Internationalisation at the University of Edinburgh: A Conversation with Omolabake (Labake) Fakunle and James Smith

Photograph of a city shaped like a globe
Image Credit: Original photography by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash. Remixed by Joe Arton

This episode of the Teaching Matters podcast accompanies our March-April 2021 series on internationalisation curated by Dr Omolabake (Labake) Fakunle as guest editor. Dr Fakunle is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Coordinator of the MSc Education General Pathway at Moray House School of Education and Sport.

In this episode, Dr. Fakunle talks to Professor James Smith. James holds a personal chair in African and Development Studies African and Development Studies and is Vice-Principal International at the University of Edinburgh. In this wide-ranging and fascinating conversation, the University’s international activities and collaborations, serves as a jumping off point for an in-depth discussion that speaks to many of the key themes of the University’s strategy for 2030 and possible directions for curriculum transformation. This includes how Covid 19 transformed what’s core and what’s periphery in international research collaborations. At its heart this conversation is about celebrating the international community at the University and recognising the educational and civic value of having international and diverse classrooms and residences.


James Smith

Professor James Smith is Vice Principal International and holds a personal chair in African and Development Studies. James is a passionate advocate of the possibilities of international education having himself swapped the classrooms of Scotland for the expanse of the Kalahari to study for his PhD. Providing more opportunities for colleagues and students to engage internationally and supporting the university to strengthen its global connections are priorities of the university’s Global Engagement Plan.


photograph of the authorOmolabake (Labake) Fakunle

Dr Omolabake (Labake) Fakunle is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and Coordinator of the MSc Education General Pathway, Moray House School of Education. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Labake leads an EDI subgroup at the School level and is a Steering Group Member for the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) Project on Decoloniality (2021-2024). Her award-winning research explores the intersection of internationalisation, inclusivity, employability and education policy. Labake has led and worked with multi-disciplinary teams on national and multi-national research projects in higher education.
Email: omolabake.fakunle@ed.ac.uk
Twitter @LabakeFakunle


photograph of the authorJoe Arton

Dr Joe Arton is an Academic Developer at the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh, he is the co-editor and producer of Teaching Matters blog and podcast and curates The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange, the University of Edinburgh’s internal site for Hybrid Teaching and Learning resources and best practice.

One comment

  1. Wow, this is a brilliant and important conversation, many thanks to Omolabake Fakunle and James Smith for sharing it here!

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