Skip to content


Welcome to the latest in our series of surveys of heads of UK higher education


Each year we invite leaders of UK universities to share their views and plans on a wide range of current and future issues.

As well as a view on the long-term effects of COVID-led measures, potential changes in the market and policy environment for universities, and expectations for the sector over coming years, this year's findings highlight important differences from previous years. Vice-chancellors are building on the unexpected capacity for rapid innovation, adaptability, and agency that they discovered through the COVID-19 experience to secure a differentiated future in a fast-moving and unpredictable world.

Five key themes have emerged, pointing towards a very different HE sector in years to come:

  1. Mission-led strategic differentiation
    Building identities in terms of social and economic engagement and local region impact
  2. Enterprise and autonomy
    A shift in student recruitment, research, and business services income strategies
  3. Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
    Incorporating lessons learned into hybrid learning approaches
  4. A digitally-enabled experience
    Facilitating more flexible and inclusive ways of working with digital investments
  5. A new generation of leaders
    An emerging new generation of university heads, adopting different styles of leadership to their predecessors

Download the report to learn about the key themes driving a more differentiated, open, adaptive and resilient university system.


Tell us a bit about yourself to download the report

Thank you!

Download now

We have also sent you an email with the link.

* Required fields

If you are interested, you can find all our insights on our Insights hub.