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International Consortia

Durham - A World University

International collaboration is key to Durham's excellence in teaching and research. We have affiliations with many institutions and organisations worldwide, and are currently a member of the following international consortia and organisations:

Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)

Council for At-Risk Academics logoCARA is a British charitable organization dedicated to providing refuge and support to academics who, for reasons of persecution and conflict, are unable to continue their research in their countries of origin. Academics are given support to relocate to the United Kingdom and rebuild their careers.

Durham University is a member of the CARA Scholars at Risk UK Universities Network.

▸ Find out more information about the Council for At-Risk Academics.

British Universities Iraq Consortium (BUIC)

British Universities Iraq Consortium logoBUIC represents a group of British Universities working together with the British Council and other agencies to support the infrastructure building of Higher Education in Iraq. We believe that the most effective way of helping our colleagues in Iraq is to adopt a coordinated approach, sharing information, needs and solutions to problems identified. 

▸ Find out more information about the British Universities Iraq Consortium.

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Association of Commonwealth Universities LogoThe ACU, represents over 520 universities from commonwealth countries and is the oldest and one of the largest inter-university networks in the world. The ACU fosters collaboration between developed and developing country universities combining the expertise and reputation of nearly a century’s experience with new and innovative programmes designed to meet the needs of universities in the 21st century.  

▸ Find out more information about the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

European University Association (EUA)

European University Association logoThe European University Association (EUA), a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies. Members of the Association are European universities involved in teaching and research, national associations of rectors and other organisations active in research and higher education. 

▸ Find out more information about the European University Association.

International Networks

Universities around the world come together to address topics of common interest, reflecting a widely held belief in the pan-national importance of the advancement of knowledge.  Durham is proud to be a member of various such networks.

Coimbra Group

Durham University has been a member of the Coimbra Group (CG) since 2016. This European network is an association of 41 multidisciplinary universities of high international standing and is committed to creating academic and cultural links to promote internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. Established in 1985 and with a secretariat based in Brussels, the Group operates at two levels; first for advocacy on European research and education policy, and second on practical aspects of research, education and outreach through Working Groups.


Several of the Group’s existing members have research and/or student exchange links with Durham including one of Durham’s strategic partners Uppsala University, as well as the universities of Aarhus, Bologna, Heidelberg, Jena, Siena, Würzburg, the eponymous Coimbra and existing UK members Edinburgh and Bristol.


In 2019, Vice Chancellor Professor Stuart Corbridge accepted his nomination to join the Coimbra Group’s Rector’s Advisory Group, saying:

"Durham’s participation in high-quality international networks is vitally important to our future in an increasingly globalised world and is conducive to our status as a World Top 100 University. Belonging to a network of prestigious European Universities aligns strongly with Durham’s global strategy: the importance of our membership is now greater than ever, given the UK’s changing relationship with the EU."

Professor Danny Donoghue is a member of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group with oversight of the Employability Working Group.

Matariki Network of Universities (MNU)

Students in front of a sunset

The Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) is a select international alliance of seven leading research-led universities who share a commitment to excellence in research, scholarship and rounded education. The network was formed in 2010 between Dartmouth College, USA; Queen's University, Canada; UWA, Australia; University of Otago, New Zealand; University of Tubingen, Germany; Uppsala University, Sweden; and Durham.

Celebrating 10 years of Matariki collaboration

The network secretariat has recently published a new report to celebrate MNU's 10th anniversary. The retrospective contains highlights of cross-network collaboration in research, education and the wider student experience. It is available to view and download here.

Durham Matariki PhD Mobility Grants

As part of a commitment to increasing research collaboration across the Matariki Network of Universities, the International Office awarded travel grants to four Durham PhD researchers. These grants are to support outbound research visits to universities in the Network for periods of two weeks or longer.

Successful applicants (in alphabetical order):

  • Eloise Bretagne (Earth Sciences) for a research visit to Tübingen.
  • Sarah Clowry (SGIA) for a research visit to Uppsala.
  • Annabelle Foster (Earth Sciences) for a research visit to Uppsala.
  • Abby King (Anthropology) for a research visit to Uppsala.

This page will be updated with information about forthcoming calls as soon as they are available.

Teach @ Tübingen Programme

The University of Tübingen’s Institutional Strategy provides financial support for expanding teaching offers in English and for the promotion of teaching competences of young post-docs or PhD students at an advanced stage of their studies. This call for applications is especially focused on strategic partner universities in the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU). Tübingen welcomes applications from MNU advanced PhD students or young post-docs who would like to expand their teaching experience and individual research horizons with a working stay in Germany under the Teach-at-Tübingen (T@T) Programme.

Candidates are asked to teach classes (in English) for at least two hours per week, in addition to conducting research with a supervisor at Tübingen. The length of stay is 1-2 semesters.

The placements are funded with a rate of €1853 per month for post-docs and €1468 per month for PhD students, as well as up to €1000 for travel expenses.

Please see the Tübingen website for full details of the application procedure.

Teach@Tübingen Fellowship Coordinator: Angelina Linnemann - - Phone: +49 7071/76456

▸ Find out more information about the Matariki Network.

University of the Arctic

Arctic small banner

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations committed to higher education and research in the North. Network members share resources, facilities, and expertise to build post-secondary education programmes that are relevant and accessible to northern students. The overall goal is to create a strong, sustainable circumpolar region by empowering northerners and northern communities through education and shared knowledge. Durham became an Associate Member of UArctic in June 2013 in view of the long-standing interests in Arctic research across several departments, including past and present ice sheet change, oceanography, Arctic geology, Arctic Law and Governance, and Arctic ecosystems.


Current non-University UArctic Partners include: Arctic CouncilNorthern ForumUNEPPrince Albert II of Monaco FoundationArctic FrontiersINTER-ACTAPECSIASSAInternational Antarctic InstituteNature Gate.

Current UArctic Members include: Aarhus University, Dartmouth College, University of Bergen, University of Oslo, University of Alaska, University of Stavanger, University of Washington and more.

Opportunities for engagement

UArctic offers opportunities for Durham colleagues to collaborate with over 170 Arctic-based institutions. UArctic run programmes that we can participate in including academic courses called Circumpolar Studies and a student and staff mobility programme called North2North. They also have a framework through which colleagues can develop research collaborations. These collaborations are called Thematic Networks.

For more information please see below, the UArctic website or email

Further information about UArctic

Thematic Networks

UArctic's Thematic Networks foster issues-based cooperation within networks, which are focused but flexible enough to respond quickly to topical Arctic issues. They form a natural framework for development of UArctic education and research providing a structure for increasing the knowledge generation and sharing across the North. Examples of the networks can be found on the website.

UArctic Institutes

UArctic institutes, or centres, are units (physical or virtual) at member institutions devoted to circumpolar cooperation, normally within a specific area. They are founded according to UArctic values and goals and are typically devoted to some of the objectives of a thematic network or specific functions of UArctic programs. For example, the UArctic Institute for Arctic Policy (IAP) is a cooperative effort between Dartmouth College and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Read more about the IAP mission. Other UArctic members, and in particular relevant thematic networks, are invited to cooperate with the Institute with expertise and advice.

Academic resources

The UArctic Study Catalogue has a database of catalogues, useful links and online journals specific to the Arctic region and related issues. The website also contains a full of list related research centres, organizations and associations in addition to funding sources and Arctic programs.


DurhamARCTIC is a doctoral training and research centre funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust to support Interdisciplinary Understanding for a Changing Arctic. Between 2018 and 2023 DurhamARCTIC will be supporting 15 doctoral students at Durham University, each of whom is pursuing a research project that contributes to and benefits from a blend of disciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary enquiry.

For further information please visit DurhamARCTIC.

▸ Find out more information about the University of the Arctic.

▸ Find out more information about the Matariki Network of Universities.

Virtual Exchange

The practice of ‘Virtual Exchange’ (VE) or 'COIL' (Collaborative Online International Learning) has been developing over the past 30 years and was described by the University of Western Australia as follows:

A model of collaborative teaching and learning using technology to create accessible, meaningful, shared, global learning opportunities for students (and teachers) without the need to travel.

Given the interactivity of VE, it is different to other forms of virtual mobility such as MOOCs, distance learning courses, informal social media interactions, or other unmoderated, unstained, unstructured, communications.

Benefits of Virtual Exchange

Participating in a VE programme offers students the possibility to build transferable skills and develop diverse and personal relationships. VE can prepare them for future work and civic engagement in a global context and it can foster a greater interest in physical mobility programmes. From an institutional perspective, VE provides the opportunity to internationalise programmes and to build or consolidate partnerships with international institutions. In addition, VE is inclusive as it can enable any students to engage with an international experience, including those who might not have the means to participate in a physical mobility programme. For educators, VE provides an opportunity to enrich their programmes by implementing new pedagogical approaches. As well as contributing to personal, professional development, VE can provide a route to fostering broader, departmental relations with the international partner, sometimes paving the way to joint research and other forms of collaboration.

Resources - see further links at the bottom of this page, including a DU Powerpoint presentation delivered to Global Strategy Group 18.02.21

Support with partnering for Virtual Exchange

If you would be interested to find out more about Virtual Exchange, please contact Emma Moore, International Partnerships Officer: who can share resources and information about training and potential, future funding for the development of VE programs.

Discussions around VE / COIL collaboration are taking place within international networks to which Durham belongs, including the Matariki Network (MNU) and Coimbra Group, as well as with Durham's strategic partner universities; Uppsala and Tübingen.