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St Andrews strikes new European deal on eve of Brexit

The University of St Andrews has signed a partnership agreement with one of Europe’s leading universities in a move seen as a major statement of intent ahead of Brexit.

St Andrews is to expand its existing cooperation with the University of Bonn under an agreement that provides for new and far-reaching collaborations in research, study and administration.

The two universities have agreed to provide increased exchange opportunities for students, academic staff, and professional and administrative staff.

Staff and students from St Andrews will be given the opportunity to research, teach and study at Bonn, and vice-versa. The agreement also provides for the establishment of joint study and research programmes and work shadowing offers for administrative staff. Both universities also intend to develop joint research and teaching activities.

The agreement was signed in Bonn earlier this month by St Andrews Vice-Principal (International Strategy and External Relations), Professor Brad MacKay, and the Rector of Bonn, Professor Dr HC Michael Hoch (pictured far right).

St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “We are delighted to have signed a wide-ranging Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Bonn, which sets out our commitment to deepening our partnership in the years to come and, very importantly, will see a continual exchange of people and ideas between our two institutions, and between Scotland and Europe.

“Our new university strategy is founded on the unshakeable truth that St Andrews has always been outward looking, and European, and we will go on being so.

“This is a message that we have been communicating to our European partners, and it is a message that is being reciprocated.”

Rector of the University of Bonn, Professor Dr HC Michael Hoch, said: “We are very pleased to announce this strategic partnership with the University of St Andrews, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

“The aim of the partnership is to promote the mutual understanding of the respective university structures as well as the scientific exchange of information, and to explore possibilities for collaboration in international networks.”

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: “The University is rightly concerned about the impact of Brexit and repercussions for its students, staff and valuable academic research. The establishment of a positive working relationship with the University of Bonn via this Memorandum of Understanding is to be welcomed and is yet another example of St Andrews’ international focus and collaborative approach, which benefits everyone involved.

“It will be so important going forward that organisations like the University work with European partners and establish links that will create important new opportunities for the future.”


Picture shows Professor Brad MacKay (left) and Professor Dr HC Michael Hoch.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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