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Campus Life Series: Announcements

City welcomes leading global universities to London for WC2 Symposium

Representatives from global universities attended the event held at City University London


The World Cities World Class University (WC2) network unites universities in major global cities allowing them to work to together to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. WC2’s inaugural London Symposium was hosted by City and held at Cass Business School from Monday 10th to Friday 14th August. The five-day educational programme brought together more than 130 academic staff and postgraduate students from across the network to discuss the challenges faced by universities located in major world cities.

The opening day of the Symposium considered how universities can work with public, private and not-for-profit sectors to provide solutions to challenges and the policies required to support effective cooperation between cities and between universities. The day featured panel discussions on topics ranging from prosperity to people, along with a series of key note speeches from distinguished speakers.

Speakers included Professor Sir Drummond Bone, who imparted a personal history of universities and cities, having a historic involvement with the city-university relationships in Glasgow and Liverpool. John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at London First delivered a keynote speech about London 2036, a significant business-led consultation project to help drive jobs and growth in a UK city. 

Kevin Richardson from HEFCE gave a presentation on Universities and Local Growth; Richard Brown from the Centre for London gave a presentation on universities, innovation and the London economy; and Qedani Mahlangu, who is a Member of the Executive Council for Health for the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in South Africa, talked about how public-private partnership can achieve developmental objectives

In addition to keynote speeches, the opening day included three panel discussions, providing an opportunity for WC2 universities to share examples of the way they are working in and with their respective cities.

Following the opening day, participants attended programmes in one of five themes: Business, Eco-campus; World Cities and Global Cultures; Health and Transport. Each programme involved presentations, seminars and group work. On the final day, all participants came together to report on the work they had done over the three and a half days, the key outputs and agreed follow up actions. This session was an opportunity for each of the five themes to report on the work they have done over the three and a half day, the key outputs and agreed follow up actions.  

Noemi Rovirdsa is an undergraduate in Architectural Technology at the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. Noemi took part in the Eco-campus strand and described the Symposium as “educational and eye-opening” with the most interesting aspect being the chance to gain different perspectives from people around the world.

The best thing about the Symposium has been the opportunity to build professional relationships with faculty members and students from across the world, to discuss the idea of an Eco-Campus - a topic that’s increasingly relevant and necessary for designers, architects and engineers.
Noemi Rovirdsa, City University of New York 

Professor Stanton Newman, Chair of the WC2 Network closed the session, encouraging attendees of the Symposium to share the messages discussed throughout their institutions. 

As the WC2 network continues to develop, I look forward to seeing more permanent exchanges begin to take place between our institutions, and for the relationships and discussions that began here to continue to flourish.
Professor Stanton Newman, Chair of the WC2 Network 

The Symposium also provided the chance to welcome Ryerson University to the network, after it joined WC2 in June 2015.

The 2016 WC2 Symposium will take place in Berlin next August. For more information, visit the WC2 website or contact Mark Hertlein, Head of International Relations, City University London.
WC2 University Network

The WC2 University Network has been developed with the goal of bringing together top universities located in the heart of major world cities in order to address cultural, environmental and political issues of common interest to world cities and their universities.

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