Aiming at the creation of a Global Council of Research-Intensive Universities, LERU gradually intensifies its contacts with sister organisations worldwide.
It all started at the 2012 Barcelona LERU Anniversary Conference, where LERU renewed its contacts with its sister organisations in the USA, Australia and China.
In the course of 2013 and 2014, closer links were developed with other networks of research-intensive universities (RIU) 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 globalized world : the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU), the Group of Eight (Go8) Australia, the RU11 Japan, the Russell Group (UK), and the U15 (Canada) committed themselves to working together to advance the characteristics described in the ‘Leiden Statement’, which they all signed.
U15 Germany, 15 large German research universities, signed up to the Hefei Statement and the Leiden Statement at the end of November 2014.