Every day is Europe Day

A recent visit from the EU Ambassador to the UK, Pedro Serrano, gave us reason to reflect on what it means to be a European University and the many ways in which the University of Glasgow engages with the rest of Europe and the European Union, not just on Europe Day but year round.

EU Ambassador to the UK Pedro Serrano meeting with members of staff at the University of Glasgow

European staff community

During the Ambassador’s visit, key members of our research community were invited to meet with him and present the Horizon Europe-funded research projects they are leading on. Around 24% of our researchers at Glasgow come from European countries – a diversity that we celebrate and know contributes to our rich research offering and excellence across many research disciplines.

We are proud that academics from all over the world feel welcome at the University of Glasgow and choose to make it their home, bringing with them their connections and experience.

Bringing Europe to Glasgow

As well as the Ambassador, we frequently welcome European visitors to our campus. The same week as the Ambassador’s visit, we hosted a meeting of deans of social sciences, arts and humanities from across Europe via the Guild of Research-Intensive European Universities. We gathered to discuss, among other things, the societal impact of arts and humanities research.  

EU Ambassador to the UK Pedro Serrano shaking hands with Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

At the start of April, we were delighted to host a ministerial delegation from Lower Saxony, Germany, led by the Minister of Science and Culture. The visit included a large group of senior leaders from universities in the state of Lower Saxony looking to develop research links in Scotland.

We are proud to receive so many requests to visit our campus and to engage with our academic community and university leadership. It is a privilege to regularly host representatives of esteemed higher education institutes from all over Europe and beyond.

European partnerships

We have a long history of looking to Europe for some of our closest partnerships, not just in research but in student mobility, joint programme delivery and the exchange of best practice in areas of professional services too.

Glasgow joined the Erasmus programme from the start and still retains an extensive network of European exchange partners. Our unique track record of Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters programmes with many of our European partners speaks for itself, and our partnerships, such as with Radboud University in the Netherlands, demonstrate that we are committed to growing not just joint research outputs, but to jointly developing our institutional research support structures. Historically, with Radboud University, we also pioneered new student exchange models with their summer school and fostered staff exchange across international offices, faculty staff and research support.

Just last month, professionals from Glasgow’s research support office attended the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) conference in Odense, Denmark alongside their counterpart colleagues at Radboud University, whom they meet and collaborate with every month.

EU Ambassador to the UK Pedro Serrano with University of Glasgow students following his lecture

European networks

Like many universities, Glasgow is a member of several international networks, and it’s no surprise that in 2020 Glasgow joined CIVIS, one of the initial 17 European University Alliances, and the flagship European initiative in the education sector. We were proud to tell Ambassador Serrano about this unique close collaboration with 11 research-intensive institutions across Europe, and the roles that we have recently played in the leadership of CIVIS. In the past 12 months, Glasgow has held the Chairs of the Board of Rectors (Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli), the Steering Committee (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Rachel Sandison), and the Research Council (Vice-Principal Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Chris Pearce).

It was our honour to host Ambassador Serrano in Glasgow and to show him around some of our impressive new campus developments. His visit allowed us the opportunity to demonstrate the fact that the University of Glasgow always has been, and always will be, a European University, and will always be connected to Europe in myriad ways.