UCSC delegation visits UK institutions to deepen relationships and explore agreements

May 12, 2023


A three-person faculty and staff delegation from UC Santa Cruz, consisting of Professor of Politics and Chair of CIE Kent Eaton, Professor of Politics Matt Sparke, and Senior International Officer Becky George, traveled to the UK to deepen relationships and explore partnership agreements with international institutions.

The delegation visited Queens University Belfast, University of Bristol, and University of Leeds, which were identified as having program, major, and research focus synergies with UCSC.

One of the primary focuses of the trip was the exploration of potential bilateral agreement opportunities, which enables UCSC to tailor exchange program options based on the unique academic needs of its students. Through bilateral exchanges, students are offered experiential learning programs at universities and locations that are not always available through exchange providers.

Kent Eaton believes that developing bilateral agreements with international institutions by focusing on program and research synergies is advantageous for UCSC.

“Each of the three universities we visited indicated that environmental governance and climate change are academic priorities,” Eaton said. “UC Santa Cruz is well known in these fields so it is understandable that synergies would be found in these areas between our campuses that have potential for positive collaborative impact.”

Another focus for the delegation was the establishment of faculty research connections and the identification of potential collaborations. Eaton observed the importance and variables of identifying favorable faculty collaborations between institutions.

“On the one hand, it makes sense to bring faculty together who are precisely thinking about or trying to deepen a common lens by partnering with institutions that have similar strengths. On the other hand, identifying universities with complementary program strengths and assembling research teams based on different strengths can also benefit research,” Eaton said. “It is vital that we consider these positions when exploring new frontiers in partnerships.”

The visit coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland. The delegation attended celebratory events in Belfast with themes of post-conflict negotiation, borders, and migration inspiring thought of potential partnership focus for the future.

Broadening and deepening institutional partnerships with universities abroad is key to our Strategic Plan for Internationalization.