Meet Professor Lorna Hughes, our Dean for Global Engagement in Europe

Lorna discusses activities to develop and support our European connections, all of which showcase the many ways that that Glasgow continues to be a proudly European University.

Since taking up the role of Dean for Global Engagement for Europe in May 2021, I have been part of many initiatives that support the University’s engagement across the region. Many colleagues are working extremely hard to sustain and develop partnerships and projects with European institutions.

This update is intended to provide insights into only some of these activities to ensure that you, our partners, are aware that there are lots of ways to work with Glasgow, whether through mobility arrangements, shared programmes or collaborating on research and teaching initiatives.

New opportunities for engagement are emerging all the time, including several exciting bilateral partnerships and pan-European networks. There will be more detailed updates in future newsletters; this is a taster to encourage you to be part of these discussions and activities so that, together, we can be ready to seize new opportunities for European collaboration.


The University collaborates with European universities through our participation in The Guild of European Research Intensive Universities and Universitas 21. We also recently became an associate member of CIVIS, a multicultural and multilingual European Civic University formed by the alliance of ten leading higher education institutions across Europe. CIVIS has an active programme of collaborative groups and activities which are operated as open hubs, labs, and workshops, organised as cross-institutional themes. The themes include health; cities, territories and mobilities; digital and technological transformation; climate, environment, and energy; and society, culture, heritage. There are regular funding calls to support engagement.

CIVIS brings us into close contact with the partner universities and we recently welcomed visitors from Aix-Marseille University for a series of meetings about new mobilities and joint teaching initiatives. A highlight of CIVIS is the annual Global CIVIS Days event which took place last month and are featured in this issue of University of Glasgow Connect.

European funding

Our staff are actively involved in many European Research Council and Horizon projects. Recent statistics from the European funding office show that Horizon projects bring the University of Glasgow into partnership with over a thousand partner organisations: connecting us with the whole ecosystem of global research and scholarship.

The UK is still part of Horizon and bids are going in, and we continue to be successful in the scheme. We are encouraging active participation in the programme, while keeping a watching brief on the UK’s continued association with the scheme.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)

COP26 was when the world came to Glasgow, and there was a revolving succession of European visitors meeting representatives from the University.

One highlight for me was a visit of the Minister for Education and Religious Affairs of the Government of Greece, Mrs Niki Kerameus. This was a great opportunity to discuss our partnership through CIVIS with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. We also discussed new bilateral agreements, including the UK-Greece Strategic Partnership in Education to foster collaborations between UK and Greek Universities, implemented by the Hellenic Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, the British Embassy in Athens and the British Council; and a new initiative for Greek Universities, which aims to set up joint degrees with UK universities.

Priority partnerships

We continue to actively work with our existing priority partners, Leuphana University in Germany and Radboud University in the Netherlands.

There will be a new call for joint projects with Radboud University at the end of the year, and we are exploring new ways to communicate the value and impact of projects funded through this scheme.

Through our partnership with Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany, we are part of the European Centre for Advanced Studies (ECAS), which supports access to exciting opportunities such as the bilateral The Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme, funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony. This year the scheme funded two projects with Glasgow researchers.

Last month, ECAS organised an event to launch the scheme and participants were joined by Lower Saxonian Science Minister Björn Thümler and Member of the European Parliament David McAllister. The annual ECAS joint forum also took place last month so do follow ECAS for more information about collaboration opportunities.

And finally, a new regional strategy for Europe will be launched in the new year, so if you have any ideas for collaborations or wish to become involved in any existing partnerships, please contact me. The University of Glasgow remains a proudly European university and we are open for collaborations with partners across the region.