Finishing Up: Bits and Pieces

A Recap

The last bits and pieces of work were challenging but absolutely entertaining. Website review and improvement is somehow the highlight of this month. The Europe Office and SEASIN websites have been well categorized and navigated for audiences, yet there is always further area of improvements. Fruitful discussions were made on how the appearance and rearrangement of the websites to provide better search and content for users. Liaise with partners were made to ensure that improvements were considered and made.

The Europe Office monthly newsletter will bear a new fresh look starting December or beginning 2018. The new design embeds the blue and grey coloring in a form of a folded page with the GCU and EU logos that makes up the header of the following informative and useful content. Communication channel and dissemination method will also be changed. Besides putting them up on different platforms, the main hub of the information concentrates on the blog which links to the website while channels on social media and emails would be the catalyst of communication process and leading viewers to the source of information for learning and informing purposes.

Little Glimpse of Scotland

A few months were such a “wee” bit of time to explore while on duty. Nonetheless, the beauty of Scotland couldn’t be more obvious. A little adventure into Isle of Skye and another to Inverness and Lochness, I captured breathtaking photos of the timelessly beautiful Scotland.

The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The views were breathtaking, and since Autumn came to an end the mountains were snow-capped.

It was called “The Man of Storr” as the figure looks like a face of a man from the sideway lying face-up.

There was no “nessie” in Lochness then but people wrote “Believe in Nessie”.

I was peacing out with the monster.”

There is something about this country that you come and take away with those great memories and unforgettable images. It has a particular sense that whenever you see certain things, the thoughts of Scotland came up. Personally it is one of the most beautiful sceneries I have seen apart from the exotic Cambodia that I was born in.

Finale

It was an absolute pleasure to have been here and able to work with a group of energetic, kind, and motivating people. We are from different backgrounds yet the support we had for one another were great and I appreciate both cheerful and challenging moments in our work period. In December, Points of Pride were celebrated in GCU, and our nominated team attended, and it was the brief moment of us appreciating one another for our hard work and contributions to the team, the projects, and the school as a whole. Champagne and canopies, teamwork and achievements, returning to Cambodia will be a difficult goodbye; those should be photographic in my head, and I would not give a second thought to agree to have this experience again.

December 07, 2017: a hard farewell.

~ Rosanich Sou

More Projects and Exposures

Going through November was another blast.

The to-do list was longer and more challenging. With the existing projects running and the new ones coming up, different sorts of tasks, ranging from facilitation to generating strategies, need to be completed. This month, I am exposed to new projects (i.e., LAURDS), new areas of existing projects (i.e., SEASIN) as well as the new discoveries from other sides of The Europe Office and GCU as a whole.

LAURDS PROJECT: Research Culture

The rationale of this project is that it aims to contribute to the knowledge economy of Latin American Universities through economies of expertise by the development of research capability and capacity. Besides developing research culture and strategies, the objective of LAURDS is also developing doctoral provisions.

On top of website review and recommendations, as a new project, LAURDS needs to be introduced to the public apart from partners around Latin America. This is accomplished by social media marketing strategy. Spending a few days in the week this month, I have prepared a document for LAURDS project social media marketing, i.e., Facebook.

eMarketer (2016) claims that there are more than 90% of Facebook users among all social media users in Latin America.

The social media marketing strategy and implementation should serve the purpose of raising awareness among the public about the project, its values, and its offers. Moreover, social media outreach should inform and engage university partners on what is happening around the project as well as to keep track of project updates and create open calls for participants in case of particular events. By executing social media plans such as video animation and vlogging, it creates tactics that boost views and engagement from the audience in general.

SEASIN And Other New Exposures

Over the past month, SISUs in Southeast Asia were mostly having soft launches. In Cambodia, National University of Management and Royal University of Phnom Penh have their own support units in the aim of promoting social innovation. Besides the mentioned digitally creative side of NUM SISU, I now acquire another role of coordinating SEASIN Cambodian partners. To make this happen, a Facebook group was created and touched up to bring together the representatives from each partner in Cambodia, both universities and enterprises, in order to share ideas and project accomplishments. It is also for facilitating purpose if there are any concerns, questions, or comments. To promote social innovation concept in the long run, there needs to be cooperation from different parties in the same country and that is what the group is about. 

Regarding other exposures, studying Glasgow Caledonian University is one of them. Cambodian students’ perspective towards the school is an observable case. It is true that Glasgow Caledonian University is actually interesting to research on. For starter…

GCU is already one of the top 10 modern universities in the UK according to REF (2014), also rated as the most dynamic and innovative school.

.And there are much more about GCU than you expected. This can appear attractive for the public, especially international students.

 

~ Rosanich Sou

 

Projects and Events

Update: Enhance Project, one of the many projects conducted by The Europe Office in GCU with international partners, was successfully introduced to six Vietnamese universities after it was, as aforementioned in the previous article, developed into virtual and interactive courses on different online platforms that were linked into one channel of learning along with official guide, grading, and certificates.

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Southeast Asian Social Innovation Network

Meanwhile, SEASIN project, promoting social innovation in pursuit of socio-economic growth and social equity, is in the development process in Southeast Asian countries. Steve, my mentor and representative of our partner university in Cambodia (National University of Management), and I have been working together on the creative side of the project — to be specific, the appearance and influence of the Social Innovation Support Unit (SISU) in NUM, Cambodia. While the development of “Social Innovation Lab”, Cambodia SISU, has been well underway, I have been working on its graphic designs and marketing tactics and implementation. Having an opportunity to be engaged in this project definitely stretched my ability and apprehension to a new level.

Social Innovation Lab is set to have a soft launch on November 16, 2017 with The Europe Office team at the venue. This support unit aims to enable students and entrepreneurs to build up on their innovative ideas with provided access to incubation space, advanced equipment, reading materials, and relevant presentations or seminars — which I sincerely believe will bring about movement and innovation to the community in the long run.

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Official launch of 30 years’ anniversary: from Erasmus to Erasmus+

“In 30 years an estimated 9 million people will have taken part, 600,000 of them from the UK.” (Erasmus+, 2017)

The auspicious event was organized by Glasgow Caledonian University and The University of Edinburgh in The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Attending the event as part of the organizing team was absolutely thrilling. Speeches and sharing about Erasmus, its missions, and its contributions were spiced up by the string quartet and the photo competition. Wine, ham, and the “wee” cupcakes were served, whereas the cake cutting ceremony was as well a wonderful moment.

“Mobility is a lifestyle.” (Daniel Berlinski, 2017)

(Source: Edinburgh247)

~ Rosanich Sou

 

First Mensiversary

Yet Another Home

A little checking out of the city here and there gave me a good sense of belonging, and that’s what I would call a “positive starter”. Moving here has made the home-leaving feeling resurface for a while, and it was just like the first time I arrived in England. The difference is, I knew a bit better what to expect.

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GCU, The Europe Office, And New Assignments

“Glasgow Caledonian University is ranked 1st in Scotland for work experience opportunities” (ISB, 2017).

True enough, landing my short term project work here is one of the best happenings in 2017 for me. With the modern architecture, the university overall looked fantastic and The Europe Office team was absolutely welcoming. Coming in new, I set an objective for the first few days to study the projects — what they are about, what they want to achieve, and what I can do to support them. Document collection and extensive reading proved worthwhile as this knowledge allowed me to generate an analysis and a proposal for the team.

The following days of the work became challenging and extremely productive with tremendous support, guidance, and, I have to mention, “empowerment” from Mark and the whole team. While we were exploring new potential methods to convert training and physical learning environment into virtual and interactive studies, either self-paced or with instructor, I discovered another expertise area of mine working on both digital tools and module designs to enable the possibility of our project partners having access to the online materials, learning, and tasks. This will ultimately benefit them and the project as the objective of Enhance Project is to build up capabilities and improve the resources of HEIs in Vietnam in terms of Research and Innovation while one efficient way to do this is to put together a swift and effective method of transferring knowledge and practices.

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What’s up Glasgow!

Except for relentless rainfall and drizzles almost every time of the day and every day of the month, Glasgow does feel like home. The city is the middle ground of buzzy and calm — like… Leeds and London combined. Commuting to and from work is, I’d say, my best way of observing the atmosphere and having every thought possible jumbling around. Since Glasgow is more of a commercial hub, there is a modernity look to it and every here and there there are things to do and to enjoy, casually or as a tourist. What amazed me about Glasgow and perhaps Scotland as a whole is the bodies of water running across the city, which feels pretty much like when you need to move north or west, you would always run into a river somewhere on your way. And of course, River Clyde is a small piece of beauty somehow. I thought the whole spot around the Clyde Arc was iconic. I hate to compare but sort of love to say “The Clyde of Glasgow feels like The Westminster of London”.

More exploration to come!

~ Rosanich Sou

“Welcome to Scotland”

Prior to the “welcome” context, I am sure to make a quick introduction to myself.

ជំរាបសួរ – Chum Reap Sour – Hello, greetings from a Cambodian National. I am Rosanich (or Rose, Rosie, anything you’d like to call), a passionate, persevere, and creative individual. Before coming to Glasgow, I have lived in England for a year and done my masters (MSc International Marketing Management).

In the wake of the phenomenal period of studies, travel, and other life challenges thrown at me, it was time I explored professional opportunities. My goal was to spend the last few months in the U.K. to really understand how things work here in such distinctive environment from Cambodia. By and large, I intended to understand the perspective of the western side of the world towards not only marketing, business, projects, and management but also professionalism as a whole. I had then heard of European funded projects being conducted in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, on social innovation. That was the initial interest captured. Steve, my mentor, introduced me to this and has marked a change in my path since. On a “British” sunny day, I woke up to see the text “Welcome to Scotland”, where I knew I was accepted and went on to have the first good talk with Mark, Director of The Europe Office at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Scotland has always been in my bucket list, and I thought of nothing but a visit. To have been able to come here and expand my professional skills was what I did not see coming. So I packed up (it was a huge challenge searching for work, moving house, and getting my dissertation done all at once) and got ready to leave the land of England and managed to conclude many sections of my to-experience list, along with so many guesses, expectations, and exciting ideas.

And that’s where my journey began!

~ Rosanich Sou