The London School of Economics has formed a strategic alliance with New York's Columbia University and a collaboration with Imperial College, London.
The alliances should strengthen the clout of the LSE - which, with some 7,000 students, is a relatively small institution given its world-class reputation.
The LSE and Columbia University plan to offer joint two-year masters degrees. Students would spend time studying in both cities. The masters degrees will be offered in areas such as public administration, information systems and the environment.
Stephen Hill, pro-director of the LSE, said: "This partnership builds on the links we have established over the past two years. We realised there was much we admired and could learn from each other, and decided to turn this into a more substantial arrangement."
Michael Crow, vice-provost of Columbia, said: "Globalisation will require universities to work together as never before. We are looking to build a broad and deep link with the LSE."
The two institutions will collaborate on research. Some projects are under way, including a Latin American study by social scientists at the LSE and researchers in the Columbia Earth Institute, and work on hazards and risk research. The two will also collaborate on developing digital content for teaching and learning.
The LSE and Columbia University are already partners in Fathom, an online provider of lectures, seminars and performances. The two are founder members of business education company UNext.
The LSE has also formed a relationship with Imperial College, London, to collaborate in academic and administrative areas.
Anthony Giddens, director of the LSE, said: "This will be an exciting opportunity to develop intellectual and research connections between the social and natural sciences."
Academic groups at the LSE and Imperial College plan to work together in areas such as health management, environmental policy and law and risk management. The two plan to present joint bids for research funding to the European Union and other sources.
- The University of London's Courtauld Institute is considering whether to merge. Eric Fernie, director of the Courtauld Institute, said: "The choices boil down to maintaining our independence or merging with a college such as UCL, King's College London or the LSE."