Some 40 CEOs and other senior administrators of 13 top research-intensive universities from around the world met at McGill November 8-12 to evaluate and plan the activities they collaborate on as members of Universitas 21 (U21).
U21 is a network of competitive research and teaching universities that see increasing value in operating collaboratively. Established in 1997, U21 currently has 16 member universities in eight countries, including McGill and the University of British Columbia in Canada. Leading institutions from the USA, Scotland, England, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore make up the other 14.
One of the main topics of discussion at the McGill meetings was U21 Global, an award-winning online graduate business school, which is jointly owned by the U21 members and Thomson Learning. U21 Global was set up because the worldwide demand for higher educational qualifications has grown beyond the ability of the traditional universities to deliver. Since its launch in 2003, the school has signed up over 400 students from more than 25 countries.
U21 also offers possibilities for student exchanges and plans are in the works for faculty and staff exchanges. There are also new research collaborations among members. The meetings at McGill were coordinated by Ian Butler, McGill's U21 manager.