5. June 2023 | Magazine:

TU Braunschweig and University of Strathclyde sign Memorandum of Understanding A successful visit to Scotland

Technische Universität Braunschweig and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have deepened their relationship as strategic partners. A delegation consisting of TU President Angela Ittel, Tatjana Schneider (Vice President for Internationalisation and Regional Relations) and Manfred Krafczyk (Vice President for Digitalisation and Sustainability), as well as additional TU Braunschweig staff, visited our Scottish partner university in late May of this year. During this visit, the two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising their future cooperation.

Partners with much in common

“The University of Strathclyde is a strong partner in the English-speaking world, with whom we are happy to work and conduct research on today’s global challenges”, says TU President Angela Ittel. “On the one hand, we can learn from each other and, on the other, combine our strengths, for example by pooling our infrastructure and developing our areas of expertise together.”

TU President Angela Ittel and Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde sign the Memorandum of Understanding. Photo: Eika Auschner/TU Braunschweig

In addition to signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the delegation’s three-day visit to Scotland offered many opportunities for discussions and for initiating further plans. “We will continue to develop joint research programmes as a matter of course, hoewever we will also make good use of our new-found synergies to promote student mobility, support for innovation, and administrative matters”, Vice President Tatjana Schneider anticipates. “In this post-Brexit era, it is all the more important to strengthen our academic ties with Great Britain”, she stresses.

The University of Strathclyde was founded in 1796 as Anderson’s Institution. Today, some 23,000 students from more than 100 countries study at the campus, located in the heart of Glasgow. As the home of Scotland’s first Innovation District, the University of Strathclyde – just like its new German partner university – maintains close ties and cooperation with partners and research institutions in its region.

The TU delegation around TU President Angela Ittel (l.), Tatjana Schneider (r.), Vice President for Internationalisation and Regional Relations, and Manfred Krafczyk (3rd from right), Vice President for Digitalisation and Sustainability, during their visit to Glasgow. Photo: Eika Auschner/TU Braunschweig.

Initial contact between the two universities was established through their mutual membership in the CESAER Network (Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research), of which the University of Strathclyde’s Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald was formerly the President. CESAER is an association of more than 50 European universities of science and technology. Under this umbrella, both TU Braunschweig and the University of Strathclyde are members of various Task Forces. The relationship formed through CESEAR has evolved into research cooperation on various EU projects, for example in the area of hydrogen research, as well as a highly successful jointly established call for seed funding launched by both Universities in 2022, in which every one of the eight applications submitted in various disciplines and subjects was awarded funding. Since the 2021-2022 academic year, the two universities have maintained an Erasmus+ partnership agreement that facilitates the exchange of students and staff in the fields of mechanical engineering, education, and biochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical engineering.

A role model for sustainability

The University of Strathclyde and TU Braunschweig have another common goal: sustainability in all areas of university life. Our Scottish partner has already cemented this with a sustainability strategy and has pledged to become Net Zero: by 2040 at the latest, the University of Strathclyde plans to fully offset its carbon emissions so that it has a positive effect on our climate. In this, the University of Strathclyde is a role model for TU Braunschweig, for which sustainability is also a high priority. At Braunschweig, an interdisciplinary team is currently working on a comprehensive sustainability strategy, making the most of interactions with the University of Strathclyde and learning from its experience in this subject.

An Erasmus+ staff exchange programme has also been launched for the administrative team, through which two TU Braunschweig employees will travel to Scotland this year to acquire new experiences and insights that will assist them in their daily functions. The University of Strathclyde is also hoping to gain new impetus from this strategic partnership:

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “As a leading international technological University, we place a great deal of value on forging close collaborations with global partners. TU Braunschweig’s exellent academic reputuation, research strengths, commitment to innovation and strategic priorities align very closely with our own. This new agreement helps deepen the close ties between both institutions, encouraging collaboration in new areas to address some of the biggest research challenges of our age, as well as enabling joint programmes, student and staff exchanges. I very much look forward to our longstanding relationship growing even stronger to deliver further value for our institutions, students, our partners and society at large.”

A reciprocal visit to Braunschweig is being planned.