At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding

Two of Europe’s leading research universities have announced the first step towards plans for a unique ‘strategic partnership’ – underlining the vital and ongoing relationship between British universities and their peer institutions across the EU in a post-Brexit landscape.

Collaboration and openness to the world are essential to achieving our academic and civic missions.

Stephen Toope

The University of Cambridge and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding that will see the two institutions forge ever-closer links in education and research across a broad range of disciplines in the Sciences, Humanities and Medicine.

Senior leaders from Cambridge and LMU – which boast nearly 150 Nobel Laureates between them – came together over two days in Cambridge for meetings led by both the President of LMU, Professor Bernd Huber, and Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope.

At the conclusion of the visit, officials from Cambridge and LMU signed the memorandum of understanding, which indicates the desire to develop a joint programme of strategic importance to both institutions. A full programme will be formulated by the end of the year, with a formal launch expected to take place in early 2019.

It is intended that the partnership will include joint research activities, the exchange of academic staff, postdoctoral and PhD candidates, as well as masters and undergraduate students, joint teaching initiatives, and training for the next generation of scholars. The partnership will be cross-disciplinary, covering broad areas in the Humanities and Cultural Studies, Law, Economics and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, as well as Medicine, and will develop over the course of an initial five-year funding period. 

Professor Chris Young, Head Elect of the School of Arts and Humanities, and Cambridge’s academic lead for the strategic partnership, said: “The LMU is Germany's leading university in Germany's leading city.

“Its outstanding scholarship and rich network of associated institutes and industrial partnerships make it the perfect bridge to Bavaria, Germany and Europe. There are already myriad collaborations between colleagues at both universities, and this exciting new partnership will intensify and augment these for years to come.”

Professor Thomas Ackermann, Dean of the Faculty of Law and LMU’s Director for the strategic partnership, said: “The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading institutions in education, learning, and research. The strategic partnership between our universities will pave the way towards a new level of cooperation. Together with my colleague, Chris Young, we will explore an interesting array of activities to ensure the program will be a great success for both universities.”

Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “No single institution can provide, on its own, the answers to the great challenges of these turbulent times. Collaboration and openness to the world are essential to achieving our academic and civic missions. Our partnership with LMU, one of Europe’s finest universities, creates exciting opportunities to work together to address tough issues and provide our students with a richer education.”

“The strategic partnership with the University of Cambridge, one of the leading universities in Europe and the world, will bring an exciting stimulus to research and learning at LMU,” said LMU President Professor Bernd Huber. “Our new partnership ensures that collaboration and exchange which are vital for academic innovation can continue to be pursued regardless of Brexit.” 

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