‘Progress is shaped by the ability to question, to criticize and to enquire. Ensuring progress is one of the responsibilities of Academia’. Could there be any future for non-conformist, heterodox, non-marketable knowledge, next to transforming truth value into the market truth value of knowledge, as was the tendency over the last decades? And what will be its impact upon criteria of excellence? The enjoyment of academic freedom requires the autonomy of the university. European countries have witnessed exciting developments in achieving a common space of convergence in higher education and research. But to encourage creativity there is definitely a need for more differentiation among universities, rather than uniformity. Autonomy is that degree of self-governance necessary for effective decision-making by universities in relation to their academic profile, work and standards. However, self-governance must be consistent with systems of public accountability. Universities must show that they are responding to the needs of society and they must perform according to standards of excellence and creativity in teaching and research. However, the balance, if there is any, has to be questioned. Should a shift of the role of the State be envisaged and should different types of governance be developed in order to counter the statement that academic freedom of higher education staff has decreased? Does a new relationship between government and university require the establishment of a modest set of ‘principles of good governance’ to reduce the overdetailed university regulations? And how to ensure that the search for creativity will also strengthen academic integrity? These questions are decisive for the future mission of the University.