New plans for closer ties between UK and German universities

30 June 2022


Top universities in Britain and Germany have promised to ‘enhance and protect’ cross-border collaboration by setting up a joint committee to look at new ways of working together.

The agreement was signed by the Russell Group and German U15, which represent some of the most research-intensive institutions in their respective countries, during a meeting on 15 June.

Among the areas it will consider is the development of new framework to help facilitate collaboration between the groups’ members and ensure these research partnerships are not affected by wider politics.

Both groups’ ultimate ambition is for any new framework to be used by other universities in the UK, Germany and other countries.

The agreement between the Russell Group and U15 follows a similar partnership with the Australian Group of 8 that was set up in February this year and demonstrates the determination of research intensive universities around the globe to continue working together and harness innovative R&D to address the big challenges facing society.

The full German U15 and Russell Group statement can be read below.  

German U15 and Russell Group Joint Statement

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. The enduring relationships between universities in the Russell Group and the German U15 are a reminder of how vital it is for the UK and Europe to connect and collaborate on the basis of trust and our shared values.

To enhance that collaboration and ensure research and innovation is not affected by politics, we have agreed to set up a new committee to look at ways to increase collaboration, facilitate new mobility or research  

A new framework to help facilitate collaboration could also in due course be used by other universities in the UK, Germany and beyond.

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


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