German U15 and Russell Group: Joint Declaration on Science and Research

Russell Group und German U15; Credit: David Ausserhofer

The university associations Russell Group and German U15 represent research-intensive universities in the UK and Germany, respectively. On Monday, 14th January, they signed a declaration pledging their commitment for their universities to continue working together after the Brexit on 29th March. In it, they call on their respective governments:

  • To promote and facilitate research and innovative partnerships and collaboration – by ensuring appropriate funding is available and minimising regulatory barriers.
  • To ensure the easy mobility of students, academics and other research workers between the UK and Germany – through non-bureaucratic entry and residence regulations, and the participation of the UK in the Erasmus programme.
  • To sustain the global competitiveness of European research – through an ambitious new research framework programme “Horizon Europe” with UK fully associated with the programme.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Chair of the Russell Group and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow: “The prosperity of both of our countries depends on our cutting-edge achievements in science and innovation. And the closer and stronger our collaborative ties are, the better these will be. It is therefore of the utmost importance for our scientists, students and universities to continue to work together in the most frictionless manner possible and to do so at the location that is best for their research. The partnership of our countries in science and research is of fundamental importance for all of Europe. Now our governments are called on to set the course for this successful cooperation to continue after Brexit.”

Professor Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Chair of the German U15 and Rector of the University of Freiburg: “The 24 universities in the Russell Group and the 15 universities in U15 have a long history of successful collaboration. Together, we have set standards in cutting-edge research, innovation and student education. With this meeting and our declaration, we are sending the message that this success story must continue after 29 March. This requires our governments to deliver timely and convincing political solutions, for example regarding the residence of scientists, and the full association of the UK in Horizon Europe.”
The declaration was signed during a joint meeting of both university associations. It was followed by a roundtable discussion “Where next for UK-Germany science and research? The future of European science and higher education cooperation.” The prominent participants included representatives from the British Embassy, German politics, and leading German scientific organisations.

About the Russell Group

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. The universities in the Russell Group attract the best scientists and students from around the world. They play an important part in the intellectual and economic life of the UK.

About German U15

German U15 is the strategic interest group for research-intensive and internationally visible German universities. The U15 universities constitute almost a third of all German and international students in Germany. They supervise half of all doctorate degrees concluded in Germany. The U15 universities raise two-fifths of all public third-party funding; in the medicine sector, their share is 60 percent.

Source: German U15 Press Release, 14th January 2019

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