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New partnership strengthens our European ties

10 April 2017
New agreement to deliver up to $200,000 a year

The University of Sydney has secured a partnership agreement with Utrecht University that will deliver up to $200,000 a year for joint research projects.

The agreement was co-signed today by Utrecht University Executive Board President Marjan Oudeman, and University of Sydney Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Duncan Ivison.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Professor Kathy Belov described the agreement as a “significant moment”.

“This is our first agreement with a university on the European continent since the framing of our international partnership strategy,” Professor Belov said.

“We will be building on a relationship with Utrecht that is already productive, but offers potential for exciting new collaborations in areas including education, geosciences, medicine and infectious diseases.”

Under the terms of the agreement, both universities have agreed to contribute $100,000 per year for three years to support a joint funding program that will grow research links across a variety of academic fields.

Sydney and Utrecht also signed a "super exchange" agreement aimed at boosting the number of exchange students between the two universities. The five-year agreement could eventually see up to 100 students from Sydney studying in Utrecht each year, with a similar number of Dutch students travelling to Sydney.

Established in 1636, Utrecht is consistently ranked as one of Europe’s top universities.

Sydney’s leading collaborators with Utrecht include Professor Frans Verstraten, McCaughey Chair in Psychology and a former graduate student and professor at Utrecht University. Professor Verstraten is working with colleagues in the Netherlands on motion perception research, studying how the human brain copes with a moving environment.

Other ongoing collaborations include:

  • Associate Professor Simon de Graaf, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, and Associate Professor Bart Gadella from Utrecht’s Department of Farm Animal Health. Professor Gadella will also be joining Professor Graaf’s lab in Sydney for three months from August.
  • Westmead Clinical School’s Professor Wieland Meyer is working with Dr Vincent Robert and Professor Sybren de Hoog, both from Utrecht’s CBS fungal biodiversity centre, on fungal biodiversity, molecular epidemiology and fungal genetics.

“Utrecht is one of a number of leading European universities that align well with our primary research areas,” Professor Belov said.

“They share our vision of forming a small number of strategic partnerships and using them to encourage high quality research.”

Mrs Oudeman is visiting our Sydney campus with a group of senior executives from Utrecht including Professor Werner Raub, Dean of Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Professor Wouter Dhert, Dean of Veterinary Sciences.

Their visit will include a joint workshop to discuss collaborative opportunities, and tours of the Charles Perkins Centre, the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and the Brain and Mind Centre.

Stronger ties (from left): Professor Katherine Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), University of Sydney; Professor Tyrone Carlin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar), University of Sydney; Professor Susan te Pas, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of Cognitive Psychology of Higher Education, Utrecht University; Jeroen Frietman, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Utrecht University; Dr Roel Vermeulen, Associate Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University; Professor Werner Raub, Dean of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University; Professor Wouter Dhert, Dean of Veterinary Sciences, Utrecht University; Professor Philippa Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Sydney; Professor Chantal Kemner, Program Director of the Consortium Individual Development, Utrecht University; Marjan Oudeman, President of the Utrecht University Executive Board; Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Sydney; Professor Laurent Rivory, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Collaborations & Partnerships), University of Sydney

Amanda Sayan

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+61 2 9351 8562
International Development Manager South Asia & Networks

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Researchers at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology are collaborating with scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands to work on intriguing areas of motion perception research.