Connected Scotland partners meet with Chinese Academy of Sciences delegation hosted by the RSE on 30 May

A delegation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), led by Ms. Sun Xiaoming, the Director-General of Personnel Bureau visited the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, on 30 May 2019. The visit was part of an ongoing collaborative programme the RSE has had with CAS since signing an agreement in March 2002.

The delegation comprised 25 representatives from various CAS institutes, covering a range of cities across China, such as Dalian, Shenyang, Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, and Kunming. The RSE and various Connected Scotland partners (Scottish Funding Council, British Council and Universities Scotland) including colleagues from Scottish Government met with the representatives and provided an overview of each organisation, highlighting the importance of connected working in Scotland such as the research pools, Connected Scotland and the systems in place across Scotland to help manage Science and Technology development.

CAS is the world’s largest research organisation and one of China’s academies functioning as the national scientific think tank. It comprises 104 research institutes, 12 branch academies, three universities and 11 supporting organisations in 23 provincial-level areas throughout the country. Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide Science and Technology development, a think tank delivering Science and Technology advice and a community for training young Science and Tech talent.

Connected Scotland and Scottish universities Going Global in Germany 13-16 May

Connected Scotland partners, Scottish higher education leaders and the Scottish Government Minister for Further Education, Higher Education & Science Richard Lochhead were in Germany on 13-16 May to promote Scotland and develop strong partnerships with institutions and business in Europe and Germany as part of the British Council’s Going Global conference.

A delegation from Connected Scotland partners and twelve Scottish universities were in Berlin to promote and strengthen collaboration between Scotland and key partners in Germany.

Across the three days of conference and specifically at the Connected Scotland day on Thursday 16 May, Connected Scotland, Scottish universities alongside key partners, highlighted the opportunities to strengthen research and innovation relationships between Germany and Scotland, develop high-tech partnerships and provided a networking reception for Scottish university alumni in Berlin.

A total of 200 people attended the Connected Scotland sessions on Thursday 16 May. To get a flavour of the conference and the Scotland-focused events, find out more at the ‘Behind the scenes blogs’ written by Samantha Lister, Assistant Registrar at the University of St Andrews.

Behind the scenes at Going Global

Behind the scenes at Going Global part 2

Malaysia Alumni Event

Connected Scotland partners on the outcome of the EU Referendum

Following the result of the EU referendum, all Connected Scotland partners remain fully committed to positive engagement with the European Union and European partners. Below please find links to partners’ public statements:


Scottish Government and Universities Scotland

Joint Statement: Scottish Government and Universities Scotland on the outcome of the EU Referendum

Joint Statement: Scottish Government and Universities Scotland on EU Staff and Research


Scottish Government

First Minister’s statement on EU referendum 


British Council

British Council statement on EU referendum 


Royal Society of Edinburgh

RSE President on the EU Referendum

RSE Advises on Implications and Opportunities for UK Science after the EU Referendum 


Connected Scotland China Workshop 11th April

Connected Scotland partners will be holding a workshop on TNE in China in April for representatives from Scottish higher education institutions.


Date: Monday 11th April 2016
Time: 1:30PM – 16:45PM
Location: Universities Scotland, Holyrood Park House, 106 Holyrood Road Edinburgh, EH8 8AS
RSVP: Please email by Friday 1st April to confirm your attendance

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a platform for Scottish higher education institutions to share best practice around Transnational Education in China.
The first session of the workshop will be delivered by Jazreel Goh, East Asia Regional Business Director (Education Services), British Council. Jazreel will provide an update on the policy and regulatory environment in China and will cover issues around, articulation agreements, joint programmes and joint institutions.

For the second session participants will be asked to bring along an example of one of their institution’s articulation agreements. Participants will then work in small groups to develop a check-list of guidelines for developing a good articulation agreement in China.

01:30 – 01:40: Welcome and introductions

01:40 – 14:30: Market Update from Jazreel Goh

14:30 – 15:00: Q & A with Jazreel Goh

15:00 – 15:10: Tea & Coffee Break

15:10 – 16:10: Group sessions: guidelines on articulation agreements

16:10 – 16:45:  Report back & wrap-up

Who should attend?
Vice Principals or Deputy Vice-Chancellors with a remit for internationalisation, anyone working in a higher education institute international office, and academics with responsibility for overseeing delivery of programmes or partnerships in China.

Brazil-Scotland Visit Report

The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and the Scottish Alliance for Geo-science, Environment and Society (SAGES), the two Research Pools that took part in the Connected Scotland Environmental Management Workshops in Brazil have published a detailed visit report.

The report provides a summary of the issues that were discussed during the workshops, information about the participants, a list of resources available to support further collaboration and recommendations for next steps for engagement between Scotland and Brazil.

You can download a copy of the report by clicking the link below.

MASTS-SAGES Brazil Mission Final Report

Scotland’s universities on mission to create new research partnerships in Brazil

Seven Scottish universities will today (Monday, 21 September) commence a week-long series of engagements with universities across Brazil with the aim of developing new international research and innovation partnerships between the two nations and securing access to new sources of funding.

University research is truly international in scope. The number of international research collaborations around the world is growing and evidence suggests that co-authored research papers lead to more citations; a marker of research excellence. Universities need to engage fully with international partners to enhance their global research standing or risk standing still in a fiercely competitive global environment.

The mission to Brazil represents an opportunity to engage with potential new research partners at an exciting time for higher education in both countries. The Brazilian Government is investing heavily in building the capacity and performance of its higher education sector. Scotland’s higher education sector travels to Brazil following excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework, in late 2014, which found 86 per cent of all Scottish research judged to be “world leading or internationally excellent”.

The engagements will focus on areas of shared research interest in which Scottish universities offer particular expertise, including environmental management, air and water pollution, agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and geology.

Representatives from the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Stirling, St Andrews, Abertay University, and Edinburgh Napier University make up the Scottish delegation, which is traveling under the Connected Scotland banner with support from British Council.

They will hold a series of engagements and workshops for researchers from over 20 Brazilian universities, research institutes, government ministries and funding bodies in three Brazilian cities; Sao Paulo, Recife, and Belo Horizonte.

The workshops will be run by two Scottish research pools, the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES) and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology (MASTS), which represent the research strengths of 12 Scottish universities.

Funding for the visit was provided by Scottish Development International, British Council, SAGES and MASTS.

Alastair Sim, Director at Universities Scotland, a Connected Scotland partner, said:


The great level of enthusiasm from the Scottish and Brazilian universities engaging on this mission means there is huge potential here to form new and enduring partnerships.

“In a globally competitive higher education marketplace, these missions are incredibly important as they give us valuable opportunities to showcase our research strengths to potential partners and show we are ready and willing to engage on future projects.

“Scotland’s universities have an excellent track record of working collaboratively with international businesses and academics, and are working with Connected Scotland partners to boost Scottish exports and make Scotland one of the world’s leading innovation nations.”


Lloyd Anderson, Director of British Council Scotland, a Connected Scotland partner said:


Brazil has now grown to be one of the major education partners for Scotland. Education in Brazil is a complex and rewarding market that requires a collective approach from Scottish HEIs and this joint mission represents a great opportunity for Scottish and Brazilian researchers to exchange expertise and increase long-term research collaboration.

“The benefits of internationalising applied research cannot be undervalued as it not only contributes to greater economic balance but boosts career prospects for those involved. Building the global learning community lies at the very heart of British Council Scotland and therefore we are delighted to be part of this ambitious undertaking with Connected Scotland.”


It is hoped that research collaborations between Scotland and Brazil will increase as a result of the mission and that new collaborations will qualify for UK Government cash from its Newton Fund, part of the UK’s official development assistance. The Newton Fund is worth £75 million in 2015 – and it is expected to grow in subsequent years – and Brazil is one of the partner countries identified by the fund for research collaborations on development topics.

As well as research collaborations the mission could lead to a framework agreement between the Scottish Funding Council and state funding councils in Brazil, PhD studentships, including fee-waivers, for Brazilian students to study in Scotland and opportunities for Scottish PhD students to complete fieldwork in Brazil.

Connected Scotland is a partnership approach to positioning Scotland as a world leader in higher education and in becoming a partner of choice in teaching, research and knowledge exchange. Connected Scotland aims to increase Scottish international exports so that they exceed £2 billion by 2017. New partnerships developed as a result of the mission to Brazil will contribute to that goal.



CS Record of Achievements and Work in Progress

One year on and Connected Scotland partners are keen to offer a brief summary of the initiative’s achievements and ongoing work since its launch in June 2014.  All of the work undertaken and proposed to date is based on the ambitions shared by all partners in support of the development of international opportunities for Scotland’s Higher Education sector.

Promote awareness of Scottish HEIs internationally through production and promotion of materials

  • The Connected Scotland website was developed in line with the launch of the initiative in June 2014
  • The host for a variety of reports and promotional materials from CS partners including Study in Scotland branded work
  • Wider use of the Study in Scotland (SiS) brand by HE members since its development in 2012 (e.g. frequent requests from HEIs for the presentation template, SiS logo and the message guidelines)
  • Messaging around Scottish HE is more coordinated and consistent and the use of messages on different platforms by CS partners has increased i.e. Education UK and

Ensure alignment of the Connected Scotland approach with Scottish Government and other partners’ policies and priorities

  • These include  Scotland’s Economic Strategy and the Scottish Government’s International Framework in March 2015
  • Initial discussions on Alumni engagement
  • Input into the development of innovation and investment hubs
  • Coordination of inward visits including FAUBAI inward mission (Sept 2014), CONFAP-ESRC Newton delegation to the UK (April 2015), BC’s Pakistan visit of the High Commissioner (May 2015), RSE’s China delegation (summer 2015)
  • Optimising opportunities around ministerial overseas visits

Development of evidence base for identifying priority markets

  • Jointly commissioned market analysis to support process for determining number of priority countries including Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico and/or Colombia

Development of engagement strategies for priority markets


(undertaken before partnership was formally launched as a “proof of concept” pilot to test and refine the proposed CS approach)

  • in September 2013 a 5-day  scoping visit with 12 member institutions supported by British Council, SDI and US colleagues
  • New intelligence developed around market opportunities for both Scotland and Indonesia (The mission was extremely beneficial to us gaining access to key influencers, such as the DIKTI.” Scottish HEI)
  • Increase in institutional partnership links assessed by a survey conducted in March 2014 (8 out of 11 HEIs are in dialogue with at least one Indonesian institution and 4 have formed new partnerships)


  • Jointly commissioned market analysis to develop an engagement strategy and identify opportunities for the sector
  • Host for Newton Fund workshop and initial dialogue with Brazilian partners to develop a framework agreement between reciprocal funding bodies
  • Joint development and organisation for delivering academic workshops in Brazil in September 2015 to increase research collaboration between both countries within the area of Environmental Management


  • Market research: scope for the market research is developed and agreed; research is to be presented to the sector in the format of a workshop(s) to help members engage with the material and help develop a set of recommendations for how Connected Scotland can support engagement with China
  • Promotion of the sector: education is to be included in Scottish Enterprise’s ‘Premium Scotland’ programme a cross-sectoral project to enable an overt “positioning” of Scotland and its premium produce/ services
  • Targeted inward delegation: joint input into the RSE’s programme for an inward delegation from China in summer 2015 as a follow-up from a China visit the RSE undertook in 2014 with some of the Innovation Centres.
  • Sharing best practice: best practice case studies are to be gathered and a programme of workshops for sharing best practice is to be delivered over the next 12 months:

Workshop 1: Articulation Policy

The legislative and policy environment

Sustainable partnerships (case studies)


Workshop 2: Cultural Training

Chinese culture

Communication and establishing relationships

The business environment in China


Workshop 3: Relational Governance

What does good relational governance look like in the Chinese context?

Building trust and confidence

Formal governance: contractual agreements and financial commitments



  •  Met Malaysian delegates during British Council’s Going Global conference in May 2015 as an opportunity to initiate first contact with key contacts

Environmental Management Workshops in Brazil

Connected Scotland, with the support of British Council Brazil, will be holding workshops in Brazil with two of Scotland’s Research Pools, the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES). These pools between them represent the combined expertise of twelve of Scotland’s universities.

The intended outcome of the visit is to increase research collaboration between Scotland and Brazil in areas of joint interest and expertise, particularly where there is potential for sustainable funding from schemes such as the Newton Fund.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about priorities for regulatory bodies and government departments responsible for environmental in the two respective countries, learn about funding opportunities, and to present and discuss areas of research of mutual interest.


The overarching theme for the workshops is ‘Environmental Management’. Scottish participants have particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Air and water pollution
  • Agriculture
  • Aquaculture
  • Catchment management
  • Coastal ecosystems
  • Ecosystem modelling
  • Fisheries
  • Geological dating
  • River ecosystems


Monday 21st – Tuesday 22nd September:

Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo


Thursday 24th – Friday 25th September MASTS only:

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), Recife


Thursday 24th – Friday 25th September SAGES only:

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte


Expressions of Interest are now open for Brazilian researchers to take part in the workshops. Grants are available to Brazilian researchers who are required to travel interstate to participate. For more information or to submit an Expression of Interest please visit the link below: