Trinity has today been accepted into the League of European Research Universities (LERU), along with University of Copenhagen. This marks the first occasion that an Irish university has been accepted into the association. The two universities will become members of LERU in January 2017.
The news was first announced today in a ceremony in the dining hall via live video call by Secretary General of LERU, Prof Kurt Deketelaere. The ceremony was attended by minister for education Richard Bruton.
Mr Bruton said that this was an excellent achievement for both the college and Ireland as a whole. He said by joining this network of high calibre universities, Trinity’s voice would be heard and would have a large impact on EU policy for research and innovation.
Provost Patrick Prendergast was “delighted that Trinity is joining this network of prestigious European research universities.” He added that “of the 4,000 universities in Europe, Trinity is now one of only 23 universities at Europe’s top table.”
LERU is an organisation dedicated to innovation and has had a large impact on European research policies. The organisation has spoken highly of many issues related to European research and educational policies such as Erasmus+ and Horizons 2020. According to its website, it aims to influence public policy and develop best practices.
Acceptance into LERU is by invitation only and is decided based on a broad set of quantitative and qualitative material such as PhD training, research volume and impact and funding. The decision was made by LERU’s rector assembly during their autumn meeting in Heidelberg, Germany.
This is LERU’s second expansion since its foundation in 2002. It was originally made up of 12 members but following additions in 2010 and the two universities joining today, there will now be 23 members in total. The number of members is capped at 30. Trinity joins universities such as University of Cambridge, University of Amsterdam and University of Oxford in LERU.
The research budget for these universities is in excess of €5 billion. €300 million of this comes from research grants from EU projects. 230 Field Medal and Nobel Prize winners have graduated from or worked in these universities.