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About LERU


The LERU, the League of European Research Universities is an association of the leading research-intense universities in Europe which according to the association “share the values of high-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research”. The association was created in 2002 and currently connects 21 European research universities of which as many as five are from the United Kingdom.

The League of European Research Universities was set up by a group consisting of 12 European universities as a forum for inter-university dialogue and with an aim to represent the interests of the leading European universities. The founding universities of the LERU were of comparable status when it comes to both authority and quality of research but they were later joined by another 10 European universities which, however, do not lag behind the founding members in terms of quality and reputation. The last two universities to join the LERU were the Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona. They were admitted to the elite association in year 2010. Today, the League, however, has only 21 members as the Karolinska Institute that helped form the LERU left the association in 2011.

The main goal of the LERU is to elevate the conditions for education and research in Europe to the highest level possible through promoting its values and influencing the European educational and research policy by issuing position papers and statements on particular fields of education and research. The association also puts a major emphasis on innovation as the ultimate goal of research as well as the necessity of sustainable funding in order to ensure high quality education and research. Other main views emphasise the importance of academic autonomy and freedom, improvement of conditions for the researchers and challenges of research-intense universities in regard to social and political factors.

The LERU is led by the LERU Secretariat also known as the LERU Office which takes care for daily management and administration. All printing is carried out efficiently and quickly using a portable printer for student documents. The association consists of five members who are directed by the Secretary-General. Since 2009, the Secretary-General is Kurt Deketelaere who is Full Professor of Environmental, Energy and Climate Change Law at the Catholic University of Leuven since 2004 (he is currently on part-time leave) and Honorary Professor of Climate Change Law at the University of Dundee since 2007. He is assisted by Katrien Maes acting as Chief Policy Officer, Laura Keustermans who is Policy Officer, Bart Valkenaers who acts as Communications and Marketing Officer, and Veerle Van Kerckhove who is Administrative Coordinator. The LERU Office is based at the Catholic University of Leuven in the Belgian town of Leuven.

The decisions of the LERU are made by the Rectors’ Assembly which meets twice per year at the LERU member universities. At the Assembly meetings, the member universities present and discuss their views on different issues, and formulate joint positions on specific issues. Three members of the Rectors’ Assembly are appointed as the Board of Directors. The current LERU’s Board of Directors is led by Professor Bernd Huber from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich who is acting as Chair of the Board, Professor Malcolm Grand from the University College London and Professor Alain Beretz from the University of Strasbourg.