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City University London leads Erasmus Mundus project to build engineering links between Europe and Asia

City University London is to lead a Euro 1.98 million Erasmus Mundus project, enabling the exchange of staff and students across higher education institutions in the European Union and South Asia.
by Luke Nava

Known as Strong Ties, the initiative will focus on developing skills in emerging areas of engineering, such as electronic healthcare, information security, nanotechnology, photonics and sustainable energy.

The funding will enable a total of 101 staff and students from 11 Asian and seven EU institutions to work or study abroad for periods ranging between two and 30 months. These opportunities will be open to undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, as well as early career and established researchers.

Aziz Rahman, Professor of Photonics at City, who will lead the project, says: "Climate change or cyber crime, for example, are global issues, so it's vital for us to share best practice across countries and ensure that tomorrow's engineers are familiar with the latest trends.

"The Strong Ties project will enable this to happen, while providing participants with all of the benefits that come from international mobility - from experiencing new languages and cultures to gaining a worldwide network of contacts."

The project follows the Euro 3.9 million EM2-STEM - another Erasmus Mundus initiative led by City, which was launched in early 2011 to boost collaboration between the EU and the Western Balkans, while fostering entrepreneurship and management skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In addition, City is a partner in five other Erasmus Mundus schemes this year - the most of any UK university - creating further ties with the Middle East and across Asia. It is also a founding member of the World Cities World Class network, which aims to build closer links between universities, local governments and business communities in major economic and cultural hubs. Other founding universities are located in Berlin, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Seoul and St Petersburg.

Alongside City University London, the Strong Ties EU partners are: Poiltechnico di Milano, Italy; University of Southern Denmark; University of Limerick, Ireland; Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland; Frederick University of Technology, Cyprus; and University of Dortmund, Germany.

The Asian partners are: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and United International University, Bangladesh; National University of Science and Technology, and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan; University of Pune, India; Kathmandu University, Nepal; Royal University of Bhutan; Kabul University, Afghanistan; University of Malaya, Malaysia; Bangkok University, Thailand; and Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia.

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