The University of Exeter has joined the prestigious Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), it has been announced.

Exeter has accepted an invitation to join the leading global higher education network, which comprises of more than 20 leading comprehensive research universities stretching across six continents.

The WUN partnership brings an unparalleled richness of talent and resources to bear on major research problems. As well as fostering distinctive international research collaborations directed at problems of global significance, the WUM also helps nurture research talent, shape institutional policy and practice through analysis and information exchange, and build partnerships with national and international bodies.

Through its Research Development Fund, WUN supports collaborative research that echoes the main pillars of the University of Exeter’s Strategy 2030 – working towards a greener, fairer and healthier future for all.

Its research addresses the overarching themes of sustainable development, including Social justice, human rights, inequality; sustainable world: cities and urbanisation, energy transitions, water and food security; mental health, child and maternal health, ageing; and responsible and ethical use of computing: artificial intelligence, information security, privacy

Professor Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, and other Exeter colleagues will be a part of the WUN Board, research teams, and programs.

Professor Lisa Roberts said: “We are delighted to have been invited to join the Worldwide Universities Network. The challenges the world faces can only be met by global partnership to push forward research and scholarship.

“The WUN brings together leading institutions from six continents, and I have no doubt that Exeter’s membership will serve to strengthen the impact of our research and increase our global reach in those areas where we have shared priorities, including, social justice, sustainability, energy transitions, water and food security, mental health, child and maternal health, ageing and the responsible and ethical use of AI.

“I hope that we can also contribute our expertise to the network and forge supportive relationships with our fellow members around the world.”

The University of Exeter is a member of the UK’s elite Russell Group of universities. The University is particularly focused on delivering a greener, healthier and fairer world. As a world-leader in sustainable development and the SDGs, Exeter’s strong intellectual and policy synergy with WUN’s strategic direction and fellow members will be a great benefit to the network.

At the core of the university’s research distinction are five notable research institutes: the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence; Environment and Sustainability Institute; Global Systems Institute; Living Systems Institute; and the Societies and Cultures Institute.

Exeter also has several leading interdisciplinary research centres that work closely with private and public sector organisations to deliver impact. These include the Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste;  Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence;  MRC Centre for Medical Mycology;  NIHR Exeter Biomedical Research Centre; and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.  

The University is a global leader in delivering transformative education. It was one of four UK Russell Group universities to be awarded triple gold by the UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework (2023). The University’s strategic partnerships across the world also bring together leading academics and the resources of outstanding universities to deliver transformative impact in key global challenges such as global sustainability and wellbeing.