Matariki leaders move forward on international collaboration
Representatives from the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) met recently at Queen’s to carve a future direction for the alliance. Leaders from the seven international institutions discussed ways to raise the profile of the MNU and brainstormed ideas that will bring new international opportunities for students and faculty.
“There is a widespread recognition of the potential to enhance academic and research initiatives across the Matariki network,” says Jim Lee, Vice-Provost (International). “All members are enthusiastic about working collaboratively on such new initiatives, including improving student mobility among the member universities, and raising the profile of the network.”
Along with student mobility, the university leaders discussed benchmarking – essentially, comparing how the seven schools are performing on a variety of metrics both in research and teaching, including curriculum development, and how the schools can learn from the other institutions within the network.
Enhancing the reputations of the schools around the world was also top of mind at the meeting. The institutions have agreed to mutually promote each other by various means, including building partnerships within the schools’ marketing departments to boost awareness of the network.
“Apart from the benefits our students will derive from access to programs and opportunities at six other extraordinary universities, the network can provide a key plank in our overall internationalization strategy,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “As the reputation of the network itself and its name recognition grows, the expectation is that this will translate into higher international profile for each member individually.”
Principal Woolf, Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), and Dr. Lee represented Queen’s at the meeting. Principal Woolf’s term as chair of the network ended at the conclusion of the Kingston meeting; Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University, has been appointed as the next chair.
The seven Matariki universities are: Queen’s, Dartmouth College in the United States, Durham University in England, University of Otago in New Zealand, University of Tübingen in Germany, University of Western Australia in Australia, and Uppsala University in Sweden. The universities formed the alliance in 2010 with the goal of facilitating cooperation on everything from research and international exchanges to social responsibility projects and cultural activities.