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UEA strengthens its international links

The White House

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has strengthened its ties with North America by officially opening an office in Washington DC this week. The University, renowned for its American Studies courses, already enjoys firm bonds across the Atlantic. In the 2016/17 academic year, 85 students are studying in the US and Canada as part of their degrees, and 153 North American students have chosen to visit the campus for all or part of their studies.

“This is a very exciting development for the University and forms part of our strategy to encourage international students to think of Norwich when deciding where to study,” said UEA’s Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson.

While in the US, Prof Richardson addressed international higher education leaders at the 2017 Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference, whose aims include promoting international education programmes and finding solutions to common issues in the sector.

“Academic communities are built on decades of international collaboration, openness and mobility for students and staff,” he said. “The building of barriers – political, philosophical or physical – runs counter to everything universities stand for in terms of furthering knowledge and creating opportunities through education.”

Prof Richardson underlined the importance of universities connecting with the wider communities that they serve. “Universities have always been places of learning, places to raise aspirations and places to make discoveries,” he said. “Our mission is to make a positive difference to the world we live in, thinking clearly and deeply about the impact that we make.”

UEA is also forging closer links with Europe through the Aurora network, a group of nine leading European universities who joined together to advance research into globally-relevant issues, such as food, energy and water security.

By building and strengthening its international partnerships, UEA is helping to ensure that, through both study and research, it is taking a leading role in preparing universities to face the challenges ahead.  “We must not become islands, cut off from the world in which we live,” added Prof Richardson. “We need to continue building bridges.”

As well as speaking to international leaders in higher education, the UEA Vice-Chancellor is meeting UEA alumni who work and live in the Washington DC area.