforce to meet the South Asian nation’s ambitious plans to generate 80% of its energy from renewable sources. We shared almost one million euros from Erasmus+ to help technicians, engineers and project managers build skills in designing, commissioning and maintaining renewable energy projects. With global partners, our researchers are establishing five training hubs focusing on harnessing wind and solar power. 

We captured the experiences of communities in a range of Sub-Saharan African countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic to help policymakers better understand the issues affecting them and the resources they will need to recover. The Centre for Climate Justice joined the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance to explore the impact of COVID-19 in Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Gabon and Morocco. It specifically looked at how COVID-19 may affect the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement, a global pact aimed at alleviating the impact of climate change while building the resilience of countries and communities.

The SHIP Research Group launched a hand hygiene study in Cameroon

The Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention Research Group launched a hand hygiene study in Cameroon which could reduce the spread of infections in hospitals across Africa. Funded by our Global Challenges Research Fund in partnership with the Infection Control Africa Network (ICAN), the study is running in Banso Baptist Hospital and explores how providing expert infection prevention and control training, and alcohol-based hand rub beside beds can improve healthcare hygiene practices and cut healthcare-associated infections in patients. 

Chancellor Emeritus Professor Muhammad Yunus was among the speakers examining COVID-19's global impact in the influential Resilience and Reconstruction Speaker Series of talks presented by The Center for Social Impact and Innovation at GCNYC. He was joined by staff including Yunus Chair and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Cam Donaldson, The British School of Fashion's Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, and Assistant Vice Principal Business Partnerships, Fiona Stewart-Knight, as well as Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing staff and industry leaders in the series of talks reflecting on the pandemic’s influence on spheres from health economics to luxury fashion. 

We secured 4.4million euros to run a climate-themed Masters programme in partnership with some of Europe’s leading universities. The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s programme on Urban Climate and Sustainability focuses on problem-based learning and practical projects in industry and public organisations.

Microloans are helping farmers struggling with climate change

Our researchers travelled to Rwanda to learn how microloans - received in kind as fertilisers or seeds - are helping farmers struggling with climate change in developing countries. A study, led by Dr Karin Helwig and co-funded by Opportunity International UK, learned that the loans ensured farmers could harvest at least a limited crop and access food even when they were severely impacted by floods and droughts. The team recommended that loans should be made more widely available and warned that microfinance alone can’t address the challenges to the developing world’s rural communities posed by climate change.

We celebrated the graduations of our students around the world. In Mauritius, 108 students successfully completed their studies at the African Leadership College. It was the second graduation ceremony at the pioneering college, which we helped establish to transform leadership in the world's fastest-growing continent. 

In Oman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor James Miller capped more than 500 Caledonian College of Engineering graduates who were awarded degrees by GCU. The College is now part of the National University of Science & Technology. And Glasgow Caledonian New York College celebrated its fourth and fifth commencement ceremonies with 26 students graduating.