24 May UGPN Thanks the University of Wollongong for a Productive Partnership Collaboration
Since joining the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) in 2016, the University of Wollongong has been a valued, vibrant and impactful Network partner. Testament to this is that during these past seven years, Wollongong researchers have participated in 35 of the 61 successful Research Collaboration Fund (RCF) projects, representing a total of circa US$1 million in seed-funding for cross-institution research collaboration. Successful, impactful projects have included:
Synergistic Hybrid Marine Renewable Energy Harvest Systems; a trilateral project with NC State University and the University of Surrey to prove the concept of a hybrid marine energy harvesting system, which was presented to much acclaim at Energy Oceania and Ocean Renewable Energy Conference UMERC+METS 2022;
MiniMoveMate; a bilateral project with the University of Surrey to develop a streamlined wearable device capable of accurately measuring physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in children
Bamboo for Sustainable Construction; a quadrilateral project with Universidade de São Paulo, NC State University and the University of Surrey to establish a standard for the use of bamboo as a sustainable construction material for positive environmental and economic impact, particularly in poorer, resource-limited countries.
The RCF projects themselves have also supported PhD mobility with over 20 Wollongong PhD students travelling to member institutions, while Wollongong has hosted a similar number from Network members. Additionally, to date, 8 PhD candidates have been jointly supervised by the Universities of Wollongong and Surrey through their Dual Degree programme.
During the pandemic, Wollongong was integral to the running of the two virtual annual conferences held, giving the opportunity for the Network to not only share in collaborative research, but also in best practice for Professional Staff. Additionally, in response to the pandemic and with a view to increasing the availability of international mobility opportunities to all students within the Network, the University of Wollongong participated in the development of the Network’s pioneering Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) project, which led to the successful launch of the UGPN Academy a now permanent facet of the UGPN.
Post-pandemic, however, the University of Wollongong has been reviewing its priorities and has decided to focus its efforts in new directions. The UGPN is therefore sad to announce that, from the end of the current Agreement term (16 April 2024), the University of Wollongong will withdraw from the Network, and will also not participate in this year’s (2023) in-person conference in São Paulo, nor in this year’s RCF call.
Despite this decision, we are pleased to confirm that Wollongong will continue to support the current RCF projects that are ongoing. Wollongong will also continue to collaborate with each of the individual member institutions bilaterally. On that basis, all members look forward to continued fruitful collaborations with the University of Wollongong. The Network thanks all the staff and colleagues at Wollongong who have been involved with, and participated in, the UGPN, and wish them every success in their continuing endeavours.