About the summit

The Times Higher Education  Young Universities Summit is the essential annual gathering of leaders of the world’s best and most ambitious research universities founded since 1945. In June 2021, in partnership with HSE University in Moscow, senior leaders from academia and related industries will gather  to assess the global outlook for higher education, analysing disruption, celebrating impact and identifying opportunities for new growth with their peers.

Universities are uniquely placed to influence global development and future life on Earth through their research and knowledge creation. Gauging a university’s influence has traditionally meant measuring how innovative it is in its research, how global it is in its outlook and how successful it is in knowledge transfer. Increasingly, however, influence has another dimension. Local sustainable development goals are now considered a vital measure of a university’s impact on society. At this three-day summit, we will therefore explore how universities can further enhance their global reputation through their research, industry partnerships and teaching, while concurrently having a significant impact on their localities.

Young universities are uniquely positioned to shape their missions to become powerhouses on both a global and local scale. With fewer institutional shackles, they can be agile and responsive to world events and emerging challenges. In this summit, university presidents, vice-chancellors, industry and government representatives, and thought leaders from around the world will examine how young universities can harness such opportunities to influence the lives of people and environments far and near. We will also scrutinise governments’ role in accelerating university success, multidisciplinary approaches to research and how universities can ensure student success in the fourth industrial revolution.

Programme themes


A combination of keynote speeches, participatory debates, live polling, case studies and panel discussions will support attendees as they consider these key themes:

  • Building a world-class reputation
  • Localism and the global university
  • Ground-breaking research with impact
  • Brave new world: Digital transformation and the young university

Why attend?


  • Gain exclusive analysis and understand the data behind the ranking, and learn how your institution can improve
  • Join a global network of leaders, experts and decision-makers who set the agenda for excellence in higher education
  • Share your experience with THE’s worldwide audience of higher education professionals

Who should attend?


Hundreds of leaders from the world’s best and most ambitious universities and research-led companies will reflect on what are the optimum conditions for human talent to develop and how some of the key obstacles can be overcome.

Participants include vice-chancellors, rectors, presidents, deputy presidents, vice-presidents and distinguished scholars representing higher education and governments along with industries and businesses with close links to both sectors.

Here’s what previous attendees said


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Young Universities Summit 2019


The Times Higher Education  Young Universities Summit 2019 in took place 26-28 June in Guildford, UK. In partnership with the University of Surrey and the University of Wollongong, the summit gathered senior leaders from academia and related industries at Surrey’s campus to assess the global outlook for higher education, analysing disruption, celebrating impact and identifying opportunities for new growth with their peers.

Programme: View the full summit programme and list of speakers


Global partners