A winning partnership

22 September 2014

University of Leuven

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan has today (Monday 22nd September) signed an agreement with the University of Leuven designed to boost research income, create new research collaborations and offer more opportunities for students and staff to study and teach abroad.

The Cooperation Agreement builds on existing academic collaborations with Belgium's largest university and, over the next five years, will create more opportunities for students and the wider academic community to experience studying and teaching abroad.

Signing the new Agreement, Professor Riordan said: "Cardiff and Leuven already enjoy a long standing academic relationship.

"Existing academic collaborations have already resulted in significant European funding and major research.

"This Agreement represents the coming together of two world-leading European universities and an ideal opportunity to formalise existing links."

Founded in 1425, Leuven is the world's oldest surviving Catholic university and the largest university in Belgium. It is consistently ranked in the world's top 100 universities.

With some 6,800 academic staff and more than 40,000 students, it is a leading European research university offering a comprehensive programme of study in both Dutch and English.

In addition to strong academic ties the two Universities share similar systems of devolved government and unique cultural and linguistic identities.  

Professor Riordan added: "With an initial focus on maximising European Funding opportunities, the Agreement also provides an opportunity to bring together the extensive international ties of each University, enhancing the international brand and the reputation of both institutions.

"This forms part of wider University plans to form a tight-knit collaboration with other outstanding universities to promote research and teaching and enhance our position as a global university."

"As a new central partner university, Cardiff shares in our internationalisation ambitions," says Professor Danny Pieters, Vice Rector for Internationalisation at KU Leuven.

"That is why this cooperation agreement has real long-term potential and will benefit the education and research missions of both universities, at both institution and research group levels, and for both staff and students," he added.

The Agreement is the first of two planned by the University to enhance Cardiff's reputation a global university and put Wales on the international stage for its world-leading research.

Further information on the University of Leuven is available at:www.kuleuven.be/english