By Justin Synnott
The Scottish Irish Migration Initiative (SIMI) took another important step forward on Friday 16th November with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the University of Edinburgh and University College Dublin (UCD) and a joint commitment to develop closer collaboration between the two universities.
Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD said, “UK institutions, such as the University of Edinburgh, are significant partners for UCD and our strategy is to strengthen our relationships with such universities and to maintain and develop those relationships, whatever the external landscape.”
“I am therefore delighted that UCD is deepening its level of partnership with the University of Edinburgh through the Memorandum of Agreement signed today. The agreement formalises a close partnership between the two institutions that is one of our most valued and expresses our ambition to jointly contribute our expertise to solving some of the world’s most challenging problems.”
Professor Jonathan Seckl, Vice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy, University of Edinburgh, said, “As a world-leading university, Edinburgh is highly international in its outlook. 43% of our students and more than 30% of our staff are from abroad. To address the great challenges that our planet and its people face, we are now forging deeper partnerships with select leading European universities.”
As part of the MoA the universities have announced that they will establish a joint 3-year strategic partnership fund, worth up to €100,000 in the first year, to support collaborative research, along with undergraduate and postgraduate education, in a number of key thematic areas including migration research as set out in under SIMI.
Bryan Fanning, Professor of Migration and Social Policy and UCD’s Academic Lead for SIMI updated colleagues on progress made under the initiative. Professor Fanning noted the key areas currently under development across both universities including historical and comparative approaches to migration, young people and ‘sites of interpretation’, rural integration and localisms and finally, migration and ‘citizenships’.
In the coming weeks SIMI members will consider proposals to leverage the strategic partnership fund towards larger funding mechanisms and other ways of strengthening activities under SIMI.