Our vision, mission, and ambition

The year 2021 was the final year of the 2017–2021 strategic period. The Strategic Plan: Connecting to Help Society Advance has been compiled for the 2018–2021 period. To realize our mission and vision, we have formulated ambitions for our three primary processes—education, research, and the generation of impact—as well as a strategy and objectives for growth, our location, culture and governance, and excellent operations.


Society is changing at a rapid pace. The social sciences and humanities equip us to understand the challenges of globalization, digitalization, pluralism, and sustainability; to engage in critical reflection on our values and actions; and to contribute to meaningful solutions.

Mission statement

We strive to help society advance by deepening our understanding of that society. We educate our students with the goal of developing the knowledge, expertise, and character that they will need to take on contemporary challenges. Given our bond with society, we apply excellent research to ensuring “the good life” for everyone.


Tilburg University is driven by science and puts the student at the center. We strive to educate young people to become responsible and entrepreneurial thinkers, ready to lead society into a new era. Our research should be recognized according to its quality, integrity, and impact on society.

The ambitions that have been included in the strategy:

Profile – We aim to strengthen and broaden our profile as an international, student-centered university of social sciences and humanities, with a strong signature and excellent, highly visible education, research, and societal impact.

Education – We provide excellent, innovative education according to the principles of knowledge, expertise, and character, aimed at educating students to become the leaders of the future.

Research – Tilburg University excels in both monodisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

Impact – We strive to help society advance by expanding regional cooperation and by focusing on several challenging strategic themes, including Empowering the Resilient Society, Enhancing Health and Well-being, and Creating Value from Data. These three themes are reflected in our overarching theme: the Digital Society. These themes expand our societal impact, as well as its visibility.

Growth – We would like to become a mid-sized university through controlled growth, with excellence and quality as necessary preconditions.

Location – The campus is the bustling heart of the Tilburg University community, supplemented by a limited number of strategically chosen locations and connected to the City of Tilburg.

Culture and governance – We have an open, diverse culture of excellence based on trust, connection, inclusivity, and mutual responsibility for the University as a whole. We will adjust our governance to allow for further growth: the EB and the Deans together form the administration of the University. They cooperate in the development of new initiatives and the realization of mutual strategic ambitions.

Excellent operations – Tilburg University operates from the principle of student centricity. University Services provides excellent support as a partner to the Schools.

On our way to 2027

The new Strategic Plan: Weaving Minds and Characters: Strategy Towards 2027 is a prelude to 2027, the year in which the University will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Since 1927, the University has grown into a strong, flourishing, mid-sized university. Tilburg University wishes to grow in meaning. The rapidly increasing influence of digitalization and digital technology is affecting the society that we would like to understand. This offers new opportunities that touch upon the core of our University’s assignment.

The strategy has been constructed around four values. These values provide direction to our behavior and our choices: we are Curious, Caring, Connected, and Courageous. Character formation and identity have traditionally been associated with Tilburg University. Everyone should be able to develop in freedom and mutual connection. Tilburg University wishes to be an attractive employer, a community of knowledge that cares for staff and students, where one is welcome to learn and share knowledge for a lifetime. We wish to be a university that is also a vital, inclusive, and sustainable society in itself.

The strategy was developed in 2021, in close cooperation with many people within our academic community and beyond: with the Schools; in “10x10 sessions” with students, staff, and alumni; at thematic discussion tables; and in conversation with external stakeholders.

Read more about the new strategy