Working visit to University of Sydney on 9 and 10 November 2022

Henk Kummeling and Mark Scott in front of banner that says "Connecting globally for a better world"
Henk Kummeling and Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Sydney

A delegation from Utrecht University, led by rector Henk Kummeling, paid a working visit to the University of Sydney on 9 and 10 November. An agreement was signed with University of Sydney five years ago. The commitment was to strengthen cooperation in research and student mobility, but also identify opportunities for education.

Research on sustainable city

In recent years, research has been initiated or strengthened through seed funding, for which there have been jointly funded calls. During the working visit in Sydney, research results were discussed and new research initiatives were also addressed. Both sides expressed their intention to give additional impulses to cooperation, especially in the interdisciplinary field. Particular attention was paid to the issue of the 'sustainable city (of the future)'. Experts from various disciplines discussed an initial outline for a joint research agenda on 10 November. This includes cooperation with other partners, such as the University of Toronto. It was agreed to organise one or more workshops in 2023 to take this agenda forward.

Global health

Seye Abimbola, chairholder of the Prince Claus Chair from 2020 to 2022, is based at the University of Sydney. The desire is to build together on the foundation laid in the area of Justice and Equity in Global Health. Attention in the coming period will focus on education. Research will emphasise the theme in combination with the SDGs. Workshops on this subject are on the agenda in 2023. Opportunities for cooperation with a university in Indonesia are being explored, as both UU and USYD have strong ties there.

Student exchange

The Vice-Chancellor of Sydney, Mark Scott, together with Henk Kummeling, signed a renewed student exchange agreement, giving students from Sydney access to the Utrecht Summer School offer as well. In addition to the regular exchange, ideas were exchanged with Tessel Arendsen, UU Student Exchange Coordinator, on new forms of mobility, partly with a view to reducing emissions in the future.

In Singapore, where a stopover was made, the UU delegation spoke with the administrative top of the National University of Singapore, including Vice-Chancellor Tan Eng Chye. Topics in which NUS showed particular interest were interdisciplinary and honours education, the alliance with UMCU, Eindhoven and Wageningen, and student exchange.

Active alumni

Director of Alumni Affairs and University Fund, Margot van Sluis-Barten, looks back on a successful alumni meeting both in Sydney and Singapore. Alumnus Hugo Klijn, Consul General in Sydney, participated in the meeting. The alumni chapters both in Sydney and Singapore are very active. Interestingly, several alumni indicated that they were considering a return to UU.

More information: Jeroen Frietman