The Gilbert Scott Building at sunrise

A proudly European institution

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli shares his view that UofG is an internationally focused institution by heritage, by outlook and by design.

Despite the fact that the UK has now ceased to be a member of the EU, the University of Glasgow will always be a proudly European institution. As a globally minded, civic university we are committed to working in concert with international partners on collaborative research, teaching and learning opportunities, as well as staff and student mobility. Brexit does not and will not change this.

For a country of only 5 million people, Scotland boasts four universities ranked within the world’s top 200 and continues to punch above its weight in terms of research and knowledge exchange.

Internationalisation helps us achieve these ambitions and at Glasgow we are tremendously proud of our diverse community of world changers and the international networks and alliances of which we are a member.

Accordingly, we welcome the fact that UK universities will continue to associate with Horizon Europe. As an institution, the University of Glasgow has been tremendously successful in securing funding from the previous Horizon 2020 scheme, securing 212 awards worth in excess of €116 million. Going forward, our research will remain globally focused in support of tackling the grand challenges of today and tomorrow.

Although we are disappointed to no longer associate with Erasmus+, we welcome the introduction of the UK’s replacement Turing Scheme. Our approach will continue to be to facilitate bilateral exchange with partners wherever possible and to encourage our students to pursue opportunities within Europe. We will also continue to utilise Erasmus+ funding that has already been awarded to the University, with these grants running until May 2023.

We have also enjoyed extraordinary success via the ERASMUS MUNDUS Joint Master Degrees (EMJMDs) scheme, under which we coordinate eight programmes. We wish to thank our EMJMD partners for their unwavering support and we look forward to continuing this successful collaboration for many years to come.

More broadly, the University of Glasgow is delighted to be a founding member of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, providing us with the opportunity to engage with 20 distinguished peer institutions from across the continent to enhance the voice of research and innovation across Europe.

We are also thrilled to have recently announced associate member status of two European University Alliances, NeurotechEU and CIVIS. Through CIVIS we will provide new opportunities to our staff, students and local stakeholders via various initiatives, including Open Labs, the development of innovative pedagogies, and virtual and blended mobility.

And, equally importantly, Glasgow will continue to be a welcoming and inclusive home to all our European staff, students, colleagues, alumni and friends.

Over the last year we have been challenged in a whole variety of ways, from Brexit to the terrible toll of the pandemic. And while this period has been far from easy, our collective response has highlighted just what can be achieved when universities, industry and government mobilise at scale and with shared purpose.

At the University of Glasgow, we resolve to learn these lessons, to remain outwardly focused and to stay fully committed to our international partnerships and alliances. In an uncertain world, this can act as our ballast, and we look forward to our next exciting chapter of international engagement throughout Europe and beyond.

This article was first published April 2021.