How We Work

U21 is a Presidents-led network of worldwide, research-intensive universities who work together on shared issues of importance to their universities and to global higher education more generally.

The Chair of U21, one of the U21 Presidents, is assisted by the U21 Executive Committee, a small group of other Presidents from around the network, who have oversight of the work of the network, its activities and its interactions with members as well as with external bodies.

At the U21 annual meeting, all Presidents of the member universities have the opportunity to review activities and achievements from the past year, set the strategic direction for the network over the forthcoming year and discuss issues of importance to their universities and to higher education more generally. This meeting extends over three days and the agenda is set in consultation with members and with academic input from experts.

Each member university appoints a senior person as its U21 Senior Leader to be the liaison point between the university and the network and to promote and foster network engagement at institutional level. The U21 Senior Leaders meet face-to-face twice a year to exchange ideas and best practice, and also to provide advice and feedback to the U21 Secretariat, the Executive Committee and the Presidents. 

Much of U21’s project activity is split into three clusters of engagement, representing the full breadth and depth of the network’s vision, and the aims and goals it strives to achieve. These three areas are Student Experience, Educational Innovation and Researcher Engagement. Each of these project areas receives expert advice and leadership from steering groups made up of experienced senior academics and professional staff from across the network’s universities.

The U21 Management Team is comprised of the Provost, who oversees the strategic direction of the network and overall coherence of the network’s projects, the Director of Operations, who has responsibility for all U21 operational matters and the wider Secretariat team, led by the Director of Operations.  Members of the U21 Secretariat are the main point of reference for members in all aspects of the network’s activities and supports collective activity and innovation.

U21 Management Team Strategic Priorities