Higher education today is going through a period of transformative change. The challenges of our times – sustainability, equity, inclusion – find expression in higher education institutions through student demands for inclusion, government expectations that higher education institutions will lead on the green agenda, and staff expectations of equity in the workplace.
The European University of Technology embeds an agenda for a change in the higher education model, offering flexibility of study, and collaboration across national partners. It is timely, then, to reimagine the higher education model in the context of the global transformations being experienced in higher education institutions. These transformations are values-led, grounded in social and climate justice. There are counter-cultures emerging too, such as the challenge to academic freedom posed by limitations on the teaching of critical theory subjects, gender and race in particular. This conference provides an opportunity for paper-givers and panellists to reflect on the contexts in which a positive re-imagining of higher education occurs, the relevance of sustainability, equity and inclusion for this transformative change, and the opportunities and challenges for higher education institutions as they grow into the 21st century.