Some of the world's leading research universities plan a new cooperative venture in which they will share faculty members and students and build what its leaders call a "global partnership."
Details about the arrangement are vague -- so vague, in fact, that officials at the two American institutions planning to be involved, Yale and the University of California at Berkeley, aren't ready to talk about it yet.
"This is a work in progress, and we're not going to be ready for quite a while to say what our level of involvement in it is," said Gila Reinstein, a spokeswoman for Yale. She noted that the formal alliance is not scheduled to begin until next January. A spokeswoman for Berkeley said she was still gatheringinformation about the project.
The announcement  of the alliance was made Monday by the Australian National University, whose vice chancellor and president, Ian Chubb, is chairman of the partnership, which he said involved the National University of Singapore, Peking University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and the Universities of Copenhagen and Tokyo, in addition to his institution, Yale and Berkeley. (The announcement said that the University of Oxford and "one other leading university" have also been approached about participating.)
“The partnership comprises a selected group of research-intensive universities that share similar values, a global vision and a commitment to educating future world leaders," Chubb said in a statement.
The statement offered few details about how the arrangements between the institutions would work, saying only that the partnership would "bring new opportunities for research, teaching and learning that is truly global in scope, through some combination of faculty collaboration and exchange, research training cooperation, undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange, joint/double degree programs, exchange of best practices and protocols, and benchmarking."
Chubb added: "The partnership will be broad: a wide range of teaching and research possibilities are now open to us that will be better than any single one of us could provide on our own."