Universities and the future(s) of Europe: from foresight to insight to action

As part of the new “Universities and the future of Europe” (UniFE) project, EUA will bring together a small group of up to 20 university leaders from across Europe at an exclusive Leadership Retreat from 22-23 May. During two half-day sessions (from lunch to lunch) at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, participants will take a step back from their daily routine and think strategically about the future of universities and European cooperation.

In highly interactive workshop sessions inspired by foresight methodologies, participants will explore signals of change, dive into forecasts and scenarios of possible and preferred futures, reflect on the preparedness of their universities, and jointly expand upon universities’ wishes and needs for Europe and future European cooperation. Two days in the hills overlooking Florence, away from the everyday hustle and bustle, will allow participants to gain new insights and inspiration from peers and look at their daily challenges with fresh eyes and energy.

Through various consultations and workshops with EUA members running throughout 2023, the UniFE project aims to develop concrete ideas about what Europe’s universities want from future collaboration and what they need in terms of framework conditions, political structures, and multilateral frameworks. Outcomes will feed into EUA's engagement around the European elections in 2024 and the Association’s overall approach to European policy making.

Working sessions will be facilitated by Thomas Jørgensen and Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik, respectively Director and Deputy Director for Policy Coordination and Foresight at EUA.


The Leadership Retreat is open to university leaders from EUA member universities (rectors, vice-rectors, presidents, vice-presidents) who are willing to actively contribute to the exchange.

To allow for interactive discussions, this event is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. Participants will be selected based on their responses to the call for interest, with due consideration for geographical, gender, and institutional diversity. If you wish to participate in the workshop, please submit your application via the online form no later than 23 March 2023.

Participation in the retreat is free including lunch on Monday the 22 May and Tuesday the 23 May, and dinner on Monday the 22 May. Travel and accommodation costs are to be covered by the participant.

Please note that if you apply for the UniFE Leadership Retreat in Florence, you cannot in parallel apply for the online UniFE Leadership Workshop on 28 March. Therefore, we kindly ask you to choose between the two events before you apply.

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