Updates from Groups & Initiatives
Ageing, Longevity and Health Initiative
In addition to maintaining and devel- oping bilateral collaborations, the ALH Initiative is writing a research strategy to guide their work on these topics over the next 2 years.
Also under development is their Early Career Researchers’ network to engage early career researchers across IARU’s membership and concretely integrate them into the ALH Initiative. This network was launched in October 2022 at the ALH Conference, hosted by University of Copenhagen.
Copenhagen also offered an online course on ’Sustainable Ageing’ as part of the ALH Initiative’s activities. This interdisciplinary course took place in October 2022 and gave students the opportunity to gain perspectives from leading age-researchers representing biology, medicine, social sciences and humanities.
Alumni Associations Network
After a series on online meetings over the past few years, the Alum- ni Associations Network plans to hold their first in-person meeting in 2023.
The Gender Group were delighted to be able to meet in-person in August 2022 at the University of Copenhagen. The agenda included updates from each institution on current gender equity efforts; what does science tell us about equity training and programs that succeed or fail; how institutions address gender-based harassment and bullying; and the effect of the pandemic on women’s research productivity and how IARU institutions have been addressing this.
The group is now planning their next meeting, which will potentially be held at NUS in summer 2023, where they hope to discuss the latest social science research on gender equity practices, how differing backgrounds relate to gendered outcomes for faculty career success, and how our different universities structure their staff roles that focus on gender, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
The signature activity of the Global Transformations Group, the Bor- derland summer school programme in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has been severely affected by the travel disruption of the pandemic. It is won- derful to see that the group are planning to reinstate the course in July 2023, in addition to beginning a number of new projects. Amongst the planned activities, the group hope to:
develop a new IARU Webinar format titled ‘IARU in Conversation’ addressing key 21st century challenges within the Global Trans- formation agenda.
launch a new seminar series hosted by UCPH, titled ‘Africa and Asia: Optimism’, building on the IARU Roundtable discussion held at the conference ‘Asia and Africa in Transition’ at UCPH in 2021.
produce a joint publication based on the experiences and contri- butions from the Borderland course and/or the new webinar series ‘IARU in Conversation’.
HR Consultation Group
The HR Consultation Group are also planning to meet in-person during 2023. In the meantime it has been meeting virtually to discuss post-COVID-19 challenges. These include how universities can remain competitive and attract and retain top talent in light of the flexibility offered by creative and innovative employers.
Librarians' Contact Group
Through the pandemic IARU libraries have shared information and support to maintain excellent services to our communities. The group worked on a report on services provided to IARU staff and students during COVID-19. The report is online and enables IARU community members to access information on e-services during the pandemic as well as sharing innovations initiated in libraries.
Over the past couple of years the group has also been developing a Passport to IARU Libraries that will enable IARU students and academics visiting other IARU universities to discover library collections, research resources, open access materials and the study assistance that is available when visiting, either online or in-person. It is available at https://library-admin.anu.edu.au/iaru-passport/. The group is thankful to all IARU libraries for contributing information and Patrick Byrne at ANU for designing the website and adding and updating the content. You can use the site to find information on:
Collections, e-resources & databases
Searching online resources
Open access resources
Training and guides
Branches and opening hours
The Group has also produced a Green Library guide for members and is planning a Libraries Exchange Scheme for staff in member libraries.
Lifelong Learning Group
This group is planning to meet infor- mally as part of attending the annual conference of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) held in Washington DC in March 2023. This will be followed by an in-person meeting of the Lifelong Learning Group in Cambridge (Autumn 2023), where it hopes to focus on enhancing inclusive practice in lifelong learning, and develop effective collaborations in the delivery of lifelong courses between IARU members.
These meetings will allow the group members to ensure that they are following best practice in lifelong learning and adapting to the changing environment in this sector as a result of the pandemic. Longer term, the development of the group’s activities will foster a culture of co-delivery and participation in lifelong learning between member institutions.
Real Estate Working Group
After meeting online over the past two years, the Real Estate Working Group intend to schedule an in- person conference in 2023, possibly in collaboration with the Sustainable Campus Initiative. The group are also working on a staff development and exchange programme, which they hope to launch in next year. Recent discussions have included hybrid working challenges, digital masterplans to improve space efficiencies and the unique economic and environmental contexts that vary from country to country.
Sustainable Campus Initiative
2022 has been the first year of ‘The Future of Workspace’ project (a joint project with the Real Estate Working Group) which has included a desktop study (undertaken by a post graduate student specialising in real estate), joint meetings between SCI and REWG to share projects and ideas, and the preparations of detailed interviews with IARU members which will commence shortly. A presentation and summary report will be prepared by the end of 2022 to publish the initial findings of the project.
The SCI’s Scope 3 Carbon Emissions Working Group aims to collaborate on potential solutions and best practice tools and methodologies for some of the biggest common challenges when it comes to Scope 3 emissions in universities. The working group will focus primarily on air travel, the procurement of goods and services, and construction.
Virtual Museum Tours
We are excited to announce that the ‘Letter to a Cycad’ video, produced by the University of Copenhagen as part of the IARU Virtual Museum Tours, has continued to earn recognition and awards. The video has very recently won the Gold Lovie and People's Lovie awards in the 360 Video category at the 12th Annual Lovie Awards, which celebrate the best of European digital content.