Birmingham City University builds links with Kazan Federal University

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In September, Roy Priest, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, visited Kazan Federal University in Russia as part of a new Erasmus+ exchange programme.

The programme seeks to build links between educational institutions to foster new relationships, and open up opportunities for research and collaboration.

The exchange between the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment is the first link of its kind that the University has made with a Russian university. Kazan Federal University is an acknowledged centre of academic excellence, with links to institutions across the world.

The focus of Roy’s visit was relationship building; looking for opportunities to develop new research projects drawing on the expertise and interests of both institutions. His visit to Kazan followed the visit of Max Talanov and Alexander Toschev from the School of Information Technologies in Kazan to Birmingham.

In addition to his work as programme leader for Sound Technology, Roy is currently completing a PhD entitled “Enhancing graduate employability: a study of stakeholder perceptions of employability policy and its translation into university strategy”. During his visit, he gave a lecture to Master’s students in the Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, sharing the University’s experience of enhancing student employability. He also gave a tutorial to a group of final year undergraduates, spoke to some first year students, and held a session with academic staff to gather their views on employability.

Roy found parallels in the two institutions’ interest in employability, which suggested possible areas for joint research into the subject.

Kazan Federal University has an excellent reputation for computer science, and a Digital Media Technology lab which has many parallels with the School of Computing and Digital Technology. There are opportunities for research collaboration in future.

As a result of the visit, Roy has been able to share contacts with his colleagues in Birmingham, and suggest areas which might be fruitful for future join initiatives, not just within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, but also in the Business School, and possibly other areas of the University.

Speaking about the visit, Roy Priest said, “It was a very positive experience. The staff in Kazan are keen to work with us. They were very warm and welcoming, and keen to collaborate and build on this exchange for the future. It’s a great university, and a lovely place to be based.”

In addition to this link with Kazan Federal University, the Faculty has been successful in setting up an Erasmus+ exchange with Saint Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering. Four members of staff from the School of Engineering and the Built Environment will have the opportunity to visit St Petersburg in 2017.

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