The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) seeks to engage in the current discussions on the future of the universities in Europe. This paper aims to contribute to that reflection by highlighting some of the most pressing challenges that higher education institutions will face in the coming years, by identifying enabling factors and conditions that could allow institutions to evolve in the next decade and by providing a series of recommendations to policy makers to support universities in this journey.
When thinking about higher education’s evolution, YERUN acknowledges and embraces the diversity existing in the European higher education landscape. In doing so, YERUN believes that the universities of the future should devise a long term strategy that covers the four missions of higher education institutions i.e. education, research, innovation, and service to society and that looks at the universities of the future as enablers for talent to grow in all dimensions.
In this vision, universities accompany the individual’s development throughout the different phases of life: from the students (where talent sparks), passing by the researchers (where talent evolves) and by the leaders (where talent is mobilised), and having positive repercussions on the wider society (where talent connects and has an impact). Each of these sections includes a series of identified enabling factors that would support institutions to evolve in the future.
Finally, with the aim to provide guidance to EU and national policy makers, YERUN sets a series of key messages identifying the type of support and frameworks that will enable institutions to put this vision into practice.
YERUN members have already embarked on this journey. What about you?