German event highlights strong European partnerships

Edinburgh’s important research and study links with Europe – and opportunities to strengthen them – were the focus of a high-level meeting in Berlin.

At the Connected Scotland event, which was attended by the Scottish and German governments, the University’s expertise in areas such as Data-Driven Innovation were showcased.

University leaders presented a range of case studies to highlight German-Scottish collaboration. Edinburgh’s ongoing commitment to promote study abroad opportunities for staff and students was also discussed.

Representatives of other Scottish universities were also in attendance, along with members of Connected Scotland, the umbrella organisation that supports Scotland’s higher education institutions. 


In this short video, conference delegates discuss the importance of strong European links.


The Connected Scotland event in Berlin demonstrated the willingness and determination by people across higher education, government and industry in Scotland and Germany to develop stronger partnerships, no matter what Brexit may bring. The exchange of ideas and people produce benefits for all of us and Edinburgh is determined that this approach continues.

Prof Charlie JefferySenior Vice-Principal, the University of Edinburgh

Key region

The EU is a region of significant strategic relevance to the University, with a quarter of academic staff and more than 5,000 students coming from the continent. In addition, 20,000 Edinburgh alumni live and work in mainland Europe.

Edinburgh’s research grant funding from the EU rose by 22 per cent in 2018/19, compared with the previous year, despite concerns over Brexit.

The University is the largest UK recipient of Erasmus KA1 funding, which supports student and staff exchanges and visits across the EU and the rest of the world.

The University is working to ensure that its close collaboration with Europe’s top universities will continue to provide opportunities for students and staff in the years ahead. 

To that end, it has recently developed new strategic partnerships with leading institutions, including the University of Amsterdam and University College Dublin. Edinburgh has also joined the UNA Europa alliance, a group of seven leading universities focused on innovative teaching, research and study opportunities.

Research and innovation at Scottish universities is already cutting edge and international collaboration is key to this success. That is why we want to encourage stronger ties with Germany, who are our biggest research and innovation partner in Europe under the Horizon 2020 programme.

Richard Lochhead MSPMinister for Further and Higher Education and Science

Related links

The University and Europe 

Study Abroad in Edinburgh 

Research at Edinburgh