British Council Roundtable27 October 2014
As Chair of the UK HE International Unit I was invited to present to a British Council Roundtable discussion at the Royal Society.The discussion was on strengthening collaboration with higher education institutions in Germany. Why would we wish to do this? Well, besides being our biggest trading partner, Germany is also the country with which we have the most academic links after the US. In 2013 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) spent €18.4m on academic collaborations with the UK, the fourth highest amount spent on any one country. In addition, the DAAD also provided funding for 1,210 German students/researchers to study or do research in the UK as well as funding for 549 UK students and academics to study, teach or research in Germany. Another 4,792 Germans were funded through EU mobility programmes in the UK. In terms of positioning the UK HE sector in the EU, Germany is a key ally, because together, our countries represent a very strong voice for research excellence as well as for programmes such as Erasmus+. More far-flung destinations might appear more glamorous but we should remember the strength of links closer to home. We agreed with our counterparts a series of measures that we hope will improve the co-operation still further, and I will keep you updated when the agreement is finalised.