The former President of UCC Michael Murphy has been appointed as the first ever Irish President of the European University Association (EUA).
He was announced as head of the body following an election by representatives of all member universities and national rectors’ conferences during the EUA's General Assembly at the Sorbonne University in Paris.
He will serve in the role for a four-year term until 2023.
The EUA represents more than 800 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries.
The organisation plays a role in influencing EU policies on higher education, research and innovation.
Its board consists of nine members, including the President, and is responsible for the preparation and implementation of the Association’s policy, the planning of its activities and the management of its affairs.
Prof Murphy was the Irish Universities Association's representative on the EUA Council for seven years, and was elected to the EUA Board in 2017. He also serves as Chair of the EUA Steering Group for Teaching and Learning.
Following his appointment, Prof Murphy said: “To be competitive and successful in the coming decades, Europe will need the strongest higher education and research system in the world.
"A 'whole of Europe' deeply networked system of well resourced, autonomous but accountable universities will be the foundation for our continent's economic and social success.
"EUA will provide sectoral leadership, draft the roadmap and support governments in creating the necessary legislative and investment frameworks," he said.