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ARUA DVCs Engage with The Guild Counterparts to Review Post-Brussels Summit

20th September 2023

ARUA Deputy Vice-Chancellors (DVCs) have held a meeting with their counterparts from The Guild of European Research-intensive Universities (The Guild) to review the progress of work since the epoch decision of their Vice Chancellors and Rectors/Presidents to set up 17 Clusters of Research Excellence (CoRE) in Brussels last June.

This first post-Brussels meeting took place as part of the bi-annual meeting of ARUA DVCs which took place at the Future Africa campus, University of Pretoria on 14th September 2023. The Guild counterparts joined the meeting virtually.

At the start of the meeting Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of ARUA, noted that the Brussels Summit of university heads was very positive about most of the proposals that had been recommended to them by their DVCs/Vice Rectors/Vice Presidents.  The VCs/Rectors/Presidents had expressed appreciation for the active role played by the DVCs/Vice Rectors/Vice Presidents and their Academic Leads. They had also noted that a lot of work had gone into the preparations. The VCs/Rectors/Presidents were reported to be very optimistic about the future of CoRE.

Prof. Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of The Guild, spoke about the need to develop policies for the way forward, noting the need for flexibility on account of the fact of very different cluster sizes and complexity (e.g. the range of partners and the very different funding landscapes). He stressed that there should be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. He urged the Clusters to develop strong partnerships and work on building mutual trust.

The meeting of DVCs/Vice Rectors/Vice Presidents was redesignated ‘CoRE Steering Committee’ as it took over the role of coordinating the initiative. The members were unanimous about the success of the Brussels Summit and pledged to continue to work together in shaping the collaboration.