The European University Association has warned that the tendency of research-intensive institutions to restrict collaboration within an elite group of institutions is hampering the development of a global presence.
In a statement published following a forum on global research organised by the EUA’s Council for Doctoral Education, the EUA highlights an increasing trend for research-intensive institutions to build networks of alliances that detach themselves from national systems.
Whilst this helps exchange knowledge and enhances competition between excellent institutions, the concentration of research capacity in a relatively small number of universities will also bring negative effects, says the EUA.
“This could diminish the concept of the global research community to a small number of universities in a limited number of regions, instead of a thriving, expansive and innovative community,” the statement points out.
Not only would this hamper the development of regions that are excluded from such research clusters, but it would also be harmful to the development of a global talent pool, warns the EUA.
The statement recommends that universities should engage in collaborations with as wide a range of partners as possible, stating that “research will only be truly global if inclusion and access are considered priorities”.