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INTERNATIONAL PORTFOLIO NEWSLETTER
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JULY 2012
Welcome to our latest newsletter, which provides a glimpse into some of the International Portfolio's current activities. We hope you find it interesting and informative.
NEWS
 INTRODUCTION    |  
Professor John Hearn
The extraordinary success of Twitter (and yes, you can now follow us @Sydney Uni World) is a timely reminder of the power of ideas.  
The extraordinary success of Twitter (and yes, you can now follow us @Sydney Uni World) is a timely reminder of the power of ideas. 

Twitter emerged from a corporate brainstorming session in 2006. Its creators backed their instincts, moved quickly and unleashed a phenomenon that has literally – in the case of the Arab Spring – changed the world. All in the space of 140 characters.

The optimist in me would love to think that the suggestions thrown up at our recent mid-year workshop – and there were plenty of them – would reverberate around the globe.

More realistically, they have provided us with a well of ideas to draw on as we seek to strengthen our international engagement, in regional strategy, networking, communications, partnerships and other areas.

The workshop serves as a clear guidepost for future activity, and highlights the remarkable work the University is carrying out internationally. I thank everybody who participated, not least the four respondents – Patrick Brennan, Daniel Rowland, Anthony Welch and Joseph Davis – who did a great job on the day of crystallising the talk into items for action.

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 PARTNERSHIPS    |  
Making a difference
A Strategic Action Plan developed by the International Portfolio will strengthen the University’s links with international agencies, providing academics with opportunities to form innovative partnerships that make a real difference to people’s lives.  
A Strategic Action Plan developed by the International Portfolio will strengthen the University’s links with international agencies, providing academics with opportunities to form innovative partnerships that make a real difference to people’s lives.

The new action plan, developed by the International Agencies and Governments Program (IAGP), presents a coherent vision for how the University can harness international partnerships and collaborations to tackle/address global challenges.

Launched at the Portfolio’s Mid-Year Workshop, it will enhance University-wide internationalisation and regional engagement. It targets the development of partnerships with global organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and UN agencies, and presents a framework for engagement with these organisations in sectors where the University has unique expertise and knowledge to offer.

It builds on an existing partnership with the Australian Government, which in 2010-11 attracted more than $10 million in grants and scholarships through the International Portfolio. Taking a teamwork approach, it outlines key mechanisms for how the IAGP will partner with faculties and central portfolios to connect international opportunities for training, consulting and applied research, where organisations are increasingly reaching out to academia for solutions.

Thomas Soem, International Development Manager with the IAGP, said: “The University has a key role to play in being an active and visible contributor to the development of solutions to the most pressing global problems, such as food security, environmental degradation and non-communicable diseases.”

Daniel Rowland, Law and Development Adviser with the Sydney Law School, welcomed the action plan, saying that the proposed approach was “a strong foundation for more effective and efficient support to working with these organisations, in a way which is both innovative and sustainable for the University”.

The action plan will be implemented over the next 18 months. It is expected to deliver key benefits in connecting faculties and centres of excellence with global opportunities in sectors and regions of strategic priority to the University.

 UNITED STATES    |  
Embassy Speech
Professor Alex Frino outlined his latest research into stock market trading at a talk in Washington DC as part of the Australian Ambassador’s Speakers Series.
Professor Alex Frino outlined his latest research into stock market trading at a talk in Washington DC as part of the Australian Ambassador’s Speakers Series.
Professor Frino, CEO of Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre (CMCRC) and Professor of Finance at the University of Sydney Business School, said that trading conducted outside  the established stock exchanges in so-called 'dark pools' could damage market quality and increase trading costs in smaller stock markets such as Australia.

Professor Frino has designed a mathematical model that demonstrates the impact on 'lit' stock markets when trading moves into dark pools. According to Frino's model, if 20 per cent of trading moves into the dark, it will increase trading costs on the established or lit exchange by almost 1 basis point. This is many times greater than the round trip exchange fee of 0.3 basis points.

"When trading moves off-exchange, trading costs on the lit exchange rise because markets fragment and this makes it more costly for buyers and sellers to find it each other" said Professor Frino. "This implies that dark trading has a significant negative impact on liquidity."

Professor Frino pointed out that his research was particularly acute in smaller markets such as Australia and Singapore. "We're seeing markets fragment in Asia as we did years ago in the US and Europe," he said. "The issue is that some Asian markets aren't big enough to handle it. Pulling liquidity off the lit exchanges, and the subsequent increase in trading costs, only further injures already struggling liquidity."

Frino also pointed out that there are different types of dark pools - 'internalisers', where investment banks trade against their client orders without ever exposing them to outside traders; and independent dark pools, which are essentially open to anyone.

"The debate about different types of dark liquidity is yet to begin," he said. "But it's one that regulators - and indeed investors - should be very interested in. It will effect superannuation fund returns in future."

Australia's Ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, launched the Speakers Series in 2011. Mr Beazley described this year's speakers as "Australia's great thinkers, able to speak on issues of interest and importance both in the United States and Australia, such as the environment, science, health, culture and power relations in the Asia-Pacific region.

"My Speaker Series is designed to continue the frank, full and fearless discussion I and my embassy colleagues enjoy with representatives from the US Administration, Congress, universities, think tanks, industry organisations and the general public," Mr Beazley said.

Professor Frino's participation was assisted by the Office of the DVC International.

Professor Frino has also given a presentation on "Challenges in the Asia-Pacific for Global Equity Markets" in Chicago and met representatives from the Chicago Mutual Exchange.
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 CHINA    |  
Distinguished visitors
The University recently welcomed two distinguished guests from China: the Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, Mme Chen Xiaoya, and the Vice-Governor of Jiangsu Province, Professor Cao Weixing.
The University recently welcomed two distinguished guests from China: the Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, Mme Chen Xiaoya, and the Vice-Governor of Jiangsu Province, Professor Cao Weixing.

Professor Jill Trewhella, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), hosted a lunch to welcome Vice-Minister Chen Xiaoya. The Vice-Minister was briefed about the University’s partnerships with China and its research strengths, especially in the areas of science and technology.

Leading University academics and researchers attended the meeting to explore priority areas where opportunities for collaboration might arise. The Chinese delegation also visited the facilities at the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering.

The relationship is advancing reciprocally and Professor Trewhella will participate in a shadowing program with her equivalent at Xi’an Jiaotong University in September.

Professor Cao Weixing, Vice-Governor of Jiangsu Province, was accompanied by university presidents for discussions about collaborative opportunities.

Jiangsu is one of the most advanced provinces in China in terms of agricultural production and research and is regarded as Eastern China’s agricultural science and technology innovation centre. Its government is committed to investing in science and technology, and strong interest was expressed by the delegation for collaboration in agricultural research.

The Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence was recently interviewed on  Guizhou Television's “Lundao” program about the functions and social responsibilities of universities. Click here to watch the interview.
 AFRICA    |  
Network takes shape
A consortium of Australian universities is being formed to strengthen relations with African partners and address the challenges faced by people living in sub-Saharan Africa.  
A consortium of Australian universities is being formed to strengthen relations with African partners and address the challenges faced by people living in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Australia-Africa Universities Network is seeking to build research and teaching collaborations with African universities in priority areas.

It has attracted interest from 17 universities and research institutes, and is being formally established at a meeting in Canberra on 17 July.

The initiative follows on from two forums at the University of Sydney in 2010 and 2011 attended by African ministers and Australian foreign ministers Stephen Smith and Kevin Rudd.

Speaking at the 2011 forum, Ghana’s Minister of Education, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, pointed out that of the 220 Australian mining companies active in Africa, 200 are engaged in non-renewable mineral extraction. And despite its wealth of natural resources, the Continent has just a 2 per cent share of world trade.

“Africa and Australia need to build bridges,” she said. “We need to do more than just take resources out of the Continent.”

John Hearn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International at Sydney and chair for 2012 of the network’s steering group, said: “We must seize this opportunity to revitalise our relationship with Africa.

“There has never been a better time to build successful partnerships with African countries; three of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa.”

He said that a Senate inquiry in June 2011 put forward 17 recommendations for expanding and strengthening relations between Australia and the countries of Africa.

“Australia has the opportunity to focus on important new areas of assistance and to demonstrate creativity and innovation in working with African partners to find solutions to long-standing challenges in areas such as governance, health and education,” said Professor Hearn.

Key objectives for the network include:

  • Provide an intelligence and advisory portal for government, the corporate sector and media offering a range of expertise on Africa
  • Develop institutional research partnerships
  • Develop capacity building and training programs in governance, public sector reform, education, mining, agriculture and health.
  • Produce innovative policy papers with key academics, non-government organisations, business and political representatives.
  • Provide post-training support for African scholars, including an alumni network.
  • Develop activities to foster sustainable partnerships, including forums and workshops, a funding program for academic exchanges and a knowledge-sharing portal.
 

For more information contact: Lisanne Boling in the International Portfolio   or +61 2 9114 0910

 NETWORKS    |  
APRU news
Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence attended the Annual Presidents Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities at the University of Oregon in June.  
Annual meeting

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) held its 16th Annual Presidents Meeting at the University of Oregon in June on the theme “Shaping Asia-Pacific Higher Education in the 21st Century”. Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence represented the University of Sydney at the meeting.

The leaders of APRU member universities meet annually to discuss issues shaping Asia-Pacific higher education and the strategic direction of APRU. The discussion forums provide international platforms facilitating dialogue and exchange amongst universities, and towards developing and reviewing the overall direction and implementation of APRU’s policies and initiatives.
  
APRU Fellows Program 2012

The APRU Fellows Program hosted by the NUS was attended by 50 representatives from 16 universities who discussed water governance, approaches to water management, and the development of water research in the Asia-Pacific region.

Two researchers from the University of Sydney were selected to discuss their papers; Ms Zoe Wang, a PhD Candidate in the Mekong Research Centre (Influence of Environmental NGOs on Water Resource Management in China) and Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (Effects of Environmental Change on Forested Catchments in the Pacific Region).  

For more information see http://newshub.nus.edu.sg/headlines/0612/water_01Jun12.php
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COMING EVENTS
 PACIFIC    |  
Shaping our strategy
A one-day forum in September will look at the University's initiatives and partnerships in the Pacific region.  
A one-day forum in September will look at the University's initiatives and partnerships in the Pacific region.

Hosted by the Pacific Expert Group, the forum will examine the University’s current Pacific initiatives and invite comments from academics, government representatives and other stakeholders. 

Keynote speakers will be the Hon Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, and Dr Jimmie Rogers from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. 

Afternoon seminars will be held on law and economic development; health needs and priorities; sustainable resource management; and education partnerships and policy. 

The all-day forum takes place on Friday September 7 in the New Law School.

For more information contact Kate Lollback in the Office of the DVC International (9114 1153).
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 OECD    |  
Ocean Industries roundtable
On 16 July the DVC International will host a roundtable with Dr Pierre-Alain Schieb of the OECD on "The Future of Emerging Ocean Industries”.  
On 16 July the DVC International will host a roundtable with Dr Pierre-Alain Schieb of the OECD on "The Future of Emerging Ocean Industries”.
Dr Schieb is in the Advisory Unit to the Secretary-General of the OECD and Head of OECD International Futures Projects, including the next major project on Emerging Ocean Industries.

The International Futures Programme provides the OECD with an early warning of emerging issues, pinpoints major developments, and analyses key long-term concerns to help governments map strategy.

It uses a variety of tools including multi-year projects, high-level conferences, expert workshops, and consultations, a future-oriented online information system, and a network of contacts from government, industry, academia and civil society.

Emerging ocean industries include tidal energy, wave energy, offshore wind, marine biotechnology, technology-intensive marine aquaculture, sea-bed mining for minerals and ocean security.

The project will explore their growth prospects and potential for employment creation, the uncertainties surrounding their future development, the required scientific and technological breakthroughs, investment needs, contribution to green growth, impacts on coastal communities and policies most suited to their long-term prospects.


For more information contact the Regional Manage for Europe and the Middle East, Sandra Margon.
 SPINTRONICS    |  
SPIN 2012
The University of Sydney is hosting the fourth Worldwide Universities Network International Conference on Spintronics from 23 to 25 July.  
The University of Sydney is hosting the fourth Worldwide Universities Network International Conference on Spintronics from 23 to 25 July.
This conference will provide a forum for experts to discuss new scientific and technological developments in the field of spintronics, the rapidly growing field of research that has the ability to transform the future design of information technology devices.

The program has been designed to cover the multi-disciplinary nature of spintronics, with items of interest to materials scientists, physicists, engineers and students.

For further information visit the conference website or email Professor Simon Ringer and Dr Rongkun Zheng at the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility.

 INTERNATIONAL LEADERS PROGRAM    |  
Chinese delegations
The SWP International Leaders Program will welcome two high-level delegations to Sydney in the coming weeks.  
The SWP International Leaders Program will welcome two high level delegations to Sydney in the coming weeks.

The ILP and Professor Stephen Leeder, Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, are collaborating to deliver a one-week training program on hospital management to 18 of China's leading hospital presidents.

The program is sponsored by China's Pharmaceutical Research and Development Association and will include lectures, briefings and hospital visits.

In August, the Chinese Minister of Land and Resources will visit the University as part of an International Leaders Program for senior representatives from the China Geological Society.

The International Leaders Program is part of the Sydney World Program managed by the Office of the DVC International.
 THE GULF    |  
Sydney Forum
On September 5 the University will host a Gulf Forum, bringing together experts and leaders from across the Gulf region to exchange information on major themes of interest.  
On September 5 the University will host a Gulf Forum, bringing together experts and leaders from across the Gulf region to exchange information on major themes of interest.
The forum is an opportunity to develop projects and initiatives that will expand relations in the areas of education, science and research and raise awareness of the growing relationship between Australia and the countries of the Gulf region.

Themes include: food and water security; energy; health; Islamic finance; robotics; supporting International Students from the Gulf Region; and women in leadership in science, business and education.

More information is available from the Regional Manage for Europe and Middle East, Sandra Margon.
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INFORMATION
 CET    |  
English for academics
The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching (CET) offers a collaborative program of teaching in English aimed at university academics and pre-service or experienced EFL teachers and who need to improve their English language proficiency for teaching in English.  
The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching (CET) offers a collaborative program of teaching in English for academics. The course is suited to meet the needs of university academics and pre-service or experienced EFL teachers and who need to improve their English language proficiency for teaching in English. The program is also designed to facilitate the integration of language in order to present innovative and appropriate lesson materials for the English-speaking classroom.

The language component of the program is designed to enhance participants’ English speaking and listening skills and in particular equip them with the skills and confidence to prepare and deliver formal presentations and lessons in English. It covers grammar, pronunciation and reading strategies. Participants also look at the application of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to teaching and learning in the English language.

The pedagogic approach ensures that participants will develop an understanding of current teaching and learning theories and practices in Australia. The program aims to promote a communicative approach to teaching in English, and assist participants in understanding the language and communication needs of students for whom English is a second language. Teaching methodology will be aimed at teaching in tertiary education, but principles can be transferred to primary and/or secondary school teaching.

The program can be customised to your individual requirements. The program can be customised to include:
  • Course duration can vary from 2 weeks to 25 weeks
  • Cultural and educational activities
  • Field trips to selected Australian schools
  • Meetings with the University of Sydney, Faculty of Education and Social Work
  • Professional development assessment centre including needs analysis, skills assessment, and reporting to both academics and supervisors
  • Extra customised workshops and professional development seminars
  • Opportunity for interaction with local students and other CET international students
  • Mentoring and peer observation
  • Opportunity for co-teaching with CET teachers.
For more information please contact CET Director Patrick Pheasant.

 EUROPE    |  
EU funding
Information about the latest funding opportunities in Europe.
Upcoming FP7 calls
The next round of FP7 calls will be released on 10 July 2012, and is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/fp7_calls#

There will be a number of topics that specifically request Australian participation. See below for orientation papers and thematic areas:

Health
[download Orientation Paper]
  • Global initiative on gene-environment interactions in diabetes/obesity in specific populations
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology
[download Orientation Paper]
  • Innovative insights and tools to integrate the ecosystem-based approach into fisheries advice
  • New technologies to study brain function in relation to eating behaviour
  • Factors influencing the human gut microbiome and its effect on the development of diet-related diseases and brain development
Information and Communication Technologies
[download Orientation Paper]
  • Trustworthy ICT (we encourage interested Australians to contact Gary Morgan, www.ict.csiro.au/staff/gary.morgan, at the CSIRO ICT Centre, who has been instrumental in establishing this topic)
  • International partnership building and support to dialogues
Energy
[download Orientation Paper]
  • New generation high-efficiency capture processes (we encourage interested Australians to contact Sean Hannan, International CCS)
  • Combined Underground Coal Gasification and CO2Capture and Storage
  • Understanding interfaces in rechargeable batteries and super-capacitors through in situ methods
  • Support to integrated research programmes between research performers on innovative research in support of the SET Plan Research and Innovation Agenda
Environment (including Climate Change)
[download Orientation Paper]
  • Coasts at threat in Europe: tsunamis and climate-related risks
  • Network for forward looking activities and assessment of research and innovation prospects
Transport (including Aeronautics)
[download draft Work Program]
  • International cooperation on civil high speed air transport research
Capacities: International Cooperation
[download Orientation Paper]
  • Bi-regional coordination of S&T cooperation including priority-setting and definition of S&T cooperation policies
  • Supporting the awareness raising of Horizon 2020 in third countries
People
[download Orientation Paper]
European Research Council Grants
[view changes]
 GERMANY    |  
Elite universities
In June the Joint Commission of the DFG German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities (the country’s chief research funding and science policy advisory bodies) announced the projects to be funded in the second phase of the Excellence Initiative.
In June the Joint Commission of the DFG German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities (the country’s chief research funding and science policy advisory bodies) announced the projects to be funded in the second phase of the Excellence Initiative.

Forty-five graduate schools, 43 clusters of excellence and 11 institutional strategies to promote top-level research at 39 universities were funded to the total value of more than €2.4 billion (up from €1.9million in the previous round). In the first two cycles, in 2006 and 2007, the panel awarded elite status to nine universities (Aachen, Berlin, Freiburg, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Konstanz and Munich). In this current round, elite universities each receive €10 million to €15 million a year for the period up to 2017.

In the second round, the Federal and State governments agreed on a maximum of 12 elite institutions in all, five of which were to be new. The new institutions are: the University of Dresden, Humboldt University Berlin, and the Universities of Bremen, Cologne and Tübingen. Three universities lost their elite status in the current round: the Universities of Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Göttingen.

The Excellence Initiative is just one of a number of strategies aimed at making Germany a more attractive higher education destination on an international level. Last year, Germany attracted around 250,000 foreign students.
 CHINA    |  
Postgraduate Scholarship Fair
The Office of the DVC International will represent the University of Sydney at the China Scholarship Council’s International Postgraduate Scholarship Fair in October.
The Office of the DVC International will represent the University of Sydney at the China Scholarship Council’s International Postgraduate Scholarship Fair in October.

The Fair will be held in three Chinese cities – Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou – and is expected to be attended by more than 10,000 of the brightest students as selected by the China Scholarship Council. Sydney will be one of more than forty leading international universities attending the event.

The China Scholarship Council has announced plans to expand its PhD scholarship program from this year, with 2,500 full degree and 3,500 short-term or joint PhD research students to be funded to study overseas every year until 2016.

The University of Sydney and the China Scholarship Council offer a joint PhD scholarship to research students from leading Chinese universities. Students must be supported by both their host faculty and the CSC.

For more information on the CSC programmes, please contact David Boyd,  (02) 9114 0525.

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CONTENTS
News
Coming events
Information
$2.1 million in grants
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$2.1 MILLION IN GRANTS
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The University of Sydney has secured seven international grants worth a total of $2.1 million from AusAID in the latest round of the Public Sector Linkages Program.
The University of Sydney has secured seven international grants worth a total of $2.1 million from AusAID, including a $900K project led by Associate Professor Michael Dibley in Sydney Medical School to improve infant and young child feeding practices in South Asia.

The seven grants were awarded by the Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) in late June making 2012 a highly successful year for the University with 10 PSLP projects secured so far. The success builds on an already strong track record with the AusAID scheme, which since 2007-8 has attracted close to $5 million for 22 projects University-wide.

The purpose of the PSLP is to strengthen whole-of-government responses to issues and priorities affecting Australia’s national interest and achieve nationally determined development outcomes in selected countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Latin America. The University has been an active contributor and partner in realising such goals by transferring capacity-building skills and expertise to public sector counterpart institutions, supporting the strengthening of sustainable and development-focused public sector bilateral and regional linkages.

In the latest round, Professors Peter McMinn and Merrilyn Walton from Sydney Medical School secured funding to build the capacity of the National Health Lab in Timor-Leste in communicable disease surveillance and Bach Mai Hospital in Vietnam in hospital data collection, addressing significant shortfalls in the two countries’ public health sectors. 

In the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Adjunct Professor Bill Rathmell and Professor Peter Sharp were successful in their bid to strengthen agricultural education and extension services in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and help achieve sustainable reduction in rural poverty and food insecurity, while Associate Professor Robyn McConchie and Dr Anowarul Bokshi will be implementing a project in Bangladesh to improve nutrition and livelihoods through efficient postharvest and supply chain management of vegetables. 

Sydney Business School and the Faculty of Engineering and IT also received grants. Dr Nigel Finch and Professor Andrew Terry will see the Business School partner with the Mongolian Ministry of Finance, the Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia and the Mongolian Stock Exchange to deliver a program aimed at enhancing sustainable economic growth by improving transparency and accountability in the country's key public sectors. Professor Eduardo Nebot, Director of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, will lead a project to address the design, deployment and training of modern mining safety technology and methods that can have long-term impact on mining operations management in South America.       

The 2011-12 Rounds will be the last of the PSLP which in 2012-13 will be replaced by a new initiative, the Government Partnerships for Development program, to allow for a more effective delivery of Australian ODA.  The International Portfolio will continue to be the focal point for the University in our engagement with AusAID and provide intelligence, grant writing and project management support.
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