Pioneer Universities are an international network of higher education institutions developing truly pioneering and innovative circular economy-orientated research or teaching programmes.

How we work with Pioneer Universities

Higher education is a priority focus for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. We have a vision of a global network of higher education institutions that explore, develop and critique key ideas and priorities in a transition to a circular economy. To bring this about, the Foundation is working with leading universities around the world, as they themselves work with business to find solutions and to educate and inspire future leaders, to address emerging economic realities.

As non-fee paying members of the CE100 programme they have a formal agreement with the Foundation and commit to drive and support relevant and beneficial knowledge exchanges between business and HE furthering the collective understanding of the circular economy through insights and skills development. Many of these research and teaching programmes focus on our target disciplines - business, education, design and engineering.

The Pioneer University programme offers bespoke input from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s team and facilitated links with our business and regional networks around the world. Collaboration is developed on a case-by-case basis and we aim to work with a maximum of ten Pioneer Universities during 2013 to 2016.

Working with higher education

The Foundation’s circular economy higher education (HE) programmes encompass multidisciplinary teaching and learning partnerships whilst also facilitating HE-business research collaborations across key sectors. Distance learning is a key focus with both blended and face-to-face approaches enhancing a range of events, courses and open learning opportunities.

There are four engagement opportunities for HE institutions at the Foundation. The HE Programme Overview provides details about these and how to find out more, the HE Profile document showcases some of the existing work being undertaken across the HE network. Our HE Briefing Notes provide guidance, case studies and resources for curriculum development work. You can download these documents from the top of this page.