The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities joins Global Network

OTTAWA, ON (March 25, 2014) — The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities has joined the pre-eminent global network of leading research universities from America, Europe, Asia and Australia to tackle challenges facing research-intensive universities around the world.

U15 joins the Association of American Universities (AAU), League of European Research Universities (LERU), The Russell Group, the China 9 grouping of leading Chinese universities (C9) and the Australian Group of Eight research-intensive universities (Go8) as signatories of the Hefei Statement On The Ten Characteristics Of Contemporary Research Universities. Together, these organizations make up the global network of research universities.

“Solutions to global challenges require the efforts of the best and brightest minds,” said Amit Chakma, chair of the U15 and president and vice-chancellor of Western University. “Today, Canadian research intensive universities took another step towards attracting and retaining these individuals by increasing our collaboration with universities around the world that are at the forefront of discovery and innovation.”

The U15’s inclusion in this group coincides with the government of Canada’s recent re-investments in supporting research excellence.

“Canadian research excellence pushes the frontiers of knowledge and innovation,” said Minister Ed Holder, Canada’s Minister of State (Science and Technology). “We welcome the partnership between Canada’s U15 research universities and the world’s best research universities to propel Canadian research excellence further. Our government is committed to world-leading Canadian research as demonstrated by the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, a fund that will embrace the scientific principles of competition, independence and peer review.”

The global network was formed to tackle what research intensive universities see as the challenges facing institutions around the world. Some of its initial tasks are to:

·      help universities create common metrics to determine capacity and performance for universities across the globe; 

·      establish a joint statement on the roles and importance of contemporary research universities; and,

·      unite established groups of research-intensive universities to better engage with the global research council.

“Our invitation to join this vital global network reinforces something that we have known and celebrated for a long time: that Canadian research-intensive universities are recognized as world-class institutions,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, vice chair of the U15 and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “It is critical that Canadian research-intensive universities have a strong voice amongst their global peers as we work together to find solutions to global challenges and shape the direction of funding agencies.”

The global network invited the U15 to join the organization during Feridun Hamdullahpur’s recent trip to Europe. The U15 will be represented at all future meetings of the Global Network.

“We welcome the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities into the global network," says Kurt Deketelaere, secretary general of LERU and coordinator of the global network of research universities. "We look forward to including the U15 in our discussions about the status of global research direction and funding. Canadian universities are recognized around the world as centres of research excellence and the Network is proud to have them on board."

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