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Berlin University of the Arts and University of Oxford sign Memorandum of Understanding

30th January 2024

Press Release

Berlin, 30th January 2024

The Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) and The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) at the University of Oxford have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to take effect from January 2024. Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz, President of the Berlin University of the Arts, and Prof. Daniel Grimley, Head of the Humanities Department at the University of Oxford, signed the Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to deepen and expand the existing bilateral cooperation.

The Berlin University of the Arts and the University of Oxford have been working together particularly through TORCH since 2020. The research alliance, entitled "The Oxford – UdK Berlin Partnership in Arts and Humanities", has established various formats for developing academic exchange. Since 2022, nearly 20 seed-funded projects by researchers and artists from both universities have been successfully implemented with annual funding of 40,000 euros.

The Memorandum of Understanding reaffirms the commitment of both universities to promote interdisciplinary and cross-curricular exchange in research and teaching in the arts, humanities, cultural and social sciences and related disciplines. Based on excellence in scientific and artistic disciplines, the partnership aims to stimulate innovative research projects, experimental teaching formats and European knowledge exchange. It will support young researchers, artists and students in building international academic relationships. The Memorandum of Understanding lays the groundwork for in-depth cooperation and consolidates it for the next three years. The partnership will also extend to the cultural programme of the University of Oxford's Humanities Division and the Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, which will open in Oxford in 2025. The Memorandum of Understanding covers cooperation in the following areas:

  1. Research: The Berlin University of the Arts and the University of Oxford will pool their resources to undertake joint research and artistic development projects with other partners that address current global challenges.
  2. Mobility: Students, academics and artists from both universities will benefit from exchange formats with the partner university.
  3. Teaching cooperation: Joint events, such as seminars, workshops and lecture series will be supported to enhance the quality of teaching through wider access to expertise.
  4. Cultural exchange: Public exhibitions, performances, artistic and creative projects in theory and practice in the visual and performing arts, design, music and culture are planned.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz, President of the Berlin University of the Arts, commented on the expansion of the partnership: "The Memorandum of Understanding has taken the collaboration between the UdK Berlin and the University of Oxford to a new level. In addition to joint research and artistic projects at the interface of the arts, humanities and sciences, the positive effects of the cooperation will also flow into teaching and cultural exchange in the future".

From the University of Oxford, Professor Karen Leeder, Schwarz-Taylor Chair of the German Language and Literature has commented: "I am so delighted that this already fruitful and exciting partnership has taken a further step in cementing its joint work. Bringing together researchers, creatives, ECRs and students in this way from our two institutions promises cutting-edge work across the disciplines. Oxford, TORCH and the UdK Berlin each have their own visions but share so many common goals. This collaboration has everything it takes to find creative solutions to the urgent challenges we face today". 

Professor Christine Gerrard, Barbara Scott Fellow in English and Director of TORCH has commented: "This is an exciting milestone. The signing of the MoU testifies to the shared ambitions of innovation, creativity and social purpose that unite UdK Berlin, Oxford and TORCH".

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding marks the beginning of a long-term and wide-ranging partnership between the Berlin University of the Arts and the University of Oxford. The collaboration will open new avenues for academic and artistic excellence and make a significant contribution to international education and research.

Further information on the partnership here.


Press Contact

Trang Vu
Press / Communications
Politics and digital communications strategy
Berlin University of the Arts

E-Mail trang.vu_
Tel. +49 30 3185-2114

The Berlin University of the Arts is one of the few artistic universities in Europe that unites all artistic disciplines and the humanities related to them. More than 70 artistic, artistic-scientific and artistic-pedagogical degree programmes are offered at the departments of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Performing Arts as well as the inter-university centres Dance (HZT) and Jazz (JIB Berlin) and the Central Institute for Continuing Education. Of around 4,000 students, more than one third have an international background. The history of the university dates back to the founding of the Brandenburg-Prussian Academy of the Arts in 1696. The UdK Berlin acquired its present form in 1975 through the merger of the University of Fine Arts and the University of Music and Performing Arts to form the University of the Arts (HdK). Since 2001, the Berlin University of the Arts has borne its current name. With more than 700 events a year, it makes a significant contribution to the cultural life of the city. Since 1 April 2020, the President of the UdK Berlin has been Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz.