New foreign exchange partnership agreed

CMYK4

Canadian institution to partner Glasgow University from 2015

Rossanah Jones
Writer

Glasgow students will soon be able to participate in exchanges with a new institution, as the university agrees to a partnership with Simon Fraser University, (SFU) Canada, which is located on the west coast of British Colombia.

The partnership will signify the cementing of close ties that have formed between the universities over several years. At the centre of this exchange agreement is a shared interest in celebrating Scottish culture.

The signing of the agreement could not have taken place at a more significant time. Glasgow’s recent hosting of the Commonwealth Games, the imminent vote over independence and this year’s calendar of events celebrating Scottish culture mean the partnership is a welcome addition.

For those with an interest in studying Scottish and Celtic based courses, Simon Fraser University will be of particular interest to them, due to the impressive centre for Scottish Studies which specialises in this area. The department at the University is heavily involved in exploring the Scottish legacy in British Colombia through oral history projects and other research enterprises. The strong focus on the area of Scottish Studies means that Glasgow students on courses such as Scottish Literature, Celtic, Gaelic and Scottish History will now have the chance to study at an overseas campus that is renowned for its teaching in these areas.

When asked by the Glasgow Guardian on when these exchange opportunities would be available, the University stated that it was expected to be available for the year 2015-2016 and that sudents should apply to the International Exchange Programme between 15th October and 18thDecember 2014. The University also stated that the possibility for bursaries and funding for students wanting to study at Simon Fraser University would not be confirmed until 2015.

According to teaching staff in Scottish Studies at both universities, the exchange programme will hugely benefit the discipline by increasing the global attention around these subjects. Both centres have previously collaborated on literary projects through the Centre for Robert Burns Studies and by examining Scottish and British Romanticism.

A spokesman for the University commented on the recent links between the two institutions and what that meant for those who studied Scottish or Celtic studies. They stated that, “This agreement really strengthens Scottish Studies at GU and SFU, because both universities house active and exciting Centres of Scottish or Scottish and Celtic Studies. There have been close links at a research level with SFU in the past few years, especially strong in the area of Scottish Literature, but this agreement means students can benefit too. Scottish Studies Global is a key theme in the College of Arts at Glasgow and we have an amazing group of academics leading in research and teaching in all areas of Scottish studies here. The SFU students can study Scotland and Scottish history and culture here and our students can benefit from the complementary and also different perspectives of staff working on similar areas at the Centre at SFU. It’s a win-win. And we can maybe learn something about piping too, from recent world champions at SFU!”

Professor Andrew Petter, President and Vice Chancellor of SFU commented that Glasgow has been a favourite exchange destination among SFU students for some time. Therefore, the new partnership is destined only to increase the number of students visiting the city and campus.

The agreement was signed in August by Professor Petter and Glasgow’s Senior Vice Principal – Neal Juster. Glasgow students can now look forward in due course to hearing more about the opportunities that will be available as a result of the new partnership.

Simon Fraser University joins a long list of existing Canadian partner institutions. Glasgow currently has exchange agreements with Dalhousie University, McGill University, Queen’s University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Quebec and University of Toronto.