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League of European Research Universities (LERU)

2016 Annual Meeting of the Global Council of Research-Intensive University Networks

On 7 and 8 November 2016, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and several of the world´s other leading research-intensive university associations gathered in Tokyo (Keio University) to further strengthen their ties. Since 2012, LERU has gradually intensified its contacts with sister organisations world-wide, aiming at the creation of this Global Council of Research-Intensive Universities Networks.

Upon the invitation of  RU11 Japan (and President Seike and Vice-President Makabe of Keio University in particular), the association of 11 leading research-intensive universities in Japan, the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU), German U15(Germany), the Group of Eight (Australia), the C9 (China) 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 2013-2015, 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 2014, 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.

Upon the invitation of German U15, the networks chiefs met again in December 2015 in Berlin, and identified common goals, exchanged best practices and reflected on how the associations could better work together to address global challenges.

The 2016 Tokyo Meeting led to the adoption and signing of the 'Tokyo Statement' (on the need for long and sustainable investment in frontier research) and the 'Shanghai Statement' (on the innovative research-intensive university). Furthermore, keynote presentations were given by Dr Leonidas Karapiperis (Minister-Counsellor, Head of S&T, EU Delegation to Japan) and Prof Juichi Yamagiwa (President of Kyoto University). Finally, the representatives of the present networks gave an overview of the recent R&I developments in their geographical area. Prof Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General LERU, sketched "Brexit" and its potential consequences for universities in Europe and globally.

The 2017 annual global meeting will be hosted by the Go8, and will take place in Brisbane, Australia.

Of interest