UK and German universities seek closer cooperation

The Russell Group and German U15 will establish a committee to scope out opportunities for enhanced cross-border cooperation

The Russell Group has signed an agreement with German U15 as the two mission groups of major research universities seek new ways to collaborate.

The two groups will establish a committee to explore potential strategies, including the development of a new framework to improve cross-border research collaboration and “ensure these research partnerships are not affected by wider politics”. The groups have 39 collective members.

The groups said they hope their framework can prove the foundation of similar agreements between the UK and German universities. The Russell Group struck a similar agreement with the Australian Group of 8. In February, the two bodies announced a new committee to explore research collaboration between their collective 32 members.

Chief among the concerns of Russell Group universities is the uncertainty of the UK’s future in Horizon Europe.

A joint statement was signed in London by Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester and president of the Russell Group, and Jan Wöpking, managing director of German U15.

The joint statement read: “We believe research, education and innovation have a major role to play in creating opportunities for people and responding to the major challenges facing our societies such as net zero, resilient healthcare systems and social inequality.

“It is our shared conviction that collaboration between universities, which transcends politics and borders, is more important than ever.

“Ultimately, we believe it could safeguard our longstanding and productive partnership and form the foundation for supporting fruitful new future multilateral collaborations.

Read more: Russell Group and Go8 will resist ‘unnecessarily restrictive’ research security policies

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