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The importance of networks

KTH is a member of a number of international university networks. But what benefits do they actually bring? In mid-March we saw a clear example when the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST, sent out invitations to a webinar on suddenly being forced to engage in distance teaching.

They shared their experiences after the demonstrations in Hong Kong last autumn and the spring pandemic. When you are in the greatest need, help is not so far away.The webinar proved to be perfect timing and our thoughts about how to organise exams online were confirmed, and at the same time, plenty of good advice was also provided along the way.

Some of the university networks of which KTH is a member, are large and more akin to lobby organisations, such as CESEAR within the EU. Others, such as the Nordic 5 Tech with the Technical University of Denmark DTU, Chalmers, Aalto and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, are smaller and focused on strengthening Nordic cooperation.

Our European Cluster network consists of twelve leading universities of technology from ten countries. Cluster celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and, but for the pandemic, we would have celebrated this in Darmstadt in early April. Cluster is also the foundation of the European university network UNITE that was launched in 2019. The aim of UNITE can simply be described as linking even more closely together its seven universities, such as by being able to mutually utilise the range of courses each university offers and create study programmes at all levels that include sections from and cooperation between the universities.

Yet another grouping is our six Key University Partners. This category includes Shanghai Jiao Tong, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, IIT Madras, the University of Tokyo, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and as mentioned above, HKUST. These all bode well for future strategic cooperation .