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International university policy

Defining the modern research university

Munich, 10/10/2013

For the first time, four of the world’s leading research university associations have come together to develop a common understanding of what constitutes a modern research university and how they can contribute to confronting the challenges the world faces. The results of their discussions are summarized in a joint statement signed in Hefei (China) today by delegates from the League of European Research Universities (LERU), of which LMU Munich is a founding member, the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Consortium of China Research Universities (C9) and the Group of Eight Australia (Go8). The four consortia, each of which represents the leading research universities in its respective region, have also agreed to build on the criteria formulated in today’s statement and, in particular, to press the case for government policies that will promote the full realization of these principles.

In “The Ten Characteristics of Contemporary Research Universities”, the declaration sets out the values that should define modern research universities worldwide and the key criteria that must be met if they are to accomplish their educational, cultural and scientific missions. These attributes provide the essential basis for truly global interuniversity cooperation, across national and cultural borders. Among the most important qualities of the contemporary research university is a commitment to excellence in research and teaching, and to furthering career development for young academics. No less important, however, is the requirement that the institutional independence of universities be acknowledged and guaranteed.

“We will explore expanded future collaborations among our students, scholars and researchers,” said Professor Bernd Huber, President of LMU and LERU Chair. “We will pursue the possibilities for joint work addressing global research issues, including structured dialogue with the recently formed Global Research Council, perhaps through the formation of a Global Council of Research Universities”, he said.

To reinforce the impact of the declaration, the four university consortia have also agreed to invite other university networks to sign up to today’s joint statement.

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