The Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC) will strengthen current collaboration and develop new cross-disciplinary research between its three member universities.
The universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent are all part of the group established in the 1960s that have thrived and grown extraordinarily in a relatively short time period, with each celebrating their 50th anniversary between 2013 and 2015. With a combined turnover of £540 million, together they teach and train more than 50,000 students, supported by around 2,000 academic staff. In the REF 2014, the most recent research assessment exercise, they submitted 1,250 academic researchers to 41 of the disciplinary sub-panels.
The Eastern ARC takes a five/50-year view – a commitment to growing cooperation over the next five years with the aim of enhancing our success over the next 50. By acting collaboratively, the consortium will respond creatively and effectively to key drivers that are changing the landscape of research and research training in UK higher education. The initial focus will be on three broad interdisciplinary areas, with each university acting as academic lead in one of the areas:
- Digital Humanities, led by the University of Kent
- Quantitative Social Science, led by the University of Essex
- Synthetic Biology, led by the University of East Anglia
In a joint statement, upon the launch of the Eastern ARC, the universities’ Vice-Chancellors, Prof Edward Acton, Prof Anthony Forster and Prof Dame Julia Goodfellow, said:
“This is more than just a regional collaboration. It is a long-term agreement based on synergies between our world-class research portfolios. As we celebrate our 50th anniversaries, combining our considerable research expertise will enable us to respond better to the challenges of the research funding environment, and to make an even greater contribution to global wellbeing over the next 50 years.”