More than 20 partner universities from six European countries met at Cranfield University to renew teaching and research partnerships and to explore new collaboration opportunities in a post-Brexit world.
Some of Cranfield’s partner universities in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland visited to hear about the broad range of research at the University and tour some of its world-class facilities. This included the soon-to-open £35 million Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), some of the ‘growing’ Environment and Agrifood research facilities and the futuristic Operations Excellence Institute.
Richard Fuller, the MP for Bedford, was invited to speak to the visitors and Cranfield’s own staff about international collaboration. There was also an opportunity for the European visitors to meet some of their own double degree students – who are completing the final year of their studies at Cranfield – over informal drinks.
Cranfield has strong international links, with more than half of its students coming from outside the UK from more than 100 countries. During a typical year, Cranfield’s academics deliver courses in 50 countries outside the UK and one in eight of its staff are European Union (EU) nationals.
Professor Tom Stephenson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), said: “Cranfield is a global university and is proud of its international outlook. This event provided a major opportunity to engage with our European partners. We value the deep relationships we already have with them and wanted to explore new opportunities for the exchange of staff and students and the creation of new research partnerships.”
The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona currently has 25 of its students studying aerospace-related subjects at Cranfield. One of its representatives, Professor Daniel García-Almiñana, said: “The day was interesting for many reasons, particularly to hear about the potential for extra collaboration in addition to the current MSc scheme such as for PhD students and academic staff exchange. It was fascinating to meet and hear from other colleagues from across Europe who also have relationships with Cranfield.”
The European Partnership Programme currently sees Cranfield having more than 70 partnership agreements with European universities and engineering schools, with more than 300 students studying as part of the Erasmus+ scheme.
About Cranfield University
Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.