W100 Conference

This year's World 100 Annual Conference took place at The University of Manchester in Manchester, UK on the 9-11 September 2019. The conference was hosted by Sally Sykes, Director of Marketing and Communications, and Alan Ferns, Vice President for External Relations and Reputation.

2019: The University of Manchester
A Reputation for Relevance - Universities Engaging with Society

This year's conference theme focused on how universities can work more effectively with society and the return on investment in reputation. Speakers included Professor Brian Cox, Nicky Old and Lord Bob Kerslake.

A members day preceded the conference on 9 September, which wass open to all members of the network. 

The Study Tour followed the conference, hosted by Queen's University Belfast.

The World 100 Reputation Network Annual Conference

The most significant event in the Network’s calendar, the World 100 Reputation Network Annual Conference offers a key opportunity for members to share reputational achievements. 

The conference offers invaluable networking opportunities in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. It allows members and non-members to exchange innovative perspectives on reputation, international relations, and global brand building.

Attended by Vice-Presidents, Directors and Heads of Communications, Marketing, and International Relations at top universities, the World 100 Annual Conference welcomes both members and non-members, plus attendees from organisations within the higher education industry. New members are always encouraged to contribute presentations which enables them to promote brand profile to some of the most important influencers in higher education.

As an international event with members from across the globe, the World 100 Annual Conference takes place in a different country each year. Each year, we explore a unique theme impacting reputation within the higher education environment.

2019: University of Manchester, UK
A Reputation for Relevance – Universities Engaging with Society

2018: University of British Columbia, Canada
Differentiation and the World-Class University

2017: Utrecht University, Netherlands
Circles of Influence: Putting your University at the Heart of the Conversation

2016: Dublin City University, Ireland
Higher Narratives: Communicating University Reputation and Research through Storytelling, Heritage and Culture

2015: The University Sydney, Australia
Communicating Global Universities as Destinations and Experiences

2014: University of Michigan, United States
Transformation: Where World-Class Universities have to Change to Survive

Previous conference speakers include:


Prof. Bert van der Zwaan, Rector, Utrecht University and Chairman of LERU

Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor, The University of Manchester

Kazuo Ogata, Senior Vice President, Kyushu University

Dan Dillon, Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, Arizona State University

Diane Kenyon, Vice President, University Relations, University of Calgary

Paul Andrew, Vice-President for Public Affairs and Communications, Harvard University

Rachel Sandison, Executive Director and Vice Principal, External Relations, University of Glasgow

Niraj Dawar, Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University

Each conference is preceded or followed by a Study Tour hosted by a top global university. Study Tours, available to members only, are two-day visits to a peer university to explore its strategic areas of research, strength and teaching expertise while soaking up the culture of the city. Previous Study Tours include:

2019: University of Belfast
Following the conference in Manchester, a group of W100 members headed across to Belfast for a couple of days at Queen's University Belfast - a prestigious Russell Group UK university which is building a global reputation. Queen’s was judged the leading global online brand in last year’s World 100 Brand Snapshot research project.  The team responsible for the brand review that drove this achievement gave us valuable insights into what informed their decisions and shared more about how they developed Global Research Institutes/Pioneer Research Programmes to enhance their reputation. The group also visited a number of leading academic centres at Queen's covering a range of topics from cell biology to global peace, and the latest in communication technology. The Trip was rounded off with a chance to explore historic Belfast, lauded by Lonely Planet for its energy and lively atmosphere. The Titanic Visitor Attraction gave us the chance to consider the analogy of the vast amounts of unseen work that go into improving a university’s reputation beneath the visible tip of the iceberg!

2018: University of Washington, Seattle and University of Calgary

2017: University of Groningen

2016: University of Glasgow

2015: Australian National University

2014: The University of Chicago and Western University