Bryn Mawr President and Fellow Senior Scholars Recommend the Creation of a U.S./U.K. “Atlantic Trust”

Posted August 12th, 2009 at 2:04 pm.


Click the image to download the full report as a PDF

A group of senior scholars, including Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe, recently released a report advocating a number of ambitious initiatives to strengthen collaboration between the colleges and universities of the United States and United Kingdom and to foster the growth of an open, competitive, and accessible higher-education sector in other nations.

Commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the spring of 2008, the U.K./U.S. Study Group on Higher Education in a Globalized World was charged with studying the current state of U.S./U.K. academic collaboration; how to strengthen those relationships; and how to leverage the unique ties that exist between the two countries to build new institutional connections around the globe.

“The United States and United Kingdom are home to many of the world’s leading colleges and universities, and these institutions have built a rich array of academic ties that strengthen our research enterprises and that enrich the educational experiences of our students. The study group’s proposals seek to extend the reach and impact of our trans-Atlantic partnerships and to help advance strong relationships with institutions in other regions of the world,” says McAuliffe.

“Spending time examining these issues with my farsighted colleagues has been especially valuable as we here at Bryn Mawr consider opportunities to foster the College’s global connections and outreach,” adds McAuliffe.

Titled “Higher Education and Collaboration in Global Context: Building a Global Civil Society,” the report envisions a new collaborative model that “will foster – if framed by ambitious initiatives – the development of a ‘global civil society’ which will bind universities and countries together through common values and principles, and counter the centripetal forces of the globalised era.”

To realize their vision, the Study Group recommends the creation of one such initiative, an “Atlantic Trust” that will invest in global civil society through multilateral international collaborations built on the foundation of the U.K./U.S. partnership.

The Atlantic Trust would feature:

  • A prestigious Atlantic Scholarship Program both to target students from third countries for study at a U.K. and a U.S. university and to promote the flow of U.K. and U.S. students across the Atlantic.
  • An Atlantic Researchers initiative that would bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers from the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere to achieve results of a sort generally unattainable by institutions, disciplines, and even nations working alone.
  • Atlantic Partners, a network of NGOs and community-service organizations that would provide students the opportunity to gain international experience in a shorter time frame than traditional study-abroad programs.

In addition to McAuliffe, the U.S. members of the Study Group are John Sexton, president, New York University; Bob Berdhal, president, Association of American Universities; Molly Corbett Broad, president, American Council on Education; and Shirley Tilghman, president, Princeton University.

The members of the group from the United Kingdom are Rick Trainor, principal, King’s College, University of London, and president, Universities, U.K.; Dame Janet Finch, vice chancellor, Keele University; Chris Snowden, vice chancellor, University of Surrey; Eric Thomas, vice chancellor, University of Bristol; and Nigel Thrift, vice chancellor, Warwick University.

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