The Future of Universities

Perspectives on how engaged and entrepreneurial universities
will drive growth and shape our knowledge-driven future until 2040

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Why The Fut _ ?

Facing enormous global challenges, there is an immediate need to better align universities with business innovation supply chains, talent needs of employers as well as regional needs more generally. Moreover, the development of knowledge-driven, ‘smart’ development of our societies needs informed leadership.

Despite this, we experienced a distinct lack of inspiration and innovation in the higher education sector. Most discussions and models of higher education involve incremental adaptations of the existing models, which are far from adventurous and often only involve adding technology.

We firmly believe that universities need to embrace change and seize the opportunity to define how they contribute to a prosperous society, or risk becoming irrelevant. But how? And for what future? The best way to avoid a new disruptor into your market is to disrupt your own market from within… Then the questions are, how will it all look in 2040 and will universities be willing to do it?


The Future of Universities Thoughtbook brings together visions from invited professionals and three from the editors to create a vision for the future of universities and how they could potentially impact the world and their community over the next 20 years.

Leading international thought and practice leaders from business, the higher education sector, science, policy agencies, and governments will explore the topic of university engagement through an inspiring collection of thoughts, ideas and discoveries explaining how universities and their partners will shape our knowledge-driven future.

meet the contributors who co-created the vision of the future universities
Read the FUT_ blog and learn more about the future scenarios redirect to the blog subpage
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download a web version or order your hard copy of The Future of Universities Thoughtbook

The 3 editions of

The Future of Universities Thoughtbook

Global Edition

Australian Edition

North American Edition


“Much more important than which jobs will disappear or how many alternative jobs will emerge as a result of digitalization, such as robotisation and artificial intelligence, is the question of the changes in the tasks of professionals, even the more stable ones.”
Dirk Van Damme
Head of Division, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD
Catriona Jackson
CEO of Universities Australia
"Universities will never sit still, never stop exploring, never stop asking students to respect evidence and expertise but to challenge ideas and conventions at every turn. Universities will never resign themselves to the view that our world cannot be different and better.”
Ted Mitchell
the President of the American Council on Education
“Colleges and universities may be more important in American life than they have ever been, as engines of social mobility, as builders of human capital, as generators of new knowledge, and as bulwarks of our diverse democracy.”

Connect with us

University Industry Innovation Network B.V.
Science Park 400
1098XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 20 89 50 182

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    Dear Higher Education, We stand at the precipice of significant transformation in higher education as we weather an unprecedented collision