Mutual influence? Universities, cities and the future of internationalisation


Friday 21 April 2017


James Ransom - Policy Researcher at Universities UK, and a doctoral student at UCL Institute of Education. He undertook this research in an independent capacity

Foreword by Bianka Stege, Director Education & Society, EU, British Council


This report is aimed at leaders and planners within universities and cities. It analyses university and city internationalisation activity within four medium-sized European cities: Amsterdam, Dublin, Glasgow and Hannover.

Main findings:

  1. Models for collaboration should be developed locally by university and city leaders, rather than imported from ‘best practice’. The make-up of institutions and priorities will differ markedly from one city to another, and although universities and cities may have different missions, objectives, stakeholders, even language, they can unite around the unique focal point of place that they both share. However, there is often a key individual, often from the city, that brings people together
  2. Cities and universities should utilise international students, and domestic students with language skills or international experience, as part of trade delegations, to help form new partnerships and to share their knowledge and experience with the local community.
  3. In cities with little or no existing mechanism for university-city collaboration, the British Council may wish to convene an initial meeting to scope future activity and play an active role in linking universities and cities. Further research may wish to consider internationalisation in smaller cities.