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Transforming Education

International Networks

We firmly believe that part of our role as educators is to provide our students with opportunities to engage with their counterparts from across the world and learn from different perspectives. To collaborate across disciplinary and geographical boundaries, to broaden horizons and become rounded global citizens, enabled to become agents of change.

We offer our students a wealth of such opportunities, working with partner institutions, global networks and organisations to bring young people together and learn from each other. Two particular examples of this in action are the Higher Education Youth Talent Alliance (HEYTA) and the Venice International University consortium (VIU).

HEYTA is a major annual student conference, held by the UK-China Humanities Alliance in Higher Education (UKCHA) which is a network of leading UK and Chinese universities led by University of Exeter in the UK and Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2018, HEYTA was launched to offer students from China and the UK the opportunity to engage in debates around the role of Humanities in supporting better understanding and engagement between cultures.

In August 2020, the University of Exeter hosted the HEYTA conference. Arranged and led by students from the University’s College of Humanities in association with their counterparts at Tsinghua University, the virtual conference was attended by 160 student delegates from some of the best universities in the UK and China. Despite the physical event not being possible due to the pandemic, the conference was a great success, offering students from both countries the opportunity to engage with a series of stimulating debates and discussions under three themes: Digital Humanities and Special Collections; Intercultural Communication; and International Cultural Exchange.

Buoyed by this success, the HEYTA conference was held online again in 2021. Led by students from Tsinghua University working with students here at Exeter it again attracted hundreds of students and continues to be a fantastic example of how universities can be the catalyst for international collaboration.

Similarly, the Venice International University (VIU) also offers our students a unique opportunity to engage with others from around the world in a stunning venue – on the island of San Servolo in Venice. VIU is made up of consortium of 20 world-leading universities that includes the University of Exeter along with others from as far afield as Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Israel and USA. Its mission is to foster cooperation and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas amongst its members and bring university staff and students together for the interdisciplinary study of global challenges in this iconic location.

Students have the opportunity to engage in a multicultural environment and address multi-faceted problems through innovative, interdisciplinary approaches. In accordance with the University’s commitment to sustainability, the VIU focuses projects on areas that can support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. By engaging with staff and students from such a diverse range of partner universities, VIU offers our students a truly unique and rewarding experience.

Through initiatives such as these and many others, an education at the University of Exeter is truly global in its outlook and prepares our students to forge a successful future in an ever-changing and inter-connected world.