Imperial College London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have launched a new student exchange pilot.
Students, academics and alumni from both institutions marked the occasion at a reception at the British Consulate General in Boston.
The pilot will see undergraduate students from Imperial and MIT spend up to a year at the other institution building credit for their Imperial degree and builds upon prior student summer and academic exchanges.
This year, 11 students from Imperial and nine from MIT and will take part in the exchange. Initially running for two years, if successful, the exchange could grow to accommodate more students.
Speaking at the event Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice President (International) at Imperial College London, said: “Imperial has had rich collaboration with MIT over many years.
"We have co-authored nearly 1,200 papers in the last five years and developed more structure to the relationship. We already have schemes such as graduate exchanges and a very successful seed fund which has launched new academic collaborations.
“We’re very keen on supporting the exchange of our young people and this is an incredible opportunity. You are all trailblazers.
"You have the opportunity to solve the problems the world faces, such as climate change, healthcare and societal issues.
“But to do this you will need to understand different cultures and work across borders.
"It’s only when we have brilliant students like you, who understand the problems, that we can solve the deep social and cultural divides in our society.”
MIT’s Associate Provost, Professor Richard Lester, who studied at both Imperial and MIT as a chemical engineering student, said: “I don’t know a better place to be a student than London.
"Take advantage of not only these great universities, which I believe are the two best in the world, although I am probably biased as I'm an alum of both, but take advantage of the environment and the cities.
"I am truly delighted at the strength of this relationship.
"These fabulous institutions have a great deal in common and you are contributing to a strong relationship.”
The new pilot credit bearing exchange builds upon prior summer programme based exchanges between the two institutions and will expand the number of academic areas of involvement from two (materials science and engineering and nuclear science and engineering) to nine, including chemistry, mathematics, aeronautics, and computing.
British Consul General to New England Harriet Cross, who hosted the reception, said: “I’m delighted that there is so much going on between Imperial and MIT.
"We’ve seen this grow into a monumental exchange. This collaboration has been on everyone’s lips as an example of a flagship university collaboration.”
Imperial and MIT have been collaborating academically for more than eight decades, including the Second World War Tizard Mission.
Earlier this year MIT and Imperial launched an African Seed Fund which promotes early-stage collaboration between faculty and researchers at MIT, Imperial and institutions in Africa.
Photography by Allegra Boverman
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