The World Cities World Class University (WC2) network brings together top universities located in major world cities in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing urban areas. By providing a forum for scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines and from across the globe, the network creates opportunities for inter-disciplinary and cross border cooperation. The network’s areas of focus are research, knowledge exchange, staff and student mobility and supporting urban policy makers in leveraging the expertise held within Universities.


The WC2 network was established in September 2010 by City University London in order to address cultural, environmental and political issues of common interest to world cities and their universities. By promoting closer interaction between universities, local government and business communities, WC2 creates a forum through which universities can respond to the needs of their urban stakeholders.

Each of the members brings together expertise in the following issues of common interest to world cities:

WC2 aims to advance understanding and recognition of the role of universities in world cities and issues that are of common interest to them, both locally and internationally. The flow of staff, students and information domestically and across borders contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of world cities, their universities and their potential to impact and aid each other.


WC2 currently has 9 member institutions which are:

at the heart of a world city and recognised locally as a major university
committed to international activities
cosmopolitan in perspective and strategic direction
committed to close and intense two-way interaction with their local society and economy
strong academically, and in research, in areas particularly relevant to world cities
driven to meet the development of new areas of knowledge and technology
civically engaged with the broader community in the public and private sectors
committed to act as a local hub for the WC2 network
open to involving others in their city (business, community organizations) in WC2
endorsed projects including relevant collaboration with other experts.


The network’s key activity is its annual Symposium, which is hosted by a different member each year. The Symposium provides an opportunity for staff and students from across the network to gain new insights; share perspectives and areas of good practice; and develop cross border relationships. Moreover the Symposium provides a forum through which staff at member institutions can identify areas of potential collaboration. Since its formation in 2010 WC2 has supported the development of a number of inter-institutional arrangements in the areas of student exchange, staff mobility and research collaboration.

Network Management

The network’s Strategy Group governs the overall direction and management of the network. Chaired by Past Dean of CUNY’s School of Technology and Design at CUNY College of Technology, the Strategy Group includes a representative from each member institution and has regular teleconferences and meets at the annual Symposium. The group has two Vice Chairs which serve for a period of two years and are voted for by members. The smaller Executive group consists of the two Vice Chairs and a representative of the member which is the next host of the Symposium.

Members pay an annual fee to participate in the network. This funds a small secretariat based at CUNY which provides operational and communication support to the network, as well as other activities agreed by the Strategy Group.

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