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 personality: how we feel, think and act

These four fundamental characteristics form the basis of our personality: ambitious, involved, independent and inspiring.

Based on the Strategic Plan we have added two colouring attributes and one guiding characteristic. The colouring characteristics are connecting and solution-oriented.

The common thread in who we are and want to be is openness: it is in the DNA of our institution. We bring openness to life with Open Science. The guiding principle is therefore: open.

Pyriamid of core characteristics for the UU. Guiding characteristic: Open. Signature characteristics: Connecting, Solution-oriented. Fundamental characteristics: Ambitious, Involved, Independent, Inspiring.

We think it is important to be open, but we are not always open everywhere. That is why it is important that we continue to talk together about who we are, who we want to be, what we want to achieve and how we want to do it. Communication can make an important contribution to this process. For example, with a powerful and clear positioning, a brand story and a pay-off.

The pay-off: our promise to the world

The pay-off Sharing science, shaping tomorrow is the summary of our positioning. It tells what we stand for and what we are going to do. We use the pay-off to conclude a message, a background story or an informative text.

More information about our pay-off and all downloads can be found here.

Our brand story

A brand story, also called corporate story, is the story of a brand or organisation. It describes the core of why we do what we do. Put into words in such a way that it resonates with people. It is the reason why the brand or organisation exists and what it wants to contribute to the world. The brand story brings our positioning to life.

Voorbeeld van ons merkverhaal

A corporate story not only gives the right message, but also energy and its own tone of voice. Our corporate story is the source for all the stories we will create and tell, and is our anchor for everything we do.

Download our brand story

Vision, mission and ambition

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.

See examples of how we contribute

Our boilerplate text

A boilerplate is a short text that can be reused without modification for a press release, presentation, website or job advertisement, for example. It tells in a few lines what Utrecht University stands for.

English boilerplate

We are Utrecht University. The place where new partnerships and cross-pollinations have been taking place since 1636. Deeply rooted in the city of Utrecht, we operate internationally. Beyond the boundaries of disciplines we research, teach and share knowledge and insights that provide the building blocks for tomorrow.

Sharing Science, shaping tomorrow.

Dutch boilerplate

Wij zijn de Universiteit Utrecht. De plek waar sinds 1636 nieuwe samenwerkingen beginnen en kruisbestuivingen ontstaan. Diep geworteld in de stad Utrecht, internationaal opererend. Over de grenzen van disciplines onderzoeken we, onderwijzen we en delen we kennis en inzichten die de bouwstenen leveren voor morgen. 

Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.