Representatives from University of Warwick (United Kingdom) and the University of Waterloo (Canada) are exploring ways in which each of their flourishing esports activities can be enriched by trans-Atlantic international collaboration.
Warwick and Waterloo have been long-standing international partners, with successful research collaborations, student exchanges, and a joint academic programme.
Each has also emerged as a national leader in esports – innovating and growing ways in which esports can contribute positively to campus experience, student learning, research impact, and community development in higher education.
“It is our strategic intention at Warwick to extend and deepen our relationships with university partners in North America. This includes pursuing opportunities for collaboration in research and teaching, knowledge exchange and staff and student mobility.
The global esports industry is at a pivotal moment in its evolution. Understanding how we, as a University, can leverage our strengths to better understand and innovate in this field presents an exciting opportunity. Finding the right international partners to work with on this will help us have the greatest influence in this emerging field, and provide unparalleled opportunities for our staff and students.”
Professor Carsten Maple, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America), University of Warwick
Catalyzed and connected by their respective international offices, representatives from the two universities have been meeting to share experiences, to learn from each other, and to explore potential collaborations. Discussions have focused upon, for example, student experiences (not only competitive and recreational play, but also skills development), curriculum development, research potential, and community engagement.
“We – in Waterloo International – have been delighted to be, with our friends in Warwick, co-conveners of this initiative. This is an outstanding opportunity for Waterloo to work with a valued international partner in a burgeoning area. Esports offers such great potential across multiple parts of Waterloo’s mission – learning, research, community – that it is little wonder that this initiative has brought together different parts of the campus in collaboration.”
Professor Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, International, University of Waterloo
It is anticipated that ongoing meetings will soon be supplemented by more focused inter-university collaborations, be they virtual or in-person. Individual units involved in the collaboration include the International Strategy Team, Innovation Group and the School for Cross-faculty Studies at Warwick in liaison with the Department of Athletics and Recreation, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, the Games Institute and Waterloo International at Waterloo.
One area of focus will be the upcoming Commonwealth Games which will be hosted in Birmingham UK this summer. Following the announcement that esports will be included as a pilot event during the Games; and the Commonwealth Games Federation recently agreeing a partnership with the Global Esports Federation, Warwick and Waterloo are both excited to explore how they can contribute.
“Warwick is pioneering a brave and inclusive approach to building its support for esports. It is immensely exciting for us to connect with another HEI that shares our multi-faceted scope of ambition and passion for this emerging industry. Being able to collaborate with an international partner will add huge value to our emerging practices and knowledge exchange.”
Rachel Davis, Director of Warwick Enterprise, University of Warwick
For anyone who has any questions or comments about this initiative – or about Warwick’s engagement with Waterloo more generally – please contact Emily Lim, Associate Director International Strategy and Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org