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The Future UniLab: A Living Laboratory

The Future University Lab was launched in 2020 under the alliance's 1Europe project. The idea behind setting up such a think-tank was to create a space for strategic reflection, innovation and experimentation in relation to the University of the Future. In the day-to-day functioning of universities, there is little time to consider the challenges to higher education and research which might materialize in the future. Meanwhile, universities must be prepared to face such challenges. In addition, the consideration of potential future challenges and opportunities may lead to groundbreaking ideas, formats of cooperation, and institutional improvements that can influence and reshape also the present day.

Guidebook Future UniLab 2022

An introduction to the ambitions and methodology of the Future UniLab can be found here.

Visionaries and Designers - Towards a New Methodology

" It's the heterogeneous composition of our visionaries and designers that produces unexpected, innovative, and sometimes astonishing solutions to our questions. The Future UniLab shows us how much fun it is to challenge ourselves with tricky questions. "

Britta Piel, Una Europa Future UniLab Steering Committee Member

The essential component of the methodology is to distinguish between two kinds of teams, the visionaries and the designers.

The Teams of Visionaries are appointed to work on particular issues and are given the freedom to dream and think truly out of the box. They are to tackle fundamental problems in a novel way and provide an output which will (re)state the problem and solution(s). All their outputs can be located in the Knowledge Hub section, but some of the already analysed questions by the Future UniLab Visionaries have concerned:

The Teams of Designers consist mainly of professionals from the Una Europa partners and are tasked with the "reality check" for the dream scenarios.

The interaction of these two central players was orchestrated by the Future UniLab’s Core Team (now the Future UniLab Steering Committee), which coordinates the think-tank's activities and acts as the main interlocutor for policymakers. It plays a central role in differentiating “fundamental questions” and “short-term problems” and defines the appropriate discussion forum, within the Future UniLab and beyond.

In June 2023, a new structure of the Future UniLab was adopted. You can check it here.

The European University of the Future - Bold, Integrated, Open

In June 2021, the Future UniLab released its first position paper outlining a vision for the European University of the Future. The pillars of the European University of the Future will be core values, a commitment to sustainability and a creative bringing-together of richly symbolic university campuses with new, dynamic spaces opened up by digital technology.

To act in accordance with these pillars and shape the vision of a broad, innovative future for universities, the Future UniLab calls for all actions to be BIO: bold, integrated and open. The paper also outlines methods for universities and policymakers to enable and promote BIO actions.

Scroll through the path towards a European University of the Future as pictured in the Future UniLab position paper!

Contact information

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