UCL Global


Pioneering new short-term mobility opportunities

21 July 2017

University of Cape Town - Adrian Frith - Wikimedia Commons

This summer, four students will be joining the Sustainable Water Management in Africa Summer School at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as part of UCL’s brand new short-term mobility programme.

The interdisciplinary 12-day course will offer students the chance to explore the complexity of equitable water distribution in water-scarce developing nations.

Supported by the Global Engagement Office, the initiative marks the first undergraduate mobility opportunity at UCT and reflects the progress UCL Study Abroad is making in pioneering new opportunities for students.

The collaboration came about after UCL's Pro-Vice-Provost (Africa & Middle East), Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, was invited to take part in the first African Research Universities Alliance conference earlier this year.

In addition to the technical and environmental challenges, the students will critically engage with the socio-cultural, economic and political aspects of water demand, supply and treatment.

Key activities include a field trip to a local community, where the students will have first-hand experience in conducting field analysis of water demand and supply in a small country town. They will survey the impact of water supply, demand, quality and equitable distribution on sustainable livelihoods.

A successful first summer of short-term mobility

Student Mobility - istock/Halfpoint
To reflect the diversity of the undergraduate cohort, the UCL Study Abroad team is expanding the area of short-term mobility.

This new activity will provide greater numbers of students with international opportunities and will be particularly beneficial to those who are unable to study abroad for a full year or single term.

Earlier this year, in collaboration with established partner institutions, the team created a number of tuition fee-free places on international summer programmes across the globe.

There was overwhelming interest in the short-term opportunities and after the first call for applications, over 350 applications were received.

As a result of this work, 25 undergraduates are currently undertaking tuition fee-free places at the following destinations:

  • University of Sydney
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • El Colegio de México
  • University of Cape Town

UCL Study Abroad also launched a short mobility bursary scheme to support students wishing to organise independent international experiences this summer.

This funding assistance was provided to students who could demonstrate that the activity would bring positive benefits to their degree programme or career aspirations.

The scheme has provided support to nearly 100 students who are undertaking various international activities, ranging from language and culture courses to research placements.

Owain Evans, Short Mobilities Coordinator at UCL Study Abroad, said: "Study Abroad is delighted with the short mobility successes so far and looks forward to working with our global partners to ensure that we continue to expand in this area in order to provide greater numbers of UCL students with relevant, stimulating and enjoyable international opportunities."

To explore short-term study abroad opportunities for students in your department, contact UCL Study Abroad.

Words: Jason Lewis

Images: 1. University of Cape Town (Adrian Frith, via Wikimedia Commons), 2. iStock/Halfpoint