The League of European Research Universities (LERU)

Founded in 2002, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) is an association of 21 leading research-intensive universities that share the values of high-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research.


LERU advocates:

  • education through an awareness of the frontiers of human understanding;
  • the creation of new knowledge through basic research, which is the ultimate source of innovation in society;
  • and the promotion of research across a broad front in partnership with industry and society at large.

The purpose of the League is to advocate these values, to influence policy in Europe and to develop best practices through mutual exchange of experience.

LERU regularly publishes a variety of papers and reports, including high-level policy statements, in-depth analyses and concrete recommendations for policymakers, universities, researchers and other stakeholders, helping to shape research policy at the EU level.


LERU's members are based in ten European countries. Membership, which is by invitation, is periodically evaluated against a broad set of quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as research volume, impact and funding, strengths in PhD training, size and disciplinary breadth, and peer-recognised academic excellence.

List of LERU members and further information (PDF)


> Rectors' Assembly

Each member university is represented in LERU by its head of institution. The Rectors' Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the organisation. It meets twice a year at a different member institution.

> Board of Directors

The Rectors' Assembly appoints three of its members to serve as the Board of Directors and elects a chairperson from among them. The Chair of the Board of Directors also presides over the Rectors' Assembly.

Presently, the LERU Directors are:

Facts and figures

  • Together LERU member universities account for more than 550,000 students, including 50,000 PhD candidates.
  • Each year about 55,000 master's degrees and 12,000 doctorates are awarded at LERU universities.
  • The total research budget of LERU’s members exceeds €5 billion.
  • More than €1 billion is granted by research councils, while over €1.25 billion comes from contract research.
  • The total sum of research grants from EU projects to LERU universities is approximately €300 million.
  • More than 20% of ERC grants have been awarded to researchers at LERU universities.
  • Over 230 Nobel Prize and Field Medal winners have studied or worked at LERU universities.
  • 55,000 academic staff and 55,000 non-academic staff work at the member institutions (hospital-only staff not included).