Strengthening European partnerships
(19 December 2019)
We were delighted to welcome Dr Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the UK, for his first visit to the University in early December.
After touring the campus and meeting colleagues (pictured) the Ambassador delivered an engaging talk to a packed out lecture theatre. He shared his thoughts and insights on the future relationship of the UK and Europe in a changing world, drawing on his prior experience working in the USA as German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and as President of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. The Ambassador spoke about the need for UK universities to endeavour to shape the UK’s negotiating position on the HE aspects of the future relationship with the EU, as well as the importance of preserving connectivity between the UK and Europe, post-Brexit.
Strong links with Germany
In a changing landscape, we recognise that continued European collaboration is vital to our education and research. We have many longstanding links with Germany, including a strategic partnership with the University of Tübingen, a fellow Matariki partner and ‘twin city’. We signed a strategic partnership with the University of Tübingen in 2017 and a joint seedcorn fund was established. Two competitions have taken place to date, with a third call to run in 2020.
Many collaborative research projects between Durham researchers across all faculties and partners in Germany have benefitted from Horizon 2020 funding in recent years. For example, the Durham-led ‘Nature Based Urban Innovation’ project has generated € 1.2M for Durham, in partnership with 13 other participants including the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography.
We also have well-established Erasmus+ student exchange links with German universities. In 2019 - 20, over 60 of our students will spend time in Germany as part of their undergraduate degree.
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