The University of Warwick has today, Wednesday 28th March 2018, launched two major teaching and research collaborations with universities in Paris and Brussels. Colleagues from the three universities yesterday celebrated their collective plans to date, and discussed their future engagement in a strategy that will involve the formation of a European university network.
Warwick’s first partners in this initiative are the University of Paris Seine and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Paris Seine is a university consortium of 37,000 students, located both in and near the heart of Paris, that pursues ambitious development within the French education system. VUB is a dynamic modern university of over 15,000 students, with two main campuses in Brussels.
Like Warwick, both institutions are strongly internationalist in identity and strategy, and equally place great importance on their regional involvement and influence. Together, as a closely collaborating university network, these three universities will work together both to maintain world-class research and teaching, and to reinforce their place-making impact by collaborating with regional agendas around common priorities and opportunities.
Speaking at the event, Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council said;
In a global environment which is challenging and fragile, universities are institutional anchors which bring socio-economic and socio-political impact in their regions and countries. The partnerships between the University of Warwick, University of Paris Seine and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have the potential to create an environment that future generations can be proud of. The institutions can work, region to region, to build a seamless and borderless future to tackle global challenges and bring about social change.
Professor Seán Hand, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) at the University of Warwick, said;
Based on the strong ground-work and commitment of our academics, our three universities have already mapped out exciting and innovative plans across the range of disciplines and levels. Warwick regards these energising agreements as being also the beginning of a larger collective strategy of extensive European engagement. We shall strike further complementary partnerships with European counterparts that help construct a dynamic network centred on powerful collaboration and innovation in all areas of teaching, research, enterprise and civic engagement.
One transformative feature of such networking is the multiple opportunities it provides. We shall want to develop multilateral arrangements involving several nations, systems and disciplines. We intend to combine complementary capabilities, extend the reach of expertise, and nurture educational inclusion. And we shall also promote inter-regional innovation, given our positions as powerhouses of research-driven investigation. Warwick is a highly internationalist university, with an established presence in key European cities. At a time of significant national and international changes affecting our sector, we intend to remain at the forefront of educational excellence in Europe, and to provide our students and staff with the widest horizon of expectation.’