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University of London's global reach: Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor visit Asia

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The Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor visited several Recognised Teaching Centres (RTCs) across Asia to celebrate student achievements and the University's partnerships.

In a month marked by international engagement, University of London's Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Thomson and Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stiasny embarked on visits to several Recognised Teaching Centres (RTCs) across Asia, highlighting the university's commitment to widening access to higher education and nurturing global partnerships.

In late February, Professor Wendy Thomson visited Hong Kong to celebrate the long-standing partnership between the University of London and HKU Space, which has spanned over 60 years. During her visit, the Vice-Chancellor presided over a graduation ceremony, met with students, alumni, business leaders and attended a HKU Space Honorary Fellowship ceremony, reception and dinner.

Addressing the graduating class at HKU Space, the Vice-Chancellor emphasised the transformative power of education, particularly in the dynamic landscape of Hong Kong. She encouraged graduates to embrace change and uncertainty, citing the city's forward momentum as a testament to adaptability and resilience.

The Vice-Chancellor's visit and meetings with HKU Space officials and business leaders attracted local media attention, including an article in The Standard, Hong Kong's largest circulation English-language daily newspaper.

Professor Wendy Thomson delivering a speech at the 2024 HKU SPACE graduation
Professor Wendy Thomson delivers the commencement speech at the 2024 HKU SPACE graduation ceremony.

Professor Mary Stiasny, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), embarked on a tour across South Asia, strengthening the University’s ties in the region and celebrating students’ academic achievements. In Colombo, Sri Lanka, she served as the Chief Guest at the RIC Convocation, where graduates were recognised for their outstanding academic performances. Professor Stiasny also officiated at the CfPS Law School Graduation Ceremony, commending students for their dedication and perseverance in pursuing University of London awards.

Professor Mary Staisny meets students at CfPS Law school
Professor Mary Staisny meets with students at CfPS Law School 

In New Delhi, India, Professor Stiasny delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Higher Education, underscoring the importance of quality assessment, accreditation and regulations in fostering internationalisation. The conference, jointly organised by the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration and the British Council India, brought together global stakeholders to share learnings on distance learning and transnational education (TNE).

In Islamabad, Pakistan, Professor Stiasny met with prominent figures in the educational landscape, including government officials, policymakers and educators. In Lahore she met the Governor of Punjab, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, and the Chief Minister of Punjab, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, to discuss enhancing educational opportunities and expanding the University of London's presence in Pakistan.

Reflecting on her visits, Professor Stiasny said: “It was wonderful to meet, and to celebrate with, the graduating students in Sri Lanka, all of whom had worked extremely hard to achieve their success. We really are incredibly proud of them all. 

“Special thanks to Saad Wasim for his help and assistance with the Pakistan leg of my trip; to the heads of all the RTCs in Sri Lanka and Pakistan – without them and the work they do, nothing would be possible – and to NIEPA and the British Council India for the organisation of what was a really excellent seminar.”