The Erasmus Mundus project was promoted for the second year on the trot at the European Researchers’ Night, and it was a night to remember! Erasmus Mundus projects are the results of the cooperation of the Strategy and International Business Subject Group (former Emerging Markets Research Group), led by Professor John Anchor, with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s International Projects team and a number of other European universities. Over the past four years, the Business School has been involved in three European Commission funded projects with their combined value of £4.5m. These projects have involved student and staff mobility programmes between our European partners and Central Asian universities (CANEM and CANEM II) and MENA countries (UNetBA). There has also been a small amount of EU staff mobility in the other direction. For example, Hana Benesova, Research Assistant in the Business School, spent 30 days at a Kazakh university in April 2017.

The CANEM I project mobility started in 2013 and its continuation has been granted by the European Commission in 2014 due to its great success. The main project aim has been the promotion of the movement of students – Bachelor, Master, doctoral and post-doctoral - and staff from Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan). Professor Anchor says; “This has benefited the visitors greatly and the Business School regularly receives very positive feedback from our former Huddersfield visitors, mostly about their highly advantageous position in their home labour markets. A small number have also returned to Huddersfield as students at the next level.”

UNetBA provides opportunities for students from Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria and has been of the same – perhaps even greater success here at the Huddersfield Business School as it has seen over twenty students visiting us in one year! The income to the Business School from this project has been about £600,000 with £400,000 and £170,000 from CANEM II and CANEM I respectively.

The EU Researchers’ Night provided a great opportunity for us to present these projects to the public with support from two of our current PhD students here at the Huddersfield Business School who first came to the UK as our Erasmus Mundus exchange students.  Wiam Id Boumsoud represented the UNetBA project by serving traditional Moroccan tea and sweets and Dinara Abilova, a Kazakh student and the founder of Huddersfield’s Central Asian and Kazakh Societies did a great Kazakh tea and had a lot of traditional sweets at our stand. The stand was very popular on the night and lots of people stopped by for a nice cup of warm tea and a nibble on their way to other stands. We were also assisted in running the stand on the night by two of our PhD students from the Middle East – Samar Soliman from Egypt and Alvin Aldawood from the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Hana Benesova was in charge on the night. She says: “It was a great event and I enjoyed every minute of it”.