Catherine Dawson

International experiences

Name Catherine Dawson
Position Partnerships Manager
College College of Humanities

Developing international partnerships to benefit student experience

As Partnerships Manager for the College of Humanities, Catherine Dawson builds relationships and works with both academic and non-academic partners, including industrial partnerships. Catherine has also worked on a discussion paper, Towards Global 100, aimed at developing the new international strategy Global 100; the global partnerships agenda for the university.

Partnerships between institutions “help develop our reputation… we want to be partners with other global leading institutions. It’s about offering opportunities to our students on the education agenda... Partnerships are also about developing the really good research links, which will help take Exeter forward as a leading world institution.”

“The College of Humanities has put a lot of effort into developing partnerships in China, such as with Peking University in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai. We’ve visited, with a large delegation of academics last year, for meetings at Peking University and a conference at Fudan University. Over the last year we’ve received return visits from academics from those two institutions, and we’ve planned more visits from Exeter… There’s a lot of activity going on there in terms of developing student exchanges and developing our research connections between individuals, and in departments and at college level as well... We’re hoping that these links will continue to bear fruit.”

“We hope that [these partnerships] will really invigorate our research community in the College of Humanities, by giving us access to departments at world leading institutions, with academics who are doing work which compliments the work of our researchers and will lead to co-publications, and will hopefully lead to people putting in applications for grants together... We strongly believe the future of university research is very much global…”

These partnerships provide many different opportunities for students, including exchange programmes. For example, PhD students from the universities in China have been invited to the Annual Postgraduate Student Conference, allowing “a rich source of interactions between these universities” and creating “a community of researchers for the future”. Through international experiences, students gain “intercultural communication skills; being able to understand what might be different about other cultures, and being comfortable about operating that environment.”

Aim 4: International learning, research & experiences
To grow the numbers of international staff and students in our academic community through extended support

Additional resources

  • Global 100 International Strategy

Creating global opportunities

"[Students] will... develop all the skills that they're going to need to be really employable in the future."

Positive outcomes from international partnerships

"We've got a very international student body here at Exeter, which is a real advantage..."