Trinity joins League of European Research Universities (LERU)

Trinity’s LERU membership to influence EU research policy for benefit of Ireland

Trinity College Dublin has joined the prestigious ranks of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). It is the first and only university on the island of Ireland to become a member of Europe’s leading network of research-intensive universities that includes Oxford and Cambridge. Trinity along with the University of Copenhagen will from today join its ranks. The announcement was made by LERU’s Secretary General, Professor Kurt Deketelaere, following a meeting of LERU Rectors’ Assembly in Heidelberg, Germany this afternoon.   He broke the news to a delighted Provost and assembled College community by live video link up at a special event in Trinity’s Dining Hall.

Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General LERU said “We are delighted that the number one university in Ireland will join the League as of January 2017. Trinity College Dublin is renowned for its outstanding research, innovation and education. They will strengthen LERU’s position in advocating the interests of research-intensive universities in Europe and we are looking forward to involving them in our activities as soon as possible.”

The European Commission and other EU bodies consider LERU  a major stakeholder in the formulation of policy.   It has had significant impact on programmes such as the EU Horizon 2020, Open Science, Open Innovation and Erasmus+ and many others.   

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton congratulated Trinity at the celebratory event: “This is a major achievement for the university, but also for Ireland.  As the Irish proverb goes ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’ − there is strength in unity. And certainly by joining this network of high calibre universities, Trinity College Dublin’s voice will be heard and   have real impact on EU policy for research and innovation. This is good news for Irish education and for future jobs creation.”

Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “This is excellent news for Trinity but also for the university sector as a whole.  Allied to such top universities, together we can have real influence. It will impact positively on the courses we teach, the research we develop and most importantly the education we provide all of our students from undergraduates through to PhD students, as well as their future employability as graduates.”

In order to be accepted by LERU, Trinity underwent a rigorous evaluation on research volume, impact and funding, strengths in PhD training, size and disciplinary breadth, and peer-recognised academic excellence. This is the first increase in members in  ten years, and just two universities made the grade, Trinity and the University of Copenhagen bringing its total membership to just 23 leading universities Europe-wide.


L-R:Patricia Reilly, Provost,  Dr  Anne Looney.

LERU member universities

  • educate 674,500 full-time students & employ 186,600 staff
  • research and knowledge transfer activities supported 298, 500 jobs throughout Europe and generated €21.9 billion  Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • research supported the creation of 1,065 active spin out companies which employed 12,700 people

(Study by BIGGAR Economics, all data relates to 2014)

LERU’s current 21 members are: University of Amsterdam, Universitat de Barcelona, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Freiburg, Université de Genève, Universität Heidelberg, University of Helsinki, Universiteit Leiden, KU Leuven, Imperial College London, University College London, Lund University, University of Milan, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, University of Oxford, Pierre & Marie Curie University, Université Paris-Sud, University of Strasbourg, Utrecht University, University of Zurich. With the addition of Trinity College Dublin and the University of Copenhagen there are now a total of 23 universities.

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