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KU Leuven reinforces its global network by joining Universitas 21

1 October 2019

KU Leuven has become a member of Universitas 21, a global network of research-intensive universities. Together, these 28 leading universities aim to strengthen the development of higher education and research with an international focus. Universitas 21 targets three key areas: educational innovation, research engagement, and student experience.


Universitas 21 was established in 1997 with the explicit aim to empower its members by sharing excellence and collaborating across borders. Now that KU Leuven has joined the network, Universitas 21 comprises 28 members across 18 countries, from Singapore to Chile.

Universitas 21 focuses on three key areas. First of all, it facilitates the development of innovative approaches to teaching and learning, curriculum design, and staff development. Secondly, the network supports early-career researchers in developing international collaboration and sharing best practices. Finally, Universitas 21 strives to enhance student engagement and mobility by creating more international opportunities.

In good company

“Our participation in Universitas 21 is in line with our strategic plan for internationalisation,” says Peter Lievens, Vice Rector for International Policy at KU Leuven. “In the long term, KU Leuven wants to forge close alliances with a limited number of key partners. We always put quality first in our choice of partnerships, and a network like Universitas 21 can help us to achieve our goals by teaming up with the best of the best, including UC Davis, National University of Singapore, The University of Hong Kong, and The University of Melbourne.”


In a press release issued by Universitas 21, Professor Bairbre Redmond, Provost of U21, comments: “We are delighted to welcome KU Leuven to our network of world-class, research-intensive universities. Their ambitious, globally-focused strategy is fully in line with U21’s founding principle of fostering the internationalisation of higher education. Earlier this year, KU Leuven once again topped the Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities. This achievement not only demonstrates the quality of KU Leuven’s research-driven education and their world-class research but also their commitment to innovation. We know that KU Leuven will bring great strength to the network.”

Rector Luc Sels is also pleased with the new partnership. “You’re known by the company that you keep, and in Universitas 21, we’re in excellent company. Apart from LERU universities such as Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Lund, and Zurich, the network comprises leading institutions from across the globe. Approximately half of them are in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. KU Leuven has recently strengthened its position in Europe with various agreements, but Universitas 21 constitutes a worldwide network that creates even more possibilities, particularly for our researchers and students.”

Source: KU Leuven News
Visit their webpage to discover more details about Universitas 21

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