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A new report on the UK/US academic collaboration has been published by the UK/US Study Group, a group of senior scholars based in the United Kingdom and the United States. The report, ‘Higher Education and Collaboration in a Global Context. Building a Global Civil Society’, was commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in spring 2008, and advocates for a new model of UK/US collaboration. It proposes a number of ambitious initiatives for the mutual benefit of universities in both countries that could also foster the growth of an “open, competitive and accessible higher education sector in other nations”. In view of this, the biggest challenge and at the same time opportunity for the future will be to come up with ways to extend the UK/US model to third countries and develop multilateral partnerships, the authors say. In this respect, the main recommendation of the report – developing multilateral partnerships - goes hand in hand with the recommendations of a report released a few months ago in the UK (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2009).
In practice, ‘Higher Education and Collaboration in a Global Context’: provides an account of the origins and purpose of the Study Group that produced it; assesses the history of UK/US higher education partnership, with its strengths and weaknesses, past and present; and gives a forecast of developments in which the partnership could engage in order to build a “global civil society”.