When I was young my father often referred to UL as the American University because elements of the US university system were adopted, including cooperative education, grade point average marking and the trimester system. During the 1970s, limited public financing led management to seek World Bank and European Investment Bank funding. Sophisticated private-sector fundraising programmes were later developed, based on US university models and guided by an international leadership board under founding chair Chuck Feeney and Lewis Glucksman. The campus developed primarily as a result of such fundraising activity.
The university has been an active participant in the European Union's Erasmus Programme since 1988 and has 207 partner institutions in 24 European countries. In addition, UL students may study at partner universities in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, China and Singapore.