Thursday 3 May 2018, 09.00 - 10.45

HEIs have traditionally built partnerships based primarily on their individual strategic priorities. Our presenters argue that this has resulted in winners and losers. One loser has been wider society, because partnerships have often failed to deliver broader systemic benefits that come from a greater level of connectivity and inclusion. The session explores whether it's time to re-appraise global HE partnerships. In particular, how can the dynamics be changed to create greater good for society?

This is a highly interactive workshop where participants use a game-based learning and simulation app to explore the strategic dynamics of international partnerships. Participants play the role of a university, meeting other participants and forming partnerships with those who further their strategic objectives. Participants are engaged in a critical discussion of whether - and how - this situation could be changed to deliver greater benefit for society as well as institutions.

Some key principles of international networks in higher education are that:

  • HEIs often make connections based on their individual strategic priorities;
  • these priorities tend to benefit stronger institutions and to exclude weaker institutions;
  • partnerships based strictly on strategic objectives do not realise wider systemic benefits that come from a greater level of connectivity;
  • can the dynamics of partnerships be changed to create greater good for society?


  • Dr Jack Lee, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Bath, UK
  • Dr Robin Shields, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Management, University of Bath, UK