Linda Brown

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2024 Judge
CEO and President of Torrens University Australia, Australia

Linda Brown is disrupting higher education, changing lives and creating new generations of changemakers.

Photographic portrait of Linda Brown

For Linda Brown, accepting the status quo isn’t an option. As CEO and President of Torrens University Australia, she believes education should be accessible to all and is passionate about creating the university of the future. When Torrens opened its doors in 2013, it was clear that success would be defined differently. With innovation embedded in its DNA, Torrens is Australia’s only private for-profit university and the country’s only university to be a Certified B Corporation.   

Linda is laser-focused on ensuring that the university is completely student-centric and has an entrepreneurial spirit. Torrens offers progressive courses that incorporate virtual reality and other digital technologies and it provides unique industry connections, so students gain the right skills to find jobs they love. Linda is proud of her role in creating new generations of entrepreneurs.   

Profit and purpose go hand in hand for Linda. The pandemic was particularly challenging with Australia’s borders closed for almost two years. Torrens engaged with over 270,000 people by offering free short courses and digital community engagement. The university also mobilized its resources and rallied around staff and students who were in need, providing fresh food deliveries, special academic considerations and financial bursaries.  

Torrens is the country’s fastest-growing university with state-of-the art campuses across Australia and a strategic presence in China. The university registered 27% year-on-year growth in 2020, and in November 2020, it was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Strategic Education, Inc. for $900 million. Under Linda’s leadership, Torrens has grown from 165 students in 2014 to over 20,000 today.