Are universities at risk of becoming too focused on social outreach in their host regions? Is focusing on contributing to local communities distracting universities from their fundamental missions of teaching and research? What is the most significant way in which universities have contributed to the resiliency and prosperity of their host regions – and is that contribution recognised and appreciated?
How are 21st-century universities shaped by the politics and policies of their host countries and regions? Is it realistic to expect global universities to represent the culture of their host community? What are the most important things a host region can offer a university leader?
Why is the growth of digital technology creating a premium on face-to-face interactions? Can new providers disrupt the dominance of the higher education “super-brands”? Is digital technology really going to enable us to jump over real-world political, economic or cultural boundaries – or are new digital boundaries fast emerging?
What is the relationship between the local and the global? With a growing backlash against globalisation taking hold in many regions, this question is assuming ever-greater importance. Are research universities beacons of internationalisation? Or are they playing an unintended role in perpetuating tensions in our globalised world? And what does a university’s location contribute to regional and international partnerships and networks?