The University of Sydney
One of the best

WHO SAID, in a televised debate: "The University of Sydney is one of the best universities in the world when it comes to research and applied research for capital markets." Find out below in 'September in Singapore'.

 COMMENT    |  
Chinese challenge

Portfolio staff have been working round the clock to organise this week's University delegation to Beijing - an intensive program of meetings and symposia leading up to a graduation ceremony and dinner on Saturday.

The annual delegation to China - now in its seventh year - has become our largest international event of the year. It is an opportunity to build relationships and explore the potential for research projects and exchange agreements that will form the basis for fruitful, ongoing partnerships.

At a time of severe budgetary pressure, when there is so much focus on international students as a source of revenue, it is important that we persist in China, and that we can tell a different story - that we already have 50 research projects with China's leading universities, that our new China Studies Centre draws together 130 academics from around the University with a common interest, and that our new Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease will be of untold benefit to both countries.

And of course the message we need to convey to potential students is that at Sydney they will receive a top-quality education at a world-renowned university. The Knight Review's changes to visa regulations, accepted by the Government and due to be introduced next year, will remove one of the barriers that has impeded us in the last couple of years. Now it's up to us!

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 NEWS    |  
Africa initiative

University of Sydney academics are taking part in an international conference in Nairobi this week, tackling issues surrounding the distressing practice of female genital cutting in Africa.

Dr Nesrin Varol and Professor Bob Cummings have been working with partners from the University of Nairobi on the conference, which is supported through the International Program Development Fund at the University of Sydney and the United Nations Population Fund.

Dr Varol, the University’s international development manager for Africa, said the primary purpose of the conference was to review existing knowledge and identify knowledge gaps with regards to the health consequences of female genital cutting and its treatment, and to review the effectiveness of community-based interventions.

The conference also hopes to strengthen leadership and research capacity in Africa by creating a network platform for researchers based in African countries, and by discussing the establishment of an African centre for research and leadership training for the abandonment of female genital mutilation.

Other collaborating institutions are the World Health Organisation, the International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent University in Belgium, USAID, and the University of Washington. Up to 100 local and international participants are attending.

Dr Varol said:  “Our aim is to improve the quality of health of women and girls in Africa by establishing a centre for promoting the abandonment of female genital cutting through innovative research, leadership training and networking.

“We can accelerate its elimination through education and information on gender issues and equality, the empowerment of women, and the health and human rights dimensions of female genital cutting.”

Dr Varol is also spending time at a hospital in Addis Ababa, working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to provide essential emergency obstetric and surgical health care for rural communities.


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International Leaders

The International Leaders Program, run by the Office of the DVCI, is this month hosting its sixth program for Chinese university leaders. The program focuses on fostering innovation, technology and human resource development in higher education.

The group consists of 23 university presidents and vice-presidents, inluding representatives from Sun Yat-sen University, China Agricultura University and South West University. The program is supported by China's Ministry of Education and SAFEA, the agency responsible for the overseas training of Chinese officials.

Next month a group of young leaders chosen from across Australia will travel to Korea for a water sustainability program offered by the Australia- Korea Next Generation Leaders Program. They will take part in leadership briefings, networking events and specialist meetings with their Korean counterparts.

They will also undertake site visits to relevant organisations, and have the opportunity to develop an understanding of contemporary Korean culture and society.

The program, including the selection of candidates, is being managed by the International Leaders Program. Its aim is to promote cooperation, leadership and knowledge exchange between Korean and Australian experts.

"We will also develop and deliver the National Drug Administration and Pharmaceutical Policy Training Program  for the Ministry of Health in China in late November,"  said Margaret Gardoll, manager of the International Leaders Program.

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WUN reaches into Hong Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has become the 17th member of the Worldwide Universities Network – a move welcomed by Chief Executive John Hearn as bringing “new perspectives, knowledge and impact” to the WUN.

Professor Hearn took part in a formal ceremony earlier this month in Hong Kong, signing a Heads of Agreement with the Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, Professor Joseph Sung. Sydney has been a leading member of the WUN since 2007.

Founded in 1963, CUHK is a comprehensive research university with more than 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, including 3,000 international students.

Professor Hearn said: “We recognise the demonstrated commitment of CUHK to play a full role in international strategy and development, and we see major mutual synergies and added value for both CUHK and our WUN Partners.

"This is a significant addition to the partnership given CUHK's recognised importance as a bridge with China in scholarship and strategy.”

Nicholas Haskins, recently appointed WUN General Manager, said CUHK had already signalled its intention to be an active member of WUN, appointing senior academics to head up its involvement in the four WUN Global Challenge areas: Adapting to Climate Change; Globalisation of Higher Education and Research; Public Health; and Understanding Cultures.

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 NEWS    |  
September in Singapore


The University of Sydney completed a successful visit to Singapore in September, led by Professor John Hearn and with participation from the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering and IT, Medicine and Sydney Business School, as well as the Alumni and Graduations offices.

One of the highlights of the program was a televised studio debate at CNBC Asia featuring Professor Alex Frino (Sydney Business School) and Magnus Böcker, chief executive of the Singapore Stock Exchange. . 

During the debate Magnus Böcker said: “The reason for having Alex here is that we work more and more with academia. The University of Sydney is one of the best universities in the world when it comes to research and applied research for capital markets. Bringing a lot of those kind of things into Singapore is helping us to build that hub that we are so keen to do.”

Other events included: 

A ‘Frontiers of Knowledge Symposium’ debate at SGX

A meeting with Australian High Commissioner Doug Chester, to discuss higher education opportunities in Singapore

A Q&A session with agents, with useful feedback for improving strategies to attract Singaporean students

An alumni lunch with more than 15 volunteers and the formation of a Singapore Alumni Steering Committee

A University reception with 200 alumni and partners

A graduation ceremony for 96 nursing students.

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 SEMINAR    |  
India's future


Researchers from the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore have taken part in a colloquium at Sydney as part of the South Asia Seminar Series.

ISAS is an autonomous research institute within NUS which is dedicated to the study of contemporary South Asia.

The guest speakers were Professor Tan Tai Yong, Director of the Institute; Dr S. Narayan, Head of Research and Visiting Senior Research Fellow; Professor John Harriss, Visiting Research Professor; and Dr Amitendu Palit, Head of Development and Programmes and Visiting Senior Research Fellow.

Their speakers concentrated on the problems facing India over the next decade and also took part in a panel discussion on India’s development opportunities and challenges.

The University of Sydney South Asia Network organises regular free public lectures and seminars involving local and international speakers. For information on coming events visit


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News and Comment
Israel Research Forum
ALAF Awards
Diary date
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The Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, International will be hosting the University of Sydney- Israel Research Partnership Forum, “Shared Challenges, Future Solutions” on 31 October.

The Forum brings together academics from the University of Sydney and leading Israeli institutions to discuss research innovations in key thematic areas including medicine; water, food and agriculture; pedagogy of teaching second languages and Dead Sea Scrolls; energy and information technology. The aim of the Forum is to acknowledge and develop new research collaborations in areas of mutual national and global concern.

See website for more information and program.

Date: Monday, 31 October 2011
Time: 9.00am to 5.45pm
Location: Theatre 101, New Law School Building Annex, Camperdown Campus
Cost: Free
Contact: Brittany McGrath or Sladjana Rstic 
Phone: 02 9036 5142

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Round 11 of the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship scheme opened on Monday 17 October.

ALAFs  aim to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.
They provide Australian organisations with an opportunity to build and strengthen links with organisations in developing countries by offering professional development opportunities in Australia.
The goal of the program is to develop appropriately trained current and aspiring leaders in priority areas, who, in the short to medium term, will be in a position to advance key regional policy objectives and increase institutional capacity of partner countries.
ALA Fellowships do not lead to academic qualifications, but are designed to provide short term opportunities for study, research and professional attachment programs in Australia.
The closing date for Round 11 is 23 November.
For further information, including guidelines and eligible countries, please refer to AusAID's website.
The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) provides assistance with developing ALAF programs and writing ALAF applications.
If you have an idea for an ALAF program and would like further assistance, please contact Caroline Mullins.
December 8-9
Symposium on Indigenous Knowledges in Latin America and Australia, supported by the International Program Development Fund.
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