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World Universities Forum 2008

Welcome to the website of the World Universities Forum (WUF).

This Conference will examine the role and future of the University in a changing world.

To be held in Davos, four days after the end of the World Economic Forum (WEF), we are encouraging our Conference participants to come early to participate in the ‘public forum’ aspect of the WEF and WEF participants to stay on to attend our Conference.

Main speakers will include leaders from universities around the world and those reflecting on the nature and future of the University. The program will include numerous paper, colloquium and workshop presentations.

Participants are also welcome to submit a presentation proposal either for a 30-minute paper, 60-minute workshop, jointly presented 90-minute colloquium session or a virtual session. Parallel sessions are loosely grouped into streams reflecting different perspectives or disciplines. Each stream also has its own talking circle, a forum for focused discussion of issues.

Presenters may choose to submit written papers to the Journal of the World Universities Forum, a fully refereed academic Journal. Virtual participants also have the option to submit papers for consideration by the Journal. All registered Conference participants receive a complimentary online subscription to the Journal when registration is finalised. This subscription is valid until one year after the Conference end date.

If you would like to know more about this Conference, bookmark the World Universities Forum site and return for further information ─ the site is regularly updated. You may also wish to subscribe to the Conference and Journal Newsletter.

For all inquiries, please contact the Conference Secretariat.



One of the paradoxical characteristics of our time is that some of the most creative thinking comes from business, politicians and other community leaders rather than academe. The World Universities Forum has been created in the belief that there is an urgent need for academe to connect more directly and boldly with the large questions of our time, in much the same way that the World Economic Forum has forged a role of global intellectual leadership for politicians, business people and community leaders.

Established in 1991, the World Economic Forum has been an important site for dialogue and debate regarding the major social and economic problems of the planet. At its annual meetings in Davos, it brings together the most astute thinkers and scholars and the most powerful economic and political organisations, to participate in wide-ranging conversations and set the agenda for on-going debates. It has become increasingly influential in shaping policy debates.

While much of the discussion at Davos concerns political and economic matters, the topics WEF considers have profound implications for universities around the world, not only in relation to their governance but also with respect to the issues of how best to interpret and respond to the global transformations. As they consider the broader context within which they are located, universities are not only more affected by the issues that WEF addresses than ever before, but they also have a greater role to play in solving the global problems and setting the agenda for the knowledge economy and society.

With the interests of WEF and universities increasingly aligned, the World Universities Forum (WUF) has been planned as a counterpoint, enabling a genuine exchange of ideas between political and economic leaders, University sector leaders and leading higher education scholars.



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Who Should Attend

  • University leaders and administrators.
  • Academics with an interest in higher education, research methods and processes, scholarly knowledge systems, teaching and learning, disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, and the past, present and future of the University.
  • Research students.
  • Public administrators.

Conference Organisers

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