New European university group unveiled

Guild of European Research Intensive Universities aims to ‘complement’ existing alliances

June 1, 2016
Europe map
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A new network of leading European universities is set to launch this year in a bid to enhance the research capacity of institutions on the Continent.

The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities will bring together institutions that have demonstrable excellence in teaching, research and policy formation with the aim of collaborating on “innovative solutions to some of Europe’s most intractable scientific and social challenges”.

The network was founded by a group of universities in Brussels today and is set to formally launch in the city on 21 November. Nine member institutions have been announced so far: the University of Bologna, the University of Glasgow, the University of Göttingen, the University of Groningen, the University of Oslo, the University of Tübingen, the University of Warwick, Uppsala University and Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

The organisation said that more member institutions will be announced at the launch.

Jan Palmowski, pro vice-chancellor (postgraduate and transnational education) at Warwick and secretary general of the guild’s board, told Times Higher Education that the network will be “distinctive in a number of ways” from other European university alliances, such as the League of European Research Universities. Its focus on enhancing universities’ research capacity, innovation, knowledge and education will make it “complementary” to existing networks, he said.

“We look forward to working closely with other networks and organisations in Brussels, and in our national arena, to pursue our common goals,” Professor Palmowski said.

He added that the guild will help to bring researchers together with leaders from industry, business and policy to “achieve new ways of exchanging knowledge”.

Ole Petter Ottersen, rector of Oslo and chair of the guild’s board, said: “The guild represents a fresh approach to engagement and capacity-building across Europe. We are excited by the prospect of engaging closely with the European Commission, European and national parliamentarians, officials and others to secure outstanding strategic and practical outcomes that will benefit the myriad communities of Europe.”

Anton Muscatelli, principal of the University of Glasgow, has been appointed vice-chair of the board, while Stanislaw Kistryn, vice-rector for research and structural funds at Jagiellonian, is treasurer.

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