The Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) is Georgia Tech's living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education. Higher education is evolving and Georgia Tech is committed to leading the initiatives that will define the next generation of educational practices and technologies. C21U works in tandem with campus administrators and faculty to identify, develop, and test new educational platforms and techniques.

Fundamental Change in Higher Education

Today, traditional colleges and universities face escalating operational challenges, including reduced funding, changing student demographics, questions regarding quality and value, and increased competition. Their success—or more bleakly, their survival—requires transformative change to enable new teaching and learning approaches.

By testing educational techniques in actual classrooms, C21U develops proven technology-driven solutions that result in optimal student outcomes through creative institutional change. Combining technological solutions with practice and process modifications, C21U leverages beneficial industry and educational connections, offering important first steps toward defining the university of the 21st century.

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Georgia Tech Student Center, as seen from rear entrance.

Institutional Innovation and Educational Impact

C21U develops, tests, and evaluates new technologies, facilitating their deployment in higher education. The Center provides ways to experiment with and transform all aspects of higher education affected by technological disruption.

Current approaches under development include:

  • Small teams of developers who help faculty prototype their ideas
  • A network of technology companies committed to creating global partnerships
  • Facilitators who can clear away bureaucratic clutter to get ideas into immediate classroom use
  • Commercialization expertise and capital to turn innovative ideas into new companies
  • Policy development and assessment to facilitate institutional change
  • Innovative customizable student-centered delivery systems

Looking Forward

C21U is always looking forward. The future is ingrained in the name of the Center. We look towards the next five, ten, even twenty years and ask, "What does institutional innovation and educational impact look like for the future of Georgia Tech?" 


Atlanta skyline as seen from half-way up

We hope that you will partner with us as C21U utilizes our research, resources and forward-thinking community to propel Georgia Tech into the role of one of the most innovative higher education institutions in the country.

Moving Georgia Tech Forward

Georgia Tech Strategic Plan

Over the next decade, Georgia Tech will be an example of inclusive innovation, a leading technological, research university relentlessly committed to serving the public good; breaking new ground in addressing the biggest local, national, and global challenges of our time; making technology broadly accessible; and developing exceptional leaders from all backgrounds ready to produce novel ideas and create solutions with real human impact.

Lifelong Learning Initiative

The proposed new academic unit will bring together GTPE, the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), and the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). These three entities form the basis and starting point for the research and educational mission of the proposed new academic unit. The proposed new academic unit could mean opportunities for new and expanded research, curricula, students, and professional support for educators at every stage “from K to grey.” 

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