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Coimbra Group

Press release issued: 26 April 2001

University hosts international assembly

Nearly 100 delegates from 30 major European universities gathered in Bristol
yesterday, April 18, to foster international co-operation and cement a relationship
that started 15 years ago.

This will be the first time Bristol University has hosted the annual General Assembly
of the Coimbra Group - a network of leading academic institutions with comparable traditions and interests.

Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh universities are the other UK members of the Coimbra Group. Its non-UK members include the universities of Barcelona, Bologna, Heidelberg, Prague and Sienna.

The four-day meeting in Bristol will give university leaders a chance to review the Coimbra Group's progress and set a direction for the future. Academic and cultural ties, exchange programmes, links with countries outside Europe, projects on the use of information and communication technology - all these are likely to come under scrutiny.

Bristol University's Vice-Chancellor, Sir John Kingman, said: 'It's a privilege to be
hosting this gathering. The Coimbra Group is an important forum for debate, a source
of new ideas and an influential voice within the European Union.

'The fact that the group's most important meeting is taking place here is further evidence of our international standing. It will strengthen the reputation of the University and the city, and could generate new opportunities for our students.'

Professor Eric Thomas, Bristol's Vice-Chancellor designate, will take over as President of the Group from Sir John in September.

Today, Thursday 19 April at 5.20 pm, 22 Vice-Chancellors from European countries will join the procession at a special degree ceremony in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building.

The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws is to be conferred on two founder members of the Coimbra Group. Dr Peter Floor, former Director of Academic Affairs, University of Leiden, and former Chairman, Coimbra Group Steering Committee, and Professor Jorge Veiga, Vice-Rector, University of Coimbra.

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Thursday, 26-Apr-2001 16:47:34 BST

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