U7+ Presidential Summits

Members of the U7+ Alliance of World Universities convened at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan for the 5th annual U7+ Presidential Summit March 16-17, 2023.

Copyright: Office of Communications and Public Relations, Keio University

The U7+ Presidential Summit is a unique opportunity for university leaders from a wide variety of nations to discuss a common agenda and establish a framework for university actions in today’s global landscape. Rather than being designed as a scientific colloquium, the U7+ Presidential Summit creates a space for debate and reflection on the concrete actions that universities can take as engaged global actors, and it provides university leaders an opportunity to weigh in on issues and tackle global challenges to be addressed at the G7 Summit.

2024 U7+ Presidential Summit (Bocconi University, Italy)

The sixth annual U7+ Presidential Summit will be held at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy on April 11-12, 2024 During the Summit, U7+ presidents will discuss critical global issues in alignment with the themes of the 2024 G7 Summit, to be hosted in Italy. Key themes will include inclusive education for inclusive societies and climate change and sustainability. Presidents will consider the role of research and teaching to advance these themes and discuss the concrete actions that universities can take. 

2023 U7+ Presidential Summit (Keio University, Japan)

The fifth U7+ Presidential Summit was held in Japan under the theme of The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security. The summit served as a platform to take stock of our progress and to develop plans for the coming year around the four key issues of Peace and SecurityAccess to Higher Education – Global South Perspectives, Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression and G7 Engagement.

During the Summit, the presidents unanimously adopted the U7+ Tokyo Statement: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security, which members of the U7+ Presidential Steering Committee presented to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Keio University was the summit host, with University of Toronto serving as Chair of the Presidential Steering Committee and Northwestern University serving as Secretariat.

Learn more about the 2023 U7+ Presidential Summit.

2022 U7+ Presidential Summit (Université Côte d’Azur, France)

In June 2022, University presidents and select colleagues of the U7+ Alliance gathered in the French Riviera for their fourth annual Presidential Summit. Over the course of several formal and informal sessions, they discussed their progress towards promoting democratic values in their institutions. Presidents also brainstormed ways to continue achieving concrete action, addressing the vital role of universities to positively influence society. 

Université Côte d’Azur’s was the Summit host, with Northwestern University serving as the Secretariat, and Sciences Po presiding as the outgoing Chair of the U7+ Executive Committee.   

After the final session, members published a U7+ Statement to the G7. Expanding on the Alliance’s goal to work closely with the G7, this statement provides key points to improve economic stability, sustainability, and support for a peaceful world. The statement to the G7 also seeks to hold those in power accountable for their actions and encourages moving forward with an intergenerational and global lens.  

Learn more about the 2022 U7+ Presidential Summit.

2021 U7+ Meeting of the Presidents (Hosted by U.K. member institutions)

In October 2021, U7+ Alliance universities across 12 countries gathered virtually for the 2021 U7+ Meeting of the Presidents, which culminated in the U7+ Statement on Climate Change and Sustainability. The statement sets forth a set of specific commitments to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and offering enhanced access to climate education for students, while also acknowledging the disproportionate impact that climate change is having on vulnerable communities as well as the need to better engage youth.

The Meeting was co-hosted by Imperial College London, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL), the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, and was convened by the U7+ Alliance Secretariat Northwestern University and Executive Committee Chair Sciences Po. Learn more about the 2021 U7+ Meeting of the Presidents here.

2020 U7+ Presidential Summit (Northwestern University, U.S.)

In 2020, Northwestern University became the first U.S. university to host the U7+ Alliance of Universities Presidential Summit, convening nearly 100 university leaders from 48 institutions across 17 countries to explore the role higher education can play in addressing the critical global challenges youth and future generations will inherit. The Summit concluded with university presidents worldwide committing to work with government leaders in G7 countries and beyond to create new opportunities for mutual understanding across generations. Learn more about the 2020 U7+ Presidential Summit here.

2019 U7+ Presidential Summit (Sciences Po, France)

The first U7+ Alliance summit was held in France on July 9-10, 2019, under the high patronage of Emmanuel Macron, just prior to the final meeting of the sous-sherpas which took place on July 11-12 in Paris. For this 2019 inaugural summit, universities from G7 countries attended and special invitations were extended to institutions in 14 countries worldwide (Morocco, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, India, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Argentina). These 45+ universities represented over 2 million students in the world.

The summit concluded with a series of concrete commitments, as discussed during the summit and voted by the university presidents, that were presented to President Macron, in view of the broader G7 discussions that were undertaken in Biarritz. Read the press release from the launch of the U7 Alliance.