Aarhus Universitets segl

About CHEF

The Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF) is a centre for research on higher education and university futures and for dialogue between researchers and the policy community in Denmark and internationally. 


The centre’s themes and aims are:

  • Universities’ role and positioning in the world: to research the internationally transforming mandates and organization of universities and higher education.
  • Universities’ organization and inner life: to research how new forms of governance and global drivers of competitiveness, massification, digitalization, quality control and performance management are changing the work and relations between students, faculty, administrators and leaders.
  • Higher education futures: to be a site for national and international research and experiments on new models for higher education and its institutional forms. To provide students, academics, administrators, leaders and the higher education policy community with an internationally linked and research-informed space for analysis and reflexive thinking about future directions in higher education.


Each semester CHEF organizes a series of talks, webinars and other events about the CHEF projects and other relevant research. They are announced on this website and in the membership newsletter twice a year. CHEF hosts several research projects, also detailed in the website.

CHEF has a programme of face-to-face and online talks, seminars and conferences, which draw participation from around the world. CHEF hosts research projects and has two ’umbrella’ activities:  facilitation of the Higher Education Policy and Practice (HEPP) network of Danish researchers and practitioners under the auspices of the Danish Network for Teaching in Higher Education (DUN); and ‘European Universities – Critical Futures’ which involves 18 research centres across Europe in a programme of workshops/PhD courses and working groups to explore key issues in shaping universities in post-pandemic Europe.


CHEF’s 170 members (2020) come from Danish universities and university colleges, researchers working on higher education from around the world, and policy makers, notably in Denmark and Europe.