Developing Linkages for Partners and Faculty: Knowledge and Networking Requests
Beyond cultivating and implementing partnerships, mobility initiatives, and agreements, the University Partnerships Office (UPO) continues to support AKU Faculty and Staff through its Knowledge Networking Platform. The Knowledge Networking Platform was established in 2010 to encourage faculty and staff to connect with their counterparts at AKU's partner institutions and vice versa. The objectives of establishing this platform were to learn best practices, identify new ways of doing things, avoiding overlap and duplication of effort, accessing available resources, and developing a network of colleagues who are working in similar fields but in different types and kinds of Universities and geographies. The impact of the Knowledge Networking Platform at AKU has been of great value to colleagues and has had an impact.
For example, recently the AKU Chief Data Innovation Officer sent in a request to learn more about how universities are using data from their academic and operational systems to make better decisions around programming, student services, faculty resources, and administrative systems. The UPO connected the AKU team to counterparts at 6 partner institutions and has learned how other Universities have built their data pipelines and dashboards. Connecting early with partners has helped accelerate the analysis phase of the project as well as identify best practices that could be implemented at AKU that will ultimately impact student success. As the Chief Innovation Officer noted that “the 60-minute call with the University of Waterloo might save AKU weeks of work".
Another example was that of the University Librarian who was keen to learn about Research Information Management software being used by partner universities. Connections with partners who were using similar systems helped AKU learn more about the challenges with the software and lessons learned about the implementation piece.
UPO's Knowledge Networking Platform has helped identify relevant colleagues to be part of Advisory Committees, mentorship programmes, and specialist speakers. It has helped circulate academic positions for global recruitment to partners, advertise opportunities within the Network, and has facilitated over 100 connections between AKU colleagues and partners. In return, while AKU has benefited from this platform, partners have also been able to access AKU and AKDN colleagues for various projects, programmes and initiatives.
How does it Work?
Faculty and staff can submit a knowledge request to access a network of colleagues at partner universities in a particular area or for a particular purpose. The UPO processes and circulates the form to a variety of partners based on the type of request and desire outcomes. For further details on accessing the Knowledge Network Platform and a request form, please visit UPO Portal at OneAKU for details on Partnerships Policies and Processes.