UQ and Europe

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Collaboration in action

Turning 'have-nots' into 'haves'

The Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan MP announced another seven years of funding, $32.1 million, for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course to help Australian families break the cycle of disadvantage and stop the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ widening. UQ will collaborate with three Australian universities and 17 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, New Zealand and USA. Together, they will provide an additional $33 million in cash and in-kind support to the Centre.

Global search for new antibiotics

In an Australian-first, UQ will join with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership based in Switzerland to tackle the growing problem of drug-resistant infections. Dr Mark Blaskovich from UQ’s Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) said about 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections every year. “International initiatives such as this are essential to refuel the antibiotic pipeline, which has been neglected in recent years, placing us dangerously close to a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death,” he said. UQ's CO-ADD has helped the global chemistry community identify more than 1500 potential new antibiotics since its launch in 2015.

UQ leadership: Professor Peter Høj AC

UQ's people-to-people links with Denmark extend through all levels of the organisation. Professor Peter Høj AC, born in Denmark, began as Vice-Chancellor and President of UQ in October 2012. Educated at the University of Copenhagen, he has a Master of Science in biochemistry and genetics, a PhD in photosynthesis, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia. Group of Eight (Go8) elected Professor Høj as its Chair for 2017. He is also a member of the Medical Research Future Fund Advisory Board and the edX University Advisory Board; Co-Deputy Chair of the Strengthened Export Controls Steering Group, a Queensland Plan Ambassador; and a senior consultant to Hanban in the Oceania Region.

The future of brain imaging technology

Researchers from the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) and Spanish medical technology company Oncovision are partnering to increase the accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and accuracy of brain tumour imaging. Funded by the Australian Research Council, and involving Valencia-based research institute I3M, the project has developed an integrated head coil capable of better image resolution and higher sensitivity than existing devices. Ultimately, the research – which is focused on magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (MRI-PET) – will assist in new methods for predicting tumour progression. CAI is a strategic initiative of UQ, and reflects growth in biotechnology and biomedical research requiring spectroscopic and imaging research capabilities.

Mental disorders and life expectancy mapped out

UQ psychiatrist Professor John McGrath and Dr Oleguer Plana-Ripoll from Denmark’s Aarhus University studied anonymous data from 7.4 million people living in Denmark, which found that on average mental disorders shortened life expectancy by 10 years for men and seven years for women. There is an increased risk of death due to cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. “Our study emphasises the urgent need to improve general health for people with mental disorders,” Professor McGrath said. “This is particularly critical when estimates indicate that one in three individuals experiences a mental disorder during their lifetime.” The Danish National Research Foundation funded the research. Professor McGrath made the 2019 Highly Cited list, making him one of the most influential medical academics in the world.

Genes underscore five psychiatric disorders

A group of international doctors has uncovered the genes that contribute to the development of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia. A collaborative research project carried out by UQ and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam analysed more than 400,000 individuals to determine the genes behind these five psychiatric disorders. Genes that are highly expressed in the brain were shown to affect the different disorders, and some genes were related to all the illnesses studied. It showed that there is a common set of genes that increase your risk for all five disorders. This knowledge will bring us closer to the development of more effective personalised medicine.

Student mobility

Student exchange

UQ has a thriving student exchange program with partners in 18 countries across Europe. Popular European exchange destinations include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden. 

Law students investigating transnational crime

UQ, University of Vienna and the University of Zurich offer law students from all three universities the chance to investigate transnational organised crime. The elective course in 2019–20 focusses on organised crime, gambling, and criminal law. In 2020-21 the focus will be on firearms trafficking, and in 2021-22 on drug trafficking

Study abroad without leaving home

UQ students can now learn from leading international academics and forge cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and friendships online. In early 2017, UQ began the Virtual Exchange Program, giving students the opportunity to gain credit by undertaking online courses from a range of international institutions including the University of Edinburgh (UK), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland). 

Master of Global Management

The Master of Global Management is designed to prepare graduates for an international business career. The two-year postgraduate double degree is run in conjunction with five leading business schools in Finland, Italy, France, Norway, and Canada. Students spend the first year studying at UQ Business School, and the second year studying overseas at one of UQ's partner institutions.


More than 6840 alumni live in Europe. Alumni from or living in the region include:


Australian Ambassador to Croatia (Graduate Certificate in International Relations 2001)

Australian Ambassador to Russia (Bachelor of Arts [Hons] 1987, Doctor of Letters honoris causa 2013)

Australian Ambassador to Poland (Bachelor of Arts 1990, Bachelor of Economics 2000)

Speed skating Olympic gold medal winner, and Founder of Right to Play (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery 2000)
Slovak Republic

Program Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); Rotary Peace Fellow alumni (Class VII) (Master of International Studies 2010)

Australian Ambassador to Ukraine (Master of International Relations and Asian Politics 1999, Bachelor of Arts [Hons] 1993)

Senior Adviser, Human Rights and Development, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) 2008)

Professor, University of Copenhagen (Bachelor of Arts (Hons) 1992)

Former President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Europe (Bachelor of Commerce 1986; Doctor of Business honoris causa 2014)

Graduate On-Board Software Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space (Bachelor of Engineering 2013)
Anna Segall

Director of International Standards and Legal Affairs at UNESCO (Bachelor of Arts 1983, Bachelor of Laws 1985)
Chief of Mediation Support, the United Nations (Bachelor of Arts 1993, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) 1996)