On May 14, Allan Rock, president of the University of Ottawa, and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, president of Aberystwyth University in Wales, met at the University of Ottawa to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions. The two men are no strangers: They both worked for the UN in New York in the early 2000s. The agreement will allow the two universities to expand their international ties and cooperate in many areas of common interest.
The brand-new MOU will allow, among other things, the reciprocal exchange of professors and students between the two universities, student mobility for those who want to participate in an exchange program, cooperation in research, knowledge transfer, and the development of joint programs.
This is the first time the University of Ottawa has entered into an agreement with a Welsh institution such as Aberystwyth University. Choosing a university with which to partner is no small task, and there are several factors to consider. Fortunately, these two universities are an ideal match because they have several common features. Among others, both universities are bilingual (English and Welsh for Aberystwyth University), so they have similar priorities. It is also interesting to note that two few former Aberystwyth professors, professor Michael Williams and professor Rita Abrahamsen, are now professors here at uOttawa at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
On June 10 and 11, the International Office will host Rachel Tod, director of Aberystwyth University’s international office, to discuss areas of common interest. At the top of the list is student mobility, and it may be possible to begin offering student exchanges between the two universities as early as September 2013.