Van der Chijs and Nelles, rector in Münster, want to create an extended border network of universities. Therefor they would like to start a cooperation with Groningen and Oldenburg. In a later stage Wageningen, Nijmegen, Dortmund, Maastricht an Aachen could also be part of the new network.
Two sources of funding
The UT and Münster have been collaborating since 1979, for example in joint research projects. Sometimes it is complicated to get funding for joint research proposals, as the national research organisations are not oriented towards cross-border consortia. ‘If we start the square Twente – Groningen – Oldenburg - Münster we have two ‘Euregios’ with two different sources of probable funding’, says Nelles.
Next to that Van der Chijs and Nelles see chances to strengthen their ties, for example in the field of technical medicine. Van der Chijs: ‘Münster is the nearest university hospital to Twente. So far this opportunity has not been used, but it’s something that is very well imaginable in the future.’
‘That’s exactly the field where I try to push my medical professors’, Nelles reacts. ‘Do more together with Twente, because our universities are highly complementary, with a strong focus on technology. Twente offers what we don’t have and vice versa.’
Special crossing borders
The two university presidents unfold their plans in Crossing Borders, a special about the collaboration between both universities. Crossing Borders is a special edition made by UT Nieuws and our colleagues from wissen|leben, the university newspaper in Münster.
The special – with for example articles about joint degrees for students, teaching staff exchange and joint research on safety and health – is published today, inside UT Nieuws Magazine.