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February 17, 2007

Whats Up!

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Been a busy period since the last entry – a period of highs and lows.

Been busy with finding and turning away new students, not just for MSc and PhD study with me, but also for the University as a whole.
Spent four days in Jordon (Amman) typical piece of work – too busy before hand to fully check out The University of Jordon, the top rated institution in the country – we visited it and had an entaining five hours or so, discussing possible collaboration between WMG and UofJ, met some interesting University admin/academics. Great buildings and position. In the evening interviewed about 6 students wanting to study at Warwick – its amazing how little our agents know about what goes on here – maybe we should advertise the blogs more! Seemed to be really good quality students!
Also visited the University of Science and Technology Jordon, which was about one hours drive away from our Hotel. Again a very pleasant location and very friendly hosts. We did have a few hours free one afternoon whilst in Jordon, and thus had a long walk around the centre, and got a really good haircut in a barbershop in a side alley. Why are haircuts so much cheaper, less rushed, more friendly almost everywhere else I go in the world? (apart from Sweden, where they cost even more!)
We were invited to visit the University in the Lebanon, before travelling onto Jordon, luckily we declined – there where riots and several deaths centred on the University -just when we would have been there, and one of our colleagues was delayed getting to Jordon because all flights out of Lebanon were cancelled.
Nice and sunny in Jordon and we tried to soak up a bit of sunshine in the few moments outside between meetings. Then travelled onto Dubai – to meet up and discuss student recruitmet and collaboration with three more possible University partners. One of my current doctorate students is based in Abu Dhabi, he came and met us and hosted us for a couple of days, a highlight was a visit to the Dubai Global Village, a World Trade fair place combined with Disneyland. Fantastic music,laser and firework show – bought some Saudi Arabian perfume for Gunnel. (luckily she liked it!) I also bought yet another ticket for the Dubai airport raffle ( 1000 tickets at £80 a ticket) to win a Porsche 911, did not win again!
The University visits were very interesting, visited the Knowledge villiage (where a number of UK universities have offices) and also previously have visited Academic City where many of the Universities and colleges are located. Dubai (or even better Abu Dhabi) would be a good place for the Warwick to open a new campus. Hope WMG can partner with a local high quality institution. Going there on secondment would be good training for our PhDs and EngDs.
Got back to UK after 8 daYS AWAY, and then back into catching up on all the work I had missed whilst way, in particular, reading student PhD and MSc drafts as well as catching up on the WMCCM project progress. We were invited to bid fro a £221,000 grant by the IT cluster for support work to regional ICT companies, that application si still only half done! Aslo been busy designing and configuring a shop function for the WMCCM marketplace, looking at how WMG can better support and integrate its Alumin. More important than ever since over 70+ companies want to give preferential interviews and recruitment to our MSc and PhD students. The Hong Kong goverment is even giving them preferntial visas to live in Hong Kong! Have designed a new website – hope it will be up and running in a few weeks time.
Ran my MSc module on Business Information System Stragey last week. I like teaching and enjoy student interaction – but switching to it from mainly research means changing gear quite significantly! I do not think I managed that very well last week.
Still lots of student drafts to read and applications for funding to complete, plus I had also promised myself to write a conference/journal paper in February – so more hectic weeks to come!
The life of an academic hey! I did get offered a Professor post at another University last week, (to add to the one last year!), but WMG is such an exciting place to work!
So to carry on I have a work trip to India next month to sign a collaboration to develop SME relationships between the UK and India, should be interesting and fun – and I can see lots of potential for improving business in the West Midlands as a result.
bye for now.

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