U15 strengthens its global ties

Global Council Research-intensice Universities

Global Council Research-intensice Universities
Bildquelle: Veerle van Kerckhove

Global Council Research-intensice Universities

Global Council Research-intensice Universities
Bildquelle: Veerle van Kerckhove

From 6 till 8 December 2015 several of the world’s leading research-intensive university associations gathered in Berlin to further strengthen their ties. Since 2012, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has gradually intensified its contacts with sister organisations world-wide, aiming at the creation of a Global Council of Research-Intensive Universities Networks. German U15 joined the network in 2014.

News vom 08.12.2015


Upon the invitation of German U15, the association of 15 research universities in Germany, the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU), the Group of Eight (Australia), the RU11 Japan, the Russell Group (UK) and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities discussed the challenges for, and the future of, research-intensive universities (RIU).

Already in 2012 at the LERU 10-year anniversary conference in Barcelona LERU started a dialogue with its counterparts in the USA, Australia and China. In the course of 2013 and 2014, closer links were developed with other networks of research-intensive universities in different countries or parts of the world.

A first joint initiative of the RIU networks was the signing, in October 2013, of the "Hefei Statement", a joint statement on characteristics of contemporary research universities; the statement was issued at the annual meeting of the C9 universities in Hefei, China.

In November last year, upon the invitation of LERU, the RIU networks gathered in Leiden, the Netherlands, to discuss and stress the importance of Social Sciences and Humanities research in a globalised world. They committed themselves to work together on the characteristics described in the ‘Leiden Statement’, which they all signed.

During the three-day event in Berlin, the network chiefs identified common goals, exchanged best practices and reflected on how the associations could better work together to address global challenges. They discussed, amongst other things, the implementation of the Leiden statement, open science, university-industry engagement and the assessment of teaching excellence. Maria Cristina Russo, Director International Cooperation from DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission, gave an introduction on the EU Research & Innovation Policy ‘Open to the World’.

Next to their internal meetings, the delegates were also invited at the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, where they met with Dr. Philipp Lengsfeld, member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. Furthermore they exchanged views on different important research related topics with Anja Schillhaneck, Vice President of the Berlin House of Representatives and spokeswoman for science and research Europe, federal affairs and sports.

In 2016, the networks will meet again in Tokyo, Japan, upon the invitation of RU11 Japan.

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