The beginning of the week has been marked by meetings with representatives from the Matariki Network. The network consists of seven universities in Dartmouth, Durham, Queen’s, Otago, Tubingen, Western Australia and Uppsala. The motto is “Partnering for a better world” , and the work involves exchanges of students, researchers, staff and faculty , benchmarking, social responsibility activities in culture and sport , joint training , and more.

One purpose of Matariki is to act as a “critical friend” . For example, we have been using experts from the network for the evaluations of the KrUUt Project (Creative Education Development at the University of Uppsala). In the network we are also developing so-called “best practicies” and share experiences on various issues. In Australia and New Zealand they have substantial experience in student recruitment in Asia, where we have much to learn. We on the other hand have knowledge of how to work in Africa through our SANORD-cooperation, which we can share .

Another important area of collaboration is the promotion of research and innovation. Each member is responsible for a research theme, with a focus on interaction and collaboration. Uppsala University’s research theme is Peace and Conflict Research, and as part of the theme a workshop was organized here in Uppsala last year. The other research themes are Cybersecurity (Dartmouth), Disaster Resilience (Durham), Energy , Resource and Environment (Queen’s), Brain and Mind (Otago), Quantum Sciences (Tubingen) , Medieval and Early Modern Thought and Effect , Digital Support for the social Sciences and Humanities (University of Western Australia) .

The meeting in Uppsala was led by Chairman Chris Higgins from Durham University, and we have, among other things, discussed the possibilities of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus +. Horizon 2020 is the EU’s new framework program for research and innovation, which will run from 2014-2020 with a total budget of around € 80 billion. Erasmus + is the new EU program for education, youth and sport, which also starts this year.

At the meeting, Uppsala University announced the new program Matariki Fellows. The aim of the program is to create opportunities for senior researchers to receive funds for research stays at another Matariki University. The ultimate goal is to expand the number of research contacts and international collaborations. Learn more and apply at the link which opens this week.

We also had fruitful discussions about increased cooperation on alumni activities. It has been an interesting meeting which I hope will lead to several concrete projects. Active network is a critical component of our work for greater internationalization, and we have much to learn from each other.

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