Edinburgh Global

Edinburgh Global’s 2023 summer activity

Over 60 Edinburgh students joined worldwide partner institutions to participate in several summer school programmes provided by Edinburgh Global services. The students took part in seminars, activities and networking to develop their intercultural skills and tackle global challenges.

Una Europa One Health Summer School  

The second Una Europa One Health Summer School brought together students and staff from across our Alliance and beyond to explore these interdisciplinary issues and work towards building solutions together.  

From July to August 2023, two One Health Summer Schools were held at KU Leuven, catering to the different educational stages of our student community: A general summer school of undergraduates and masters' students, as well as a Deep Dive organised for doctoral researchers. 

Over 100 students participated in the Una Europa One Health Summer Schools, with 12 from the University of Edinburgh participating in-person and online.  

Taking part in the Una Europa Summer School was important for my academic goals. It may be hard for some to believe, but utilising the One Health approach is the most effective way to achieve a sustainable planet. Combating climate change, overhauling food systems, and maintaining a healthy environment will necessitate collaboration and teamwork. Learning from teams of experts about system thinking and emerging challenges of Antibiotic-resistant at the Summer school reminded me of the key importance of academic collaboration in our world. It was a busy and short program, but it was a unique opportunity for individuals like me, who value open-mindedness and cooperation regardless of our backgrounds, to learn and grow.

Diing Diing, Una Europa Summer School participant 

What is One Health? 

One Health works towards the achievement of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) and explores how the health of humans, animals, other organisms and the environment are inextricably linked. As proven by the Covid-19 pandemic, health challenges that stem from the complex interaction between humans, animals, plants, and ecosystems call for a review of existing concepts and methods. Tighter collaboration across sectors and disciplines – including life sciences, public health and social sciences – is crucial. 

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A 2-week, in-person, part-funded summer course in Southeast Asia coordinated by the University of Edinburgh. Students work with colleagues around the world while learning about intercultural competence, design thinking, social innovation and entrepreneurship. 

From 12-28 July 2023, over 140 students came together in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Participants came from the University of Edinburgh, Nanyang Technological University, University of Amsterdam, University of Sydney, and the host institution, the National University of Management. 

The most important key takeaway point that I am left with after this trip was that I was able to feel equal and feel like I belonged somewhere.

INCiTE Summer School 2023 participant 

Students attended Cultural Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, and Design Thinking and Systems Thinking classes. Working in intercultural teams, they developed a solution to chosen global challenges in Cambodia. There was also a range of local site visits and guest speaker sessions to develop knowledge of Cambodia and the local entrepreneurial environment.  

Visits included: 

  • Kirisu Dairy Farm - a company endeavouring to improve child malnutrition through expansion of the Cambodian dairy market  

  • Energy Lab – where students participated in a clean energy challenge  

We met with local government officials, had support from the British Embassy, NGOs and a representative from the UNFPA who is happy to support our project. Whilst we may now have returned to our home countries, we are still in communication and working on our project despite the many miles that may be between us.

INCiTE Summer School 2023 participant 
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NICE (Network for Intercultural Competence to facilitate Entrepreneurship) offers the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and intercultural competence. The students participate as a virtual team, followed by a one-week in-person summer school. 

From March to July 2023, 13 students participated in NICE, earning a University of Edinburgh credit. 

Beginning in 2017 as an Erasmus+ KA203 three-year project, eight research-focused universities across Europe pooled their expertise to create a virtual learning programme. A fundamental aim is to provide an international experience for students whose opportunity to travel or study abroad is otherwise limited. The virtual element makes the project inclusive and at the forefront of hybrid teaching development, as it started before the Covid-19 pandemic.    

It was my first real experience working in an international team - an opportunity which has solidified my dream to work for an international organisation.

NICE 2023 participant 

The virtual exchange allows students to work through an online course to learn about Intercultural Competence and Entrepreneurship while designing a solution to one of the following global challenges: 

  • Health, wellbeing and changing societies 

  • Climate action, environment and resources 

  • Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies 

Evolving from Erasmus, the NICE consortium collectively decided to continue the project past the funded period. The programme has now been integrated as an international opportunity within curriculums long-term. Run with our partners at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, University College Dublin, University of Amsterdam, University of Johannesburg, and University of Padua - the consortium will continue to grow and experiment with new content and learning methodologies to provide our students with the best hybrid experience. 

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Partnering with Indonesia to develop family medicine internationally 

In July 2023, the University's Master of Family Medicine (MFM) faculty hosted a summer school in partnership with the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) from Indonesia. Together, they built an international community of practice, developing skills for sustainable international collaboration and advocacy for family medicine globally. 

The programme organised a mixture of both formal learning and creativity components and was attended by nine MFM and three UGM students. Visits to local general practices and social activities were included to enhance the experience of being in Edinburgh. The summer school has run since 2019 (virtually during the pandemic), and planning has begun for 2024. 

In January 2022, the Master of Family Medicine team was awarded a two-year grant by the British Council Indonesia to develop transnational teaching.  The partnership is based on a shared commitment to excellence in family medicine. Jointly, we aim to create educational material for family doctors online, embracing two cultures in primary health care. Our strategic priorities align towards: 

  • developing family medicine internationally 

  • directly addressing sustainable development goal three 

  • WHO target of strengthening primary health care.   

The Master of Family Medicine Summer School 2023 offered a distinct experience in many ways. This was our first face-to-face meeting since 2019 when COVID-19 had pushed everything online. With the luxury of physical interaction between Family Medicine (FM) doctors and students from different continents, the art of socialisation and learning brought back the ‘family home’.

Benard Kusienya, a Family Medicine Physician from Keny
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