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Transforming Education

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The University of Exeter and QS are combining to lead the creation of a transformative educational partnership between the world’s leading universities and global organisations, to empower and enable the next generation of students to answer the questions that will shape today, tomorrow and the future for us all.

In an era of global challenges, the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a key framework to articulate the issues that face humanity and encourage mobilisation of concerted efforts to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. While many organisations have taken steps to embed these goals into their strategies, at the University of Exeter we are committed to going further. We believe in the power of our brightest young minds coming together to tackle these global challenges whilst developing 21st century skills to enhance their education.

Our vision, in partnership with QS, is to build a global ecosystem that connects students from multiple universities with international organisations to generate insights and develop solutions that help address SDGs. To connect the next generation to the most complex challenges of our time and generate actionable solutions.

“We are pleased to work with QS and partner universities to deliver Future17. It offers our students a unique opportunity to engage with others from around the world - to collaborate and innovate together with a shared purpose, amplifying their ingenuity and creativity to spark the positive change the world needs.”

Professor Tim Quine

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)

We have built a consortium of world-leading universities from different continents and are bringing together students from across diverse disciplines to work in teams under the mentorship of academics and partner organisations (from industry, third sector and NGOs). Students will be presented with real-world challenges from partner organisations that are aligned to the SDGs and represent a genuine need for the organisation. The student teams will be tasked with the development of actionable insights to bring new solutions, collaborating across borders and disciplines to make their mark and galvanise real change.

“We are delighted to partner with the University of Exeter to lead Future17, alongside world class universities from around the world including; The Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Sao Paulo and Stellenbosch University. QS is a mission led organisation that has been empowering motivated young people to fulfil their potential since 1990.

QS is committed to mobilising and supporting these global citizens to make an impact on the SDGS through our charity, QS World Merit. Future17 represents a fundamental way in which we can deliver on our mission and charitable purpose by helping young people access virtual project experiences with major organisations from around the world, whilst gaining credit from their parent university.”

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Nunzio Quacquarelli


The students involved will be encouraged to be ambitious, to think differently and push the boundaries. Crucially, participation in the Future17 programme will also be credit-bearing so students will also be working towards their academic qualifications.

Further information for organisations wishing to participate in the programme is available on the QS website.

Future 17 – the Sustainable Development Goals Challenge Program - represents the future of education. It’s education without borders.