ACU joins global Catholic research universities


ACU joins Boston College in the United States and six other Catholic universities from around the world as founding members of the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU).

Representatives from the eight key international Catholic universities officially signed a partnership agreement establishing a multilateral agreement on 12 October 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. ACU Provost Professor Pauline Nugent signed the joint declaration on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and President.

Principles of the declaration shared by the partner universities include:

  • A university culture inspired by Catholicism, with respect for academic freedom;
  • A spirit of great rigour in the academic quality of teaching, research and service to the community;
  • A commitment to cooperation with varying formats, allowing for enhancement of the global alliance via special sector agreements;
  • A commitment to develop a research-intensive environment championing academic freedom and ethical responsibility.


The first meeting and ceremonial signing was held at the Catholic University of Portugal where Professor Nugent, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Wayne McKenna and Pro Vice-Chancellor, International, Mr Chris Riley, represented ACU.

This important agreement has goals which will enhance the Catholic network of universities and will encourage multilateral cooperation in teaching, research and service to the community. Additionally, this partnership will promote joint research projects and publications and enhance the visibility of the allied universities in a global setting.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said the partnership would inspire and promote greater international collaboration.

“It is a great privilege to be included among such an eminent group of universities, representing long-established and younger institutions that are each dedicated to fostering a rich intellectual, philosophical and theological tradition. Collectively we hope to provide a formidable contribution to scholarship and society within our distinctive Catholic identity,” Professor Craven said.

The following universities are signatories of the agreement:

  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portugal)
  • Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore (Italy)
  • Universitat Ramon Llull (Spain)
  • Boston College (USA)
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica Do Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica De Chile (Chile)
  • Sophia University (Japan)
  • Australian Catholic University (Australia).

The latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2019 placed ACU in the top 500 among global institutions and top 10 among Catholic universities globally, placing us with our partners Boston College, which is ranked in the top 350 universities globally and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, which is ranked in the top 500 universities.  The Pontifical University of Chile; the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro; and the Catholic University of Portugal are all ranked in the top 800 universities world-wide.

This strong membership will ensure that this partnership agreement achieves its objectives and solidifies the positions of our universities among research institutions across the world

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