Global Partnerships Conference

Together, Stronger. Join us online from 23-25 June 2021.

A sunny day on campus showing Library Square and Meeting House


Building on the great success of our virtual Global Partnerships Conference 2020, we are pleased to announce our second conference to bring together our valued partners from across the world.

Over the past year, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, looming economic crisis, new social movements, the climate emergency, and the search for racial justice have transformed our institutional and political imperatives.

In these turbulent times, internationalism, agility, adaptability, and personal resilience have never been more important. The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced for all that scientific collaboration is a truly global endeavour and that long-term actions on climate change are possible.

As university leaders – committed to international higher education – we walk the tightrope between building impactful global collaborations and the challenges of the global pandemic. In so doing:

  • We choose between status quo and innovation
  • We choose between caution and courage
  • We choose between control and collaboration
  • We choose between transactional and values-based internationalism.

The University of Sussex Global Partnerships Conference is a forum and platform to learn with, and from, our partners. We will explore what is possible in partnerships during and after the pandemic and we ask – what values and attributes do university leaders, educators, and professional service teams require to collaborate in the coming years.

Our sessions blend international strategic discussions, case studies and workshops, to present to and engage with partners on the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to build back better.

We aim to bring together international education professionals from our 329 partners in 59 countries.


Download the programme of events as a flyer (PDF, 480KB).

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Opening plenary: Values-based international engagement

13:00–13:45 (GMT+1)

What role can the SDG’s and partnerships play in overcoming the challenges of working globally and sustainably, and how might this change in a post-Covid-19 world.

In a keynote address, Professional Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sussex, will outline the importance of respectful collaboration and knowledge diplomacy in international education and research partnerships. Professor Richard Follett will share insights on the University’s perspective on values-based international engagement, and Professor Robin Banerjee will share his reflection on the nature and impact of kindness and wellbeing in different parts of society.

Speakers: Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Sussex; Professor Richard Follett, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Associate Vice President (International), University of Sussex; Professor Robin Banerjee, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Dean, School of Psychology, University of Sussex

Register for the Opening plenary.

Workshop: Developing international focus and awareness in staff

14:00–15:30 (GMT+1)

This session will explore what Global Literacy means for academic and professional service staff. Attendees will discuss the benefit of utilising this skill as part of their toolkit for internationalisation and explore how it should be employed to better their institution and how it can support them in their role.

Facilitators: Leina Shi, Head of Global Engagement, University of Sussex; Sirin Myles, International Education Consultant, Co founder, IC Café; Charlene Allen, International Education Consultant, Co-founder, IC Café

Register for the 'Developing international focus and awareness in staff' workshop.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Webinar: Building back better with shared purpose

09:00–10:15 (GMT+1)

This panel will discuss the value of international partnerships post-pandemic, examine partnership imperatives that will shape higher education in the future, and how collectively, across the sector, we can work together to deliver impactful and socially engaged, partnerships.

Speakers: Blair McRae, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; Professor Madhushree Sekher, Chairperson, Office of International Affairs, Dean of the School of Vocational Education, The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), India; Jennifer Cosgrave, Country Director British Council Netherlands; Maryam Taher, University of Sanctuary

Register for the 'Building back better with shared purpose' webinar.

Workshop: Building a personal resilience strategy

14:00–15:30 (GMT+1)

In this workshop, we aim to help attendees understand their strengths, and explore strategies for building supportive practices to develop greater resilience.

The workshop will explore the different tools and strategies that attendees can use to develop an awareness of how they are perceived, understand what motivates them, and how to manage stress levels. These actions are key in ensuring effectiveness in the workplace.

Find out more and access resources relevant to this workshop.

Facilitators: Martin Hookham-Simms, Head of International Office, University of Sussex; Leina Shi, Head of Global Engagement, University of Sussex

Register for the 'Building a personal resilience strategy' workshop.

Friday 25 June 2021

Webinar: Reflections on implementing a global hub strategy

9.00–10:15 (GMT+1)

Reflections on, and lessons learnt in delivering a global hub strategy from Higher Education sector leaders. Speakers will share their experience in establishing transnational education programmes and explore the elements that build up regional impact and contribute to a global hub strategy.

Speakers: Professor Jin Yanghua, Vice President, Zhejiang Gongshang University; Associate Professor Dr. Kanyaratt Supaibulwatana, Director, School of Bioinnovation and Biobased Product Intelligence, Mahidol University; Professor Richard Follett, Associate Vice President University of Sussex; Celia Partridge, Assistant Director, Universities UK International

Register for the 'Reflections on implementing a global hub strategy' webinar.

Workshop: Partnering with alumni to achieve global impact

14:00–15:30 (GMT+1)

In this workshop, we explore what role alumni play in building institutional reputation worldwide, and how partnering with international alumni can make a real difference for individuals through alumni connections, skills and resources.

We will focus on the alumni engagement work the University of Sussex’s development office has done in Africa in recent years.

Facilitators: Dr. Marina Pedreira-Vilarino, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, University of Sussex; Robert Yates, Head of Development, University of Sussex; Chanda Mfula, PhD Student, University of Sussex

Register for the 'Partnering with alumni to achieve global impact' workshop.


If you have any queries about the conference, contact