Recap: University:Future Festival 2023

A three-day event all about the future of higher education: University:Future Festival (U:FF) – Heads up! took place from 26 to 28 April 2023 in the physical as well as in the digital space.  The principle was: Digital first! The festival in all its diversity could only be experienced online. Physical stages at various locations in Germany enabled encounters and networking in person. The festival was bilingual in German and English.

The festival addressed a broad range of topics around AI, architectures, technology, strategy development, competences, didactics and much more in the context of the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation. As the largest and most innovative event on the future of academic education in the DACH region, the festival, bilingual in German and English, offered a comprehensive programme with over 300 talks, workshops, discussions and micro training sessions selected from 620 submissions from an international community.

The festival was designed to be digital-first. This means that the festival in all its diversity and the supporting programme could only be experienced online. At three physical stages in Berlin, Bochum and Heilbronn, the special opportunities of presence for personal exchange were cultivated. You can find impressions and highlights of the stages in our gallery.


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Einverstanden und Video laden

All recorded videos of the University:Future Festival can be found on the YouTube channel of the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung.

University:Future Festival 2023 was organised by Hochschulforum Digitalisierung and Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre. It was supported by Stifterverband.

The motto “Heads Up!”

Heads Up! – Watch out, something’s coming! A “Heads Up” is an advance information or a warning. What will be important in the coming years? Which topics and developments should we keep an eye on? The last time U:FF looked at the post-Corona era. Now we focussed on moving further ahead.

Heads Up! – Cheer up, it will be alright! “Heads Up” is also a positive exclamation. Rising costs and demands are causing uncertainty in higher education; the pandemic is not over yet either. The festival reflected this situation and wanted to look constructively into the future.

What made the University:Future Festival special

Size and overview: As the largest event of its kind in the DACH region, U:FF offered an unique overview of futures in tertiary education, making it THE place for inspiration.

Community-based: Our community does not just meet  for the annual festival – we work together in a spirit of trust throughout the year. The content and formats of U:FF were largely fed by the diverse communities of  Hochschulforum and Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre-community. Members of the community inspired others and shared information about the festival.

Innovative and colourful: U:FF always strives for innovations in content and format. This included artistic interventions, new and diverse format ideas, and a contemporary digital and analogue event experience.

Spaces rethought: U:FF rethinks digital and analogue spaces. It was digital-first-hybrid: digital participants were the most important group of attendees. Everyone could join online with a click. But we were also geographically connected and offered opportunities for regional exchange with several locations in Germany. More information on the presence locations can be found here.