New Melbourne, Manchester and Toronto alliance for post-COVID university landscape

Student exchanges, joint research projects and mutual bids to work with some of the world’s biggest businesses and funders will be part of a new post-COVID alliance between the Universities of Melbourne, Manchester and Toronto.

Announced 16 November, the Alliance sees the Universities – which have a combined 187,000 students, 45,000 staff and are all in the QS World University Rankings top 50 – commit to collaborate more closely than ever, drawing on joint expertise and resources, and capitalising on new ways of studying, working and collaborating that have emerged during the pandemic.

For students, this means global classroom programs that provide interaction with world-leading teachers and researchers on three continents via lectures, seminars, and practical classes.

There will be exchanges providing global experiences to boost career prospects and dual PhD programs with opportunities to visit the third institutions.

Researchers will also gain access to specialist facilities and the opportunities to work on joint research programs on areas of interest such as environmental sustainability, cancer treatment and advanced materials. Several of these are already in place (see case study).

This will be supported by access to global experience in funding, links to industry and researchers at the other member institutions. There will also be support for mutual sabbaticals, exchanges, visits, and residencies between the Alliance members.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, said: “The new alliance between Melbourne, Manchester, and Toronto universities will create opportunities to address global challenges across all fields of education and research. The alliance will enable existing funding projects, joint research programmes and PhD programmes to grow in scale across all three institutions and their regions.”

University of Manchester President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Manchester is a global university and the pandemic has shown more than ever how collaborative working can solve our greatest challenges. This new alliance between three of the world’s leading universities will embed that spirit of collaboration and provide world-class opportunities for our researchers and our students.”

University of Toronto President, Professor Meric Gertler, said: “The University of Toronto is excited to build on its strong, long-standing relationships with our peer institutions in Melbourne and Manchester. This new collaboration will amplify our individual strengths and enhance our collective contributions in teaching, research and innovation across a wide range of disciplines.”


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