31 August 2020

Toronto, Canada

Our modern world has been revolutionised over the past two decades by the emergence of data as our most precious resource; therefore, who can capture, own, understand and utilise data has become the defining power struggle of our times.

THE’s Festival of Data – held in connection with the World Academic Summit – is the must-attend annual forum where the higher education sector’s leaders and data experts from across the world come together to share their strategies and tools for transforming research, teaching and university impact in the 21st century.

In higher education, THE’s independent data teamwork with 2,600 institutions in 93 countries, with 1 million data points analysed each year. This has given THE unparalleled expertise in the trends underpinning university performance globally. THE’s data and benchmarking tools are used by many of the world’s most prestigious universities to help them achieve their missions and goals, and by national governments to help them understand the effectiveness of their policies. THE’s analysis was accessed more than 90 million times online in 2019.

Key discussion themes


This Festival of Data will enable all participants to gain a better insight into the global key trends, and identify the key actors and key tools that will govern how data will reshape higher education over the next 10 years.

  • The key ethical challenges in relation to data ownership and the limits to how it can be used across the public and private realms
  • Best practice in higher education data leadership
  • Case studies of how data can empower research, support students and shape long-term strategy
  • Exclusive new data that reveal global understanding of the power of place in higher education
  • In addition, we will invite scrutiny in an exclusive participatory session where THE’s data scientists will present their potential new methodologies for creating the 2022 World University Rankings, the biggest and most influential global measure of university performance.

Global partners