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The Future UniLab: A Living Laboratory

What is the Future UniLab?

The Una Europa Future UniLab is a reflection space on the future of universities. Coordinated by Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie, the Future UniLab operates as a think-tank that scrutinises and sometimes challenges Una Europa and its projects and provides new ideas, both in the service of the crucial middle-term needs and with an eye on the long-term goal of developing a University of the Future.

A truly innovative European University of the Future would benefit from an ‘autonomous thinking zone’ that encourages disruptive thinking and sometimes challenges the established order of the day-to-day functioning of universities. The concept of this ‘thinking zone’ motivates the Future UniLab, driving the University of the Future forward in line with our everchanging world and ensuring the future relevance of universities to reflect and reshape society.

Aims and Goals

Since the Future UniLab was created, our aims and goals have remained the same. The ambition is to become an autonomous thinking zone as well as a source of innovative ideas and inspiration for Una Europa and universities across Europe.

Our goals are:

  • To serve as a reflective, creative and inclusive space for rethinking key challenges and opportunities for the universities of the future.
  • To experiment with methodologies and instruments in order to develop innovative ways of discursive problem-solving in academia.
  • To integrate the Future UniLab with Una Europa and its projects while retaining the group's autonomy and independence.

To achieve these goals, in May 2023 the Future UniLab adopted a new methodology for discussing the challenges and opportunities European universities face when collaborating across cultures and borders. You can find out more about this in Our Work section.

In the longer term, the Future UniLab aspires to become a permanent institution that brings together top-level experts and serves as a reference point in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

" There’s almost no reflection of how the university should look like in 10, 20, 30 years’ time and we need a space for that... The question is how do we make it possible to think outside the box on a regular basis? "

Bartosz Brożek, Lead of Una Europa Future UniLab

Our mission? Re-thinking the University of the Future

You may wonder... What is so special about the Future UniLab?

  • Out-of-the-box methodology: The Future UniLab concentrates its activities around a unique methodology which gives rise to innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving.
  • Interdisciplinarity: As the challenges and opportunities facing the University of the Future are diverse, so are the topics explored by the Future UniLab. Challenges range from core values and integration to the sustainable university and the expansion of the digital dimension.
  • Inclusiveness: The challenges and opportunities that universities face concern everyone. Hence, when looking for Visionaries, the Future UniLab strives for a balance of people within higher education (such as academics, researchers, professional services staff at universities and students) and outside of it (such as representatives of NGOs, Corporations and more).

This encourages:

  • Innovative solutions and proposals based on the out-of-the-box methodology.
  • Inclusion of people with different backgrounds and qualifications which allows for a diverse environment with diverse ideas.
  • Providing a forum for discussion on the future role of universities in society and consequently improving the Una Europa environment through the different challenges and opportunities analysed.
  • Developing ground-breaking tools and models for cooperation in European Higher Education.
  • Assess and future proof Una Europa’s activities.

The Future UniLab Presentation

Does it all sound too abstract still? Check our latest presentation here!


See what our Visionaries consider important when re-thinking the University of the Future!

Follow us on social media!

Besides following the official social media of Una Europa, we highly encourage you to start following the Future UniLab on Twitter/X.

If you want us to notice you and your ideas about the University of the Future, do not forget to tag us (@Future_UniLab) and use the #FutureUniLab hashtag.

The Future UniLab was initiated under Una Europa's 1Europe project and developed under the alliance's Una.Futura project as part of our work exploring Future Visions.

Contact information

Interested in getting involved in the Future UniLab? Contact the Management Team for more information.