Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004
California contact: Bruce Hanna, director of communications,
UC Education Abroad Program (805) 893-4259
London contact: Matthew Daines, program director, UK Trust,



Members of Parliament will join with University of California faculty, staff, alumni, students, and guests in the House of Commons in London on Nov. 18 to discuss the continued importance of the Anglo-American relationships and the place of British Studies within it.

Organized by the University of California Trust (UK), the event underscores the crucial relationships between UC and the UK, as evidenced by the presence of UC's California House Study Center in London and the newly-established Center for British Studies at the UC Berkeley campus.

UC Berkeley professor James Vernon, director of the Center for British Studies, will begin the dialog with a brief presentation. Kim Howells, MP and British Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, and Liam Fox, MP, chairman of the Conservative Party, will then offer observations and comments. (Howells' position as minister of state is equivalent to the U.S. secretary of education.)

"The participation of such esteemed UK officials demonstrates that they respect what the University of California has to say about key policy and educational issues," noted UC professor John A. Marcum, associate provost for international academic activities and universitywide director of the Education Abroad Program. "It also shows the UC Trust's growing prowess as a visionary outreach operation and its ability to build relationships at the highest level in Great Britain."

A recently released global survey by The London-based Times Higher Education Supplement notes that 92 of the world's top 200 universities are in the U.S. or UK. Seven UC campuses are in the top 200, and 19 of the 27 UK universities that exchange students and faculty with UC through the Education Abroad Program are on the top 200 list.

"This dialog sets the stage for collaborative research with UC, especially the Center for British Studies at UC Berkeley," Marcum said. "Such activities fit the international visions of both the Education Abroad Program and UC Office of International Activities, and we expect the ongoing dialog will stimulate the research agenda of future EAP students."

Matthew Daines, program director for the UC Trust, said the trust's mission is to support the Education Abroad Program, to build the UC alumni base, to facilitate research collaborations and to provide a public face for UC in London. "This event touches all of these bases," he said.

In addition to Daines, UC faculty and staff participants will include Brad Barber, assistant vice president of institutional advancement, and professor Gayle Binion, California House study center director for the Education Abroad Program and chair of the UC Trust (UK) board of directors. It is anticipcated that more than 100 alumni, students and friends of the University of California will attend the event. David Ruffley, MP, will serve as host. In addition to Fox and Howell, MPs expected to participate include Calum MacDonald, a UCLA alumnus, who serves as Labour MP for the UK Western Isles, and Sir Menzies Campbell, a Liberal Democrat MP from Fife.

Through the California House in London, the base for UC alumni networking in Europe, the UC Trust serves UC alumni in the UK and Europe. California House is also the hub from which UC conducts outreach to British research institutions and home to two of three UC Education Abroad study centers in the United Kingdom.

Over 7,000 UC students will have attended UK universities through the UC Education Abroad Program by the end of the 2004-05 academic year, with more than 3,500 of them within the last decade. Over 2,000 students from these same UK institutions have studied at the UC through reciprocal exchanges in the last decade.

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