A presentation from the 2017 Utrecht Conference on the future of UU and the higher education sector, led by keynote speaker Professor Bert van der Zwaan, Rector of Utrecht University and Chair of LERU.

In this session, Professor van der Zwaan outlined the ancient problems and modern dilemmas of a higher education institute, based on impressions from over 80 fellow rectors and university administrators throughout Europe, North America and Asia. Crucially, he examined key factors for change in the coming decades while imagining higher education in 2040 and the contours of the university of the future, focusing on reputation as a crucial element in this transition to 2040.

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2017 Utrecht Conference: Day 1 Plenary 1 - The Future of the University - Bert van der Zwaan

Since the start of his academic career in 1982, Bert van der Zwaan has been working at Utrecht and Nijmegen universities in the Netherlands, and has held many positions outside of academia. Being trained as a palaeontologist, his main research interest involved (paleo)ecology, although already early in his career he participated in many interdisciplinary programs. Through his work he became very interested in the (regional) impact of universities on innovation.

Bert van der Zwaan has led a substantial number of large scientific programs, has been amongst others lead-writer and quartermaster for the government funded (100 million euro) program Knowledge for Climate, coordinator of the Earth and Sustainability program of Utrecht University and partners in which 1200 scientists participate, chair of the Utrecht Center of Geosciences, and lately coordinator and interim-CEO of the EU/EIT Climate-Knowledge and Innovation Community.

After becoming dean of the Faculty of Geosciences in 2006, he left the chair of Biogeology at Utrecht University in September 2008 and became completely involved in science management. He was appointed Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University in 2011.

If you want to find out more about attending this year’s conference please visit our conference page or get in touch via email.