Scanning Retrospective, No. 31

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 6

[Originally published] Issue 5, September 2001

  • The Inevitability of a Business Model for Higher Education
  • Trends Transforming the Universities of This Century
  • Managerial Vision
  • The Notion of Entrepreneurship: Historical and Emerging Issues

Welcome to the September 2001 issue of prospect.

This quarter we examine the issue of a business model for higher education, look at trends affecting universities of the 21 Century, revisit some ideas dating from the mid 1970s and late 1980s on what universities would need to do to remain viable in this new century, and look at the notion of entrepreneurship, its history and some emerging issues.

As ever, I hope you find these articles interesting and thought-provoking.

The Inevitability of a Business Model for Higher Education

Scholars have wandered the earth seeking community and resources for practising their art. It has only been for the last 500 years that universities have provided such a cloistered environment. A confluence of circumstances has broken this intellectual hegemony, threatening the sinecure, and is forcing the institutions and the academics, themselves, to confront a past that never was while building towards a future that never will be.

Abeles, Tom P. 1999. ‘The Inevitability of a Business Model for Higher Education’. Foresight 1(1):10–16. doi:10.1108/14636689910802061.

Trends Transforming the Universities of This Century

In the last two hundred years, universities have evolved from colleges emphasising philosophy and moral sciences to institutions forming the backbone of the science and technology revolution. But this transformation is not complete, for four trends promise to dramatically change the university of the next century: globalisation, virtualisation, multiculturalism, and politicisation, driven by economy and efficiency, technology, values and rights, and power and politics. Operating at different levels, these trends are likely to change the fundamental nature of teaching, learning, and research. Globalism and politicisation have existed for many years, whereas multiculturalism and Internet technology are newer trends. All four bring new models of who teaches, who learns, and through what medium and through what organisational structures these people teach and learn. This article explores the impact of these trends on the future of the university, presents possibilities for structural change, and offers probable scenarios for the future.

Inayatullah, Sohail, and Jennifer Gidley. 2000. ‘Trends Transforming the Universities of This Century: Virtualize, Disappear, or Transform’. On the Horizon 8(2):1–6. doi:10.1108/10748120010803357.

Managerial Vision

[comments introducing the article]
The text of this article is taken from a keynote address [by Joshua I. Owen, Director, Institute of Administration, University of New South Wales] to the Australian Institute of Tertiary Education Administrators (now ATEM, the Association for Tertiary Education Management), at their National Conference, held at Macquarie University, 22-25 September 1988. Yes, that does say 1988. That conference was entitled: “Tertiary Education Towards 2000: Challenges and Responses.” In foresight work, it is often very useful to look back and see what people were saying many years earlier, in order to see if “weak signals” of change were visible even then. This paper is now 13 years old. In the paper itself, as you will see, Owen was surveying what had been happening 13 years before then. In other words, this paper is a document which deals with issues which have been facing tertiary education for at least a quarter of a century. The current situation facing tertiary education has been characterised by some commentators as being a fairly rapid and sudden change in the education climate. But it will be very clear from reading this paper that many of the challenges facing tertiary education today were already visible as weak signals way back then, and it has been the lack of will to act over the ensuing years which has been the main contributing factor to the current situation, rather than any surprising “suddenness” of change. All this serves to re-emphasise (why does it need to be emphasised at all?) that by taking a serious long-term foresight view, and possessing a willingness to act in a timely manner, many potential crises may be avoided or mitigated against. This is the very essence of the reason we do foresight work at all. This paper highlights the fact that foresight is powerless to help when people are not willing to act. – [JV].

Acknowledgments are made to ATEM (formerly the AITEA mentioned here) for permission to reprint this paper. The Inst of Admin is now part of the Aust Grad School of Management. J Owen is no longer associated with it.

The Notion of Entrepreneurship: Historical and Emerging Issues

The concept of entrepreneurship has a long and rich tradition within economic theory. This article will a) outline the history of the term entrepreneurship; b) provide a brief overview of Schumpeter’s contributions to our use of this idea; c) suggest an alternative, emerging perspective on the most effective type of entrepreneurship; and d) touch on issues related to further research on the term.

Outcault, Charles. 2000. ‘The Notion of Entrepreneurship: Historical and Emerging Issues’. CELCEE Digest 00–4. Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education.

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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