UCL and Brexit


Cities partnerships Programme

The Cities partnerships Programme is designed to invest in, and extend UCL's research and teaching collaborations, not just with a single partner, but with multiple partners in global cities.

In direct response to Brexit and to counter its negative effects on teaching, research and enterprise, UCL has devised a triple track European strategy, of which the brand new Cities partnership Programme (CpP) is a key component, as announced in the Vice-Provost view on 7 November 2018

A unique city approach

The CpP aims to deepen UCL’s partnerships, expanding our networks and communicating our high-profile activity in global cities. 

Our focus on a city rather than a specific partner is unique for the sector. It means that UCL academics from any discipline are able to work with the partners they feel are the best in their field. Collaboratively, they will shape a coherent programme of activities, developing a broad programme of multidisciplinary research and education that is relevant and innovative.

First two cities, Rome and Paris... Third city now confirmed as Stockholm

We invited applications for the role of Academic Director, one per city, from UCL’s academic community. Applicants were asked to propose cities with which they already have significant links. Based on the strongest applications, our first two cities were Rome and Paris. Activity in Rome is led by Dr Florian Mussgnug, from the School of European Languages, Culture & Society, and in Paris by Dr Claire Colomb from The Bartlett School of Planning.

The third city to host UCL’s Cities partnerships Programme (CpP) was recently revealed as Stockholm, Sweden, under the leadership of Academic Director Dr. Catalina Turcu (The Bartlett School of Planning).

More about the programme

The CpP consists of three main strands:

  • seed-funding for academic collaborations in research, teaching and learning;
  • a series of public-facing events co-created with institutional partners and inspired by the seed-funded projects;
  • and activities engaging the wider UCL network of students, alumni, schools and other partners. 

The CpP will run in each city over three years so that we can establish long lasting impact. The small programme team will work with academics to develop partnerships which lead to joint appointments, research hubs, short courses, dual degrees, research fellowships, student mobility, publications, and access to bids for European funding.

What's happening now

Rome - projects underway

In its first year, the programme supported 30 projects from across all of UCL’s Faculties, working with 20 partners in and around Rome. This led to a series of conferences, workshops, seminars, exhibitions, screenings, round table discussions and staff and student mobility opportunities. 

In 2019-20, the second year of the Rome cycle, CpP is funding more collaborative research and education projects from across UCL. The programme team continues to support the development of longer-term opportunities with key partners.


The programme launched with Paris in 2019-20. Following the call for funding applications last year, CpP is supporting a series of multidisciplinary projects with partners across the city.


Dr Catalina Turcu, who will be leading on the programme, is Associate Professor in Sustainable Development and Planning. Her proposed theme for some of the work in Stockholm will be ‘Climate Change and Health in the City’, a timely topic which will stimulate many colleagues to engage creatively with the work CpP will curate from 2020-23.