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Universities are becoming increasingly international and many UK HEIs operate overseas campuses. Formed in 2009, and working in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Newcastle University International Singapore (NUIS) is well-established as a major undergraduate degree provider in Singapore. Teaching is delivered by 30 full-time Singapore-based academics at two locations in Singapore, supplemented by a number of visiting UK-based staff. As a research-intensive university, our vision is for our Singapore academics to be research active and to attract and support research students. Singapore-based colleagues have been increasingly successful in this and Newcastle University currently has 20 Singapore-based MPhil and PhD students studying though full-time, part-time and combined candidature routes. The key challenges have been: • Ensuring that the University’s Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes is delivered • Building a sense of community amongst Singapore-based research students whilst fostering a connection to their discipline-based Schools in Newcastle • Creating a student experience which reflects Newcastle University’s values and culture • Providing parity of provision of researcher development opportunities We have addressed these challenges by creating a multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Singapore to provide support for our Singapore-based students. Enrolling research students within the DTC has increased the institutional visibility of the Singapore-based cohorts and has allows more transparent monitoring of Code-of-Practice compliance. Cohort identity has been fostered through inductions, training and an annual research retreat for all Singapore-based research students regardless of subject area. This has increased the opportunities for social interaction and the development of peer support mechanisms. Many of our Singapore-based students visit Newcastle regularly in the course of their studies but we are also considering a cohort-wide Newcastle visit programme to cement cohort relationships, to allow students to engage with their Newcastle-based counterparts and to assimilate Newcastle culture. Researcher development opportunities are provided during visits to the UK, via videoconferencing (seminars and workshops), through eLearning (Epigeum products) and through face-to-face provision in Singapore. We believe that this provision provides comparable support to those students based in the UK.
Author(s): Jones B, de Blaquière GE
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Publication status: Published
Conference Name: Beyond the Ivory Tower: creating and sustaining postgraduate networks, and communities in contemporary global universities
Year of Conference: 2015
Acceptance date: 01/04/2015
Publisher: UK Council for Graduate Education