Ljubljana – The University of Ljubljana has hosted senior officials of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the chancellors of Central-European universities (CE7). The meeting was dedicated to the EU’s development in research, innovation and education, as well as responses to the war in Ukraine in support of the academic-research community.
“The key importance of our meetings, including today’s, is to remain united in our common values. At LERU, we are committed to a peaceful and knowledge-based society,” Gregor Majdič, University of Ljubljana chancellor, said on Saturday as quoted by the university.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of LERU and five years after the first meeting of the CE7 group, the participants noted that their successful cooperation contributed to the advancement of cutting-edge science and education in Europe, which was all the more important in the face of global threats.
However, they would like to see their network to be more cohesive and strengthened in order to respond to and take initiatives on current European developments.
Ambassador Iztok Jarc, head of Slovenia’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, summed up the achievements of the Slovenian EU presidency in the field of research and innovation, highlighting the global approach, the importance of the Western Balkans, and efforts to promote the association of third countries to Horizon Europe.
At yesterday’s LERU-CE7 meeting, he stressed that the EU’s main objectives – recovery, green and digital transformation and strategic autonomy – could not be achieved without education and research.
Lia Karamali, spokeswoman for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, highlighted efforts to empower universities as key change agents in the green and digital transitions and to strengthen them to take on a leading global role in Europe.
She noted the need for the higher education sector to adapt to the rapidly evolving needs for modern skills. She also stressed the efforts needed to respect and acknowledge diversity, inclusion and gender equality in higher education.
Founded in 2002, the LERU is an established network of 23 leading research-intensive universities that is based in twelve European countries. Its guiding principle is that frontier research plays a key role in the innovation process and makes an important contribution to society’s progress.