Activities

LERU maintains a dialogue and cooperates with the EU institutions and EU-related organisations active in the higher education and research arena on topics such as the European Research Area, Open Science, Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. We do this through direct communication and discussions within the policy community, sound proposals for improvement and progress, and carefully considered publications on fundamental issues affecting Europe’s research universities.

Furthermore, our 24 members bring together representatives to work on LERU policy development and mutual learning in a number of areas. There is a constant exchange of knowledge, expertise and good practice in interesting projects on such topics as research management, assessment and funding, innovation, open scholarship, impact, academic careers, higher education including (post-) doctoral training, gender issues and more.

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Research

LERU is a prominent advocate for research across a broad front. University-based research plays an essential role in the innovation process and significantly contributes to societal progress.

Working closely with our members, we work on many topics related to research management and funding, open science, responsible research and innovation, research impact, research infrastructures, doctoral education, research careers and gender issues.

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Higher Education

Offering the very best education, linked to the cutting-edge research, is crucial for research-intensive universities such as the LERU members.

LERU is especially interested in the modernisation of higher education, focusing on online and digital education, on assessing, stimulating and rewarding excellence in higher education and on building a (virtual) international classroom.

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Innovation

LERU universities are key actors of the European innovation ecosystem and engage in innovation in many and exciting ways. A 2017 report put the LERU members' total innovation value at €33 billion and almost 400,000 jobs created across Europe.

Drawing from their rich innovation expertise, LERU universities are actively engaged in shaping and advising on knowledge transfer, innovation policy and the fundamental role that universities play within it.

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EU Policy

LERU actively engages with EU policies that affect research-intensive universities. Our aim is to help shape and comment on new and existing EU policies or programmes through evidence-based input and constructive dialogue.

We have dynamic discussions with EU representatives and other Brussels’ stakeholders about LERU universities’ ambitions and expectations. Our engagement is fueled by frequent contact with the LERU universities via the Rectors and the work done by the LERU groups.

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Partnerships & Collaboration

To pursue its goals effectively, LERU maintains contacts with institutions around the world that contribute to science policy making and research funding. LERU interacts with like-minded university networks in the United States, Australia, the UK, China, East Asia, Japan, Canada, and Germany.

Convinced of the important role universities play globally, LERU set up a cooperation with the United Nations by signing up to the UN Academic Impact Principles and obtaining a special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Finally, LERU and a group of seven Central and Eastern European universities (CE7) are working together on key research and education challenges.