Hefei Statement on 10 Characteristics of Contemporary Research Universities

10 Oct 2013
Hefei Statement signing
For the first time, four of the world’s leading research university associations have made a joint statement on the characteristics of contemporary research universities. The four associations -- the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Consortium of China 9 Research Universities (C9), the Group of Eight Australia (Go8), and the League of European Research Universities (LERU) issued the statement at the annual meeting of the C9 universities in Hefei, China.

“This statement articulates the key characteristics of research universities that enable them to fulfil their research and education missions,” said Professor Jianguo Hou, President of The University of Science and Technology, China, and C9 convenor for 2013.  ”It outlines the shared values that underpin effective cross-national institutional collaboration,” he added.  

“Research universities can work together across borders and across oceans to make far-reaching contributions to problem solving and innovation around the world,” said Professor Hunter Rawlings, AAU President.

“The statement identifies not only institutional responsibilities but also the need for government policies that support the values and cultivate those basic strengths of research universities that enable them to serve their nations well,” he added.

The four associations, which comprise the leading research universities in their respective regions, have committed to work together to advance the 10 characteristics described in the joint statement and also explore prospects for additional collaborations.

“We will explore expanded future collaborations among our students, scholars and researchers,” said Professor Bernd Huber, LERU Chair.  “We will pursue the possibilities for joint work addressing global research issues, including structured dialogue with the recently formed Global Research Council, perhaps through the formation of a Global Council of Research Universities”, he said.

The four groups are keen to extend commitment to the research university characteristics by inviting comparable associations of research universities to sign onto the Joint Statement.

“We see this statement as the beginning of an important process of deepening community understanding of what research universities are and what they can be, and of their unique role in meeting global challenges,” said Professor Fred Hilmer, Go8 Chair.