Partnering with Newcastle University


Originating as a simple singular partnership with Pitt’s European Studies Center (ESC), the University of Pittsburgh’s engagement with Newcastle University in the UK has grown, expanded, and deepened significantly, with Newcastle now ranked as one of Pitt’s most comprehensive international institutional partners.

This small partnership led by only a few faculty members in ESC broadened its reach well beyond its original student mobility exchange, soon including mobility of faculty, joint grant applications, and expansion to additional shared areas of study such as Children’s Literature, Health Sciences, and more. As collaboration continued and strong relationships were forged, faculty identified additional areas of alignment between these two institutions – most notably, their similar roles as universities in post-industrial cities. While the transition from industry to “eds and meds” offered exciting opportunities for both cities, it also created similar challenges most often to underserved communities. This shared history led both universities to explore their role in helping to address these critical challenges. As the partnership developed, opportunities were lifted to senior leadership at both institutions and through their focused nurturing and support, the Pitt-Newcastle partnership expanded well beyond a simple transactional agreement to a broad, impactful, and comprehensive partnership.

Focused engagement has occurred among the highest-ranking leaders at each institution, is supported by their leaders in global education, and has offered opportunities for not only for Pitt and Newcastle faculty, staff, and students - but also to their communities, civic leaders, and community-engaged NGOs. Through thoughtful collaboration, joint-conferences, and numerous delegation visits to meet with university and civic leaders, this unique partnership continues to grow and flourish.

With a strong history and a focused plan on the future, Pitt and Newcastle look forward to continuing this unique partnership that offers both global and local impact.

November 2014
Incoming Delegation - MOU Signed

Pitt welcomes a Newcastle delegation to campus and signs MOU between the two institutions. Visitors include former Pro-Vice Chancellor Chris Brink, Senior International Officer Richard Davies, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Ella Richie, and Pitt alumni Anthony Zito, Professor of Politics. 

January 2015
Mobility Exchange

Newcastle submits a successful bid for an Erasmus + Mobility grant from the European Union with Pitt and other key U.S. partners, including Pitt.  Between 2015 and July 2017, a dozen faculty and graduate students are exchanged between the two Universities to conduct research in diverse fields including History, Chemistry, Physics, Latin American Studies, Engineering and Shale Policy. Pitt was one of the first U.S. institutions to participate in an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Exchange because of this partnership.

August 2016
Mobility Exchange

A formal undergraduate student exchange agreement is signed, allowing one student per year on either side to study in the partner institution for one semester or one year. 

April 2018
Outgoing Delegation

Newcastle welcomes high-level Pitt delegation including Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs Dr. Ariel Armony, former European Studies Center Director Jae-Jae Spoon, and UCIS Executive Director of Academic Affairs Allyson Delnore. 

August 2018
Grant Application Approval

Pitt, Newcastle University, Sciences Po Lyon, and Université Jean Monnet partner in a multi-country Jean Monnet Network bid from the European Commission of the European Union focusing on urban studies and energy policy submitted for €2,400,000.Grant entitled Transatlantic Perspectives of Energy and Cities (TPEC) is awarded in August 2018 and runs through April 30, 2022.  Activities include faculty mobilities, conferences, and study trips.   

March 2019
Incoming Delegation

Vice Chancellor Chris Day and delegation from Newcastle visit the University of Pittsburgh campus. Included in this delegation was Professor Matthew Grenby of Newcastle, sparking a collaboration between Newcastle’s Children’s Literature department and Pitt’s Children’s Literature Program. This visit sparked plans for student exchanges and some joint research projects. Though initial plans were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration continues to grow. 

July 2019
Honorary Degree Bestowed

Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher receives Honorary Degree from Newcastle University. Chancellor Gallagher is the first University of Pittsburgh Chancellor to be bestowed an honorary degree from and international university.  

October 2020
Virtual Student Engagement Opportunity

Pitt and Newcastle connect undergrads from both campuses for virtual Student Engagement Series. Four student-led sessions under the overarching theme of Identity and Belonging discussed racial and cultural identity; gender and sexuality; the Black Lives Matter movement; and the international student experience.

January 2021
Joint Conference Held

Pitt and Newcastle host first joint virtual conference: “The Role of Universities in Sustainable, Just and Inclusive Cities” to share best practices for community and civic engagement and explore potential international collaborations for academically-based community engagement. 

August 2021
Student Collaboration Project

Pitt and Newcastle launch an independent social justice project offering a paid opportunity for one English graduate student from each institution to collaborate on this joint project from June through August 2021. This project was co-supervised by professors Tyler Bickford (Pitt) and Emily Murphy (Newcastle) and offers a unique opportunity for international student collaboration.

September 2021
Outgoing Delegation/Residency

Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs Dr. Ariel Armony visits Newcastle and the British Northeast during a two-month residency. Discussions with leadership, faculty, and civic leaders explored re-imagining ways in which universities connect the local and the global and how the reinvention of post-industrial cities can restore economic vitality while also negatively impacting certain underserved communities.  

April 2022
Bi-Directional Delegation Visits

APRIL: Louise Kempton, Newcastle Associate Dean of Research & Innovation meets with Pitt faculty & civic leaders to explore the role of universities as civic anchors in place-based innovation & remaking post-industrial cities.  

SEPTEMBER: Pitt faculty Dr. Belkys Torres, ED of Global Engagement & Dr. Randi Congleton, AVC of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) visit Newcastle to focus on DEI training for faculty, decolonization of curriculum, recruiting international students, and more.  

OCTOBER: Pro-Vice Chancellor of Engagement & Place Dr. Jane Robinson, Head of International Relations & Partnerships Helen Challis, Director of Engagement Dr. Lynne Corner, & Director of Sport Katy Storie visit Pitt to discuss place-based universities & community engagement ahead of the October 2022 Place-Based Conference. 

October 2022
Joint Conference Held

Pitt and Newcastle host second joint virtual conference “Universities: How can we take a people–centered approach to engage with our places?” Sessions focused on the themes of sustainability, health, culture, cities and places.