The Kremlin, Moscow.

Exeter Engages with Europe

The University of Exeter has undertaken a week of engagement work with institutions and supporters across the European continent.

Over 90 Exeter alumni and friends were hosted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Russian Federation – Dr Laurie Bristow CMG – at his official residence in Moscow on Monday evening (6 March).

In the grand reception room overlooking the Kremlin, where Churchill and Stalin once met, the Ambassador told those gathered that despite areas of current disagreement between the two countries, deepening educational links were of paramount importance for the long term.

This sentiment was shared by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith, who spoke about the importance of Exeter alumni in shaping strong links between Russia and the UK in the future.  The University of Exeter has 247 alumni based in Russia and almost 100 Russian students studying with the institution at the present time.

In a commitment to deepen Exeter's relations with Russia, Sir Steve signed an exchange agreement at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, enabling further opportunities for students to spend time in both countries. Exeter sends on average 20 of its students to Russia each year to study its language, literature and culture.

Partnership and alumni engagement also took place in Germany. Sir Steve was hosted by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU Munich), where he signed an agreement to expand research collaboration between the two institutions. 

LMU Munich is arguably Germany's leading research university (THE #30) and recent years have witnessed a significant increase in the number of jointly authored publications between Exeter and LMU faculty. This joint international research has a field weighted citation impact seven times greater than the world average according to SciVal data – a significant indicator of quality. 

Exeter has over 1,000 alumni resident across Germany, and on Wednesday (8 March) 75 of its community gathered in Munich's stunning new Museum Brandhorst to hear about the latest University developments and new Campaign – Making the Exceptional Happen.

Sir Steve told those in attendance that while the UK was leaving the European Union, it was not leaving Europe, and that the University of Exeter would continue to build on its enduring relations with the country.

At a visit to Leiden University (THE #77) in The Netherlands, Sir Steve signed an agreement to formalise the exchange of students in the area of Life and Environmental Sciences.  Students from Leiden will study exclusively at Exeter's Cornwall campus in areas concerned with human-exacerbated climate change, such as deforestation, the loss of biodiversity and water scarcity.

Date: 8 March 2017

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