So what are international university networks good for?

Given their dependence on international engagement, major universities look to networks like WUN to make that engagement easier, to enlarge opportunity, to increase the impact of collaborative work and, in important respects, to make the whole more than the sum of the parts.

The universities also hold the networks to account. In the case of WUN, the board requires a regular and detailed assessment of impact that shows directly how and where the network has added value.

That value is added in varied ways: in promoting and supporting the mobility of researchers and students, in helping assemble teams of researchers to tackle research problems collaboratively, in directly funding pilot research projects, in undertaking comparative analyses of shared problems such as student mental health and wellness and in developing initiatives to alleviate the devastation of the pandemic.

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