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Into the Unknown

The UW is celebrating its 175-year history in 2023. But what does the future of the university — and higher education at large — look like? We asked the experts to find out.

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We’re a public university guided by public service

UW–Madison’s longest and proudest tradition is the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that our work should improve people’s lives beyond the boundaries of campus. This century-old guiding philosophy applies to our academics, research, and outreach.

Learn more about the Wisconsin Idea

Six students pose next to hundreds of pounds of fresh produce harvested from the Eagle Heights Community Garden.
UW–Madison’s F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture distribute hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for free each season.

We value a diversity of identities, ideas, and experiences

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinions enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

We believe that one Badger can change the world

Our research solves mysteries and transforms lives

UW–Madison is one of the 10 largest research institutions in the country, allocating more than $1 billion annually to groundbreaking inquiry. Spanning the humanities to the hard sciences, our vast research enterprise has a singular mission: to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Madison, WI: The ultimate college town

This is where big-city opportunities meet small-town conveniences. Where vibrant streetscapes lead to lakeside retreats. Where a Big Ten college and capital city blend together, creating an atmosphere unlike anywhere else. Welcome to Madison.

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