W100 Annual Conference 2017: Utrecht, Netherlands

The W100 Annual Conference was hosted by Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Utrecht University (UU) was host to the seventh W100 annual conference, ‘Circles of Influence: Putting your university at the heart of the conversation’, on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 October 2017, with pre-conference activities on Wednesday 4 October. The conference was preceded by a Study Tour (for W100 members only) to the University of Groningen on 2 and 3 October.

Utrecht is one of the most connected cities and regions in Europe; and Utrecht University has a really impressive track record as a world-leading university connected with international academic world and with its many partners locally. 

Our theme was influence on a global scale, which the world-leading Dutch are well-versed in. We had a range of international speakers with other perspectives which shined a light on opportunities and challenges surrounding the topic of influence in different parts of the world. We examined how American universities are navigating changing times, new techniques in student recruitment, city influence, connecting with employers and industry and how leading academics are influencing global research.


"It’s informative, very social, very collegial and professionally organised."



"Topics are highly relevant and speakers are insightful."



"Great opportunity to meet peers from around the world!"



"Fantastic conference – diverse and rich programme, endless networking opportunities and an invaluable network to be part of."



"Great conference! Really good balanced programme and great organisation."



"As always, a fabulous opportunity to meet colleagues and share stories."



"Thought provoking and a great chance to think bigger."



"Great network and great that there is time for talking and networking."



"Loved the dedicated times and opportunities for networking and meeting people."



"The content was very engaging and enlightening."


Conference Theme and Speakers

Experts from world-class universities presented on the theme of influence. Speakers and topics included:

  • The future of the university. Prof Bert van der Zwaan, Rector of Utrecht University and Chair of the LERU
  • American universities: navigating in changing times. Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor for Global Affairs, University of California, Davis
  • Beyond degrees: NUS' approach to attracting millennials.  Arlene Tan, Associate Director, Strategic Communications, Office of Corporate Relations, NUS
  • City influence: Brand, engagement and civic power. Tania Rhodes-Taylor, Vice Principal, External Relations, University of Sydney & Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation, The University of Manchester
  • Collaboration towards a shared purpose. Saskia Kapinga, Vice President External Relations, Shell International
  • Masterminding Metamorphosis: taking staff and stakeholders in a bold new direction. Rachel Sandison, Executive Director of External Relations, University of Glasgow
  • Influencing the influencers: how to persuade academics and employers to vote for you in the rankings! Louise Simpson, Director, The World 100 Network
  • Connecting with employers and industry as a way to strengthen global influence. Dasha Karzunina, Market Insights Manager, QS Intelligence Unit
  • From potholes to performance: building a top university relations function from scratch in a very short time. Diane Kenyon, Vice-President, University Relations, University of Calgary & Kim Lawrence, Associate VP, Marketing, University of Calgary and International Brand Master (IBM)
  • The World 100@10: the last decade in reputation and the shape of things to come. Mark Sudbury, Head of Global Network Development, The World 100 Reputation Network
  • Flexing social media: the use of Weibo. Katherine Ma, Director of Communications, The University of Hong Kong
  • Community building through social media. Jessica Winters, Head of International Student Recruitment, Utrecht University
  • Punching above your age - how to influence as a young global university? Ulla Gjorling, Head of Rector's Office, Aalborg University & Denis Ancion, Director of Marketing & Communications, Maastricht University
  • Communicating the benefits of research intensive universities to widening participation students. Sarah Askew, Senior Market Research Manager, The Knowledge Partnership & Barbara Herring, Senior Project Manager, Newcastle University
  • Rescuing the soul of a liberal education: the Dutch influence on the global stage, and the creation of the Dutch Liberal Arts College. James Kennedy, Dean of the Utrecht University College

Click here to read more about the conference speakers

Conference Downloads

Click below to view the programme for the conference.




Non-member delegates can click here to view and download the presentations. A password is required to view this page, if you were a delegate at the conference but do not have the password please contact info@theworld100.com.


Events Photos

You can view photos of the conference, study tour and other W100 events in our gallery.


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