Universitas 21

Universitas 21 is the leading global network of research-intensive universities, working together to foster global citizenship and institutional innovation through research-inspired teaching and learning, student mobility, connecting our students and staff, and wider advocacy for internationalisation.

Universitas 21 (U21) is an international network of 26 leading research-intensive universities in sixteen countries.

Collectively, its members:

  • Enroll over 1.3 million students
  • Employ over 220,000 staff
  • Have collective budgets that amount to over US$ 25bn
  • Have an annual research grant income of over US$ 6.5bn
  • Further information is available on the UCD U21 webpage
2017 Universitas 21 Health Sciences Summer School

The 2017 Universitas 21 Health Sciences Summer School will be hosted by the University of Johannesburg on 16-28 July 2017 on the topic of "Global Health and the Social Determinants of Health".

The central theme of this summer school is "Global Health and the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)". The program is designed to be an interactive two-week program. The program will aim to educate the participants about the SDoH and how these link to health planning, service delivery and outcomes. Each participant will therefore have an opportunity to actively engage with other participants and facilitators while gaining an understanding of the impact of the SDoH within their discipline and in health as a whole. Interdisciplinary discussions and interaction will be the key feature of the program.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, it will be suitable for any students from the Health Sciences, Nursing and Medicine domains. The program will cover the following topics:

  • The SDoH, development and rational

  • Global perspectives on SDoH.

  • Burden of disease in developing regions such as South Africa, and comparative analysis and discussion related to participants origin.

  • Health Economics in developed and developing regions, and planning for health outcomes.

  • Public and private health care systems.

  • Health promotion and preventative strategies.

  • Effects of global warming, climate change and environment on health.

  • Teamwork in health care service delivery.

The program will also link with the Sustainable Development Goals. The program has been specifically designed to link formal presentations by subject experts with a number of field trips and tours in and around Johannesburg. Each outing has been specifically crafted to allow the participants to experience first-hand real world examples of the impact that society, economics and environment have on health. Furthermore, the program also focuses on the importance of teamwork and collaboration in health care with facilitated group discussions and tasks that allow for sharing of knowledge, expertise and experiences from the various home countries, regions and institutions. This will include simulated interdisciplinary activities.

For more on SDoH click here to review the article.

The course will be suitable to all health sciences disciplines covering promotive, preventative, curative and rehabilitative outcomes. The main objectives of the summer school are the following:

  • Strategic alignment of SDoH and health equity in global health;

  • Sharing of evidence and practices in working across disciplines and health impacts;

  • Disciplinary role in health education and promotion, while emphasizing the importance of preventative strategies; and

  • Enhancing interdisciplinary health care delivery.

Learning Outcomes
The above objectives will be operationalized through the learning outcomes outlined below. At the completion of this two weeks program, the student will be competent to:

  • Demonstrate the understanding of the SDoH in relation to own country and profession;

  • Plan and develop strategic alignment of SDoH and health equity to own discipline with alignment to (due consideration of) global health issues;

  • Demonstrate sharing of evidence and practices in working across disciplines and health impacts;

  • Evaluate the disciplinary role in health education and promotion, and argue for the importance of preventive strategies;

  • Demonstrate the application of the interdisciplinary health care delivery principles.

On successful completion, each participant will be given a certificate of attendance that will include the total notional hours that were completed by attending this summer school. This certificate will also indicate the topical curriculum areas covered during the course and will enable participants to request credit at their own institutions, where applicable. In addition, the students will complete a portfolio during the course which can be used as evidence for work covered.

Areas participants will be exposed to
In order to enhance the service-learning experience for the participant, both private and public health care partners will be used during the course. These partners manage primary, secondary and tertiary health care services. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the following:

  • Visits to private and public health care facilities;

  • Meeting with communities;

  • Cultural and historical sites;  and

  • A tour to the UJ Island which will include role plays, interdisciplinary activities and a South African traditional social event (called a braai).

All of the above will be included within the two weeks program and the participants will also have free time to explore the city.

How to apply
Students interested in participating in the U21 HS Summer School 2017 should complete the application form and return it to Lisa Molloy (International Programme Manager) by emailing lisa.molloy@ucd.ie or by delivering it to Room B103, Health Science Center.

Applications must be received by Thursday 9th of March, 2017.

UCD U21 Scholarships

Consider applying for one of the four full scholarships that UCD is offering its undergraduate students, allowing them to attend a major Universitas 21 event this summer. UCD is a member of the Unviersitas 21 network of international research-intensive universities, working together to foster institutional innovation through research-inspired teaching and learning and student mobility, connecting our students and staff and inspiring internationalisation.


There are 4 full travel scholarships for the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference on “Future Societies, Global Citizens” at the University of Edinburgh on 26 – 30 June 2017. This is a multidisciplinary event which will be explored through the four themes of development, health, justice and the environment.


To be eligible, candidates must be full-time UCD undergraduate students in year 2 or above.


To find out more, visit the UCD International website:  http://www.ucd.ie/international/ucd-global/universitas21/u21news-and-scholarships/


To apply, click here: https://ucdinternational.wufoo.com/forms/zr55ivk0m4yll4/

Any queries can be directed to Eve Brosseau: universitas21@ucd.ie


U21 Awards 2017 - call for nominations

Your nominations are sought in relation to the award of up to two U21 Awards, to be presented at next year's Presidents' meeting to be held at the University of Nottingham in May 2017.  The U21 Awards recognise contributions from within member universities to the internationalisation of higher education  The Awards recognise significant contribution either

  • through a particularly innovative or extraordinary project which furthers internationalisation;  or
  • a sustained and prolonged contribution to building relations between U21 members to support internationalisation.

For either category, it is expected that those contemplating making nominations would be able to see evidence of:-

  • collaborative working both within the university and with partners outside the university
  • demonstrable impact of activities undertaken by the nominee
  • leadership, innovation and sustainability of activity
  • how the nominee has built on standard practices in internationalisation
  • the effectiveness of the nominee in supporting the university's internationalisation agenda.

This will be the sixth year in which U21 Awards are presented. Nominations should be made on the form in this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/7l4un60gfbenkr4/2017%20U21%20Award%20nomination%20form.docx?dl=1 . All nominations received will be considered during the October meeting of Managers in Edinburgh. Of the Awards presented so far, seven have been to men and three to women; one has been to a colleague from Asia, two to colleagues from the Americas, two from 'the south' (and Australia within 'the south') and five from Europe; eight have been awarded to those of European heritage.  We are particularly keen to represent the global talents within higher education and so particularly welcome nominations from women and from colleagues in Asia , 'the south' and the Americas which have been less well represented among our U21 Award winners to date. Please return your nominations by 19 September 2016.

Should you have any queries regarding the U21 Awards, the nomination or the award processes, please do not hesitate to contact jane.usherwood@universitas21.com 

Universitas 21 (U21) is an international network of 25 leading research-intensive universities in sixteen countries.

Collectively, its members:

  • Enroll over 1.3 million students
  • Employ over 220,000 staff
  • Have collective budgets that amount to over US$ 25bn
  • Have an annual research grant income of over US$ 6.5bn
  • Further information is available on the UCD U21 webpage


Testimonial - Alex Webb

This summer I was given the opportunity by UCD to travel to the beautiful city of Lund in Southern Sweden to the Universitas 21 Summer School. The theme for the two-week summer school was “Climate Change and Global Health”. Having just finished my second year of my General Nursing degree, my interest in public health has been growing, while on a personal level I have been interested in issues such as climate change and sustainability for a number of years. To be given the opportunity to spend two weeks with other like-minded students was an opportunity I could not let pass me by. I travelled with three other UCD Health Science students (one physiotherapist and two medicine students). We met for the first time early on Sunday July 1 st in Dublin Airport for our flight to Copenhagen in Denmark, from where we would take a train over the infamous Øresund Bridge (from the Scandinavian crime series, “The Bridge”) across the water to Sweden. We arrived in charming Lund and checked into our student accommodation before taking the opportunity to explore our home for the next two weeks.On Monday we were introduced to each other at Lund University and given an overview of the programme for the summer school. Universitas 21 is a network of 27 research universities. For our summer school there were nearly 40 students from 15 of those universities, ranging from Nurses from Korea to Dentists from Chile, Pharmacists from New Zealand to Environmental Health students from South Africa. Classes took the form of lectures, Skype lectures, debates, class discussions and presentations. We were introduced to topics such as: Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Social Unrest, Social Justice, Urban Planning, Migration, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH), to name a few, and developed an understanding of the connection of these topics in relation to our overarching theme of “Climate Change and Global Health”. We were given lectures by esteemed academics who shared their knowledge and enthusiasm for their research, such as Professor Lennart Olsson of the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies and Paul Fisher from the Institute of Applied Health Research in the University of Birmingham. Aside from gaining a great insight into climate change and the impacts on public health, the two weeks in Lund have given me lifelong friendship with people all over the world. We lived together in the student accommodation, went swimming in the lake at Häckeberg Castle and in the Øresund, explored the beautiful cities of Malmö and Copenhagen, celebrated the World Cup Swedish-style in the local park with our faces painted blue and yellow cheering on Sweden against England, went zip-lining at the stunning Kungsbygget and finished with a lovely farewell dinner at Lund University. I cannot sing the praises of the U21 group any higher, as these two weeks were truly an experience I will never forget. It was fantastic to broaden my understanding of the relationship between climate change and public health and to share experiences with other health care students from around the world.