Changemakers in Sustainability: New visions of Europe higher ed by empowering young minds

Europe’s higher education institutions play a crucial role in nurturing the next generation of changemakers – individuals equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to drive positive and sustainable transformation. The new generation has shown their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to question the status quo and envision a world where social, economic, and environmental sustainability are not just ideals but realities. By having a diverse student body, universities can create a more inclusive learning environment, foster innovation and cultivate a pipeline of sustainability leaders.

The QS Higher Ed Summit: Europe 2024 will serve as a catalyst for reimagining sustainability education within European universities and explore strategies in empowering young minds to become the driving force behind a sustainable future.


1. Europe’s Higher Education: A report card

This opening panel will explore the current state of higher education in Europe, identify key trends and challenges, and discuss potential strategies for navigating the unpredictable road ahead. The panel will discuss some key issues facing the region such as the challenge of recruiting students from beyond the region, the importance of diversity and inclusion in the campus and the impact of globalisation.

2. Measuring Green (Sustainability)

As universities in Europe strive to embed sustainability principles into their operations, curriculum and research, they face the challenge of effectively measuring and evaluating their progress. This panel will delve into the complexities of measuring sustainability development in higher ed, examine existing frameworks, challenges and emerging solutions. It will also explore the role of new technology in enhancing sustainability efforts.

3. Recruitment reimagined: Data-driven strategies (Student recruitment)

Data-driven recruitment strategies are as an essential tool for universities seeking to attract and enrol top talent from across the region and beyond. This panel will explore the potential of data analytics, delving into how European higher education institutions can harness data insights to optimise their recruitment efforts and achieve their targets, while also balancing sustainability practices. Discussions will also include case studies of European universities that have successfully implemented data-driven recruitment strategies, highlighting their innovative approaches.

4. AI-powered research (Research & discovery)

AI is revolutionising the way researchers conduct their work, enabling them to analyse vast amounts of data, identify patterns and make new connections that would have been impossible or difficult using traditional methods. This panel will delve into the transformative power of AI in research, exploring how it is accelerating discovery, enhancing communication to the public and shaping the future of scientific inquiry.

5. The Future Leader’s Toolkit: A business school lens (Employability & outcomes)

Effective leadership in the workplace demands more than just technical expertise and business schools play a crucial role in nurturing such skills in their students. While it has been recognised that future leaders should have cross-cultural competence, emotional intelligence and critical-thinking skills, universities face the challenge of nurturing such skills in a classroom. This panel will discuss best practices for integrating soft skills into business education, the challenges of integrating emotional intelligence into learning environments and the training needs of faculty to be able to support such an environment.

6. Business for A Better World: A global collaboration (Sustainability / Global engagement)

Business schools, as the incubators of future business leaders, hold a significant responsibility in shaping the mindset and practices that will shape the future of business. This panel will delve into the integral role of business schools in contributing to a sustainable future and explore the importance of collaboration between academia, industry, and fellow institutions to achieve shared sustainability goals.

7. Navigating the VUCA Maze: The future of business education (Innovation)

Businesses often face exceptional challenges and opportunities characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, or VUCA. This panel will engage in a critical examination of business and management education, exploring how business schools can effectively prepare students for success in this dynamic and demanding environment. More importantly, the panel will explore strategies for reimagining business curricula, pedagogies and the overall learning experience to empower students with the agility and resilience needed to thrive in an increasingly complex landscape.

8. Keynote

A Culture of Care: Faculty mental health through institutional support & collaboration

9. Keynote

Inclusive Academic Communities: Higher ed’s role in tackling systemic racism & promoting equity

10. Keynote

Creating Barrier-Free Campuses in Europe: Addressing accessibility challenges for people with disabilities

QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

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