Brand identity

Our brand identity is the foundation from which we communicate. It describes what we see happening in the world as a university (our vision), what we want to contribute to the world (our mission) and how we want to fulfil our mission (our ambition). But it also characterises what kind of an organisation we are, how we feel, how we think and act (our personality), as well as what we stand for (our profile). Finally, our archetype helps us to direct our communication. It is the lens through which we look at ourselves. Our brand identity helps us make decisions, and helps us explain those decisions to the outside world.

Our vision: what we see happening in the world 

We live in a world that is rapidly changing. Global issues are complex: they are not limited to generations or continents and cannot be solved fromone single perspective.

Themes such as climate change, distribution of wealth and healthy living require an interdisciplinary approach. Scientific insights are needed to solve these issues.

Our mission: what we want to contribute to the world

We are working towards a better world. We do this by researching complex issues beyond the borders of disciplines. We put thinkers in contact with doers, so new insights can be applied. We give students the space to develop themselves. In so doing, we make substantial contributions to society, both now and in the future.

Our ambition: how we fulfil our mission

When it comes to solving the problems of the world, we aim high. We want to give direction to necessary transformations. We see the university as a catalyst for change. That is the contribution we want to make to society.

Sustainability is our collective wake up call. The challenge is not to define our problems but to think of pathways towards sustainability. This requires new imaginative collaborative work. Utrecht University has a stunning track record in sustainability science. Now we want to see how the university can become an agent of change, bringing together the best of research across a much broader range of subjects. If we combine our scientific excellence and work together with external partners on specific research questions, we can really make the transition towards a more sustainable society a reality.

Our personality: how we feel, how we think and how we act

We are ambitious. We want to be among those at the top. Only then can we continue to make an important difference in society. Personal initiative and entrepreneurship are essential to this.

We feel involved. We take our social responsibility seriously. Through cooperation, we make impact and innovation possible.

We think independently and act with integrity. We search for new trails to blaze beyond the borders of disciplines. We give students the space to experiment.

New insights and perspectives inspire us. We are curious, optimistic and resourceful.

Our profile: what we stand for

Utrecht University is a wide-range, international research university of high standing. We have a strong connection to the city of Utrecht and our roots lie deep in the past.

Our interdisciplinary research targets four themes: Life Sciences, Pathways to Sustainability, Dynamics of Youth and Institutions for Open Societies. We are a trailblazer in the field of modernising educational concepts. Our student pass rate is high.

Our teaching and research are strongly connected. We work together in tight communities. We believe diversity is important.

All this provides us with a solid base from which to work with others around the globe on the societal issues of the future.

Our archetype: the lens through which we see ourselves

We are explorers. The unknown draws us in. We are original, independent thinkers, hungry for new experiences, ideas and perspectives. We see possibilities and keep 
looking for more.

We do not only look at the horizon, we also move towards it. We form alliances, because we believe they will help us progress.

I wanted to be an explorer when I was little. Now I am, only on a very small surface.
prof. Anna Akhmanova