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German U15 & Russell Group partnership

German U15 & Russell Group

German U15 & the Russell Group

News vom 15.08.2023

International collaboration is at the heart of education, science and discovery. The best universities in the world have a global presence, which they use to build partnerships for the benefit of students and society as a whole.

The research-intensive universities that make up the Russell Group and the German U15 have a long history of working together to further their shared goals of creating more opportunity and responding to the big challenges we face such as net zero, resilient healthcare systems and social inequality.

Over recent years the Russell Group and the German U15 have worked together on a number of key issues including how to protect free speech and academic freedom on campuses as well as joining forces to make the case that the UK’s association to the Horizon Europe research programme would be a win-win for the UK and the EU.

In June 2022, the two organisations signed a new agreement pledging to ‘enhance and protect’ cross-border collaboration by setting up a joint committee to look at new ways of working together.

Since that pledge was signed the two groups have met to discuss how a new framework could form the basis of enhanced partnerships between member universities. They are also working to build new, deeper relationships with their respective governments to help facilitate bilateral agreements between academics in the UK and Germany.

Latest News

Fostering research cooperation: German U15 and Russell Group sign joint statement (19 September 2023)

On 11 and 12 September, university representatives from the Russell Group and German U15 met in Hamburg. At the high-profile meeting at the Universität Hamburg, the main focus was on the UK rejoining the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe.


UK association to Horizon Europe: A great success for the European science community (7 September 2023)

German U15 expressly welcomes the decision announced today by the President of the European Commission EU, Ursula von der Leyen, and British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to associate the United Kingdom to the EU framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe.


New plans for closer ties between UK and German universities (30 June 2022)

Top universities in Britain and Germany have promised to ‘enhance and protect’ cross-border collaboration by setting up a joint committee to look at new ways of working together. The agreement was signed by the Russell Group and German U15.


European research community calls for swift UK association to Horizon Europe (4 November 2021)

Europe's research and innovation community representing over 1,000 universities, 56 academies of science and 33 rectors’ associations, as well as thousands of Europe’s most distinguished researchers, today (4 November 2021) called for the European Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen to finalise the United Kingdom’s association to Horizon Europe immediately.


Russell Group and U15 collaborate to protect free speech (14 July 2021)

Leading universities in the UK and Germany have met to enhance cross-border collaboration to protect free speech and academic freedom. The Russell Group and U15 group of research-intensive universities in Germany have committed to sharing best practice and experiences on academic freedom and free speech issues.


UK and German universities discuss future global challenges (1 July 2021)

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet today (2 July) at Chequers to discuss relations between the UK and Germany, universities from the Russell Group and German U15 are also meeting to discuss international partnerships.


Joint statement on Horizon Europe and access to quantum & space programmes (23 April 2021)

Research-intensive university groups representing 77 universities across Europe have joined together to signal their determination to collaborate across borders to drive innovation and new discoveries.


International cooperation is the key to global recovery - joint article by the Russell Group and U15 chairs (22 May 2020)

In a joint article published simultaneously in the Tagesspiegel and Times Higher Education, the chairs of both associations emphasise the importance of international collaboration in general, and UK-German academic cooperation in particular, in addressing major societal challenges and crises.


Joint declaration on science and research (14 January 2019)

Vice chancellors from the Russell Group and German U15 have signed a declaration pledging their commitment to promote cutting-edge research, innovation and student education post-Brexit.


Russell Group sign Leiden Statement on the social sciences and humanities (21 November 2014)

Russell Group highlights importance of the social sciences and humanities The Russell Group has joined with other global universities in support of research and education in the humanities and social sciences.


How have universities from the Russell Group and German U15 worked together?

In 2018 Durham University and the University of Tϋbingen in Germany partnered to set up the Seedcorn Fund.  Initially this consisted of three calls inviting applications for collaborative research projects in any discipline, with institutional funding of €50,000 provided from both partners, with the aim for the projects to go on to secure additional funding externally. The scheme has been paused after three years while the universities evaluate its impact.

In 2017 the University of Oxford and the four universities making up the Berlin University Alliance -   Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – set up a strategic research partnership. The aim of the project was to support high quality joint research initiatives across all disciplines of the member institutions, funded by collaborative applications to the EU framework programmes as well as from other funders and charitable agencies. The partnership has led to the establishment of the Oxford Centre in Berlin to strengthen the direct ties between German and British researchers and students, and to  deepen scientific cooperation between our researchers.

The collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is a success story: it began as a bottom-up initiative based on a wide range of existing and vibrant collaborations between researchers, and has evolved into a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2019. It creates new opportunities for collaboration to address some of the complex issues we face and to provide a better education for students at both universities. The collaboration is cross-disciplinary and spans the whole range from the humanities and social sciences to the
life sciences.

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