The University of the Underground

World's first free, pluralistic and transnational postgraduate university based in the underground.

The University of the Underground 

The University of the Underground was founded in February 2017, as a charity with a ANBI status (RSIN 8575.82.781) . The University of the Underground is a free, pluralistic and transnational university based in the basement of nightclubs- with headquarters in Amsterdam and London- and actively working with both institutions and nightlife. As a charity, the hope of the University of the Underground is to bring generations together to democratise access to public institutions and trigger changes and critical reflections through the use of creative and experiential practices. With an explicit focus on political theory and philosophy, design of experiences, music, theatrical practices, film, social actions and social dreaming; it aims to provide toolkits for members of the public and students to actively participate in revealing power structures in institutions. The University of the Underground supports unconventional research, countercultures and practices that apprehend and challenge the formulation of culture, the manufacture and commodities of knowledge. The University of the Underground believes in a transnational form of education which exist beyond national borders. As a result, the University of the Underground has been developing educative programmes in the USA, starting this summer 2019, in collaboration with the Hannah Arendt Center of Bard College and the United Nations, but also in Egypt, in Georgia, in Pakistan and beyond.

The University of the Underground charity supports students from around the world by granting them scholarships while it co-hosts a master’s programme, the Masters Design of Experiences, with an accredited academic partner, as well as running public events, radio programmes and workshops. Most recently, the university also opened a research programme, the Unconventional Research Office, which supports the development, identification and empowerments of countercultures in institutions. The University of the Underground has a board of international thinkers, philosophers, activists, academics, politicians, musicians, filmmakers, innovative entrepreneurs but also creatives and curators such as: Prof. Noam Chomsky, Serpentine Galleries artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, academic Prof. Arjun Appadurai, European MePs Magid Magid, performers such as Ishmael Butler of Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces and musicians Massive Attack, drag performer Peaches Christ, Ted Prize winner and SETI Institute scientist Dr Jill Tarter, activist Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, author and McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers, President of file transfer service WeTransfer, Damian Bradfield with MOMA curator Paola Antonelli amongst others plurisdisciplinary practitioners. While guest Tutors include graphic Designer Paula Scher, science fiction author Bruce Sterling, experimental architect Prof. Rachel Armstrong, blogger Regine Debatty, poet Dana Gioia, sociologist Emma Dabiri and Michael Bierut among others. To read more, please head to our website

University of the Underground started in February 2017.

See the full team behind the University of the Underground on the dedicated website.