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  • 3 October 2018

    A partnership agreement between Wrocław and Oxford was signed on Wednesday and it includes cooperation in the fields of education, sport, culture and heritage preservation. “Both cities perceive their academic side as the most important one,” said the mayor of the city of Wrocław, Rafał Dutkiewicz.

    Picture: Wrocław City Council


    Oxford, with roughly 160,000 residents, is one of the most important academic hubs in the world. The city leads in the fields of education, research, and science. Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University educate about 33,500 students. Both universities do research in the fields of biotechnology, data processing, quantum technology and robotics.


    At the signing ceremony, Rafał Dutkiewicz said: "During the meeting with the vice-mayor of Oxford, we discovered some similarities between our cities. Both cities perceive their academic side as the most important one.”


    The vice-mayor of Oxford, Sajjad Malik, also drew attention to the similarities between the two cities. "Wrocław has about 650,000 inhabitants, of which over 130,000 are students. Oxford has around 160,000 residents, including more than 30,000 students. Like Wrocław, it is an international city”, he said. Mr Malik hopes to cooperate with Wrocław in many spheres. "University cooperation is the key aspect, but we also care about relations in the fields of education, sport, culture and heritage preservation. By establishing these new partnership ties, Oxford reacts to Brexit. Let us not allow the politics to divide us,” Mr Malik appealed.


    According to the chairman of the Wrocław City Council, Jacek Ossowski, the partnership with Oxford is a huge prestige boost for the capital of Lower Silesia. So far, Oxford has entered into partnership agreements with only five cities: Bonn, Leiden, Grenoble, Perm, and Léon. Ossowski pointed out that the initiative of establishing twin cities’ cooperation with Wrocław was initiated by the Oxford authorities. On 13th September 2018, Wrocław City Council unanimously accepted the proposal.


    According to Ossowski, the choice of Wrocław as Oxford’s twin city was determined by the academic character of the city, which is rapidly developing. “The Brexit referendum in Oxford resulted in a 70% support for staying in the European Union. The city wants to remain in the EU and it is proven by the fact it establishes new partnerships in this part of Europe,” explained Ossowski.


    As mentioned before, the partnership will mainly involve academic cooperation. "Oxford is a great brand mainly due to the presence of the University of Oxford, which is formally a union of about 40 colleges and faculties offering different paths of education. It is a private university, so studying there might be quite expensive. Our contact with Oxford University will become easier thanks to the partnership with the city,” he emphasised.


    Ossowski added that Oxford University is at the forefront of global university ranking and, thanks to the ‘”Visiting Professors” programme, the universities in Wrocław will gain a lot from it.


    Oxford will be Wrocław’s 15th twin town or city. The earlier ones are: Breda (the Netherlands), Charlotte (the United States), Dresden (Germany), Grodno (Belarus; suspended partnership), Guadalajara (Mexico), Hradec Králové (Czech Republic), Kaunas (Lithuania), Lille (France), Lviv (Ukraine), Ramat Gan (Israel), Reykjavík (Iceland), Wiesbaden (Germany), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Vienne (France).


    Source: PAP

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