The Young European Research University Network (YERUN) is made up of 18 institutions under 50 years old, all of which are included in one of THE’s rankings or have been featured in the past five years.
Vice-chancellors and representatives from 12 of the universities met yesterday to launch the network at Times Higher Education’s Young Universities Summit and to discuss the “big issues” affecting their future. They hope to meet at least three times a year.
Brian MacCraith, president at Dublin City University, one of the institutions in the group and the host of this year’s THE Young Universities Summit, said the network established four main characteristics of the universities: a focus on research, internationalisation, teaching quality and graduate employability.
During his keynote speech at yesterday’s conference he said: “We planned our future, planned the sort of influence we can exert on, for example, research policies in Europe, and planned programmes where we can share academic modules, training for staff and research strengths of infrastructure.
“It’s about that common bond [among] young universities and recognising that there is strength in coming together. We’re hoping our place in the rankings will give us leverage.”
He added that one of the advantages of young universities is they “don’t have that complacency or that arrogance of having arrived”.
“We’re continuing to strive to improve. We’re trying to be agile, we’re trying to be responsive, we’re trying to be engaged with the big issues,” he said.
The YERUN network’s members are: the University of Konstanz, the University of Ulm and the University of Bremen (Germany); the University of Antwerp (Belgium); the University of Southern Denmark (Denmark); the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Charles III University of Madrid and Pompeu Fabra (Spain); the University of Eastern Finland (Finland); Paris Dauphine University – Paris 9 (France); Dublin City University (Ireland); University of Rome II – Tor Vergata (Italy); Maastricht University (Netherlands); the New University of Lisbon (Portugal); Brunel University London and the University of Essex (UK); and Linköping University (Sweden).