The UK has signed an historic trade agreement with Australia, which includes unprecedented opportunities for academic researchers to work between the two countries — this will boost the already successful Alliance between the Universities of Warwick and Monash.
The deal was ‘agreed in principle’ by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in London in June, and negotiators have now finalised all chapters of the agreement.
The final deal was signed in a virtual ceremony by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Thursday night, and will now be laid in Parliament for a period of scrutiny.
As part of the new agreement, scientists and researchers will for the first time have access to visas to work in Australia without being subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list. This is more than Australia has ever offered any other country in a free trade agreement.
The UK Department for International Trade has recognised the Monash Warwick Alliance — which is currently celebrating its ten year anniversary — as a key example of vital existing research and innovation between the two nations, and one that is set to benefit from the new agreement.
The free trade agreement makes a commitment to further strengthen, facilitate, and promote existing higher education collaborations and global innovation networks like the Alliance.
Professor Mike Shipman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Warwick, said:
“Sharing expertise around the world is the most effective way to overcome the biggest challenges facing humanity – the pandemic and global development of vaccines has demonstrated this.
“I am proud that the Universities of Warwick and Monash pioneered a model for British-Australian international collaboration in higher education a decade ago, resulting in a successful Alliance that has so far produced a thousand co-authored research papers, sparked joint projects tackling dangers such as superbugs and cancer, and enabled worldwide mobility for our diverse campus communities.
“We in the Monash Warwick Alliance look forward to engaging with the fresh opportunities that the free trade agreement between our two countries will bring to our students, our staff, and to the wider public who continue to benefit from our combined research and innovation.”
The Monash Warwick Alliance was established in 2012, when two innovative, world-renowned research-intensive universities on different sides of the planet sought to create a bold new form of transnational higher education partnerships.
Going beyond the standard agreements and memoranda already seen across the sector, Warwick and Monash have fused together the best aspects of their two institutions, co-developing a singular, broad, and fully integrated Alliance, connected to the whole ecosystem of the two universities: students, researchers, professional and support staff, as well as local surrounding communities.
In its first decade, the Alliance has launched over 100 research and education projects, awarded joint PhDs, combined complementary expertise on research projects ranging from healthcare improvement to new energy solutions, and injected an international dimension to every level of university life, in the UK, Australia, and beyond.
Read more here about the tenth anniversary of the Monash Warwick Alliance.
17 December 2021
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Luke Walton, International Press Manager
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