The Academic Consortium for the 21st Century (AC21) was established on June 24, 2002 at the International Forum 2002 hosted by Nagoya University, Japan, as an international network comprised of educational, research and industrial organizations throughout the world. The Forum brought together the presidents and high-ranking delegations from twenty-five of the world’s leading education and research institutions, and resulted in the founding of a new and vigorous global partnership in higher education, "Academic Consortium AC21".
The principal theme of the inaugural forum, "The Role of Universities in the 21st Century", continues to guide AC21's activities to this day. In an era of continuous change, we believe that institutions of higher education must take the initiative in responding to the rapidly transforming needs of society, and that an international university network, with its common pool of knowledge, expertise and experience, comprises the optimum means to accomplish this. As demonstrated by the scale of our projects and activities, AC21 is firmly committed to contributing to the global knowledge sector.
The vision of AC21 is the promoting of cooperation in education and research between members, the bridging between different societies in the world and the delivering of wisdom to all people to mutually understand and share values, knowledge and cultures necessary to improve quality of life and to foster co-existence beyond national and regional boundaries in the 21st century.