Caroline Pauwels, rector of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor of the University of Warwick in the UK, signed a collaboration agreement in the University of Warwick’s base in London’s Shard building. This is an important agreement, given that the consequences of Brexit, concerning cooperation between European and British institutions, are still not clear. The two universities are aiming to strengthen their ties – beginning with a joint master’s programme in Politics, International Studies and European Integration.
Since the Brexit referendum, UK universities have been looking for opportunities to strengthen their ties with the European continent. VUB’s says that its ambition has always been to deepen partnerships with universities all over Europe and elsewhere.
Caroline Pauwels says, “This agreement is an opportunity for both our universities. Politicians in Europe may choose to go their own way, but we as academics choose to move in the other direction. We don’t build walls between our universities and societies. We break them down.”
Professor Stuart Croft from the University of Warwick commented, “Europe-wide research and teaching collaboration has helped transform the lives not just of our students and researchers, it has underpinned jobs, and spurred innovation and advances in health, manufacturing, culture and so much more. Politicians in and out of office in every country in Europe are still deliberating how the UK can still be part of that in future but we can’t afford simply to wait for that to be fully resolved.”
The Brussels Times