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Cross-border student mobility for high quality education. Professor Andy Walker Vice-Principal, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Heriot-Watt University - a Scottish university with a global reach. Orkney Campus. Scotland. Scottish Borders Campus. + Dubai Campus.

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cross border student mobility for high quality education

Cross-border student mobilityfor high quality education

Professor Andy Walker

Vice-Principal, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Heriot-Watt University- a Scottish university with a global reach

Orkney Campus


Scottish Borders Campus

+ Dubai Campus

heriot watt university s four campus
Heriot-Watt University’sfour campus

Scottish Borders Campus,


Main Edinburgh Campus1.5km square parkland site

Dubai Campus1,400 students

Orkney Campus, Stromness

The University’s network of Learning Partners:62 universities and colleges, in 30 different countries - 8,000 students
plus independent learners
Plus independent learners

6,000 students studying for Heriot-Watt University degrees in their own countries by distance learning, using on-line and printed materials

Overall: 14,000 students studying for our degrees off-campus – with partners and independently – in 166 different countries (as of July 2009)

And: 60,000 pupils studying the Heriot-Watt SCHOLARprogrammes in 400 high schools across Scotland

  • SCHOLAR is a set of on-line, interactive, learning materials developed by the University to support pre-university study
academic profile schools and institutes
Academic profile– Schools and Institutes
  • School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • School of Mathematical and Computer Science
  • School of the Built Environment
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Textiles and Design
  • School of Management and Languages
  • Edinburgh Business School
  • Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • Major contribution to the supply of science and engineering graduates in Scotland:

Heriot-Watt is Scotland’s top producer of graduates in:

Physical Sciences MathematicsEngineering & Technology - 13% of totalBuilt Environment

  • Unique Masters courses, eg:

Actuarial MathematicsPhotonicsLogisticsRetail Excellence (George Davies Centre) Brewing and Distilling

the university s new strategy focus on the future
The University’s new strategy:“Focus on the Future”
  • Place Heriot-Watt University at the forefront ofresearch and research-led education – in the UK and internationally

A key aspect of our plans concerns the development of our international strategy – in particular to grow further our existing global presence

on campus students in scotland 2008 09
On-campus students in Scotland 2008/09

Other overseas


33% of students on-campus in Scotland are from outside the UK



Other EU


Other UK


TOTAL: 7,200


the heriot watt university dubai campus
The Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus
  • Established in 2005 at the invitation of the Dubai government
  • Modern campus buildings forming part of the Dubai International Academic City development
  • Currently ~ 1,400 students and growing rapidly
  • Courses include: Business, Construction Management, Engineering, IT, Fashion & Design – both Bachelors & Masters
  • Construction of a new campus to start later this year – to include lecture theatres, seminar rooms, study spaces, library, laboratories, offices and residences – capacity of up to 5,000
distance and distributed learning
Distance and distributed learning

Other, mainly:Petroleum EngineeringBrewing & DistillingEngineering(11%)

Built Environment



Education (UG)



Approved Learning Partners and Independent learning


TOTAL: 14,130 (08/09)

student statistics global 08 09
Student Statistics – global (08/09)

22,800 registered students in total, comprising:

  • 7,300 students on campus in Scotland – 2,400 non-UK
  • 1,400 students on the Dubai campus
  • 14,100 on international (transnational) programmes,

- independent learners

- students studying at Approved Learning Partners

chinese partners
Chinese Partners

China University of Petroleum (CUP) Qingdao, Shandong

  • MSc in Petroleum Engineering
  • Course started 2005, run at the Qingdao campus
  • Students study full time, in English
  • Many are employees of Chinese oil companies
  • Graduates receive a Heriot-Watt University Masters Degree
chinese partners14
Chinese Partners

International Education College

  • Heriot-Watt Management Programme (BA)
  • Course started 2007 (“2 + 2” arrangement)
  • with 26 students studying in Shanghai
  • 6 recently progressed to study in Edinburgh
  • Students study full time, in English
  • Graduates are awarded a Heriot-Watt University Degree
international strategy
International Strategy

What is the value of international university activity?

The UK body The Council for Industry and Higher Education published a Report (Nov.2007):

“Global Horizons for UK Universities”

The Report emphasised the importance of developing the international perspective of higher education to: students/staff – widening their education & learning about other cultures, by travelling themselves and by mixing with overseas colleagues; employers – who recognise value of overseas experiencewhen recruiting; the economy – not just from the perspective of education as a business but also in developing effective international networks.

The following highlights a selection of the Report’s recommendations:

international strategy16
International Strategy

Recommendation - 1

  • “Universities should adopt an international mindset to ensure internationalisation is integral to all their activities”
    • needs support of senior managers and governing bodies
    • incentives to staff to develop international opportunities
    • a responsible international development manager/office
  • Heriot-Watt actions:
    • key part of University Strategy
    • Director of International Development
    • academic and administration systems that can handle all students equally, regardless of their background, or where or how they are studying
international strategy17
International Strategy

Recommendation - 6

  • “All institutions should work to break down the barriers to student mobility”
    • This refers not just to recruitment of students from overseas but also to ensuring Scottish and UK students get opportunities to study abroad
  • Heriot-Watt actions:
    • Extensive student exchange programmes
      • biggest barrier for our own students going abroad is language
    • Recognition that many overseas student are interested in a western education without necessarily studying in Scotland
      • creation of Dubai Campus
      • study opportunities in local universities and colleges (learning partners)
      • independent distance learning programmes
international strategy18
International Strategy

Recommendation - 8

  • “Strategic partnerships are key to collaborations on teaching, research, enterprise and community affairs”
    • Effective partnerships are needed in all areas; these should extend beyond teaching and research, to also include enterprise and social development
  • Heriot-Watt actions:
    • Extensive network of educational partners, being grown further
    • Large numbers of research partnerships
      • links between individual academics and research groups
      • strategic partnerships at the institutional level
      • Joint PhD programmes
    • Need to recognise new opportunities in the areas of commercialisation of research, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship
research knowledge transfer
Research & Knowledge Transfer
  • World class research
  • A long and successful track record in knowledge transfer
    • established the first, on-campus, research park in Europe, 1971
    • now provides over 2,000 graduate jobs in technical companies
Innovative research

Results of 2008 Research Assessment

Top two categories are 4-star - World Leading 3-star - Internationally Excellent

50% of our research was assessed as in these top categories

87% of our research was rated as of international quality

international research
International Research
  • Over 400 international research collaborations and links with institutions world wide

For example:

    • Science Bridges – USA(Stanford)–Scotland – Photonics Innovation Collaboration
    • Science Bridges UK–China Project – R&D on 4th Generation Wireless Mobile Communications
international research22
International Research
  • Science Bridges UK–China Project:R&D on 4th Generation Wireless Mobile Communications

Major research consortium –

13 Chinese members (7 universities and 6 companies)29 UK members (10 universities, 18 companies & Mobile VCE)

Project Leader: Prof Wang Cheng-Xiang, Heriot-Watt University

international strategy23
International Strategy

Recommendation - 10

  • Institutions should consider how to support widening access in the international context – i.e. not just recruiting students from richer backgrounds
    • This is an important issue within the UK. We encourage more students from poorer backgrounds, or from families with no tradition of higher education, to proceed to university study
    • How do we extend this into the international area, so as to encourage students who might benefit greatly from international experience but who are more restricted in their ambitions?
  • Heriot-Watt actions:
    • By offering a wide range of different modes of study we are providing flexibility for overseas students which should maximise the opportunities available
  • Internationalisation is an increasingly important strategic element for all universities operating in the 21st Century
  • Strong international connections and collaborations benefit not only the universities and students participating but also the wider community, including industry and commerce
  • Student mobility is a key component of any international strategy – and we should continue to work to remove barriers that impede such mobility
  • A strong international profile is a key priority for Heriot-Watt University and has become an important element in our core strategy. We particularly value our growing links with China.