Scanning Retrospective, No. 29

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 4

[Originally published] Issue 3, March 2001

  • Education: New Economy, New Challenges?
  • Reshaping Universities for the Future
  • Universal Tertiary Education
  • Academic Entrepreneurship in Higher Education


Welcome to the March 2001 edition of prospect.

In this issue we start to look more closely at the future of tertiary education and how it might be undertaken in the world of 10-20 years hence and beyond. We start from the question of how education in general may look in the new economy, proceed through ideas for how universities may need to change to remain viable in the future, visit the concept of universal tertiary education, something which dual-sector tertiary institutions would be well-placed to provide, and finish up with some observations about entrepreneurship practices in higher education in the USA.

I hope that you find these articles interesting and thought-provoking.

Education: New Economy, New Challenges?

The first article, Education: New Economy, New Challenges? is a summary report from the OECD on its own strategic scanning of the education sector, detailing how education systems see their role in the “new economy” and the means by which they can prepare students for the tasks, challenges, opportunities and threats inherent in such an economy. The article discusses the pressures acting on education systems, how education systems will need to meet changing demands and continuing responsibilities, the impacts of educational and digital technologies, and the conflicting demands which will be placed upon education systems.

Appeared as:
Love, Patrick. 2000. ‘Education: New Economy, New Challenges?’ Foresight 2(5):515–18. doi:10.1108/14636680010802852.

Reshaping Universities for the Future

In Reshaping Universities for the Future, the Executive Director of the Institute of Futures Studies for Development in Thailand suggests that, while the position of universities as thought-centres of society may not be as tenuous as some suggest, nevertheless a significant reshaping of the traditional identity and practices of universities is necessary. Four trends are examined which lie ahead for universities in the next 20 years: increasing private enterprise involvement in basic research; a stronger emphasis on business concerns inside universities; increased demands for new areas of academic study; and the emergence of special-interest sub-culture groups within academia. Some possible policy responses are outlined.

Chareonwongsak, Kriengsak. 2000. ‘Reshaping Universities for the Future’. Foresight 2(1):113–23. doi:10.1108/14636680010802519.

Universal Tertiary Education

Universal Tertiary Education deals with the question of how dual-sector universities can challenge the “binary divide” between the Higher Education and TAFE sectors. The author, an authority on inter-sectoral issues from Victoria University, argues that the full realisation of lifelong learning, and the potential inherent in universal tertiary education, is hampered by the binary system of tertiary education in Australia. Some of the structural and governance problems engendered by this division are replicated in dual-sector institutions, but the possibility exists to transcend these problems and, instead, to meet the learning needs of students in ways which single-sector institutions cannot. In short, dual-sector universities need to completely reconceptualise and restructure themselves as a coherent whole, rather than continuing as an uneasy, mutually suspicious alliance.

Doughney, Leesa. 2000. ‘Universal Tertiary Education: How Dual-Sector Universities Can Challenge the Binary Divide between TAFE and Higher Education — the Case of Victoria University of Technology’. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 22(1):59–72. doi:10.1080/713678136.
Note for contact purposes: The author’s surname is now “Wheelahan.”

Academic Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

The final article, Academic Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, from a staffer at the Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, deals with entrepreneurship activities which are instigated by faculty members and administrators in both universities and community colleges in the USA. The article notes that while creating revenue may be an important objective of these efforts, it is not always the primary reason, and notes the different sets of values present in academia and industry. There is a clear need to augment falling government funding with entrepreneurial ventures. Universities, it is argued, need to encourage these activities and not see them as conflicts of interest.

Brawer, Florence B. 1998. ‘Academic Entrepreneurship in Higher Education’. CELCEE Digest 98–3. Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education. http://www.celcee.edu/products/digest/Dig98-3.html.
[Now archived at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED435339]


prospect is a quarterly publication of The Foresight & Planning Unit, Swinburne University of Technology.

Futura tenaciter in prospectu tenemus

This publication is intended to serve the broader Swinburne community, by highlighting areas of interest and concern to Swinburne stakeholders, by helping us take a long-term foresight view, and to expand our perceptions of our strategic options as we move forward together into our common future.

This collection is © 2001 FPU and Swinburne University of Technology. Copyright for the individual articles resides with the original authors and/or the original sources as listed. All articles have been used either with express permission or, where express permission is not required, following stipulated re-use guidelines.


NOTE: In all the posts in this series, the original source URLs are left exactly as they were when published 20-odd years ago. This means they will almost certainly be dead links (or good ol’ 404 errors). I do not have the patience or inclination to follow-up or find any archived or re-located versions of those web pages (because, well, life is too short). But, if it really bugs you, I invite you to see if you can find archived or relocated versions of those dead-link pages. And if you do, let me know, and I’ll update these posts with due credit to your detective work.

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