The world beats a path to the door for UTS Partner Day

The Partner Day visitors gather on the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building staircase. Picture supplied

The Partner Day visitors gather on the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building staircase. Picture supplied

In summary: 
  • UTS recently showed off its world-class facilities to representatives of 27 universities across 16 countries
  • Partner Day was an opportunity to reinforce UTS's status as one of Australia's leading providers of global exchange programs

UTS continues to strengthen its global exchange network after recently hosting 30 international study abroad and exchange partners on campus.

Partner Day attracted representatives from 27 universities across 16 countries, allowing UTS to showcase its facilities and encourage discussions of future collaborations.

Simon Watson, Manager International Mobility and Services, says Partner Day has reinforced UTS's status as one of Australia's leading providers of global exchange programs.

"UTS is dedicated to internationalising the student experience by mobilising students through opening and encouraging exchange opportunities all over the world," he says.

"The best way to create those opportunities is to develop strong cross-institutional partnerships. I think the sheer number of universities represented at Partner Day is really representative of the effort we make to foster those meaningful international networks."

Guests were treated to a range of interactive on-campus tours, including a hands-on tutorial in the forensics lab.

They met with students and faculty members across Law, Design, Architecture and Building, Science and Engineering and IT, and participated in a collaborative group session to identify new, cross-institutional opportunities.

"It was an amazingly informative, interactive day," says Katherine Johnson, Clarkson University (USA).

"What I liked about it was we weren't just sitting and listening, we were engaging with people. You got to see the students and the faculties," she says.

"Listening to the students and their level of enthusiasm and engagement is really important. As an exchange partner I'm looking for institutions where you see that same level of engagement and collaboration, because that's the way our students are."

"Partner Day allowed me to really see the innovative and entrepreneurial nature of UTS."

For Masashi Nakagawa, Niigata University (Japan), Partner Day was a unique chance to interact with UTS's diverse partner base.

"I can learn a lot from an event like this," he says.

"It's not only a good chance to meet with people from UTS but also to build connections with so many other good universities that UTS has invited here today."

For some guests Partner Day was their first time on campus, or even the first time in Australia.

But even for those who had visited UTS many times before, there was still something new to learn.

"I was here in 2009 and for me it was really amazing to see how things have changed since then," says Uta Kirchner, University of Technology Berlin (Germany).

"The whole campus looks very different and even the atmosphere on campus seems to have changed since then. It feels very modern and open-minded."

"I'll make a special point to my students about the efforts of UTS to develop a very modern, international campus."

Kirchner also welcomed the opportunity to interact with UTS's global network of international exchange partners.

"It was an excellent opportunity to speak with colleagues that are working in the international exchange space," she says.

"Partner Day has given us a platform to network and come up with new ideas."

Internationalisation is a fundamental part of UTS's strategic plan and is a key drawcard for both local and international students.

At present, UTS has a network of 248 exchange agreements with partners in 50 countries and territories across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Through a range of study abroad and exchange mobility programs students are encouraged to have an international experience at some point in their degree.

But the global partnerships UTS are fostering also open new opportunities for cross-institutional research collaboration.

Dale LaFleur, University of Arizona (USA), says Partner Day was a chance for her to interact with faculty and identify new areas of research collaboration.

"We've partnered with UTS for several years and have had many conversations with people from the UTS International office about ways we could further collaborate," she says.

"For us, the incentive for coming to here was to visit the campus and experience it first hand, but also to explore other opportunities for collaboration. We will actually have the chance to meet with some faculty members after the event."

The event's popularity is such that another smaller Partner Day will be held on 10 March for those partners who missed the first one.