University of The Future at Expo2020-Dubai

Link to the website:

The rationale

With the projected “youth bulge” demographic transition in the Arab World, the region is expected to experience in the next ten years the 100 million youth unemployment challenge, which, if not addressed, will become a source for social instability with an increasing pool of young people who might be vulnerable to radicalisation. The rationale of the University of the Future (UoF) is tackling the unemployment challenge with a specific focus in the Arab World – and open to African students as well – making students’ transition towards existing (and future) employment opportunities seamless and contributing to spread a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

The project

The University of the Future (UoF) is an innovative educational model – promoted by the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) – whose overall objective is to rewire the attitude of young generations towards their future through a global university education model which places impact entrepreneurship and innovation at the core of their skillsets and ambitions.

The UoF will offer the first Bachelor in Impact Driven Innovation, built around a challenge-based education model which:

  • leads students to identify a purpose higher than themselves, their talent and a path that are unique and meaningful for themselves and then to act collectively to create impact
  • focuses on students’ ability to solve challenges as a whole, rather than on fixed curricular requirements
  • allows students to acquire relevant competences by autonomously making their way through their learning experience
  • actively stimulates the development of an entrepreneurial and growth mindset and helps students to obtain access to the support they need to transform their vision into reality.

The Curriculum of the Future will be tested through the “Pathfinders Programme” during the 6 months of EXPO 2020 and incorporated into the DNA of the UoF. The Pathfinders Programme aims at setting the stage for the University of the Future by leveraging EXPO 2020 ecosystem. It will be offered to 30 students or fresh graduates that will be selected from different countries with a focus on Arab and African universities.


The University of the Future formally presented at EXPO 2020 will be launched in March 2021 as a Joint Venture between UAEU and other international reputable institutions as a legacy of EXPO 2020 and it will be located, from 2022, in District 2020.

PV Added Value

Within the University of the Future, PlusValue’s main tasks are:

  • Defining a preliminary and final version value proposition for UoF
  • Defining a preliminary and final version assessment of UAEU competences, with a specific focus on its innovation ecosystem
  • Partnering with the UoF in establishing international partnerships for Expo2020 and District 2020 Impact Evaluation Framework.