Common Purpose / 17 July 2023

Lancaster University and Sunway University reimagine future success with international forum

A new chapter for a long-standing partnership.

Broadening. Enlightening. Endless possibilities. Inspiring. Stimulating.

These are just some of the words participants used to describe a special forum of academics and heads of departments from Lancaster University and Sunway University who came together last month to share, challenge, collaborate, and solidify the 15-year partnership between the two universities.

Common Purpose hosted a 4-hour interactive session which challenged attendees with the question: In the context of an unknown future, how might we reimagine the future success of the Lancaster - Sunway partnership. Over 6,500 students are currently enrolled across 27 programmes as part of the partnership, which brings them new mobility opportunities. But both learning institutions are always looking for ways to amplify the impact this partnership could have, and the collaborative session provided a huge step forwards in their thinking.

Simon Guy, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University and Abhi Veerakumarasivam, Provost at Sunway University presented the aims of the session before attendees got their heads together to discuss both their differences and commonalities through the lens of Cultural Intelligence – a crucial mindset for impactful leadership.

Guest speakers Chris Ennew OBE, Provost of University of Warwick and Peter Waring, Pro Vice Chancellor of Transnational Education and Singapore Dean of Murdoch University also shared their insights and lived experiences in leadership, providing invaluable insight on the innermost workings of successful global partnerships.  

The final part of the session saw attendees form focus groups to re-imagine what future success could look and feel like, and to develop potential collaborative initiatives to bring to life between the two Universities. While their future cannot be fully predicted, this exercise was crucial in better connecting and aligning values.

Going by how the session was described by attendees when it came to an end, it was clear the University partnership was entering a new chapter with renewed collaboration and an enhanced sense of purpose. It will be exciting to see the seeds that were planted grow into future success for both. 


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