The rectors of the 23 universities that build up the European League of Research Universities ( LERU ) took part in the 39th Rectors’ Assembly organized by the Paris - Sorbonne University on May 21 and 22. This is the first meeting the rector Joan Guàrdia attends, together with six other new rectors that have been elected in their universities.
In the meeting, the LERU rectors chose the rector of the University of Amsterdam, Karen Maex, as new chairperson of the network. Maex, together with the rector of the University of Geneva, Yves Flückiger, and the rector of Heidelberg University, are members of the Board of Directors. ;
The rectors also approved a statement on the role of the academic institutions in building more resilient and sustainable societies. In this document, aimed at governments and policymakers, the LERU universities remind about the need for interdisciplinarity in research and teaching in order to face society’s current and complex challenges. It also puts emphasis on the situation derived from COVID-19 and the one that could emerge in case of a future pandemic.
Moreover, the members in the meeting debated on a proposal so that the European Commission works on a specific digital law to defend the interests of the universities in the academic and research fields. The meeting also treated aspects such as the European strategy to empower universities and to step forward in the interdisciplinarity of research in arts, humanities and social sciences. Several experts from European institutions presented new instruments and funding tools for the universities in the field of research and innovation.
UB representation in LERU
The UB takes part in 25 out of the 29 active LERU groups and there are two representatives who are members of the steering committees in different groups: Ignasi Labastida, rector’s delegate for open science, the director of Information and Open Access group (INFO PG) and Professor Raúl Ramos, vice-dean for Research and Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Economics and Business, member of Deans of Social Sciences and Humanities (DEANS SSHA).
Over the last months, some representatives of the groups have been renewed as well. Among others is Francesca Gallego, from the Technical Office of the Vice-Rector’s Office of Research, who has been appointed new senior officer of the UB at LERU.