No University is an international community of non-conformist artists, makers and scientists, working together on inter-disciplinary, multi-level, non-reductionist research and experiments related to the important societal challenges of the next decades: sustainability, equitability and resilience.

Building on this international movement, No University will apply for a status as Center for Advanced Studies, facilitating a-typical tertiary research and education. No University will offer fellowships to scholars who wish to carry out advanced research for a period between 3 months and 2 years. No University will have its base in Zwolle, the Netherlands.

No University …

… is no conventional educational or research institution
… is an international community of non-conformist scientists, artists and makers
… with the joint objective to create deep insights and new perspectives for the global society

by …

… raising questions that are not asked before
… stimulating creative inquiry, to think outside the box and go off the beaten track
… developing multi-disciplinary and multi-level and non-reductionist research and experiments
… developing and implementing new forms of education and research
… providing physical space for scientists, artists and makers in resident
… providing an international podium for groundbreaking research, art and events

will …

… apply for a status as a Center for Advanced Studies
… be funded by governmental, institutional and individual shareholders and stakeholders
… have a governance model that is based on the Black Mountain College Assembly model
… be connected with its natural, social and cultural environment
… contribute to the development of the local society
… have its base in Zwolle

No University. A Creative Turn in Higher Education

Year 2021
Publisher ArtEZ Press
Jeroen Lutters
Number of pages 152
Publication language English
Professorship Professorship for Art education as Critical Tactics

No University. A Creative Turn in Higher Education explores a subject that is incredibly important to the future of our society: the innovation of higher education. Jeroen Lutters is professor of Art education as Critical Tactics (AeCT) at ArtEZ University of the Arts. Read more…

No University develops in an organic way. Structures are continuously evolving to facilitate the growth of No University as a living organism. In addition, the organism must be fed from the outside. It is a continuous process of co-creation between No University and its environment. This does not mean that there is no ambition and planning. The following planning will be continuously reviewed in consultation with stakeholders.
Building up the community and organization based on an organic and experimental process.
Facilitating the first scholars doing research within No University; expanding the community internationally.
Fine-tuning the proposition and business model based on first experiences and attracting more researchers.
Creating impact both locally and internationally, based on the involvement and research of prominent scientist, artists and makers.

Scholars and the community are central to the organization of No University. They are closely involved in the development of the movement and organization. Management and support departments serve the scholars and community as best as possible. In this non-hierarchical model, management and staff will be organized lean-and-mean to prevent bureaucracy.

The envisioned locations for No University are Coolwater (site of former power plant Harculo) and Academiehuis Grote Kerk Zwolle. At both iconic locations in the city of Zwolle new developments take place, which perfectly match with the ambitions of No University.

Academiehuis Grote Kerk Zwolle

The ‘Academiehuis’ facilitates innovation and internalization by offering society a place to learn and develop, right at the center of the city. Because of this great match between the ambition of the ‘Academiehuis’ and No University, a close collaboration with Coby Zandbergen, director of the ‘Academiehuis’, has evolved and as such she has become a co-initiator of No University.


The re-development of the cooling water building of the former power plant Harculo on the shore of the river IJssel is a new project by artist Ronald Westerhuis (known for the MH17 monument). Ronald wants to stimulate a continuous dialogue between science, art, and nature. This has resulted in Ronald being involved as a co-initiator of No University and No University being partner in his Coolwater project.

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