July 29, 2009
A new report on Higher Education and Collaboration in a Global Context has been published by the UK/US Study Group, a group of senior scholars based in the United Kingdom and the United States.
NYU President John Sexton was one of the Study Groups two co-chairs. The report can be viewed at http://www.international.ac.uk/resources/Final%20Report.pdf. Commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in spring 2008, the report advocates a leadership role for universities and colleges in fostering the development of a global civil society. The aim would be to bind universities and countries together through common values and principles, and counter potential political and economic fragmentation in the globalized era.
It would be built upon a new model for UK/US collaboration, one that will develop multilateral partnerships and bring the strengths of the longstanding UK/US partnership in higher education to bear in third countries.
The authors argue that if the two countries are to continue to assert their primacy in the realm of higher education within an increasingly competitive global context, they will do so most effectively if they act collaboratively.
Professor Rick Trainor, President of Universities UK, Principal of Kings College London and co-Chair of the Study Group said, Now, more than ever, collaboration across borders among our leading universities is absolutely necessary. The strength of the UK/US partnership, the longstanding pre-eminence of the two countries in the higher education sector, and, more recently, the crisis in the global economy, validate the case for deepened - and internationalized - collaboration.
Professor John Sexton, President of New York University and co-Chair of the Study Group said, In the future, the UK/US higher education agenda must go beyond seeking simply greater mobility and partnership between the two. Instead, UK/US universities must focus on ways to expand the strengths of the UK/US model in multilateral ways to create a worldwide network of cooperation and excellence.
In the spring of 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown approached Rick Trainor, the Principal of Kings College London, and John Sexton, the President of New York University and asked them to convene a small group of higher education leaders to engage in a set of conversations on the state of UK/US collaboration in a global context. The report was submitted to the Prime Minister in January 2009
The report advocates a number of ambitious initiatives to enrich the universities of both countries and to foster the growth of an open, competitive and accessible higher education sector in other nations. They constitute a vitally important form of soft-power diplomacy.
The report provides an account of the origins and purpose of the Study Group that produced it; assesses the history of UK/US higher education partnership, its strengths and weaknesses, and current context; and gives a forecast of developments with which the partnership should engage. The report makes a case for the absolute centrality of higher education in this emerging world and provides new ideas that capitalize on that centrality.
UK/US Study Group membership
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