The University of Cape Town (UCT) is set to be the first African university to become part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), an alliance of some of the world’s best universities.
From January 2016, UCT – consistently ranked as the leading university in Africa (by the Times Higher Education, Quaquarelli Symonds and Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings) – will become the 11th member in the strategic partnership and the first new member since the formation of the alliance 10 years ago.
The addition of UCT to the IARU opens up a new exciting mix of opportunities to IARU students, staff and faculty. Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price says joining IARU would provide an ideal platform for the university to share – and gain – knowledge and resources on a global scale.
“Universities are operating in an increasingly complex, global and challenging environment,” says Dr Price. “It is vital that we learn from one another and that we ensure that African-specific perspectives are part of the conversation. The University of Cape Town very much looks forward to sharing its knowledge and resources in this global forum.”
Besides being a valuable collaboration network, IARU represents an important platform for exchange and reflection on issues that higher education institutions face in an increasingly global environment. “The University of Cape Town will bring a new African perspective to the table,” says IARU chairman Ralf Hemmingsen, rector of the University of Copenhagen.
Hemmingsen adds that the inclusion of UCT into the alliance would “greatly enrich IARU’s dialogue among the members from different corners of the world.”
IARU was established in 2006 by 10 research-intensive universities (Australian National University; ETH Zurich; National University of Singapore; Peking University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Cambridge; University of Copenhagen; University of Oxford; the University of Tokyo and Yale University) as a strategic alliance to expand and deepen their collaboration.
IARU universities share similar values, a global vision and a commitment to educating future world leaders. Central to these values is the importance of academic diversity and international collaboration.