The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe.
The Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU) is a university alliance formed by Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands in 2018. Hanze University of Applied Sciences initiated HLU in April 2018 as a university alliance with a spirit to revive noble objectives of openness and cooperation among the approximately 190 city-states of the original Hanseatic League that had prospered in Europe from the 12th century through the 17th Century.
Presidents of 10 universities in the US, Asia, Europe, and Africa participated in HLU’s First Conference in Groningen, the Netherlands. At the meeting, participating presidents voiced their preference to focus on the practical application of science and technology as a basis for world university rankings, rather than the mere output of research papers and citations that currently represent the majority of factors used to compare and gauge the quality of a university. The presidents agreed to turn the meeting into the 1st Conference of the Hanseatic League of Universities, with the mission of working together to address the real impact of higher education on society and industry.
The Second HLU Conference took place in July 2019 on Incheon National University’s main campus in Songdo, one of the most beautiful and thriving cities in Korea. The conference was attended by around 200 presidents and representatives from more than 70 universities all over the world.
The Second Conference resulted in the following two meaningful outcomes.
First, HLU is open to all universities, colleges, schools and any institutions of higher education which seek innovation in research and education. There are no membership or annual fees up through the Third Conference (to be held in 2020).
Secondly, HLU agreed to launch a new university ranking called the “World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI),” and to release the inaugural ranking of “Global Top 100 WURI’20” in May 2020 at the Third HLU Conference to be hosted by Northern Arizona University, USA.