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Hope after Brexit

The UK may be leaving the European Union, but that doesn’t mean its universities have to abandon their commitment to Europe and to strong European relationships.

King’s College London has become the latest institution to flirt with the idea of opening a European campus, in this case in Dresden, following the UK’s decision to quit the EU. Earlier this year, the University of Oxford hit the headlines with the claim that, for the first time in its history, it was considering a “foreign” campus, and that campus was to be in France. The university quickly denied the story, but the interest it stirred persisted.

As identified by Manuel Castell in his pioneering work on networked society, trying to describe linear bilateral relationships is perilous in a multilateral and intersecting world. This is particularly true of one of society’s oldest and most persistent organisational forms—the university. Somehow the act of considering a European campus symbolises a new post-Brexit stage in university relationships.

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