28 May 2009 13:36:00.000
The University of Nottingham is part of a unique international development in the opportunities available to PhD students.
Universitas 21 (U21), the leading network for international higher education of which The University of Nottingham is a member, has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to allow PhD students to develop a truly global perspective on their studies.
The agreement, signed by Vice Chancellors and Presidents from fourteen leading universities around the world at their annual meeting this year at Korea University, establishes a joint PhD programme that will enable doctoral students to embark on joint degrees at universities thousands of miles apart. The programme will considerably enhance the research and employment opportunities of doctoral students — on an international scale.
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Unlike a number of other joint programmes, this agreement gives an over-arching framework for universities to create tailor-made programmes of study for each student, taking individual research needs into account and enabling collaboration with another of the network’s universities.
The institutions involved in this ground-breaking programme from across the globe, are the universities of Auckland, Birmingham, British Columbia, Delhi, Dublin (University College), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Korea, McGill, Melbourne, Nottingham, Queensland and Virginia, thus presenting a truly global choice of research partners for students embarking on a PhD.
Professor Christine Ennew, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation at The University of Nottingham, said: “This presents a unique opportunity for PhD candidates to undertake research under the guidance of leading academics across two Universities in one of the world's leading networks of research intensive universities.
“Students will also benefit from living and working in two different countries, an experience which can only enhance their future careers.”
Professor John Casteen, President of the University of Virginia and Chair of the Universitas 21 network, said: “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks a key development in the way in which U21 universities are approaching study and research.
“Not only does this distinguish us from the other programmes already in existence, by being focused clearly on the needs of the individual students, but it sets a new benchmark for international collaboration at PhD level and a trend which I believe is one which should be followed by other major networks and consortia.”
The programme grew out of discussions among Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies within the Universitas 21 network, and was led by Professor Mary Bownes at the University of Edinburgh, who saw the opportunity to use the strength of collaboration between the network members. The programme draws on the unique position the network holds, being a strong and cohesive network of 21 universities over 14 countries, in four continents of the world.
Universitas 21 is a network of 21 research-led universities around the world. It aims to promote and achieve collaboration, co-operation and work of a comprehensive nature, drawing on a strong bond of collegiality found between similarly-minded universities all of whom occupy a highly regarded status in their respective global regions and among the global league tables.
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.
The membership of Universitas 21 comprises: University of Auckland, University of Birmingham, University of British Columbia, University of Delhi, University College Dublin, University of Edinburgh, Fudan University, University of Glasgow, University of Hong Kong, Korea University, Lund University, McGill University, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Nottingham, University of Queensland, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, National University of Singapore, Tecnologico de Monterrey, University of Virginia, Waseda University.